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President Trump Is Lashing Out At His Former Aide, Omarosa Manigault-Newman, After She Released A Secret Recording Of Her Conversation With Him About Her Firing. Aired: 6-7p ET
Aired August 13, 2018 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:00:10] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: Happening now Omarosa's revenge. The fired Presidential aide releases a secret recording of her former boss, and Mr. Trump hits back calling her a whacky lowlife. Tonight even the President is acknowledging that this ugly grudge match is not Presidential.
Better than expected we are learning more about the Kremlin's take on the Trump-Putin summit and why Russian officials were especially pleased with the U.S. President's performance there. New reaction this hour to our exclusive reporting.
Lying for loans. After more testimony accusing Paul Mueller of borrowing millions of dollars under false pretenses Robert Mueller's team has rested its case against the former Trump campaign chairman. Tonight there is some mystery about what happens next.
And family feud. The son of a top Republican lawmaker publicly slams his father, accusing him of ruining the career of the FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts. We are following all the new fall out, now the bureau veteran Peter Strzok has been fired.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Jim Sciutto, and you are in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
SCIUTTO: And breaking tonight, President Trump is gloating about the firing of the FBI agent who disparaged him in text messages, using it to unleash another rant against the Russia investigation. But Peter Strzok's lawyer is warning that his client's ouster flies in the face of bureau protocol and should be deeply troubling to all Americans.
As Mr. Trump slams a veteran law enforcement official he's also trying to vilify would Russians show how the Russians turned on him. Omarosa Manigault Newman has now released a secret recording of Mr. Trump as she promotes her new tell-all book.
I will talk about that and more with Congressman Gerry Connolly, a Democrat on the foreign affairs committee. Our correspondents and analysts also standing by.
First to CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins who has more on President Trump versus Omarosa.
Kaitlan, this is really uglier than an episode of "the Apprentice."
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Jim, it's a fight only two former reality TV stars could have.
The President alleging one of his former highest paid staffers here in the White House is a whacko, that would be Omarosa Manigault-Newman who is making allegations of her own about the President and revealing conversations she recorded of her conversations with White House staffers and even the President himself, which is raising questions about why Omarosa was hired to work here in the first place.
COLLINS (voice-over): President Trump addressing soldiers at Fort Drum.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm here today to sign our new defense bill into law.
COLLINS: As former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman escalates her war with the administration, revealing she recorded her conversations with the President.
TRUMP: Omarosa, what's going on? I just saw on the news that you are thinking about leaving. What happened?
OMAROSA MANIGAULT-NEWMAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE STAFFER: General Kelly came to me and said you guys wanted me to leave.
TRUMP: No, nobody even told me about it.
COLLINS: Omarosa breaching major security protocols secretly taping her firing by John Kelly in the White House situation room, one of the most secure places in Washington with no devices allowed.
JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I think it's important to understand that if we make this a friendly departure we can all be -- you know, you can look at your time here at the White House as a year of service to the nation and you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to our reputation.
COLLINS: Trump tweeting today that despite intense pressure to fire Omarosa he kept her around because she only said great things about me, adding whacky Omarosa skipped work, missed meetings and was a vicious colleague. Despite promising this on the campaign trail.
TRUMP: We are going to get the best people in the world.
COLLINS: Asked about Omarosa over the weekend, Trump said this.
TRUMP: A lowlife. She's a lowlife.
COLLINS: Omarosa had no defined role in the west wing but rigged in nearly $200,000 taxpayer fund dollars and carried the title assistant to the President. She is also claiming the Trump 2020 campaign offered her a $15,000 a month position if she agreed to keep silent, something she says she refused to do.
Trump also admitting for the first time she signed an NDA, writing on twitter whacky Omarosa already has a fully signed nondisclosure agreement.
When CNN reported that senior staff signed NDAs earlier this year the White House denied it. But Kellyanne Conway said this yesterday.
[18:05:09] KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: We have confidentiality agreement in the west wing. Absolutely, we do.
COLLINS: One White House official telling CNN they don't consider Omarosa's recordings to be a national security threat but noting they are worried she wasn't the only staffer recording conversations.
All this as Omarosa threaten more trouble for the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have more recordings?
MANIGAULT-NEWMAN: Oh, absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you planning on releasing them?
MANIGAULT-NEWMAN: I don't know. I'll watch to see if they threaten legal action. They have been trying to figure all how to stop me. I'm expecting that they are going to retaliate. And so I'm going to stand back and wait.
