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White House Counsel Cooperating Extensively With Mueller; Catholic Abuse Scandal; U.K. Parliament Vehicle Attack; Trump Claims Conservatives Censored On Social Media; InfoWars' Host Accused Of Destroying Info In Sandy Hook Suit Aired 6-7a ET

Aired August 19, 2018 - 06:00   ET




RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Don McGahn, the White House counsel, has sat down for a series of interviews with the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

TROY SLATEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: To say this is unusual would be an understatement.

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: The president encouraged all the people who testified to tell the truth.

NOBLES: There's a lot that Don McGahn knows about the last year and a half of the Trump administration.

GIULIANI: The Mueller team is panicking. There was no collusion, there was no obstruction, they can't prove it, and they are trying to get the president to testify.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Sunday morning to you.

President Trump's White House counsel is telling his story to the Mueller team. "The New York Times" report says that don McGahn has been cooperating are the Mueller investigation, participating in several interviews totaling 30 hours over the last nine months.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. President Trump said he -- quote -- "allowed McGahn to fully cooperate with the special counsel." "The Times" reported McGahn was worried however that he might end up being President Trump's fall guy, so to speak, for any potential illegal incidents or obstruction.

CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood live from New Jersey where the president is spending the weekend. So, Sarah, what are we learning further this morning?


And President Trump is speaking up to downplay the significance of "The New York Times" report that White House counsel Don McGahn cooperated extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller on the obstruction of justice portion of his inquiry. "The Times" is reporting that McGahn spent 30 hours with investigators and provided potentially damaging information about the ways Trump responded in private to developments in the Russia probe.

Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, is arguing that McGahn served as a strong witness for the president. Here is what he had to say about it last night.


GIULIANI: The reality is that the president encouraged all of people who testified to tell the truth, to take as long as they need to to do that, and as long as they did, they had no -- they will have no problem with the president or us and we have no reason to believe that Don McGahn didn't do that. And it's John Dowd who is the president's lawyer at the time said today loudly and clearly.


GIULIANI: Don McGahn was the strongest witness for the president. Meaning he completely gave testimony that said that the president didn't do anything wrong, which is the president didn't do. He didn't do anything wrong.


WESTWOOD: Now McGahn's attorney told our colleague Ryan Nobles that McGahn cooperated soulfully with the special counsel because President Trump declined to exercise executive privilege over McGahn's testimony. The relationship between Trump and his White House counsel has at times been contentious but the White House is seeking to downplay and dismiss the fact that this report about McGahn's cooperation is causing any strain at this point between Trump and McGahn -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, thank you so much for the update.

BLACKWELL: Joining me is Ross Garber, CNN legal analyst, and Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor for "Spectrum News." Gentlemen, good morning to you.



BLACKWELL: Let me start with you. And Don McGahn and his attorney, questioned, let's say, the wisdom of the White House of allowing Don McGahn to speak, thinking they should have fought it out in court. What do you make of this decision?

GARBER: Look. It is extraordinary and very, very unusual. Normally, the relationship between anybody and their lawyer is sacrosanct, it's confidential. The system is setup to encourage free and frank communications and that generally also applies to public officials as well, although there is some question about whether it applies in the -- in the grand jury context.

But to allow an attorney to cooperate with federal investigators, especially at the beginning of an investigation, is really extraordinary and it seems to have been motivated by the president and his legal team's desire to try to get this thing, this investigation completed, you know, very quickly, right away. And so it was this extraordinary action in allowing the White House counsel to be interviewed by the government.

BLACKWELL: Errol, listen to more from Rudy Giuliani here.


GIULIANI: Now, the president wants to testify. The president wants to be open and transparent. Otherwise, he wouldn't have encouraged 30 witnesses, including McGahn to testify, he wouldn't have turned over 1.4 million documents.


He wouldn't have not exerted executive privilege as he did if he didn't believe that he didn't do anything wrong but he is not going to be trapped into perjury. We are not going to allow it to happen where he tells the truth, some other guy is lying, and they are going to believe like Comey the guy who is lying.


BLACKWELL: OK. So, Errol, let's take the two parts of that separately here. First, what about the point here that if there was something criminal, some activity to hide, why would the White House allow so many people to speak freely with the special counsel and hand over so many documents without exerting executive privilege over all of them and all of that?

