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Deutsche Bank Begins Handing over Trump's Financial Records; Joe Biden Launches Presidential Campaign; Host Van Jones Takes You Inside the Restorative Justice Process on "THE REDEMPTION PROJECT". Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired April 25, 2019 - 11:30   ET



[11:33:42] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Right now, one of the President Trump's biggest lenders, Deutsche Bank, has started turning over financial records to New York's attorney general in response to a subpoena for documents related to loans made to President Trump and his businesses in recent years.

The investigation is based partly on the testimony of Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, who told Congress this.


REP. WILLIAM LACY CLAY (D-MO): To your knowledge, did the president or his company ever inflate assets or revenues?


LACY CLAY: And was that done with the president's knowledge or direction?

COHEN: Everything was done with the knowledge and at the direction of Mr. Trump.


BOLDUAN: So why is Deutsche Bank now in the spotlight? And what could it mean now for the president?

Joining me right now is Luke Harding, a former correspondent for "The Guardian" newspaper. He's written extensively about the relationship between Trump and Deutsche Bank. He's also the author of the book, "Collusion, Secret Meetings, Dirty Money and How Russia Helped Trump Win."

Luke, thanks for being here.


BOLDUAN: What puts Deutsche Bank at the center of this?

HARDING: There's a mystery at the center of the story, which is why has Deutsche Bank loaned so much money to Donald Trump? We're talking about more than a billion dollars. And specifically, we're talking about back in 2008, when there was a global financial crisis, Donald Trump defaulted on a loan for $45 million, and he sued the bank. Now, normally, what a bank would do is chuck the client file in the bin, but what Deutsche Bank did was give Donald Trump another $300 million in circumstances which have not been fully explained. And at the same time, what we know is Deutsche Bank was running not one but two money laundering schemes out of Moscow, out of its branch there. What we have is we have Russian money out of Moscow going into Deutsche Bank, and we have Deutsche Bank in New York lending money to Donald Trump. I think what everyone wants to know, including Congress, is are these two things connected or not connected.

[11:35:48] BOLDUAN: And you paint the two factors here that are very interesting. You put them all together. It's not just this kind of long relationship with Trump and Deutsche Bank, but also then the relationship that Deutsche Bank has with Russia, too. Tell me more about that.

HARDING: Well, I mean, that's right. Basically, Deutsche Bank was very ambitious. It was trying to expand, become a kind of global bank. What I'm told and what I have written is that it was more or less kind of captured by state interests in Moscow and was essentially running a money laundering scheme for VIPs, for Kremlin-connected officials, for oligarchs who were siphoning money out of Moscow, bouncing it through the Baltic States into America and the Western financial system generally. Now, Deutsche Bank has been fined for this by regulators, including in New York. It's paid penalties more than $600 million.

Meanwhile, the bank has been incredibly evasive. I mean, you call them up, you ask questions, they don't give you any answers. Congress has written to Deutsche Bank, inquiring about lending to Mr. Trump, and never received a reply. What's interesting now is we now have subpoenas and maybe Deutsche Bank will finally start shedding light on this. Of course, Donald Trump's tax returns might tell us something, but we're still waiting for those as well.

BOLDUAN: In the immediate -- I mean, now we know that Deutsche Bank is turning over documents to the New York attorney general, I do wonder what you think kind of the big at least the most important question that you would have that could possibly be answered from what the New York attorney general is getting. And for that matter, the investigations under way in Congress.

HARDING: Well, I mean, I think we have to be very clear and careful about what we say, because at the moment we don't know. There may be a perfectly incident explanation for all this.


HARDING: But the big question is whether Russian state entities in any form were underwriting, supporting some of this lending, these hundreds of millions of dollars going to Donald Trump. We have asked Deutsche Bank this. I have been asking since 2016. They don't want to talk about it. It might be for other reasons, client confidentiality. But that's the big question that is hovering like a specter, if you like, over this, and I'm really intrigued to see whether the New York attorney general gets the answer.

BOLDUAN: Yes, and for the first time, seeing real movement in that Deutsche is turning some documents over. What comes from that, we don't know, but you'll continue to cover it and we'll follow your reporter.

Luke, thank you very much.

Coming up for us, after weeks of waiting, Joe Biden finally makes it official, jumps into the crowded 2020 field. So where does he stand in the polls at this start? Can he energize voters? What are the issues? That's next.


