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CNN NEWSROOM

Pompeo in Singapore Delivers Letter From President Trump; Mid- Term Elections May Change Balance of Power; Mueller's Investigation Likely to Now Include Roger Stone; White House Monitors Mid-Term Election for Further Russian Meddling; ACLU Steps in to Help Immigrant Families Reunite; Trump Admin Suggests ACLU Should Find Deported Parents; Undocumented Immigrants in the U.S. Faces Growing Health Concerns; Table Top Gaming Making a Surprising Comeback; OSU Investigation: What Did Urban Meyer Know?; Manafort's Pricey Wardrobe Under Scrutiny At Trial. Aired 12n-1p ET

Aired August 4, 2018 - 12:00   ET

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


[12:00:00]

(BEGIN VIDE0)

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the spirit of cooperation between Capitol Hill and my administration, we completed this bill in a timely manner.

JOHN HUEY, EDITOR IN CHIEF OF TIME, INC.: In the aftermath, people criticized Paulson for this, that and the other and that's fine, but the truth is, if he hadn't been there and they hadn't intervened, we never would have crawled out of that hole.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: They rescued the financial system. Like it or not, I mean, you can wish all day long that it had all gone down the tubes, but I really don't think we would have enjoyed that one bit.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: "The 2000s" airing tomorrow night on CNN.

Hello, again everyone, and thank you so much for being with me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. In just a few hours, President Trump will head to central Ohio for one of his favorite things, rallying his base. His visit coming just days before a crucial special election. He's throwing his weight behind the Republican candidate as he fights to hold control of the house. Aides say they want to hold more of these rallies as they lift the president's spirits and most importantly keep his mind off the topic that angers him the most, the Russia probe.

So this rally comes at a rather good time after Paul Manafort's fraud trial dominated the headlines this week and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe dives deeper into the Trump web. CNN White House reporter Sara Westwood joining us from New Jersey near the president's golf resort in Bedminster, where he is this weekend and maybe for the next 11 days. So what message are we expecting to hear from the president tonight?

SARA WESTWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, likely more of the same Trump attacks that we've been getting all week. President Trump set to take a break from his working vacation here in New Jersey later today to campaign on behalf of Troy Balderson, a fellow Republican who is locked in a very tight race in that Ohio special election. Now, Trump has been active on twitter this morning, twice tweeting out his support of Balderson and touting the candidate's record on border security and the second amendment.

Trump also took a swipe at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who Republicans sought to use as a foil in this race and dozens of other house races around the country. Now, Trump also went after Pelosi during his rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday and we're likely to hear him launch some of the same attacks tonight in Ohio, where the house minority leader has factored heavily into Balderson's campaign strategy.

The president has held two rallies so far this week and sources tell CNN that White House aides hope to fill the president's schedule with more political events in order to take his mind off the Russia investigation, as Trump is said to be increasingly frustrated with the pace of the Russia probe, as well as coverage of the Manafort trial. So this rally tonight could be a much-needed distraction for President Trump as Republicans struggle to stop Democrats from notching yet another victory in a district like Ohio's 12th that Trump carried easily in 2016, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Sarah Westwood, thank you so much in New Jersey. The president on an 11 day working vacation going back and forth between wherever and his New Jersey resort. Thanks so much Sarah.

And here is what is happening in the bank and tax fraud trial of President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. One of his former accountants, delivering some damaging testimony on Friday. Cindy Laporta told the court that she and others helped Manafort falsify numbers so he could save hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes. Laporta also testified she knew the documents were counterfeit. She was granted immunity from prosecution for her testimony. This is all building to the biggest witness to come. Manafort's former deputy Rick Gates, who has now flipped to testify against his former boss. The trial continues on Monday. So joining me now to discuss, CNN National Security Analyst and retired CIA Chief of Russia Operations Steve Hall; former U.S. attorney Greg Brower; and "Time" magazine contributor Jay Newton-Small. Good to see you all. Jay, you first, you know, one week behind us, why does all this seem to make the president so nervous?