LOUIS: Yes. Well, first of all, we should be clear that the documents that have been turned over have not always been -- or are not necessarily the ones that would yield the most information. Let's start with, say, his tax return where the president gets his money from and what connections or (INAUDIBLE) he may have overseas.

But putting that aside, the reality is and it was suggested in "The New York Times" article that there was a belief by Don McGahn, himself, and his lawyer, that, perhaps, he was being sort of maneuvered into a position where the president might later turn around and say, well, look, everything I did was on the advice of the White House counsel. Therefore, perhaps you should talk to him and target him and not me.

That is an interesting theory but it's hard to be sure about that. What we know for sure, though, is that this is a president who has, day after day, tweet after tweet, tried to obstruct and sort of denigrate any idea of the entire investigation. And it's really important.

I mean, I'm sure, you know, as we all remember from 1974 the second of the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon involved his attempts to obstruct the very investigation into him and this is something that this White House and this president has done pretty consistently for a number of months now.

BLACKWELL: Yes. That potential exposure, Ross, they were so concerned about that. McGahn and his attorney, as "The Times" reports, devised a plan because they were so concerned.

What is potentially McGahn's legal exposure here?

GARBER: Yes. In terms of, you know, that notion that McGahn was worried about something, you know, I suspect that that was because this move of allowing McGahn to provide all of this information to cooperate with investigators was so unusual. They were trying to explain to themselves why the president's team would allow this.

And in terms of exposure, you know, anybody who talks to federal investigators, even if they are not under oath, they have to tell the truth or it can be a crime. And so there is that issue. Assuming he told the truth, he doesn't have that to worry about, and assuming that he wasn't involved in any other criminal activity, doesn't have that to worry about either.

You know, the big implication here, I think, is the fact he was allowed to provide all of this information and also what it means going forward in terms of the waiver of the executive privilege and even the attorney-client privilege.

BLACKWELL: So, Errol, let's talk about -- as we talk about moving forward, Mueller's team has now spoken with McGahn several times. They have interviewed Hope Hicks and Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer and other members of the president's team there in the White House.

Does it make an interview with the president any less urgent?

LOUIS: I don't know about urgent but it certainly is relevant. It certainly is important.

And let's keep in mind, you know, this special counsel has also indicted 26 Russian nationals, including several corporations alleged criminal activity. So it's not as if -- you know, the question of whether this is a witch hunt I think is behind us. Clearly there is something there.

They have indicted these nationals, the White House has made no move to try and get them extradited -- actually get them over here and figure out what the heck is going on. The president, himself, though, if he were to narrow the question as the president and his counsel appear to do each time they get the opportunity you want to simply localize it to whether or not the president has something to hide or whether the president to testify, whether or not the president knew the full range of what was clearly some wrongdoing that went on here, well, yes, sure. Maybe he gets out of it somehow. I suppose. But, you know, one of the most important of the fact checkers has estimated that the president tells something like seven highly misleading or untrue things every single day. If that is the case, he had better make sure that the day he talks with the special counsel, if he does, is not one of those days.

BLACKWELL: Yes, "The Washington Post" fact checker blog has the president's false claims and misleading claims at 4,229 for the first 558 days of his administration.


Errol Louis, Ross Garber, thank you both.

LOUIS: Thank you.

GARBER: Good to be here.

BLACKWELL: And today on "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER" former director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and the former director of the National Security Agency Michael Hayden are on the show live. Both men are on President Trump's short list to have their security clearances revoked. That is "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER" today at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

PAUL: Well, Pope Francis is delivering his Sunday prayer today and a lot of people are watching what he may or may not say about abuse allegations that are clouding the Catholic Church. This, of course, after a really disturbing report from the grand jury regarding six catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania that alleged sexual abuse among 1,000 children there.

We will talk about it on the other side of the break.


BLACKWELL: Happening right now at St. Peter's Square. Pope Francis they're delivering a Sunday angelus, a prayer amidst the clergy crisis surrounding the Catholic Church.


He (ph) faced (ph) mounting pressure last week to break his silence that a shocking grand jury report that alleged decades of rampant child sex and massive -- sex abuse, I should say, and massive cover- ups throughout the Pennsylvania diocese.

PAUL: Also reports of alleged abuse have apparently spread to other continents including Australia and Latin America. So, Thursday the pope finally issued a statement regarding the U.S. grand jury report calling the allegations -- quote -- "criminal and morally reprehensible."