COLLINS: Now, Jim, the President was happy to bring up Omarosa today but there is one critic he did not mention. That would be Senator John McCain.
As the President was in Fort Drum today, signing a massive spending bill that is named after senator McCain who made it a top priority of his wheel he was on Capitol Hill and even back at home battling cancer, the President with the way list of people to thank today for helping get that bill through, but he did not mention McCain's name, not once, not at all - Jim.
SCIUTTO: And he was speaking in front of soldiers. Of course, McCain, a decorated veteran.
Kaitlan Collins, thanks very much.
Now to the firing of the FBI agent who has been a frequent target of President Trump's attack, Peter Strzok was terminated by the bureau's deputy director despite a finding by the FBI that he should get a demotion and a suspension for sending those anti-Trump texts.
Let's bring in CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju.
Manu, this was not standard operating procedure. The FBI did its own investigation here.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. And Peter Strzok's attorney raising concerns that this appears to have broken from the precedent of the office of professional responsibility did suggest that Peter Strzok had demoted, to get suspended, but the deputy director of the FBI came in overruling that and firing him on Friday.
Now in the aftermath of the revelation of this firing, President Trump today doing a victory lap, demanding an end to the Russia investigation and also calling to reopen the Clinton investigation.
RAJU (voice-over): Peter Strzok, a controversial figure in the Russia probe terminated by the FBI because of his text messages disparaging Donald Trump. Strzok's lawyer says FBI deputy director David Bowdich overruled a recommendation to demote and suspend the special agent while Trump quickly took to twitter to celebrate and call to an end to the Russia probe.
The list of the bad players in the FBI and DOJ gets longer and longer based on the fact that Strzok was in charge of the witch hunt, will it be dropped?
Strzok helped oversee the start of the Russia probe and played a key role in the Clinton email investigation, which Trump today said should be properly redone.
Strzok was taken off special counsel Mueller's team after the discovery of texts between him and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Those messages including one in which it said he'd stop Trump from becoming President led to a tense ten-hour congressional hearing in July.
PETER STRZOK, FORMER FBI AGENT: I'm stating to you, it is not my understanding that he kicked me off because of any bias. But I don't appreciate what was originally said being change.
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I don't give a damn what you appreciate, agent Strzok. I don't appreciate having an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on investigation during 2016.
RAJU: But the justice department inspector general found no evidence to suggest Strzok's feeling towards impacted the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton, something Strzok made clear at that raucous house hearing.
STRZOK: It was in no way unequivocally any suggestion that me, the FBI would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process.
RAJU: The news comes amid questions about whether Trump will sit down with the special counsel. Trump's lawyers said the President won't answer questions but whether he ask then FBI director James Comey to back off investigating the former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn. Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani now changing his story disputing
Comey's sworn testimony that the President suggested he back off Flynn.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: And the reason I keep saying his words is I took it as a direction. I mean it's the President of the United States with me alone saying I hope this, I took it as this is what he wants me to do. I didn't obey that, but that's the way I took it.
RAJU: Giuliani now saying this on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION."
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LAWYER: There was no conversation about Michael Flynn.
RAJU: The comments of Jake Tapper contradict what Giuliani said repeatedly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is he a good witness for the President if he says the President was asking him, directing him in his words to let the Michael Flynn investigation go?
GIULIANI: He didn't direct him to do that. What he said to him was can you --.
RAJU: And this last month.
[18:10:00] GIULIANI: He didn't tell him don't investigate him, don't prosecute him. He had to exercise his prosecutorial discretion because he's a good man with a great war record.
RAJU: After Giuliani denied making that claim, he offered this explanation to tapper after being shown video of his past comments.
GIULIANI: I said it but I also said before I'm talking about their version of it. Look, lawyers argue in the alternative.
RAJU: And another remark by Giuliani about the interview that may or may not occur with the President telling "The Wall Street Journal" that the President would not sit down with the special counsel's team after September 1st because it's getting closer to mid-term Election Day.
Also, Jim, earlier today, Rudy Giuliani called again for this investigation to be wrapped up by September. But of course, no sign that's going to happen especially in light of the fact that Giuliani's team has subpoenaed an associate of Roger Stone, one of the President's closest advisers to come before them in October 7th --Jim.
SCIUTTO: Yes. No sign of baiting (ph) there.
