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Putin Invites Trump to Moscow, Ready to Come to Washington for 2nd Summit; Bayer Paid Big Money to Physicians to Promote Birth Control Device Women Claim Caused Health Problems; Trump Weighs in on Cowboys Owner's Mandate Players Stand for National Anthem; White House Barred CNN Reporter from Rose Garden Event. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired July 28, 2018 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: It is 5:00 Eastern, 2:00 in the afternoon out west in Redding, California. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm going to take you to Redding in just a moment to talk about the wildfires that are raging there.
But first let's talk about what's happening on the other side of the country in Washington, somebody is lying. The question is, who are you going to believe? Someone not really known for telling the truth or someone on record with more than 3,000 false or misleading statements since becoming president of the United States?
Michael Cohen, the president's one-time confidante, fixer, his lawyer, he says Trump knew in advance that Russians were meeting with campaign officials in Trump Tower before election day to hand over dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Now President Trump has repeatedly denied knowing such a meeting happened. He denied it again on Twitter just yesterday. Now the president's new personal attorney has clearly changed his tune about Michael Cohen.
(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 has been lying all week for two weeks, for years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: CNN's Boris Sanchez is live in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey near the president's golf resort where he is spending the weekend. Boris, that's a night and day reversal for Rudy Giuliani from an honest lawyer to he has been lying for years. Is Giuliani helping or hurting the president?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, that's a question that's been asked repeatedly for some time about Rudy Giuliani. It actually dates back to just a few days after he joined the president's legal team. You'll remember that there were some concerned even within the White House about Giuliani's comments regarding the alleged payment from President Trump to porn star, Stormy Daniels.
Giuliani had to sort of clarify what he was saying. He acknowledged at one point that he wasn't fully red in on the situation. In this instance some are concerned that Giuliani's flip flopping on Michael Cohen could present more legal issues for President Trump.
I want to listen to this sound from Jay Goldberg, one of President Trump's former attorneys, who says that he told Trump not to hire Giuliani. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY GOLDBERG, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FRIEND, FORMER LAWYER: I knew as soon as Giuliani spoke that he was damaging Trump's case immeasurably.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Immeasurably.
GOLDBERG: Immeasurably. No defense-oriented lawyer would say that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Now, Goldberg is essentially arguing that by Giuliani having said that Cohen was an honest man that it strips the defense of their main weapon, which is to accused Michael Cohen of making up these stories in order to get more leniency in his own legal woes.
We should point out that federal prosecutors are investigating him in Manhattan. Of course, President Trump has suggested as much yesterday on Twitter saying that Michael Cohen may be telling things to investigators to get out of legal problems potentially related to his taxi cab company.
The president, though, has been urged by some advisers we understand to keep his focus on the economy. Sources telling CNN that aides have tried to keep the president busy by keeping him on the road, trying to keep him focused on touting the success of his economy as we get closer to midterm elections -- Ana.
CABRERA: Boris Sanchez, thank you. Let's head to California now. The Carr fire in Northern California has claimed two lives. It nearly doubled in size today. President Trump today approved an emergency declaration in that state. These fires are being fueled by high temperatures, erratic winds.
There are tons of vegetation. People are fleeing for their lives and they are seeing homes and entire neighborhoods burst into flames. Rescuers have been racing against time and the elements to find a missing great grandmother and two young children. They went missing when a wildfire roared through Redding, California, forcing thousands to flee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SHERIFF TOM BOSENK, SHASTA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: This is a very unfortunate situation it's an active and ongoing investigation. Again, my sympathy goes out to the family. I have not had a confirmation of deaths in the site there with regards to this. My personnel are on scene and they will be updating me as soon as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Let's head to the scene now. CNN's Dan Simon is on the ground in Keswick, California. Dan, what's the latest?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. It's such an eerie seen as you see all these burned out houses. We can tell you, Ana, officially the amount of homes or structured destroyed stands at 500. But a little while ago at a news conference, California fire officials said the number is going up.
Really they don't have a firm grasp how many homes have been lost. They are still going around and figuring out the number. I can tell you that just a moment ago somebody put this pink ribbon at this house. That's an official tally mark meaning that the number is going to go up.
[17:05:05] Ultimately what the number is we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, we are in this community called Keswick Estates. You can see this wide shot of what it looks like. Looks like a bomb went off.
