Return to Transcripts main page


Washington Post: Trump Hits 10,000 Lies Since Inauguration; John Singleton Dead at 51. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired April 30, 2019 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: For the first time in five years, ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has appeared in a video praising the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and urging his followers to remain loyal and stay the course.

Boeing's CEO appears at the company's annual shareholder meeting with a simple message, don't blame us, blame the pilots for two fatal crashes of their 737 MAX.

Plus, lies upon lies upon lies, the U.S. president and his poor pie count crack 10,000. Not only that, in recent months the rate of his misleading and untrue statements has picked up bigly.


Hello, welcome to our viewers joining us all around the world, great to have you. I am John Vause, you're watching CNN Newsroom.

Well he's not dead and chances are not disabled. In fact, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is looking remarkably healthy appearing in a new propaganda video to rally his followers. Since his last video appearance in 2014, this world has changed a lot. The ISIS army that blitzed across Iraq and Syria has collapsed. And its self proclaimed caliphate is in ruins.

But Al-Baghdadi appears to claim attacks in several countries and on camera even praises the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka. CNN's chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward has details now reporting from London.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The most striking thing about this new video is that ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al- Baghdadi appears to be in good health and very much alive. There have been some changes to his physical appearance.

He's clearly much heavier than he was the last time we saw him giving that sermon at the (inaudible) of the (inaudible) mosque back in 2014 almost five years ago. Also his beard is quite clearly now gray, he has some henna applied to the tips of it. But he is nonetheless alive and apparently calm, sitting on the ground, talking to some of his followers.

Apparently looking through some folders, reports of some kind of the various (inaudible) or states that have ISIS cells in them, we see a glimpse of a folder for Libya, for the caucuses and for various other places. He also mentions specifically the attacks in Sri Lanka.

This is important of course because the attacks in Sri Lanka took place just over a week ago. And because I think it underscores how ISIS sees its role going forward. What is the new strategy? Baghdadi does concede that the battle of Baghouz did not result in victory for ISIS.

And in doing so, is tacitly acknowledging that the physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria has crumbled. But clearly the virtual caliphate still exists. And this is what Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi appears to indicate. He talks about this being a long battle.

That it's a battle of attrition. And that these kinds of Sri Lanka style what he calls revenge attacks are an essential component to ISIS's strategy going forward. Now in terms of actual reality, at does this mean? How much power does Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi still wield from where he is?

One could only presume that he is under the deepest cover possible. One would assume that it is difficult for him to talk to his followers, to give orders or to be involved in any way in the day to day of the group's organization but certainly this still pack an important symbolic message which is that you haven't seen the last of ISIS yet.

Clarissa Ward, CNN, London.


VAUSE: CNN intelligence and security analyst and former (inaudible) operative, Bob Baer joins us now from Washington. OK, Rob, so compared to his last appearance with the (inaudible) mosque in Iraq, this seems to be a complete image makeover for Baghdadi.

Back then he sort of spoke in grand religious statements, he was dressed the colors and -- of the former caliphate rulers. This time he's sort of (inaudible), he's got the new look. And very new, very clean brand new utility vest with all the pockets like the fisherman all have, all the reporters.

I see the rifle at the ready by his side. If you didn't know what he said, the messaging seems pretty clear. ISIS and its leaders are now back in the (inaudible) business.

ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE & SECUIRTY ANALYST: Five years ago when he appears in (inaudible), he's appearing as the (inaudible), you're right in all the gowns in the formal Arabic and the rest of his -- beautiful Arabic by the way. And now he's become a gorilla, which is amazing. And what got me was it reminded me the shot of Osama Bin Laden with a Kalashnikov, short barreled Kalashnikov next to him. But he's saying we've gone underground and we're going to hit where we want to. We're not done.

VAUSE: Yes. It just seems although really staged a bit too much.

[00:05:00] BAER: Well, these guys are all stage. It's like the beheadings; they were all very well staged. The production values were high and there are people -- I mean he clearly has people around him.

This was not a granny clip at all. And so he's got people around him and wherever he is, he feels very safe. And that's really the $64,000 question, where is he?

VAUSE: If anything else, we know he's alive. Back in 2017 some reports suggested he may have been killed by Russia. Then there were early reports from May 2015 that he may have been left disabled after an airstrike.