BLACKWELL: We're covering the story from Pennsylvania to the Vatican. We start with CNN contributor and Rome bureau chief for "The Daily Beast," Barbie Nadeau who is there in Rome. Barbie, will the pope take another step forward today in addressing this scandal? Do we know?

Barbie, can you hear me? All right. We will get back to Barbie and fix that audio problem.

PAUL: We sure will. We want to go to Pittsburgh now CNN's Polo Sandoval though -- again this report coming out of Pennsylvania. I know that you're getting reaction from the Catholic bishop to this latest sex abuse scandal.

What is he saying?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I would tell you what, Victor and Christi, people here in Pittsburgh are certainly talking about this report even days after it was issued. After all, about 99 of those roughly 300 priests were from this diocese mentioned in that grand jury report.

Yesterday we saw that from the clergy to the congregation people are certainly still making this part of the conversation. The priest at the mass that we attended yesterday in the city Southside telling this congregation that they should focus on their faith, focus on the gospel before they focus on the institution that certainly has these flaws and it's certainly caught amidst this clergy crisis here.

You also hear though from the people who were in the crowd, these church goers, to give you a sense that they feel the church is certainly been shaken to its core. One woman told me that she wants more than just an apology that she has been hearing from the Pittsburgh diocese all the way to the Vatican. She wants a full admission of what has been decades of covering up this kind of behavior and that's the same thing the victims want as well.


JOHN DELANEY, CHURCH ABUSE SURVIVOR: I've been doing this 13 years being public about my abuse and trying to advocate for others and I've heard nothing but empty promises and words. I want action.

You know, they are apologizing only because they have been caught and exposed. They did not willingly do this, I'm not buying that. The Pope needs to step up and take control of his church.


SANDOVAL: So, David Zubik, the head of the diocese here in Pittsburgh, what does he have to say? Of course, he has written an extensive letter to followers here in the Pittsburgh area. I want to read you a certain -- just at least a small portion of the statement that he released in the days following the release of the report.

He basically said that the church cannot keep its head in the sand. He specifically said that, "There were instances in the past as outlined in this report when the Church acted in ways that did not respond effectively to victims. Swift and firm responses to allegations should have started long before they did. For that I express profound regret."

That again, the head of the Catholic Church here in the Pittsburgh area. The bishop also outlining various changes that have been instituted not only in the last decades but most importantly also in the last several days following this report.

The bishop saying that they are in the process of publishing a full list of the clergy members who have been accused of these allegations and some who have even been convicted of that and saying they are also seeking some outside help. Today the first Sunday services, as the release of report -- Victor and Christi -- the question is -- will people here say if that is enough?

PAUL: Yes. Good question. Polo Sandoval, glad you're there to let us know. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's go now back to Rome and CNN contributor and Rome bureau chief for "The Daily Beast," Barbie Nadeau. Barbie, what are we expecting from there from the pope today in taking another step forward in addressing this scandal?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the pope just finished his Sunday angelus and he did not mention the victims in Pennsylvania or the victims of any of the clerical sex abuse scandal and that's going to come as a disappointment, I think, to a lot of people that were hoping that he would use this opportunity to offer some sort of prayer.

So the statement the Vatican gave on Thursday is going to have to stand. As a statement in which they used words like criminal and accountability and some of the things that victims' groups want to hear. Now, of course, they're going to wait for some action.

Is he going to demand any resignations of those complicit bishops or cardinals in the United States? Is he going to do anything and make those words count and turn them into action? That is what's going to be next for them.

PAUL: All right. Barbie Nadeau, we appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: The suspect in last week's vehicle attack outside the British parliament is set to appear in court tomorrow. Prosecutors have charged this man, Salih Khater, with two counts of attempted murder.


According to police he drove his car into a group of pedestrians and police officers, and then rammed it into barriers. Police are treating this incident as terrorism.

Still to come. The president called out social media for discriminating against conservative voices. CNN's Brian Stelter sat down with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey about this alleged censorship.

That is coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


PAUL: Twenty-five minutes past the hour. Welcome to Sunday morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

President Trump slammed social media for discriminating against conservative voices. He said, "Social media is totally discriminating against Republican conservative voices speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump administration. We won't let that happen. They are closing down the opinions of many people on the right while, at the same time, doing nothing to others."