You really can't make out much of what's in the homes. You can see the burned-out appliances. This gives you an idea of the scope of the devastation. This is one neighborhood and there are several neighborhoods that have been leveled.
Ultimately, how this is going to shape up we just don't know when firefighters will be able to get this fire under control. Right now, we are looking at 5 percent containment. But the weather is still terrible for battling this wildfire, very high temperatures, low humidity and the winds tonight expected to be fierce once again -- Ana.
CABRERA: All right. Dan, thank you so much for that report. The weather he talked about is crucial here. These fires they create their own weather systems. And video from the ground can help us show just how deadly and dangerous this fire has become. It's hard to explain just how large it's gotten and this might help. The video was recorded today by a passenger on a flight from Sacramento to Seattle. That is not a cloud there. That is a plume of smoke.
CNN meteorologist, Gene Norman, is joining us live now from CNN Headquarters. Gene, help us understand how large and how powerful this inferno is.
GENE NORMAN, AMS METEOROGLIST: Well, Ana, any time you have a fire, what's going to happen is it's creating its own localized weather environment. And this is a big, big challenge. You showed that picture -- or the video a secretary ago. But I want to drill into the picture because you can see the towers clouds from the plane.
OK, so the plane flies around 30,000 feet. You can actually see those clouds much the same way you would see a thunderstorm develop as the heat from these fires just continues to rise upwards.
We are talking about large area impacted, nearly 90 fires -- 90 large fires across a good part of the western part of the United States and you see the shading here underneath the fire symbols of orange and red.
Those are areas in severe or exceptionally drought. The perfect conditions. Dry conditions, unlike last fall when we had the Santa Barbara fires they were fueled by the Santa Ana winds. We've got triple digit heat, which is up and then fueled these fires.
A series of heat watches, advisories, and warnings stretch all the way from Southern California to sections of Oregon and yes, Southern Washington state. While they are not dealing with triple digits in Portland and Seattle, 90, 91 is hotter than normal, triple digits for sure.
Sacramento, Fresno and even down into Vegas. Dan mentioned the wind. The wind forecast we are looking at doesn't look that extreme. But part of the challenge is these fires are creating their own wind environments.
So, what's going on is the weather service issued a red flag warning in and around the Carr fire, which is very unusual to put it in just a localized area because they are saying that the wind produced by the fires themselves will help cause the fires to spread.
And add one more factor to this. Air quality is dropping. A bunch of air quality alerts are in effect for southern sections of Oregon and most of the San Joaquin Valley because of these problems.
We showed you earlier some of this fantastic video of what people are describing as a fire-nado. There is a way we can describe and explain how that happens and how we get something like a fire-nado.
We are going to go to the 3D elements and show you some of those factors. Whenever you have a fire occurring, well, you are going to allow the heat to rise very, very rapidly. That's what you saw from the plane, the clouds from the heat rising quickly.
But when you have heat at the ground and the fire at the ground, the air around it rushes in to fill in the vacuum. That's helping to create the fire-nados as they spin around they whipping up wind causing winds to increase.
We saw the red flag warning in effect. That's one of the factors. The other thing this these fire-nados is do is create more fires. How? When you have a regular tornado, you throw debris like the pieces of houses or trees around.
When you have a fire-nado we are talking about the embers from the fire are then being spread out and spewed all over causing new fires. Ana, it's a situation that's not getting better any time soon because we are talking about more and more days of triple digit heat.
And, again, the dry conditions that existed before. Those high temperatures dry out the dead vegetation around and all of the brush making them great tinder for new fires.
CABRERA: That fire-nado so interesting. Does not sound good. Thank you, Gene Norman for laying it out for us.
Ahead in the NEWSROOM, just reported Cohen is willing to tell Mueller that Trump knew in advance about the Trump Tower meeting back in 2016, but that was two years ago. Next a look back at the infamous meeting at the center of this case.
[17:10:10] And talk about awkward, two people at the center of the Russia probe Robert Mueller and Donald Trump Jr. just feet from each other at the airport. Details next. Live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: CNN reporting this weekend Michael Cohen is willing to tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller that Trump knew in advance about that Trump Tower meeting back in 2016, the one between Trump Jr., a couple others from the Trump campaign and Russians.
Well, this meeting again happened over two years ago. A lot has happened since then. I want to quickly remind you how this all began. What exactly happened and how stories have shifted.