JAY NEWTON-SMALL, "TIME" MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the president certainly is really upset by the Manafort trial; you can see it in his tweets, you can see it in his demeanor and he tweeted last week that he was being treated worse than Al Capone. That he was being put in isolation in prison, that the whole thing was just a hoax and they should go after Hillary instead. So if I were Manafort, I'd be pleased with the president's tweets because he's defending him and it might lead to a pardon down the road. Two, it also has the potential of really affecting the jury pool. You know this is not a sequestered jury. The president of the United

States tweets these things; we all talk about it. We're all talking about the trial. So them trying to avoid the news of the trial might actually be difficult with such permeation in the news, everybody talking about this one particular trial.

WHITFIELD: So while Rick Gates, who is likely to testify this coming week, did cut a deal, you know, one does wonder why wouldn't Paul Manafort have cut a deal or did prosecutors, would they not have offered that? What does this say that he is continuing on this trial which is very uncomfortable, I'm sure, for he and his family.

[12:05:00]

It's embarrassing, but at the same time, it has now exposed him, Greg, by way of his accountant to say he faked the numbers, he cooked the books. He tried to evade and did successfully evade taxes.

GREG BROWER, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Right, it is a documents case as we've seen and those cases can be very compelling; there's not a lot of subjectivity about the numbers and the records. Who knows, it may be as in my experience, most defendants are in denial. Usually it's up until the time trial starts and then you see a plea deal cut. Obviously Manafort decided to go at least start a trial and it continues. I'm not sure exactly what he's thinking but sometimes it takes a guilty plea for the wake-up call to be heard and so we'll see how this turns out.

WHITFIELD: So Steve, reportedly, in the circles of Donald Trump and the White House, his aides are saying he does seem to exhibit that he's very nervous or uncomfortable about this Paul Manafort trial. What's your suspicion as to why?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST AND RETIRED CIA CHIEF OF RUSSIA OPERATIONS: Well, Fred, I mean, i'm always, because of my background, I'm always looking for a Russian angle in all of this. I think we have to remember that Christopher Steele has indicated not just in his dossier but in the comments afterwards to authors and so forth, that really this whole Russia issue is going to boil down to following the money. So it's interesting that Donald Trump, who usually has no problems casting, you know, off to the side past colleagues, people who worked for him, is really upset about the Manafort case. And then of course we have to remember that the - what Paul Manafort is accused of is of course we're now focused on the money but we have to remember his connections back to Russia via Ukraine.

And then of course on the other side of that, we have to remember Paul Manafort was in a senior position in the campaign when the campaign was discussing softening measures against Ukraine in favor of Russia. So it's a complicated tapestry and we're seeing one thread, the financial one being pulled but I think it's a very important one that could lead to some interesting Russian information.

WHITFIELD: And all this happening while the trial is ongoing. Still discussions between the special counsel and the attorneys for the president, will he talk, will he interview, are there going to be agreed upon questions, et cetera. His attorneys have said publicly they don't want President Trump to speak but we know President Trump likes to be the driver of the narrative. Do you think he will defy his attorneys advice and go ahead and be interviewed?

NEWTON-SMALL: I think it depends. There are some cases in which Donald Trump says yes, I'm going to do it and then actually never really does do it like release his taxes, right. Then there's other cases where he says yes I'm going to do, I'm going to do it, and then overrides all common sense, all of his advice and everybody else and actually does do it. The big question is, is he going to do it in this case? We don't know what Donald Trump we're fog to get on that particular day.

Although his staff does say and his attorneys do say that his tweets, in effect, and his public statements amount a lot to his own amount of testimony so far and you can just read his tweets and know his mind and that's certainly something that Mueller is doing by combing through his tweets to see if there's any condemning statements he's made in those tweets.

