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CNN NEWSROOM

Plane Crashes and Burns in Mexico, all 100 People Escape Alive; Giuliani Speaks After Trump Calls for An End to The Russia Probe; Giuliani Makes A Legal Distinction Between Opinions on Twitter and Executive Commands; Giuliani Says That the Mueller Team Has Responded with a Counter Offer About Interviewing Trump; 3D Gun Group Suspends Downloads After Court Ruling. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired August 1, 2018 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PASSENGER: Are you kidding right now? Are you kidding me. Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Oh, my god.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: CNN transportation analyst, Mary Shiavo, is with me. And Mary, we'll get into how this could've happened in the second. But can we just say how extraordinary this is, when you see this plane make this nosedive and crash after takeoff, full fire and everyone on board survived?

MARY SHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: You know, it's actually getting to be more typical, more the rule than the exception. There have been many recent plane crashes, for example Air France in Toronto, Singapore in Taiwan, Asiana in San Francisco, where the evacuation getting people off the plane meant that everyone or more survived and did not. And so, it is the science of crashworthiness that has really improved over the last 20 years to help people survive a crash.

Before then you think used to think a plane crash, everyone would die. Not so anymore. In fact, the International Civil Aviation Organization says over 80 percent of accidents no one dies.

BALDWIN: Incredible. It's incredible. What happened?

SHIAVO: Well, I think if given this tape is very useful, often passenger cell phone recordings can be extremely helpful in investigations, and it will be on the black boxes, but the weather played a very important role. So many have wind shear or microburst detection equipment. That is really important because wind shear is so powerful, these microbursts are so powerful, they can literally drive a plane into the ground.

A lot of the study stemmed from Delta Air Lines Flight 191 which crashed in Dallas. Tomorrow will be the 33rd anniversary of it, August 2nd, 1985. There a wind shear, microburst, drove a plane into the ground. And so, the study started. It's important to know this, not only can it put a plane in the ground. -- BALDWIN: OK, Mary, forgive me, we're going now to Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMPS PERSONAL ATTORNEY: Saying the same thing we said. I said it about two weeks ago, actually, just yesterday on Fox that we believe that the investigation should be brought to a close. We think they are at the end of it. They should render their report, put up -- I guess if we were playing poker, we're not, put up or shut up. What you got?

We have reason to believe they don't have anything. The president has done anything wrong. They don't have any evidence he did anything wrong. They have lots of stuff that goes up this alley and that alley, last week we were chasing things about Cohen. Week before that, we found out the investigation was begun by a guy who was a scoundrel, Strzok.

The week before that the Horowitz Report cast doubt on the legitimacy of both the Clinton investigation and in particular this one. Although in the Clinton investigation Horowitz found they were biased but didn't show the effects of bias. In this investigation they reserved judgment on it.

That's still investigated. They had such a severe bias they shouldn't have been involved in it. I don't know what the consequences are. As a lawyer, one of the consequences would be you're going to attack the legitimacy of the investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The attorney general sees this as a directive or --

GIULIANI: No, it isn't at all. As we said immediately, it's an opinion. He used a medium he uses for opinions, Twitter. One of the good things about using that, he's established a clear sort of practice now that he expresses his opinions on Twitter. He used the word "should," he didn't use the word "must." There was no presidential directive to follow it. He didn't direct him to do it and he's not going to direct him to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he still interested in meeting with Mueller?

GIULIANI: He's always been interested in testifying. It's us, meaning the team of lawyers, including me, that have the most reservations about that. As lawyers, I don't know, you all watch television. I don't know if you find a lawyer on television that ever thinks their client should testify.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why should we believe that, though? Everything he says indicates the opposite, he doesn't want to?

GIULIANI: Really? I haven't heard him say that. I've heard him say I want to be interviewed if my lawyers can reach an agreement on what the ground rules will be. We've had a hard time doing that. We're still -- I'm not going to give you a lot of hope it's going to happen.

