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Tune change in 2016 Trump Tower meeting; NRA and GOP infiltrated by Russian woman alleged as spy; Cause of Carr Fire known; Train derailment in Pittsburgh; Update on Hurricane Hector in Hawaii; Reward for information on missing Iowa student; Trump insults Lebron James, Don Lemon and Maxine Waters on Twitter. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired August 5, 2018 - 17:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You are in the "CNN Newsroom." Hello on this Sunday, I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

And the script has changed once yet again. Today, President Trump making the most definitive acknowledgement yet that his son Donald Trump, Jr. did meet with the Russians back in 2016 specifically to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. Now here's the president's statement. "This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all in the time in politics and it went nowhere. I did not know about it."

But the problem with the president's new tweet is the exact opposite of a statement his son released last summer's statement we now know was dictated by the president himself. That statement read, "We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children." President Trump's attorneys now admit the president actually dictated that misleading statement. But they originally said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY SEKULOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: I do want to be clear that the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. It came from Donald Trump, Jr. So that's what I can tell you because that's what we know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: So why the changing stories? Why say the president had nothing to do with his son's statement before admitting that he did. Here's what the president's lawyer Jay Sekulow said about that today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEKULOW: I had bad information at that point. I made a mistake in my statement. I've talked about that before. That happens when you have cases like this. I think it's very important to point out, that in a situation like this, you have over time facts develop. That's what investigations do.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez is in Berkeley

Heights, New Jersey where the president is spending his summer break. And Boris, why are the president and his legal team bringing this meeting up this weekend?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well Ana, it's because that meeting in Trump Tower in June of 2016 is a major focus of the Russia investigation and it could present major legal issues for the president's son and his son-in-law, Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner.

CNN has learned this weekend that the president is concerned about the potential legal issues that the two may face as a result of that meeting, and sources have told CNN, that concern is part of the reason the president has had these agitated aggressive attacks against the special counsel Robert Mueller recently.

We should point out the president in part of that tweet that you mentioned, dismissed these reports, but he essentially made clear that the nature of that meeting in Trump Tower was not what the administration initially signaled back when we heard from Donald Trump, Jr. suggesting that it was about adoptions.

Look, we have heard President Trump go from saying that to the best of his knowledge, no one on his campaign, no one that he knew had anything to do with Russia, to today hearing from him and his legal team, suggesting that that meeting was not illegal, not improper and that collusion is not a crime. Here's more from Jay Sekulow, one of the president's attorneys.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: He says the meeting totally legal, done all the time in politics, but according to the e-mail that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has, this was a meeting to get information from the crown (ph) prosecutor of Russia on Hillary Clinton's campaign. How would that be legal?

SEKULOW: Well the question is how would it be illegal? I mean the real question here is would a meeting of that nature constitute a violation -- the meeting itself constitute a violation of the law?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Now Ana, we learned last week, that Robert Mueller is really focusing on trying to secure an interview with one of the key figures involved in that 2016 meeting, Emin Agalarov. He's that Russian pop star that helped facilitate that meeting.

Of course, his father is Russian oligarch with deep ties to Vladimir Putin. So this investigation is moving forward full steam ahead despite calls from the president and his legal team for Robert Mueller to -- in Rudy Giuliani's words, put up or shut up, Ana.

CABRERA: Boris Sanchez, thank you. So what if any impact could the president's ever changing story have on the Russia investigation -- with us to discuss that, CNN legal analyst and defense attorney Mark Geragos. So Mark, again, you're a defense attorney, when asked why he originally said Trump didn't dictate that statement, Jay Sekulow said, quote, "I had bad information in that statement." Translate that for us.

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That means I screwed up and that's one of the reasons that we have got other lawyers actually doing the heavy lifting here. This is -- at a certain point, you don't want the lawyer to do what's called an adoptive admission, which is you impute what the lawyer says to the client, in this case, the president.

And I think the less talking they do as lawyers and the more they leave this to the spokes people is probably, they're probably better off. This does not help the situation, but Jay does have a certain point.

