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Prosecution Produces Witness List in Paul Manafort Trial; President Trump Former Attorney Michael Cohen Claims President Trump Had Prior Knowledge of Meeting Between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian; Intelligence Officials Continue to Warn of Russian Interference in U.S. Midterms; Federal Government Still Trying to Reunite Immigrant Children Separated from Parents; Interview with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; Funeral Held for Cardiologist Who was Shot and Killed. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired July 28, 2018 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. So glad to have you with us. I am Christi Paul.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. And you are in the CNN Newsroom.

President Trump calls it a dumb question, but he's answering it again anyway. He says no, he didn't know about his son's 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with campaign officials and several Russians.

PAUL: Sources tell CNN, however, his former lawyer Michael Cohen now says then candidate Trump not only knew about the meeting and attempts to get dirt on Hillary Clinton as it was posed, but that he approved of it as well.

SAVIDGE: After tweeting Cohen was only trying to get out of his own legal trouble, the president moved on to the surging economy and jobs.

PAUL: The president has no public event scheduled this weekend while he's staying at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. Sarah Westwood is with us from Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, near there, and Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief for "The Chicago Sun-Times" is with us as well. Sarah, I want to get to you first and ask, what is going on with the president? Is he saying anything this morning?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: As is so often the case, Trump is not allowing his own message to break through, getting in his own way, engaging on Twitter on this Michael Cohen situation. By any measure, this was a really successful week for the White House. You had Trump having a breakthrough in trade talks with the E.U., you had those robust economic growth figures released Friday. Trump traveled to Illinois for the reopening of a steel mill that was saved by his tariffs. The North Koreans returned remains of Americans killed during the Korean War. And yet none of it is gaining the traction that Trump thinks it deserves because, once again, he is back in the position of being on defense when it comes to Russia, and his legal team is going after Michael Cohen now, a man Trump very recently was defending because the narrative surrounding this infamous Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. are once again shifting. PAUL: All right, so Lynn, let's talk about the economy. There are

some numbers coming in this week from some of the states, one Michigan, where the president won, Minnesota where he did not, talking about how much support he does or does not have. In Michigan he has about a 36 percent approval, 54 percent disapproval. Minnesota is about the same. They're all in the mid to upper 30s for approval, disapproval is at 50 or below, or above, I guess I should say. So when you look at those numbers, we look at the Midwest, and then we look at the numbers that came in for the economy, there is no way to dispute the economy is doing well -- 4.1 percent GDP. That is something to certainly stand tall on. But will the economy continue to hold the president up as we head into midterms and 2020 specifically. What does it do to Republicans in 2018, what does it do to the president in 2020?

LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF "CHICAGO SUN-TIME": Let me take the 2020 for a moment. The robust economy is what has helped keep the president at the numbers that he's at now. Just think if he had some economic trouble that his ratings might be even lower.

Looking to 2018, as good a number this is, and unemployment is good, it isn't necessarily impacting everyone. If you're not in the stock market, if you have not gotten a raise recently, and there is some data to show that wages are stagnant, then you're not necessarily feeling the impact of the robust economy.

So when politically it's a situation that things are not worse for me, that's an OK place to be politically, but it's hard to make the argument that things are better if you or people you know have not seen that benefit. It is just for 2018 a harder message.

And you have to also put it in the context if your health insurance has gone up, if you are on any of the Obamacare exchanges and your rates have gone up partly because of the Republican effort to revamp and try and basically destroy a health system that still exists, you may think about this in another context.

PAUL: So essentially if you're not effected, this means nothing to you.

SAVIDGE: All right, Sarah Westwood, Lynn Sweet, thank you very much for joining us this morning.

Meanwhile, the trial for President Trump's former campaign chair, that's Paul Manafort, is set to begin on Monday. And prosecutors released 35 potential witness names that may testify. Rick Gates, Manafort's former business partner and deputy on the Trump campaign is on that list and is expected to be one of the key witnesses in this case. Also on that list is Rick Gates' former lawyer.

[10:05:00] We want to bring in now legal analyst Shan Wu to talk about all of this. Good morning to you, Shan.

SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Good morning, Martin, nice to see you.

SAVIDGE: It's nice to see you as well, thank you. Let me start with this. What do witness lists tell us about what to expect?

