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Giuliani: "So What" if Trump and Cohen Talked?; Interview with Rep. Mike Quigley (D), Illinois; Sen. Kamala Harris Speaks at Howard University after Announcing Presidential Run; Teen Speaks Out after Viral Video with Native American Elder. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired January 21, 2019 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[13:30:00] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: But you just acknowledged that it's possible that President Trump talked to Michael Cohen about his testimony.
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: Which would be perfectly normal.
GIULIANI: Which the president believed was true.
TAPPER: So it's possible it happened, that the president talked to Michael Cohen --
GIULIANI: I don't know if it did or didn't happen. And it may be attorney-client privilege if it did happen, where I can't acknowledge it. But I have no knowledge that he spoke with him.
TAPPER: You just said Trump may have talked to him about his testimony.
GIULIANI: So what if he talked to him about it.
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BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley is on the House Intelligence Committee, and he joins us now.
Thank you for being with us, sir.
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D), ILLINOIS: Glad to be here. Thank you.
KEILAR: You heard Rudy Giuliani there. He also said the president never instructed Michael Cohen to lie in his congressional testimony about how long or how not long these talks went on with Russia about the project. Do you believe him? QUIGLEY: I don't know what to make of Mr. Giuliani now. He's either
a really bad attorney for the president, or perhaps an even worse spokesman. He gives contradictory assessments of this a day after he talked about this on national TV? And let's remember, he quoted the president, saying this deal was going on until the day I won. It's hard to believe Mr. Giuliani when he quotes the president so precisely if he's prepared as an attorney or as a spokesman, he has to get his story straight. Now for us to believe that never took place, he's really, really putting a lot on the American public to believe him.
KEILAR: He left open the possibility that Michael Cohen and President Trump may have talked at length about Michael Cohen's congressional testimony where we now know he lied. But he dismisses the significance of that. He says, so what. What do you think?
QUIGLEY: I think you look at it as part of a larger picture of obstruction by the president of the United States. I mean, let's remember the Twitter exchanges recently about Mr. Stone in which he talked about how it's good that he's not going to talk about things, he's not going to testify. This is sort of witness tampering once removed.
And what are we to believe whether or not he talked to Mr. Cohen? All the more reason Mr. Cohen needs to come back here to Congress to testify and for other reasons that we need the interpreters notes of the president's discussion with President Putin. I'm also concerned at the same time that Mr. Barr has said it's not guaranteed that the Mueller report will be made available to the public or even Congress. All the more reason we need Congress to move forward on its own investigation.
KEILAR: President Trump -- I want to talk to you about the shutdown now, because the president has offered temporary protection for DREAMers, so DACA, opening that up for a three-year protection, which, of course, he took away DACA protections. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it a non-starter, and I know the Democrats say, look, this is an awful offer. You got temporary DACA protection but a permanent wall? What is the Democratic counteroffer?
QUIGLEY: Yes, it's a little bit frustrating given that the president takes extreme positions. When you take extreme positions and you don't meet in the middle, some may see you as not negotiating fairly. What are we talking about? We're talking about border security. We offered and gave that in the 2018-2019 appropriations deals. They have over $1 billion yet to use for that border security. I believe this week what the Democrats will offer is additional border security. The president talked about the fact that so many of these --
KEILAR: Sir, I'm so sorry to interrupt you. I need you to stand by for a moment.
KEILAR: My apologies. I want to listen to Senator Kamala Harris, who today announced she is running for president. She's speaking here in Washington.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D), CALIFORNIA: -- who we are as a democracy. I think everybody should run who is thinking about running.
In terms of a path, the path is going to be through all of the states that are the 50 states of the United States. The path is going to be about talking to people who are right now aware that this economy is not working for working people. It's going to be about talking with people about the fact that right now we have an administration that has waged a full-on assault on American values and American ideals. It is going to be about speaking truth, especially when there has been so much that is contrary to truth.
It is going to be about working to regain the trust of Americans and understanding that they have a right to have a government and to have leaders in this country who see them and care about them and have some curiosity about their circumstance in life and their needs, be it for their family, their neighborhood or their community or their country.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A number of Democrats believe that the president -- (INAUDIBLE)
[13:35:17] HARRIS: So you may know -- you do know that I'm on the Senate Intelligence Committee, so I can't talk about the facts that I know. But I will say this. My highest priority and what I believe should be the highest priority, at least for the United States Congress, is that Bob Mueller be able to finish his investigation. There are already 33 indictments that he has returned.
