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Trump's Former Personal Attorney Michael Cohen Recorded Him Discussing Payment to Playboy Model; Israel Launches "Wide Scale Attack" On Hamas In Gaza; U.S. Intel Chief Surprised By Trump's Invitation To Putin; Trump Invites Putin To Washington This Fall; More Protests Over Jobs Services In Iraq; U.K. PM Rejects E.U.'s Brexit Plan For Irish Border; Trump's Wild Week Post-Helsinki Summit; 17 Killed When Vessel Sinks In Stormy Weather. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired July 20, 2018 - 15:00   ET




HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani.

Tonight, a new twist in the case of Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen recorded President Trump discussing a payment to an ex- "Playboy"


Also, a tragedy on a U.S. lake, 17 people are dead after a sightseeing boat capsized in a storm.

And news coming in to us tonight, Israel says it has begun a wide-scale attack against military targets in Gaza. We'll have a live report.

We begin with the saga that sounds more like a series of steamy novels than serious political news. We have the tale of the president and the porn

star. Now hot off the press, the apparent sequel, the president and the "Playboy" bunny.

In the past few hours, we have heard that the FBI has a recording in which Donald Trump and his former attorney, Michael Cohen, discuss paying off a

former Playmate. The model in question, Karen McDougal. You might recognize her face.

She claims she had an affair with Mr. Trump in 2006, around the same time he allegedly had a relationship with Stormy Daniels. The president is

denying that affair, both, in fact, but once again, this could mean serious repercussion repercussions.

Kara Scannell is in Washington with the very latest on that. Talk to us what more do we know about what this tape and there are other recordings we

understand might contain?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: Well, Hala, Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's attorney has told us that Michael Cohen secretly recorded a

conversation he had with the president before the election where they discussed a payment to Karen McDougal, who (inaudible) said she had an

affair with the president.

Now the president's legal team has said that they have reviewed the transcript of the tape that was seized as part of that FBI raid on Michael

Cohen's home, office, and hotel rooms.

And they do not think that they are going to have any legal problems with that, but another source has just told us that they don't think the tape is

good for Trump, that it might be bad for him.

This all fits into this FBI investigation of Michael Cohen. Their efforts to suppress negative information about the president before the election.

That includes that payment to Stormy Daniels as well as $150,000 payment that Karen McDougal received from "The National Enquirer."

That magazine, newspaper, that is run by Donald Trump's friend. So, now there are tapes and while the president's legal team is saying it is not a

big deal, we do not know what is on it.

We don't know how it fits into the bucket of evidence that investigators have been collecting on Trump. One thing, we have heard is that this is

not the only conversation that has been recorded between Michael Cohen and Donald Trump.

Trump's legal team says that those are innocuous conversations. We have also learned that Michael Cohen recorded conversations with other people

that have been described as powerful people.

We also don't know what's on those tapes, but what we did learn was that when Donald Trump found out about this recording, Hala, his reaction was, I

can't believe Michael would do this to me.

So that's the -- that's the latest on the tapes right now. It's still a developing story and we're learning more information about what might be in

them, and how many other ones exist.

GORANI: But I understand that the president only learned of the existence of this tape about a week ago, correct?

SCANNELL: That's right. So as Michael Cohen's home, hotel and office were raided by the FBI in April, since there has been this long, arduous process

of attorney/client review for privilege. There is a special master in place that's been taking a very long time.

We have learned from that raid. They have recovered 4 million files, you know, some in a number of cell phones, external hard drives, thumb drives

that all the legal teams have been going through, and they have really nearing the end of that.

There have been about 4 million files, according to a latest filing in court. They have gone through about 3.5 million of them. And also,

interesting, a very, very small, less than 1 percent were considered attorney/client privilege.

And now all of this information is in the hands of the government, but also with President Trump, so they have got to see what Michael Cohen has had,

which they say they did not know about beforehand.

GORANI: Kara Scannell, thanks very much for that report. This is the latest twist in an already complex and legally sensitive drama.

SCANNELL: Thanks. You too.

GORANI: For more, let's bring in our legal analyst, Areva Martin, in Los Angeles. So, Areva, first of all, the former attorney of Donald Trump

secretly recorded their conversations. Is this typical?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Not at all, Hala. This is disturbing. As a lawyer, it raises serious ethical questions as to the conduct of

Michael Cohen. I can understand Donald Trump's surprise to learn that he was being taped.

[15:05:05] Presumably Michael Cohen didn't notify Trump and these other so- called influential people that he was recording them. We have been hearing all along that the documents seized by the FBI in the raid of Michael

Cohen's office and residence included not just written documents, but tape recordings because he made a practice of recording his clients.