And that could actually be possible because in the video we don't see him stand up or move in a way that would indicate he has range of motion. Also some write that his hands looked a little anemic, his ear is wrinkled like somebody maybe (inaudible). But overall, this is a guy who has not sent the last five years living down a spider hole.

BAER: No. John, to me he looks very healthy. He's been well taken care of. And if we has injured in an airstrike, it wasn't seriously. And he's aged clearly over these five years. But beyond that, he is saying and he's telegraphing I'm back in business.

VAUSE: This is meant to inspire all the followers, remain loyal and stay fast. You have had a few setbacks but we're still here. How persuasive is that message given that they have lost so much in the last 12 months?

BAER: Well, it's -- look, losing (inaudible), the capital of the caliphate was a setback. Their time is not here. But a lot of these organizations, especially the Islamic state is simply a franchise.

So he is telegraphing to followers all around the world is look, they couldn't get me. I'm immortal, if you like. And we're back in business. And go out there and conduct the war, the (inaudible) against the west, against Christianity, against pagans or what have you.

And I think this is going to be a very powerful message. And I think the fact that it follows the attacks in Sri Lanka which were clearly connected to the Islamic state we know now is this guy is still very dangerous.

VAUSE: The question is timing though. Why release this video now? Is there one specific event which may have triggered that decision?

BAER: Oh, I think he was waiting to -- fir this event and he knew that the connections with the Islamic state would come out.

The fact that these guys were trained in Syria by the Islamic state, the explosives were prepared by the Islamic state and these guys all have connections. He knew that would come out and he just -- this is act two, he opened it with a -- I hate to use the word, a bang.

VAUSE: Yes, a very staged shot of gulf of the caliphate leader to the insurgent underground, whatever you want to call it and very much a different image for Al-Baghdadi. Rob, good to see you, thank you.

BAER: Thanks.

VAUSE: The Sri Lanka president has confirmed to CNN in an exclusive interview that the Easter Sunday bombers had very clear links to ISIS and obtained training from the terror group. The president also appointed a new Secretary of Defense after forcing the resignation of some of his top officials.

He accused them of mishandling intelligence reports, warning of a potential attack in the weeks and days leading up the bombings. He also told CNN he will not step down because of those mistakes.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You were head of the department. You know the expression the back stops here. In that case, that's with you. Surely you should go.

MAITHRIPALA SIRISENA, SRI LANKA PRES. (through translator): We have to understand, many countries have been subjected to ISIS attacks. Also, we remember the September 11 attack on the U.S. by Bin Laden, the fall of the Twin Towers. They also attacked the Pentagon. But the U.S. president didn't resign.

KILEY: Where do you think they're getting training and how many have you been able to identify had training?

SIRISENA (through translator): We are still not able to say which country they received their training from. However, a large number who received training have already been detained or died in the blast. We are confident we will be able to catch the rest within a short period of time.


VAUSE: CNN's Nikhil Kumar joins us now with more from Colombo, Sri Lanka. So, Nikhil, did the president of any intelligence or other evidence that he may have to backup this claim about ISIS involvement?

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: Well, John, he told our colleague Sam Kiley when Sam spoke to him just hours before this video emerged of the ISIS leader, the president said that over the last 15 years there had been links between certain Sri Lankan individuals as he put it and ISIS.

So, this is the latest in a series of revelations we have had over the week since that devastating Easter Sunday attack about connection with ISIS.

[00:10:00] Remember in the days after when we learned that the Sri Lankan authorities had received prior intelligence.

We knew from Indian intelligence that they delivered three warnings of the genesis for that intelligence was the arrest of an ISIS suspect in India who coughed up revelations about he man believed to be the spiritual leader of the NTJ, the local Islamic group that is believed to put together the attacks.

And on Friday, there was that massive shoot out in the east of the country as security forces here continue to raid safe houses and go after perpetrators of these attacks. And they uncovered a massive hole of explosives as well as ISIS paraphernalia, flags and so on.

So this evidence has been piling up and of course the president saying that in quote "very clear connections" between the people who did these attacks and ISIS. John.

VAUSE: Nikhil, thank you. Nikhil Kumar there with an update on the latest we know about the series of suicide bombings in Sri Lanka. Thank you, Nikhil.

The FBI says it's prevented a terror attack in the Los Angeles area accusing a U.S. army vet, Mark Stevens Domingo of targeting Jews, churches and law enforcement as well s popular beaches saying he is a man consumed with hate and bent on mass murder.