Clearly, he is following the facts where they lead him. And there should be no interference with that process because the American public has a right to know what actually went on and then we'll make a decision. And certainly that decision will be made in the courts, but it is also possible that decision will be made by the United States Congress in terms of what consequence should occur.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Hi.
HARRIS: The "Hilltop," yes.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
HARRIS: Absolutely. And thank you. I read the "Hilltop" every day when I was a student here. It is an incredible piece of journalism and thank you for being there. There's no question, you're absolutely right. Student loan debt is
one of the biggest challenges facing our country and facing our students. And I've met so many students who have talked with me about the burden that they carry that is not only financial but is emotional. It is a burden of wondering whether they should actually complete an education and have a dream about what they may be able to do professionally, because at the very moment, they can't pay their rent if they're going to pay off those student loans.
A number of things. One, I believe what we have to do is also have a commitment to what we need to do around debt-free college and college for all. The other is what we need to do around changing the system in such a way that students can refinance their debt, and currently we don't have such a system.
And another is, frankly, the work that I did, even as attorney general, which is we also have to go after predatory and particular for-profit colleges that have been peddling misinformation to students, getting them to pay a lot of money and go in debt without a degree that gets them any kind of employment. So there are a lot of issues. But to your point, it is a challenge facing our country and I intend to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I'm curious, when you look back -- (INAUDIBLE)
HARRIS: Sure. Yes. I mean, I can tell you of cases where I really regret that we were not able to charge somebody that I knew molested a child because the evidence wasn't there. There are cases, as I mentioned earlier, where there were folks who made a decision in my office and had not consulted me and I wish they had. But again, I take full responsibility of those decisions.
But I will also say that there's a lot about what I did as a prosecutor that I'm proud of, including a recognition that there are fundamental flaws in the criminal justice system and that this criminal justice system needs to be reform. Which is why, when I was district attorney, I created one of the first reentry initiatives of any prosecutor's office in the United States.
This was a long time ago. Thankfully, at this point, this is the way things are done and people understand that's how a prosecutor should think about their work, which is let's be smart on crime, as I've said, instead of deciding may you're smart on crime or tough on crime. Let's understand, if we're going to smart with the taxpayers' dollars, let's get people out of the system instead of cycling through the revolving door of a jail.
There's work we've done there. There's work we've done around racial profiling and, in particular, implicit bias and racial bias in the criminal justice system and, in particular, in law enforcement that needs to be addressed. There's a lot of work that we have done. One of my biggest regrets is I've not had more time to do more. But it is my intention to keep fighting for it.
KEILAR: All right, Kamala Harris there at Howard University. And that was a very interesting answer that she just gave to a question about her record as a prosecutor. This is something she's going to be revisiting time and again on the campaign trail.
She's trying to say that she was smart on crime, not hard on crime. Certainly at this time where criminal justice reform has -- is something that has preceded here in Washington, and that certain practices have been getting a really scrutinized look at. So she's going to be answering for her record. And it's an interesting look into day one, day one of her campaign, how she's going to be tackling that.
[13:40:07] I want to bring back Congressman Quigley to talk to us.
Thank you for your patience, sir. I really appreciate it. And I want to --
QUIGLEY: It's all right. We mere House members understand the Senate preempting us again.
KEILAR: You were such a good sport about it, so I agree with your sense of humor.
KEILAR: I want to pick up where we left off, very interesting, because we were talking about how the president and Republicans came up with this plan to end the shutdown, their offer, right? They tried to say they sweetened it for Democrats with the three-year DACA protection, a temporary protection along with the border wall money. Of course, Democrats are not on board with that. So you were talking about what Democrats might come to the table with and what we should expect here in the days ahead, as we're moving towards federal employees missing another paycheck.
QUIGLEY: Yes, and it's never OK to use paychecks and people and essential government services as a negotiating tool. So open the government, at least six of the seven bills, which have nothing to do with Homeland Security, and temporarily pass a Homeland Security measure so we can negotiate. I believe what you'll see this week is a measure by Democrats to pretty dramatically improve and increase border security.
The president has talked about drugs coming across the border. Indeed, 85 percent of those drugs are coming through the checkpoints. So we're going to provide a tremendous amount of additional scanning equipment, because a lot of those cars coming through in vehicles aren't being scanned. Let's be smart about border security. Let's use high-tech equipment, scanning, cameras, drones and so forth. If the issue is national security, we can address that as a compromise.
KEILAR: All right, very interesting. We'll be looking for that in the week ahead.
Congressman Mike Quigley, thank you for being with us from Chicago.
