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Army Deployed as Protests Erupt Over Zimbabwe Election; Trump Demands Attorney General End Russia Investigation; Facebook Removes Suspected Russian-Linked Accounts; U.S. Judge Blocks Release of Printable Gun Blueprints; Paul Manafort Trial Resumes After Fiery First Day; Trump Tries to Fire Up Base Ahead of Midterm Vote. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired August 1, 2018 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade at CNN's world headquarters, sitting in for Becky


We are following two big breaking political stories for you this hour, one in Zimbabwe, the other in Washington. We are watching events in Zimbabwe

where protesters have broken out outside the electrical commission in the capital. It comes after the announcement that the ruling Zanu-PF party has

won a two thirds parliamentary majority in that country's election. Well, a military helicopter has been seen hovering over the streets of Harare.

And opposition protesters have clashed with police. We're going to have much more on that story in just a few minutes.

But first this hour, breaking out of Washington. In black and white for all the world to see, Donald Trump now calling out his top law enforcement

official to shut down the Russia investigation. The U.S. President fired off tweets just a short while ago blasting special counsel, Robert Mueller,

by name five times. And he's urging Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to shut down the Russia probe.

That's quite a demand given that Mr. Trump is being investigated for potential obstruction of justice among other things. As part of that wider

probe into whether his campaign colluded with Russia. Well his tweets coming on the second day of the trial into Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump's

former campaign chairman. His prosecution stems from the Mueller investigation, although it doesn't involve allegations of Russian

collusion. Let's bring in Joe Johns who is outside the Virginia courthouse where Manafort is on trial. In Joe, President Trump only continues to

discredit this investigation. But for the first time, publicly, directly his attorney general to end it.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the President much more aggressive this morning on the issue of the Russia investigation.

Still, previously, the President has been asked whether he himself would fire Robert Mueller the special counsel. And at least so far, every

indication from the White House that the President is not willing to take that step. Meanwhile, here at federal court in Alexander, Virginia, the

second day of the trial of his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

On the stand --at this hour though they're taking a break -- is Matthew Mikuska, an FBI agent really getting down to the crux of the case against

Paul Manafort which is documents. One document after the next entered into evidence, published to the jury, detailing transfers, receipts of thousands

and thousands of dollars, and it all in the name of Manafort. And the question again and again to the witness from the prosecution, whose

signature is on this document? The answer, Paul J. Manafort. Important, because Manafort's attorneys will seek to establish reasonable doubt in

this case by blaming it all on a man named Rick Gates who was the top deputy for Manafort.


JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, facing day two of this trial for alleged financial fraud. And

after both sides laid the ground work for what's likely to be a dramatic show down between Manafort and his long-time deputy and the government's

key witness rick gates.

If convicted, Manafort is facing a maximum sentence of over 300 years on 18 charges, including filing false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank

accounts, and defrauding several banks. Prosecutors portraying Manafort as a quote, shrewd liar, who opened 30 bank accounts in three foreign

countries to avoid paying taxes on $60 million of income from work in Ukraine, including helping former Ukrainian President and Putin ally,

Victor Yanukovych.

Prosecutors arguing that the money went toward supporting Manafort's lavish lifestyle, including multiple homes, expensive cars, and watches, even a

$15,000 ostrich jacket. The defense pointing finger at Gates arguing he was the master mind behind the scheme who swindled Manafort. Gates is

cooperating with the special counsel after pleading guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States and lying to the FBI.

[11:05:00] The fact that the defense plans to use to discredit his testimony. Gates also worked for the Trump campaign but neither the

President nor the investigation into potential Russia collusion are likely to be addressed in this case.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: This trial, obviously, centers on matters that have nothing to do with the campaign.

JOHNS: The Trump administration continuing to distance itself from Manafort.

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Paul Manafort does not know anything, nor could it be possible he did. He was with him for four


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign.

JOHNS: Despite praising his work during the three months he led the President's campaign.

TRUMP: Paul Manafort just came on. He's great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bringing in a professional like Paul helped us grow the campaign.

JOHNS: Source tell CNN that publicly the White House strategy is to downplay the proceedings. But behind the scenes the President is keeping a

close eye on the trial watching TV coverage and asking his legal team for updates.