They arrested him Friday at his home after buying what he thought were pressure cooker bombs. He recently converted to Islam and his motive for allegedly retribution for the mosque attacks in New Zealand.

Charges have been filed against John Earnest, the man accused of opening fire in a synagogue in California. Prosecutors charged him with murder, attempted murder and arson.

An FBI official tells CNN the agency received a tip about an anonymous online threat just moments before Saturday's attack. But it did not mention specifics. It came too late to prevent the shooting in (inaudible) near San Diego.

New funeral services were held Monday for Lori Kaye. She died shielding her Rabbi from the gunman. Three people were wounded, among them an 8-year-old girl.

A Boeing annual shareholder meeting in Chicago, CEO Dennis Muilenburg tried to reassure investors about the safety of the 737 MAX essentially shifting the blame on to the pilots of two recent deadly crashes.

Pulmonary investigations indicate problems with the anti-store software of the plane. They're actually a factor in the crash of both an Ethiopian airline late last month and another of (inaudible) last October.

Although do not say when the 737 would be flying again. But to any progress is being made on a software update to fix the safety issues. Notably though he dodged a pointed question about his own future.


UNKNOWN FEMALE: Have you considered resigning?

DENNIS MUILENBURG, CEO OF BOEING: I think the important thing here again is we're very focused on safety and I can tell you that both of these accidents weigh heavily on us as a company. I've had the privilege of working for the Boeing Company for 34 years. And we know that lives depend on what we do. We take that very, very seriously.


VAUSE: David Soucie is a CNN safety analysts and former FAA safety inspector. He is with us this hour from Denver, Colorado. A short question to begin with David, should he resign?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: I think he has to. I really do. I was very surprised that they didn't put more pressure on him at the annual meeting today.

They have just tried to separate him as CEO and chairman which in the airline industry is really unheard of to have to answer to the board for profitability at the same time answer as CEO for the sustainability of the company. It's just really unheard of.

VAUSE: OK, I want you to listen to Muilenburg now talking to investors and the message seems to be everyone has to share the blame. There's more than one factor player in these crashes. Here he is.

SOUCIE: Most definitely.


MUILENBURG: Gone back and looked at both accidents. We have done deep assessments of our airplane and the design. And we've confirmed that the uncast system as originally designed did meet our design and safety analysis criteria and our certification criteria.

Those are standard processes that have worked for decades and will continue to work. Now, that said, when we design a system understand that these airplanes are flown in the hands of pilots.

And in some cases our system safety analysis includes not only the engineering design but also the actions that pilots would take as part of a failure scenario, right? That's all baked in to a system end to end analysis.


VAUSE: That is true. It does take the sort of culvert of events to bring a plane down. But those events have to start somewhere. And it seems that they started with this software problem, with the NCAS (ph).

SOUCIE: Yes, when they say end to end there's a lot in the middle there that didn't get done right. And the delegation is what I think is probable as far as what the actual cause was. To me the critical safety failure here was the inability of Boeing to recognize that this (inaudible) system was what we call a class A system.

In other words, it had to have redundancy because the failure of that system from a signal point of failure caused death and the crash of that aircraft. That is a class A without any doubt even within their safety systems. So what he has to ask himself now is why did the safety system not catch this? Why did it fail anyway?

[00:15:00] VAUSE: It's interesting that they're sort of passing some of the blame on to the pilots. But maybe if the pilots were given time in a simulator to actually know how the system worked properly they'd b better prepared to deal with whatever the (inaudible) was doing.

SOUCIE: I'll tell you what, all he has to do -- all any of us have to do is listen to that tape recording and listen to that cockpit voice recording of the pilot who supposedly had all the training which I believe he had according to the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

Had all the training yet when he was faced with that challenged, he asked the copilot to take control of the aircraft while he looked through the manual again and again looking for the procedure, the emergency procedure to respond to what was going on.

And he failed at that and that's why the aircraft crashed. If that's what he calls pilot error, I think he needs to reassess that thought.

VAUSE: It's a harsh definition. Since the Ethiopian Airline flight crashed last month, Boeing shares have fallen 10 percent. They have still 18 percent for the year. At least some airlines are reconsidering or reviewing their orders for the 737 MAX, company profit down about 20 percent.

And as the CEO, Muilenburg is facing a shareholder revolt. Chances are none o that was actually helped by this statement that he made. Listen to this.