You'll recall it all started on June 3rd, 2016 when Donald Trump Jr. received an email from British music producer, Rob Goldstone. In that email, Goldstone told Trump Jr. he had information from Russia that could incriminate Hillary Clinton and help his dad's campaign.
[17:15:09] He also told Trump Jr. that the information was part of the Russian government's effort to help Trump win. Trump Jr. responded with that now infamous line, quote, "If it's what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer."
The two decided to meet six days later at Trump Tower. We'll get to that meeting in a second. But first take a look at what happened in the days between that email about Clinton dirt and the meeting itself.
Donald Trump still then a candidate publicly promised to make a major speech in the days ahead in which he would reveal dirt on his opponent Hillary Clinton. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you'll find it very informative and very interesting.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: That speech never happened. And here is what we know about what went down at the meeting two days later on Friday, June the 9th. Trump Jr. was there and so was Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager. Trump's son-in-law and current presidential adviser, Jared Kushner was also there.
You remember Rob Goldstone, the producer who first e-mailed Trump Jr. about the dirt he attended. Then there were four Russians, first is Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who admits to being a Kremlin informant. She doesn't likely act without Vladimir Putin's permission nor at least without telling him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Now the rest of the Russians include, (inaudible) a lobbyist and former soviet counterintelligence officer, and Ike Kavalazi (ph), a representative for a Russian pop star working with Rob Goldstone plus a translator.
It's unclear if anything actually came of this meeting. Both sides said nothing did, either way it was kept secret. The public didn't find out until more than a year later, July of 2017. That's when "The New York Times" published that bombshell report about the original e- mails between Goldstone and Trump Jr.
This news was significant because it was the first concrete evidence that the Trump campaign was at the very least willing to accept help from Russia. Trump Jr. responded immediately by issuing a series of misleading and shifting statements.
First, he said the meeting was simply about adoptions before eventually admitting that he had accepted the meeting after being offered information on Clinton. Reports soon surfaced that the president was personally involved in crafting his son's misleading statements. However, both White House staff and President Trump's attorneys denied this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY SEKULOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: I do want to be clear the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. It came from Donald Trump Jr.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He certainly didn't dictate but he like I said he weighed in offered suggestion like any father would do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: What you just heard there turned out to be untrue because just a couple of months ago Trump's attorneys actually admitted that he did dictate his son's misleading statement. In a confidential letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Trump's attorneys wrote, quote, "You have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the president dictated a short but accurate response to "The New York Times" article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump Jr."
The question now, will all of the other denials from Trump's attorneys like this one --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEKULOW: This is not a situation where the president was involved in this meeting, was not aware of the meeting did not attend the meeting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't know about this meeting until a few days ago.
SEKULOW: Yes, that's correct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Will that end up being untruthful as well? It's something Robert Mueller is looking into. And here to talk more about this is former federal prosecutor, Glenn Kurschner, and deputy managing editor for the "Weekly Standard," Kelly Jane Torrance.
The fact, guys, right someone is lying, either Cohen or Trump. Kelly, who do you think has more credibility?
KELLY JANE TORRANCE, DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": As I was listening to you, Ana, I studied philosophy. This seems like a pop philosophy question. Thinking about Giuliani saying that Michael Cohen is a liar and he has always been a liar.
Well, if Michael Cohen said A at one point and then later said not A, is he a liar and when was he a liar? Who can tell. I have to say neither of these people is particularly believable.
I mean, Donald Trump has, as you pointed out, first said he did not dictate that statement then later when it got to, you know, talking to Robert Mueller and probably worried about eventually committing perjury said he did. And so, we don't know.
But I have to say Michael Cohen, the one interesting thing is Michael Cohen let this slip, but he's also told CNN from what I read that he doesn't actually have proof of this.
[17:20:10] And in this case you do kind of want a smoking gun with something this serious. But, again, who knows maybe Donald Trump's lawyers will talk to Robert Mueller and will have something come out. It's really quite amazing.
But I think on the whole though, the fact that we knew his son was in on the meeting, knew about it ahead of time, whether or not Donald Trump knew, someone very close to him knew. And surprisingly, the public does not seem to be too worried about that. CABRERA: CNN's reporting is that he doesn't necessarily have a tape to corroborate his story. But there were several others who he says were in the room with Donald Trump when Donald Trump was informed about this upcoming meeting at the time in 2016.