President Trump has repeatedly said that his former campaign chairman is being treated unfairly sparking speculation that Manafort may be holding

out for a possible pardon.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: He's going to be the last man defending Donald Trump and bet it all on a pardon. And that may be where at least

he's making his appeal.

JOHNS: Manafort's lawyer expressing confidence after day one of the trial.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any chance he may decide to flip and cooperate?

DOWNING: No chance.


JOHNS: And so, against that back drop, we do have the tweet from the President of the United States this morning, and I will just read it to


This is a terrible situation, the President writes, Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this rigged witch hunt right now before it continues

to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 angry Democrats are doing his work a disgrace, he writes, to the


So that is the view of the President on this investigation by Bob Mueller. Which by the way is how Mr. Manafort, his former campaign chairman, finds

himself on federal trial here in Alexandria, Virginia today. Lynda, back to you.

KINKADE: All right, Joe Johns for us there in Alexandria. Good to have you with us. Thanks so much.

I want to go to Abby Phillip now who is live at the White House. Abby, clearly President Trump very worried about this investigation as this trial

gets under way. How is the White House responding?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lynda, the White House's plan up until this point had been to downplay the Manafort trial.

Saying that it really had nothing to do with President Trump at all. That Manafort was on trial for activities that he engaged in before he became

the President's campaign chairman.

But clearly President Trump is taking a different strategy. He is lashing out on Twitter in a way that we have not seen him do before. Ordering in

very explicit language his attorney general to fire Robert Mueller. And that's happening on the second day of this trial. The timing is not

coincidental at all. We know from our sources that the President has been monitoring this trial. He's been asking his attorneys for updates. He's

been watching it on television as he flew down on Air Force One to Florida yesterday.

But this really raises the question of how long President Trump is going to go on with this Mueller probe happening when he clearly believes it should

have ended a long time ago. He's been saying that in less explicit terms. Now he's changed his language. We'll be looking to see what the White

House says at 1:00 p.m. when they have a briefing about whether the president has made this clear to Sessions in private and what Jeff Sessions

is going to do. After all, this is now in his court.

KINKADE: Yes, it certainly is in his court right now. Democrat Adam Schiff is weighing in on that tweet we saw from President Trump this

morning calling for an end to this probe. And he writes, the President of the United States just called on his Attorney General to put an end to an

investigation in which the President, his family and campaign may be implicated. This is an attempt to obstruct justice hiding in plain sight.

America must never accept it.

Abby, we know that special counsel Robert Mueller has been looking at the President's tweet and watching his Twitter account. Could this be used

against him?

PHILLIP: Potentially. I mean, we know that Mueller is looking at this. We don't know exactly where it fits into the larger picture of this

investigation, we should be clear about that. That he might be interested in asking the President about his tweets, but it could be related to other

information that we are not privy to. Things that happening in private or behind the scenes. But this is clear that this is just one more item on

Mueller's list of evidence that the President is pressuring people, who potentially have jurisdiction over this probe to try to end it. The

President isn't fazed by that at all, he's aware of this line of inquiry and he's not fazed by it. He's upping the ante on social media. We just

don't know where this is going to fit in.

[11:10:00] But I will say it seems unlikely that the tweets will be the extent of and obstruction of justice case brought if there is one against

the President. There's got to be something more to it, but it certainly doesn't help.

KINKADE: It certainly doesn't help. All right. Abby Phillip for us outside the White House. Great to have you with us. Thanks so much.

Well, I want to go back to the breaking news in Zimbabwe now where the army is on the streets after protests broke out over Monday general election.

The opposition accuses the country's electrical commission of rigging polls in favor of the ruling Zanu-PF party. Still awaiting final results from

the presidential election. But in Parliament election officials say Zanu- PF has received a two thirds majority. Well, Columbus Mavhunga, a journalist there joins me now from Harare. Good to have you with us.

Soldiers and police and protesters clashing on the streets there in the capital, explain for us what's going on.

COLUMBUS MAVHUNGA, JOURNALIST (via Skype): Yes. I'm in Harare here. Gunshots have just died down I think for the last five or 10 minutes. But

before that it was chaotic. People burning tires or anything. Protesters burning tires or anything their coming up with. Also blocking roads,

shouting at police, and police and the army charging at them. Police firing tear gas, live bullets as one man lying lifeless. I hope that he's

alive. But Yes, it didn't look good. Still, out there is was too much tension in the air.

