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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
White House Cannot Guarantee President Trump Not on Tape Saying N-Word; Lynne Patton Responds to New Audio from Omarosa Manigault Newman. Aired on 8-9p ET
Aired August 14, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:12] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
Today, the woman who speaks for president of the United States said she cannot rule out the possibility that her boss, the president, is on tape using the "N" word, the same word the president last night said does not exist in his vocabulary, never has.
Here's the question Sarah Sanders was asked today, and her response which has been making headlines ever since.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Can you stand at the podium and guarantee the American people they'll never hear Donald Trump utter the "N" word on a recording in any context?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can't guarantee anything, but I can tell you that the president addressed this question directly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We'll play the entire exchange in a moment.
But, first, let's just review how we got to that moment. On CBS "This Morning" today, Omarosa Manigault Newman continued her book tour, talking about another recording she made. It's reportedly a conference call from October of 2016 about the possible existence of a tape of the president using the "N" word during his time on "The Apprentice." Manigault Newman is on the call, so are campaign aide Jason Miller, though he's not heard in the recording released by CBS. So is Katrina Pearson as well as Lynne Patton, who was an assistant to Eric Trump at the time. She joins us shortly tonight.
On the call, there is talk of damage control and whether Mr. Trump ever used the racial slur. Lynne Patton is heard she asked Mr. Trump about using the word and he said no.
Later, Pierson says this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
KATRINA PIERSON: He said. No, he said it. He's embarrassed.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, last night, Katrina Pearson denied the phone call happened. Today, she says -- she was saying he said it as a way to appease Manigault Newman and basically get her off the phone. Barely 30 minutes after the story hit, the president responded on Twitter.
When you give a crazed, crying low life a break and give her a job at the White House, I guess it doesn't work out. Good work by General Kelly for quick leg firing that dog.
This was just the latest of tweets about Manigault Newman. Once again, Sarah Sanders was asked about the president's language, particularly when it's African-Americans he is criticizing. Here's what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Look, the president -- this has absolutely nothing to do with race and everything to do with the president calling out someone's lack of integrity. The idea that you would only point a few of the things that the president has said negative about people that are minorities, the fact is the president's an equal opportunity person that calls things like he sees it. He always fights fire with fire, and he certainly doesn't hold back on doing that across the board.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, whatever you think of that answer, just take a moment to consider this: under ordinary circumstances, the president calling a former high level adviser, an African-American woman a dog might be material enough for a press briefing. But there was a lot more today, and I want to play for it for you, as well as the questions leading up to it, so you get the full context and the full impact.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Sarah, have you asked the president if he's ever used the "N" word?
SANDERS: The president addressed that question directly via Twitter. I'd refer you back to him. I can certainly say I've never heard him use that term or anything similar.
REPORTER: Have you asked him directly, Sarah?
SANDERS: The president, I didn't have to because he addressed it to the American people all at one time.
REPORTER: Why haven' you asked him directly?
SANDERS: Again, the president answered that question directly on Twitter earlier today.
REPORTER: Can you stand at the podium and guarantee the American people they'll never hear Donald Trump utter the "N" word on a recording in any context?
SANDERS: I can't guarantee anything, but I can tell you that the president addressed this question directly. I can tell you that I've never heard it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I can't guarantee anything, she said. But she's never heard it, which again is odd, because the president just last night said he could. @MarkBurnettTV called to say there are no tapes at "The Apprentice" where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by wacky and deranged Omarosa. I don't have that word in my vocabulary and never have. She made it up.
Not in his vocabulary, he says, not ever, he says. The president's tweets seem pretty definitive. At least definitive enough for his press secretary to give the kind of statement likes these she's repeated for past presidential tweets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: I would say that his tweet speaks for itself there. I think the president's statement via Twitter today is extremely clear. I don't have anything to ad beyond the statement itself.
I think that statement speaks for itself. There is nothing to add.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, she could have said that today, but she did. And perhaps that speaks for her and for itself.
More now from the White House. CNN's Jeff Zeleny was at today's briefing, joins us for that.
So, it's interesting for all the times Sarah Sanders has been willing to essentially stick her neck out for president with a full stop answer, she didn't do that this time.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: She didn't, Anderson, that was one of the surprising things to me, at least, because repeatedly under -- you know, asked again and again about this, she said the same answer. I can't guarantee that. And she knew, of course, that would be the headline coming out of this, that she can't guarantee it.
But think of all the radio interviews. I mean, thousands and thousands of hours of radio interviews the president has done.
[20:05:04] All the recordings he has done going into "The Apprentice," other things, there could be a tape somewhere. So, perhaps that's what she was thinking when she said, I can't guarantee it. But she certainly was not definitive at all. And in many other times, she has been. So, it was curious, at least, in that regard.
COOPER: Jeff, the White House still saying the president's description of Manigault Newman as a dog is much ado about nothing?
ZELENY: They are indeed. You heard Sarah Sanders say it there. He is happy to insult anyone. He is happy to insult anyone of any race who he doesn't agree with. She said the president believes that she lacks integrity.
Keep in mind, of course, he hired her. He brought her on here in the first place. He's been a long-time friend of hers. But reality is the White House repeatedly said it's not racist.
You know, only the president knows what's in his heart when he said that. He has called numerous people dogs repeatedly. There is a long list of former rivals, dogs, other things.
But never as a sitting president has he called a former staffer, certainly a former African-American high ranking staffer here a dog. That's what he called Omarosa, of course, this morning.
COOPER: And I understand that Manigault Newman is claiming that she was interviewed special counsel Robert Mueller. Do we know if that's even true?
ZELENY: We have her word on that, and that's the only word because the special counsel, of course, is the only person in this town who has not commented on this case. But we do know at least talking to White House officials here that while she was at least at the White House, she was not interviewed, she was not asked to sit down with him.