Manu Raju on the Hill, thanks very much.
Joining me now is Congressman Gerry Connolly. He is a Democrat who serves on the House foreign affairs committee.
Mr. Congressman, thanks very much for joining us tonight.
REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D), FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Great to be with you, Jim.
SCIUTTO: You were serving on the foreign affairs committee. You may have heard our story there that intelligence officials tell myself and my colleague general McLaughlin that Vladimir Putin, other Russian officials were pleased with the Helsinki summit, that it exceed their expectations.
I wonder in your view should the American people be concerned that a hostile foreign power was pleased with the performance of the U.S. President next to the Russian President and pleased with what he said there.
CONNOLLY: Absolutely. I don't know how any patriotic American could be happy with Trump's performance in Helsinki. Especially a two hour meeting, nobody knows what happens and then a 45-minute press conference that was sickening. The President of the United States almost salivating next to the dictator of Russia and actually questioning his own government, his own intelligence community, his own allies at the benefit of Mr. Putin.
That was a shameful moment for the United States. But the lowest moments of any U.S. presidency. And yes, all of us ought to be troubled by the fact now we know from intelligence sources that Russia was understandably pleased with that performance.
SCIUTTO: Let me ask you if I can about the news today, the firing of Peter Strzok by the FBI. Of course, the President celebrating that firing. But he said something in his many tweets about this today that caught our attention. First of all, he said inaccurately that Strzok was in charge of the Clinton e-mail investigation, and he was not in charge of it. But he did say that investigation should be in his words properly redone.
It strikes me the President makes a lot of demands by this oftentimes by twitter. Many of those demands are frankly ignored by many of the officials the President appointed himself. But is this one here you believe the FBI will take seriously to reopen that investigation based on this President's statement?
CONNOLLY: I hope not. When James Comey testified before our committee as the FBI director at the time on why and how the FBI came to the conclusion that there was nothing to be prosecuted, he made it very clear that it wasn't even a close call. No crime had been committed. In fact he improperly at the press conference that summer characterized secretary Clinton's behavior which he really had no business doing, but he made it very clear there was nothing further to be investigated. I find that ironic that the man who was the subject of an active criminal investigation, the very thing he wanted done to Hillary Clinton wants to shut down his own investigation. I'd call that a double standard by any stretch of the imagination. SCIUTTO: The FBI did its own investigation. The inspector general of
the Strzok texts and recommended discipline, but that discipline being a demotion and 60 day suspension. What you had today -- actually the firing took place on Friday, was the deputy director in effect overruling the inspector general by then proceeding to fire Peter Strzok.
I wonder if you are concerned the politics around this, the President's comments, demands from Republican colleagues of yourself here, whether that influenced the FBI decision here to go beyond what the inspector general recommended.
CONNOLLY: You know, Jim, I have participated in both hearings. The hearing with the inspector general Mr. Horowitz in which he certainly took issues with Peter Strzok's emails and behavior, but he went out of his way to say there's no evidence that clouded the investigation.
I also attended the hearing chaired by Mr. Goodlatte and Mr. Gowdy with Mr. Strzok, and I was really disgusted at the decision by those two gentlemen to essentially have a scalp on the wall. And that's what they did. They discredited this man, they destroyed his reputation, and now they've destroyed his career.
And even though it flies in the face of the recommendation of DIG. I think unfortunately that's what Washington has descended to where we destroy people in order to make a political point, or in this case in order to protect the subject if not the target of a criminal investigation, that's Donald Trump.
[18:15:45] SCIUTTO: I want to ask you if I can, disturbing allegation emerging today about your -- one of your colleagues, democratic congressman Keith Ellison, his former girlfriend accusing him of not just emotional abuse but also one incident, physical abuse saying he tried to drag her off the bed while cruising at . Her son saying he saw a video of the incident, and she also apparently shared this story with three friends, and those three friends telling CNN she told them about this incident as well. Congressman Ellison, we should mention, dying this. Do you believe Congress should open up an investigation of this event?
CONNOLLY: I know-nothing about this, Jim, other than what I read earlier today. And I think it would be improper for me to comment until more facts are known.
SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this, just based on at least the allegation and precedent leading up to this with other similar allegations against Democratic and Republican lawmakers, isn't there at least an investigation by the House warranted here?
CONNOLLY: That will have to be decided by the ethics committee. There is a process, and every member and every victim is entitled to due process. So hopefully that due process will work out.