[17:05:01] They have got to link this to some kind of a statute or some kind of a violation of law in order to make it meaningful. Just because there was a meeting, just because they want opposition research, that all of that is true, that you can do that.

The problem is when you say that you didn't know that Russia had something to do with it or that you didn't know but Russia had the hacked the e-mails and then you go out there and the president makes a statement very close in time. That presents a problem.

CABRERA: I mean, when he questions whether there was anything actually illegal about the Trump campaign meeting with the Russians for dirt on Hillary Clinton, I mean, you bringing up like maybe there wasn't anything illegal about that, but it doesn't necessarily explain why they keep changing their story if they were so certain there was nothing wrong, nothing to hide?

GERAGOS: Well, I think what you've seen during this entire investigation, one of the reasons that you get this kind of morphology or evolution of stories is because they understand or the lawyers understand that what is happening here is that you can stake out a position from a public relations standpoint, but at a certain point, there's evidence that's going to corroborate the prosecution's story.

And so when faced with that, because there is -- you do a parallel investigation yourself when you're on the defense side, and as you come across the facts, whether it's e-mails, whether it's what people have testified to under oath, remember there's all kinds of joint defense agreements here so, they know what other people are saying when they go in either to a grand jury or go when they go into a house committee meeting, or they're getting feedback from the house itself.

They understand what the facts are or what the record is and what people are testifying to under oath. And that's very hard and difficult to deal with. And so, especially when you have staked out a position that may have looked good at the time but now is completely contradicted by the facts.

CABRERA: Sources close to the White House said the president has been in this public frenzy lately over the Russia investigation because he's worried about what Mueller may have on his son, Donald Trump, Jr., should he be worried?

GERAGOS: Yes, he should, because it's been my observation, from outside -- I don't have any inside information, but my observation as somebody who has done this for quite a while is that they clearly are honed in on this meeting. That clearly, the two people who are in the most jeopardy or would seem to be in the most jeopardy are Jared Kushner and Don, Jr.

And I always, you know, from a personal standpoint, see a direct correlation between his witch hunt tweets and his tweets about the NFL national anthem, whenever he feels like they're closing in on his family. So I mean, there's a direct correlation.

CABRERA: All right, Mark Geragos, as always, we appreciate your expertise so thank you for weighing in on this issue.

GERAGOS: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: The president now acknowledging the reason for his son's 2016 meeting with Russians at the Trump Tower and the purpose to get political dirt on Hillary Clinton. How are Democrats in Congress reacting? Joining me now, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. She's a member of the House Judiciary Committee and a Democrat from Washington.

Thank you congresswoman for being with us. Your take on the president's attorney's tweet or his statements there admitting that he gave a completely false statement to the American people on the president's behalf because he had bad information.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D), WASHINGTON: Well, Ana, I think that everybody in this country has to be seriously, seriously concerned about what this president and his staff and his attorneys have said all these tremendously contradictory statement about the Trump Tower meeting. You know, the president started and his staff started by saying oh no, there was no meeting. Then it was, there was a meeting, but it was with low level advisors.

Then it was, well, it was with high level advisors, but it was actually about adoptions. Then it wasn't really about adoptions, but Trump didn't know about it. Now, is that Trump didn't know about it or maybe he did and it's not a crime. And there are all kinds of problems with a president and an administration that refuses to tell the truth and I think that's what's coming out in these contradictory statements.

Jay Sekulow can say whatever he wants, but this is, you know, he is the attorney for the president.

CABRERA: Right.

JAYAPAL: We have to be able to rely on the attorney for the president and the president's staff, the president's spokesperson when they say things and certainly you would think we would be able to rely on the president. That is just not the case. He has misled the public. And that comes in the context, Ana, of his continued attempts to undermine the Mueller investigation.

Not only the Mueller investigation to, just recently he put out a tweet saying he thinks Jeff Sessions should end this entire investigation. He has under mined the intelligence agencies, 19 intelligence agencies that said that Russia interfered with our election. So, all of this is in that context.