But, of course, she was fired last December. So, she writes in her book that she was contacted by the FBI in February of 2018. So, after that, if she sat down with him, that, of course, is something that she would have a record of and have an understanding of.
It's hard to understand she would lie about that specifically when it's so verifiable. But, of course, the special counsel's office never comments on who they interview. So, it is her word at this point.
But, Anderson, so much of this simply is her word. Of course, a lot of unverified claims in there.
ZELENY: But a lot of claims on tape as well, Anderson.
COOPER: Jeff Zeleny, thanks very much. I want to talk about one of the tapes.
Now, I want to talk to one of the people on the call with Omarosa that was recorded.
Lynne Patton joins us now.
Lynne, thanks so much for being with us. I appreciate it.
LYNNE PATTON, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN FAMILY ADVISER: Hi, Anderson. Pleasure. Yes. Nice seeing you.
COOPER: Appreciate it.
So, lot to talk about. First of all, thank you for agreeing to be here.
COOPER: I want to get started with the recording that was released this morning of this phone conversation that allegedly took place that you were on the call, Katrina Pierson, Omarosa Manigault Newman, back in 2016.
Just for our viewers. I just want to play it today. Let's just play that.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
PIERSON: I'm trying to find out at least the context if it used in to help us maybe try to figure out a way to spin it.
PATTON: I said, well, sir, can you think of anytime that this might have happened and he said, no.
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Well, that's not true.
PATTON: He goes, how do you think I should handle it? And I told him exactly what you just said, Omarosa, which is well, it depends on what scenario you're talking about, and he said why don't you go ahead and put it to bed.
PIERSON: He said. No, he said it. He's embarrassed.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: OK. So that's the tape that's released. As far as you remember, is that recording accurate? That's your voice on the tape?
PATTON: Well, Anderson, there were a lot of times that we talked about this tape, because Omarosa was literally obsessed with it. She brought up constantly. It's clear now that the reason why she did was because she was surreptitiously recording us.
COOPER: You feel that all along, she was intentionally bringing this up?
PATTON: Absolutely. In fact, a friend reminded me today, that early on in the campaign, I made a joke that she was probably recording us all. From very beginning, you know, Omarosa has always been about Omarosa, and that has never been a secret to us.
COOPER: You said in a statement that you were probably the closest person to her in the White House, that you interacted with her pretty much on a daily basis. PATTON: Yes. What she's done is heart-breaking. It's infuriating.
There's a whole bunch of adjectives I could use --
COOPER: Did you ever raise concerns about her? Because obviously, anybody who has watched "The Apprentice" or seen her on any TV show knows what she, you know, is potentially capable of.
PATTON: Well, you know, let's be clear. Omarosa is an actress, and that's exactly what she's doing right now is playing a role. And quite frankly, she is playing us all.
COOPER: But did you ever raise concerns to people in the White House, to Eric Trump who you worked with or anybody in the Trump family, as to why has she been hired?
PATTON: Well, you know, here's the thing: Omarosa is somebody who has always been at the center of attention. She has been willfully and deceitfully engaging in surreptitious behavior, the reason why I never said anything is because I didn't work with her. I work at HUD. She worked in the White House.
COOPER: But you did say in your own statement that you worked more closely with her than anybody else in the White House and that you talk to her pretty much every day.
PATTON: No, no. What I said is I was probably the closest confidante that she had. We texted multiple times a day.
[20:10:02] She told me what was going on at the White House.
COOPER: So, you never raised concerns about her?
PATTON: But, no, I did not.
COOPER: OK. So in that recording --
PATTON: I mean, I don't speak for Omarosa. I speak for myself.
COOPER: Yes, of course.
PATTON: Who this administration chooses to hire is obviously up to them.
COOPER: Did you think it was a mistake when you heard she had been hired?
PATTON: No. Not at all, not at all.
PATTON: Well, because, I mean --
COOPER: You say she's always been out for herself.
PATTON: Well, again, I know that Omarosa, the one that I know on television has been out for herself. The one that I got to know as friend was actually a decent person. Obviously, President Trump thought so. She was very close to the family at one point.
But what's clear to me right now is that Omarosa is obviously putting herself first. We've been through a lot, but, you know, here she is now turning on a family that obviously embraced her and a man that gave her every opportunity.
COOPER: So, let me ask you, because in last night, you released a statement before this recording was released, right when it was only Omarosa's word about this conversation. You released a statement that read in part: At no time did I participate in a conference call with Katrina Pierson advising me, Jason Miller and Omarosa Manigault Newman, that Frank Luntz had heard President Donald J. Trump use a derogatory racial term, a claim that Luntz himself has also denied.
We just heard you on that phone conversation. So, last night, you said it didn't take place.
PATTON: Well, no, let me clarify and that's one of the reasons why I'm here.
PATTON: The world of politics might be deceitful, but I am not. And so, that's why it was important to be here today and clarify my statement. What I said was and what was refuted was that Katrina set up a conference call to confirm that Frank Luntz said that he heard DJT specifically say the "N" word.
That never happened.
COOPER: But --
PATTON: What did happen, though, is that Omarosa has been allowed to continue on her tour of lies without being checked by either the media or obviously her book publisher.
COOPER: But that's not -- I mean, when you made that statement last night, the only thing that had been released by CBS was a tweet saying that Katrina Pierson in the conversation, Katrina Pierson says, OK, well, Frank Luntz knows what it is, apparently heard it. So --
PATTON: Well, that's not true because Omarosa because then reiterated those statements on both Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd. So, that's what I was disputing.
What I was refuting was the fact that Omarosa claimed that we confirmed that on that conference call that Frank Luntz said this.
