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Trump Slams Cohen, Denies He Knew Of Trump Tower Meeting; The Changing Narrative On The 2016 Trump Tower Meeting; Carr Fire Explodes In Size Scorches Nearly Blood Acres; Seven Hundred Plus Kids Remain In Government Custody Following Deadline; Bayer Paid Doctors Millions For Controversial Birth Control Device; Prominent Washington Cardinal Resigns Amid Sex Abuse Claims; Entrepreneur Creates Stylish Hijabs. Aired 12n-1p ET
Aired July 28, 2018 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just can't believe this is happening in your community.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tens of thousands fleeing their homes as firefighters race to get the flames under control.
Plus, stunning allegations from six women against the man in charge of CBS, Les Moonves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She alleges in this case that he backs her against a wall and says this has got to stay between us and she was very frightened. But more significantly, she then gets fired.
WHITFIELD: Sexual harassment, intimidation and a culture of covering it all up.
And the former archbishop of Washington resigns over allegations of sexual abuse. CNN NEWSROOM starts now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Hello, again, everyone. Thank you so much for being with me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
Right now, President Trump is spending the weekend at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey after ending the week with some of the best headline, but also some of the worst headlines of his presidency. The news of a booming economy and the president fulfilling a campaign promise overshadowed by the latest bombshell in the Russia investigation.
The man who once said he would take a bullet for Donald Trump now is preparing to tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller that the president knew about that infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting ahead of time, according to sources. This is something the president has repeatedly denied, and now the president is doubling down on that denial.
CNN's White House reporter, Sarah Westwood, joins us live from Berkeley Height, New Jersey near the president's golf club where he is spending the weekend. All right. So, how is the White House handling this?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN REPORTER: Well, Fred, President Trump is settling in for a weekend here in Bedminster facing many unanswered questions about that 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving his son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer.
Leaving the White House yesterday, Trump refused to answer questions about those claims from his former attorney, Michael Cohen. That Trump had advance knowledge of that meeting. Something Trump and his legal team have repeatedly denied.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump's current attorney, is going after Cohen in the wake of CNN's reporting about what Cohen is prepared to testify. Take a listen to just how dramatically Giuliani's tone has shifted when it comes to Trump's former fixer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LAWYER: He doesn't have any incriminating evidence about the president or himself. The man is an honest honorable lawyer.
I expected something like this from Cohen. He's been lying all week, for years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: Now, the president is also going after Michael Cohen in another remarkable shift, claiming Cohen is simply lying about the meeting in order to extricate himself from legal troubles. And of course, all of this comes against the backdrop of an otherwise successful week for Trump by any measure.
The president made strides in trade talks with the European Union. He attended the reopening of a steel mill that was saved by his tariffs. He touted the release of robust economic growth figures on Friday.
And he even welcomed home the remains of Americans killed during the Korean War in a concession from the North Koreans. But as has frequently been the case, Fred, President Trump's domestic agenda and his economic message were once again overshadowed by developments in the Russia investigation -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, Sarah Westwood, thank you so much, in New Jersey.
So, if Michael Cohen's claim is true, it would demolish all the stories the president and his team have been telling about that meeting. And it could become a central piece in Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. CNN's Randi Kaye has a look at how we got to this point. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On June 3rd, 2016, in an e-mail from publicist, Rob Goldstone, Donald Trump Jr. is promised incriminating information about Hillary Clinton. His response, "if it's what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer."
Six days later, Don Jr. met with Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, at Trump Tower. Joining him, Trump's campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
When "The New York Times" broke the story last year about the secret meeting, Don Jr. didn't initially disclose the intended purpose of the meeting. Instead, he said the purpose was to discuss the adoption of Russian children.
But the very next day when "The Times" broke the news that the president's son was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton, Don Jr. issued a statement saying the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were supporting Mrs. Clinton.
He also said the lawyer changed the subject to adoption. Two days after the story broke, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders denied the president had any prior knowledge of meeting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When did the president learn that meeting had taken place?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I believe in the last couple of days is my understanding.
KAYE: The next day on Fox News, Don Jr. told Sean Hannity his father was unaware of the meeting.
[12:05:07] SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Did you tell your father anything about this?
DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SON: No. It was such a nothing -- there was nothing to tell.
KAYE: That narrative worked until it didn't. The story would soon unravel. The morning after Don Jr.'s denials on Fox News, the president's lawyer, Jay Sekulow, told CNN this --
JAY SEKULOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: The president was not aware of the meeting, did not attend the meeting, and was only made aware of the e-mails very recently by counsel. I wasn't involved in the statement drafting at all, nor was the president.
KAYE: A week later, a strong denial from the president himself, during this taped interview with "The New York Times."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you know at the time that they had a meeting?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: No, I didn't know anything about the meeting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you didn't --
PRESIDENT TRUMP: It must have been a very unimportant meeting because I never even heard about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one told you a word, nothing?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, nobody told me. I didn't know -- it's a very unimportant -- sounded like a very unimportant --
KAYE (on camera): If that's true and the president didn't know anything about it as he says, how does he explain what happened next? "The Washington Post" reported last July that the president himself decided to say the meeting was about adoption. And dictated the misleading statement Don Jr. gave "The New York Times." The paper said the president dictated statement aboard Air Force One the day the story first broke on his way back to Washington from the G20 Summit in Germany.
(voice-over): Then in January, this year, the president's lawyer, Sekulow, suddenly contradicted earlier claims he and the White House had made that the president was not involved in drafting his son's statement.
In a letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Sekulow said the president dictated a short but accurate response to the "New York Times" article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump Jr.
After reports emerged that President Trump had actually drafted his son's statement, Sarah Sanders went into damage control mode because of her own earlier statements about the timing of the president's knowledge of the meeting.
SANDERS: He certainly didn't dictate but, you know, he -- like I said, he weighed in, offered suggestion, like any father would do.
KAYE: Still, the denials about whether the president knew continued. In September last year when Don Jr. was asked by the Senate Judiciary Committee if his father knew about the Trump Tower meeting in advance, he told senators "No, I wouldn't have wasted his time with it." And that might be true and chances are Robert Mueller wants to find out. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
WHITFIELD: All right, joining me right now, CNN intelligence and security analyst and former CIA operative, Bob Baer, and CNN reporter, Erica Orden. Good to see you both. Erica, you first, how much legal trouble potentially could the Trump team be in if indeed Cohen's claims are true that Trump knew about this meeting before it happened?
ERICA ORDEN, CNN REPORTER: Sure, so I think there are two ways in which it could be legally problematic for him. The first pertains to coordination between the campaign, members of the campaign, potential coordination between them and foreign nationals who are trying to influence the election.
The other is with regard to Mueller's obstruction probe. If Trump knew about the meeting and the intended purpose of meeting and subsequently drafted or helped draft statements that did not disclose the purpose of the meeting, Mueller will be examining those with respect to what he actually knew.
WHITFIELD: And then of course there's the issue of Don Trump Jr., what he told, you know, lawmakers on the Hill that, you know, his dad didn't know and -- whether he perjured himself on that potentially.
So, Bob, you know, Cohen has represented Trump for a long time. Even, you know, it was Cohen who said he'd take a bullet for Trump. But now the president's own attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is calling Cohen a liar after he had already called him a very honest lawyer. So, let's talk about the discrediting of the White House's defense in all of this.
ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Fred, right now, Cohen has a better record of telling the truth than the president or Giuliani. I find it bizarre that Giuliani would say he's been lying for years. So, why did the president keep him on retainer?
That makes no sense at all to me. By the way, Fred, we don't know really what happened in that meeting at Trump Tower because nobody's come clean clearly and the FBI I know, for one, is investigating the possibility that there was a Russian intelligence officer at that meeting in addition to the lawyer.
Now, I don't know where they've gone with that, but that is one suspicion. So, Mueller is deep into this. At that meeting, other e- mails we have not seen. They've not all been leaked to the press. I think we're going to hear a lot more about this. If Cohen, in fact, was at a meeting when Trump approved this or, you know, coordinated this meeting with the Russian lawyer, this sounds like collusion to me.
[12:10:08] WHITFIELD: Yes, is it enough that it would be his word, Michael Cohen, or perhaps he'll say there were other people present, he's willing to share those names with Bob Mueller. Is that I guess verifiable enough?
