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Foxconn Reverses Course on Wisconsin Plant after Trump Call; Elizabeth Warren Is Apologizing to Cherokee Nations on Her Controversial DNA Test; Democratic Field of Presidential Candidates Grows; Judge Considers Gag Order in Roger Stone Case; Trump: Rosenstein Told My Lawyers I'm Not Mueller Target. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired February 1, 2019 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:32:42] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: One phone call from President Trump and a major Taiwanese electronics company has changed its mind about building this new factory in Wisconsin. We're reporting earlier that Foxconn was scaling back its promise to build this LCD manufacturing facility. It was a major reversal from this flashy White House announcement back in 2017.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a great day for American workers and manufacturing and for everyone who believes in the concept and the label "Made in the USA.
TRUMP: The company's initial investment of more than $10 billion will create 3,000 jobs at a minimum with the potential for up to 13,000 jobs in the very near future. The construction of this facility represents the return of LCD electronics and electronic manufacturing to the United States, the country that we love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: CNN's Cristina Alesci is with me.
You guys were reporting earlier this week that Foxconn was going back on its promise of creating these several thousand manufacturing jobs thinking maybe, OK, they'd be in research. Has President Trump saved the day?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN POLITICS BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: He has. He needed to. This is no doubt a victory and I don't want to diminish that for him.
ALESCI: But he doesn't want the same thing to happen that happened in Ohio, where I visited the plant, that he said would stick around, the G.M. plant that would stick around, and instead the company ended up laying those people off or -- BALDWIN: Reassigning them.
ALESCI: -- reassigning them to other locations.
Foxconn is an important part of his manufacturing story. It's not just jobs. It's manufacturing jobs that Trump needs to bring back in order to win this political argument that he cares about manufacturing here. So when reports emerged this week that Foxconn was considering putting a research facility --
BALDWIN: People were, like, wait, what?
ALESCI: Exactly. This builds on the strong jobs numbers. We saw him tweet about the jobs numbers earlier today. Again, without the strong economy, his chances in 2020 will diminish unless he can keep the economy chugging along. Foxconn is a huge part of that. Now, we need to see other manufacturing coming back in order to sustain that strong jobs number that we've seen.
[14:35:15] And 2020 Democrats, they are going to take a big shot at trying to get those workers back in their camp. These were people who were longtime Democrats. And to a certain extent, when I speak to these people, it's fascinating. They aren't so focused on the results. They aren't looking at the numbers. What they're hearing is --
BALDWIN: The promises.
ALESCI: And that's the important thing to them. Yes.
BALDWIN: That's fascinating. He saved the day but he needed to.
BALDWIN: Cristina Alesci, thank you very much for that.
Right now, Roger Stone is back in federal court ready to fight. What we're learning about a possible gag order for him and how the always- outspoken political strategist plans to deal with it.
Also, Democratic presidential contender, Senator Elizabeth Warren, is apologizing to Cherokee Nations about her controversial DNA test. What she's now saying about that.
We have more on CNN exclusive reporting. The mysterious phone calls that Donald Trump Jr made after the Trump Tower meeting were not, actually, to his father. We'll talk about the significance of that. Stand by.
[14:40:26] BALDWIN: Just in, Senator Elizabeth Warren is apologizing for taking a DNA test to prove her Native American ancestry. She took the test in response to taunts by President Trump. The move quickly backfired.
CNN national correspondent, Maeve Reston, joins me.
And so, what's the back story on this apology?
MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Obviously, Brooke, she's trying to clean up what has been a huge scandal that has marred the beginning of her presidential campaign to get ahead of it and try to put it behind her before she actually announces her campaign later this month. My colleague, Greg Krieg, obtained a statement from the Cherokee Nation saying, quote, "Senator Warren has reached out to us and has apologized to the tribe. We are encouraged by this dialogue and understanding that being a Cherokee Nation tribal citizen is rooted in centuries of culture and laws, not through DNA tests."
So she reached out in this private conversation with leaders of the Cherokee Nation and, you know, trying to start on a better foot as she heads to states like New Hampshire and Iowa and South Carolina. There's such a huge uproar over this when she responded, basically, as you said, to President Trump's taunts on this matter.
BALDWIN: So as we're talking about Senator Elizabeth Warren, she is now one of several U.S. Senators who would like to become the next president. The field is growing. We just saw Senator Cory Booker declaring in his front yard in Newark, New Jersey. Where are we now? How many Senators we talking?
RESTON: I think we are at about seven Senators now. It could be more coming in. But we've got Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker today, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Sherrod Brown, Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders.
Brooke, fun fact, it is very hard to get to the White House from the Senate. Only two presidents have been able to do that so far, Barack Obama, obviously, and John F. Kennedy Jr.
BALDWIN: So many. The odds will increase for them, we shall see.
Maeve Reston, thank you.
I've got to bounce over to Sara Murray.
RESTON: Thank you.
BALDWIN: We're getting breaking news here outside of this courthouse there in Washington, D.C.
Roger Stone, longtime Trump political adviser, confidant, been in this court hearing where you've been wondering about this potential gag order. What happened?
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's no gag order on the case as of yet but the judge did make it clear in these relatively quick court proceedings that she is considering one. Roger Stone and the government have until February 8th to submit in writing their feelings on this matter. And the judge is pretty colorful in how she was talking about. She said this would be a gag order pertaining to this case so he would be free to go out and talk about foreign relations, to talk about Tom Brady, but then she went on to talk about the risks of treating these pretrial proceedings as if they were a book tour. And said, of course, Roger Stone still has his First Amendment rights but it is her job to preserve his constitutional rights to a fair trial. And she was worried about the number of statements being made in public and the case that could potentially taint a jury pool. Nothing decided. But it's under consideration.