PATTON: He has obviously come out and denied it. We've obviously come out and denied it.
COOPER: So --
PATTON: What I have a hard time understanding is why -- you know, this administration has found itself on the defensive end against a woman who has willfully and deceitfully and surreptitiously recorded possibly engaged in illegal behavior, you know, against a family like I said that has embraced her. Yet I'm the one on television having to explain myself. I mean, it's like the twilight zone.
Even on the way over here I heard she might be working in conjunction with Robert Mueller. And while I might have only gone to law school for a year, you know, I caught her myself in four lies this morning. So, you know, if the Mueller team considers her a credible source of information, then their case is obviously a lot weaker than we already knew it to be.
COOPER: So, Katrina Pierson, we hear her on the same saying he said it. He's embarrassed about it, talking about then candidate Donald Trump. She -- I'm wondering when you heard that in that conversation, what did you think that Katrina Pierson meant by that? Because it -- to an observer, whether you heard tonight recording or just the transcript, he said it. He is embarrassed by it.
It sounds like Katrina Pierson is saying he said it.
PATTON: Well, obviously, Katrina Pierson can speak for herself and she has already released a statement to that effect.
COOPER: She said she was trying to get Omarosa off the phone.
PATTON: That's right. We've all had that annoying coworker who goes on and on and on.
COOPER: Did you feel that, though, during the -- I'm asking that when you were in that conversation --
PATTON: I think if anything what Omarosa's tapes prove is the president denied saying it very early on in the campaign, and that, you know, he said to it me.
PATTON: I'm the one who delivered the message.
COOPER: And I want to ask you about that specifically.
PATTON: Right. Uh-huh.
COOPER: But my only question is what we haven't heard from you, we've heard from Katrina Pierson.
COOPER: Let me just play what she said.
COOPER: And let's just play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: In the book, Omarosa says Katrina had heard from her sources that the tape was of Trump using the N-word, someone she knew who knew political strategist Frank Luntz told her that Luntz had heard it. Lynne as in Lynne Patton, a long time Trump aide, reported she asked Trump about it on the plane specifically, whether it was possible such a tape might exist. And he said no.
Then she, Katrina asked him what he wanted their do. He said put it to bed. Katrina cursed and said, he said it. Did that happen?
KATRINA PIERSON, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESWOMAN: No, Ed, that did not happen. It sounds like she is writing a script for a movie.
[20:15:01] You know, I've already been throughout talking about this. That is absolutely not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So that was before the tape was released. The tape actually does back up what Ed Henry's question. She said it didn't happen, but it did actually happen.
PATTON: Well, again, Katrina said she was play indicating somebody who was obviously --
COOPER: She said the conversation didn't happen.
PATTON: No, what we said, again, is that what didn't happen is we did not have a conference call confirming that Luntz said the "N" word or heard Donald Trump say the "N" word.
What these tapes do confirm is the fact that Donald Trump, again, denied that he used this derogatory term very early on in the campaign. He's obviously been very clear on Twitter.
COOPER: But he does, I mean --
PATTON: Obviously - he said this is not a word that is in his vocabulary. He told me as an individual that he did not say this word.
COOPER: When he said to you "put it to bed," what did that mean?
PATTON: Well, it just means get rid of the rumors. I mean, if I started a rumor about you tomorrow, I mean, that would be annoying, especially if you knew it not to be true. So, you know, what he meant by that is that, you know, this is something that really can't be tolerated.
COOPER: It sounds to me, though, and again, you're not speaking for Katrina Pierson, but last night when Ed Henry is asking her about this conversation, she says it didn't happen. She wasn't specifically saying Frank Luntz never confirmed it. That wasn't in the conversation. He --
PATTON: I can only speaking to what I know is true. And Katrina said she was play indicating this woman. I said we had a conference call, but not about what Omarosa claimed it to be.
I've been very clear than. What hasn't happened is that Omarosa has not been clear about when she heard this tape. She told me she heard about --
COOPER: She told multiple stories on this.
PATTON: Thank you. Last December. She told other sources she heard about it as far back as October. I would not know the details that I know about this tape if she had not told me herself.
And why the media refuses to kind of take to task and pick apart her statement as they do ours.
PATTON: -- is really --
COOPER: I think it's being picked apart.
PATTON: Well --
COOPER: Raising questions about whether she had talked to Mueller, we don't know that for a fact. You know, that's -- we only have her word on it. But just you know (ph) --
COOPER: Viewers can make up their own mind.
Last night, or in a statement, you also said that Omarosa called you the night she was fired. She didn't disclose to you that she had been fired. She said she was resigning.
PATTON: She said she was resigning because she specifically heard "The Apprentice" tape, right, and that she was resigning and that I should resign as well, and even give Secretary Carson a heads up too.
COOPER: Because you work at HUD?
COOPER: The next day, you said you talked to communication official, senior communications officials and a Trump family member about it. Can you say who talked and what was their reaction?
PATTON: Well, sure. I mean, Hope Hicks was involved. Obviously, I spoke to Laura Trump. She is one of my best friends. I let them know that this is what Omarosa was claiming.
COOPER: And they told you she had been fired?
PATTON: Well, I can't really recall when that a came to light, but I believe that's probably the case. If you remember, Omarosa had been allowed to stay at the White House for a period of time. It was her plan to always tell people that she had resigned, even though that obviously was not the case.
So, when she told me she resigned, she felt that that was a lie she could perpetuate.
COOPER: You knew the president well. You've worked for the organization future a long time --
COOPER: -- before you worked in government.
COOPER: Sarah Sanders today said she couldn't guarantee there is no recording out there of the president using the "N" word. Can you guarantee there is no tape throughout?