[11:42:25] BOLDUAN: Does today feel different to you, like a whole new chapter has begun, perhaps? If you're running for president, it should, because Joe Biden just jumped into the race officially. His announcement coming in the form of a video.

Where exactly does Biden start off in the race? What does it say about the long road ahead to the nomination, and what does it also change for the rest of the Democratic field?

Joining me now is the man with the answers and the numbers, CNN senior political writer and analyst, Harry Enten.

Good to see you, Harry.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER & ANALYST: Good to see you. It feels like a new day for me, always.

BOLDUAN: Always, always. You're so upbeat.

Let's move on. Joe Biden, he's been leading in polls even before he got in the race, but where does he stand?

ENTEN: I took an average of all the polls in the early states as well as nationally since January 1st and he's polling 30 percent nationally and in the early states as well, and that's good enough for first in all of them. Although, in New Hampshire, he's tied with Bernie Sanders at this point.

BOLDUAN: Put that in perspective, what that means for who wins in general.

ENTEN: Essentially, 538 did this analysis, and they looked at the polling averages during the first part of the year and said, OK, if someone is polling where Biden is, right, in between 20 percent and 35 percent, how often do they win the nomination. They win about 35 percent of the time. That's pretty good considering we have a field of about 20 people. That makes him the front-runner, but it doesn't make him the odds-on favorite. He's got a pretty good shot at this point. BOLDUAN: No matter what, still a long road to the nomination.

ENTEN: And 20 people, nine months, you know how it is.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. We don't often see this.


BOLDUAN: No, I don't.

Every candidate has strengths and weaknesses. Where are you seeing in the numbers where Biden is facing weaknesses?

ENTEN: I would say this perhaps is his greatest weakness. He's over the age of 75 come Inauguration Day, Election Day 2020. And NBC News asked this question: Do you feel enthusiastic or comfortable with a candidate over the age of 75? Among Democrats, only 33 percent say they feel enthusiastic or comfortable with a candidate over the age of 75. The real question is whether or not the polls right now are factoring that in. Do voters know if Biden is over the age of 75? If it is, that's not a big deal, but if they don't know at this point, it might be the reason his polls may be artificially high.

BOLDUAN: And we will see very quickly.

ENTEN: We will see.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

ENTEN: Thank you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Really appreciate it.

Coming up for us, inside the U.S. prison system in a way you have never seen before. CNN's Van Jones is shining a spotlight on redemption and what happens when victims come face-to-face with the people who committed the crimes against them and their family. Van Jones joins me, next.

[11:45:01] But first, there's a new online challenge going viral around the world. It's called #trashtag, and it taps into the selfie craze as a way to help the environment. Here's this week's "Impact Your World."


BYRON ROMAN, IGNITES #TRASHTAG CHALLENGE: I declare our second area clean.


ROMAN: Let's move on to the front part.

My name is Byron Roman, and I have recently reignited the #trashtag challenge. My hope was mainly to inspire or motivate younger people. The

challenge is taking a photo of an area that needs to be cleaned up, and they clean it up.

Let's put the bags over there.

And they're doing selfies or shots of the area they had cleaned up.


ROMAN: And they post it using the #trashtag.

I did not think ahead of the magnitude this was going to take on.

My posts have been shared 330,000 times and liked about 100,000 times. I started receiving more pictures being posted. When it started going viral from people in Vietnam, from India, Nepal, and Europe, of them doing their share.

I'm very humble that someone like me was able to share a post that crossed countries, crossed cultures, crossed languages, and inspired people to make the world a better place.

So the challenge right now is for you to find an area, get some trash bags, whatever it is, pick it up, take a photo of it, and post it online.

I declare this area clean.




[11:50:43] BOLDUAN: This Sunday, a powerful new CNN original series begins, it's called "THE REDEMPTION PROJECT." Host Van Jones takes you inside what's called the Restorative Justice process and shows you what happens when the victim of a crime and the person who committed the crime, people you would think would never come together, they do just that. Here's a preview.


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & CNN HOST, "THE VAN JONES SHOW": We like to imagine that after there's been the verdict that the story is over. The reality is whether they are the offender or the victim, the journey is just beginning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a sheriff's deputy at the door.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said, Louis is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got some drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I took the gun from him. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember I shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember shouting don't do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I pulled the trigger.