And if you look at the fact that he is now -- it's not clear whether he's going to sit down with Robert Mueller or not.

[17:10:05] CABRERA: Right.

JAYAPAL: You have to ask, what is he afraid of? And if he refuses to sit down with Robert Mueller, and he does get subpoenaed, then obviously this case goes all the way to the Supreme Court. This is, you know, this is a very, very serious challenge to our democracy, frankly, and to the truthfulness of this administration.

CABRERA: Let me ask you though about the fact that in this case, Jay Sekulow corrected the record. I mean, might that give you some hope they're being truthful with the special counsel team?

JAYAPAL: Well, the problem is they're only correcting the record because something else has been said that has contradicted what he said to start with. So, it doesn't really help if someone lies or misleads, and then the truth comes out and they're put in a position where the only thing they can say is well, I didn't know. I thought that was true. I made a mistake.

That also poses challenges for the president himself for his legal counsel to essentially be admitting to whatever it is he's admitting to. So on every level, it doesn't help at all and, you know, I'm not sure that Jay Sekulow had another option other than to say that, but he looks absolutely uncredible as does the president, as does Sarah Sanders, all the people.

Donald Trump, Jr. I think is in big trouble. You know, Donald Trump, Jr. testified under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee a lot of things about this meeting that are now coming out to be untrue and I do think that Mark -- your previous speaker, when he said that he sees a correlation between the president's tweets about the NFL and what is happening around the Mueller investigation closing in and Donald Trump, Jr.

You know, that is true. I mean the other area that he does that with is immigration. I mean, the minute something starts to get hot for the president, he turns his ire to immigrants and tries to use other divisive wedge issues to divert the American public's view and perspective on the actual crisis that is emerging.

CABRERA: Or maybe he knows that that's good politically for him because his base likes the issue of immigration, what he's doing on that as far as the policy itself. Now, the Trump administration, before I move on to immigration, I do want to ask you about this new defense we're hearing in at least this phrase we're hearing from both Rudy Giuliani, the president himself, and that is collusion is not a crime. I mean, technically they're right, that you can't be charged with a "collusion" crime. So, do you think that's a strong defense?

JAYAPAL: No, and you know, again, this is -- you know, they are trying to mislead because that may be technically correct, but what they're not saying is that foreign, you know -- essentially if Donald Trump, Jr. met with the Russians in order to get opposition research from the Russians on Hillary Clinton. Then that is a foreign government providing information. That is a crime.

There are all sorts of crimes tied with what they are saying is happening and so, I don't think that helps them at all. I mean, it may pull the wool over people's eyes just for a little bit until this really comes out that there are lots of crimes tied into this meeting and what is now being uncovered about what happened in that meeting. So, they can continue to say that.

Honestly they keep saying things that they then have to go back and change later. The president's tweets, which I can't imagine any attorney that is actually has any influence over the president, would have told him that was a good idea to tweet that, but we know this president doesn't listen to advisers or attorneys. And so, in the end that maybe --

CABRERA: Well, according to Rudy Giuliani, the president is taking the lead and has control over the public relations part of all of this and attacking Mueller. But let me move on to immigration because I just have a little bit more time with you and I want to ask you about this. There are close to 500 parents who were separated from their children, who still have not been even located.

A federal judge slammed the Trump administration for trying to make the ACLU now responsible for completing these reunification. Let me read you a quote from the judge. He says, "the reality is that for every parent who is not located, there will be a permanent orphaned child. That is 100 percent the responsibility of the administration." Congresswoman, what kind of a wakeup call has this situation been for the administration and their zero tolerance policy? Has it moved the needle at all?

JAYAPAL: It really has not moved the needle. The reality is the administration has missed every court ordered deadline. The judge is absolutely right that there are almost actually 600 children who have not been reunited and it's outrageous, preposterous, I can't even find the words for how enraged it makes me that now the administration is trying to say, well, it's the ACLU's fault and they should -- or responsibility. They didn't say fault, but responsibility for actually reuniting them.