KINKADE: And of course, the opposition claims that this election was rigged. Have they provided any evidence to support that claim?

MAVHUNGA: They haven't provided anything to (INAUDIBLE). The ruling Zanu- PF party and what the (INAUDIBLE) position stole the election as . So, their saying that results which are being announced at the moment are from

previous election, which is 2018, when they lost it. They are saying they won this election. And Nelson Chamisa should be the next Zimbabwe's


KINKADE: If he's not, if President Mnangagwa is elected -- he of course, was a Gabi's right-hand man -- what could happen? How do you see this

playing out?

MAVHUNGA: Well, it depends who do you believe won, you trust. They are saying, yes, Mugabe's regime obviously (INAUDIBLE) and human rights record

was bad and that (INAUDIBLE) for none of us are saying, thing will change, Zimbabwe's economy will be back on track again. But the opposition are

saying, no, Mnangagwa's party of Mugabe's bad men since 1980 and he's nothing to show for it. So, the economy will not improve. But anyway,

Mnangagwa comes into power, we'll leave it to time, to tell us indeed if it will remain as it is now.

KINKADE: All right. Columbus Mavhunga, good to have you with us. Thanks so much for that perspective.

I want to stay on this story and bring in Eleni Giokos who is tracking this story from London. And, Eleni, Zimbabwe has major problems no matter who

is announced president here. There certainly a lot of challenges ahead.

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, so many challenges. And just looking at some of the images that we've been showing coming out

of the capital Harare. It's reminiscent of the drama, of the violence, of the protest action, of the discontent on the ground that we've seen during

so many other elections prior to this. And this was supposed to be free, fair, a transparent election. Now the MDC, official opposition party to

the Zanu-PF has cried foul once again.

I mean, just taking a look at this, we saw a little earlier a police officer beating a protester. I mean, these kind of images are not going to

bode well for any kind of change down the line. How long are these protests going to go on for? Are we going to be seeing any of clarity on

whether these are free and fair elections? Remember, these elections did take a very long time in terms of the counting structure over three days.

It started to raise a lot of flags and discontent on the ground. And again, it just shows that the systematic problems that Zimbabwe has been

facing through the years are not over and done with. It's got to do with the economy. It's got to do with the ruling Zanu-PF that has been a power

for a very long time. And of course, the discontent on the ground specifically from the opposition party.

KINKADE: All right. Eleni Giokos, we will continue to follow this story as we await the results of that presidential outcome. Thanks so much.

Well, still to come tonight fake Facebook accounts trying to sway American voters and possibly linked to the Kremlin. Sound familiar? Look at what

may be Russian interference part 2.


KINKADE: Welcome back. U.S. officials say Russia used Facebook in campaign to sway the 2016 Presidential race. Well now there are signs the

Kremlin may be at it again ahead of the November midterm elections. The social media giant has removed dozens of accounts with possible links to

Russia. Facebook says it's the most extensive effort to interfere in American politics that it's uncovered to date. CNN's Drew Griffin has



DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Facebook calls it inauthentic behavior, and though Facebook can't be sure, it sure looks like

Russia again. 32 pages with names including "Black Elevation," "Resistors," "Aztlan Warriors," being followed by 290,000 accounts. The

fake accounts also setting up and promoting real events and protests aimed at further polarizing U.S. political discourse.

Many of the events did occur, including this one last year in New York City attended by actual Americans who likely had no idea that the "Resistors"

Facebook page was probably run by Russians.

MARIANA PINEDA, HEALTH CARE ACTIVIST: So, I was contacted through Facebook by a woman named Mary Smith.

GRIFFIN: Mariana Pineda actually messaged with organizers at that resistors page about the protest last year.

PINEDA: She wanted me to look into permits for having a rally in Union Square. We contacted the police department and asked about permitting and

ultimately decided to do the rally without permits. And we talked about sound and the use of amplified sound. And I said I needed something. And

so, they sent me a megaphone in the mail.

GRIFFIN: Another event by the same group was supposed to take place in a couple of weeks. "Resistors" set up a counter protest against white

supremacists at the White House August 10. Five other real groups signed on to participate. As Facebook was announcing its crack down on these

potential Russia sites, the U.S. secretary of homeland security were at a cybersecurity conference saying there's no doubt Russia meddled in the 2016


KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Everyone and everything is now a target.