QUIGLEY: Anytime. Thank you.
KEILAR: If a picture tells a thousand words, this new video is raising a thousand questions about a heated encounter between a Native American elder and teenagers wearing Trump campaign hats.
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[13:46:51] KEILAR: It appears the court of public opinion may have passed judgment too quickly on a viral video. Over the weekend, you may have seen a short clip that showed what looked like a teen confronting a Native American elder at the Lincoln Memorial. It led, of course, to outrage and condemnation.
But as CNN National Correspondent, Sara Sidner, shows us, the emergence of another video gives us a different perspective.
SIDNER (voice-over): The Catholic high school student who comes face to face with a Native American elder in a viral video is now responding. In a statement, student, Nick Sandmann, says the viral video does not reflect the true nature of events when the students arrived at the Lincoln Memorial.
"When we arrived, we saw four African-American protesters who were also on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial." He said, "The protesters said hateful things."
Indeed, a small group of black men who identified as Hebrew Israelites did say hateful things to seemingly everyone around them, including a priest --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's make American great again. A bunch of child molesting (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
SIDNER: -- and the students.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See how you got those pompous bastards come down here in the middle of a native rally with they dirty ass hat on?
SIDNER: When a black visitor tried to stand up against their rhetoric, he faces hate, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got all these dirty ass crackers behind you with a red Make America Great Again hat on and your coon ass, you want to fight your brother. SIDNER: At first the Catholic students, there for the March for Life,
are still in small numbers but more and more show up, watching but not engaging. The small group of men continue taunting them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A bunch of incest babies. A bunch of babies made out of incest.
SIDNER: Sandmann says the rhetoric was startling. "Because we were being loudly attacked and taunted in public, a student asked one of our teacher chaperones for permission to begin school spirit chants to counteract the hateful things that were being shouted at our group."
And they do. At one point, a student removes his shirt and the chants drown everything out.
Two minutes later, you hear a drumbeat. That is Nathan Phillips, an Omaha tribe elder, and another drummer. Phillips said it was their attempt to thwart potential violence. The kids danced to it. They began chanting, some doing a tomahawk chop, which Native Americans consider offensive.
NATHAN PHILLIPS, NATIVE AMERICAN & VIETNAM VETERAN: I realized I had put myself in a really dangerous situation, you know. It was like, here's a group of people who were angry at somebody else, and I put myself in front of that.
SIDNER: Phillips, a Vietnam veteran, walks around. Other students avoid him, until you see him come face to face with a student who has now gone viral.
In his statement, the student says he was the one trying to deescalate the situation, not Phillips. "I believe by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to defuse the situation. I realize everyone had cameras and perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict."
Sandmann has every opportunity to move back. So does Phillips. Neither do.
While they faced off, kids face more taunting from the Hebrew Israelites.
[13:50:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a bunch of future school shooters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.
SIDNER: While Phillips maintains he felt the kids were mocking him and being rude, Sandmann says it was the adults using hateful words and trying to provoke the kids, not the other way around.
(on camera): After seeing the initial viral video, the diocese that oversees the Covington Catholic High School condemned the students' behavior towards Native American, saying they would also investigate. The mayor of their city also condemned them.
But now, Congressman Thomas Massey, who represents their district, is praising them, tweeting, in part, "In the face of racist and homosexual slurs, the young boys refused to reciprocate or disrespect anyone, even when taunted by homophobic bigots, which was obviously bewildering to them. They insulted no one." The Congressman said it was his honor to represent them.
Back to you.
KEILAR: Sara Sidner, thank you.
Up next, a nightmare flight. Passengers stuck onboard a United Airlines jet for more than 14 hours.
[13:55:30] KEILAR: Passengers on a United flight say they were stuck on a freezing tarmac for more than 14 hours. This was a flight that left New Jersey headed for Hong Kong, but there was a medical emergency that forced it to land at a remote military base in Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada. That's where this started. The door broke. Passengers couldn't get off the plane because there was no immigration official on duty. Food was eventually brought in. United dispatched another plane, but some passengers said they were frustrated by the lack of communication.
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UNIDENTIFIED PLANE PASSENGER: The choice of airport, I think, was very poor. Since the airport was not equipped to handle 240 people.
UNIDENTIFIED PLANE PASSENGER: The pilots didn't really know what was going on. They weren't being given a clear message either.
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KEILAR: United Airlines has apologized to the passengers for the incident.
And just ahead, the domino effect of the shutdown. From sick-outs to financial limitations, TSA workers are feeling the pinch, but they are not the only ones.