SCIUTTO: Do those allegations concern you? I know you served alongside Congressman Ellison, but the allegations against him, do you find them concerning? CONNOLLY: Any time this kind of allegation is made is a concern
hopefully to all of us. But that doesn't -- that doesn't prejudge the situation. I want to let the ethics committee process if there is one work out.
SCIUTTO: Congressman Gerry Connolly, thanks very much for joining us tonight.
CONNOLLY: Thank you, Jim.
SCIUTTO: Coming up just ahead will the firing of Peter Strzok help or hurt the FBI's credibility? I'm going to ask a former bureau official who worked alongside of Strzok.
And the Trump camp's many conflicting claims about what it President said to James Comey. Who will Robert Mueller believe in the end?
[18:22:23] SCIUTTO: We are following breaking news on the firing of the FBI agent who sent anti-Trump text messages. The President seizing on Peter Strzok's ouster to vent his anger at Robert Mueller and the entire Russia investigation, even at Hillary Clinton.
Let's bring in former FBI supervisory special agent supervisory agent Josh Campbell. We should mention he worked alongside Peter Strzok at the bureau. He is now a CNN law enforcement analyst.
Josh, thanks for joining us tonight.
JOSH CAMPBELL, FORMER FBI SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: Hey, Jim.
SCIUTTO: So President Trump of course railing against Peter Strzok today. He did so for months in public. Are you concerned the President's opinion influenced this decision by the FBI, not just the President but the politics around this?
CAMPBELL: I don't personally believe that for two reasons, first which being I know the deputy Dave Bowdich, the deputy director of the FBI, the person who ultimately made this decision. And one would be hard pressed to find someone with greater integrity that Mr. Bowdich.
I think what happened is he looked at the facts here and said look, this warrants, you know, dismissal. These have very serious allegations.
But Jim, I also think that this is one of those instances where two things can be true at the same time. If you look at the way the President has approached Peter Strzok, if you look at disgraceful way on which people like Congressman Gowdy and Congressman Goodlatte have politicized Strzok, his career and this hearing, I mean, that is all disgraceful. But again, I think two things to be true. I think they politicized and I think FBI officials looked at this at it and said this is serious incident and he has to go.
SCIUTTO: How unusual though would it be for a deputy director to overrule what was a recommendation from the inspector general who said, yes, these texts were bad but did not interfere in the investigation and he should not be fired?
CAMPBELL: I think it's unusual but I think it is a very unusual case. And just kind of take you -- kind takes you behind the scenes in how this works internally with the FBI when the internal affairs division. Anytime that there's allegation of some type of wrongdoing against an employee that's been substantiated, the OPR, the office of professional responsibility will look back at precedent and try to determine OK, what makes sense here as far as punishment? What other cases in the past have we seen and what was the punishment? Because you want to make sure there was some kind of baseline and people aren't treated unfairly.
I think they probably look back here on this case and couldn't find a precedent. There hasn't been an instance like this where you had an employee who was engaged in a lot of these actions that we have seen. And so I think what they have decided, this is an internal affairs is that they weren't going to wield the cudgel. That went up to the office of the deputy director who said, no, this is very serious and obviously need a greater action.
SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this. You know, there's a big question picture here whether this firing helps or hurts the FBI's credibility. You could argue on the one hand Strzok for instance was removed by Mueller from the Mueller investigation, and it discovered now he's been fired. You can argue, OK, it shows they take this bias seriously and that they have removed it.
On the other hand you see the President and a number of Republican lawmakers today citing a number of people have been fired from the FBI Strzok included to say, the whole investigation is, you know, adulterated somehow. So, you know, how does it - Does it work in the FBI's benefit or against it?
[18:25:25] CAMPBELL: I think it benefits but I think that is a side of facts here, right. I think the external view of from the public obviously trying to rebuild confidence in America's premier law enforcement agency, the public would like at this and say look, this is an organization that takes allegations of wrongdoing seriously.
But in all honestly, Jim, I think the main audience here is internally. To the men and women of the FBI. So if you are the deputy director, if you at the director, those in charge of running this organization, you're probably wondering how you can sit there and look the rank and file in the eye in the organization and say we expect you to adhere to a rigorous obedience to this institution's core values, the rank and file. At the same time that they are giving a pass and going lenient on a senior leader. So I think the primary audience was internal. They wanted to ensure the organization adheres to the core values, and again another page is being turned in a very sad chapter in the bureau's history.