[17:15:01] This administration instituted the zero tolerance policy. Zero humanity policy, and as a result, there are hundreds and hundreds of children who may be orphaned, whose children -- whose parents have been deported to other countries. And this administration has done absolutely nothing to respond to the urgency of the situation.

And on top of that Ana, you know I was the first member of Congress to actually go and meet with some of these parents in a federal prison just south of Seattle. So this has haunted me for almost two months now. Their stories and what happened to them. Now, we are all being hunted by the stories of the children who are coming out of these prisons and detention centers and the stories we are hearing about that.

Stories of being told that they were abandoned by their parents, by their mothers. I heard that directly from a child. Hearing about children who have been sexually abused in these facilities, and in one case, a 6-year-old child who was asked to sign a piece of paper saying that it was her responsibility to stay away from her sexual assaulter in that facility.

Stories of children who are being asked to clean toilets, kicked, abused. I mean, this is child abuse. It is kidnapping of these children and frankly, it's a state-sponsored violence. I have said before and I'll say again right here, that these families and these children deserve to be paroled in. They should be able to have victim visas because frankly, they are victims of the state-sponsored violence.

CABRERA: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

JAYAPAL: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: Still more questions than answers about what the president knew and when he knew it regarding that meeting at Trump Tower with Russians. Next, the question surrounding that alleged Russian spy who infiltrated the NRA, even getting invited to family holidays with some prominent conservatives, that story is next.

[17:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BRAK)

CABRERA: New information this weekend about the young Russian woman, now in jail and charged with using sex and charm and her connections to spy on the Republican Party and the NRA. Maria Butina rubbed shoulders with plenty of Washington movers and shakers, high profile Republican lawmakers, governors, leaders at the NRA.

Her lawyers and Russian officials insist Buttina is nothing more than a gun rights advocate, a networker who came to the U.S. for college. Prosecutors call her a spy who twice managed to get into the same room as Donald Trump. Some details now from CNN's Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIA BUTINA, SUSPECTED RUSSIAN SPY: I am visiting from Russia. My question will be about foreign politics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's how close this accused Russian spy got to then candidate Donald Trump in July 2015 at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas. Her name is Maria Butina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin, OK?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE (voice-over): That same woman now charged with conspiracy and acting as an agent of the Russian government. The 29-year-old graduate student from American University is accused of using sex and deception to cozy up to high level politicians and stir them toward Moscow's objectives. Butina once posed with a pistol wearing stilettos and leather for this risque Russian "GQ" magazine shoot.

And in 2015 at the NRA convention, she managed to meet Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker. And that's Butina at the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast, once again in the same room as Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: This gathering is a testament to the power of faith.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE (voice-over): Butina has pleaded not guilty and her lawyer insists she's no spy, just someone looking to create a better relationship between the two nations. But prosecutors tell a very different story. They say Butina came to this country in 2014, if not earlier, and once offered sex in exchange for a position with a special interest organization. She was issued a student visa in August of 2016.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: CNN national security correspondent Matthew Rosenberg is with us now. He is also a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter. SO a long piece about Maria Butina on the front page of today's "New York Times."

So Matthew, I'm so glad to talk to you. This young woman, just 29 years-old, she was meeting, taking photos with people like Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker -- she even had Thanksgiving dinner as you point out at the home of Congressman Mark Sanford last year. How was she able to get inside this Republican political circle?

MATTHEW ROSENBERG, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: I think we have to understand that she had two Americans she was very close with. One was her boyfriend, who is a 50-something Republican operative from South Dakota who had been long kind of featured, like he sort of (inaudible) he served on the board of the American Conservative Union and he had been around. He opened a lot of doors for her.

She also become very close to the gentleman named Georg O'Neill who is a Rockefeller heir and he's kind of isolation is kind of want to pull America out of its wars and thinks we should have better ties with Russia. What was she actually doing? It's really hard to say. You know, if she was some kind of Russian agent, she wasn't very good under cover.

I mean, her Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, she's checking in from Russia house, you know, not exactly a subtle place. She had cellphone case with Vladimir Putin riding horses -- shirtless on a horse. And so, it's a very confusing case.