PATTON: Well, look, the White House is a diverse group of folks. Obviously, the president, I can't speak for him. I know that he's told me that he has never said this word, that it's not in his vocabulary. I take him at his word.
COOPER: As someone who's worked for him for a long time --
COOPER: -- would it shock you if he had said that?
PATTON: Absolutely. The Donald Trump that I know doesn't see black and white. He sees success and failure. And whether that manifests itself as a person, a company, a place, you know, a television show, he certainly makes no distinction, and he doesn't categorize those successes and failures into race, religion and gender.
COOPER: When he referred to Omarosa Manigault Newman who was a senior adviser, very highly paid by taxpayer money as a dog, was that appropriate?
PATTON: Well, look, you know, the POTUS -- the president has referred to a lot of people as dogs. He referred to Robert Patterson as a dog from the "Twilight" movies, Mitt Romney, Bill Maher.
COOPER: Ted Cruz I believe.
PATTON: Right, Ted Cruz.
To me, these aren't terms that are that's derogatory or racial. What they are is somebody biting back and fighting back that have been wronged.
COOPER: It is derogatory to call somebody a dog.
PATTON: Well, you know, I mean --
[20:20:00] COOPER: I'm not saying -- I'm just -- I mean, it's an insult. It's not a kind word. PATTON: I know he didn't mean it as a compliment. But at the same
time, he said to a lot people. So for the media to spin into it something racial is really --
COOPER: I don't think it's media. I think it's a lot of people giving question.
PATTON: No, I mean, again, I just listed five white men who he has also said it to, and that's not racist.
COOPER: Just for the president of the United States, with all the honor and stature and importance of that office, does it -- do you think it's appropriate for the president of the United States to call anybody --
PATTON: I think the American people voted for somebody who speaks their mind. I've been with him for almost 10 years, arguably saying what he thinks and what he feels has resulted in a lot of success for him. One could say it's what put him at 1600 Pennsylvania.
COOPER: Help me understand.
PATTON: And I think the American people would rather have somebody who speaks their mind than has somebody who runs a sentence past 80 people.
COOPER: Help me understand because again, you've worked for the Trump Organization. You know it inside and out. The president during the campaign said he hires the best people. He hires the best people, said it over and over again. It was a very effective part of his campaign.
Is Omarosa Manigault Newman, was she one of the best people? Really?
PATTON: Look, Omarosa Manigault has in her own right been very successful given from where she came from.
COOPER: I mean, before the president fired --
PATTON: And all of that, she has attributed all that of to the president, you know, from the time she grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. She actually took me to her hometown, took the whole women's tour.
COOPER: Is she one of the best and brightest to be hired in the White House?
PATTON: Well, I mean, she has worked in the White House before. Ask Clinton. Did he think she was one of the best? He hired her, you know?
COOPER: So, how do you reconcile if she is one of the best to be hired with now she is a dog and crazed and she's a crying low life? PATTON: No, what she is obviously a disgruntled employee. So, you
know, and fame and power have weird and different reactions to the different people, you know. Obviously, we're seeing that in a lot of cases.
But for me, I can only say what I know. And what I know is that this family gives people second chances, and I'm a perfect example of that. And the president gave Omarosa a second chance, a third chance and a fourth chance. And now, she has none left. So --
COOPER: Lynne Patton, I really appreciate your time.
PATTON: Thank you.
COOPER: Thank you. It's a pleasure to talk to you.
We're going discuss this more after the break with our team of political analysts and commentators.
And later, with the Trump campaign taking legal action against Omarosa Manigault Newman, we'll dig deeper into the whole nondisclosure agreement she was asked to sign and that Sarah Sanders was commonplace. We'll talk about legalities, ethics of it, as well as how much of a departure it may be from the way things are normally done in Washington.
And later, Stephen Miller's uncle on what he believes the immigration policies his nephew is pushing are doing to the American dream, and why he took the rare step to actually speak out about his own nephew.
We'll be right back.
[20:25:38] COOPER: Well, before the break you heard from Lynne Patton who was on the call during the campaign with Omarosa Manigault Newman dealing with the possibility the president was on tape from "The Apprentice" using the "N" word. It comes on a day that Sarah Sanders said she cannot guarantee that no tape exists of the president using it.
I asked her if she believes the president ever has.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATTON: Well, look, the White House is a diverse group of folks. Obviously, the president, I can't speak for him. Obviously that he's told me that he has never said this word, that it's not in his vocabulary. I take him at his word.
COOPER: As someone you've known for a long time --
COOPER: -- would it shock you if he had said that?
PATTON: Absolutely. The Donald Trump that I know doesn't see black and white. He sees success and failure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining us now is Gloria Borger, Karine Jean-Pierre, and Paris Dennard.
Paris, let me ask you, is it appropriate for the president of the United States to call a high level adviser, a former high level adviser a dog? I mean, they defend the language by saying it's fighting fire with fire and he used the term for others. It is appropriate? Is it him being his best, to paraphrase Melania Trump's campaign?
PARIS DENNARD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF BLACK OUTREACH FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I don't know, Anderson. You have to ask the president.
I don't know fit was appropriate for Omarosa to call him acting like a dog without a leash whenever Mrs. Trump wasn't around. I know the president is referred to as everyone is well-documented and especially Jeff Zeleny, the fact that the president calls many people dogs, a lot of white people, a lot of white men dogs.
It's not -- it's the way the president talks. It's the way that the American people knew that the president, then candidate talks. And so, when he is attacked, when his character is attacked, he fights fire with fire. That's just who he is.
COOPER: Karine, what about that? I mean, Paris makes the point that a lot of Trump supporters and Sarah Sanders has made today that, look, the American people knew the president speaks like this. I mean, he talked about being presidential when he was running and how he could be different things at different times.