BAER: Well, I think, Fred, that there may be contemporaneous notes that we haven't seen. I would suspect that. Maybe even taped conversations with the president related to this. We just don't know.
We don't see what sort of evidence that Cohen is going to come out in support of this. Frankly, it's a bombshell. You know, this is going to dribble out for quite a while, but I think the president is definitely in legal jeopardy at this point.
WHITFIELD: So, Erica, sources are telling CNN that Cohen does not have an audio recording, you know, corroborating the claim that Trump knew. We do know Cohen has said there has been -- he has a lot of audio recordings, period.
But it's different to record your client or people in your office versus some belief that he would be recording something going on in Trump Tower. So how would Mueller go about trying to verify that, you know, this really did go down without any kind of, you know, recording?
ORDEN: So, as you said, there doesn't seem to be -- it doesn't seem to be the case that there is an audio recording. As Bob said, there could be contemporaneous notes or phone records that Mueller could access that would not necessarily contain, you know, the contents of the calls, but rather, timing around when Don Jr. first learned of and accepted the meeting, if there are phone records around that point where -- can show him calling --
WHITFIELD: There's this whole issue of a blocked caller. To what extent can Mueller's team try to find out, you know, who that might be?
ORDEN: I'm not totally sure. But I'm sure they will subpoena any phone records they can and then the other issue is whether anyone else is in that room and can testify to what Cohen says or has indicated that he might be able to provide.
WHITFIELD: OK. Still just yet another chapter. All right, Erica Orden and Bob Baer, thanks so much to both of you. Appreciate it..
All right, straight ahead in the NEWSROOM, a frantic search is under way for three people missing after fast-moving wildfires ripped through Northern California. Five hundred structures have burned to the ground and those flames are now threatening more homes. We'll take you there live.
Plus, the pope accepts the resignation of a powerful cardinal accused of sexual abuse. I'm joined by one of the attorneys who led the charge to have him removed coming up.
WHITFIELD: Another turn for the worse as a massive wildfire in California explodes in size over night. The Carr fire as it's called nearly doubled in size, scorching nearly 81,000 acres. It's one of several wildfires in the state and has already claimed the lives of at least two people.
Right now, there's a desperate search for two young children and their great-grandmother who all went missing after their home was engulfed. Out of control flames are scorching neighborhoods up and down the state, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIC GALVIN, LOST HOME IN FIRE: Again, we didn't think the fire was going to come here so we didn't really take things out. Like, everybody else that was scrambling at the last minute to get out when we saw the fire on the ridge. I mean, once we saw it there, then we knew it was coming but it was too late then. (END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN's Paul Vercammen is in Redding, California, a site of one of the largest wildfires. So, Paul, the devastation behind you, what is happening?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're actively trying to fight this fire, but they've gone to west and it has left behind an unbelievable swath of destruction in its wake. This is the Carr fire. You can see in this neighborhood in West Redding everything basically taken to the ground.
Now, to give you a little more perspective on how this acreage doubled, you might say, how did it go from 40,000 to 80,000 overnight? Well, we went off and took a little drive about ten miles from here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: This is the road leading towards Igo, a small town west of Redding and look around at the charred landscape. You can see where the Carr fire came roaring through here. Burning most everything in its path. But firefighters successfully had some great moments where they saved structures.
You can see off in the distance, on top of that hill, everything else is burn, but that structure is still standing, and the landscape is just barren. Look at the remnants of trees. They're just like burned up matchsticks now, pointing towards the sky.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: And as we speak, there are some deer that disappeared, they've gone up the hillside, but they're looking for anything green they can forage on. You can tell this fire came down here with so much momentum, fire whirls, firestorm everywhere.
And this is a problem throughout the state of California right now because there's several fires burning here. Some 90 major fires throughout the United States. Some 900,000 acres burned. It's a lot for firefighters to deal with.
I'll just pan over here. There's the deer we were talking about. This is their forest and it's gone. And so, they've come down the hill looking for something to forage on as we said, all part of the drama of this massive, 80,000 acres.
[12:20:11] The Carr fire which they said started by the mechanical failure of a vehicle. Some reports are there was a tire blowout on a motor home -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: It is devastating. I'm wondering, Paul, is there any update on the search for this great-grandmother and these two kids? What can you tell us?