GRIFFIN: And Russian actors may be at it again. Comparing the upcoming midterm elections to a looming storm.

[11:20:00] NIELSEN: But today I believe the next major attack is more likely to reach us online than on an airplane. We are in a crisis mode.

The cat 5 hurricane has been forecast and now we must prepare.

GRIFFIN: Facebook says these current pages are all shut down at the hallmarks of the activities the Russians did around the presidential

election. Though there are some differences this time the pages didn't lead back to Russian IP addresses. And they used third party services to

buy ads to boost their posts and encourage people to follow the pages.


KINKADE: Well, so technology continues to play a huge role in politics for good or evil. CNN's Samuel Burke is in London. First, I want to go to

Matthew Chance in Russia for more on this story. Matthew, these pages, as we heard, did not lead directly back to Russian IP servers, but Facebook

found the tactics were very similar to those used in the 2016 Presidential election. Does that suggest perhaps that Russia is getting better at

covering its tracks?

MATTHEW CHANCE, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it may suggest that, Lynda, Yes, if indeed it was the Russians that carried this ad. And

Facebook was very careful not to directly point the finger of blame at Russia. It's leaving that finger to be pointed by intelligence agencies or

politicians. Because I think the circumstantial evidence has to be taken into account as well. What's been the track record of Russia in meddling

in this way and fueling, you know kind of political unrest in this way. And what would its motivation be? So, I think lots of people in the United

States in particular would immediately think of Russia when they see this kind of behavior.

I think one of the big questions, though, is if it is indeed deemed to be Russia, which is the source of this, what will the consequences be? What

kinds of response will it elicit from the United States? Which is already sanctioned Russian individuals and Russian corporations for engaging in

this kind of activity back in the 2016 elections. That doesn't seem to have worked. So, what further action can or should be taken to prevent it

from happening?

KINKADE: Yes, exactly. Certainly, big questions for the U.S. on what to do and how to tackle it. I want to go to Samuel now. Obviously Facebook a

big issue in the tech world. But are there problems about today in terms of what gadgets may cost people in the future because of Trump's trade war?

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: What's interesting here we are talking about Facebook. And a lot of people

thought so many of the tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, would all be immune from any type of trade war. Because they thought, well

these aren't physical products, most of them. These are products that exist online. They wouldn't be hit. Now it's looking like every tech

product under the sun could be hit by these tariffs.


BURKE (voice-over): President Trump's trade war is barreling towards Silicon Valley.

TRUMP: We are demanding fair and reciprocal trade.

JOSH KALLMER, SVP, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY COUNCIL: There are certain kinds of machines that you and I never come into contact with, but

that underpin a lot of the high-tech products that people buy.

BURKE: They are the key components that make smart devices, household appliances and home security systems hum.

(on camera): Everyday items like the iPad could be hit. The tablet has a chip from Intel which could be a target. E scooters have taken off this

year. Now they face a 25 percent tariff. Even your favorite Netflix series could be in the firing line. The streaming company's videos are

played from the Amazon cloud server and that equipment comes from China. Missing from the list, the Apple iPhone. CEO, Tim Cook told CNN in June he

thought the device was safe.

TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: I don't think that iPhone will get a tariff on it is my belief. Based on what I've been told and what I see, I just don't see


BURKE: Now the President says he's ready to tax almost all Chinese imports. Which would include the iPhone.

TRUMP: They went after our companies and they stole our intellectual property.

BURKE: The administration says the tariffs are meant to pressure China to fall in line. But experts say a levy on the iPhone would be

counterproductive even though the device is assembled in China, it's designed and manufactured in the U.S.

KALLMER: 90 percent of that tariff falls on value created by Americans. There is no other way t/to say it than to say that literally the United

States is taxing itself.

BURKE: And Apple may have the most to lose if China retaliates with tariffs of its own. 21 percent of the company's sales are in China leaving

a clear target on America's most valuable company.


[11:25:02] BURKE: Lynda, Apple hit an all-time high on the stock market today. And it's really quite interesting because here the company is doing

incredibly well, but these tariffs loom over them. Tim Cook was asked about the trade war on the earnings call, and even though he said he was

optimistic, I think that he's pretty good at not upsetting President Trump. He did warn that trade wars can have unintended consequences. He also said

that he hopes calm heads will prevail. If they don't, we all might be paying the price -- Lynda.