MUILENBURG: Our commitment to safety is unwavering and we do regret the impact that this has had to the passengers. We know we do have work to do to earn and re-earn that trust and we will. We know that in both accidents, there was a chain of events that occurred.

One of the links in that chain was the activation of the (inaudible) system because of Aurania's (ph) angle attack data. That was a common link in both accidents. We know that we can break that link in the chain.


VAUSE: It's the first part of that statement, a big impact on the passengers. I mean I know he's talking worldwide with the granular fleet, but this had a pretty big impact on the 300 plus passengers who died.

SOUCIE: Yes. That's regrettable. Is that all -- I mean unfortunate, regrettable; those are not the terms you use in a tragedy like this. He's not helping himself. He's not helping Boeing. He's had the opportunity to have an independent assessment of what's going on inside of Boeing.

Instead, he focuses his effort exactly on the mechanical failure of this airplane. This is not a mechanical failure. I've done hundreds of aircraft accident investigations and yes, there's responsibility to the pilot, there's things he could've done better in retrospect.

Captain Sully (ph) could've done something better when he landed the airplane in the water. He could've turned around and landed at the airport. But this guy was not in the cockpit.

He hasn't faced with those challenges. And the fact that he diminishes that by saying that a pilot should've been able to recover that is just -- it's irresponsible. He is just trying to shift the blame again. He did great about saying that it was their fault in the first place.


SOUCIE: But to them bringing the pilots and say it was partially their fault, that's not the right way to be handling this.

VAUSE: Very quickly, is it a bit like there's a design for in a car and you blame the drivers for the car going off the road?

SOUCIE: Yes, it's the driver's fault. But what about the deer that jumps out in front of the driver?


SOUCIE: What about the tires that weren't well -- they were too well worn or the brakes that didn't work the way they were supposed to. All those things in any kind of accident goes -- comes in to play. Absolutely.

But someone has to say we made a mistake and it put that driver or that pilot in a situation where he had to do inordinate things to try to recover and save those passengers from dying which obviously whatever efforts that were made were not enough.

VAUSE: Yes. The impact on passengers -- 300 plus of them are dead after this, so that's a pretty big impact. David, thank you.

SOUCIE: Thanks--

VAUSE: Thank you for being with us.

SOUCIE: Yes. The way that it's being stated, the way that it's being handled, he should resign honestly at this point.

They should certainly not be the CEO that's more in charge of the representation than what's going on within the aircraft or what's going on within the operations of that manufacturer. But chairman maybe, but CEO of direct operations, no.

VAUSE: I guess we'll see what happen. David, thank you.

SOUCIE: All right, thank you.

VAUSE: Still to come, one era ends, another begins. In Japan, the emperor clears the way for his son. We'll look at why he'll forever be known as the people's emperor.


[00:20:00] VAUSE: On Wednesday, Japan's Prince Naruhito will step out from the shadow of his father and become the country's 126th emperor. In the coming hours, Emperor Naruhito will abdicate the Chrysanthemum Throne making way for his 59-year-old son to become monarch.

Naruhito has been treated for prostate cancer and has undergone heart surgery and sys he is stepping down for health reasons. He will be remembered for connecting with the public in a way that a previous monarch has.

Will Ripley joins us now live from Tokyo. So Will, I guess in terms of the daily lives, how important -- how relevant is this royal handover to most Japanese?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I've been talking to a lot of people in Japan about this, John. You talk to the older generation who grew up with the Imperial Family, extraordinarily relevant. Perhaps the younger generation, not so much.

But if I give you just a little bit of a walk around here outside the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, which on a normal day is -- there's people here. But this is a day where it's raining. I have this umbrella just incase the skies open up.

And yet we have crowds gathering hours ahead of the abdication ceremony to be begin within the next couple of hours. And you see people of all ages, all walks of life who have come from all over Japan and some foreign tourists as well.

Because they want to get a look at the Imperial Palace on this really monumental day, so the last day of the Heisei era, the era of sovereign peace and Emperor Akihito is an extraordinarily iconic figure in this country.

A beloved figure in this country because he was born in a time of imperial Japan when Japan was trying to concur Asia much in the way that Nazi Germany tried to concur Europe. And yet that whole world fell apart at the end of World War II when the United States bombed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

And Emperor Akihito went from living inside this palace and being considered the son of a God to being essentially a symbol of the state, a symbol of the people. It was a role that his father Hirohito was never fully comfortable with.