WHITFIELD: And Greg, he's been warned publically, privately about that for a very long time but the president continues to tweet whether he is saying disparaging things about the process, his own intel community, all of that. How will Bob Mueller use these tweets to his advantage or his case's advantage, even if they never get direct Q&A from the president?

BROWER: Yes, well, the tweets, on one hand, the tweets are just irrelevant to Mueller and his team. It's just background noise and they're not paying attention to it.

WHITEFIELD: Really?

BROWER: In terms of affecting the work they're doing and how they're going about their business. With respect to the tweets...

WHITFIELD: But it could influence direction or could cause more probative questions?

BROWER: It could provide leads and, in fact, it could even amount to evidence at some point depending on the nature of these tweets.

NEWTON-SMALL: Even when he tweets blatantly that Jeff Sessions should fire Bob Mueller.

BROWER: Right, and that's the kind of tweet that could amount to evidence...

WHITFIELD: Whether the word is "must" or "should." It's important.

BROWER: In terms of the tweets as criticism, you know, that's what I mean when I say the Mueller team is not paying attention to that. Sure, they're looking for potential evidence there and so we'll see how that goes. I don't -- if I had to predict, I wouldn't say the president will sit down with the Mueller team. I'm not sure the Mueller team really needs the president to sit down to make whatever case or cases they're trying to make.

WHITFIELD: Meaning they already know the answers likely?

BROWER: I think that's largely true. Just ironically enough...

WHITFIELD: ...just to see whether someone's being truthful?

BROWER: I think that's right. Ironically enough, most subjects or targets of investigations, when they're given an opportunity to sit down with the prosecutors, it's really in their benefit to potentially talk themselves out of an indictment. In the absence of sitting down and convincing the prosecutors an indictment is forthcoming. It's more complicated, of course, with the president because there is the school of thought that says the sitting president cannot be indicted.

[12:10:00]

I'm not sure that there's a good answer here for the president. On one hand, defense lawyers would say don't sit down in the situation. On the other hand, of course, the Mueller team will assume the worst if they don't get cooperation.

WHITFIELD: And then, you know, Steve, all of these investigations are taking rather odd twists and turns because now sources are telling CNN that Kristin Davis, also known as the Manhattan Madam, met Mueller for a voluntary interview this week. Investigators appear to be interested in her close ties with longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. So, Steve, how do you see all of this connecting?

HALL: Well, the Manhattan Madam part admittedly might be a bit out of my expertise, but I think the hard thing that Mueller has to do here and of course he's uniquely qualified, as is his team, is move from all these pieces of information, many of which have significant counterintelligence implications. What are key people doing? Where is money moving? What are the connections back to Russia? What malfeasance is going on? In moving from simply counterintelligence stuff, which is basically common sense suspicions and following patterns to a legal case where you can actually begin convicting people and saying, okay, the laws were broken here. I think common senscially(ph) everybody can look back and say, look, there was a lot of no good stuff going on here but turning that into a legal case is something that's a bit tougher.

NEWTON-SMALL: I do think, you know, for Roger Stone, he must be looking at Paul Manafort right now going, you know, if they're going to build a case against me, if that's why they're interviewing the Manhattan Madam and they're going after me and my finances, do I really want to go through this trial that Paul Manafort is going through...

WHITFIELD: So like an imposing fear?

NEWTON-SMALL: Yes, it's sort of a warning.

WHITFIELD: Cast of characters. NEWTON-SMALL: Do you like, do you want to end up like Paul Manafort or cooperate and end up like Michael Cohen. That's a choice between a lot of these guys who are part of this investigation. I think Roger Stone, things are really closing in on him, and that's soon going to be his choice too.

WHITFIELD: All right, potentially interesting legal strategies here. Thank you so much Jay Newton-Small, Jay Brower, and Steve Hall. I appreciate you all.

All right, still ahead a letter from the President. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hand delivers a message from President Trump to a North Korean official. So what does this pen pal kind of situation say about the relationship between the two leaders? And later, the Trump Administration separated hundreds of children from their parents at the border. So why now are they suggesting, the Trump Administration is suggesting that someone else should be in charge of bringing these kids and their parents back together? We'll have a legal expert weigh in coming up.