And the evidence the government has presented so far, is if not -- I don't want to say unconvincing, but it's not, -- it doesn't quite say oh, yeah, obviously she's working for the Russian government. Her lawyer says, you know, she was never paid by any Russian government official. She never took any money from Russian government officials.

CABRERA: But, I mean, as you point out, her cellphone has this picture of a shirtless Vladimir Putin. CNN has reported (ph) that her classmate said she would brag about her contacts with the Russian government.

[17:25:01] So yes, she was open about her Russian connections. But I also know you got a hold of some of e-mails, do they give a hint as to what her intentions were?

ROSENBERG: You know, they don't. What they really give a hint on are these two older men who are really helping her and her relations with them and how far beyond the NRA, she was really able to rub shoulders with kind of the elite of the American, kind of conservative right, you know, from Mark Sanford as you pointed out.

To many others, you know, to the point where she has pictures -- a picture of her with Don, Jr., Donald Trump, Jr. in 2016 in Louisville at an NRA dinner. You know, she was the -- and this Russian senator she worked closely with, a guy named Alexander Torshin. He was trying to broker a meeting between Trump and Putin. And that's how that kind of came by.

The campaign said no to that. That was back in, I think May of 2016 -- because you really do get the scent of somebody who networked really well and kind of worked her way quickly, worked her way up to the very top of the Republican Party.

CABRERA: Just how close was she then to the Trump campaign because I know she had some interactions with J.D. Gordon who was a Trump aide as part of his national security team.

ROSENBERG: She went to a Stix concert with him in a few weeks before the election. You know, it's not clear that they were particularly close with the Trump campaign. Her boyfriend, Paul Erickson is his name, he kind of informally helped advised on people who could fit into the government -- into a Trump presidency, but when the transition began, he wasn't part of it. So there are people around the edges, but they weren't really at the center of it.

CABRERA: It does all beg the question of why? Why was she wanting to get so close to all of these people. Matthew Rosenberg, your piece is really interesting. Full of tons of color and just so descriptive and really sheds some light as to who she is and people can judge themselves about what she was here. Thank you again for joining us. ROSENBERG: Thank you.

CABRERA: The Carr Fire in California has burned over 150,000 acres. It has left seven people dead. We'll tell you the surprising cause to one of the most destructive fires in that state's history.

[17:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: All light rail service is shut down in downtown Pittsburgh this afternoon after a freight train derailed. Take a look at these images, no one was hurt, but the scene is rather scary. Some of the reail cars were only being held up by power lines, others crashed unto the passenger train tracks below. It's still unclear exactly what caused the derailment, but authority officials say people should expect a very long rush hour tomorrow morning.

A new threat now heading toward Hawaii. Hurricane Hector is churning toward the big island right now where residents are already dealing with three months of volcanic eruptions. At last check, Hector is a Category 4 and tracking just south of the big island where it is expected by Wednesday.

Weather experts say it is still too soon if the hurricane is on a direct collision course with this area already ravaged by the Kilauea volcano where hundreds of people have been displaced in the last two months. Emergency Management officials are warning residents to prepare their homes this weekend for possible impacts.

And now to northern California where right now fire fighters are battling 17 major wildfires. Some 450,000 acres of land have been consumed over the past couple of weeks. Cal Fire officials now know what sparked the Carr Fire in Redding, California. Spark apparently flew from a flat tire causing this blaze that has claimed seven lives. Take a look at this animation that tracked the Carr Fire spread from July 23rd to now.

Nearly 155,000 acres have been scorched by this fire alone and it is only 41 percent contained. Officials say the Carr Fire is now the sixth most destructive wildfire in California history. And as firefighters race to contain multiple wildfires there right now, CNN Dan Simon returned to Santa Rosa where entire neighborhoods were wiped out by last year's Tubbs Fire. He found residents there are still working to rebuild their life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Tubbs Fire last October left an endless trail of destruction. The worst wildfire in California history, it destroyed more than 3,000 homes, almost half of them in one neighborhood, Coffey Park.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN WIMMER, WILDFIRE VICTIM: I mean, it's like, wow. Just --

JODY WIMMER, WILDFIRE VICTIM: Devastating. J. WIMMER: You can't put words to it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON (voice-over): We met John Wimmer and his wife Jody last fall as they walked through the charred debris of the house they lived in for 30 years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON: What has been the most overwhelming aspect to all of this?