VERCAMMEN: All we know is the family was very, very, very adamant that they were missing. Authorities have not put out any sort of a bulletin. So, what we understand is there's an active search going on with any other relatives and at any evacuation centers. So, we'll give you anything we know when that becomes available to us.
WHITFIELD: All right, please do. Paul Vercammen, thank you so much.
All right, more than 700 children remain in government custody despite the fact a deadline to reunify families separated at the border has come and gone. This as new allegations of mistreatment at shelters now comes to light.
WHITFIELD: The number is heartbreaking following the government deadline to reunite separating families and an estimated 711 children still remain in custody. Officials say the families were ineligible for reunification for various reasons such as the parents declined, they were deported, or they had criminal records.
CNN correspondent, Kaylee Hartung is in McAllen, Texas. So, Kaylee, do you have any idea what happens to these kids now?
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, there's no straight answer as to what happens to these 711 kids still in the U.S. government's custody. One former ICE official warning some of these children may never see their parents again. But it's our understanding there are essentially four options for these children moving forward.
One is to remain in government custody. They're more than 100 shelters for children operated by Health and Human Services. Right now, the average length of stay for a child there is about 57 days, but there's no limit as to how long they can stay.
If a child has family member in the United States, they could be released into their custody or that of another sponsor. Of course, there are criteria that those sponsors must meet in order to take the children into their custody.
But if a child doesn't have family in the United States foster care could be the answer. Of course, even when a child is released from government custody, though, Fred, they still have to make their case to a judge to stay in this country.
If they can't do that, and I still say they're not guaranteed to have a lawyer in court with them if they can't make that case to a judge, they could be deported. There are so many legal complexities here, Fred. And immigration attorneys say they have to figure this out as they go, as the landscape of this discussion continues to change.
WHITFIELD: And then Kaylee, there are reports that children are being mistreated at some of these shelters. What do we know?
HARTUNG: There are, Fred, and CNN has reported on unsanitary conditions. These children are forced to live in. The trauma they're undergoing as a result of separation from their families. But now police reports and call logs are detailing something to an unimaginable degree and that's sexual abuse some of these children are experiencing in these facilities operated by the united states government.
"ProPublica," they've uncovered documentation that says at least 125 calls have been made over the past five years to police alleging of sexual abuse for children in these shelters for immigrant children.
And these calls, I should say, date back to 2014, so that precedes the Trump administration and the zero-tolerance policy that separated children from their families. This goes back to the final days of the Obama administration.
Think about that, over the past five years, at least 125 calls alleging the sexual abuse of children in these facilities that they're being housed in. Some of these calls allege fights, missing children.
What we do understand is there is a disconnect between what the government says is happening in these shelters that they operate versus what these children are saying is happening. We now see a federal judge mandating an independent monitor be present in these facilities to keep her abreast of what's happening there, Fred. As you mentioned, 711 children still in the custody of the U.S. government separated from their families.
WHITFIELD: All right, very troubling. Kaylee Hartung, thank you so much. Let's discuss the politics of this. I'm joined by Matt Bennett, who is a Democratic strategist and senior vice president and co-founder of the think tank, Third Way. Good to see you.
MATT BENNETT, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good to be here.
WHITFIELD: And Brian McGuire, he is the former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a Republican strategist. Good to see you as well.
BRIAN MCGUIRE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Good to see you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Matt, to you first, shouldn't everyone care about this and what will happen to these kids regardless if you're a Republican, Democrat, regardless of where you are on border control, et cetera?
BENNETT: Without a doubt. In the view of most Democrats, Donald Trump has been a catastrophe in many ways, but I think the most monstrous thing this administration has done is removing children from their parents and putting them in these facilities where they are subject to mistreatment.
[12:30:09] It's essentially kidnapping.
And, you know, Fred, there's a lot of things in our politics that are complicated. Tariff wars might -- you could make arguments on both sides for certain of the things that are likely to be issues in this fall's campaign. But kidnapping children from their parents and mistreating them and putting them in cages is something that every single American can and will understand and will take with them into the ballot box when they go in November.
WHITFIELD: And Brian, what is good about anything here in defending this kind of approach?