Cohen by the way has testified before the House Intelligence Committee last year he was asked what Trump knew and when he knew it. Congressman Eric Swalwell is one of the lawmakers who questioned Cohen. And I talked to him earlier this afternoon. Listen to what he told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Did you walk away with the impression that Trump had knowledge of that Trump Tower meeting?
REPRESENTATIVE ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Yes. And that wasn't only because of Michael Cohen's testimony. There was so much other evidence that we had from the fact that the family that set it up, the (inaudible) family, they were so close to Donald Trump that it's inconceivable that he would not have known that they put this request in.
Two, Donald Trump was one floor above in the building at the time that the meeting took place. Three, Donald Trump is very close from when what we learned to Donald Trump Jr. and talked every day about the smallest details of the campaign and then of course, there is the cover-up behavior.
Once this meeting was exposed a year later, Donald Trump dictated to his son the inaccurate statement that Donald Trump Jr. gave the media so --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Glenn, do you think the circumstantial evidence is there?
GLENN KURSCHNER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes, Ana, I think the circumstantial evidence is really pretty powerful. And I don't think it's all that surprising that Michael Cohen would now at least it's being reported he can provide information that Donald Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting beforehand.
And you have already laid out a pretty compelling time line that only makes sense if Donald Trump knew about the meeting. But let me use another example to kind of drill down on why I think it's clear that the information being provided by Michael Cohen is credible.
You know, what we tell jurors when we argue in court is, you know, you don't check your common sense at the door. You bring it with you into the jury box. And frankly, it's the most powerful tool you have to evaluate who is telling the truth and what evidence is credible.
Now, let's take a look at the June 3rd email string because only one of two things can be true. Either when Donald Trump Jr. was told, hey, guess what, Russia is in your father's corner, Russia -- the Russian government wants your father to win, and Russia can provide incriminating information about Hillary.
Well, if that was a revelation to Don Jr., what does human nature tell us? Don Jr. would have sprinted into his father's office, said, Dad, Dad, big news guess what Russia is in your corner and they're going to provide us helpful information that will incriminate Hillary Clinton.
So, I think human nature tells us that is the common response if you don't know Russia is no your corner. However, if he declined to tell his father, what can we infer from that using common sense, that he already knew Russia was in his father's corner.
So, there was no need to run and broadcast that information to his father. Either way, when we apply the common-sense test to these facts, it seems entirely consistent with what we know.
CABRERA: Kelly Jane, the Trump team is now trying to paint Cohen as a liar. They think that should help their defense. As someone who can't be trusted if that's the case, do you think there is a risk at all in making Cohen an enemy?
TORRANCE: Well, I -- if that day is coming it might have already passed. I have to be honest I was wondering if they're holding out hope because notice that Donald Trump has not given Michael Cohen a catchy nickname. We all remember that when the split with Steve Bannon came. Donald Trump tweeted and called him Sloppy Steve.
I'm joking a little bit here but not entirely. I think that's sort of Donald Trump's M.O. and we have not seen that yet. The thing is to be honest I think they have a very good case that Michael Cohen is not credible.
I mean, if he -- if it's the case of -- if what he is saying now is true then he lied before. But at the same time, Michael Cohen -- we have known for years that this guy is a shady character.
I mean, that's one of the reasons the FBI raided his offices is they're looking into some of his shading dealings with things like taxi cab medallions for example. Donald Trump claims he hires the best people.
[17:25:06] Well, Michael Cohen went to what some people have called the worst law school in America. He yelled at reporters, threatened reporters in the past.
CABRERA: That's on tape we have that.
TORRANCE: Exactly. Exactly. This is not the best people. In a way they might have a good case here. But at the same time what does that tell you about the guy who hired him and stood by him and called him a wonderful man on Twitter just a few months ago.
CABRERA: Glenn, it's so interesting how much of in plays out before the public in the media where the lawyers are going on and they're saying look what I got, and this is- this guy is a liar. Listen to what Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney has said about Cohen compared to what he is saying now. So, first in the past and now. (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 it this from Cohen he has been lying all week -- he's been lying for years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: He is honest or been lying for years. Did Giuliani just dig himself a hole?