JONES: What is it that you want to know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want him to look me in the face and tell me why he killed my mother.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know where we're going to land, but we're all in, man.



BOLDUAN: Van Jones, the host of "THE REDEMPTION PROJECT" is back with me now.

It is -- it is so powerful.


BOLDUAN: The episode that I was able to see, I mean, it is moving. It is raw.


BOLDUAN: It's a little -- it's a little terrifying at moments to watch it, but it's also unbelievable the capacity of people.


BOLDUAN: Van, to not just come face to face, but to come together, to find a path forward.


BOLDUAN: I mean, why did you do this? Why did you want to do this?

JONES: Because I feel like our culture is going in a direction where there's no more grace. There's no forgiveness. There's no compassion. There's no empathy. It's callout culture, cancel culture, I'm a block you culture, and that's poison. We can't go on that way. So I wanted to put some medicine back into the system to show something 180 degrees the opposite.

I talked to eight people who have done really bad things. They didn't send a bad tweet, they did really bad things years ago, and they want to make amends. They want to atone. I talked to people they hurt, the surviving family members and we put them in a room and film them talking to each other. Listen, it's powerful. In two of the cases, it does not wind up warm

and fuzzy, OK. That's reality. In three of the cases, the survivors actually successfully go and get the person out of prison.


JONES: And you have the full range of human emotion and human experience. And I just want people to give this show a chance. Oh, it's too hard. I'm too scared. No, no, this is a heartbreak-to-hope show. And every show, even when it doesn't end up warm and fuzzy, there is some healing. They learn something they don't know.

BOLDUAN: It is so revealing. I have to say, not everyone is a victim of a violent crime or has a personal connection to something like that but it speaks to something larger.

JONES: Listen, every human being has done something that we regret, that we wish we could over, and every human being has been hurt by somebody that's hard to forgive so the stakes are much higher in this these cases, but it's a fundamental human condition where two people sit down and cross that divide.

BOLDUAN: And look each other in the eye, even though it was so hard to. It was hard to watch them looking. What -- it's hard for a lot of people to understand what it is that makes someone whose son has been murdered, mother has been murdered, who wants to sit down and speak to the person who did this.


JONES: Let me tell you why, let me tell you why, and this is so important. We assume -- and I said that in the thing, we assume that when you get the verdict, and guilty, boom, 40 years. That the family is like, hooray, the credits role and everybody is happy. That's true crime, a Who Done It, and they didn't get the right guy. This isn't true crime.

BOLDUAN: This is the truth.

JONES: The truth long after the crime. People are still hurting. People have not head. People still don't know what happened. Somebody cops a plea, they never even told you what happened. So you're sitting there wondering and wondering and ruminating. So sometimes the only person who can give you some information to help you heal is the person who caused the problem in the first place and that's what happens. I just want to know what happened. Why did you do it? Do you still -- do you feel bad? Was that confession a forced confession? When you said that you were sorry, did you really mean that? People live with that for years. So in this show, we give them that healing. And they don't always say, I forgive you, but they always get something they didn't have before, and it was unbelievable.

[11:55:33] I was struck, one mother whose son was murdered said you were sentenced to 60 years. She said, I live with the sentence every day.

JONES: A life sentence.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

JONES, Yes, I have a life sentence.

Listen, here's -- my prayer and my plea to everybody is, look, you know, Sunday, 9:00. This is Anthony Bourdain's slot that they gave us. That gives you a sense, that's sacred ground for us at CNN. Sacred ground. That gives us the importance CNN puts on these stories and we wouldn't bring it to you unless we thought it would spring hope and healing.

BOLDUAN: It is a full spectrum of emotion. I didn't know what to think of it going in, Van, but I'm glad I watched.

Thank you.

JONES: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much for bringing it.

JONES: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: So powerful and strong and so much courage for you to bring it and all of those people to sit down with each other.


BOLDUAN: Be sure to watch "THE REDEMPTION PROJECT," with Van Jones. It premieres Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, right here on CNN.

Still coming up for us, it is official. Joe Biden jumps into the race for 2020. Will his direct attack, going directly at President Trump, resonate with voters? Will he be able to energize the Democratic Party? More on that, next.