So, if you look at the reporting that has been out there for several months or so, it's not surprising that this tape and perhaps other tapes well


GORANI: And this conversation that we understand happened two months before the election, and one month after the payment to Karen McDougal of

$150,000 by the parent company of a tabloid newspaper whose boss is friends with Donald Trump. So why would the FBI be interested in this recording in

particular from a legal perspective?

MARTIN: Well, Hala, allegations have been made ever since we learned of the Stormy Daniels payment and the Karen McDougal payment, and the question

is whether Donald Trump and his team were engaged in intentional conduct to suppress negative information prior to the election because it raises the

question of potential finance -- election finance violations.

Candidates cannot be engaged in this kind of conduct. If he was paying people off, and if he was paying Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal off to

avoid the negative information about these extramarital affairs coming out before the election, that's a big issue.

GORANI: Now obviously these are recordings that the Trump legal team has heard, that the FBI is in possession of.


GORANI: Under what circumstance would they ever be made public?

MARTIN: And that's a good question. We don't -- to date, Michael Cohen has not been charged with anything. There is some speculation that as soon

as the turnover of documents is completed that he could be facing a long list of charges himself.

To date, we know Special Counsel Mueller has not made any public announcements about any potential crimes that Donald Trump may have been

engaged in, but all of this goes to the bucket of evidence or the, you know, the large amount of evidence that's out there that Donald Trump was

engaged in conduct to prevent negative information from going public just months before the 2016 election.

And it raises the question about what other recordings may be out there. Maybe that Trump Tower meeting. Does Michael Cohen have recordings related

to that meeting? Recordings related to the whole Russia collusion investigation that's taking place.

GORANI: And Areva, Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's attorneys now says -- or claims -- what's on these tapes and presumably, he has heard that

particular recording, that it would prove that Donald Trump did nothing wrong, but if they are discussing a potential payment, I mean, that could

spell trouble for the president.

MARTIN: I mean, it spells potential legal trouble and we know from a PR standpoint and political standpoint, it's the worst news possible in this

already really bad week for Donald Trump. Rudy Giuliani is putting the best spin possible on it. I think his argument is, so what?

They had this discussion. Trump never made the payment. The payment to Karen McDougal was made by "The National enquirer" and that Donald Trump

had nothing to do with this. So, I think it's a very technical --

GORANI: Could it be for instance that he never says in the recording that he had a relationship with her, or something along those lines? They have

always denied that.

MARTIN: Well, for it to be a finance campaign violation, it doesn't matter if the relationship itself occurred. The issue would be whether he was

trying to suppress negative information.

Yes, he has continued to deny the allegation, but why was he so concerned about suppressing something that didn't happen? That's the irony in Rudy

Giuliani's argument.

Why is he talking to Michael Cohen about suppressing something that he claims never happened? If it didn't happen, why pay anybody any amount of

money to suppress, you know, their story? That's what we have to be focused on.

GORANI: And we know Stormy Daniels was paid. Thank you very much, Areva Martin, in Los Angeles. Really appreciate your analysis on our breaking

news story.

We have more breaking news, this time coming from the Middle East where the Israeli military says it has begun a, quote, "wide-scale attack" against

Hamas targets there. You're looking at video coming to us from Gaza.

Israel says it is in response to a shooting attack on its soldiers at the border fence between Israel and Gaza today. The Palestinian Ministry of

Health says Israeli soldiers shot four people dead during the weekly Friday protest.

Let's bring in Ian Lee. He is reporting from Gaza. What's going on? Tell us what the Israeli military is doing this evening.

[15:10:05] IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, we have seen a number of air strikes more toward the Central Gaza region this evening and this is the

wide-scale, a bombing campaign Israel says they are undertaking after the events earlier today.

Let's just back up and describe what happened. You have these protests which have been happening every week, every Friday since March, when you

have Gazans go to the fence and you have these protests that almost always turn deadly.

Over 140 Palestinians have been killed in these protests, but today there was an attack. The Israeli Army says there was an attack with sniper fire,

grenades and other explosives.

What they called it a very serious event, and it happened around 5:00 p.m. local time. And they say this is the reason why they are carrying out that

wide- scale bombing campaign against Hamas targets.

They won't give us the details of what's happening. We do know that Israeli soldiers were targeted. We don't know at this moment if any were

injured or what the status of them are.

But we do know that Israel retaliated, and you have these attacks by Israel. Three people who were killed were members of Hamas' military wing,

and we're hearing from a civilian, but tonight I have to tell you, Hala, it's pretty tense.

Everyone we have been talking to, war is on their lips. Will this turn into one? That is what people are worried about. We have this tweet from

the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.

He said, "Everyone in Gaza needs to step back from the brink. Not next week, not tomorrow. Right now. Those who want to provoke Palestinians and

Israelis into another war must not succeed."

So, right now, I'm sure the U.N. as well as the Egyptians are trying to talk to both sides to try to bring everyone back from the brink -- Hala.