He did not name any specific social media platforms but the remarks came shortly after Twitter suspended the account of InfoWars' host Alex Jones for hateful rhetoric.

Be reminded this is not the first time Twitter has been called out by the president. Last month, President Trump blamed the media outlet for shadow banning prominent Republicans. Shadow banning is a practice that makes it harder for users to find a certain person and then posts on a platform. They basically become invisible.

CNN's Brian Stelter sat down with the Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey and asked if the company does, in fact, shadow ban.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES": The president called you out for shadow banning. What is the truth around that idea?

JACK DORSEY, TWITTER CEO: So I think a lot of the statements behind the statement, the question behind the question, is, look, shadow banning is a very widely defined term. There's not one single definition. So the definition that we found that seems to resonate with the most people is, you know, not amplifying particular messages, or if someone puts out a tweet, hiding that tweet from everyone without that person who tweeted it knowing about it.

So the real question behind the question is, are we doing something according to political ideology or viewpoints? And we are not. Period.

We do not look at content with regards to political viewpoint or ideology. We look at behavior. And we use that behavior as a signal to add to relevance.

We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is left -- is more left leaning. And I think it's important to articulate our bias and to -- and to -- and to share it with people so people understand us. But we need to remove all bias from how we act in our policies and our enforcement.

STELTER: People have these assumptions that you're out to get them or something.

DORSEY: Which is why transparency matters so much.


DORSEY: Which is why being open about our own personal views and what we think about what's happening is important.

And I'll fully admit that I haven't done enough of that. I haven't done enough of, like, articulating my own personal objectives with this service and my own personal objectives in the world. And I think people see a faceless corporation that has -- they don't assume that humans are in it, you know, or that they're genuine or authentic. They just assume based on what the output is.

And that's on us. That's on me.


BLACKWELL: Well, Facebook, Apple, and YouTube have also recently removed some of Jones' content that was found to be in violation of their platform's policies.

PAUL: So there is mounting legal battles looming for the InfoWars' host to Alex Jones there. Attorneys representing the father of a 6- year-old boy, a Sandy Hook shooting victim who died claimed Jones destroyed evidence relating to their defamation lawsuit against him. It's one of three separate defamation suits brought by victims' families against Jones.

Jones falsely peddled the conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax carried out by actors. CNN's senior media reporter Oliver Darcy joins us now.

Oliver, good to see you this morning.

So, we just heard there the president is claiming there is some sort of censorship going on. We heard from Twitter. Is there censorship happening?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: You know, there is a lot of news going on around Alex Jones. Regarding Twitter and whether this is censorship happening with conservatives, I don't think you're going to see that. I think that that has been a thing that conservatives have claimed for a long time but there has been really little evidence to indicate that there are being censored on social media platforms.

These social media platforms remove content that's in violation of their policies and a lot of times that does affect conservatives but that is far different from them -- these corporations removing and censoring content, specifically discriminating against conservatives.

Related to Alex Jones, though, he is facing a lot of legal trouble these days. On Friday, the Sandy Hook parent or a lawyer representing one of the Sandy Hook parents filed a legal motion effectively saying that Alex Jones has destroyed evidence related to the Sandy Hook trial.

He said in the motion specifically, "InfoWars deleted critical evidence at the precise moment Plaintiff and his experts were attempting to marshal that evidence. At this stage, it is unknown exactly how much content has been deleted, though it includes extensive social media materials and reportedly hundreds of hours of video."

And so what happened there is InfoWars came under pressure from Twitter and Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, had said that InfoWars had not violated any policies on the platform. CNN investigation found that Twitter -- that InfoWars had violated a number of policies, but that -- including stuff with Alex Jones and Sandy Hook, and so Alex Jones instructed the staff to delete those -- those tweets related to the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory he had reported for so long. After he did that, now they are being accused of destroying evidence related to the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory.

It's kind of confusing. It's hard to follow.

PAUL: Well -- but Alex Jones on his program apparently said that his staff deleted the tweets in order to -- quote -- "take the super high road." What does that mean?

DARCY: Yes. He basically was going to be forced by Twitter to delete these tweets. So he got out in front of it and I think he was trying to avoid being suspended, which he ultimately ended up being suspended but he was trying to avoid disciplinary action from Twitter so he told a staff just to go out and delete these tweets after CNN published its report showing that these tweets were in violation of the Twitter rules.

