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Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif's blunt statements; Church's sexual abuse allegations; a stunner in the Russia investigation; CNN Heroes; History of Comedy. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired August 19, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[16:00:00] JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: -- position he's in of criticizing President Trump and the is so-called collusion with Russia unless he did use classified information.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: CNN NEWSROOM starts now.
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WHITFIELD: All right. Hello, again, everyone, and thank you so much for being with me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
All right. Happening this hour President Trump and the first lady are departing his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on the way back to the White House. The president spent the early part of the day along with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani managing potential fallout after a "New York Times" report about White House attorney Don McGahn being interviewed in the Mueller investigation.
The report detailing the White House counsel has cooperated extensively in the special counsel investigation, providing as much as 30 hours of testimony. Giuliani saying this morning McGahn was encouraged to interview and the White House knows exactly what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: The president encouraged him to testify, is happy that he did.
CHUCK TODD, HOST, "MEET THE PRESS": Yes.
GIULIANI: Is quite secure that there is nothing in the testimony that will hurt the president. And John Dowd told you that when he said he was a strong witness for the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: The president meantime is lashing out, comparing the probe to McCarthyism, tweeting today, "The failing 'New York Times' wrote a fake piece today implying that because White House counsel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the special counsel he must be a John Dean type rat. But I allowed him and all others to testify. I didn't have to. I have nothing to hide."
CNN's Ryan Nobles is joining me now from Brooklyn Heights, New Jersey, where the president has been for the weekend, but again, on his way now to Washington momentarily.
So, Ryan, Rudy Giuliani says he has a pretty good feeling about what Don McGahn would have said, but do they know specifically what he said and what the Q and A was like?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, that's a big question right now, Fred. We know that Don McGahn spent an extensive amount of time with the special counsel, more than 30 hours over three different occasions. And we also know that Don McGahn is somebody that has been around the president at some of these key moments that would be of interest to the special counsel.
And the president and the White House are pretty insistent that that's OK, that they're the ones that gave Don McGahn the right, the ability to go on and have this conversation with the special counsel, and they also were the ones that told him it was OK to waive attorney-client privilege which essentially allowed him to say whatever he knew about these interactions over the past year and half, but what's interesting about all of this is that it's not abundantly clear that the White House knows exactly what Dan McGahn told Robert Mueller.
Listen to how Rudy Giuliani was pressed on this, this morning on "Meet the Press."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: We have a good sense, obviously, of what Mr. McGahn testified to. I can figure it out from --
TODD: How do you say that good sense? Have you debriefed him?
GIULIANI: No, no. But Mr. Dowd has a good sense of it. He talked to them at the time.
TODD: So you don't know what Mr. McGahn -- you don't know 100 percent of what he testified to? To Mr. Mueller?
GIULIANI: I think that through John Dowd, we have a pretty good sense of it. And John Dowd yesterday said -- I'll use his words rather than mine -- that McGahn was a strong witness for the president. So I don't need to know much more about that.
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NOBLES: But what the White House has not really responded to was the assertion in "The New York Times" report that when don McGahn learned of the -- counsel for the president, his private attorney suggesting that he meet with the special counsel that he was concerned that perhaps he was being setup, that this was a way for them to perhaps put him on the hook for any obstruction of justice charge that the special counsel discovered and that's when he got his own personal attorney and was advised by his own personal attorney how to handle the situation, and Don McGahn's personal attorney has been pretty clear this weekend.
He didn't go into these interviews with the goal of providing them incriminating information about the president but there's no doubt that he's been a cooperating witness, and William Burke, the attorney for Don McGahn, has said that he was very honest as anyone should be when talking to a federal investigator.
So of course, Fred, this gets back to your original question, what exactly did Don McGahn tell the special counsel? It seems the only person that knows that for sure is Robert Mueller -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Ryan Nobles, thanks so much.
Giuliani also discussed the infamous Trump Tower meeting today saying that meeting was of no consequence and could not possibly result in charges against the president.
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GIULIANI: If someone said, I have information about your opponent, you would take that meeting. If it happens to be --
TODD: From the Russian government?
GIULIANI: She didn't represent the Russian government. She's a private citizen. I don't even know if they knew she was a Russian at the time. All they had was her name.
TODD: They knew she was Russian. I think they knew she was Russian, but OK.