GORANI: And as is always the case in Gaza, it's such a densely populated strip of land with, you know, air strikes routinely causing physical

damage, sometimes deaths on the civilian side. I mean, how much more intense is the bombing tonight compared to other instances where the

Israeli military has -- has bombed parts of the Gaza strip?

LEE: Well, they described it as wide-scale, and I have to say it's pretty early to see what actually comes out of this. Usually a lot of these air

strikes happen after midnight and in the early morning hours to limit any sort of civilian casualties.

But I have to say last weekend we saw the largest bombing campaign against Gaza since the 2014 war. Two civilians, two teenagers were killed in that

bombing. And you're right, when there are these wide-scale bombing campaigns, civilians a lot of the time are injured, and killed.

Israel for their part will say they are trying to take as much consideration and care trying not to kill civilians, but this is one of the

most densely populated places on the planet and it's very difficult, even with the pinpoint precision bombing you have the shrapnel that flies out,

and it hits people.

This is a dangerous time, especially if it escalates further and we see a large-scale bombing campaign that the militants here in Gaza respond with

rockets and mortars. This could spiral out of control, and that's what we're watching tonight.

GORANI: Ian Lee, thanks very much reporting in Gaza.

Still to come tonight, the remarkable scene when America's top spy found out Vladimir Putin had been invited to visit the White House. He learned

it from a news anchor. A live report on what U.S. intelligence does and does not know about what Donald Trump is up to.

And unrest spreads in Iraq. Find out why people are taking to the streets and what they are demanding, and why this time it's different than other




GORANI: Just have to grab my papers. It doesn't ever feel good if your boss doesn't bother to tell you what's going on at work, so imagine what it

must be like to be the top intelligence officer in the United States and have no idea what President Donald Trump is planning.

That was fully on display Thursday at a major security conference in Aspen when the director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, was blindsided by

news that Donald Trump was planning to invite Vladimir Putin to Washington in the autumn. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You -- Vladimir Putin coming to the --

COATS: Did I hear --




COATS: That's going to be special.


GORANI: So, there was laughter there, but frankly it sounded a little bit more like nervous laughter, and Dan Coats learned that the president was

planning on inviting Vladimir Putin to the White House in the fall from Andrea Mitchell, an NBC anchor who probably read it off an e-mail from the

White House.

This was in Aspen coming from Washington. Coats also admitted he has no idea what Mr. Trump discussed with Mr. Putin in their Helsinki summit on


Let's get more on the continued fallout from that Trump-Putin summit. Number one because there is a 2.0 in the works and the talk of summit

number two. CNN national security analyst, Josh Rogin is at that security conference in Aspen, Colorado.

He was at that event with Dan Coats, and CNN's Matthew Chance, who is in Moscow. So, first of all, Josh, tell us what it was like being in that

room when Dan Coats laughed after being told by Andrea Mitchell that the president was planning on inviting Putin to Washington?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Hala, it was quite surreal because you had the director of national intelligence admitting that he is

completely out of the loop and he completely disagrees with the president's interactions with President Putin.

And, you know, you don't know really whether to laugh or cry, so everyone just decided to laugh. Underneath that laughter was a lot of deep concern

about the president's behavior and the fact that he doesn't seem to care.

First of all, that his director of national intelligence is not in the loop and second of all that he put him in this horrendous position by tweeting

out the meeting while he should have known that Dan Coats is sitting there live with Andrea Mitchell in front of the entire world and that would be a

big surprise to him.

I talked to someone close to Coats after the meeting and they said they told the White House that they were going to be doing this, but that the

White House was simply too incompetent to make sure they didn't tweet something newsworthy about Russia in the middle of Coats' remarks. There

is a break between the two camps.

GORANI: Got it, but you would have known because it was on practically every cable news channel they were taking this conversation live.

ROGIN: It shows you the level of incompetence.

GORANI: Matthew, what's the reaction from Vladimir Putin to what sounds like a planned -- a plan to invite Putin to Washington in the autumn?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean we didn't see the moment that the Kremlin heard that they had been invited

back to a summit with Trump. I mean, who knows what their immediate reaction was.

[15:20:04] They certainly said, look, we're open it. I mean, they don't want to be dismissing this, and of course, from the Kremlin point of view

this first summit in Helsinki, and I was in the room when that media, that news conference was happening, what that, you know, a success in the sense

that it was always going to be a political victory for Putin to come out of his isolation in such dramatic way and have a one-one-one meeting with


I don't think he expected that it was going to go quite so, you know, quite so one-sided. And I think even though the Russians are saying, look, of

course, we want to meet the U.S. president regularly. That's appropriate for these two leaders.