J. WIMMER: Everything is gone. Everything is gone. It's unbelievable that a fire could destroy a whole subdivision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON (on-camera): But now, 10 months later, Coffey Park is on the rebound. The ashes and twisted metal have been removed and one by one the houses are being rebuilt.

(voice-over): Hundreds of homes are currently under construction, with hundreds more slated to begin over the next few months. No one really knows how long it will take for the community to fully recover, but the quiet scenes of wreckage have been replaced with power tools and heavy equipment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

J. WIMMER: I kind of prefer this to the dead silence, it was just eerie. It was like surreal. Well, this was the dining room.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON (voice-over): We met John at the same spot where soon construction workers will break ground at his new house. The story of Coffey Park's resurgence perhaps could be an inspirational one to the community of Redding, California, now grappling with another historic wildfire. More than a thousand homes there destroyed.

For the people who are feeling hopeless right now, what do you tell them?

[17:35:04] J. WIMMER: Reach out to your neighbors, friends, family, comfort each other, reassure each other.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON (voice-over): What really helped, he says, is his neighbors formed a support group called Coffey Strong, meeting regularly to discuss all aspects of rebuilding their lives and their homes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

J. WIMMER: We set aside some time to mourn, top be sad, you know, if it make you want to cry, go ahead and cry, but group together with your friends and neighbors, and you might be able to pull some strings from them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON (voice-over): Simple, yet meaningful advice from someone who has been there. Dan Simon, CNN, Redding, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: The spirit still strong with those people. The reward for information about a missing University of Iowa student is growing -- $260,000. Up next, we'll talk to her family and bring you an update on the search.

[17:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: The reward for information about missing student, Mollie Tibbetts, is now at $260,000. Tibbetts disappeared just over two weeks ago after she went for a jog in the small town of Brooklyn, Iowa. CNN's Christi Paul spoke to Mollie's friends and family who have no doubt she is still alive.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kind, smart, feisty, a fighter, an exceptional writer, there are all words used to describe Mollie Tibbetts. Sadly, we can now add the word missing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARY JO CULLOM, MOLLIE TIBBETS' NEIGHBORE: It's just a small town -- small town in Iowa and this doesn't happen here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL (voice-over): Here is Brooklyn, Iowa, a small sleepy town enveloped by rows of corn field and stocked with people who all know each other and had become a foundation of a family.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a missing person, my sister, actually is trying to spread the word as much as we can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL (voice-over): Just trying to hold it together as they fight to bring Mollie home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROB TIBBETTS, MOLLIE'S FATHER: When we're together, it's absolutely fine. It's when -- it's when you're alone and you talk to Mollie by yourself.

PAUL: Laura talked about how she can feel Mollie's presence. She feels her maybe sitting on her shoulder. Do you have that same sense?

TIBBETTS: We all do. When you're alone, you talk to Mollie and then you know why we're fighting. She's out there, we just feel it.

PAUL: Do you ever feel like you hear back from her?

TIBBETTS: Yeah, I did this morning but I don't want to talk about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL (voice-over): On July 18th, Mollie was dropped off at a boyfriend's house to dogsit while he was out of town. And then was later seen jogging. No one has seen her since, but neighbors Dave and Mary Jo Cullom say they used to see her all the time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. CULLOM: She would come down the road and if I was over there working, you know, on my flowers, I would, you know, she'd just wave and say hi and off she go because that's the house right down there.

DAVE CULLOM, MOLLIE'S NEIGHBOR: That's where her boyfriend lives.