KURSCHNER: Yes -- I'm loathe to criticize another lawyer, but I don't think Mr. Giuliani is particularly closely tethered to the truth or accuracy. What he is doing is he is fighting a war of -- in the court of public opinion in the event this ends up in an impeachment hearing.
I think what he is trying to do is kind of poison the well of the American people so they don't know what to believe at the end of the day. But let me just tell you that Michael Cohen is probably both a criminal and liar.
The reason I say that is that a cooperating witness by definition is somebody who committed crimes, who nine times out of ten tried to cover up the crimes with lies, they're caught and then they have to make the decision do I come on board and work with the prosecution in order to try to right a wrong, right a wrong that I did, testify against others, or do I hold fast in this case maybe holding out for a pardon?
But it's no surprise that insiders to a conspiracy, conspirators and are criminals and liars. But, you know what, in prosecuting the big organized cases, the Rico cases, racketeer influence and corrupt organization cases, what we do is we have to use the insiders.
Because the outsiders, the bystanders, passersby, they don't know what's going on inside the conspiracy. Only the co-conspirators do, those people are often criminals and liars and need to be cleaned up, need to be made to understand that they have to come in and tell the truth because if they continue to lie then Bob Mueller or other honorable prosecutors will not extend them a plea deal.
CABRERA: Interesting discussion. Kelly Jane Torrance, Glenn Kurschner, thank you both for being here.
Coming up, despite only a weak sense, the backlash over his summit with Vladimir Putin, the president is now open to Putin's invitation to come to Moscow. We'll dig into the strategy and the public announcement when we come back. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM,
[17:32:31] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump's proposed follow up meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the fall is delayed. National security adviser, John Bolton, saying in a statement that the president believes the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over. So we've agreed it will be after the first of the year.
I asked Congressman Adam Schiff about another new development involving the second summit. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, I think that Putin realizes that Trump needs this meeting far more than Putin does. The last meeting in Helsinki was an unmitigated win for Putin and an unmitigated disaster for Trump. So it's certainly understandable why Trump wants to bail himself out with a different kind of meeting. It's also understandable why Putin is the playing a bit hard to get, and saying, no, no, you come to Moscow, I don't need to come to the White House. So it's clear that Vladimir Putin feels he has the strongest hand to play here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Let's bring in former CIA officer, David Priess, author of "The President's Book of Secrets."
David, thanks for being with us.
So, apparently, yesterday, Putin says, "I'm ready to come to Washington. In fact, I've invited President Trump to Moscow." And now the White House says it's open to that meeting in Moscow. What's your take on this back and forth about the second summit?
DAVID PRIESS, FORMER CIA OFFICER & AUTHOR: Well, remember, the Russian goals in all of this, going back to 2016, according to the declassified intelligence assessments, it's to sow discord and create chaos. This meeting in Moscow would certainly do that. If you thought Helsinki stirred the pot, wait until there's a one-on-one between Trump and Putin in Moscow whenever it happens. There are too many unanswered questions for that not to be the kind of thing that will have Putin sitting back and giggling with glee at what happens in the American political space.
CABRERA: You wrote about what you're calling a dangerous rift between President Trump and the U.S. Intelligence Community. You call the present moment a crisis. Explain that.
PRIESS: Yes, the intelligence policy relationship is not one that's always smooth. Even in the best of circumstances, presidents and those around them, they get intelligence messages that are not convenient for their policies. Often telling them things that just aren't true on the ground that need to be true for the policies to work. But it's the job of the Intelligence Community to deliver the uncomfortable truths to every president.
Now every president hasn't liked it, but none have gone on stage with an autocrat in a foreign capitol and put down their own intelligence service by saying, I believe this guy instead. That's unprecedented. It's the crisis we haven't seen in the Intel Community since the 1970s. The interesting part is that in the '70s, the crisis was one where some intelligence officers were doing things that exceeded their legal mandate and violated the ethical norms they were sworn to help protect. This time, the intelligence officers are doing their job precisely as intended. The problem is at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
[17:35:38] CABRERA: The president of Russia was before cameras yesterday praising President Trump, saying -- and I paraphrase for a second. He said something along the lines of people may agree with what he does or doesn't do, but you have to credit, saying, quote, "He is willing to fulfill the campaign promises."
David, as a former CIA officer, what game is Putin playing?