BRIAN MCGUIRE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look, what -- you know, the separation of children from family is something, the reality of that is something that is a human tragedy. And, you know, I have three little children and just thinking about that is hard to do.
But the fact of the matter is the president has tried to resolve this with his executive order. Every Republican in Congress has expressed strong willingness to do it. The real problem here -- the larger problem is the law that's governed this question for 20 year. This was a problem the Obama administration faced. That's made it impossible for the government to detain children and their parents for any length of time.
And so we're trying to figure out a way to get through that. But the law is something that the Democrats don't see any interest in changing because their higher priority right now is preventing enforcement of a legal immigration rather than solving this problem that the Flores Settlement created 20 years ago. And that to me is a tragedy, a political tragedy and one the Democrats are going to have to pay for as well.
WHITFIELD: Matt, why are you shaking your head?
BENNETT: Because that is ridiculous. The problem that we are facing now, the 711 kids that are still being held away from their parents in custody is a problem created 100 percent and entirely by the Trump administration. There is no ambiguity about this. It is true --
MCGUIRE: No, I think that there's no doubt that the administration is trying really hard to address this situation at the border.
BENNETT: No, they're not.
MCGUIRE: They had a very tight deadline to return these children and their parents.
WHITFIELD: How? How Brian? When we heard admissions from the administration that they didn't document these children, nor match them up with the parents before they separated. That's why you have so many kids who were separated.
MCGUIRE: And they've tried under a very tight deadline to do so. It's an extremely chaotic situation as your reporter attested to. The good news is we have NGOs, charitable organizations and a government feverishly trying to solve this problem.
It's not easy to do. They're trying vigorously to solve the problem.
WHITFIELD: But isn't that after the fact? I mean, but Brian, isn't that the argument that that's after the fact there was a lack of organization is what we heard from so many. In fact, there was admission from the administration at the very beginning. MCGUIRE: It should not be surprising that A problem of this scale is something that's difficult to get a handle on and to solve in a short period of time. I have every impression that people are trying to resolve this problem responsibly, expeditiously. It's tragic these parents are -- continue to be separated from their parents. But every indication I've seen, and all the reporting suggest, that people are working hard to try to resolve this problem.
WHITFIELD: Go ahead, quickly, Matt.
BENNETT: Fred, that's just not enough. The fact of the matter is, they broke it and they are unable to fix it. There are 711 kids being held in custody for no reason, away from their parents. There are kids as young as six being sexually assaulted. And then being told it's essentially their fault.
ProPublica has reported there's a 6-year-old girl who was forced to sign her first initial on a document she could not read. Basically taking responsibility for her own sexual assault in custody. This is a catastrophe that is caused by Trump and is enabled by congressional Republicans.
WHITFIELD: So a lot of things have happened, you know, in the course of a month and a half when people got a better grasp of the numbers of separations from visiting facilities. But there also seems like there's kind of a lull in what is really transpiring, Brian. Your former boss Mitch McConnell did visit, you know, ICE headquarters in Louisville yesterday to show his support for the agents. But when asked about the missed deadline, why so many kids have still not been reunited with their family members, this is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MAJORITY LEADER: Well, there's a piece of legislation to try to deal with this court decision that Philip is referring to that created this challenge about keeping families together. As I said a minute ago, the secretary of Homeland Security said yesterday she thought they were close to reunifying -- identifying and reunifying the pool that are already here.
[12:35:11] And if it requires a legislation to overturn the court decision, which I think it does, I support that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Brian, could he be doing more?
MCGUIRE: No, I think he's exactly right. I mean, he's referring to the court case that I referred to at the beginning that has bedeviled administrations going back 20 years. The problem here is the Democrats don't seem to have any interest in resolving this legislatively. Their highest priority as the movement to abolish ICE now makes clear is to prevent enforcement rather than to resolve a truly tragic situation that prevents Congress, prevents the administration from keeping these parents and their children together once they've been detained for any period of time. That's the larger issue here and one that Democrats need to come to the table and to help Republicans solve. They don't seem to have any interest in doing that right now.
WHITFIELD: And Matt quickly, do you see any consequences midterm directly related to -- I think everyone agrees it's a debacle.