WU: They tell us a lot about what kind of testimony of course based on what a witness' background is, what their position is, and it very much tells what approach the prosecution is going to take. I think what you see here is really a roadmap to their building blocks to the case if you look at the kinds of witnesses that are being put forth.

SAVIDGE: And what do these particular witnesses have insight to because there does seem to be a kind of theme there?

WU: Right. I should have said at the outset, anything that I testify to here is not testimony and it's not based on any confidential information, because I used to represent Mr. Gates.

SAVIDGE: Yes.

WU: So looking at these witnesses, you can tell that these are day- to-day operational people for the most part. And those kinds of witnesses are very much crucial to showing exactly how the transactions worked. And for the prosecution, this is a very complicated case. There's a lot of paper, there's a lot of financial transactions. So they'll need to put these people particularly the day to day people to show exactly how the operation worked, to show how the transactions occurred.

SAVIDGE: And so this kind of detail, and you've already pointed out this is a very complicated case, this would indicate then you're not going to have some sort of ta-da moment, there isn't going to be some grand reveal, or could there be some drop?

WU: For the most part this is going to be a series of small reveals. The prosecution wants to show generally how things worked. I think there are two exceptions to that. The first is going to be Rick Gates himself because he was a higher level person and partner of Manafort's. And the other exception would be all the immunized witnesses. Presumably the government is not going to offer immunity unless they think they have admissions of wrongdoing, admissions of guilt. That's why they got the immunity. Similarly for Rick, he was given a plea offer. He's already pled guilty, admitted to guilt. So with those sorts of folks, you would expect to see some more big reveal moments and possibly some drama in the courtroom as well.

SAVIDGE: And it has been so long since this whole thing began. The outcome of the trial, does it have -- could it impact of course the ongoing investigation that is looking at Russia and the president's problems?

WU: I think it will impact the president's problems and the overall probe in this way. It's a really, really important case for Mueller's team. It's the first one out of the box. They really have to win it. I think if they don't, it is going to be a big problem for them. It will certainly add a lot ammunition to the president's team if they don't win it.

Conversely for Paul Manafort's team, of course, this is only the first of two cases that they face, and it's a must win for him, too, because if he loses the first one, there's almost no point in going forward with the second one.

SAVIDGE: And I can't resist the opportunity to talk about Michael Cohen, one, first of all, to try to get your insights into what exactly he is doing and the way he seems to be publicly retaliating against the man he said he would take a bullet for.

WU: He certainly seems to be sending a loud cry for attention and help. I think he does pose a great danger to Trump obviously because of inside information. I think this latest tape that we heard about is problematic in terms of the president's honesty, but even more problematic I think is Cohen's new claim that the president was aware of the Trump Tower meeting previously, and certainly the person with the bulls-eye on them is going to be Don Jr. because he's already testified under oath contrary to that.

SAVIDGE: Right. He is the one that very much could be caught up for a lie if that is in fact what it turns out to be. Shan Wu, thank you very much. As always, great to have your insight.

WU: Thanks, good to see you.

SAVIDGE: President Trump held a National Security Council meeting where he discussed cybersecurity during the midterms and promised his administration will continue to help secure the elections from Russian hackers. No details shared as to how they would improve election security, but CNN politics reporter Jeremy Herb is with us now as well as CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd. Thank you both for being here. Jeremy, first to you. I understand that you would not want to give too much information into a strategy because you don't want to compromise any information. However, do we know if there is in fact a solid plan to try to combat this?

JEREMY HERB, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: I think the concern we have been hearing from lawmakers now for months is that there isn't one from the administration and that there's no one in charge of combatting Russia's election hacking, whatever they're planning to do for 2018.

[10:10:02] Intelligence officials have testified they expect Russia and have seen Russia still undergoing these measures that we saw in 2016. We learned this week Senator Claire McCaskill was the victim of attempted phishing attempts, although those were not successful. So I think the question here is who is in charge. And this meeting yesterday was really the first time we saw the White House bringing people together, but for lawmakers it is not enough, not soon enough.

PAUL: Do we know if there is an end date for which they hope to have something solidified, something crafted, and what might be the obstacles keeping them from doing so?