PAUL: So if they were deleted do we know what that means for the lawsuits?

DARCY: Well, I'm not a lawyer. But I don't think you're allowed to destroy evidence related to a lawsuit. And so now the attorneys are saying that they want fees associated with this matter. I think they are going to probably try to recover some of this evidence but these fees they could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars so this is very bad news for Alex Jones.

He has already seen the social media empire crumble and now he's facing more litigation related to the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory. I don't think he wants any of this.

PAUL: So is there any indication how strong InfoWars is, whether they can fight this battle and survive it?

DARCY: Sorry. What was that?

PAUL: Is there any indication of how strong InfoWars is internally in terms of its advertising, in terms of as a whole?


PAUL: You know? It's entity. Can they fight this and survive it?

DARCY: You know, it's not entirely clear how much revenue the company makes or their internal financial dynamics. They keep that pretty close to the vest but they have seen a lot of their infrastructure for distributing their material just be -- crumble over the last couple of weeks. They lost Facebook, they lost Apple, they lost YouTube.

They are currently on a suspension from Twitter. So I would imagine it's more difficult for the company to making money now than it was, let's say, one month ago. Whether they can survive these lawsuits, I don't know. I think that it is certainly spelling trouble for them and it could present some serious danger to the company.

PAUL: All right. Oliver Darcy, good to see you this morning. Thank you.

DARCY: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Up next, families divided decades ago by the Korean War prepare for these really emotional long-awaited reunions in North Korea. We meet one mother who has waited 68 years to see her son again. Her story is next.



BLACKWELL: A small number relatively, a select few South Koreans are getting ready to see their family members for the first time in decades. Ninety-three people will cross into North Korea on Monday for just a short reunion with their loved ones.

PAUL: Thousands of families were separate by the Korean War. They haven't seen their relatives in nearly 70 years. Those 89 were chosen via lottery from thousands of others.

And one of the people getting to see her family is Keum-seom. She has not held her son in 68 years.

BLACKWELL: As the Korean War broke out, Lee and her daughter were separated from her husband and son in the chaos and never saw them again.

CNN international correspondent Paula Hancocks has their story.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lee Keum-seom is 92 years old, oblivious to the crowds in this Seoul shopping center she has an outfit to buy for a very special occasion.

On Monday, Lee will meet her son for the first time in 68 years. Lee and her husband were among many North Koreans who fled south as the Korean War took hold in 1950. She recalls walking for days carry her one-year-old daughter, her husband carrying her son. She left the road to breastfeed her baby, slipped and sprained her ankle, when she returned she couldn't find her husband.

LEE KEUM-SEOM, SEPARATED FROM HUSBAND AND SON DURING THE KOREAN WAR (through translator): I thought he was long way ahead so I didn't stop to sleep or eat and kept going. I ran into my brother-in-law, he said my husband had gone back to find me.

HANCOCKS: As the fighting caught up with them, Lee had to take a train, then a ship and waited in South Korea for her husband and son to catch up. They never did.

LEE (through translator): Whenever I woke up, I would take my daughter out to the field and sit on a rock. That was my spot and I would cry. I cried every day for a year.

HANCOCKS: Lee is one of 93 South Koreans who will be reunited with family members they haven't seen in decades. Out of 57,000 who had applied, these reunions happen only when the relations between the two Koreas are good. The last one was three years ago.

It is an emotional and highly controlled three days at a mountain resort in North Korea.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): You'll be meeting your family seven times.

LEE (through translator): Seven times?

I don't remember what my four year son was like. Would it be okay to hug my son? He is over 70 years old now. When I see him I'll call his name Sang-chol and hug him, that is the only thing on my mind.

HANCOCKS: Jung Kea-hyun is still waiting. He's one of thousands who can only wonder if their chance will ever come.

He's 85. His two brothers -- one older, one younger -- did not manage to escape the North during the war. He has heard nothing about them since.

JUNG KEA-HYUN, SEPARATED FROM BROTHERS DURING THE KOREAN WAR (through translator): At the very least, if I can't have a meeting, I just want to know who is still alive, are any of them still alive? I want to be able to write them a letter but I can't even do that.

Being separated from family is something unimaginable. I cried a lot. I left when I was 17, isn't that a time when I should have been in my mother's care?