GIULIANI: Well, they knew it when they met with her, not when they set up the meeting. You told me -- you asked me, you know, did they show an intention to do anything with Russians, well, all they knew is that a woman with a Russian name wanted to meet with them.
[16:05:06] They didn't know she was a representative of the Russian government. And indeed she is not a representative of the Russian government.
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WHITFIELD: All right. But of course we know that really isn't true. We have the e-mail exchange with Donald Trump Jr. that proves otherwise. Rob Goldstone wrote to Trump Junior on June 3rd, 2016, saying, "The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father this morning, and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." Donald Trump Jr. then responds, "If it's what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer."
I want to bring in Jamil Jaffer, former associate White House counsel in the George W. Bush administration, and CNN presidential historian Tim Naftali.
Good to see both of you.
OK, Jamil, you first. You know, the White House is not refuting that Don McGahn actually gave the testimony. In fact even saying they encouraged it. But the White House is fighting back against any negative inference from it, so what would the White House be so worried about?
JAMIL JAFFER, FORMER ASSOCIATE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL, GEORGE W. BUSH ADMINISTRATION: Well, look, I mean, obviously Don McGahn very close to the president, speaks to the president on a regular basis about what's going on, gives advice to the president about what he was doing or the vice president was doing. The president waived attorney-client privilege, he waived executive privilege and told Don McGahn go in and talk.
Well, that's a problem because there's a lot of conversation that might be had that were private or provided advice and now that Don McGahn has gone and said everything he knows, because that's what the president told him to do, you know, the president is in a situation where if one of his stories varies from what Don McGahn said, right, if he goes and testifies that's a real problem for the president if he doesn't tell the same story that Don did. Now Don is a smart lawyer but he's going to go tell the truth when he's confronted by prosecutor and there's no privilege at stake because the president waived it.
WHITFIELD: And, Jamil, as you're talking we're looking at live pictures of Marine One there in New Jersey, the president and the first lady leaving New Jersey, eventually on the way back to Washington after having spent the weekend there at the New Jersey golf course, you know, bearing Trump's name.
So, Tim, you know, the -- Rudy Giuliani, the personal attorney for President Trump, says he has a pretty good idea, you know, what Don McGahn would have said. But you saw in that, you know, question and answer on "Meet the Press" it didn't -- it doesn't sound like Rudy Giuliani has heard first person from Don McGahn what the questions were, what information he would have given, but clearly Don McGahn is also protecting himself by having his own attorney with him. He is a witness in this exchange with the special counsel.
How concerning --
TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well --
WHITFIELD: You know, should the White House be?
NAFTALI: Well, the first thing that the White House should be concerned about -- be concerned about is that Mr. McGahn is the lawyer for the presidency. He's the lawyer for the office of the presidency. He's not Donald Trump's personal lawyer. So his job is to protect a presidency. And we're assuming he of course he tells the truth, his answers are going to be in support of our country's presidency. It's very possible that he will give information that provides the special prosecutor with better questions to ask about Mr. Trump's behavior. It doesn't mean that Mr. McGahn went into the meeting in order to
incriminate Donald Trump. Mr. McGahn wasn't with Donald Trump during the campaign. He doesn't know every associate of Donald Trump.
WHITFIELD: Right. But it's interesting that Giuliani would say, you know, it's his belief that Don McGahn would be a strong witness for the president.
NAFTALI: Fred, Fred, I have to say that during the Watergate period, the White House -- that would be the Richard Nixon White House -- made the same claim because what's the alternative? You can't have Giuliani go forward and say, we're worried. Even if they are, they can't say it publicly.
WHITFIELD: Mm-hmm. But I guess worry sounds like that is the sentiment, Jamil, coming from the president when the president tweets, you know, a reference to the Nixon administration attorney John Dean and calling him a rat almost says, you know, maybe a warning to Don McGahn that, you know, you should only say but so much. I mean, what do you interpret from that coming from the president today?
JAFFER: Well, you know, Fredricka, it's hard to know what the president is thinking when he puts his tweets out there. I mean, you know, in one -- on one hand, he is admitting I told Don McGahn to the tell the truth and the whole truth which means that if the president's story varies at all from Don McGahn's, that's a huge problem for the president.
[16:10:01] On top of that he's also talking about John Dean and Nixon and Watergate, suggesting there might be some parallel here which is not a positive for the president so, you know, as always --
WHITFIELD: Right. But why does he do that? Why is he doing that?