PRIESS: He understands the American political space well. Probably better than some Americans do. And he understands that there was some ground truth in America that could be exploited, that there were some divisions that could be exacerbated. The fact that he did that before doesn't necessarily say he is going to do it the same way again. If the goal is to sow chaos, it might not look the same as in 2016. It might be in a different direction but continuing to push buttons and get the political atmosphere at a highly charged level. That's something that only benefits Russia right now.
CABRERA: David Priess, thanks for the insight. Great to have you with us.
PRIESS: Thanks, Ana.
CABRERA: Straight ahead, a CNN investigation reveals the pharmaceutical giant, Bayer, paid doctors big money related to a birth control device, a device some women allege has caused them horrific health problems. A CNN exclusive, next.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[17:41:25] CABRERA: Now, a CNN exclusive. Our investigation has found that a pharmaceutical giant, Bayer, paid doctors big money related to a birth control device called Essure. And now some women say this device has caused them horrific health problems.
CNN senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, has one patient's story -- Elizabeth?
DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Ana, I talked to a woman who said she felt pushed into getting this device.
(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, USED ESSURE BIRTH CONTROL: My life was horrible. COHEN: Potts says she was in so much pain, she had a hysterectomy to get rid of Essure.
Last week, Bayer Pharmaceuticals said the Essure is safe but will stop selling it at the end of the year due to declining sales.
Now Potts is left wondering, did Essure last 16 years on the market, in part, because Bayer was paying doctors millions.
A CNN analysis of a federal database shows that from 2013 through 2017 Bayer paid a total of $$2.5 million to 11,k850 U.S. physicians in connection with Essure.
POTTS: That's a lot of money for a device that has caused so much trouble.
COHEN: The payments for consulting and other services are legal. But many health professionals question whether they are ethical.
Dr. Martin Makary is professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins Medical.
DR. MARTIN MAKARY, PROFESSOR OF SURGERY, JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICAL CENTER: That looks like a bribe.
COHEN: But Bayer disputes that, and in a statement told us it "collaborates with health professional in a range of activities to help improve clinical practice in patient outcomes."
Potts isn't sure.
DR. CINDY BASINSKI, GYNOCOLOGY SPECIALIST: I'm Dr. Cindy Basinski, and I perform an innovative simple procedure call Essure.
COHEN: From 2016 so to 2017, Bayer paid Pott's doctor, Dr. Cindy Basinski, more than $168,000, the second-highest amount paid out to doctors nationwide elated 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 TV shows and YouTube videos.
BASINKSI: The Essure procedure is the most effective sterilization procedure available.
COHEN (on camera): They felt that more than $168,000 would influence someone.
COHEN: What do you think?
BASINSKI: I will say that I do not feel that it's influenced me at all in any way. I think 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: 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.
BASKINSKI: I feel I do. Yes, I do feel I do.
COHEN: 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 is sad Essure is coming off the market.
BASINKI: I think it's a safe and viable option for women.
COHEN: Potts says she will be glad when Essure is gone and out of the hands of doctors.
(voice-over): Since January, some 16,000 women who have used Essure have filed lawsuits against Bayer, and the company says they expect even more -- Ana?
[17:45:06] CABRERA: Important reporting.
Thank you, Elizabeth Cohen.
Coming up, President Trump again weighs into the NFL anthem controversy by saluting the owner of the Dallas Cowboys by mandating players stand. Van Jones weighs in next.
But first, nearly one in four children in America grows up in poverty. Actress Jennifer Garner has teamed up with an organization to make a difference in today's "IMPACT YOUR WORLD."
JENNIFER GARNER, ACTRESS: I grew up as I have often told people one generation and one holler removed from poverty.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For more than a decade, Jennifer Garner has stood up for America's poorest kids as a Save the Children ambassador.
GARNER: The playing field for kids in America is not equal.
MARK SHRIVER, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, SAVE THE CHILDREN: We've been working in primarily rural America for the last 75, 85 years focusing on education, making sure kids are entering kindergarten ready to learn. We have a home visiting program working with the parents in the home to make sure they're stimulating their kids socially, emotionally. BALDWIN: Save the Children also offers a two-week intensive program
for students heading to kindergarten, like Alaina (ph), who has autism.
HEATHER FINCHER, PARENT: Some of the stuff that she's learned over the past year has really blown my mind. I wish you could have met her at the beginning of last year.