HANCOCKS: Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


BLACKWELL: Our thanks to Paula Hancocks for that story.

The president has called the press the enemy of the people. And now hundreds of newspapers are fighting back.

Will this strategy work?



BLACKWELL: President Trump versus the press. He has used the terms like enemy of the people, fake news; most recently, the opposition party.

Well, this week newspapers fought back. More than 400 editorial pages addressed Mr. Trump directly defending journalism but it was not without some controversy, retribution. The day those editorials ran there was a bomb threat at the "Boston Globe," the paper that organized that rally call.

Joining me now Alex Kingsbury, the Deputy Ideas editor for "The Boston Globe." And senior media correspondent for CNN Brian Stelter. Good morning, gentlemen.

STELTER: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: Alex, let me start with you. And who is the audience for this? Because as we saw and we'll talk about it in a moment, it didn't change the president's mind.

Have you changed any minds? Who are you speaking to directly?

ALEX KINGSBURY, DEPUTY IDEAS EDITOR, THE BOSTON GLOBE: Yes. Listen. We are not -- we are not going to change the president's mind. He has made his political project, you know, central to that is criticizing the press.

But, listen. Our audience was the American people and I think that we have reached -- we have reached them. Four hundred newspapers across the country reached out and talked about the importance of the work that they do, the journalism day in and day out.

And, listen. They -- they have responded to this call of this rhetoric about the enemy of the people and it really resonates with them. The majority of journalism in this country don't work for the CNN or "The Boston Globe." They work in small newspapers and weekly newspapers around this country and they cover, you know, selectmen meeting and school boards.

And this rhetoric really resonates with them, to be declared -- to be declared of domestic threat is something that really threatens their livelihood and is deeply alarming to the work that they do.

BLACKWELL: So that is the editorial perspective. Let me go to reporter perspective and you, Brian. And how do you determine if this effort has been successful? How do you measure it?

STELTER: I think there are a number of ways you can do that including through polling. And right now the polling is rather oblique. You know, you look at a recent Quinnipiac poll that showed that 26 percent of Americans will go with that enemy language instead of saying the press is an important part of democracy. Now 26 percent? We could say that sounds like a pretty positive number. But if you break it down into Republicans and Democrats, half of Republicans, 51 percent, side with that enemy language.

So essentially what they are doing is they are saying I agree with the president there. And they are saying the press is not a strong part of democracy. That 51 percent number that's going to be a problem that is going to be with us our country for a long time.

It's going to -- it's going to last long after President Trump is in office, this idea that the press is out to get the public, is out to hurt the public. It's an idea that has been there for a while but President Trump has fired it up and created a lot more tension around it and created a lot more anger toward the press.

And the 51 percent number of Republicans who say the press is the enemy --


STELTER: -- hopefully we can see over time are those numbers go down. That would be one way to measure this. But I think it is important to see collective action on the part of editorial pages not newsrooms but the editorial pages, the opinion people, to say this is not appropriate.

BLACKWELL: Which is important to have both of you there and to create that distinction as we have this conversation.

Alex, let me come to you with the latest numbers appear. More than 400 newspapers involved in this effort. However the "Los Angeles Times" was not one of those as you know and you probably discussed several times this week.

Here is what their justification came down to. Just a couple of sentences here. "The idea of joining together to protest him seems almost to encourage that kind of conspiracy thinking by the president and his loyalists. Why give him that ammunition to scream about collusion" -- which you did in between. Did you do just that?

KINGSBURY: I don't know. Collusion is one of those you do in secret maybe in Trump Tower. This project was totally transparent from the get-go. You know, it was an exercise in being open about what we were up to.

And, listen, this was not -- you know, we didn't all publish the exact same editorial. What is remarkable about this project is that each of these newspapers, in their own words, talked about the importance of the free press.

And I would just say to, you know, what Brian is talking about. Listen, it's one thing for the American people to sour on the press. It's sort of come and gone in waves over the years. [06:50:01]

The important distinction here is for the president of the United States to be declaring the press a domestic threat is going to resonate very differently in Ankara and in Moscow and in Beijing and all of the places where journalists are very -- you know, in a very tough situation around the world. And, you know, the importance of journalism in a free and self-governing Democratic republic is really important and can't be understated.