SCIUTTO: The President call fed for the reopening of the Clinton email investigation as a result of this via twitter. But let's be frank, the tweets are Presidential statements here, is this a demand that the FBI would take seriously?
CAMPBELL: I don't think it is because the men and women of the FBI don't wake up and read Presidential tweets and decide how they are going to order their affairs that day. If the President were serious about this he would pick up the phone, he would call the attorney general, he would call the director of the FBI and say I order you to do this.
I think there is a larger audience that is, you know, beyond the men and women of the FBI. But I have to tell you the way this would go over inside the FBI is like a lead balloon because Peter Strzok wasn't the only one who worked on the Hillary Clinton investigation. There was a large team that was in place. And if you go back to 2016 when Comey stepped to the microphone and announced that there would not be a recommendation, that was the belief of a whole host people who worked on an investigations.
So to now to try to cloud the issue and say because Peter Strzok was engaged in some type of wrongdoing, now we need to start over again isn't going to square with the men and women of the FBI. And I think it is yet another instance of the president of the United States inappropriately, interfering with the rule of law.
SCIUTTO: And breaking a heck of a lot of precedent as he does.
Josh Campbell, thanks very much.
CAMPBELL: Thanks, Jim.
Just ahead, Omarosa at war with the President. What is she revealing about the dysfunction inside the Trump White House?
And the prosecution rests in its case against the President's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Will Manafort take the stand now in his own defense?
JIM SCIUTTO, ANCHOR, CNN: Welcome back. President Trump is lashing out at his former aide, Omarosa Manigault-Newman, after she released a secret recording of her conversation with him about her firing. Let's dig deeper now with our correspondents and analyst, Gloria Borger, this tape of Omarosa on the phone with the President bears repeating.
Let's have a listen again for our viewers and let's comment on it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Omarosa, what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving. What happened? What happened?
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: General Kelly -- General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave.
TRUMP: No, nobody even told me about it. Nobody --
TRUMP: You know, they run a big operation, but I didn't know it. I didn't know that.
TRUMP: Goddamn it. I don't love you leaving at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Gloria, are we to believe that the President had no idea about this?
GLORIA BORGER, CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: No, and "I don't love you leaving at all," does that mean, "I'll take care of this, and I want you stay and here's your job back," no, of course not, of course he knew.
I mean, the way Donald Trump manages the White House is the way he manages the Trump organization which is micromanaging and he knows everything that's going on, every piece of gossip and it's strange credulity to believe that he did not know that General Kelly was going to get rid of her.
SCIUTTO: He manages everything but apparently, based on experience, not the firing, right? That's the step that he won't take?
BORGER: He doesn't like to do it, no. He doesn't do it himself because that would be too confrontational, so he has somebody else do it and then eventually, he welcomes that person back into the fold. So at one point, I fully expect that he and Omarosa, who knows, could do a talk show together. They'll have a talk show.
SCIUTTO: Didn't he host a television show where he fired people. He does it in a reality show, but not in the White House.
BORGER: Not in reality.
SCIUTTO: The President, Jackie, tweeted today to defend her firing in this case, and he said, "When General Kelly came onboard, he told me she was a loser and nothing, but problems. I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said great ..." in all caps, " ... things about me until she got fired." The President, he has used this justification to express support for a whole host of people, Vladimir Putin including.
"He or she said nice things about me." It's a remarkable standard to set for aides at the most senior level of our government.
JACQUELINE KUCINICH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: Right, and some of them of course do have actual qualifications, but when it comes to Omarosa and it comes when someone doesn't say a negative thing about this President. He tends to welcome them more with open arms, and this is perhaps an admission of that. We're seeing it right there.
KUCINICH: I mean, what else can you possibly say about it? Also, this is another classic example of the President feeling the need to punch back against someone he feels who has betrayed him in a way. Now, does that mean the doors are closed for her forever? I don't know, he's fired her what? Four times, three times on a TV show, and now having ...
SCIUTTO: Which means he had to hire her again, right? Philip Mudd, a lot of attention has been focused on the fact that she recorded a conversation inside the situation room with Kelly as he was firing her, but I just wondered bigger picture about the dysfunction that is at large for the world, how the President of the United States handles staff decisions here, the kind of comments he makes publicly that people are recording conversations with this President. What -- does that damage or threaten US national security for people to look at how this White House is run?