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WHITFIELD: All right, we're following new developments today with North Korea. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with his North Korean counterpart at a conference in Singapore. The two spoke briefly and shook hands and later Pompeo passed along a letter from President Trump. Earlier this week, Trump himself received a letter from North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un. Global affairs correspondent, Elise Labbott with me now so what more do we know about the nature of these letters?

ELISE LABBOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFIARS CORRESPONDENT: We don't know anything about them, but I can suspect it's in vogue now. Now that the two leaders meet, they have to exchange letters at every gathering that the U.S. and North Korea are. They're just pretty much generally saying we want to continue, we are committed to our agreement, greetings, but Fred, if you look past the last week, there's been ups and downs with North Korea. Reports that North Korea is continuing to evade sanctions, continuing to develop its nuclear program and there's a lot of rhetoric going back the last couple of days, especially in terms of North Korea meeting the denuclearization, which Pompeo admitted today that North Korea's really setting the pace of this, that they're going to be the ones who dictate when they're going to denuclearize.

WHITFIELD: Well, they initiated the letter, right? I mean North Korea initiated the letter and presumably it doesn't just say hi, how you doing. There must be in this kind of dialogue a tick tock of this is what we're willing to do, this is what we don't want to do, this is what we like in exchange, there has to be that.

LABBOTT: Well no, there doesn't have to be. You would hope that there would be and there should be, but a lot of these letters are just kind of reaffirming the commitments that each one was willing to do. Secretary Pompeo has not been able to nail the North Koreans down either for a time line for denuclearization or for the definition of what it actually means. It means something very different to North Korea than it does to the United States and as soon as Secretary Pompeo left after shaking hands with the North Korean foreign minister and exchanging some pleasantries, as soon as he left that meeting of Asian nations in Singapore, the North Korean Foreign Minister was blasting the United States for not lifting sanctions, for saying that it needs these type of confidence building measures. So although certainly rhetoric has improved since a year ago when it was all fire and fury, there's not a lot of progress in terms of the denuclearization.

WHITFIELD: So last hour you reported the U.N. says that North Korea is evading sanctions but what does this mean? No surprise there, right?

LABBOTT: Well, it's no surprise but the problem is. When the two leaders met and there's this agreement to kind of move forward, countries thought they could relax on the sanctions. So there's an oil ban, a petroleum ban, against North Korea. Now there seems to be transfers of oil, ship to ship transfers so it's not that overt and Russia is responsible, China is responsible. They have pictures of this.

[12:20:00]

Also North Korea is defying an arms embargo trying to ship light arms places, proliferating weapons. And so as the U.S. and North Korea start to move closer together, countries feel that they can relax some of those sanctions and now North Korea could get some of the revenue that the sanctions have been designed to put pressure to get them to give up their nuclear program.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll see what's next. Elise Labbott, thanks so much.

All right, now to Iran where the country's navy is holding military exercises in the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf and the war games come as the Trump Administration is preparing to reinstate sanctions against Iran and President Trump and Iranian leaders have spent the past few weeks exchanging threats on social media. CNN's International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson joining me right now. Nic, no accident that Iran has chosen the Strait of Hormuz to flex its military muscle. This is a major shipping area. What is the message being sent?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It really seems to be the message being sent that if Iran so chooses, it can disrupt the world's oil fields; 20 percent of the world's oil passes through there. It's a major choke point effectively and impacting one oil tanker, never mind shutting down the whole straits, would put a spike, a nasty spike into oil markets and perhaps trigger higher fuel costs for us all.

