Return to Transcripts main page
CNN RIGHT NOW
Interview with Rep. Ted Lieu (D), California; Earlier Interview with Roger Stone after Court Appearance; Stone Is Latest Trump Campaign Associate Charged in Russian Probe; Trump Expected to Speak on Shutdown Deal. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired January 25, 2019 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:30:00] REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: It was well-known at the time that WikiLeaks was working with the Russians. And as a former prosecutor, I know that you will charge people --
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: The DNC had come out prior to this and said, hey, we were hacked, and the company that found -- that sort of uncovered the extent of the hacking said it was Russian actors who had done it. Is that the dot that is the obvious connection for you?
LIEU: That is one of the factors. Another one is that WikiLeaks had this information that the Russians stole, and gave to WikiLeaks to then launch on the American public. And Roger Stone was working with WikiLeaks in the Trump campaign to coordinate what was going to be a very large cyberattack and foreign-influence operation on our elections in 2016.
KEILAR: Congressman Ted Lieu, thank you for being with us on this very busy day. We appreciate it.
LIEU: Thank you, Brianna.
KEILAR: We have some live pictures, on the right of your screen, from the White House Rose Garden because President Trump is expected to make a major announcement on the government shutdown, any moment now, as we report that a deal is close to reopen the government.
[13:35:49] KEILAR: We have some live pictures from the White House Rose Garden on your screen where President Trump is expected to make an announcement on the government shutdown at any moment. We're going to take that live as soon as that begins.
Until then, let's dig a little deeper into the Roger Stone indictment and the political fallout from it.
I want to go to CNN's Nick Valencia. He's in Florida.
You just spoke to Roger Stone. What did he say to you, Nick?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a serendipitous moment, Brianna. We were able to catch up with him after he made that statement after leaving the courthouse. I asked Roger Stone if he had a comment to make to CNN. I asked him about the charges he's facing, as well as what it was like when the FBI showed up at his residence early this morning. This is what he had to say to us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: Mr. Stone, any comment for CNN?
ROGER STONE, LONGTIME ASSOCIATE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: Nice to see you guys at my house this morning.
VALENCIA: What do you think of the charges, Mr. Stone?
STONE: They are false and I will be completely vindicated.
VALENCIA: What was it like when the FBI showed up?
STONE: Not surprising.
VALENCIA: The indictment said that you were coordinating with senior Trump officials, campaign officials. Who are the officials?
VALENCIA: No indication on who those officials were, Mr. Stone?
STONE; They don't exist.
VALENCIA: Anything you'd like to say to clear the record?
STONE: I think I've been pretty clear on this. Tune in to the shows tonight and you'll see. I support the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: You heard him there, Brianna. I asked him who these unnamed senior Trump officials, senior Trump campaign officials were unnamed in the indictment, and he says there weren't any, they don't exist.
He seemed to be in incredibly good spirits considering the seriousness surrounding him, the charges that he's facing. We saw him as he left the courthouse throwing a victory sign and being incredibly defiant as he made a statement to the press -- Brianna?
Nick, thank you for bringing us that interview. Nick Valencia there in Ft. Lauderdale.
Now we have Dana Bash, Gloria Borger, Jeff Zeleny with us, and former Justice Department prosecutor, Joe Marino. First off, Roger Stone, Gloria, denies everything. Because it's hard
to believe -- it defies belief. You wouldn't have an indictment, you wouldn't have this charging document, where senior officials he was coordinating with were laid out without evidence of it. He's just saying he doesn't exit.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: And e-mails and texts and all kinds of documentary evidence. We know what his mantra is, which is deny, deny, deny, and that's what he's clearly going to continue to do.
I think the bigger story today -- and I'd be curious as to what you think of this as an attorney, because I am not
KEILAR: I just play one.
BORGER: -- I just play one on TV -- is that they seem to be, with all of these indictments, six of them so far, the special counsel seems to be making a larger point here about a conspiracy to defraud the government of the United States. So if you look at all of these separate indictments together, at some point, he may just connect the dots here for the American public, and we don't know when that would be, and say, there was a conspiracy.
I mean, in that notion here that a senior Trump campaign official was directed, past tense, to contact Stone about any additional releases from WikiLeaks, what the special counsel is saying here is that other people were involved in this. And so we've already had indictments, we could have some more, but I do think we're beginning to see something take shape here that's larger than individual collusion.