PHILIP MUDD, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: I mean, this has been a conversation through today, are we getting a picture in the White House security based on someone bringing a recording device into the situation room? I'm going to push back on that, I don't buy it.
Let me give you scenario, when she's in there, the National Security adviser is a storied general, H.R. McMaster, the Chief of Staff, another storied general, General Kelly who is still there, can you imagine them walking around the West Wing of the White House saying, "We need it get Omarosa briefed on strategic missiles in North Korea, so we can get her opinion." My point is, I don't think she had access to any national security information. I gather, she was regarded as a reality TV whack job in the White House, so the prospect that she could reveal something, I think is pretty low.
SCIUTTO: But don't we suspect that the President uses an unsecured phone himself?
MUDD: Now, that's a different story.
SCIUTTO: He's the Commander-in-Chief.
MUDD: I mean, if I were overseas looking at vulnerabilities in the White House, I wouldn't be looking at Omarosa, I'd be saying, "Where is his phone," and not only his phone, but people like Michael Cohen talking to him, I'd be working it backwards as an intel guy saying, "I want to intercept his friends because then I'm going to get into phone."
SCIUTTO: Right, Laura, the President seemed to reveal something today in one of his many tweets responding to this saying that Omarosa signed an NDA, a nondisclosure agreement. Now, the White House in the past has refused to confirm that any of this has happened before, in fact, it has often denied, but the President seems to have contradicted those denials right now. Is there any legal precedent for White House staff signing an NDA, and
actually I should say in this case, it's not just an NDA, it's what you might call a non-disparagement agreement as well, because "The Washington Post" got a copy of what was a punitive agreement and in it, it requires people not just not to reveal classified material, but not to disparage in anyway Mr. Trump, Mr. Pence, any Trump or Pence company. I mean, has any White House ever done this before?
LAURA COATES, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: No, you see this in businesses, which is what the Trump organization largely dated back these non-disparagement agreements. We know that there was the famous NDA that Stormy Daniels, Stephanie Clifford aka David Dennis and the President of the United States. They are familiar with NDA agreements. What's odd about this one in particular is that you can't just contract away your First Amendment rights. The government cannot say to you, "You cannot speak about issues that are not classified material," ones that you can have some would say that's not in your public interest or one in which you are saying through the course of your actual employment, there is substantial Supreme Court authority, the Pickering case talking about a teacher who said unfavorable things about a school board and then was fired.
You can't say they can't have First Amendment rights, but you can say there are job consequence if you disclose matters of national security. As Phil talked about, we don't have that real risk here with Omarosa. What you do have here is a punishment for those who are disloyal and even Don Maghan at one point when they talked about the NDA first emerging, silently placated everyone who signed it and said, "I really can't enforce this agreement." That's the first time that it probably barred him from doing so, but the President would feel satiated in a lot of way to say, "Listen, no one is going to talk about it. You're not going to have many leaks," and that has not happened this White House administration, but this is largely one that is formed over substance.
SCIUTTO: Well, if the NDA is designed not -- to block leaks on that point, it hasn't worked. Stay with us, there's a lot more to talk about. More on the firing of Peter Strzok from the FBI. Was it a breach of the Bureau's protocol? Plus breaking news in the trial of Paul Manafort. Prosecutors have just rested their case against the man who is the former Chairman of the Trump campaign.
SCIUTTO: We're back now with our correspondents and analysts. Of the many things Trump said today in his tweets reacting to Peter Strzok, he called for via Twitter the reopening of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation, Gloria Borger, not the first time we've heard him say that, but after all, he is the President, tweets are official statements. The White House has said that, is this something that the Bureau takes seriously?
BORGER: Well, he's the President of the United States and Jeff Sessions probably has to take it seriously since the President has been tweeting about him, and I'm sure Christopher Wray has to take it seriously, but do I believe that they're going to do it at this point? I don't -- I don't see it. He tweets about it every day, so, you know, I don't see him doing it.
I think what they did today with the firing of Peter Strzok is something that will make him very happy because he could have been just disciplined and demoted as was recommended. But instead he was fired, and so I think that kept the President happy on that that front. But they can't keep him happy on all fronts. And the Hillary Clinton investigation given the fact there's a Russia investigation going on, I would not think it's front and center.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: There -- one of the other, many other dramas today, some internecine battling, in this case the son of Bobby Goodlatte, who, of course, is a prominent Republican Congressman, House Republican. His son saying that he gave the maximum donation allowed to Jennifer Lewis who's a Democrat running for rather his father's seat.