JAFFER: I mean, it is inexplicable. The president ought to get off the Twitter and get off of Twitter tomorrow, he ought to stop tweeting out, he got to listen to his lawyers, stop talking about the investigation, stop going after Jeff Sessions, stop going after Bob Mueller, focus on his agenda and -- I mean, he's making it worse for himself. Anybody who's Donald Trump's lawyer right now has got to be thinking, this is a train wreck.
WHITFIELD: So from Marine One now -- and there is Barron, we haven't seen him in a long time there. The first family there, you know, getting off of Marine One on their way now to Air Force One as they are still in New Jersey ending the weekend there. Any chance we might be able to hear anything? All right, no. But if anything is going to be said, we'll have to rewrack it and try to bring it to you, but you see them at least waving there.
So, you know, Tim, the White House, perhaps it's trying to look like it's not worried at all, very calm, cool and collected about all of this, especially by hearing from Rudy Giuliani, you know, earlier today, but then if you're Don McGahn, while you have gotten the green light from the White House to do this interview, and now there is that "New York Times'," you know, report that says, yes, it was 30 hours, you know, of interviewing over nine months' period, what is that like for Don McGahn to go back to work as the White House counsel? Would he, you know, share the testimony? Would he be mum on it? I mean, what is this going to be like for him?
NAFTALI: I'd leave it to a lawyer to determine whether he should share it, but, look, one thing that is really interesting about this particular story is that when John Dean cooperated with investigators he was looking for immunity and he was on his way out. Presumably Mr. McGahn is not looking for immunity and he's planning to remain the lawyer for the Office of the President.
He is a pro. He is a professional. That's his job. His job is to answer questions to defend the presidency. Not necessarily to defend the president. And that's where the challenge is. Because frankly, Mr. Trump, President Trump is not accustomed to having people around him whose job it is to protect the institution rather than the person.
WHITFIELD: Right, and then, Jamil, no wonder why Don McGahn would have his own attorney present.
JAFFER: Well, look, Don McGahn, his attorney Bill Burke is a very smart guy, former deputy White House counsel in the Bush administration, he's been through investigations, he knows how to run. He's providing his client the best advice he can and in this case, unlike the president, I bet you Don McGahn is taking Bill Burke's advice.
WHITFIELD: All right. Jamil Jaffer, Tim Naftali, good to see you both. Thanks so much.
NAFTALI: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Coming up there, the men and women who have kept our country safe from terrorists, but the president is threatening to revoke even more security clearances from veteran intelligence officials, this as 60 now former CIA leaders warned the president's threats could weaken U.S. democracy. Stay with us.
[16:17:17] WHITFIELD: All right. Here come the name calling, loud mouth partisan political hack. That's how President Trump is describing former CIA director John Brennan this weekend. And now the White House has a new defense for its decision to strip his security clearance.
Brennan's access was revoked last week after the White House says he used highly sensitive information to make a series of outrageous allegations. Today National Security adviser John Bolton attempted to clarify that statement.
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BOLTON: It was my view at the time that he and others in the Obama administration were politicizing intelligence. I think that's a very dangerous thing to do, and I think especially for senior intelligence officials, career intelligence officials who come out of the government to keep that wall of separation between intelligence and policy. I think a number of people have commented that he couldn't be in the position he is in of criticizing President Trump and his so- called collusion with Russia, unless he did use classified information.
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WHITFIELD: But Brennan will not remain quiet on this. Today he defended his criticism of the president and suggested the two sides could square off in court.
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JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I have been contacted by a number of lawyers, and they have already given me their thoughts about the basis for a complaint, an injunction, to try to prevent him from doing this in the future.
If my clearances and my reputation as I am being pulled through the mud now, if that's the price we're going to pay to prevent Donald Trump from doing this against other people, to me, it's a small price to pay. So I am going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses in the future. And if it means going to court, I will do that.
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WHITFIELD: All right. Here with me now, CNN political and national security analyst and national security correspondent for "The New York Times" David Sanger, and CNN national security analyst Elliott Ackerman.
Good to see you both, gentlemen.
All right, so, David, you first. So will this be the right move for Brennan to take this matter to court?
DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it might be. The president has got the authority to take away any security clearance that he wants, but I found Mr. Bolton's argument particularly mystifying because once an official like Mr. Brennan is no longer the director of the CIA, I don't see why he would be in any different position about policy positions or issuing critiques to the president than any other American citizen as long as he didn't reveal classified I information that he had obtained during the time he was out of the job.