The reality is we don't know why Iran has put these military exercises into play right now. the timing of course right before -- in position of sanctions on them, because they've -- because President Trump unilaterally pulled out of that international joint program with Iran and Iran's commitment to denuclearize. That really puts economic pressure on Iran. So I think the indicators here are absolutely as you say, they're flexing their muscles at a strategic choke point that could have huge impacts, huge economic impact around the world were they to push ahead with some nefarious activity and perhaps target those. No indication that's going to happen. The Iranians didn't talk about this military exercise publicly. Often they do, often they're held later in the year so at the moment, it's just a lot of questions around it Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, that's at the Straits of Hormuz. All right, I want to turn now to this escalating diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and Turkey. Both of these countries have now frozen the assets of key officials. Is this all over the American pastor being held in Turkey?

ROBERTSON: It seems to be, although there are other issues in the background, you know, the decision to suspend the sales of F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey. That was a decision taken by the Senate recently. They put that off -- that decision off now to wait for a report from the Pentagon in 90 days. So the Turkish are not happy about that. There's Turkish banking officials that are currently going through the courts because the United States accuses them of trying to get around sanctions on Iran, sanctions busting there. There's differences of opinion over Syria.

But it does seem to be the issue, Pastor Andrew Brunson really brought things to a fore. Earlier in the week, the United States deciding to sanction the justice minister and interior minister. We heard from Turkey's foreign minister in the middle of the week, saying they would reciprocate despite the fact that the Turkish foreign minister met with Secretary of State Pompeo in the past 24 hours and the readout from that meeting was positive, constructive that they thought they were making ground on this issue, that it could be resolved in a number of days or weeks. Now we hear from Turkey's president today, reciprocating, as the foreign ministry warned they would, by sanctions on the Turkish assets of the United States justice and interior ministers.

Now, obviously, the United States doesn't have justice and interior ministers and Turkey hasn't yet said who these people are, but it looks like it could be Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It looks like it could be Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. So the impact this would have would be minimal but the signaling, it's not a positive development for getting Pastor Andrew Brunson back to the United States or even out of house detention where he is now.

WHITFIELD: All right, Nic Robertson, thank you. Coming up, hundreds of children and parents still apart after being separated at the border, but whose job should it be to bring them back together? The justice department is pointing the finger at the ACLU. Is that option viable or even legal? We'll find out next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:25:00] WHITFIELD: Welcome back, a federal judge slamming the Trump Administration for suggesting that nonprofit groups should take the lead in reuniting families separated at the border. The Justice Department said the government would help facilitate family communications while it suggests that the ACLU should be the ones to track down parents and determine reunification eligibility, bringing kids and parents back together.

A California judge rejected that request, saying the administration should be held 100 percent responsible. Joining me right now is immigration analyst Raul Reyes. Good to see you Raul.

RAUL REYES, CNN IMMIGRATION ANALYST: Hi.

[12:30:00]

WHITFIELD: So while the court may have issued this ruling, is it the feeling this administration will respect that and then take the lead in trying to reunify children and parents?

REYES: Well, right now, they really do not have any options, but -- so it does look like that the government will continue to, in the search for these children. And remember, most of the children that were separated from the parents, at the point where we are right now, most of those children have been reunited with their families.

The children who are at issue now are about 400, 500 children. And many of their parents have been deported to Central America. The problem is now the government is saying it wants to essentially abdicate responsibility for finding them and reuniting them with their parents.

Now, both legally and practically, this is really just an astonishing position. Because first of all, when the government took these children into its custody, it assumes a duty of care for them. These children have unresolved immigration issues including potential asylum cases. So the government cannot just hand them off to a third party.

Now, the fact is, the ACLU has done tremendous work on behalf of these children and families. But the ACLU is not an arm of the federal government. So for example even if they wanted to, a group like the ACLU cannot go to Central America and command and work with local officials to help them find these families. They don't have that authority. They cannot go to a consulate, for example in Central America and meet with government officials and work with them, you know, and demand that they help them find these parents.

The ACLU --

WHITFIELD: Yes, and the judge's ruling is reminding that it's not the ACLU or any other NGO group that took intake of these kids.

REYES: Exactly.