HERB: It is a fair question. We haven't heard they're going to produce anything that's concrete. It's Democrats but it's also Republicans who say that this is an ongoing threat, that the time to address this was already several months ago, that it is ongoing. There was a report in "New York Times" that Russian hacker in addition to looking at election issues have also been probing around with U.S. power grids. And so it shows that despite what we've heard from the president about how he doesn't necessarily believe Russia was behind this election hacking is that they still, Russian hackers are still targeting the U.S. and will continue to do so.

PAUL: OK, Sam, I wanted to ask you about a story that's on the front page of the "New York Times" this morning, really interesting, about Russian hackers that are more interested, they say, in disrupting the American electricity utility grid than particularly addressing midterms, or disrupting midterms. What does the U.S. know? Is there a sense of the capabilities Russia has to infiltrate and disrupt a U.S. grid system?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Christi, we actually have historical precedent. As you know, Russia hacked into Ukraine's electricity grid several years ago and literally shut off the lights in the middle of winter. So we know that Russia has the intent, they have the capability. And there is nothing that's off limits to the government of Russia when it comes to U.S. infrastructure. We have reporting from the U.S. government as well as private companies like Microsoft indicating that Russia is targeting election infrastructure, electricity grids, hospitals, and private routers. So Russia is not only in public infrastructure, they're also in our homes.

And what this tells me is that Vladimir Putin has rightfully identified that cyberhackers are a really efficient and cost-effective way to create insecurity in the United States. I read something that said his entire cybersecurity budget is less than the cost of an F-35 jet. So it doesn't cost him a lot of money to penetrate all of our systems. And there's not much cost associated with him doing so in the sense that when you look at how we responded, we responded with very targeted sanctions against the government of Russia that really haven't caused him a lot of pain. So I don't really see how he has been deterred.

And while we work on defense and shoring up the defenses of our infrastructure, educating the public on how Russia is hacking us, Vladimir Putin is finding workarounds, and until the administration deters him from this action, I am not confident that the attacks will stop.

PAUL: But how do you deter him?

VINOGRAD: I think you deter him by hitting him where it hurts, and that's through sanctions, but not ones that are as targeted as the ones that have been done to date. We look at how he reacted when President Trump met with him in Helsinki. He brought up Michael McFaul, he brought up Bill Browder because he is so upset about the Magnitsky sanctions which were issued a few years ago that really, again, hit him where it hurts. And I think we have to multi- lateralize those. We have to raise the cost of him doing business around the world in places that matter to him, like in Europe, but that's going to be very difficult and it's going to take a concerted effort by the State Department, by the Treasury Department to go to the U.K., to go to Germany, and say we know you like doing business with Russia, but he is really wreaking havoc all around the world.

PAUL: All right, Samantha Vinograd and Jeremy Herb, thank you both so much for taking time for us today.

HERB: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Migrant children in government custody have a new set of eyes watching out for their well-being. Coming up, what we are learning about an independent monitor that's headed to the southern border.

PAUL: Also, a powerful figure in the Catholic Church stepped down. Why the Pope is accepting a prominent cardinal's resignation.

SAVIDGE: Also the family of a Houston doctor is going to say goodbye today as police try to track down his killer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:18:32] SAVIDGE: We are following breaking news from the Vatican where one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church resigned. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after several victims leveled accusations of sexual abuse against him. McCarrick says he is innocent. The 88-year-old cardinal is one of the highest ranking American leaders to be removed from the ministry because of sex abuse charges.

PAUL: Meanwhile hundreds of children separated from their families at the southern border are still in government custody. This of course days after a court order deadline to reunite those families has come and gone.

SAVIDGE: Now a federal judge is appointing an independent monitor to watch over those children while they remain in government facilities. CNN's Kaylee Hartung joins us now live from McAllen Texas. And Kaylee, so far no indication of when these children will be released, correct?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, there's not, Martin and Christi. And 711, that's the number of immigrant children separated from their families still in U.S. government custody, unsure when they will be released. These children and their families have been deemed ineligible for reunification by the U.S. government for one reason or another. One of the reasons could be that the U.S. government can't locate their parents, that their parents have already been released from ICE custody. If that were the case here in the Rio Grande Valley, it is likely they would have passed through this bus terminal right here behind me onto their next destination.