BENNETT: Oh, yes. This is something every voter knows about, every voter cares about and every voter will be thinking about when they cast their ballot in November. Brian's spin notwithstanding, people know who is responsible here, it is Trump and the Republicans.
WHITFIELD: All right, Matt Bennett, Brian McGuire, good to see you both. Thank you.
MCGUIRE: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right, straight ahead in the NEWSROOM. Pope Francis accepts the resignation of an influential cardinal accused of sexual abuse decades ago. The attorney for the man who made that decision against the cardinal joins me next.
[12:41:03] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. An exclusive investigation by CNN. Bayer, the pharmaceutical giant that makes the Essure birth control device, has been paying doctors big money for consulting fees and other services. This comes after new questions about Essure's safety.
CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has the latest.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): after giving birth to four children, Christina Potts wanted permanent birth control. She says her doctor in Indiana suggested Essure, a device implanted into the fallopian tubes.
CHRISTINA POTTS: Made my life horrible.
COHEN (voice-over): Potts says she was in so much pain, she had a hysterectomy to get rid of Essure.
Last week, Bayer Pharmaceuticals said Essure is safe but will stop selling it at the end of the year due to declining sales. Now, Potts has left wondering, did Essure last 16 years on the market in part because Bayer was paying doctors millions?
A CNN analyst of a federal database shows that from 2013 to 2017, Bayer paid a total of $2.5 million to 11,850 U.S. physicians in connection with Essure.
POTTS: That's a lot of money. For a device that has caused so much trouble.
COHEN (voice-over): The payments for consulting and other services are legal. But many health professionals question whether they're ethical. Dr. Martin Makary is a professor of surgery at John Hopkins Medicine.
MARTIN MAKARY, PROFESSOR OF SURGERY, JOHN HOPKINS MEDICINE: That looks like a bribe.
COHEN (voice-over): But Bayer disputes that. And in a statement told us it collaborates with health care professionals in a range of activities to help improve clinical practice and patient outcomes. Potts isn't so sure.
CINDY BASINSKI: I'm Dr. Cindy Basinski, and I perform an innovative simple procedure called Essure.
COHEN (voice-over): From 2013 through 2019, Bayer paid Potts' Doctor, Cindy Basinski, more than $168,000. The second highest amount paid out to doctors nationwide related to Essure. Basinski was also paid from 2008 through 2012. The amount unknown because the federal database doesn't go back that far.
Potts and other patients we talked to said that they feel that money influenced Basinski who promotes Essure on T.V. shows and YouTube videos.
BASINSKI: The Essure procedure is the most effective sterilization procedure available.
COHEN (on camera): They felt that more than $168,000 would influence someone. What do you think?
BASINSKI: I will say that I do not feel it is influenced me at all in any way. I think that there can be professional relationships with companies and physicians. I did a lot of work to earn that money. A majority of activities were involved with educating physicians.
COHEN (on camera): So one company gives you more than $168,000, other companies don't give you anything for their birth control products, you treat them exactly the same?
BASINSKI: I feel I do. Yes, I do feel I do.
COHEN (voice-over): She says it didn't sway her.
POTTS: That's a lot of money to say that it didn't sway you.
COHEN (voice-over): Other patients CNN spoke to defended Dr. Basinski's judgment. Dr. Basinski says she's sad Essure is coming off the market.
BASINSKI: I think it is a safe and viable option for women.
COHEN (voice-over): Potts says she'll be glad when Essure is gone and out of the hands of doctors. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Petersburg, Indiana.
WHITFIELD: Coming up, the former archbishop of Washington resigns over allegations of sexual abuse. The attorney for the man who leveled those claims joins me next.
[12:49:05] WHITFIELD: Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick following a decades old allegation of sexual abuse. Cardinal McCarrick once led the Archdiocese of Washington. He was told several months ago that the New York Archdiocese was investigating an allegation of abuse from a teenage altar boy almost 50 years ago.
The pope has suspended McCarrick from public ministry and he has ordered him to a life of prayer and penance until the accusations are resolved in a church trial.
Attorney Patrick Noaker represents the former altar boy who accuses the minister of sexual abuse. He's joining me now from Minneapolis. Good to see you.
PATRICK NOAKER, REPRESENTS CARDINAL MCCARRICK'S ACCUSER: Good to see you.
