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AT THIS HOUR
Trump Says He Never Asked Stone about WikiLeaks; Senate Investigators Were Told Trump Jr's Mysterious Calls Were Not to His Father; Trump: Rosenstein Told My Lawyers I'm Not Mueller Target; Trump Says Bipartisan Talks on Border "A Waste of Time"; Trump Signals He Plan to Declare National Emergency for Wall; Lawsuit: Purdue Pharma Tried to Capitalize on Drug Crisis; Countdown to Super Bowl LIII. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired February 1, 2019 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:30:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No. I didn't. I never did.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you ever tell him or other people to get in touch with them?
TRUMP: Never did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Sara Murray is outside the federal court in Washington where Roger Stone will appear.
First to that, Sara. What is expected with Roger Stone in court today?
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't know exactly. It is the first time he is appearing before Judge Amy Berman Jackson. The judge who is going to oversee this, assuming it goes to trial. One of the big questions is whether there's a gag order on this case. Roger Stone has taken an unorthodox approaching and doing lots of media appearances since his indictment. Judge Amy Berman Jackson has put gag orders on other cases related to the Russia probe. We'll be looking for any discussion of that today. Other than that, I think they'll lay out these sorts of wonkier guidelines about how they'll share evidence going forward, set a couple of other days perhaps. But this is the kind of thing, Kate, that could go on for weeks, months, maybe more than a year.
BOLDUAN: Geez. Stand by for another Roger Stone circus potentially.
In other Russia news, Sara, CNN learned new details about those mysterious blocked calls with Donald Trump Jr around the Trump Tower meeting during the election. What do we know?
MURRAY: That's right. This was a big mystery. Who is Donald Trump calling around this Trump Tower meeting that he had with Russians in 2016? It was supposed to be to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. He made the calls to blocked numbers. There was a theory that maybe he was calling his father, President Trump. Now we learn Senate investigators have information that that is not who Donald Trump Jr was calling. He was not calling his father. He was calling a couple of business associates. So it seems like one of the mysteries into the Russia probe may be coming to an end -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: One singular question settled in the Russia probe.
BOLDUAN: Right. Can't even count them.
Great to see you, Sara. Thanks.
Joining me now is CNN legal analyst, Jack Quinn, who served as White House counsel under President Bill Clinton.
Thanks for coming in, Jack.
JACK QUINN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: On this, what I was talking about with Sara, Don Jr's phone calls have long been a source of speculation. Who were these calls to? And now we know that Senate investigators have information that is not to President Trump or with President Trump. Reports are it is with the business associates. There are answers for you. What does it tell you, Jack?
QUINN: Not a great deal. It is certainly good news for Don Trump Jr. Having said that, fathers and sons communicate in lots of different ways. This news tells us only that that particular phone call was not one between the president and his son. They may have communicated, like they did communicate the same day, in other ways, in person, over unblocked phone lines and so on. It really is just -- it's good news for Donald Trump Jr. But it is the narrowest sort of piece of evidence that's been brushed out of the case. We have to remember the president worked on the statement totally mischaracterizing the nature of the conversations by saying they were about adoption and so on. We can't make too much of this. We shouldn't have thought that the blocked call was going to be the central piece of evidence in the Mueller investigation.
QUINN: And let's not forget paragraph 12, which goes to the heart of the Stone indictment, which goes to the heart of Robert Mueller's mandate, namely whether there was coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. The indictment suggests that a senior person in the campaign directed Stone to get in touch with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. We don't know what came out of all of that. This is really the heart of the investigation. Is Roger Stone or are others the link between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which was operating as an agent of Russia?
BOLDUAN: I want to ask you about Roger Stone in one second. But first, let me play what the president - he was asked by the "New York Times" in this interview about the Russia probe, and here is what he said about Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who had been overseeing the investigation. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Has Rod Rosenstein given you any sense over the course of the last year about whether you have any exposure within or there's any concerns or whether you're a target of the Mueller report?
TRUMP: Well, he told the attorneys that I'm not a subject, I'm not a target.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He told your attorneys?
TRUMP: Yes. Oh, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did he say that about the SDNY investigation, too?
TRUMP: About which?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The SDNY investigation. Because there's two. There's Mueller and then there's the Cohen investigation.
TRUMP: I don't know. I don't know about that. That I don't know about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:35:11] BOLDUAN: Not a subject, not a target. Would Rod Rosenstein have given that information to the president's lawyers?