He tweeted the following today: I'm deeply embarrassed that Peter Strzok's career was ruined by my father's political grandstanding. That was a low point for Congress. Thank you for your service, sir. You are a patriot.
Quite an interesting battle, Jackie, to have within a very prominent Republican standing.
JACKIE KUCINICH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: Yes, definitely. I mean, but there is -- there is such a divide, I don't know how old his son is, but I imagine he's around millennial age, and you see a very sharp divide between baby boomers, millennials and just pretty much all generations about approval to Trump.
Is it that unusual for a political child to be different from their parents? No, it's not. Take it from me. But to do this publicly, to do it on the Internet, to fund raise for the -- he also had another tweet that was raising money for a Democratic in the race to replace his father who is retiring this year, that's very unusual.
SCIUTTO: Yes, that's remarkable.
Now, to reverse the generational, we had -- the generational battle you have the White House advisor Stephen Miller who's obviously quite young finding himself with his uncle, David Glosser, writing a very sharp op-ed in "Politico" today, criticizing his son's involvement in Trump administration immigration policies.
He said the following: I've watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew who is an educated man and well aware of his heritage has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family's life in this country. Again, inside the family there and the generations reversed, the older one criticizing the younger one, but I wonder, Laura, it's the kind of battle you're seeing around the Thanksgiving table or the table around the country, that kind of sharp division even within families on this administration's policies.
LAURA COATES, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Absolutely, and you could have taken out the words my nephew and many people would said anybody who has a different idea of what immigration policy in the U.S. has been for the past, I don't know, 100 or more years, would actually have a different viewpoint of that. So, this is the type of happening, it's the very reason people are calling for things like the abolishment of ICE, whether that's a good idea or not, the idea of families being separated at the border and beyond, all these discussions are hotbed issues not just internal for families but people who are part of the American electorate.
Now, whether it'll have an impact, that uncle statement in the actual White House or in the West Wing or on Steve Miller's conscience is left to be desired. But certainly, it does display the type of frustration and proof of the hypocrisy people are seeing.
SCIUTTO: Well, it gets me because, listen, like all of us around the table, it just doesn't matter of how many generations back you go to be an immigrant. I'm Italian Irish, it goes back to my grandparent's generation. But you have this -- it just strikes me, Phil Mudd, short memories, right, some of the loudest voices against it, you know, it's -- you don't have to look back to when you or your ancestors face the very same situation.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I think that's true, but I think there's a bigger issue here that -- I mean, I must have been ignorant when I was a child, but I remember growing up, when you talk about politics, Democrats, Republicans, it was like -- it was defense spending, it might have been infrastructure spending, it might have been school board.
If you look at how people define themselves today in terms of politics, it's what do you think about gay marriage, who somebody sleeps with? What do you think about separating a mom from her kid at the border? People have identified political issues very personally.
I think this is an example of it. It's not just politics anymore. It's who I am, and that's why people are hot.
BORGER: You know, you're having culture wars within families.
MUDD: That's right.
BORGER: And that's really what's going on here, you know, in Stephen Miller's family. In Goodlatte's case, it is. His son believes that Strzok has been mistreated and has served his country well and that his father embarrassed him at the hearing. And clearly, he was sad to see him fired, whether he should have been or not is a whole other story.
But the culture wars have taken -- they've grown so personal within families I think everyone's going to have interesting Thanksgiving dinners.
SCIUTTO: Well, they are. And, listen, this is going to be an interesting midterm.
SCIUTTO: Because these decisions are not -- you know, they are looked at very emotional not just politically.
SCIUTTO: Thanks very much to all of you.
Just ahead, breaking news: prosecutors resting their case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Plus, what an upcoming summit between Kim Jong-un and South Korea's president would mean for the Trump administration.
[18:54:44] SCIUTTO: There is breaking news tonight in the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider is at the courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia.
Jessica, prosecutors have just rested their case. What was the final word today?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: They have, Jim, after 10 days, 27 witnesses, prosecutors have announced that they have concluded their case.
[18:55:05] It really wraps up a whirlwind of testimony out here that we've heard from accountants and real estate agents and car dealers and, of course, Rick Gates himself, the former right-hand man of Paul Manafort who eventually flipped and is working with prosecutors.