I think there is a growing concern in the Kremlin and amongst the other officials in Russia that this could actually backfire, that, you know, this

could actually trigger a backlash in the United States as it already is and make the relationship between Moscow and Washington even worse. And so, I

think they will approach this second summit, this sequel to Helsinki with some trepidation.

GORANI: Josh, let's talk a little bit about Dan Coats. He is not a household name internationally. This is not a Democrat. This is a long-

time Republican. He served in the House and Senate.

I mean, obviously, he is more mainstream Republican, and just to clarify for our viewers, the director of national intelligence is in charge of the

entire American intelligence community, 16 different agencies, including the CIA and all the military intelligence agencies.

How surprising is it that he was not aware that the White House was planning to invite Putin to Washington?

ROGIN: Right. It's shocking, but it's not surprising because it's a pattern in this White House of not consulting their top national security

officials on top national security matters.

The Trump/Putin summit is just the most glaring and obvious and egregious example in that growing trend, but the break between Dan Coats and the

White House came before the Aspen Security Forum on Monday when Dan Coats decided to release a statement affirming the intelligence community's

assessment that Russia interfered in our election after the Trump press conference without checking with the White House.

That was the beginning of the break. Now he's here in Aspen and he's in the same position as all the other Trump administration officials like

Chris Wray and Rod Rosenstein, who are basically giving speeches, rebuking their boss, the president of the United States.

But without actually saying that, and that's the theme of this whole conference that the institutions and the officials who are responsible for

America's national security are on the ball, they assure us, right? They are here to say and tell us all that everything is going to be OK.


ROGIN: But the truth is they can't promise that because they don't know what the president of the United States is doing.

GORANI: It was on display yesterday. Quickly, Matthew, though, I mean, for all of this, you know, talk of another summit, the sanctions are still

in place. It's not like Russia is tangibly getting anything out of this yet.

CHANCE: No, and I think the Russians understand that it's very unlikely that in this current environment politically in the United States, those

sanctions are going to be lifted any time soon, but, you know, there is a part of the Russian establishment that is kind of looking at this and

enjoying it.

I mean, one of the objectives of the Kremlin has been to disrupt western institutions, to disrupt the political situation in the United States, and

if that was indeed their aim at the meddling in the U.S. election and all the other things they have been doing, then they must be sitting back and

thinking how successful they have been.

GORANI: Matthew Chance, thanks so much in Moscow -- yes.

ROGIN: I want to point out quickly, we don't know what they got because we don't know what the agreements were that Trump and Putin struck in private.

GORANI: We don't know what was said in that room. Thanks very much. Josh Rogin in Aspen, appreciate it.

More protests erupted in Iraq today with demonstrators venting their fury over the lack of jobs and basic services. The unrest first broke out

earlier in Basra in the south and spread all the way to Baghdad.

Many demonstrations have been peaceful. However, they are getting more intense. There have been deaths and injuries as well.

Let's discuss this with Fawaz Gerges who joins me here in the studio, the author of "Making the Arab World," and the chair of Contemporary Middle

East Studies at the London School of Economics. Hello, Fawaz.

This does feel slightly different what's going on Iraq then because in the summer, it's not unusual to have these protests but they feel different

this time.

FAWAZ GERGER, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: They really are, and they are spreading from the south where most of the Shiites live to Baghdad where

hundreds of protesters today tried to storm the (inaudible) zone. They are gaining momentum.

And I think more on what Iraq has had realizing they are fed up with the political system as you've said, lack of basic services, contaminated

water, no electricity for six, seven hours a day. No jobs, lack of hope. This could take us back to basically plunge Iraq into another major swath

of crisis.

[15:25:10] GORANI: I read from some journalists who cover Iraq very closely this feels more Arab spring than previous demonstrations have felt.

GERGES: Well, yes. You're absolutely correct. It's too early to call it a revolt. The reality it's spreading. I mean, think of it here. People

went where the protest started in Basra. Basra should be the wealthiest city in Iraq and the Middle East. It could use --

GORANI: It's very oil-rich.

GERGES: I don't know if you remember Basra used to be called the (inaudible) of the Middle East (inaudible) in that bulk waterways even

tourists in the early 1980s used to come to us. Now is one of the poorest cities in Iraq.

Ironically, we keep talking about the sectarian divide between the Shiites and the Sunnis. In the past 15 years, the Shiites are in the south. Basra

and other areas are asked for as their Sunni counterparts.

So, the divide in Iraq, Hala, is not just sectarian. It's social and economic as well as --

GORANI: Why is this government so inept in that sense?

GERGES: It's not just this government. I mean, in the past 15 years, you have really -- Iraq is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Out

of 169 countries, Iraq is 163 in terms of corruption. So, it's a man-made catastrophe.

GORANI: Why? Why is it? There was the American invasion.

GERGES: Of course.

GORANI: Supposedly after that, I mean it was disastrous, but after that there would be a more representative, democratically, sort of elected

representative leadership in place.