KEILAR: Joe, the picture of collusion -- all you have to do is read this document and the picture is pretty damning of what Roger Stone was doing. And yet, you look at the counts, and it's for lying, it's for obstructing, it is -- it doesn't say conspiracy, and because of that, you have Roger Stone and his lawyer and even the president hiding behind this, oh, there's no collusion. You give us the real story here.
[13:39:55] JOE MARINO, FORMER DOJ PROSECUTOR: Sure, you can put a brave face on anything, and I would expect the defense to do that. It's their job, right? There are a lot of words in here. And to Gloria's point, you wouldn't need 20 pages on all these facts to make a claim that someone was a dirty trickster about it and lied about it. That's what Roger Stone did, he lied about it and encouraged someone else to lie.
But when you look at the language in here, I don't think it's an accident that it talks about being directed by a member of the campaign, you're talking about the extent of not just once but numerous times Roger Stone went back to the source, asked about the timing and the content and the strategic value of certain e-mails. So, look, this is not a narrow case. It must be looked at in the bigger picture. And while there's no promising where it goes, I don't think it's an accident these facts were laid out in this level of detail.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think the question here is, how much, how often were Roger Stone and Donald Trump talking back during those days. There aren't a lot of aides who know specifically. A couple people who were right around him who saw him on the phone might know. But that was always a frustration for so many campaign officials that, gosh, who is Donald Trump talking to? He loved to spend his time on the telephone, and Roger Stone was one of --
ZELENY: Absolutely. And so the questions were, were they talking -- there aren't that many people who could have directed a campaign official, so that's a central point here.
ZELENY: Exactly. It was a very small campaign. The senior officials could sit at this table. It was really small, so we should keep that in mind.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Just to drill down even more on what you just said, Cory Lewandowski, who was the campaign manager, not during at the time of this paragraph you just read -- no, he wasn't. He was already fired a month before. But he has said on CNN and elsewhere that this specifically was a very big frustration, not just that the president was on the phone, but that he was on the phone with Roger Stone.
So the question is, is the president that person who directed, or is it Paul Manafort. The list couldn't be that long. There weren't very many people on the campaign in general, certainly, not very many people who could direct an official.
KEILAR: And Joe, real quickly, because we have to get to a break, but we say, the argument of collusion, how would Roger Stone have known if he was dealing with WikiLeaks he is essentially dealing with Russia? Well, the DNC had made it clear they were hacked. We found out in 2016. In July, there was a series of e-mails released by WikiLeaks. And after that, Roger Stone, with input, direct coordination from Trump campaign officials, is still going about this trying to seek information. That is the line there, right, that should have been so obvious to him and others that, hey, look at this very clear Russia connection.
MARINO: He comes out in his opening statement in the House in his testimony and says, well, there's this unverified claim that Russia was involved. And then, in response to having to produce any documentation regarding the House's mission, which is to do look into Russian interfering, he said, I don't have any text messages or e- mails or anything.
MARINO: Now we know they have a whole trove of them. (CROSSTALK)
MARINO: And he was obviously trying to threat that needle.
KEILAR: Yes, they're really damning.
KEILAR: All right, you guys, stay with me, if you will
We've learned that the White House and lawmkers are near a deal to reopen the government. The president -- we're taking live pictures here. You can see the podium in the Rose Garden where he's going to address the press at any moment. We'll bring it to you live here on CNN.
[13:45:41] KEILAR: We are keeping an eye on the White House Rose Garden. The president expected to make an announcement on the government shutdown at any moment, possibly talking about a deal to end the shutdown. We're watching it carefully and will bring it to you live.
But first, Roger Stone, Trump's long-time associate, appearing in court today just hours after he was arrested and indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The former Trump campaign official is charged with witness tampering -- a former confidant to, I should say, the president is charged with witness tampering, making false statements and obstruction.
Stone is just the latest in several of Trump's orbit to be charged in the Russian probe.
We have CNN's Chris Cillizza following all of this from the very beginning.
I'm sure you can make sense of it in about 90 seconds.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: All right, Brianna, OK, thank you for the challenge.