WHITFIELD: Made any kind of, you know, record or cataloging of parents and children. But presumably based on the judge's ruling, the government would have done that. So is equipped or should be equipped to try to locate parents who have either been deported or simply parents and children who have been separated.

But, the administration has already spoken essentially. Saying it didn't do a good job of cataloging. So now why should anyone think that as a result of the government's actions, these reunifications will take place?

REYES: Well, the reunifications are going to take place for most because they have to. The judge has issued --

WHITFIELD: But if they didn't -- but if people did not do a good job of once they deported, they didn't find out how to, you know, reach that parent whose child is still in detention. Why is anyone convinced, you know, that the government will then do the leg work to find a parent who has been deported and reunify them with a child who may be in Iowa, Maryland, New York and in a facility in Texas?

REYES: Right. And there are about 100 children in the United States where the government doesn't know exactly where they are. The reason is because what came out of this latest hearing with the judge and the parties involved is that the government, number one, has had no plan. They're basically winging it in terms of the reunification.

And number two, there's no one specific point person. So what the judge said to them, the judge gave the government and DHS very specific orders. Number one, that the next status meeting on August 10th, the judge wants to see a specific plan. It wants a process in place.

WHITFIELD: Do you have confidence in that August 10th deadline being met?

REYES: I think the government at this point is doing good faith efforts. But the second thing that the government asks for -- not asks for, ordered the government to do is to put a point person in place. One person to be in charge of leading this effort. Because one of the big problems we're seeing leading up to this is that the agencies involved in reuniting the children thus far, including ICE, the Office of Refugee and Resettlement, DHS, their computers don't even talk to each other. They're working on databases that don't even connect.

So that has hampered the whole process immensely. The good news I think here is that the ACLU has volunteers of their own volition to say they will -- they are willing to work with the government not to assume full responsibility but to help the government to reach out to these families to try to make connections in Central America.

And I want to remind some people of something that's a very important practical consideration. When we talk about the reunification of parents who have already been deported, these are people who left those countries under very desperate circumstances. They left because they were afraid of gang violence or because they were maybe facing death threats. So when they go back, they're most likely in hiding or in a new location or in very remote areas. So that makes the process of finding them even more difficult. And so now it seems that the judge is losing patience. He expressed anger. He was very annoyed that the government has not been more on track with the reunifications. And hopefully we will see going ahead that with the ACLU, the government will make a stronger and more effective effort to find these families.

[12:35:07] WHITFIELD: And I read that there have been so many cases of parents who have been deported who were told one thing only to find out that once they were deported they were not leaving with their child or they were leaving without the information in which to retrieve their child later. So there's such a variety of circumstances that it's made --

REYES: That's one of the other big issues that the ACLU is following up on. Whether the parents who have been removed from the country knowingly waived their rights or did it with full understanding of, you know, the documents that they were signing, you know, the consequences.

WHITFIELD: OK, we'll leave it there for now. Raul Reyes, thank you so much.

REYES: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Undocumented immigrants already living in the United States are facing a growing health crisis. Regardless of disease, condition or disability, undocumented men, women and children essentially cannot be treated until they are on the brink of death.

Our Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has one mother's story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In order to really understand what's going on here, you're going to need to suspend disbelief. Lucia (ph) is dying. Her lungs drowning in fluid. Her electrolytes are fluctuating wildly. And her heart is precariously close to shutting down.

This 51-year-old mother and undocumented immigrant has end stage renal disease. Full-on kidney failure.

DR. LILIA CERVANTES, DENVER HEALTH: The function of the kidneys is to filter blood of excess toxins and excess fluid. When both kidneys stop working, people on average will live anywhere from 10 to 14 days. And so to continue living, you need some process to filter blood, which is a dialysis machine.

GUPTA (voice-over): For most people, that treats the problem. But here's the thing. Lucia is allowed treatment only when she essentially arrives at death's door. The Emergency Medical Treatment Act of 1986 says hospitals in the United States must care for anyone with a medical emergency, regardless of their citizenship or ability to pay. But they're not obligated to prevent that emergency from happening in the first place.