[10:20:01] As more people are released from detention, we're hearing stories not just of the trauma these children and adults have experienced due to the separation, but also the conditions and the abuse suffered by some of these children. It is documented in police logs and calls, and "ProPublica" uncovered this in a report they released on Friday, saying police have responded to at least 125 calls in the past five years alleging of sex offenses. This happening in 70 of the 100 HHS, that's federal government run facilities that are housing the migrant children. It is important to note calls and the logs they looked at date back to

the Obama administration, to 2014, very much predating President Trump's administration and his zero-tolerance policy, but nevertheless so disturbing to hear at least 125 calls fielded alleging sex offenses. There were also allegations of fighting and missing children in these U.S. run, government run facilities.

Now, HHS has responded to this claim saying, quote, "Our focus is always on safety and the best interest of each child. These are vulnerable children in difficult circumstances and HHS treats its responsibility for each child with the utmost care." The federal government saying they have a zero-tolerance policy for sex abuse of children.

That being said, in the statement HHS wasn't saying what they did to prevent any such thing from happening, but that they have zero- tolerance for it. As I said, this documented police logs and calls, we're hearing about it from people who have been released from these facilities, and a federal judge has heard about it, too, authorizing this independent monitor to report back to her conditions because there seems to be a disconnect, Martin and Christi, of what the government is saying is happening inside these facilities and what the immigrants who have come to this country are saying is happening as well.

SAVIDGE: Kaylee, thanks to you, we'll stay on top of it, we appreciate it greatly. Thanks.

PAUL: And immigration has been quite a focus for our next guest. Joining us on the phone, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Governor, thank you for being with us. Want to first get your reaction to what you just heard here from Kaylee about this reporting from "ProPublica" that over the last five years 125 calls have come in, they logged it from police reports and call logs of alleged sexual abuse of these children.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: Well, it is obviously very, very disturbing, and going back five years, I would like to see the information. But I have no doubt that whatever terrible conditions existed, they've only gotten worse, because this was a mad scramble that this federal government did on the border.

It was either gross incompetence or it was malicious. It was gross incompetence, and the attorney general didn't tell the president of the United States that when you go to zero tolerance policy and you arrest parents, by federal law you have to separate the children. If the attorney general didn't tell the president that, then the attorney general should be fired frankly. If HHS secretary did not tell the president we don't have the capacity to take thousands of children in just a mere matter of days, we have no place to place them, we can't do it responsibly, if the HHS secretary didn't say that, then the HHS secretary should be fired.

So it was either gross incompetence, or, and I'm afraid this is the case, it was a purposeful manipulation that would make Machiavelli blush. I think what they did is the president said I want the wall at the border. When he didn't get the wall, he said, fine, I will set up a gauntlet, and I'll put out a message to people if you come into this country, you're going to be subjected to all sorts of inhumane treatment. We're going to separate you from your children. We're going to send the children all over the country. We won't even be in a position to relocate them.

This position that they have 700 children that they now can't reunify either because they deported the parents without reunifying the child first, or the federal government made a decision that the parents are not good custodians of their children, on what basis did you take children from their parents? And that's why New York has a lawsuit. You can't just take the child from a parent and declare that the parent is not a good custodian. They have due process rights. The children who are in New York are protected by New York law. You have to prove before a judge that a child is being abused or neglected before you can rip them from their mother's arms. So it is illegal, it is unconstitutional, and it's unconscionable.

[10:25:18] PAUL: Governor Cuomo, according to this report, though, it goes back five years. You're right, there's a lot to see in it in terms of validity of all of it, but with all of that said, we can't change the past. What is the remedy moving forward? What specifically is the state of New York doing to make sure this doesn't happen there?

CUOMO: Well, the way this has worked is the federal government has taken control of these children, placed them in a haphazard, chaotic way in foster care facilities all across the country. Some of those foster care facilities are in the state of New York. The foster care facilities that have the federal children are then put under a gag order where the foster care facility can't even tell the state which regulates the foster care facility how many children they have or what the circumstances are. I said to the secretary of HHS let us help. Let us help with the reunification, let us help getting services to these children.

PAUL: How can New York help?

CUOMO: Well, they have foster care facilities in this state. I could be providing services, counseling, et cetera. These are children traumatized. I could help with reunification. Why wouldn't you let the states help if you actually cared about the children? Why would you put these foster care facilities under a gag order? That's why I say it is either gross incompetence and the president should fire the lot of them, or it is purposeful and they're trying to send a signal, don't even think of crossing the border. There is no wall but there may as well be a wall because it's worse. If you come in here, you're going to be subjected to all sorts of inhumane abuse.