GERGES: That was the American ideal plan.

GORANI: But I mean, it's not is Saddam Hussein. Now we have --

GERGES: Shiite-led government.

GORANI: Why is it so bad?

GERGES: Because the reality is the politics, the political process is deeply corrupt. This is based on really distribution of resources between

the various communities in Iraq. This is -- I keep saying it's a man-made crisis because no inclusive developmental strategy has been really executed

in Iraq.

GORANI: But how do you fix that?

GERGES: This is why you need a national unity government, to focus on human resources and tell our viewers in the past four years, Iraq has

fought a very fierce and costly battle against the Islamic State. Now you need $100 billion for post-war reconstruction in Iraq. It's a crisis

really, a very complicated crisis.

GORANI: When Donald Trump says ISIS is defeated, everybody in the Middle East knows that's not true.

GERGES: That's right. In fact, ISIS is a result of the deepening social and political crisis. More so than Iraq itself. This is why the realities

and mutiny we're seeing in Iraq today, you have protesters in Baghdad saying no Shiite and no Sunni, Iraq secular.

We might be seeing the birth of Iraqi nationalism. This is really a progressive kind of -- as you've said, similar to the various protests in

2011 and 2012.

GORANI: It does feel different and the government has been very heavy- handed. They have used live ammunition on their own people.

GERGES: In the past two weeks, 16 protesters have been killed and hundreds have been injured. Almost hundreds of security forces as well. So, it has

the potential to escalate unless the government really treats the protesters in a very decent way, which so far has been lacking.

GORANI: Well, Iraq has been out of the headlines because of the other news, but we wanted to shed a spotlight on it again. Thank you very much,

Fawaz, as always.

Still to come, what started as a summit in Helsinki morphed into a lot more. We'll take you through Donald Trump's dizzying week of reversals,

contradictions and missing letters.

And 17 people including children were killed when a tour boat sank on a lake in the U.S. We're live for the latest.


[15:30:27] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Here in the United Kingdom, the day's political focus has been on a single boundary that's

throwing up a multitude of issues. I'm talking about the border between the United Kingdom and Ireland. A division that's giving the British prime

minister a splitting headache. The reason as you might have guessed is once again, Brexit. Theresa May made her first visit to Northern Ireland

as they U.K.'s leader seeing firsthand how Brexit is going to uniquely impact the Irish border. One thing she made clear, she will not support a

hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic which is a member of the E.U., and the E.U. just has to deal with it, she says.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The economic and constitutional dislocation of a formal third country customs border within our own country

is something I will never accept and I believe no British prime minister could ever accept. And as MP's made clear this week, it is not something

the House of Commons will accept either. We remain absolutely committed to include in a legally operative backstop and withdrawal agreement, but it

must be one that delivers on all the commitments made in the December joint report.


GORANI: The Irish border issue is one that has challenged leaders for decades. Long before Brexit was even a word. A hard fought solution was

eventually won, but is that now in jeopardy? Bianca Nobilo is here. Thanks for being with us.

First of all, so explain to us what Theresa May was saying there, because there was a lot of political speech. Yes, exactly. There is a border that

is not a hard border obviously between the Irish republican Northern Ireland. What happens after Brexit?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So what she was saying there was that the E.U.'s solution, the so-called backstop is unacceptable to her. Now,

what that means at the moment, the E.U. translated this into a legal text after they first discussed the backstop fudge last December. And the E.U.

see it as if there's no deal and the U.K. crashes out, then Northern Ireland will effectively remain in a single market for goods and the

customs union with the rest of the E.U. and the republic of Ireland which of course, is unacceptable to the democratic union as a party because they

won't count it as anything that seems to separate northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K.

And also, let's not forget the prime minister is a Tory. The full name of that party is the Conservative and Unionist Party, so she can't be seen to

be splitting the union in any way. So that was her way of saying, there is no way, E.U., that I can do this. So when she's asking the E.U. to kindly

evolve its position, it's a very diplomatic way of saying, like, you need to budge now because there's nothing I can do.

GORANI: But I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but there are only two scenarios. You either have a hard border or you don't. You can't have a

hard border on 30 percent of it and a soft on the other. So a hard border meaning that you have to check lorries and vehicles that come in, and check

people's I.D. cards and the rest of it.

So, how do you have an E.U. country that borders the U.K. without a hard border if you're Brexit?

NOBILO: Well, first of all, that's a really important point, Hala. And as the prime minister acknowledged today for the first time that there's no

smart border solution because we've talked about this in the past. It's something that Boris Johnson and others kept putting forward. They say,

we'll have an invisible border, there'll be trusted trade and schemes. She said today, plainly, that won't work. The technology is not available so

that's firmly been ruled out. Her solution is a free trade area of goods and agriculture between the U.K. and the E.U. and she says that will avoid

the hard border, but then the E.U. is saying, well our freedoms are indivisible, you can't cherry pick.