So the position Mr. Bolton was taking was basically he had to remain an analyst even after he had left the CIA.
[16:20:05] And I find that not only mystifying, but something that few previous CIA directors have been abiding by.
WHITFIELD: Right. And Elliott, you know, today the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani also made his case to remove Brennan's security clearance and this is how he put it.
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GIULIANI: Brennan made the extraordinary charge that the president was treasonous, and then just said to you, and I commend you for your questioning, that he has no information that the president is guilty of conspiracy. Well, I mean, that is just conjecture that this man accuses people of a crime that could carry death as the result. Totally --
TODD: It's a highly charged word.
GIULIANI: Unhinged character who shouldn't have a security clearance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So, Elliott, you know, Brennan is very well respected still, you know, in the intelligence community, and now to have the word unhinged associated with him, how might this potentially backfire for the White House?
ELLIOTT ACKERMAN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think what we're going to basically see is a continued, I mean, tit-for-tat for particularly if former Director Brennan takes this to court, but I mean, I failing to see the forest for the trees. And what's most concerning is you're seeing the politicization of our intelligence services, and some day, we, the American people, are going to need those intelligence services to work for us again, and we're going to need to believe that they can actually impartially speak truth to power.
And the longer this goes on with both sides, both President Trump and Brennan, I would say to blame, it becomes less and less likely that our intelligence services are going to be able to get out the other end, and once again have that credible impartial voice that's been essential to defending this country.
WHITFIELD: So, David, while there's something like -- upwards of 60, you know, members in the intel community who have said add me to the list, you can revoke my, you know, clearance, too, if it means, you know, being in solidarity with, you know, John Brennan and others, but if they are called upon, any number of those people are called upon by any of the intelligence communities under this administration, do you see them as saying no, they would not be consulted? They would not allow their expertise, you know, to be used to help the intelligence community right now?
SANGER: I don't see that. I imagine that they would allow their expertise to be used, the question is will the intelligence community would share with them information they would need in order to provide an informed opinion. But that 60 number is a pretty remarkable number. Just go back two summer ago to when you saw national security officials write a letter opposing the endorsement of -- including most of the Republicans who said that they would not serve in the administration, there's not a huge amount of overlap between that group which was anti-Trump starting in the campaign in 2016 and this group.
And it tells you that the president has managed to alienate intelligence professionals, many of whom I think probably were perfectly happy to see him take office or believe that he might be on the way to improving things. So it tells you how much the president has managed to politicize these issues in these times. It's not the first time that the president politicized intelligence, the question came up of course during the run-up to the Iraq war.
WHITFIELD: All right. We'll leave it right there.
David Sanger, Elliott Ackerman, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.
Straight ahead, another White House exit. This time, a speechwriter leaving after it was discovered he went to conferences and gatherings for white nationalists. More details next.
[16:28:24] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. A speech writer for President Trump who attended a 2016 white nationalist conference has left the White House.
Darren Beattie confirmed to CNN that he spoke at the 2016 H.L. Mencken Club Conference. That even is regularly attended by well-known white nationalists such as Richard Spencer as you see here. Bur Beattie says his speech there was not objectionable. The White House has confirmed his departure, though.
Joining me right now is CNN KFILE senior editor Andrew Kaczynski.
So I understand the White House -- as you tried to confirm this story or his participation, the White House also tried to discourage you from reporting on the story?
ANDREW KACZYNSKI, CNN KFILE SENIOR EDITOR: Well, what happened is I reached out to the White House early last week asking, you know, with the evidence we had that he had spoken at this conference. He was listed on a schedule for it, and recap of it sort of alluded to him speaking. And I reached out to them, I asked about it. They said they needed a couple of days to look into it.
On Thursday they told me they would get me something on Friday and then sort of all through Friday, it was me playing phone tag with the White House deputy communications director, me calling him, him saying he'd call me right back, and they really delayed this sort of until almost like 6:30 on Friday when they told me that he had left the White House.
WHITFIELD: Hmm. So what do we know to be in the content of what he said at the conference?
KACZYNSKI: So we don't know the content of his exact speech. The title of it was "The Right Intelligentsia." Now there are some clips on the Web from which we can glean a little into Mister -- these world view. He was previously a Duke visiting instructor when he spoke at the conference and before he joined the White House. Now what we were able to see is that he said is he supported Trump from very early on from the beginning, and he said it was because he agreed with his positions on immigration.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: And is he no longer at the White House because you reached out to the White House asking about his participation, or is there some other reason why he is no longer at the White House.