(on camera) What is happening inside the body?

CERVANTES: For these patients, because they only come in once a week instead of the three times per week. Excess fluid, it stays in their body and it goes into their lungs, goes into their legs. Separate from that, the toxins build up. One of the most important toxins being potassium which at high levels can make the heart stop.

GUPTA (voice-over): This is no way to live. About as close to death as you can get. And what's more, research shows that treating patients with emergency dialysis versus standard dialysis is nearly four times more expensive because these patients like Lucia are so much sicker when they come in for treatment.

(on camera) They're literally pushing themselves to the brink of death --

CERVANTES: They are.

GUPTA (on camera): -- to get this treatment. Am I overstating that?

CERVANTES: No, not at all.

GUPTA (voice-over): There is no question it works.

(on camera) Lucia.

(voice-over) Just look at Lucia now. After dialysis removed 10 liters of fluid from her body.

(on camera) How are you feeling?

LUCIA, DIALYSIS PATIENT (through translator): Right now, I feel good.

GUPTA (voice-over): Still, Lucia is always worried. Mostly about her family, especially her son Alex (ph). He watches his mother steadily decline every single week. This is their life.

(on camera) How hard has this been on your family?

LUCIA (through translator): It's been really hard. It's been really hard for my family. The worst is for my son. He worries about me.

GUPTA (voice-over): Because just a few days from now, like clock work, Lucia will once again go to the precipice of death just so that she can live.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA: I'll tell you, it's unclear how long Lucia can carry on like this, week after week, going to this plus precipice of death. A kidney transplant would be something that would not only improve her life, but also cut down on healthcare costs. She is not eligible for that. She is however eligible to donate her other organs whenever she passes. That is the reality of the situation for people like Lucia. WHITFIELD: All right, Sanjay Gupta, thank you so much.

All right, still ahead, tough questions for one of college football's top coaches. What did Urban Meyer know about domestic dispute allegations against one of his coaches? And when did he know it? That's story next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATHLEEN DONAHUE, OWNER, LABYRINTH GAMES AND PUZZLES: One day I was looking among (INAUDIBLE) and I decided that Capitol Hill needed a game store. I'm Kathleen Donahue and I'm the owner of Labyrinth Games and Puzzles in Washington, D.C.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys play a lot of games?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

DONAHUE: It's not only are we a retail store where we sell games and puzzles and stem toys, we also run over 700 adult events a year and multiple kid events including an after-care program for learning through games.

One of my main goals when I started Labyrinth was giving back to the community. We do a lot of community outreach. We have over 500 kids a week in strategic game clubs during the school year. With games, not only do you get the cognitive and the actual skills that you're learning, but you get a lot of skills that kids aren't learning, how to relate to other people, how to read body language, how to talk to other people.

[12:45:10] It's amazing to be able to explore things like that through board games.

I read a whole bunch of books on how to do business in today's era. All of the books told me you had to make people want to come and hang out. I've put all of my effort into making this a place that people want to come and hang out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Urban Meyer, coach of college football powerhouse Ohio State University, is insisting that he followed procedures in reporting domestic violence allegations against his now former assistant Zach Smith. Smith, meanwhile, tells two media outlets that he never hit his ex-wife. Zach Smith has since been fired. Urban Meyer is on paid administrative leave.

CNN Correspondent Kaylee Hartung is following the story for us. So Kaylee, what is Urban Meyer saying about all of this in his best defense?

Well, Fred, Urban Meyer is trying to make it clear he believes he followed the proper reporting protocols and procedures when he was aware of the allegations Courtney Smith was making against her then husband, his assistant coach. So Urban Meyer is a husband. He's a father of two daughters. He's a leader of young men, and he's recognizing how he's been portrayed since the story broke.