PAUL: Governor, I want to ask you about the news of the day while we have you here. President Trump's former fixer, Michael Cohen, of course has gone very public on his campaign to distance himself from the president. We know that Cohen has some legal issues of his own in your state of course in the southern district court there. Any concerns that what happens with Cohen right now with the Mueller investigation is going to impact the case there in New York for him? CUOMO: Well, I think Mr. Cohen is worried about Mr. Cohen right now,

and what he's doing is saying to the prosecutors I want to play ball, whatever game of ball they want to play. I think the White House is losing sleep because when you have a person like Mr. Cohen who has been so close to the president for so long and who has made it clear that he is willing to allege anything, he's basically alleging perjury against Don Trump Jr., they have to be going back and now wonder how many e-mails are there, how many pieces of paper does Mr. Cohen have, how many situations can he corroborate, because it's not going to be just about the check or the cash and that discussion on the tape. There are years of nefarious acts, I guarantee, that Mr. Cohen performed for the president. And he's saying he is hostile to the White House, and he's pro-Michael Cohen and looking to make a deal with prosecutors.

PAUL: So let me ask you this. We had Rudy Giuliani on ABC on May 6th talking about Mr. Cohen saying the man is an honest, honorable lawyer. This past week on CNN he said I expected something like this from Cohen. He has been lying all week or he has been lying for years. Who has more credence here, Giuliani or Cohen?

CUOMO: Look, Cohen, it may be very possible that Cohen has been lying, yes. We know the president has been lying. What their fear has to be is not just credibility versus credibility, but what does Cohen have that is evidentiary? What e-mails does he have, what contract did he execute, what meeting can he corroborate with another witness? And these are years and years of transactions. And everyone believes that Mr. Cohen was the dirty deed player for the president. And who knows what he has that can be corroborated?

[10:30:01] So it is not just going to be Cohen's credibility versus the president's credibility. It is going to be what evidence Cohen can produce or corroborate. And I think it's a very, very bad sign for the White House.

PAUL: All right, Governor Andrew Cuomo, appreciate you taking time to talk with us today. Thank you so much.

CUOMO: Thank you for having me on your show, because I'm still waiting for invitation from one of your other shows.

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: Who might that be? We'll see what we can do about that. Thank you so much, governor.

CUOMO: Thank you.

PAUL: Sure. We'll be back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:35:03] SAVIDGE: The news that has dominated much of the week, the president is again denying knowledge of his son's 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. But sources tell CNN the president's former fixer, Michael Cohen, now says that Trump is lying. It is a major flip for one of Trump's most loyal supporters. But the president seems to be counting on a booming economy to at least keep people preoccupied when they go to the polls perhaps this fall. Will it work for the Republicans? Will it work for Democrats? We have two excellent guests to talk about that. Joining me is Brian Robinson. He's the Republican strategist, former spokesman for Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, and we've got A. Scott Bolden, chair of National Bar Association PAC and former D.C. Democratic chairman. Good morning to you both.

I don't know where to start. Let me ask both of you what you think the prominence and impact is, and Scott, I'll start with you, of this Cohen -- Cohen himself has not said it, but we have information to CNN that tells us he is ready to tell the Mueller probe that Trump in fact knew about this meeting in 2016. How big a deal is this?

A. SCOTT BOLDEN, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION PAC: I think it's a huge deal. As former prosecutor --

SAVIDGE: I'd expect you to say that.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDEN: Despite my experience, right? I think it is a huge deal because he is an insider. He is a firsthand witness. And prosecutors look for those people when they're prosecuting the mafia or anyone else. That's the first thing.

But the second thing is, he has got a ton of credibility because he is a firsthand witness, despite what Rudy Giuliani says, because a week or two before this tape came out and before Cohen started publicly saying that the president knew about this meeting or that meeting and now the Russian meeting, he called him truthful and honorable. Now he is a pathological liar.

SAVIDGE: You play those back to back.