But if this -- you know, if he is an equal opportunity offender of calling people dogs or whatever, why should it be a concern?
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON, MOVEON.ORG: Anderson, it doesn't make it less inappropriate. It doesn't make it less racist.
Donald Trump has been really clear. Just look at his Twitter feed. He attacks at a more of a -- in his Twitter than you see at anybody else, attacking Waters and Congresswoman Waters, Congressman Wilson, and NFL players.
And he does that as a cattle call, right, to his base. And to say hey, look, look what I'm doing. I think these people are less than. I'm dehumanizing them. I'm with you.
And it's a real clear thing that he's doing. And I think with Sarah Sanders, it's remarkable that in 2018, that she was not able to guarantee that the president of the United States did not use the "N" word. And I think that says everything that we need to know, because we know Sarah Sanders has stuck her neck out, as you were talking earlier with Jeff Zeleny on many issues that we all knew were lies. But this one, she would not lie about it, because she could not lie about it.
And honestly, Anderson, we don't need a tape. We don't need transcripts. We don't need any of that.
Donald Trump has been pretty clear. Just look at his career. His business career, he started off as a racist. When he stepped into the political arena being the grand wizard of birtherism, which was inherently racist with president Obama. That was his entry point into the politics.
When he stepped into the campaign world, he went after Mexicans and his -- and called them rapists and drug dealers. And his first year in the presidency, when we saw neo-Nazis -- when he saw neo-Nazis marching down Charlottesville, he said very fine people, good people on both sides, and didn't bother acknowledging Heather Heyer who was a counterprotester and heard that.
COOPER: Paris, I want you to be able to respond.
DENNARD: I mean, look, Sarah Sanders could not guarantee that there was not an audiotape of the president because -- taken or recorded years before he was president or a candidate. I don't think anybody could guarantee that Omarosa was going to produce a tape that is actually a combination of two tapes.
The tape, as I understand, the tape that was released is not one tape and one conversation. It's two separate conversations and two tapes. So if you asked somebody beforehand, can you guarantee that there is not a tape and they would have said yes, I can guarantee it? Well, Omarosa produced a fraudulent tape. And so I think Sarah Sanders did the right thing.
And in the videos that you showed before when she said, the President's tweets speaks for itself, the President's tweet speaks for itself. That's what she said today. She said, the President has already acknowledge it, he preempted me and said it's not in his vocabulary the President said he did not use the word. And so, that is where -- and she said the tweet, again, speaks for itself.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm not sure it's fair to say it's a fraudulent tape. But, I did ask Ms. Patton if she could verify it. She said that there are many conversations about it. Katrina Pierson has said that there actually two tapes. We've actually reached out to CBS for clarification of was this two separate tapes? We haven't gotten word back. But you raise a fair point Paris.
Gloria, the President does seem to have a penchant for likening people to dogs and things dogs, I mean I like dogs, but in his mind, like choking, getting fired, sweating, just to name a few the comparisons he's made, tell the people over the last few years. GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, you know, Mitt Romney choking like a dog. Look, I think it's his way, and it's a super silly way of Donald Trump kind of asserting his prowess and his dominance. He doesn't like dogs. We know he's a germophobe. But what this is really about is about saying I am stronger than you, and I am better than you, and you choke like a dog and you sweat like a dog, and I'm going to fire that -- I'm going to fire that dog.
I means it's demeaning not only to the person who is saying it, which would be Donald Trump, but it is demeaning to the office of the presidency and the stature of the presidency because a President really needs to understand that he should not be speaking like this. And I know his supporters will say this is why we elected him. We elected him because he speaks his mind. But what he succeed in doing today is very difficult, which is he made Omarosa almost into a sympathetic figure.
DENNARD: No, that -- he did not do. I swear to you that.
BORGER: Well -- but wait a minute. By calling her a dog and saying, you know, I'm glad we fired that dog or whatever way he did it, he did turn her into somewhat -- I'm not saying she is sympathetic, Paris. I get it. And I think these two people deserve each other. But there was some sympathy for her when he did denigrate her like that using that language.
COOPER: Isn't it, though, Paris, I mean that -- you know, Donald Trump knew who Omarosa was before he hired her. Anybody -- I mean I don't watch "The Apprentice," but I mean even I had got, you know, clip -- seen clips of Omarosa's behavior on television. For him to continue to say that he hires the best people and then suddenly, you know, he told General Kelly, try to keep her around because she -- you know, she speaks well of me, or she speaks -- she says nice things about me. And now suddenly saying all these terrible things about her, doesn't it reflect, though, on him and his management style, his choices?
DENNARD: Well, Anderson, I watched "The Apprentice" all season. I think it's a -- it was a fantastic show. And I was well aware of Omarosa. I mean look, she wrote a book in 2008 called "Bit-Switch" B- I-T Switch about do it and turn it on and off for women, it's a guy book. And so, everyone knew the type of woman Omarosa was. But any time you have somebody who is fired, anytime you had a disgruntled employee or somebody who makes the bad judgment calls, somebody who is let go, you know what? At one point they were actually hired.
So anybody in America, anybody in the world who was fired or let go or disappointed their boss or betrayed their boss or betrayed their friends like Omarosa has done at one point was hired. But I will say, Omarosa, the Omarosa that I met on the campaign trail, the Omarosa that the American people saw throughout the transition team and at the White House, she was someone who was strong in her defense and advocacy for President Trump and his agenda for making the country better for people of all denominations, backgrounds, especially the African-American community. So that's why she was hired to communicate that message. KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But she --
COOPER: But look -- Karine, just -- I just quickly and then you, I mean she certainly is still strong in her defense. I don't know that she is any different now than she was, you know, before she was hired.
JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, I mean, look, here is the problem here is that Omarosa has known Donald Trump what, 15 years? They had a mutual beneficial relationship. So he brought her in. They were friends. So he takes a -- he needs to take responsibility for the people he hires. He says he hires the best people. That's it. That's who he represents as the best person.
BORGER: I don't think they're friends. I think they used each other.
BORGER: And they used each other.
DENNARD: They're not friends anymore. He said Omarosa, you're fired.
COOPER: Who knows? Season four. We'll what happen.
JEAN-PIERRE: Who knows right?
COOPER: Karine-Jean-Pierre, Paris Dennard, Gloria Borger, thank you.
[20:34:59] COOPER: Coming up, we'll dive into the world of non- disclosure agreements and NDAS. Are they in fact the norm inside the White House? That's next.
COOPER: The Trump campaign tonight says it's taking legal action against Omarosa Manigault-Newman, accusing her of breaching a non- disclosure agreement that she signed with the Trump campaign back in 2016, which brought about this exchange at the White House briefing today with Sarah Sanders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I ask you once more about the practice of signing people to non-disclosure agreements? Because -- let me ask you what it says about the expressions of loyalty or lack thereof, people who work behind that wall. Why do people need to be contractually obligated to forever after in perpetuity never say anything negative about the President, any member of his family, any product they should produce. Why is that necessary?
SARAH SANDERS, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: Look, again, it's common in a lot of --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To protect the corporate. There what's the corporate interest? What's the particular --
SANDERS: Certainly it's also despite contrary opinion, it's also very normal and every administration prior to the Trump administration has had NDAS, particularly specific for anyone that had a security clearance. This White House is certainly no different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keeping someone like Omarosa silent? Because right now what the Trump campaign is doing, is he is forcing her essentially to defend herself and potentially even pay damages. Why is that necessary?
SANDERS: That's a question you would have to ask the Trump campaign.
COOPER: Well, speaking of the Trump campaign, according to Manigault- Newman, they tried to get her to sign a non-disclosure agreement in exchange for signing, which she says she never did, she would have been paid $15,000 a month by the Trump reelection campaign in exchange for staying silent about her time in the White House. If she had joined the campaign or gone to work for the RNC, she would have been the first close person in the President's orbit to do.
These five high level Trump appointees left the Trump administration to sign up with Trump-related political groups. We know one of them, Keith Schiller who is the President's so-called buddy man, close confidante for years is being paid exactly the same amount, $15,000 allegedly offered to Omarosa Manigault-Newman paid by the Republican National Committee to help provide security for the 2020 Republican Convention.
Another name on that list is Carl Higbie, resigned from the White House in January and then resigned again from his position the nonprofit that supports the President in early June after CNN's Kate Farrell reported on history of Racist, anti-Muslim, and anti-gay comments he made.
I'm joined now by Ambassador Norm Eisen, who serve as ethics czar in the President Obama, Jim Schultz, a former lawyer in the Trump administration and Amanda Carpenter, author of the book "Gaslighting America."
Jim, were you involved with getting Trump White House staffers to sign NDAS, I'm not talking about national security paper work? I'm talking about blanket NDAS with non-disparagement clauses, because Sarah Sanders says that's been standard operating procedure even though -- I think your former boss Don McGahn reportedly told people that they're basically unenforceable.
[20:40:15] JIM SCHULTZ, LAWYER: So I'm not going to get into what was discussed while I was a White House staffer because that would be inappropriate. And that's generally the rule of thumb as it relates to White House staffers, especially White House lawyers. You don't discuss what you discuss with White House staff. COOPER: Can I ask if you signed a non-disclosure statement?
SCHULTZ: I did. I said earlier today that I did in fact sign a non- disclosure agreement in May. So getting back to, this though, and I think it's important to note that in the corporate world, yes, it's typical that you have an NDA. I have clients all the time who do business with other clients. In order to do that, they exchange information, they sign an NDA, so that they don't -- so that information doesn't leave those two parties. Typically, in certain instances, in the corporate world, there will be employees who are required to sign NDAS --
SCHULTZ: -- because they are, you know, getting information that's sensitive. Likewise, in the White House, there was a requirement that employees signed NDAS. It was more of a belt and suspenders approach as it results to the existing obligation. But it's very, very important that and I think Norm will agree with this, it's very, very important that whistle-blowers, folks that are -- ask questions and oversight request, subpoenas, investigations, that their ability to speak is not stifled, and that's not what this was all about.
SCHULTZ: It was really it protected the interest of those individuals while at the same time, the interests and the rights of those individuals with regard to those issues.
COOPER: I'm not sure protected.
SCHULTZ: But at the same time --
COOPER: Right, the rights of the individuals that -- it was more about protecting the President, and the administration from negative publicity.
SCHULTZ: Hold on, no, no, no. No but as it relates to whistle- blowers and investigations and subpoenas and oversight requests, certainly protected the signers likewise. And that's the important thing to make --
COOPER: We asked several people who served in high level roles in past administration, Republican or Democrat they all said that they don't know anyone aside from national security matters, specific national security matters who had to sign an NDA or was even ask to sign an NDA. Why would Sarah Sanders say that it's so common?
SCHULTZ: I don't know why Sarah said what she said. I think it was common as it relates to venders that deal with the White House on a regular basis. And I'm not going to speak for Sarah, but I think it is common for --
COOPER: What do you mean vendors? SCHULTZ: -- folks with business with the White House, vendors and the like. People who provide services or companies that provide services to the White House. I believe that would be something that would be a regular practice. But as it relates to staff, certainly this is anomaly. It is an anomaly. No question --
SCHULTZ: -- about that. But at the same time, going back to it, the fact of the matter is it's reinforcing what is already there. As a White House lawyer, there's no way I'm going to go out and talk about the specific conversations I had with my client.