Brooke, we could be in this for the long haul. The government said they are looking at a potential trial date somewhere in October. That seemed to be a startling fact to the judge. She says she was hoping for a date in July or August. Nothing has been officially set yet in terms of a trial date, but this would be months in the making for sure -- Brooke?
BALDWIN: OK. Sara, thank you.
Let's bring in CNN legal analysts, Elie Honig and Joey Jackson.
So still it's not black or white today in terms of this judge has gaged him or not. Still considering.
Can we pro/con this gag order situation with Roger Stone? One the one hand, the prosecutor is like, hey, let the guy let it rip, but it would taint jurors, right?
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I'll do the cons. As a prosecutor, I do not believe in or like gag orders.
BALDWIN: You hate them.
HONIG: I never once even thought about seeking one. When I did cases in the media, not like this. Defendants have First Amendment rights like anybody else. Number two, the justification is, let's not taint the jury. We have an extensive jury selection process that roots that out and so if there's a potential juror who says, yes, I heard Roger Stone make these outrageous statements. That person is off the jury. And third, prosecutors want defendants talking out loud in public. The odds are he's going to say something that's going to hurt him. And his defense lawyer, you want him silent. I don't believe in seeking to gag people, defendants. And we'll see what this judge does. She did gag Manafort and Gates. We'll see what she does with Stone.
[14:45:20] BALDWIN: What do you think?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I believe. I'm a believer in gag orders.
JACKSON: First, yes, so let's start with, you know, the item number three in terms of what you're talking about now. Gag orders clearly, there's a reason that they happen, and the reason is that you want to preserve a fair trial. You want to ensure there's not a taunted jury pool. And there are people out there certainly that you want, ultimately, when they come in, and judgment of you, not to have any preconceived notions. Now when you get a jury, you hope that that jury is fair and they'll be equitable to your client. We need to talk about how just -- this is a situation like we haven't seen. How many times have you seen a defendant after they have been indicted go on a media blitz like this? Generally speaking, the attorneys advising them, you are not to say a word. Sometimes for your own good, you don't want -- I know he wants to be out there. He wants --
BALDWIN: He's never met a microphone he doesn't like.
JACKSON: He has not. I do not see the value in him speaking this up. He's talking his way into a pretty hefty conviction.
HONIG: He should hire you. Because that's going to --
JACKSON: Bring it on.
HONIG: I've never seen a defendant go on a media tour like this. I think what's really going on with the gag order under the surface, nobody wants this to become a complete circus.
I have more for you guys, so hang tight.
President Trump weighing in on a number of issues, including speaking about his longtime pal, Roger Stone, and his arrest.
Also, those mysterious phone calls that Don Jr made before and after the Trump Tower meeting, why that's significant? We'll be right back.
[14:51:19] BALDWIN: More news in this Russia investigation. President Trump, in this wide-ranging interview with the "New York Times," says his deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, told his lawyers that the president is not a subject of Robert Mueller's investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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)
BALDWIN: First of all, just to you, does -- does he know there's an SDNY investigation going on?
HONIG: He clearly does not know the answer to that question. On the first question, though, being a target is really bad. It means you're very likely to be indicted. Being a subject, is not quite as bad but you're in the scope. It's unclear to me if he was saying he's not a target or a subject or just not a target because he could then be a subject. When was he told this? You can change that status. Someone can go from being a target, to being a subject, to being neither, or you can move up the chain, too. I have some follow-up things I'm wondering about.
JACKSON: It's not clear to me whether he was told any of that, quite frankly. Remember, there's a political imperative here, too. You want to assure the public, I didn't do anything wrong, everything is good. This is the same person we say on TV, on his own national security team who were contradicting him, and he was questioned about it. They didn't say that. I didn't see them say that. They were misquoted. But, Mr. President, this is what they said. I didn't hear that. I'm not sure they would have said anything. It would be unlikely that he would have been provided with that information. And so, I'm not a believer as to that.
BALDWIN: Not a believer.
All right, guys. Thank you all.
Coming up next, it's the most diverse field ever but there's something, one big thing that all of these Democratic contenders have in common. We'll be right back.
[14:57:52] BALDWIN: Super Bowl LIII is just 48 hours away. Atlanta is kicking it off with primetime concerts. At Centennial Olympic Park, HXV. Tonight's primetime line-up Saturday night is R&B sensation, Monica and D.J. Smurf. Next door, tonight's line-up is Aerosmith and Post Malone. Tomorrow night is Bruno Mars. And every big game comes with a bunch of fun. So here are some of the ones making the rounds. How many plays with Tony Romo correctly pick ahead of the game? He's calling his first Super Bowl game. The over and under on that is apparently 7.5. So will any scoring drive take less time than it takes Atlanta native, Gladys Knight, to sing the national anthem is another one. And how many times will the broadcast mention 33-year-old's Sean McVay's age. I have a super special guest coming up next hour so stick around for her. You see her appear during the Super Bowl.
Meantime, let's roll on.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BALDWIN: You are watching CNN on this Friday. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for being with me.
Here's the breaking news. The federal judge overseeing Roger Stone's case is now considering a gag order against one of the most media- friendly defendants in this whole Russia investigation. Stone has pleaded not guilty to seven charges of false statements, obstruction and witness tampering from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Those allegations are all related to communications he had about WikiLeaks, releasing hacked emails meant to damage Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
Since those charges came down last week, Stone has not turned away from a camera or a microphone defending himself.
Sara Murray is outside that courthouse with all the details, and also with us is senior justice correspondent, Evan Perez.
So, Sara, to you, what did the judge say?
MURRAY: Brooke, she did warn that she is considering a gag order on this case. She said this is a criminal proceeding and not a public- relations campaign. She acknowledged that Roger Stone has his First Amendment right to speak publicly and said he was even justified in some of the pushback --