First, let's go to the numbers on this. So with Stone's -- the criminal counts against Stone being indicted, first let me shout out to Marcia Cohen, who helps keep this Russia file who knows everything. And 199 criminal charges, 37 people now who have been charged, six Trump associates. I'll add just a few other numbers. Seven people have already pled guilty and are cooperating, foru people have been sentenced to prison, one has been convicted, to a prison by their peers, Paul Manafort. Now, in the orbit of Donald Trump, here we go. George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty, cooperating. Michael Flynn pleaded guilty, cooperating. Rick Gates pleaded guilty, cooperating. Paul Manafort pleaded guilty, was cooperating. Roger Stone, first of all, terrific suit, but second of all, indicted.
Now, let's go to the next one because all those people, as you notice, Brianna, had something in common that Roger Stone didn't, not cooperating. Here's Trump on Roger Stone no coopeating, "I will never testify against Trump. That's Roger Stone --- Donald Trump quoting Roger Stone, "Nice to know that some people still have guts."
It's important to note, Roger Stone, when he came out after being charged today, came out and said, look, I will never bear false witness, I'm still behind Donald Trump 100 percent. That other chart that has all those other people in that orbit, many of them said, well, I'm not going to cooperate, I'm not going to turn, I'm not going to flip. And one by one, with the exception of Manafort, who flipped and then flipped back, have turned. That obviously is a concern for Donald Trump, should be a concern for him and his inner circle.
I say this every time we do a segment like this. There's a lot, a lot, a lot of smoke. Do we have a fire you can point to yet? Not as it relates to Donald Trump.
Back to you -- Brianna?
KEILAR: You did it, Chris.
Thank you very much.
[13:49:31] At any moment, the president is going to speak. CNN is learning the White House and lawmakers are nearing a deal to reopen the government. You're watching CNN.
KEILAR: Any minute now, allegedly, the president is going to address the government shutdown in a possible agreement to end it. We'll bring you his live remarks from the Rose Garden as soon as they begin.
Back now with Dana Bash, Gloria Borger and Jeff Zeleny.
Some great reporting that we have. What is the thing that -- first off, let's talk about what is allegedly in the deal.
BASH: Let me tell you what I was told from a Democratic source, Manu Raju also -- and again, this is from the Democratic side -- that leaders are focusing on an agreement that would reopen the government. It would last until February 15th. It would not include any money for the wall. It would give furloughed employees back pay. And, during that time, about three weeks, they would negotiate. So what does this mean?
KEILAR: It sounds like it was written by Nancy Pelosi.
BASH: Just to be clear, this is from the Democratic side, and we have to hear exactly what the president says.
We should also note -- and I want Jeff to talk about this reporting -- he was supposed to come out more than 20 minutes ago and hasn't. And in this atmosphere, we should remember that things change rather quickly. But this is where they think they are on Capitol Hill among senior Democrats.
KEILAR: Because he's going to want to save some face here, Jeff, but at the same time, you have reporting on something that really got to him that may have changed his mind.
ZELENY: This is day 35, so not a new problem here at all. But one thing that changed I am told were those pictures this morning from LaGuardia, from Newark, from Philadelphia, those airplane delays and slowdowns and ground stops because of this. You have pilots telling passengers on planes, this is because of the government shutdown. So I am told by one White House official that said planes have to keep flying, this is getting worse and worse, he knows this has to end. This is something that optically has changed.
As Dana was saying, we are 24 minutes late here in the Rose Garden speech. This feels, to me, like December. We thought he was going to sign a temporary spending bill. So much has changed since then. We do believe that he is relenting. He'll try and find some type of a win here. We have to hold on until we hear what he says on this because Senator McConnell saying we're waiting to hear what the White House says.
[13:55:20] BORGER: McConnell is the one who has sort of stepped back from all of this because don't forget that he actually passed something in the Senate that he thought the president was going to sign on to and the president ended up backing out of it. So as we all sit here and wait, what we're thinking about, quite honestly, is who is getting to the president at the last minute telling him not to do this or telling him to change whatever kind of deal that he's going to cut.
KEILAR: I have to be -- I have to be punctual for my girl, Brooke Baldwin, as you know, so let's leave our conversation right there. There's --
BASH: How is that for a tease?
KEILAR: Very good, Dana Bash. Dana Bash will have more with Brooke Baldwin just ahead.
We're keeping our eye on the Rose Garden. The president is expected to come out and make some sort of announcement. We understand there's a deal that is near between the White House and Congress to reopen the government, but a lot of outstanding questions.
You're watching CNN.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
[14:00:09] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN on this busy Friday afternoon. I'm Brooke Baldwin.