COOPER: I get that. Ambassador Eisen, would a White House NDA even be enforceable? I mean these are employees paid by taxpayers. They don't work for Donald Trump, the person or his family business. They work for the government of the United States.
NORMAN EISEN, CNN COMMENTATOR: No Anderson, they would not be enforceable. I was a lawyer for the Obama campaign, transition and White House. We never dreamt of one. I never heard of them. Sarah Sanders, I'll say it, she was out and out lying today, Anderson. Because if you listen to what she said, she said they're common in the classified setting. But that's not what we're talking about here. Immediate reports are Omarosa didn't even have a security clearance.
So the law is that the First Amendment protects the right of government officials when they leave to speak. It's a part of freedom of speech. And that's why it is reported that Don McGahn, my friend Jim was very lawyerly. And he can't talk about it, I understand that. But that's why it was reported that Don McGahn said essentially go ahead and sign, it can never be enforced against you. So this is one more. But the fact that Donald Trump required people to sign an unconstitutional document is one more piece of evidence of his contempt and disdain for the constitution.
COOPER: All right. I want to bring in Amanda, but I got to take a quick break. Amanda, we'll come right to you when we come back.
[20:46:27] COOPER: Before the break Ambassador Norm Eisen was talking about his own experience in the White House with non-disclosure agreements, or lack thereof. Back with him, Jim Schultz and Amanda Carpenter.
Amanda, you know, last night on the program you brought up the, you know, the idea that -- or Omarosa claimed she was offered $15,000, you know, essentially severance on a monthly basis in order not to speak out. And that there is others who were -- have been offered that as well. We talked about the buddy man -- the former buddy man for the President who is getting reportedly some $15,000 paid by the RNC. To do security for the 2020 convention, which I mean, I'm not sure whether the security setup is right now for a convention that, you know, is so far off.
But it is interesting that -- I mean, is that common, Amanda, as far as you know?
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think there are very legitimate questions between pairing the prospect of a non-disclosure agreement with a very high paying job that may not require very much work. That seems to me that the RNC may be being used as a hush money slush fund, and there should be questions about what Michael Cohen's role was as deputy finance chair, where he, you know, orchestrated hush money payments for a former big RNC donor to a former playmate. There is a lot going on in that department.
But, I mean, as these non-disclosure agreements apply to official work, it is absolutely appalling not only that the President would ask taxpayer-funded employees to sign non-disclosure agreements, but that anyone in the west wing would sign them, because they work for the United States of America, not as personal brand ambassadors for the President. And I think even though I don't think these NDAS for official work are very enforceable, they are successful because they put a price on anyone who speaks out against the President.
The question is how much will they pay. Any time you say something that could be in the category of demeaning or disparaging the President, you may have to think about calling a lawyer. And I think that bleeds through in all the surrogates and people are associated with President Trump in their just over the top rhetoric and praise of the President.
And so maybe we're getting a better explanation for why they act in these bizarre ways because they have these contracts over their head. And people who seem to disappear, there is a lot of them, may be being paid for that silence.
COOPER: Jim, I saw you shaking your head.
SCHULTZ: So, I'm under no obligation to say nice things about the President. As a matter of fact, from time to time and very often, I'm critical of this administration on this show and other CNN shows. So, Amanda, you're just flat-out wrong about the disparagement part of this.
CARPENTER: I read it. There is clauses about non-disparaging the President. If Ivanka Trump doing a good job?
CARPENTER: Do you think Ivanka Trump is doing a good job?
SCHULTZ: Amanda, you're talking about --
CARPENTER: I asked you a question. You said I'm wrong, I asked you a question.
SCHULTZ: You're not asking these questions, Amanda. You don't get to ask the questions here. I get to speak just like you do.
CARPENTER: Go ahead.
SCHULTZ: And in this instance, you're talking about government officials, and you are conflating the government officials with the campaign officials.
CARPENTER: Kellyanne Conway confirmed that west wing employees sign NDAS.
COOPER: So, Jim, just from a legal standpoint, not based on --
SCHULTZ: Right, And NDA and a non-disparagement -- and a non- disparagement agreement are two different things.
CARPENTER: But the NDA included disparaging statements against the President, the family and the Vice President.
COOPER: Jim, to your --
COOPER: I don't know if you can say, but does the --
SCHULTZ: You know that --
COOPER: -- NDA include a non-disparagement clause?
SCHULTZ: I'm under no obligation. I criticize this administration when it's right to criticize this administration.
[20:50:00] COOPER: Right. But can you say whether or not there is a disparagement clause in there?
SCHULTZ: I am under no legal obligation not to -- I am under no legal obligation to refrain from criticizing this administration.
COOPER: Right. But that doesn't mean that there's a --
SCHULTZ: That I can tell you, Amanda, you're flat out wrong.
COOPER: But you haven't said yes or no if there's a non-disparagement clause in the NDA?
SCHULTZ: I signed the NDA. That the answers your question.
COOPER: So there is no non-disparagement clause in the NDA you signed?
SCHULTZ: I'm not going to get into what is and isn't in that document because I was a White House staffer at the time, but I can --
CARPENTER: Are you afraid of the President suing you?
SCHULTZ: No, I'm not at all. I come on this show time and time again and am critical of this President and this administration and Rudy Giulani at times, and they just tweeted out last week one that I was critical on. So to sit here and say that all White House employees have to say nice things about the President is just ridiculous.
CARPENTER: I just think it's questionable that any taxpayer-funded employee would sign a nondisclosure --
SCHULTZ: You just don't know what you're talking about --
CARPENTER: -- agreement with the campaign or the President.
CARPENTER: I read the news. Excuse me, I can bring up the fact all day long.