So, prosecutors at this point have laid out all of their evidence for the jury. They've now left it in the hands of the jury to see what the defense does here.
And on this last day of the prosecution's case, we heard from two witnesses. One of them was a vice president of a bank who said that he felt pressured to approve a $16 million loan for Paul Manafort, even though that vice president knew that Paul Manafort had lied on his loan application. Of course, it was just last week where the jury heard that the chairman of that bank had approved that loan at the same time that he was talking with Paul Manafort about potentially securing a high ranking position within the Trump administration.
So, now, the prosecution has laid out all of their evidence and it remains to be seen exactly what the defense will do here -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Bank fraud and tax evasion. So, we have the defense up tomorrow. Do we know -- I mean, on the key question, will Manafort take the stand?
SCHNEIDER: That is the big question here. So, Judge Ellis has said that he needs the defense to lay out their plan first thing tomorrow morning and that means we will finally get the answer to the question, will Paul Manafort testify? That is the first thing that the judge will want to know here. Of course, court watchers would be very surprised if Paul Manafort
does take the stand, but we'll have that question answered tomorrow. You know, the defense has not submitted any witness list, any exhibit list, so it remains to be seen what their case will be. Of course, Jim, there's that possibility that they won't even present a case and they could rest and we could hear closing arguments as soon as first thing tomorrow morning as well -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: We'll be there standing by for surprises.
CNN's Jessica Schneider at the courthouse, thanks very much.
North Korea's Kim Jong-un is planning to host a summit with South Korea's president next month. It will be their third meeting since April and it comes as the Kim regime and the Trump administration appear to be at an impasse over North Korea denuclearizing.
Let's bring in CNN's Will Ripley. He's reported extensively from inside North Korea.
Will, what's the significance of the summit and do we expect progress at this summit?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually, Jim, just within the last few minutes, there's some breaking news. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is likely to take a trip himself to Pyongyang before the end of this month. That was mentioned in Seoul by an adviser to President Moon Jae-in and is now being reported a bit for widespread.
As far as President Moon's trip to Pyongyang, yes, it will happen sometime next month. And he is expected to slip back in his role of diplomatic middleman, trying to figure out what North Korea wants. And they said they want sanctions relief and a peace treaty formally ending the Korea War, which has been in a essentially a ceasefire since 1953. But what the U.S. has said is they want North Korea to give up nuclear weapons first before they get those kind of concessions.
So, Moon will be there trying to talk to Kim Jong-un as he has done in the past, and he will likely debrief President Trump to prepare him for any future conversations with the North Koreans.
SCIUTTO: Now, the president, of course, declared the North Korean nuclear threat over a number of weeks ago, but there's been increasing evidence the North may actually be increasing its ability to produce nuclear weapons. What are we learning?
RIPLEY: There's been a lot of satellite imagery being taken a look at by 38 North and others. "The New York Times" actually just today cited some of those analysts saying that the Yongbyon nuclear react, they are constructing a second react or to enrich plutonium, one of the ingredients in nuclear fuel.
This reactor is supposed to have four times the capacity of North Korea's existing reactor, which means they could make a lot more fuel and a lot more nuclear weapons. Now, this is keeping with what Kim Jong-un said on New Year's Day, that he wants to mass produce these nuclear tipped ballistic missiles. And we know that Pyongyang is also producing those missiles at a plant in the suburb of their capital.
Some arms control experts are telling "The New York Times", though, this is not unusual, that North Korea would continue this type of activity because they haven't agreed to denuclearize yet and if they stop this kind of production, then they would be giving away their leverage as they go into these talks with the U.S.
SCIUTTO: So, Secretary Pompeo now traveling there. Might this be a warning message from the Trump administration to get serious?
RIPLEY: Well, we can look at it in a couple of ways. Maybe it could be a warning message if President Trump has decided he is not open t/to another summit with Kim Jong-un, even though on the North Korean side, they believe that was a very likely possibility.
But it could also be frankly the U.S. coming in with a different approach, because remember, in early July, it was a very contentious meeting by all accounts. The U.S. was asking for a big surrender of nuclear weapons right up front. The North Korean rejected that. They went back and forth. It got very tense.
And the North Koreans really felt exasperated that they might not be able to work with Pompeo. But the fact that he's going back indicates that maybe they're willing to try to give it another go.
SCIUTTO: CNN's Will Ripley, thanks very much. I'm Jim Sciutto. Thanks very much for watching tonight.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.