QUINN: I think in the past he has indicated to the president that he was not then a target. I find the conversation a little bit ambivalent or unclear because I wonder whether the president meant to say, I'm not a target, and mistakenly said, I'm not a subject. Again, the mandate Mueller has is not to find evidence on Donald Trump. It was to find out whether or not there was coordination between his presidential campaign and Russia. You know, I don't think he has come to a definitive conclusion. I certainly think that the president is a subject of the investigation. That doesn't mean he is a target. He is right about that. A target is somebody whom the prosecutors think should be or is likely to be prosecuted on the issue.
BOLDUAN: Yes. And basically, it was his campaign. He is part of, he is wrapped up in this. It was his campaign, whether to remember that or not.
But to your point about Roger Stone, I wonder this. If Stone is -- if what has come out against Stone in this indictment is as bad as it gets, he is charged with lying to Congress, objection of justice, witness tampering, and then the report comes out and there's no smoking gun, there's no connecting about what you're talking about between the Trump campaign coordinating with Russia, what then? Is Trump vindicated? QUINN: Well, if the prosecutor -- if Robert Mueller concludes that
there was no coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, they will be largely vindicated. There are a lot of people still going to jail, by the way.
QUINN: And a lot of people close to the president, a lot of senior people involved in the campaign. It will be a little bit baffling if these people are going to jail and there's not some condemnation of the behavior of the campaign during the course of the campaign. We'll just have to see.
I think that -- just look at the number of contacts between the campaign and Russia. Look at the number of people who lied about those contacts. I don't think I have ever read that the prosecutor's discovered that somebody told the truth about the contacts. Robert Mueller deals with that only because people have lied on the record.
And Roger Stone, in the course of this trial, is going to be tested on whether or not he made the false statements or whether he, too, should be convicted of that crime. I think the case against him in the indictment is close to being open and shut. He made the statements in a recorded session with a congressional committee under oath. There's no question about what he said. He can't say the reports about that exchange and the committee were wrong or erroneously transcribed. The world has seen his testimony and it is pretty clear that it was demonstrably false.
BOLDUAN: First steps always. First, we'll see Roger Stone in court today and then, next, we'll see what Robert Mueller has in that report.
QUINN: There will be a gag order.
BOLDUAN: My question, but we've ran out of time, but you answered it.
Thank you. Great to see you.
[11:38:56] BOLDUAN: Coming up, President Trump says bipartisan border negotiations are a waste of time. Does that mean he now can declare a national emergency to get his wall built?
BOLDUAN: This morning, the biggest wall of them all may be the wall currently between Democrats in Congress and the White House. President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are digging in once again, basically putting the shutdown debate back at square one. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There's not going to be any wall money in the legislation. However, if they have some suggestions about certain locality localities where technology, some infrastructures, I said about the ports of entry, we might need more ports of entry. That means some roads. That is part of the negotiation.
TRUMP: If there's no wall, it doesn't work. She is just playing games. So if there's no wall, it doesn't work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Those statements from this week but could very well have been from 35 days ago. The divide over border security is alive and well. What does it mean for the looming threat of another government shutdown and the negotiations that are supposedly happening right now?
CNN's Sarah Westwood is at the White House for us.
Sarah, the president had some interesting thoughts on this debate in the last 24 hours. Why is he calling it a waste of time?
[11:45:00] SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, you are absolutely right. After that historic shutdown, we are no closer to seeing a deal that funds DHS long term. We are seeing President Trump say the lawmakers on Capitol Hill who are continuing budget negotiations are wasting time. Trump said yesterday he wouldn't even bother to read the text of a bill that came back to him without wall funding. And even though Democrats have made some offers to signal they'd be open to other kinds of border security provisions, Trump has continued to argue that none would be effective unless there was a physical barrier along the southern border. He continued slamming Democrats for what he perceives as their refusal to negotiate. This week, the conferees meeting for the first time, we did get a better sense of what the starting point is for congressional Democrats. They made their opening offer on Wednesday. While it did contain billions of dollars for border security items, like new technology and beefing up security at ports of entry, there was not one penny in that offer for the construction of a border wall, nor repairs to existing fencing. So that is why we have seen expectations sort of lowered for any break through from the meetings.
Trump is returning to threats to declare a national emergency. Take a listen to what he told the "New York Times."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think Nancy Pelosi is hurting out country very badly by doing what she is doing. And, ultimately, I think I have set the table nicely.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So set the table for an emergency declaration.
TRUMP: I have set the table, I've set the stage for doing what I'm going to do.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And you'll wait out the 21 days before you take any action?
TRUMP: Yes. I'm going to wait until the 15th. I think it's a waste of time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: Democrats not offering anything Trump could spin as a victory. During the shutdown, Trump was saying a national emergency declaration would not be his first choice. Now he is saying he expects executive action.