WHITFIELD: So how does this news make your client feel?
NOAKER: Well, he's mixed. In fact, I have two clients who were sexually abused as children by Cardinal McCarrick and they're mixed.
[12:50:00] First, I think they feel likes it's a good first step. Cardinal McCarrick needs to be held accountable for what he did to them when they were children. However, then there also is much work to be done. And they feel as though, you know, a lot more work needs to be done to investigate what influence Cardinal McCarrick may have had on sexual abuse allegations while he was the cardinal and archbishop.
WHITFIELD: And it's still alleged, hasn't been proven, that church trial nor, you know, in another criminal trial, you know, setting. But Cardinal McCarrick said in June that he was shocked by the allegation and in this statement I want to quote, now, while I absolutely -- "While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people."
So what has been your response to that statement in June? I have no recollection?
NOAKER: I think he's not taking responsibility for what he did to these children, is what I think, and that's what my clients think. The young man that you're speaking of that made the report met with the Archdiocese and their program and spent a lot of time talking to them and they found his reports credible. And they are credible.
WHITFIELD: And the client that you represent, how has that person been doing all of these years? What has that personal, you know, journey been like as a result of what's being alleged?
NOAKER: Well, what happened here is someone in significant power, at the time he was the secretary to the archbishop of New York, and he was sexually assaulted by this man and so it was confusing to him at the time. It was a betrayal of someone who he held in, you know, not only as a mentor but high esteem. And of course when somebody in that position sexually assaults you, it's going to cause problems. He has suffered from some problems over the years because you just -- he never has understood what happened.
WHITFIELD: And now others have come forward with allegations of abuse against McCarrick. So how far reaching do you think this is?
NOAKER: I think it's very wide spread. I also represented another young man who was sexually abused when he was a kid by McCarrick. And then there were reports of a number of seminarians who also were subjected to McCarrick's sexual harassment. I think it's wide spread. Cardinal McCarrick, even before he was a cardinal, was a pedophile.
WHITFIELD: What kind of confidence do you have that the Catholic Church will get to the bottom of this, make any progress as it relates to allegations like this?
NOAKER: I think having cardinal McCarrick resign and the pope accepting his resignation from the College of Cardinals is a good first step. I do think it's the beginning, not the end. I think it's really critical for the church to go in now to the different diocese like the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and the Diocese of Metuchen and Archdiocese of Newark and Archdiocese of New York for that matter where Cardinal McCarrick held leadership positions and make sure that he didn't contaminate their process to protect kids and he isn't protecting other child molesters who maybe had similar crimes to what he committed.
WHITFIELD: Patrick Noaker, thank you so much for your time.
NOAKER: Thank you very much.
WHITFIELD: Still so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM, but first, here's this week's "Start Small, Think Big."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELANIE ELTURK, HAUTE HIJAB: A job to me was really a piece of identity that I wear that informs the world of who I am.
Hi, I'm Melanie, the founder of Haute Hijab. Starting the company back in 2010 did feel a little risky at the time because it wasn't as dominant in mainstream culture today. However, I knew that Muslim women were struggling finding beautiful high-quality hijab. I mean, we really prided ourselves in showing women how to wear it.
Take a hijab, get in front of the mirror and just have fun.
We at Haute Hijab carry a wide variety of hijabs and a wide variety of fabrics (INAUDIBLE). There's so many options for every woman. Our luxury collection is for your wedding, your engagement day, to really indulge in a pure silk embellished piece.
We're very inclusive. We have a ton of customers who aren't Muslim who wear the hijabs as accessories. It's been incredible being able to expand the team. I'm not formally trained in fashion. I have an eye but it got to a point where we really needed to bring other girls on.
[12:54:59] My husband and I did run the company together for almost seven years alone. I don't know how we did it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[12:54:45] WHITFIELD: Right now, President Trump is spending the weekend at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey after ending the week with some of the best headlines but also some of the worst headlines of his presidency.
The news of a booming economy and the president fulfilling a campaign promise overshadowed by the latest bombshell in the Russia investigation. The man who once said he would take a bullet for Donald Trump now is preparing to tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller that the president knew about the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting ahead of time according to sources. This is something the president has repeatedly denied --