COOPER: Let her respond. Let her.
CARPENTER: I think employees that are taxpayer-funded take an oath to support and defend the constitution. We all saw those west wing employees raise their hand and take that oath. And if they signed another agreement to never disparage or demean the President, that could be taken any number of ways. I think that is a First Amendment violation. I don't think it's constitutional, but I think its terrible judgment for anyone who would enjoy a job in that White House to put loyalty to a President above the constitution.
COOPER: Ambassador Eisen, I want to you have the final word.
EISEN: I'm just going to --
SCHULTZ: White House staffers need to keep confidential information.
COOPER: Go ahead, Ambassador.
EISEN: Anderson, you know, I deplore the President making them sign these agreements. But I do understand why individuals who are there. Some of them serving as the last bastion of attempting to hang on to sanity by a shred, are signing unenforceable agreements just in order to stay there and protect our country. So I'm not prepared to condemn them out of hand.
COOPER: Norm Eisen, appreciate it, Jim Schultz, always and Amanda Carpenter.
Well still ahead, the tough message to get from anyone, let alone a relative. White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, being called a hypocrite loudly and very publically by his own uncle. You'll hear from him, next.
COOPER: White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller is one of the architects of the President's approach to immigration and now Miller is coming under attack for that in a new op-ed in "Politico" but it's not written by a pundit or political insider. It's written by his uncle, David Glosser. I spoke to him earlier today.
COOPER: In the piece you wrote, you describe your nephew, Stephen Miller, as an immigration hypocrite. What do you mean by that?
[20:55:02] DAVID GLOSSER, STEPHEN MILLER'S UNCLE: It's an important question. And I have to preface my response by saying that I wrote this article more in sadness than in anger or resentment. Our family history is entirely dependent upon the fact that our family was able to escape from a terrible situation in what is now the country of Belarus. In those days, it was part of the Russian empire.
COOPER: Your family first came here in the early 1900s?
GLOSSER: The first of our particular group came over in 1903. They worked for a while peddling fruit and doing sweat shot work. And then they were able to round up enough money to bring over the rest of the immediate family. Everybody else who didn't make it, they were all swept away in the holocaust and dead.
COOPER: And so you're saying the hypocrisy --
GLOSSER: I'll put it simply. Had we not been able to enter America when we did, Stephen Miller would never exist.
COOPER: And so this notion of chain migration, which is something the administration calls the opportunity for somebody who's come to the United States to apply to get their parents to come, their cousins, brothers or sisters to come -- that has been part of your family history, of Stephen Miller's family history?
GLOSSER: That is the classic story of virtually everybody in America who isn't a Native American or who was brought over unwillingly as a slave. That's everybody's story.
COOPER: You referred to your nephew Stephen as an immigration hypocrite. Do you see this administration itself as hypocritical, the first lady, her parents just got citizenship based on what the administration would call chain migration.
GLOSSER: Well, let's think of it for a second, as far as I understand, Mr. Trump's grandfather came over or either his father or his grandfather came over as an immigrant from Germany, trying to avoid draft into the German Army. He's trying to find a new life here in the United States. His mother, I think, escaped the poverty of Scotland --
GLOSSER: -- looking for a better opportunity in New York City. And he is married to -- what's the count now? Three immigrant women in the United States and has just through chain migration, her parents have been made citizens of the United States, and I welcome them.
COOPER: You know, it's obviously always difficult to talk about race and, I always hesitate to even bring it up in these circumstances. But the President has -- you know, there's been reporting that he's talked about immigrants coming from what he called shithole countries. Talked about people from Haiti having AIDS. About people in Nigeria not wanting to go back to their huts as if people -- everybody in Nigeria lives in huts. Talked about people, you know, why shouldn't more people from Norway come? Do you see a racial component in this administration, how they view this issue?
GLOSSER: You know, all those epithets are the sorts of things which were said about Jews, Irish, Poles, Hungarians, and virtually Italians, Sicilians, Sardinians. Everybody from southern Europe, Eastern Europe, from the Balkan countries were all condemned and vilified by the so-called America firsters of their day. I mean these people were described frequently as slime pumped out of the mud tanks of Europe, rapists, murders, thieves, gangsters.
And thankfully the United States has made progress, as fitful as it may be, in reforming immigration laws so that we no longer have these racial quotas. It is hard to escape the conclusion based on the administration's actions and policies rather than the rhetoric. It's hard to escape the conclusion that they want to disadvantage people coming from countries based on their religion, based on their ethnicity, and based on their countries and regions of origin.
COOPER: Did it surprise you that Stephen was involved in this, that -- I mean you see him as a leading voice in this in the administration.
GLOSSER: Sadly, it's no surprise. It appears that much of his professional identity and his personal identity has been wrapped up in this particular issue, though I do not know why.
COOPER: You don't understand why?
GLOSSER: I don't know why. Listen, I don't know the fellow very well. I've met him perhaps a total of 10 times in my life and haven't had a substantive conversation with him for many years. Everything I know about him really is drawn from his public persona, from his actions and what he's said and what he's written.
COOPER: What are you hoping speaking out does? Are you hoping he hears it? Or you -- it for him? Is it for others?
GLOSSER: Listen, it's for anybody who's willing to listen. But I want people of good will to recognize that the United States is a great country. And the reason it's great is because of -- one of the many reasons it's great is because of our open attitude towards people of different races, religions, and ethnicity's.
COOPER: David, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
GLOSSER: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, of course we reached out to the White House yesterday and again today to see if Stephen Miller had a response to his uncle's op-ed. we got none.
[21:00:01] The news continues right now. I want to hand over Chris, "CUOMO PRIME TIME" starts now. Chris?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Nice (ph) interview. Thank you for that Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to "Prime Time."