KINKADE: We certainly will. And we are watching that Apple stock closely to see whether if it will become a trillion-dollar U.S. company. We will

stay tuned for that. Samuel Burke for us in London and Matthew Chance in Moscow. Thanks so much.

Still to come tonight, do-it-yourself guns that can print with just a click. A horrible idea or an inevitable part of our future? We are going

to dig into that question next. Stay with us.


KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, these are the newest guns in America. Untraceable and undetectable because they are made mostly out of plastic.

With a 3D printer you can build them right at home. Well that was the plan.

[11:30:00] Blueprints for 3D printed guns was set to be made legal online in the United States today. But last night right before that went into

effect, a federal judge temporarily blocked the government from allowing their distribution making the plans illegal again.

Well, the company at the center of it all is Defense Distributed and founder Cody Wilson. After the judge's decision the website disabled

downloads. This is what the site lacks like now. Wilson says he is reviewing the judge's order and he's asking people to join him in the fight

to make downloads available again.

These printable guns are sparking a huge debate. I want to get into it with Maxim Lobovsky. He's the CEO of Formlabs. One of the first companies

to make low cost professional 3D printers. Good to have you with us.


KINKADE: My colleague, Laurie Segall, had a chat with Cody Wilson and he defended the company basically saying that this is the way technology is

going. Just take a listen.


CODY WILSON, FOUNDER, DEFENSE DISTRIBUTORS: If people have like an internet resource of some type of encyclopedic scope, it should allow like

more rapid innovation in the space as well. I know that upsets everyone. Chuck Schumer is out there with the bill today saying that, no, a gun

should ever be the way they've always been, and we have to prevent them from becoming new.


KINKADE: You run a company that has 3D printers. Where do you see this technology going? And what sort of responsibility should the 3D printing

industry have?

LOBOVSKY: Yes. So, Form Labs, our mission is to basically get through the printing technology to more people. And we are shipping more professional

3D printers than any other company out there. So, the idea that 3D printing is changing the way people make things and so the changes and kind

of access people have to make to access technology, that's very central to what we do. When it comes to printing guns though, I think there is more

sort of hype than reality in terms of the impact that 3D printing will make.

KINKADE: What do you mean its hype? If people will be able to make untraceable, undetectable guns in their home, don't you see that as a

danger given how many unregulated guns there already are in the U.S.?

LOBOVSKY: So, there's kind of two parts to it. One is that guns are 700- year-old technology. It's been possible to make guns, good effective guns without 3D printers for a very long time. And to make them with equipment

that's not necessarily much more expensive or difficult to access than a low-cost 3D printer. An hobbyists that things like that have made guns in

their basement for a long time. And so, I don't think the kind of current generation of low cost plastic 3D printers even the kind of higher quality

ones we make, they don't really make la big impact on what kind of gun you can make at home and how easy it is to do. So, I think the question of can

we control access to manufacturing guns and all that? That hasn't really changed with the advent of low cost 3D printers.

KINKADE: So, you don't see it as a problem that you'll be selling machines that people can use to make guns in their home that are undetectable?

LOBOVSKY: Lots of people sell machines and equipment and tools and even very basic things that can be used to make guns or all kinds of other

things that we may not want more of in the world or have different opinions of, you know, the impact on the world. But that's kind of the nature of

manufacturing technology, it can be used to make great things, and it can be used to make harmful things. And can't control that from the

manufacturing technology point of view. Control that at the point of someone actually making something.

KINKADE: There aren't official statistics on this, but researchers at Harvard and Northeastern University carried out a survey in 2015 and they

estimated up to 600,000 guns are stolen in the United States each year. There's already a lot of unregulated guns on the market. Don't you think

this will make the situation worse?

LOBOVSKY: No. I think that's a much bigger problem. There are guns out there, and they are not difficult to get access to. So, trying to hobble

together something using the wrong tools and using different components you have to add and getting all that knowledge is actually harder to do that

than it is to -- at least in the U.S. -- to acquire a gun legally or illegally. So, you know, it's not really changing the sort of the equation

of who can access guns and how many are out there.

KINKADE: Just very quickly, who do you think you are going to use this sort of technology?

[11:35:00] I mean surely, it's going to be criminals that want guns that are untraceable.