BOLDEN: Absolutely. So the one thing I thought when he said that, I watched it on the TV, I said it takes one to know one, now, doesn't it? So corroboration will be a big issue in regard to credibility with the government, with Mueller. So we'll have to see.

SAVIDGE: I would expect Democrats obviously think it is a huge deal. I would think Republicans don't.

BRIAN ROBINSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Right. Look, Cohen had a tape before, that was explosive news last week when it showed there was a difference between the public story and what was on the tape.

SAVIDGE: You could hear the president's voice.

ROBINSON: You could hear his voice. And so this is going to be different because there is no tape that we know of, of him talking to Michael Cohen about any meeting with a Russian representative. So I think they're going to have to -- if that's where the bar is, and Republicans didn't react too negatively to what they heard on the tape. So the idea being that this lawyer who has gone rogue and is now publicly saying he is going to defend himself and protect his own family, that he's going to watch out for his own skin, his opinions, his story is going to be discounted by Republican voters.

BOLDEN: Let me tell you this real quick.

SAVIDGE: Before you do, I want to show you a poll, because it plays into -- clearly there's a difference of opinion, and it's not just you two. We have seen it in how people are thinking about voting. And here is a poll we've got that shows you approval of the Mueller probe has gone from 48 percent back in March to 41 percent last month. So essentially it looks like a lot of people are saying they want this probe done or they're just over it themselves, and there is a danger here, especially for Democrats if they keep forcing the issue because people just may get turned off, and that includes when they go to the polls.

BOLDEN: I don't think the Democrats are forcing this issue. The Mueller investigation is being run by Republicans. The Republican DOJ, the White House has been cooperating, the House and Senate has investigated this issue, several of these issues already. So I don't think the Dems are pushing the Mueller investigation. They're pushing for it to be done and they're pushing for it to not be attacked.

Those numbers reflect that Donald Trump and his followers in the GOP continue to attack an investigation that has not been completed. But we have 30 some indictments that have come down the pike from the Mueller investigation. This is no witch hunt, but those numbers reflect what Donald Trump and the GOP has been saying, and that's not credible.

SAVIDGE: When you say that, what do you mean, the president has been criticizing and that the general public is starting to buying into that?

BOLDEN: The general public clearly has bought into at least some of it, if you will. But the GOP has driven this narrative. They're driving the investigation. They had to approve it and the DOJ is a Republican administration. They are driving the attack as a witch hunt.

SAVIDGE: Wait, we've got a GOP representative here. So go ahead.

ROBINSON: Let's not forget. Let's got back. What is the Mueller probe about? It is about proving collusion with Russia. And yes there's been this --

BOLDEN: And protecting our elections, too.

ROBINSON: -- steady drip, drip, drip of unsavory tidbits coming out of it. But what has happened? You've had Paul Manafort being indicted, but it has nothing to do with Russia collusion. You've got Michael Cohen talking about payments to a porn star, nothing to do with Russian collusion. It is a slow, steady drip, drip, drip, but it's not backing up the original argument that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. [10:40:0] This ties in a little more closely because you're talking

about whether or not Trump knew about the meeting. But all of this stuff is becoming noise because it has nothing to do with why this whole thing started. Back to the witch hunt argument.

BOLDEN: No, it doesn't. Let me tell you what the real deal is because it is not about collusion. It is about our being attacked by Russia in regard to our elections. That's the first thing. And the 30 indictments I'm talking about are against Russian oligarchs, 17 CIA agencies or intelligence agencies have said they attacked our democracy, and another 12 or 13 of government Russian officials who have attacked our system who have been indicted as well.

And by the way, the GOP rather, or Donald Trump and his people, they have something like 50 plus contacts with the Russians before, during, and after this election, and many of them, many of them have lied, which is why you have other pleas of guilty. So there's a lot of smoke here. And if it is a witch hunt, we've caught a lot of witches.

ROBINSON: The fire is that Obama knew about all of it, and they did nothing.

BOLDEN: And another thing.

(LAUGHTER)

SAVIDGE: Brian Robinson, A. Scott Bolden, thank you both for joining us this morning. Good to see you again. I'll have you back.

ROBINSON: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Also, I should say police are looking for a man they believe murdered a Houston doctor. And now they're asking local construction workers for help. We'll explain why after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:46:6] PAUL: In just about an hour, family and friends are going to say goodbye to Dr. Mark Hausknecht, the cardiologist who treated former George H. W. Bush. He was shot and killed last week while on his bike. And police say he may have been targeted.