[15:35:12] GORANI: Right. So that means freedom of movement in addition to the freedom to trade.

NOBILO: Which we know it's one of the biggest sticking points of the whole Brexit issue.

GORANI: But again, this is like going in circles because over and over again, all we do is try to understand how -- I mean, there is no solution

to this Irish border question that won't -- that will give the U.K. everything it wants. There just cannot be because you cannot have no

border and free trade and no freedom of movement.

NOBILO: Mm-hmm.

GORANI: So, how do you solve that?

NOBILO: Well, I think most people are coming to that opinion. None of this was planned out or considered fully enough prior to calling the

referendum. In fact, the civil service is still trying to catch up at the moment and try and make all of these contingency plans.

And as we both know with the E.U. often decisions compromises they're struck at the 11th hour, but that will be too late in this scenario because

let's say they did even find a magical solution to this in February or March next year, all these businesses that rely on that seamless and

frictionless trade will already have activated their contingency plans which is why the U.K. started its doomsday planning already, and in the

headlines over here, we've been hearing about lorry parks. We've been hearing about stockpiling and foods. It's already begun because of exactly

what you just said. How are these -- how all these squares --

GORANI: We've been thinking about it for two years. If there was a magical solution to this problem, I think someone would have come up with

it by now.

NOBILO: Yes, exactly.

GORANI: And so on some level, there is going to be, you know, a consequence that the U.K. doesn't want.

NOBILO: There is, and that's why the prime minister is trying to make the argument that this is essentially the integrity of the single market which

the E.U. is most concerned about, versus the integrity of the union and the integrity of the Belfast agreement, so she's trying to leverage that.

GORANI: And that's of course, and then there are these tensions as well.

Thank you very much, Bianca Nobilo, with the very latest on that.

Well, it's been a week of dizzying toing and froing. Let's rewind back to Monday. Helsinki, Finland, feels like a lifetime ago. President Trump is

asked if he accepts the U.S. intelligence position that Russia interfered in the 2016 election while standing next to Vladimir Putin. This is what

he said.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that president Putin was

extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. All I can do is ask the question. My people came to me. Dan Coats came to me and some others,

they said, they think it's Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this. I don't see any reason why it would be.


GORANI: Yes. That was the U.S. president throwing his own country under the bus. Cue. Furious and swift bipartisan outrage. White House

officials realized they needed to act and they needed to act fast. Tuesday, national security officials huddled in the situation room for

hours before the president did a rare thing, admit he got something wrong, and backtracked.


TRUMP: And the key sentence in my remarks, I said the word would instead of wouldn't. That sentence should have been, I don't see any reason why I

wouldn't or why it wouldn't be Russia. So just to repeat it, I said the world would instead of wouldn't.


GORANI: Oh, yes. Two letters. That clears it up. But mere seconds after this supposed moment of clarity, the president muddied the waters all over

again with this.


TRUMP: I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. It could have been other people

also. There's a lot of people out there.


GORANI: Could be other people also. Let's move on. By Wednesday, Trump again contradicted the conclusions of his intelligence agencies when asked

if Russia still poses a threat to the U.S. electoral system.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Russia still targeting the U.S., Mr. President?

TRUMP: Thank you very much, no.


GORANI: If you think that by Thursday Donald Trump might have wanted to take a moment to reflect on the week's events, think again. The White

House said they'd host a second summit with Vladimir Putin in the fall in Washington. The news apparently blindsided America's top intelligence

official, Dan Coats.


ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall.


MITCHELL: Vladimir Putin is coming --

COATS: Did I hear you? Did I hear you?

MITCHELL: Yes, yes.



COATS: That's going to be special.


GORANI: And just to round out the week today, we find out that his former attorney was secretly recording him.

Larry Sabato is here to help us take stock of all of this. He's the director at the center for politics at the University of Virginia. And he

joins me now live from Charlottesville. So it's a remarkable week where the summit in Helsinki feels like it was last year, Larry.

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR OF CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Hala, we're aging at a very rapid, really a record pace, all of us during

the Trump years. There's never been such an avalanche of news and the reason is because Donald Trump from day-to-day, and sometimes from hour to

hour, contradicts himself, changes his position and makes it very difficult to know where this administration actually stands. It's mainly Trump, but

sometimes I think the administration is people by the Marx Brothers and the keystone cops.

GORANI: But the Republican Party seems OK with it, by and large, because there were expressions of outrage on Twitter and a few sound bites on

television. And by the way, the latest poll indicates that 68 percent of republicans think he did a great job in Helsinki.