M. CULLOM: That's where her boyfriend lives, yes.

D. CULLOM: Right down there, that white house.

It's just like this girl walking by right now.

M. CULLOM: Just like this girl right now. Now, I pay attention to what they have on, you know, she's got a headband, she's talking on her phone. She's got --

D. CULLOM: Color of her shoes, color of her top and shorts.

M. CULLOM: Because --

D. CULLOM: Before we never would pay any attention. You know, we'd just glance and wave.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL (voice-over): They were some of the first volunteers who searched for Mollie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

D. CULLOM: We went to corn fields and walked corn fields searching and we didn't turn up anything.

M. CULLOM: We wanted to find her so bad, but then we were afraid to find her. I mean, you know.

D. CULLOM: Well, if we found her, we were praying that she was just tied up. We wasn't thinking of the worst.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL (voice-over): Her boyfriend, Dalton, has a hard time being in his house now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DALTON JACK, MOLLIE'S BOYFRIEND: I don't go to my room anymore because that was, you know, our shared space. I don't do that, I have been sleeping on the couch since she went missing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL (voice-over): And he's had to deal with the scrutiny of people wondering if he had something to do with it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACK: I've been cleared by so many people and to be totally honest with you, I don't care what they think so long as, you know, if they quit thinking that, you know, the guy that did it is standing right here, just keep your eyes peeled for anything at all that you see, any suspicious activity because if you're not helping, you're hurting at this point.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL (voice-over): Who is hurting? This entire community especially Mollie's mom and dad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA CALDERWOOD, MOLLIE'S MOTHER: Everyday I feel Mollie's presence with me. You know, sometimes I just feel her sitting on my shoulder.

TIBBETS: Just hang in there probably (ph). Just hang in there. We're fighting like hell. We've got a great law enforcement team, the community is all behind you. Media is helping. The whole country is in love with you, pie! We'll find you.

PAUL: Where does pie come from?

TIBBETTS: We call her pie. I have called her pie since she was a baby.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: And Mollie's dad says it is not too late to do the right thing here. If you have information about Mollie, please call the local sheriff, 641-623-5679. Ana, back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Christi Paul, thank you. May the good forces be with Mollie.

Attacks on prominent black politicians, sports stars, journalists, but is the president's problems only skin deep? We'll discuss, next.

[17:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CABRERA: In a space of a few hours this weekend, President Trump dragged the names of three prominent African-Americans through the mud, either outright or essentially calling them dumb. NBA superstar Lebron James after a replay of his CNN interview Friday night, the president insulted him and my fellow CNN anchor, Don Lemon.

I'm not even going to repeat what he said about Don. It's childish. It's not true. And then at a campaign rally in Ohio, he went after one of the regular targets of his, again, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, saying she has low I.Q. Now, it's the president's go to insult for this California Democrat.

CNN political commentator Ana Navarro is with us now, and Ana, I want to read what you tweeted after all of these ugly language from the president. These are your words, "Trump called Don Lemon, Lebron James and Maxine Waters dumb. One is from the south, one is from Cleveland, one is from L.A., one is in the NBA, one's on T.V., one is in Congress. I wonder what they could possibly have in common. Oh wait." Then you have added this brown hand. So you clearly felt this was the Trump dog whistle on race. Explain.

[17:50:10] ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, if you don't see this as racist, I would ask you to please go get your vision checked. And it's also -- remember, we're not talking this, you know, in a vacuum. And it's, remember, we're not taking this, you know, in a vacuum because not the one instance when Donald Trump has said something that is a dog whistle, a racist dog whistle.

Let's not forget the shithole comment about countries with predominantly black populations. Let's not forget him telling, you know, black athletes, telling football players, you know, get that son of a bitch off the field. And now he goes after Lebron James, but it's not only that he went after Lebron James and Don Lemon.

He went after Lebron James and Don Lemon because of an interview about a STEM school that Lebron James has founded in a community in need, an at-risk community in his hometown of Cleveland. Neither Lebron James nor Don Lemon started life with a million bucks from their daddy. Neither Don Lemon nor Lebron James started life because their daddy got them out of the draft.