SAVIDGE: CNN producer Sonia Moghe joins us now from Houston. And Sonia, what is the latest on the investigation? I have got to say, this is a story that so many people have a theory about.

SONIA MOGHE, CNN PRODUCER: Yes, absolutely. Even police are saying they still don't have a definitive motive yet. It has been just over a week since that killing of Dr. Hausknecht. But they do say there is a high probability he may have been targeted, as you said.

But friends and family cannot fathom this. By all accounts, he was an all-around good guy. Friends and family describe him as being an active member of the Boy Scouts back when his sons were younger, even serving as scout master and planning trips for those kids to go canoeing and spend time outdoors. Friends say that he loves the environment. His wife described that he loves hauling scrap metal to get it recycled and said that he spent hours in his garden. He grew his own fruits and vegetables and loved to cook.

So again, this is something that mystified the community, not just because he was so beloved here but also because of where this happened. It happened just about a mile from where we are at this church where his memorial service will be, sorry, just about a mile and a half. It is a busy area of Houston, called the Texas Medical Center. There are lots of hospitals nearby, and lots of people just like Dr. Mark Hausknecht who commute to work on their bikes. And police did have some surveillance video showing that possible gunman right behind him, and then coming up in front of him, they say, shooting him three times, killing him right next to a construction site. I actually went to that construction site yesterday, spoke to the manager. He said about 500 people were working on that site at the time of his death and had no idea that he had been killed.

PAUL: Oh my goodness.

SAVIDGE: One of the reasons for that they say was so much noise, the construction site. Sonia Moghe, thank you very much for that.

PAUL: Thank you, Sonia.

One NFL player has become this inspiring leader for the Atlanta Falcons. Coy Wire has more on him in a moment.

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[10:52:58] COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back. I'm Coy Wire. This Difference Maker is brought to you by Ford, going further so you can. After two years of active duty, Atlanta Falcons lineman Ben Garland and current member of the U.S. Air National Guard has become an inspiring force for his team. Just ahead of training camp this year Ben and some fellow Falcons visited Iraq to show respect for those in uniform.

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BEN GARLAND, ATLANTA FALCONS: We give up a little of our time to thank these guys, and they give up so much more for us. They give up arms, they give up legs, they give up family members, and just come out here say thank you, maybe bring a little morale boost for what for them is a really tough time in their life, that's absolutely worth it for me.

WIRE: Ben Garland isn't just an offensive lineman for the Falcons. The U.S. Air Force Academy graduate is also currently serving with Air National Guard 140th security forces squadron in Colorado.

ALEX MACK, ATLANTA FALCONS: He got a really warm reception. It is really inspiring for those guys to see somebody who is living the NFL dream but still really cares about them. So he's had a really powerful impact on these people. It has been really cool just to witness that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The impact is almost unmeasurable.

The soldiers believe that you believe in them. They believe that you believe in their mission, you believe in what it is that makes them tick, and, more importantly, you believe in our mission here.

GARLAND: It is one of those things where these guys are away from their families and they're doing so much for us. And you get to brighten their day, and see a couple of their faces light up, and you see a little piece of home in me.

MACK: We spread the message to the troops, and we appreciate that, and to be able to go back home and tell people that what they do to support them is really impactful.

GARLAND: Now these guys are Falcons fans, they're NFL fans. And bringing that to them means a lot. It's cool to be part of it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[10:55:00] PAUL: So from one inspiration to another, Dr. Rob Gore is an emergency room physician. He does anti-violence work in Brooklyn. And now we want you to meet the woman who turned him into a CNN Hero.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I nominated Dr. Gore to become a CNN hero because we grew up together. I saw him doing all this wonderful community work. I am very familiar with CNN Heroes, I am a fan of the show. And as I was volunteering here, I said wait a second, CNN Heroes, Dr. Gore, perfect match. And here we are.

I'm so proud of my friend to see him excel in this way and show the world what he does. So surreal, so exciting, so rewarding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Such an inspiration. We hope that you make great memories today. Thank you for spending time with us.

SAVIDGE: There is a whole lot more ahead in the next hour of CNN Newsroom right after this short break. Have a great day.

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