And that's as a man who was indifferent to domestic violence. Who allowed this behavior to go on and someone who didn't take appropriate action when he had the chance.

He issued a very strongly worded statement on Twitter yesterday, in which he said here's the truth. "While at the university of Florida and now at the Ohio State University, I have always followed proper reporting protocol and procedures when I learned of an incident involving a student athlete coach or member of our staff by elevating the issues to the proper channels. And I did so regarding the Zach Smith incident in 2015. I take that responsibility very seriously. And any suggestion to the contrary is simply false."

So now I think the question broadens to not just what did Urban Meyer know and when -- but what did the university know, what did the athletic director know and what actions did they take. Fred?

WHITFIELD: And where are we in this Ohio State University investigation and what phase?

HARTUNG: Well, this investigation is focused on what Urban Meyer himself knew and what he did, you know, when (INAUDIBLE) first reported this story, and really up into the college football world, there was no discussion, there was very little room for debate as to whether or not Courtney Smith was a victim of domestic violence. She had pictures. She had text messages to prove what she endured.

But now Zach Smith is speaking out and sharing his version of events. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZACH SMITH, FORMER OHIO STATE ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH: Anything that happened to her body was all just defensive movements to remove myself from the situation. And I said that's it, and it's not going to -- I'm not going to get charged because I didn't do anything wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARTUNG: That denial goes against the mountain of evidence against him. But, again, it raises the questions of who knew what when. He's saying that police notified the university of the allegations against him. And now the university saying they have a six-member team leading this investigation who will then operate independently and report back to the school's board of trustees to decide what needs to happen next.

And Fred, I think it's a question not just of Urban Meyers' fate but the standing of this university on the whole.

WHITFIELD: All right, Kaylee Hartung, thank you so much.

And we'll be right back.

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[12:58:19] WHITFIELD: All right, years from now when people think back on the Paul Manafort trial, it may just be that the jacket is what people remember. The exotic piece of evidence, an ostrich skin jacket that like Jeanne Moss reports, may be attracting just as many fashion police as anything on the red carpet.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The price of an ostrich jacket really doesn't bite until you see it on the invoice, 15,000 bucks. And you're probably imagining this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I would imagine like there's feathers on it somewhere.

MOOS (voice-over): Read one tweet, Manafort's $15,000 ostrich jacket probably looked like "a" but I'm going to imagine "b" anyway.

Even Kimmel fell for the feathers.

JIMMY KIMMEL, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE HOST: That should be what he has to wear in jail. Just sitting in his cell, dressed up like big bird waiting for the trial (INAUDIBLE).

MOOS (voice-over): But the jacket is actually leather not feather. You know it's ostrich from the bumps that were follicles where the feathers used to be. Manafort also bought an ostrich vest for $9,500. Something even Mr. Barns on the "Simpsons" didn't own.

Ostriches get no respect. And neither does an ostrich jacket. It is something you need in order to work for Trump that allows you to stick your head in the sand. But the leather is considered luxury. It ends up at $35,000 Birkin bags by Hermes.

MOOS (on camera): You know who else owns the ostrich as a status symbol? J. Lo in her latest music video about money. But ostrich wasn't even Manafort's most expensive exotic skin. That would be his $18,500 python jacket.

[12:55:03] (voice-over) Then there was the (INAUDIBLE) plaid, so similar to one worn by Trump ex-lawyer Michael Cohen that someone tweeted, did Manafort loan Cohen his jacket?

Still, it's the ostrich jacket that has everyone craning their necks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right, he had a coat made from an ostrich which explains the state's first witness.

MOOS (voice-over): We haven't seen Manafort in it. Yet someone noted this looks better wearing it. In the eyes of the ostrich, Manafort is already guilty.

Jeanne Moos, CNN -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does that make him guilty?

MOOS (voice-over): -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right, still ahead, President Trump preparing for a rally pushing hard for a Republican win in the Ohio special election. What will his message be as the Russia investigation swirls around Washington? We're back right after this.

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