These are guys that came out of poverty, that did it on their own, that worked hard as hell, that are smart, that don't lie to the American people on a daily basis and that are finding ways of making America great today and do things to contribute to the community they are a part of. I have seen Don Lemon, who is a friend of mine, do so much charity work, so much for philanthropy. Lebron James is another one. You know, why is it --

CABRERA: No doubt they are big people. They are successful people, Ana.

NAVARRO: So when he goes there, but why is it that when he goes back to -- what?

CABRERA: I mean, you bring up so many good points about the character of Don, of Lebron James, who I admire. I don't know him personally. But, you know, Trump supporters I've seen on twitter arguing that this isn't about race. He's an equal opportunity attacker. He doesn't just attack people of color. He called Steve Bannon Sloppy Steve, he attacks his attorney general. Do you think this is different?

NAVARRO: Yeah, I do. You know, it seems to me that when it comes to African-Americans, when it comes to black people, he seems to go to the low I.Q., dumbest person in the world attack quite often. It is his go-to when it comes to African-Americans, that they are dumb. Well, that is certainly not the case. Don Lemon and Lebron James have got far better vocabulary and grammar skills than Donald Trump does.

And you know, look, forget whether they are -- what they are, and everything they've done. Donald Trump is the president of the United States and he's going on twitter, this platform with 50-some million people that follow him, to attack a man like Lebron James and Don Lemon who are examples of what makes America great, who are examples of Americans that give back, who are examples of Americans that persevere, who embody American values and the American dream.

How dare he? How dare he? And then you think about it and you realize, look, there's only one thing that Donald Trump cares about, and that is his base. Pandering to his base, energizing his base.

CABRERA: So let me ask you this because you are a long-time Republican, but one that has broken with Trump. So, I know you're not surprised to see these comments by this president, but are you surprised by how many in your party, I mean, 87 percent still support this president and have stood behind this president despite his divisive approach to race?

NAVARRO: I am surprised. And frankly, less about the divisive approach to race and more about the fact that they look the other way when it comes out that he's having an affair with a playboy bunny and a stripper at the same time just after his wife gave birth. And they look the other way. So certainly if they look the other way about something that is such a pillar for the Republican Party, the idea of family values and religious beliefs, it's not surprising that they would look the other way on something like race division.

I have been heartbroken time and time and time again at just the kind of things that the Republican Party base will look the other way about, will pretend did not happen, will say it's not what we are seeing, do not believe your lying eyes. Whether it's Charlottesville, whether its tweets like this, whether it's his personal values, whether it's his slobbering over Russia, whether it's his calling the European Union foes, whether it's his attacks on the free press.

And yes, the Republican base, it seems to me there is no bar. There is no bar high enough. There is nothing that he can do that at this point will turn off that base. I think they are emotionally invested in him. They see him as, you know, their ugly baby but it's their baby so nobody better tell them he's an ugly baby.

[17:55:07] They, you know, they see it as a tribal fight. It's, you know, us versus them. And this is our own course (ph) and we're going to ride it.

CABRERA: So are you going to vote Democrat in the upcoming midterms?

NAVARRO: Will it be a cause? I think so. I think in -- certainly in some districts, and I think it's going to be a cause. Look, here in Florida where I am, it seems to be practically every race, whether Republican or Democrat, hinges on Donald Trump right now. And the Republican primary is about who is more Trump-like, who is more liked by Trump.

In the Democratic primary, it is about who will confront Trump the most. And I'm talking even for things like governor, you know, there's dead fish washing up on the shores of Florida by the thousand and --

CABRERA: And we're going to actually --

NAVARRO: -- there's a contest about who is closest to Trump.

CABRERA: Ana Navarro, thank you so much. I always appreciate your voice on the show.

NAVARRO: Thank you. Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: I really appreciate you joining me.

For more than two years, after the now infamous Trump Tower meeting, we're getting new revelations from the president himself about why it took place. Coming up, we'll talk about this new development and what the White House is saying about it.

[18:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)