LOBOVSKY: Again, I think they have access to guns that, you know, anyway and more effective ones. Also, the guns that are being made out of plastic

with 3D printers are typically unsafe for the user as well. Because they are not as robust and well made. So, I don't think there is a huge demand

to make guns in people's basements or anything like that.

KINKADE: All right, Maxim Lobovsky, were going to have to leave it there, but thanks for your time.

LOBOVSKY: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, still ahead, Trump lashes out over the Russia probe as the Manafort trial enters day two. We'll bring you up to speed and break down

the claims and counterclaims in all things Trump. Stay with us.


KINKADE: Well, we're turning now to one of the top stories. The trial of President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. It is underway

right now in Virginia. And in case you've lost track of it all and the developments, and special counsel Robert Mueller probe, here's Jim Sciutto

to bring you up to speed.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Openly denounced by the White House.

TRUMP: They it the rigged witch hunt.

SCIUTTO: Yet pressing forward without interruption special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has produced a steady stream of indictments and

arrests over the last 14 months. It enters a new phase with the start of the first of two trials for Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign

chairman. In Virginia he faces charges of bank and tax fraud. In Washington, he's accused of failing to register as a lobbyist for a foreign

government, and obstruction of justice. And Mueller may not be done with Manafort. This memo indicates that the special counsel is still

investigating whether Manafort was, quote, colluding with Russian government officials, end quote, to interfere in the 2016 election.

TRUMP: There is no evidence that Mr. Manafort or the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.

SCIUTTO: Manafort's former business partner and former deputy chairman of the Trump campaign, Rick Gates, has already pleaded guilty and will testify

against Manafort. Among the others the special counsel has indicted, Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security advisor. And George

Papadopoulos, a former campaign aide, both pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors and both are cooperating with the investigation. Konstantin

Kilimnik, an associate of Manafort's, who is described in court documents as a suspected Russian intelligence operative.

Also indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russia entities charged with interfering in the 2016 election. And most recently another group of 12

Russian nationals charged with hacking the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. Could more charges be coming?

[11:40:00] His team has interviewed at least two dozen members of the Trump administration and other Trump associates.

GARRETT GRAFF, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Bob Mueller is not making deals left and right. Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn all traded some

pieces of information for their respective plea deals. That's presumably incredibly important information.

SCIUTTO: One crucial remaining question, what has Mueller found out about that June 2016 Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared

Kushner, and Russians who promised to share dirt on Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. has said that he never told his father about the meeting.

DONALD TRUMP JR.: There's nothing to tell. It was literally just a waste of 20 minutes, which was a shame.

SCIUTTO: But sources tells CNN that Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen is now claiming that Trump knew of the meeting in advance.

And that Cohen is prepared to tell Mueller. Cohen himself may not be on Mueller to do list though having referred his case to federal investigators

in New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, it effectively brings the issue of collusion or conspiracy right to President's feet.

SCIUTTO: Mueller's latest investigation into the Russian hackers hinted that he may still be looking at role of other U.S. persons.

ROB ROSENSTEIN, U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: The conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy

through the internet.

SCIUTTO: Some speculate that may include Roger Stone who claims several times during the campaign to be communicated with WikiLeaks which U.S.

intelligence believe acted as middleman for stolen Democratic Party emails and documents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's innocent. There is no evidence of collusion or conspiracy or coordination.

SCIUTTO: The Department of Justice also recently released the FISA warrant obtained by the FBI during the campaign to surveil another former Trump

campaign adviser, Carter Page. At the time the FBI told the court it believed Page was subject of recruitment by the Russian government.

CARTER PAGE, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: I've never been an agent of the foreign power by any stretch of the imagination.

SCIUTTO: Questions also remain about Blackwater founder, Erik Prince's mysterious meetings in the Seychelles with the Russian banker and George

Nader an unofficial representative of the United Arab Emirates.

ERIK PRINCE, FOUNDER AND FORMER CEO, BLACKWATER: No one was aware from the Trump team that I was even there. It was private business that had nothing

to do with the U.S. government. It had nothing to do with the Trump team or the transition team or anyone else.

SCIUTTO: CNN has reported that the purpose of that meeting was to arrange a possible back channel communication between the U.S. and Russia. But the

UAE connection could expand Mueller's investigation to concerns of additional foreign influence in the 2016 election. Nader has been

cooperating with investigators. Perhaps the biggest question is what, if anything, Robert Mueller has in store for President Trump including whether

he obstructed justice.