KACZYNSKI: So it is interesting. When I reached out, the White House, when they finally got back to me very late on Friday said we don't comment on personnel matters, but he no longer works here. That was when I asked when did he leave, and they again would say we're not going to comment on a personnel matter, which as, you know, we at CNN know they talk about personnel matters all of the time.
So what we are able to see however, is that the White House email which was active all of last week, you know, when I was reaching out to him for comment was no longer active on Saturday.
WHITFIELD: All right. Andrew Kaczynski, thanks so much. Straight ahead, less than a month after the President issued this all caps warning to Iran, CNN sits down with that country's foreign minister who says that he believes that the U.S. has an addiction problem. That exclusive interview is next.
[16:35:00] WHITFIELD: Iran's foreign minister says the U.S. has a disease of an addiction to sanctions. The blunt statements coming in an exclusive interview with CNN, it is the first time Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has spoken to CNN since President Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in May.
And it follows President Trump's threats of severe consequences against those who continue to trade with Iran. CNN Senior International Correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is in Teheran for us, where he sat down with that exclusive interview. So what more was said?
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NICK PATON WALSH, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Javad Zarif is very much the man who put his name to this deal (Inaudible) life trying to persuade John Kerry and his own government to some degree to sign on to that complicated diplomatic deal, and very much during this interview, he tried to stick to it. European allies of the United States are against Donald Trump's decision to pull unilaterally out of the deal and re-impose sanctions.
We saw the first wave of those kicking last week against (Inaudible) various parts of (Inaudible) industry here too. There are more coming up in November. Here's what Mr. Zarif had to say about the U.S. attitudes toward sanctions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe that there is a disease in the United States, and that is the addiction to sanctions. Even during the Obama administration, the United States put more emphasis on keeping the sanctions that it had not lifted rather than implementing its obligations on the sanctions that it lifted.
WALSH: He you felt the U.S. was addicted to sanction, why did you go ahead with the deal?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That may have been one of the mistakes, but the problem was that we felt that the United States had learned that at least as far as Iran is concerned, sanctions do produce economic hardship, but do not produce the political outcomes that they intended them to produce. And I thought that the Americans had learned that lesson. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
WALSH: A lot of soul searching here as the way forward for a relationship with the United States, having many here who thought negotiations were a good idea, not sure they can trust the Trump White House. There are more sanctions coming in November. Mr. Zarif was clear that the economic problems we've been seeing are about country preparing for the worst storms ahead.
And they will persevere, but there are many suffering are from a drop in the local currency and it's the task of negotiations, (Inaudible) Mr. Zarif trying to persuade people here, frankly. Hardliners in the government there is a some kind path ahead despite Donald Trump's -- more unilateral erratic behavior on that world stage, back to you.
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WHITFIELD: All right. Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much in Teheran. All right, coming up, CNN's Jake Tapper digs deeper into that stunning grand jury report that details sexual abuse allegations against more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania. And he is finds out why one of the most powerful Catholics in the nation, the Archbishop of Washington is under scrutiny for the way the church handled the allegations.
[16:40:00] WHITFIELD: One of the most powerful Catholics in this country is under growing scrutiny for the way the most recent sexual abuse allegations have been handled by the church. Washington Cardinal, Donald Wuerl, was a Pennsylvania bishop for nearly two decades, and there are calls for his resignation following the explosive grand jury report this week on the horrifying abuse allegations of several dioceses in Pennsylvania. CNN's Jake Tapper has the story.
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JAKE TAPPER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This Sunday morning is the first mass here since this shocking Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing allegations of widespread predatory behavior by more than 300 priests against more than 1,000 children. I am standing here at St. Matthew's Cathedral because before Donald Wuerl, the powerful Cardinal of the Washington diocese was hosting popes in this town. He was bishop in Pittsburgh for 18 years, and he was named throughout
this report as one of the bishops who helped cover up the crimes. The archdiocese declined our invitation to interview Cardinal Wuerl, but this week, in his defense, the Cardinal said, quote, the report confirms that I acted with diligence, with concern for the victims, and to prevent future acts of abuse, unquote.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, well he disagrees, telling me exclusively quote, Cardinal Wuerl is not telling the truth. Many of his statements in response to the grand jury report are directly contradictive by the church's own documents and records from their secret archives. Among Wuerl's claims that do not stand up to scrutiny...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that I did everything that I possibly could.