SABATO: Yes, 68 percent think he did a great job. As far as actual elected officials in the Republican Party, members of the House and Senate,

when you get them off the record so they can't be quoted, they go through the roof. They tell you everything you think they should be saying

publicly about President Trump and the administration. So why don't they? And the answer is exactly what you suggested, 90 percent of republicans

support Trump. Trump has been proving throughout this primary season as we head toward the November elections that when he endorses a candidate and a

Republican primary and argues that another candidate should be defeated, nine times out of 10, he gets his preferred candidate. So they're

terrified. They're terrified of Trump even though they know his policies often are nutty.

GORANI: So politically speaking in the United States, you have the Democrats on one side, you have the Trump supporting Republicans and then

you have this segment of the conservative political landscape that are privately appalled at what Trump is doing, but publicly are too afraid to

say it because they want to -- they're running for reelection. Is there a room for any other political grouping in the United States do you think?

SABATO: Not at the moment. Eventually there may be, but not at the moment. The real key is whether or not democrats are able to take over one

or both houses of Congress in November. I think they're currently favored to take over the House of Representatives. They are not currently favored

to take over the Senate. But if the Democrats get even one House, that is going to limit Trump right there. He won't be able to get any more

legislation passed.

GORANI: But the economy's doing well. I mean, the main indicators, and equality is still a problem. But the economy is doing well. Unemployment

is low. Unemployment for African-Americans is low, the same for Hispano- Americans. So, usually when the economy is doing well, even if, you know, typically in the midterm elections the party and power gets hurt a little

bit, but the economy is going well. So you could -- can you foresee a scenario in which, in fact, the Republicans hold onto the House of


SABATO: Oh, absolutely. It's not yet anything close to a landslide for Democrats. In fact, right now at our shop, we have Democrats winning the

House by just a handful of seats, but it's July and the election is November 8th. As one Republican consultant put it, Donald Trump is a

bomber, a suicide bomber, and you never know which day the plane is going to hit the ship. So lots of things can happen between now and November

8th, but I still think Democrats are favored. I've heard too many people who are actually Republican say that Donald Trump needs a check and

balance, and that's exactly what the House of Representatives under democratic control would be.

GORANI: Larry Sabato, thanks very much. As always for coming on the show.

Still to come tonight, it's a tour boat that you can easily imagine taking with your family, but it turned into a terrifying, deadly day on the lake

in the U.S. We're live in Missouri.


[15:45:49] GORANI: All bodies now, 17 of them, have been recovered after a tour boat sank to the bottom of a lake in Missouri Thursday.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No kidding. Oh, my gosh.


GORANI: Video recorded by a passenger on another vessel shows how quickly the amphibious craft known as a duck boat capsized and went right down. It

was swamped by high waves and heavy winds which whipped up pretty suddenly. The area had been under a severe thunderstorm warning.

Miguel Marquez joins me now live from Branson, Missouri with more on this tragedy. Miguel?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, right now, the National Transportation Safety Board is on the ground here. They want to understand

what happened here, and all of the victims of that boat's accident have been pulled out now. Seventeen dead. The youngest as 1-year-old, the

oldest in his 70s. This is the worst -- among the worst, if not, the worst amphibious disaster in U.S. history. These things are used everywhere.

World War II technology. They're used all over the U.S. They're used in other parts of the world quite a bit. And there have been accidents in the


So they want to understand why this one was in the water when these storms came on. There had been thunderstorm warnings for much of the day, and

then these watches came on just as the boat had started out. It was about a 70-minute tour, so that they were on and then this happened.

I want to bring in the governor of Missouri. He has just arrived here. And I'd love to chat. Hello, governor. How are you, sir?

He's just arrived here live. Very nice to meet you. This is Mike Parson. So, we are live on CNN at the moment. I just want to get a sense from you

of what the latest is.

GOV. MIKE PARSON, MISSOURI: Well, you know, we've been visiting with some of the victims today, most of the day we've been talking to some of the

people that were involved actually in the rescue attempts last night, and really just wanted to talk to the people that were involved last night to

thank them for what they have been doing or what they are doing, and at this tragic time for our state. But a lot of people got involved last

night. As we learned as the day goes on. They took it upon themselves that actually went out and truly rescued people.

MARQUEZ: This is your 19th day on the job. You took over for a governor that left the office on June 1st. You took over June 1st. This is not

ideal for a new governor to take on here.

PARSON: You know what? I have had a background of law enforcement, dealing with things in the past of emergencies and stuff, so it's nothing

too new either. I know at one point you've got to have good people that you can trust, and that can go in there and do their jobs. And in

Missouri, the highway patrol, the conservation department, the water patrol, the cities and counties all coming together working today, going

along with the coast guard to really try to figure out what happened and how do we move past this.

MARQUEZ: This is a very popular attraction here. They're probably used across the state and other areas as well. Now that you are the governor,

is there something that you are already thinking about with regard to how this happened? It does not appear they were wearing life vests. It

doesn't appear that they were able to exit that craft easily either.