[15:35:00] We're still negotiating. We haven't stopped negotiating. The most recent letter, they sent us a proposal. We responded to their proposal. They took about 10 days. Yesterday we got a letter back for them. We're in the process of responding to their proposal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why doesn't he fire Rosenstein?

GIULIANI: He wants the investigation to come to a conclusion and not interfere. That's why this whole obstruction of justice is nonsense. If he wanted to obstruct it, he could end it. Then you could battle whether he has the legal right to do that, which I think he does. He's not going to do that. He has made it clear he wants it to run its course. On the other hand, he's a person with a first amendment right to defend himself, first amendment right to express his opinion. As a president it's more important to express his opinion. These kind of allegations can do damage to the country, not just the particular president. If he believes he's innocent and he is innocent, he should speak out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said the other day collusion is not a crime. Some people said you're moving the goalpost.

GIULIANI: No, no, no. I said that from the very beginning. You know, Jeff, it's like an alternative argument, which is a little too subtle, I guess. He did not collude. There is no evidence he colluded. In the alternative, conclusion is not a crime. So, if you wrote a brief, you'd say throw it out on the wall, no conclusion. If you don't want to throw it on the wall, throw it on the facts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do also you think obstructing is not a crime?

GIULIANI: Of course, it's a crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just said the president --

GIULIANI: No. Under article 2 of the Constitution, I'm not going to tell you my opinion on because I haven't gotten to the conclusion of researching it. Under article 2 of the Constitution, if the president is acting within his capacity as president and he fires someone, that can't be questioned. Now, is there a narrow area where you could question him? I don't know.

We don't have to deal with that. He had legitimate reasons for firing Comey. Just look at the Horowitz Report about his investigation of Hillary. Look how he started the investigation. Look how he ended the investigation of Hillary, rather. The whole morale and the Bureau was under serious questioning while he was there. A host of reasons why he fired him. And interestingly, Horowitz, not Horowitz, Rosenstein wrote the memo supporting firing.

So, we think we have a very strong defense of that. Again complicated. A legal defense under article 2 and factual defense. If he didn't have article 2, he didn't obstruct anything.

And the best thing, and cases on obstruction say this, not all of them but many, the best proof is in the pudding. He didn't obstruct the investigation. It's been going on for a year and a half. They talk to every witness they want to. We haven't asserted executive privilege. And it's on every single last document, 1.4 million they wanted.

Unlike other presidents, who had every right to do it, but we didn't assert executive privilege. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- Manafort, a subject at all?

GIULIANI: no, I didn't watch the Manafort trial, No, but I understand there was some big development today. But I don't know.

BALDWIN: OK. So, this is obviously Rudy Giuliani, this is the president's attorney. He's at this campaign event in New Hampshire and he was caught by reporters. He's made news, he was on CNN with Alisyn Camerota earlier this week. The latest thing from him was collusion wasn't a crime.

Let's read a couple of headlines we just heard from Rudy Giuliani just now. Talking about a of this lot coming from the tweet the president sent out earlier this morning essentially saying his own attorney general should end this, in his words, "witch hunt," this entire investigation where Mueller was appointed, not, by the way, by the AG but Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General.

Saying the Mueller team, they don't have anything. Saying this whole investigation needs to end, right, echoing what we heard from Sarah Sanders a bit ago at the podium in the briefing. Reiterating what he said about the president's tweet, that it wasn't a directive, that it was an opinion. No, they don't want to fire Rod Rosenstein.

So, let's go to Harry Litman, former U.S. attorney who is back with us. I've got to tell you, the point in the end, Harry, where you heard Rudy Giuliani say he did not collude. On the other hand, collusion isn't a crime. I'm getting lost or confused in all the spin.

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Yes, I think as is the country. They backed away from no collusion, to, well, maybe conclusion isn't a crime. I think here it's a misnomer. They should be talking conspiracy.