Kate, we are already a third of the way through the negotiating period. There are two weeks left until government funding runs out again.
BOLDUAN: That is what happens when you only pass a funding bill for three weeks. It goes by pretty fast.
Great to see you, Sarah. Thank you.
We also have an update on a legal battle we told you about yesterday. We are learning details about the lawsuit against the drug company, Purdue Pharma, and the family who owns it. The company and the family behind the pain killer, OxyContin, previously redacted conversations are now in full public view.
CNN's Miguel Marquez is joining me now with details.
Miguel, we talked about this yesterday laying out the fight. The family was fighting against releasing these documents. The judge ordered it so. What do the documents tell you?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Basically, the attorney general of Massachusetts saying that the company engaged in an audacious plan to not only sell the drugs but also the remedy to the addiction that the drugs cause. The nearly 300-page complaint against Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sacklers, one of America's richest families, outlines how the company secretly pursued a plan dubbed Project Tango to become a, quote, "end-to-end pain provider." What does that mean? The company allegedly examined selling overdose anecdotes as, quote, "complimentary products" to the same doctors it sold the opioids to, including the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin. Citing internal documents, the lawsuit shows the company referred to drug-dependent people as, quote, "an attractive market" that could earn the company billions. The Massachusetts attorney general, whose office filed the suit, also accusing the Sackler family of deceiving doctors and patients about OxyContin's risks and profiting off the sale of the drug while blaming the terrible consequences on the people who became addicted. The complaint cites a confidential 2001 e-mail from Purdue chairman and president, Richard Sackler, who wrote, "We have to hammer on the abusers in every way possible. They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals."
The lawsuit includes a chart that shows the Sackler family paid themselves more than $4 billion in opioid profits between 2008 and 2016. Purdue lost a legal battle to keep the contents of this complaint private, telling CNN, "The Massachusetts attorney general decision to release the full complaint is," quote, "part of a continuing effort to blame it for the entire opioid crisis and try the case in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system." Adding, "Massachusetts seeks to publicly vilify Purdue, it's executives, employees, and directors while unfairly undermining the important work we have taken to address the opioid addiction crisis."
Eight members of the Sackler family, as well as current and former executives of the company, have been charged in this suit.
BOLDUAN: Regardless of where this goes from here, it seems maybe we are learning why the family was fighting to release the documents so hard.
MARQUEZ: When you look at what was redacted, it was anything related to money, to the Sacklers, to anything negative about those parts of the company. Clearly, it is a peek at that world. And we are only probably going to learn more in the months ahead.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, Miguel.
MARQUEZ: You've got it.
[11:50:00] BOLDUAN: Appreciate it.
Coming up, the countdown is on. Super Bowl LIII coming up this weekend. Next, the latest from Atlanta as the Rams get ready to take on the Patriots.
BOLDUAN: Clash of the titans, old versus young. Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady and more Tom Brady. What is the Super Bowl this weekend all about?
Let's go to Atlanta to find out. CNN's Dave Riggs is there.
Dave, New England Patriots versus Los Angeles Rams. One of the big story lines is the old guy, Tom Brady, versus the young guy, Jared Goff. But that extends to the coaches as well. You talked to the Rams Coach Sean McVey. What is he saying ahead of the game?
DAVE RIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: He's not the least bit nervous, Kate, which is extraordinary, considering he's 33 years old. The youngest coach to ever coach in the Super Bowl. He talked about the 66-yeawr-old Bill Belichick like they're old friends. He was Bill that texted the young McVey after every game to encourage him along the way. Little did I or they know they would be squaring off on this Super Bowl Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:55:04] SEAN MCVEY, LOS ANGELES RAMS COACH: I have a lot of respect for them. They've been doing it as consistently as any organization in the history of this league. I've gotten a chance to get to know Coach Belichick a little bit. They're a team you're always watching the way they do things, and you just have so much respect for the way they've operated over the last handful of years. It's going to be a challenge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIGGS: So composed. Think about McVey, 33, seven years younger than the opposing quarterback. We've never seen anything like this. He would have been the youngest to win a Super Bowl. And Bill Belichick was 49 when he got his first Lombardy trophy..
Kate, back to you.
BOLDUAN: All right, let us see.
Thanks, Dave. Great to have you there.
Be sure to watch kickoff in Atlanta, a CNN "BLEACHER REPORT" special with Dave Riggs, Hines Ward and Coy Wire, tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, on CNN.
Coming up, Senator Cory Booker jumps into the crowded Democratic presidential field. How does he break away from the rest of the pack now?
And very important question, what does a vegan eat at the Iowa State Fair?