PARSON: And I think all of those things are under investigation right now, and it's not fair for me to speculate. But if there was mistakes made, and

things we should be doing differently to make it safer for the people, we sure want to do that and we're going to promote that. But right now, it's

just too early to speculate. We got to find out what happened and get the details of it. And I assume we're going to find that out, I believe in a

short period of time.

[15:50:12] MARQUEZ: Very strong thunderstorms came through yesterday. I assume it's a little like this every day in Missouri where you get very

high temperatures, very high humidity and those thunderstorms in the afternoon. Was it your sense -- is it your sense that people have to be

more aware and attuned to the weather?

PARSON: Yes. You know what? I think it is. And I think Missourians for sure, when you get into the storm season, and really for us in July, you

see a lot of these pop-up storms can be pretty tough and they can be pretty strong with wind gust. But, yes, I think Missourians are more and more

aware of that by really getting more in communication with weather channels and people watching the weather. But unfortunately sometimes they come up.

They come up quick, and you just never know how to prepare for them and you never know when those wind gusts are going to be.

MARQUEZ: Some of the survivors were taken to the hospital because they suffered just mentally from the trauma of going through this. What did

they tell you? How are they doing?

PARSON: It's a sad situation and needless to say when you're in there talking to the victims. The one lady lost nine members of her 11 members

of her family.

MARQUEZ: Oh, dear.

PARSON: So I had a chance to talk to her and it's difficult to find the right words to say other than your thoughts and prayers are with her. And

try to comfort her as much as you possibly can. And there's a 13-year-old nephew of hers that survived also and to go talked to him for a little bit,

and needless to say, you know, they're still somewhat in shock of the incident, trying to figure out all the things that happened in that tragic

event. But it was tough. It was tough to go in there and talk to them and to see them in that position because all of us that have family members and

children, you know, it's just hard to imagine being in that situation.

MARQUEZ: Governor, thank you very much. Nine members of an 11-member family gone.

PARSON: That's right.

MARQUEZ: Thank you very much. That's really rough news.

And I know that they want to bring up the vehicle now. That's one thing that they are working on. They may try to do it tonight. But it sounds

like by Monday, they should bring that vehicle up out of about 80 feet of water. Hala.

GORANI: Miguel, nine members of an 11-member family. That is just shocking and so sad. Thanks very much for that and your interview as well

with the governor.

We'll be right back. Stay with us.


GORANI: If you live in a big city, you know that connecting with the great outdoors isn't always easy, but an architect in Tokyo is working to change

that. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A new exhibit at the Mori Art Museum attempts to trace the line that connects Japan's traditional architecture to today's

contemporary designs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a model of (INAUDIBLE) and then this is a good example to showcase Japanese traditional architecture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The traditional building technique known as (INAUDIBLE) interlocks wooden components without the use of nails. Inspiring Japan's

leading architects in their own works.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Before modern times, the Japanese wooden buildings were unified with nature. There was a continuity.

However, western modernism separates buildings from nature with walls. So for more than 10 years, I've thought about how I can connect buildings and

nature more intimately again.

[15:55:10] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In western Tokyo, Architect Toyo Ito's vision for a harmony between nature and design takes root. The Tama Art

University library is built on a slope overlooking a forest of dancing trees, concrete arches crisscross one another. Provoking the feeling of

being in the woods. And most long bookshelves present an unobstructed view of the greenery that surrounds the campus.

TOYO ITO, JAPANESE ARCHITECT: People relax when they are surrounded by nature. And they feel tensioned when they enter buildings. So to release

that tension, I tried to create an atmosphere when people feel like they are surrounded by nature even when they are actually in buildings.


GORANI: If you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run, yours is the earth and everything that's in it. So said,

Rudyard Kipling, in a poem that's beguiled many since it was written more than 120 years ago. But if you can paint a student union's mural and hope

those words may still enchant today, yours is a backlash in everything that comes with it. That was at least the case in Manchester where a painting

of Kipling's "if," was condemned by some students who said the writer's colonial stance dehumanized people of color and stood for values opposite

to those of the university. So instead, they painted over "if" with this, Maya Angelou's "Still I rise." A poem that crystalizes the spirit of

dignity and defiance in the face of oppression.

A spokesman from Manchester students union has apologized for the original choice saying they accept it was inappropriate. But what do you think?

There's been fierce debate on both sides. Do you think the selection of a Kipling poem was outdated and insensitive or do you think the students are

unfairly evaluating the writer through modern prism? We love those questions here on HALA GORANI TONIGHT. And so we'd like you to think about

it as well.

I'm Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching. If it's your weekend, have a great one. Stay with CNN. A lot more ahead. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming

up next.