GARRETT GRAFF, AUTHOR, "THE THREAT MATRIX INSIDE ROBERT MUELLER'S FBI": I think really that obstruction piece will be the final element of this. And

that what we are going to more likely see is sort of these dots in the center being connected.

SCIUTTO: Looming large is whether the special counsel will demand a sit- down interview with President Trump himself.

TRUMP: I've always wanted to do an interview, because, look, there has been no collusion.

SCIUTTO: For now, Mr. Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani says any interview is still under negotiation.

GIULIANI: I think he shouldn't. I know how convinced he is he didn't do anything wrong and wants to explain it. And I've seen other people get

into trouble thinking that, innocent people.

SCIUTTO: Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.


KINKADE: We know President Trump is bothered by all of this. You only have to look at his Twitter feed. But at the same time, he is also clearly

enjoying himself. Listen to what he told a crowd at Tuesday's rally in Tampa, Florida.


TRUMP: They just came out with a poll, did you hear, the most popular person in the history of the Republican Party is Trump. Can you believe

this? So, I said does that include honest Abe Lincoln? You know, he's pretty good. Right?


KINKADE: Well, the only problem with that comparison is there were no scientific opinion polls during Lincoln's time. White House reporter and

friend of the show, Stephen Collinson, joins us now from Washington. As always, good to have you with us. The midterms are less than 100 days

away. And typically, the government loses states during the midterm elections. President Trump was back amongst his base last night in

Florida. And back to his old playbook.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Lynda. Midterm elections for first-time President, so usually problematic as you say.

Were Donald Trump's Republicans to lose control of the House of Representatives -- which at this point is perhaps a 50/50 proposition or

better -- it would have serious implications for his presidency. Not the just constraining his ability to move legislation through Congress, but of

course if Robert Mueller were to come back with a report critical of the President, it could even open the way to impeachment proceedings if there

was a Democratic House.

[11:45:00] So, that's why this is so important. And I think it's very clear that the President is becoming more and more concerned about what

will happen in those elections for the whole of the House and a third of the Senate in November. And he basically is taking matters into his own

hands, getting out there on the campaign trail where he was so successful in 2016. And trying to lift Republicans because of his deep sort of

control of the party's base over the line.

KINKADE: Stephen, you wrote a great article in about President Trump's skill at fanning resentment amongst his base. That anger in people

got him elected. And we saw a lot of that anger last night targeted directly at the media particularly CNN and our colleague --

COLLINSON: Jim Acosta.

KINKADE: Jim Acosta -- I just went blank. Let's just play that rally for you.




KINKADE: You can hear that rally as Jim Acosta was doing a live shot on CNN. Is that anger in flaming people working for him?

COLLINSON: Yes. I mean Donald Trump's entire political method is to identify full lines whether they are racial, societal, financial, in the

electorate and inflame them. That's what he does. That's how he's managed to get such an intense support base even though majority of the country

still doesn't support him. That's what he did in 2016. And that's how he's going to try and get the maximum Republican turnout at these polls in

November. He needs his people to be angry, to be resentment about the political establishment, about the media, which he's called the enemy of

the people if he's going to get that kind of turnout.

Because the President himself is not on the ballot in November even though this election is so important to him. So, I think we are going to see him

going out, especially once we get through the summer, beginning of September, doing several rallies a day even in some cases as we get closer

to the election to try and recreate that sort of pot boiling anger among base Republican voters that swept him to the White House in 2016.

KINKADE: Yes. Certainly, firing up that anger. And Stephen, the President offered to meet with Iran with no preconditions. That offer

quickly dismissed by the Iran's foreign prime minister who wrote that quote, threats, sanctions and PR stunts won't work.

Mr. Trump referenced Iran last night at that same rally, but he didn't seem to scroll past this tweet on the time line yet. Let's just take a listen.


TRUMP: The Iran nuclear deal, it's a horror show. I hope it works out well with Iran. They have a lot of difficulty right now. I hope it works

out well. And I have a feeling they'll be talking to us pretty soon.


KINKADE: He still is hopeful that Iran will talk to them even though they have dismissed it. And clearly, he thinks that because his tactics with

North Korea led to a summit that it will work here.