[15:40:00] The bigger point is his assertion about the legal and factual defense, the notion that under article 2 the president cannot be guilty of obstruction of justice. That is a really discredited theory that the Supreme Court has basically renounced.

And of course, on the facts, it doesn't really matter whether the investigation has - [inaudible] -- the president when he was speaking with Comey was trying to shut it down for so-called corrupt motives basically to keep it coming home to roost in the White House. So, I think both it's factual and legal defenses don't really hold up. It has been a series of statements, restatements and revisions from Rudy Giuliani in the last few weeks who seems at peace with it.

BALDWIN: Another statement from Rudy Giuliani, Harry, stay with me, Gloria Borger, we have you standing by as well. Giuliani just said on this whole notion will the president sit with Mueller for the interview, he said the Mueller team counter-offered yesterday on this Trump interview, might that be a reason why the president seems so rattled today?

GLORIA BORGER, CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: We don't know yet. It seems a big hint. We're reporting -- I'm trying to report right now about what this letter from Mueller actually said. We don't know. We know they had not heard from Mueller. It was radio silence for a while. Perhaps they heard something back that could have agitated him, although I spoke with a source earlier that said that wasn't the case.

It is an important piece of information Rudy let out there. We need to unravel that a little bit. Otherwise his arguments are the same that the president said should and not must. I don't know about you, if the president of the United States said to me, you should do something and I worked for him.

BALDWIN: You would take it to the bank.

BORGER: I don't think there's a lot of difference between those two. But I think they are trying to slice the salami, because an order could be interpreted as more obstructive than just a kind of a suggestion that, you know, I hate this investigation and you ought to make it end. As you know, Brooke, Sessions has recused himself. So, he can't actually fire Mueller. He would have to ask Rosenstein to do it, if he could ask him at all.

BALDWIN: Which he just said they don't want to.

BORGER: Right. They don't want to. Look, the president has wanted all these people gone. We know that. He's tweeted about Sessions, he's tweeted about Mueller, he's tweeted about Rosenstein. This is not new. The president doesn't like any of these people even though, by the way, as you know, he has appointed each and every one of them except for Mueller whom Rosenstein appointed.

Harry Litman, if you're Robert Mueller, the special counsel here and you're obviously looking at the president's tweets, taking in what the president's attorney is saying on television, what are you thinking right now?

LITMAN: First, I'm thinking this is all admissible. Much of these might be designed to play to the base or whatever but each and every tweet is going to be a piece of evidence that's going to go to the critical issue in obstruction. We know for sure he tried to shut down the probe. The question will be did he have so-called corrupt intent?

Was he basically trying to keep -- protect his own skin and that of his family? Each of these is going to be significant. I think they are also significant in the aggregate, Brooke, because the more the president sort of waffles and says different things and back pedals and changes the narrative, the more it looks like the truth is, in fact, something he knows -- he has guilty knowledge about, which is he's trying to shut it down for selfish reasons.

BALDWIN: Let me -- Jeff Toobin is joining us. I'm told he's at -- there he is. Jeff, you're there in New Hampshire. Were you there when Giuliani was talking to reporters? Did you just hear what he said?

[15:45:00] JEFF TOOBIN, CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. That's why I'm here is I'm following Mayor Giuliani around. I thought he said something interesting I had never heard him say before. He said, well, this was on Twitter where he gives his opinion, and it's not -- the statements on Twitter are known to be opinions as opposed to presidential directives. I don't know what exactly to make of that.

BALDWIN: I thought they were official White House statements.

TOOBIN: Well, that's the other thing. I believe Sarah Sanders has said that in the past that these are official White House statements. And I thought that distinction he was drawing was something new that I hadn't heard before.

I don't know if it's legally significant but I think politically it's an attempt to draw a line between what he says on Twitter and official orders that he gives. I don't know if that would hold up legally. I don't know how you would test that. That distinction that distinction the mayor drew is one I hadn't heard before.