BLACKWELL: So, Brian, back to you here. The president tweeted and I'll put this up.

"The Globe is in collusion with other papers on free press. Prove it."

Now, I don't know what he meant by "prove it." I don't know if anyone does.

But to you, Brian, we actually have seen in the form of television, stations across the country, working off the exact same script. Deadspin put the video together of all the Sinclair stations reading that statement that was put out by the ownership there and we are showing some of that video, I think this was March of this year.


BLACKWELL: But is this a good thing to have the coordination? We won't use the word collusion but the coordination of so much media going after the same point no matter which side of the coin you're on?

STELTER: Well, I'll say there is a lot of coordination between President Trump and his allies attacking the press. It is a hate movement in America to tear down a free press and to discredit any source of information that is unapproved by President Trump. That hate movement is mostly not working.

Go to the Quinnipiac poll, mostly not working but it is working among a substantial part of the public especially among Trump's base. So there's a lot of coordination with that between the Sean Hannitys of the world and the President Trumps. I think it makes sense for journalists to want to try to figure out a way to respond, not to be against Trump, but to be supportive of the press.

I think what is interesting about what is happening right among -- in newsrooms is that we are trying to figure out a way to communicate to the public why we do what we do and why it's worthwhile. There is a defense going on and also an offense going on and it's not anti-Trump. It's pro-truth.

Because this issue is going to be with us well after President Trump is in office. That is the way I see it. I love the line in one of the local paper that said we are not the enemy, we are the people.

But it is easier to forget that when you're just reading the paper and you don't know who is writing the stories or you're watching TV and you don't know who is in charge. We have to do a better job explaining our jobs and I think that's why these editorials were worthwhile.

BLACKWELL: Alex, was this a single day, single event? Or will there be a sustained effort?

KINGBURY: Listen, you know, we come to work every day defending -- defending the constitution and the work that we do in the free press.

Listen, there was a time when newspapers standing up for the right of the free press was neither controversial nor newsworthy and the fact it is both sort of shows us where we are today.

BLACKWELL: All right. Alex and Brian, thank you both.

STELTER: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: Be sure to tune in for Stelter's show "RELIABLE SOURCES." Today he'll be talking with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. That's at 11:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

PAUL: So in case the message hasn't gotten through yet we've got another reminder as to why you don't leave food in your car. Especially if you're parked in bear country.


JUSTIN BIEBER, SINGER (singing): Cry me a river. Cry me a river.

ROB SHEFFIELD, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "ROLLING STONE": Justin Bieber is the first of the YouTube kids. He was using the new tools of the internet to really do an end run around the traditional industry.

BIEBER (singing): And I was like baby, baby, baby oh. Like baby, baby, baby no.

JEFF CHANG, AUTHOR, "CAN'T STOP WON'T STOP": In the 2000s the music industry was undergoing a massive shift with all of the technological change and the fact that the price of music had effectively been ground down to zero.




BLACKWELL: In India, monsoon rains and heavy flooding have killed hundreds of people and forced thousands to leave their homes. Watch this wall of mud rushing down the hillside and taking away everything in its path.


BLACKWELL: The torrential rains in southern India caused the worst flooding in nearly a century. PAUL: You got to hope that the guy that was taking that is OK because it was coming right at him.


PAUL: I want to show you these new images as well taken by CNN. A completely flooded community there. The government already estimates the flood may have resulted in $2.7 billion in damages.

And here is something that, you know, we don't see every day. Delicate rescue operation caught on dash cam. Sheriff's office in El Dorado California -- County, California -- excuse me -- answered a call about a bear trapped in the parked silver car you see on the right.

Take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But we're going to try and get him out because he is not happy at all. I'm going to try and break out your back -- the back window with a bean bag.


PAUL: And there you have it.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Bears can't open unlocked doors, I guess. They can also climb out of back windows. Police say it's a reminder to always remove food from your car and lock it, especially when you're in bear country.


NOBLES: Don McGahn, the White House counsel, has sat down for a series of interviews with the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

SLATEN: To say this is unusual would be an understatement.

GIULIANI: The president encouraged all the people who testified to tell the truth.

NOBLES: There's a lot that Don McGahn knows about the last year and a half of the Trump administration.


GIULIANI: The Mueller team is panicking. There was no collusion, there was no obstruction, they can't prove it, and they are trying to get the president to testify.