[16:44:57] TAPPER: Everything? Father Richard Zula and Father George Zirwas of the Pittsburgh diocese were two former groups of priests who the grand jury found quote, manufactured child pornography, and quote, and used whips and violence and sadism in raping their victims. In 1988, Zula was arrested and charged with more than 130 counts related to child sex abuse.
Now, a spokesman for Wuerl notes that Zula had been removed from his ministry before Wuerl came to Pittsburg in early 1988, and that's true. But in 1989, Cardinal Wuerl authorized a $900,000 confidential settlement between the diocese and two of Zula's victims. And that included a hush agreement.
The diocese under Wuerl's leadership also hired a doctor who worked with Father Zula to lessen the sentence with a statement that the grand jury found quote, blamed the child victim rather than the adult criminal, and the diocese under Wuerl helped to secure Zula's early release.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you ever move priests quietly to another...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That wasn't a process.
TAPPER: Actually, it was the process with Father George Zirwas. The diocese of Pittsburgh under Wuerl, who started there in 1988 quote, was aware of complaints against Zirwas for sexually abusing children as early as 1987. Additional complaints were received between 1987 and 1995, and that includes in 1988 and 1991 while Wuerl was bishop of the diocese, quote.
However, Zirwas continued to function as a priest during this period and was reassigned to several parishes, unquote. Despite all this evidence, a spokesman for Wuerl maintains that he acted properly in this case and removed Zirwas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if there were allegations, we dealt with them immediately.
TAPPER: Immediately, really? The predatory behavior of Ernest Paoni dated back to the early 1960s. And Paoni was shuffled from parish to parish all over the country. In 1991, Cardinal Wuerl approved to moving Paoni to the diocese to Reno, Las Vegas, even though the Pittsburgh diocese knew of Paoni's past. And in 1996, Wuerl refrained from sharing everything the Pittsburgh church knew about Paoni's past with the diocese of San Diego.
Now, Wuerl's defenders note that as bishop in Pittsburgh, he disciplined some priests and he fought the Vatican to against an order to reinstate a predator priest. The report notes that Wuerl had previously written to the Vatican that parishioners had a right to know if their priests were pedophiles. And a spokesman for Wuerl says he acted properly to notify others about the claims against Paoni when he learned of them.
But the grand jury disagreed, writing quote, in spite of Wuerl's statements to the Vatican, the clear and present threat that Paoni posed to children was hidden and kept secret from parishioners in three states. Wuerl's statements had been were meaningless without any action, unquote. Now those are just three stories from a report in which Cardinal Wuerl's name appears 170 times.
The Cardinal claims to answer to a higher authority. When will he answer on this Earth for allegedly covering up crimes against children? I am Jake Tapper in Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And a stunner in the Russia investigation. A White House lawyer involved in some of the most intimate discussions with the President spends a reported 30 hours talking to Robert Mueller's team. We are on that. But first, the state of Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate of women in the United States and has held that record for more than 25 years.
That is where we meet this week's CNN Hero, high school English teacher Ellen Stackable. She goes inside prisons to give some of those women a voice and the power to heal themselves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I came here when I was 20. I have a 30-year sentence. After I hit the yard, and I kind of got a taste of what prison was, it shocked me that I was here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are a lot of feelings in prison and you don't get to feel them. You're not a person and your feelings are not valid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many of the women that are incarcerated have been victims of some kind of abuse. We provide a safe place for them to overcome trauma and pain. So it is so much more than just writing. It becomes a therapeutic way for healing to occur.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And you can go inside of that prison and hear more of these stories by going to CNNheros.com.
[16:50:00] WHITFIELD: All right. Tonight, the CNN original series, History of Comedy, is back with an all new episode. Dirty jokes and cuss words are a staple of the stand up circuit. But in this week's episode of History of Comedy, we will look how some of the biggest names keep audiences laugh while trying to keep it clean. Here is a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very interesting background. I am and only child, and being Latino, I know that you are thinking. That is ethnically impossible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the 70s and the 80s, a comedian worked clean hoping to get a spot on the Tonight Show. If the booker from the Tonight Show saw you, you were dirty, you were out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care how dirty a comic you were. You had to have your five minutes for Johnny Carson or Merv Griffin and all of those shows, because television was one of the only showcases.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am background of Irish and German, which means we're just angry hungry people. The great chefs of Ireland, there are a thick book for you.