BALDWIN: What about I was just talking to Gloria about this but you were there what he was saying about the Mueller team reaching out and this counter-offer for this interview between the president and Mueller team. Tell me more about what the president said and your interpretation of that.

TOOBIN: One thing he has been saying all week, I've been with him much of the week, ten days ago we responded to their latest proposal for the interview but we hadn't heard back from them. Today he said we just heard back from the Mueller office in terms of their latest counter-proposal.

This has been going on for months this drama about will he testify, will he not testify, these negotiations. Based on everything I've heard from the mayor, notwithstanding the president's professed desire to do this. It certainly seems like no interview is happening. That then raises the question of whether Mueller will issue a subpoena and are we off to a multi-month legal battle that could wind up in the Supreme Court. Just in terms of a voluntary agreement to testify, that sure looks unlikely based on everything I've seen.

BALDWIN: Just lastly back to Giuliani saying with regard to this tweet, it wasn't a directive to the attorney general, it was the president's own opinion. He was the one who said -- he didn't say we have the tweet highlighted, he said Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this rigged witch hunt. It's not like he said must, which sounds mighty reminiscent to me, Jeff, when we sat on the set two weeks ago on the whole would, wouldn't thing. Thoughts?

TOOBIN: Yes. You know, again, when the president of the United States says to a cabinet member, you should do something, that sure sounds like an order to me, whether it's on Twitter or not. The interesting distinction the mayor was attempting to draw moments ago, oh, well, it was on Twitter so it's more of an opinion rather than a directive. People can evaluate as they choose to.

BALDWIN: OK. All right, Jeff Toobin, thank you so much in New Hampshire. Gloria and Harry, thank you. Beautiful, beautiful this time of year.

Quick break and back with more on this breaking story next.

[15:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: The website for touted plans for 3D printed firearms went dark overnight. Federal judge blocked a deal the Texas based non- profit reached that essentially makes it illegal to print them online after president Trump said 3d guns don't seem to make much sense, Sarah Sanders is blaming the Department of Justice for approving the settlement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The Department of Justice made a deal without the president's approval. On those regards, the president is glad this effort is delayed to give more time to review the issue. In this administration supports the decades-old legislation already on the books that prohibits the ownership of a wholly plastic gun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: CNN Money tech correspondent Laurie Segall is with me. I wanted to follow up on this today because we know that the group Defense Distributed, the company behind, right, they have already distributed the plans for these guns. So, what now?

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY TECH CORRESPONDENT: Over a thousand people have already downloaded this. They were teasing they were going to put it out today. They actually put it out a couple days ago. And Brooke, I spoke to Cody Wilson yesterday and this was before this really, before the temporary halt and didn't seem so worried. Listen to what he said right then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CODY WILSON, FOUNDER, DEFENSE DISTRIBUTED: I already uploaded the plans. The ship has sailed. It's public domain information now. It's irrevocable. No one can take it back.

[15:55:00] (END VIDEO CLIP)

SEGALL: Those blue prints are out there. You go to the site now, you don't see them. There is another hearing scheduled next week August 10, so we will hear more. And the judge said before there are some very serious issues, First Amendment issues here. So, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. As we said yesterday, tremendous implications from this case.

BALDWIN: Laurie Segall, thank you very much. Back to our breaking news, the White House denying that the president is obstructing justice by tweeting that is on Attorney General Jeff Sessions should end the Russia investigation. His attorney, Rudy Giuliani, just weighed in. Stay with me.

[16:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Another day, another recall on some food you may have in your refrigerator. They are warning accidence of salad wrap products could be making you sick. Dozens of beef, poultry and salad items were sold at popular chains like Kroger's, Trader Joe's, sell by dates July anything through July 23rdful, so if you think you might have something like this in your refrigerator, you can log onto the USDA website, usda.gov.

I'm Brooke Baldwin, thanks for being with me. Let's go to Washington, "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.