COLLINSON: Right. This is one of the most difficult things to work out in Washington right now. And what exactly is U.S. foreign policy. On Iran,

for example, you have a very hardline policy. They pulled out of the nuclear deal. Have you a number of officials around the President who have

a record of pushing for regime change in Iran. Are very skeptical about dialogue with Iran. And then you have the President coming out and say,

oh, let's have talks with the President Rouhani. There is this sort of dual track foreign policy going on.

Personally, I don't think that this is more when the President made this offer of him sort of putting it out there that he'd like to have a summit

with Iran. Because he had a summit with Kim Jong-un. He had a summit with Vladimir Putin. He likes these big summits and think they are an end in

themselves. Clearly, it's a different situation than with North Korea. If you look at it from Iran's point of view, I think you have to ask what

Iran's incentive would be for sitting down with the United States right now.

They spent two years doing a nuclear deal with the United States and other great world powers only for the Trump administration to pull out and impose

new sanctions. So, it seems very unlikely that Iran will be willing to agree to a deal that would be more advantageous to the U.S. than the

original deal. I think the administration is trying to up the pressure in Iran in the hope that it drives the Iranians back to the table for economic

reasons. But when you look at the political impediments to actually that happening in Iran and the ideological climbdown that would require from the

Iranians, it seems unlikely that President Trump's hopes of any such engagement with Iran are very likely to come to pass.

[11:50:00] KINKADE: Yes, clearly Iran thinks America can't be trusted. Stephen Collinson, good to have you with us for all of that. Thanks so


One last thing I want to point out from that rally in Florida. It became apparent that the President Trump may it be a bit, well, out of touch with

the common man. Take a listen what he had to say about buying groceries.


TRUMP: Which is why the time has come for voter I.D. like everything else. Voter I.D. You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries,

you need a picture on a card. You need I.D.


KINKADE: Mr. Trump saying you need I.D. to buy groceries. I suspect he hasn't bought groceries for quite some time.

Well now we want to show you an incredible and terrifying moments, aboard an Arrow Mexico jet. It crashed just moments after takeoff but incredibly

no one died. Hundred and three people were on board flight 243 going to Mexico City. The pilot and a passenger are critical, but they are in

stable condition. They are among 25 people in hospital. But just last hour we heard that 64 people have been released. Now that plane went down

in a field near the runway. Officials say strong winds at the airport may have caused the crash.


AMARIA GUADALUPE HERRERA OLGUIN, PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR (through translator): We were all scared. Screaming. And suddenly the plane stopped, and I saw

that everyone was leaving from the back and I followed. I followed them. But since I brought my baby in my arms and my mother stayed up in front, I

gave her to my older daughter and told her go, go, and I went back for my mother. I got her and we all left together.


KINKADE: Absolutely incredible. Time for a quick break. We'll be right back. Stay with us.


KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, it's something you would see in a movie, not in real life, in Sweden in the middle of the day. A manhunt now under way

near Stockholm after a brazen daytime heist of priceless Royal jewels. CNN's Anna Stewart has more on the robbery and the dramatic get away.


ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a daring daytime heist that could have been written by Hollywood. Priceless Royal jewels

stolen from a cathedral in regional Sweden. Two thieves making their getaway on a speed boat. While police have launched a massive manhunt for

those responsible, so far, they've had no success.

Authorities are appealing for public help and have released this photos of the 17th century jewels, which originally belonged to former Swedish

monarchs Karl IX and Kristina. Police say the thieves smashed a security display case and made off with the two crowns and one of the orbs. No one

was hurt. The cathedral had been open to the public from 10 o'clock in the morning. The robbery happened just before lunch.

[11:55:00] (on camera): According to local press reports, one witness saw two people running away from the cathedral towards awaiting boat prompting

police to search both on land and sea to find the perpetrators.

(voice-over): The dean of the Parish says while the jewels are valuable it's their cultural significance to Sweden history which is more important.

The heist has echoes of daring robbery in Venice earlier this year. When thieves mingled with visitors to an exhibition before brazenly making off

with gems from the Qatari world collection. In that case the jewels were never recovered. Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


KINKADE: Well, there is of course a lot more on this show on social media. You can always follow the stories the team are working on throughout the

day. You can go to our Facebook page that's

Well, I'm Lynda Kinkade. That was CNN's CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks so much for watching. Have a good day.