[16:55:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Terrifying is what five minutes is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Jim. And it is a big deal for the population that loved standup comics. That is where you saw us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please welcome Whitney Cummings.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you would have to figure out five minutes. You'd be changing things or finding synonyms (Inaudible) your set basically. (Inaudible) PTSD flashback, I'm trying to get through some of my Leno appearances.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When they say when you catch the bouquet that means that you're going to be the next woman that gets married or whatever. Catch the bouquet, and see one guy talks to you for the rest of the night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comics have always been a hallmark of our show. And one of the big challenges is trying to figure out OK, this is working really well in the clubs, but when you put a television lens, just a couple of feet away from the performer, it can feel too abrasive. It's too much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Joining me now Kliph Nesteroff, a consulting producer on History of Comedy, and author of The Comedians, Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy, good to see you. Well, that is a really interesting perspective. So keeping it clean really meant that that, you know, could be the springboard for late night television.
Was that really kind of -- or has that been really the only incentive to work clean as a comedian?
KLIPH NESTEROFF, CONSULTING PRODUCER, HISTORY OF COMEDY: Well, generally speaking, a comedian's on stage persona is a reflection of how they are off stage. It's just sort of an exaggeration, an extension of how they already think. So somebody who cusses off stage all the time is going to cuss on stage all of the time.
And somebody who does not cuss that much off stage probably won't cuss that much on stage. So really it is not a matter of -- in the old days older comedians would say, oh these young comedians today they just use a four-letter word to get a laugh. It is easy to get a laugh with a four-letter word. But that's not really true anymore. They've been shocking in the 1960s.
But is it not shocking to anybody (Inaudible) say a swear word on stage today. So generally, it is just a reflection of that own comedian's personality. However, if you want to do network television, if you want to do the Tonight Show, if you want to do late night TV, you do have to kind of play by the rules. And we hear a lot about of comedian's complaining about censorship or political correctness.
But if it means doing the Tonight Show, they are more than willing to censor themselves so that they can get that opportunity, that spot, that five-minute set that might lead to a career break, you know, so.
WHITFIELD: Interesting. And so the flipside to that, to be a good standup comic, you know, as the standup kind of clubs, do you need it to be dirty? I mean do a lot of the comedians feel like, you know, keeping it clean is just not going to be a good enough laugh for a, you know, 20 minute show or a 15-minute, you know, standup, but they have to be racy?
NESTEROFF: No. I don't think so. You know a comedian does whatever they feel is funny, not what they think the audience wants necessarily, but what they themselves believe is funny. And then try it out on stage, and hopefully the audience will agree with them in finding it funny. So it does not really matter if it is dirty or if it's clean.
Like I said before, it's really just a reflection of that own comedian's personality. People like Brian Regan or Bob Newhart who were considered clean comedians. Some of their favorite comedians are comedians that are dirty, you know. I don't like to use the phrase dirty, because it is a negative connotation.
But people who use cuss words or dirty language, Richard Pryor or whoever. So a lot of clean comedians love dirty comedians, so-called (Inaudible) dirty and vice versa. I don't think there is any pressure in a comedy club to do anything other than make the audience laugh, other than to be funny, and you can do that whether you're using swear words or not.
It's really about being true to yourself, being honest on stage. But you swear off stage, you're going to swear on stage. That's being true to yourself. If you are clean off stage, you're going to be clean on stage. You should not be pressured to change your own personality just to placate whoever is in the audience, you know.
The one exception is if somebody in the audience a booker for the Tonight Show or a TV show, where you have to be clean, then you do want to showcase and show them that you are capable of doing it.
WHITFIELD: Doing the best that you can. All right, Kliph Nesteroff, thank you so much. The history behind comedy is so fascinating, and of course, an all new episode of History of Comedy tonight, 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific only on CNN. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I am Fredricka Whitfield. The news continues with Ana Cabrera right now.
ANA CABRERA, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: It is 5:00 Eastern, 2:00 in the afternoon out west. I am Ana Cabrera in New York, and you are live in the CNN newsroom. From the same White House that brought you alternative facts, comes a new line, the truth is not the truth. And that is why the President won't testify.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) No, it is not true. Truth is not truth. The President of the United States says I didn't...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Truth is the truth. Mr. Mayor, do you realize what...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to be a bad meme.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't do this to me.
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