SHRIVER: We run in school, after school, and summer literacy programs that have a physical activity and nutrition component as well.
BALDWIN: Jessica Babb's son, Levi, entered the program four years ago.
JESSICA BABB, PARENT: He just took off from the moment he sat at the desk. He has a desire for reading that I love and admire about him.
GARNER: We talk about how kids are the future. We're not doing anything about it. We have to be aggressively out there helping them.
[17:51:22] CABRERA: President Trump once again wading into the NFL anthem controversy by saluting the owner of the Dallas Cowboys for having a policy mandating players stand. The president tweeted in the wee hours of Friday morning, "Way to go, Jerry. This is what the league should do."
Trump's tween came less than 48 hours after Cowboy's owner, Jerry Jones, made his views on the anthem clear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY JONES, OWNER, DALLAS COWBOYS: As far as the Dallas Cowboys are concerned, you know where I stand. Our team knows where I stand on the issue. And that's where we are.
Or policy is that you stand at the anthem, toeing the line.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: The other thing Jones said, though, that Trump's interests in the anthem controversy was problematic.
Let's talk it over with Van Jones, host of CNN's "THE VAN JONES SHOW.
VAN JONES, CNN HOST, THE VAN JONES SHOW: I think there's a part of his base that likes to see him sticking it to these black athletes. I believe that's become part of his appeal to some parts of his base. I think those same voters who may like that type of stuff could also be equally moved with better leadership and stronger leadership on the stuff that really matters to them. What you see is strength where he has no business at all, the NFL, and weakness where he should be paying attention like, I don't know, protecting our elections from the Russians or making sure our farmer can sell their products abroad. This is the type of stuff people have to suffer with.
What I like about people like Carmelo Anthony, who will be on my show later on, is that he does well in his job, which is to be an amazing basketball player, and the stuff he does when he's not doing actually helps people and brings people together. He an unbelievable philanthropist, he's helping people in Puerto Rico. He has a Puerto Rican background. And he's also helping people who survived that hurricane. Trump's not doing much. Carmelo is. And he's also helping people in Baltimore, where he grew up. When you hear him talk from his heart about how much he cares about kids who grew up just as tough as he did, it reminds you, we have a lot of great people in this country, we should do a lot more to lift them up instead of putting people down.
CABRERA: And using his wealth and his influence to do good.
JONES: To do good.
CABRERA: That's awesome to hear in your interview with him.
I want to ask you about another story that made headlines this week, and that was the White House barring our Kaitlan Collins from the Rose Garden after they didn't like the questions she had thrown out at the president.
Listen to how the White House's new chief of communications addressed this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL SHINE, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF COMMUNICATIONS: Did you ask her if he ever used the word "ban?" Because I've seen it on --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What word would you say? What word would you use?
SHINE: When you ask her if we ever used the word "ban," and I will answer that.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You prohibited her?
SHINE: You ask her -- focus now. You ask her if we ever used the word "ban."
See you guys later. Have a great day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: This is ridiculous. This is ridiculous. He's playing word games, as opposed to dealing with the fact that he barred, banned, kept out, locked out, pushed out, whatever he wants to say, a reporter for doing her job. She did a beautiful job. I was so proud to see all of the reporters, including even FOX News, sticking up for us, sticking up for her, sticking up for the First Amendment. But shame on him.
CABRERA: Van Jones, thank you so much.
JONES: Thank you. Glad to be here.
[17:54:48] CABRERA: And don't forget about his show tonight, "THE VAN JONES SHOW," at 7:00 eastern, right here on CNN.
CABRERA: Every week, we honor an everyday person doing extraordinary work to help others. Earlier this year, we recognized Dr. Rob Gore, an emergency room physician doing anti-violence work in Brooklyn, New York. Now we want you to meet the "Black Panther" star who nominated him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: I nominated Dr. Gore to be a "CNN Hero" because we grew up together. Then I saw him doing this wonderful community work.
UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: I'm very familiar with "CNN Heroes." I'm a fan of the show. As I was volunteering here, I said to myself, wait, "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)
[17:59:59] CABRERA: Don't you just love her?
To nominate someone you think should be a "CNN Hero," go to CNNheroes.com. And just so you know, nominations close Tuesday night.
I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. We'll see you back here at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
"SMERCONISH" starts now.