But Akihito really embraced the role. And he's widely credited with transforming the image of Japan and helping to build up Tokyo from the ashes of World War II to this thriving metropolis that you see that surrounds the Imperial Palace. This is one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the world.

And yet this chunk of land here behind me where all of these abdication ceremonies will be taking place, it was at one point John, a rumor to be worth the entire the state of California in terms of real estate at the height of Japan's housing bubble.

And now to have the Imperial Family here, they're going to be doing some very, very ancient ceremonial traditions, things that are mystical and in someway mysterious, things that'll never be seen by the outside world. You can see why even despite the rain the crowds continue gathering here to get a look at it.

VAUSE: And will, this elaborate ceremony which will take place but his wife of the prince will not be allowed to view the ceremony?

RIPLEY: Yes, wow, isn't that something--

VAUSE: How's that work?

RIPLEY: 2019 and the main advection ceremony itself where you bring out what are known as the Imperial Regalia. These are treasures that go back hundreds if not over a thousand years. There's a sword, there's a mirror, there is a gemstone to symbolize strength and wisdom and benevolence.

[00:25:00] And yet women are not allowed in the room. And so, only the men and Imperial Family, the outgoing emperor and the new emperor will be wallowed inside. And even though this abdication is unprecedented in modern Japan, the law requires the emperor to serve until death.

And even though these are changing times, even though the emperor, the incoming emperor is a Harvard educated former diplomat. She's not allowed to stand in the room with her husband when he becomes emperor.

And that is one of the things that's going to be discussed here in Japan as they start to talk about succession law and the role of women in the Imperial Family because the Imperial Family is shrinking.

The law says that every time a princess gets married and she has to get married outside of her own family, she becomes a commoner. And then she doesn't perform royal duties. So right now the only eligible bachelor in the royal family is 12-year-old Prince Hisahito.

And if he does not decide to get married and have a child who happens to be a male to take on the throne after he presumably becomes emperor down the road. He's third in line right now. Well then that really outs the whole existence of the royal family in jeopardy.

So they are having discussions about how to expand the role of women. But for this abdication, no women allowed in one of the key events happening in the Imperial Palace behind me.

VAUSE: Wow. It is the world's oldest monarchy, so it comes with a lot of rules. Will, we'll be talking in the next 24 hours--


VAUSE: -- when this all takes place. So, can't wait. Thank you. Still to come, separating fact from a whole lot of fiction, President Trump hits a stunning milestone to (inaudible), more on that when we come back.


VAUSE: Welcome back everybody, I'm John Vause with an update on our top news this hour. A new ISIS video appears to show that terror group leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi alive and well.

If genuine, it's his first non-video appearance since 2014. On camera, the speaker praises recent bombings in Sri Lanka. He claims responsibility for dozens of attacks in a number of countries.

Boeing's CEO says his company is close to a software fix to get the 373 MAX back in the air. Denis Muilenburg also tried to shift blame away from the plane's design and he's piling on to pilot error of the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines last month and another of Indonesia last October.

The U.S. deputy attorney general is resigning in effect of May 11th. Rod Rosenstein appoint Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election after President Trump fired FBI director James Comey.

In his resignation letter to the president, Rosenstein wrote (inaudible) is not (inaudible) and truth is not determined by opinion holds (ph), (inaudible) that he goes. How do you know the president of the United States is lying? His lips are moving.

[00:30:06] Well, maybe not all the time, but Donald J. Trump is a proven liar. He lies about things both big and small. He lies when he doesn't have to. And so it was always a question of when, not if, he would reach the dubious milestone of 10,000 lies since his inauguration.

According to a count by "The Washington Post," that happened over the weekend: 10,111 lies, to be precise, in 828 days.

What is truly noteworthy, though, is the pace of lying has quickened in recent months. Just last week, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, according to "The Post," the president lied 171 times. More lies in those three days than in any one month in his first five months in office.

He lies the most about immigration and his border wall being under construction. But to be sure, no lie is too outrageous for President Trump.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The baby is born. The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully. And then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby. I don't think so.



VAUSE: For more, we head to Washington and the associate editor for politics and policy at, Aaron Rupar.

So Aaron, good to see you. Thank you for being with us.


VAUSE: We just heard the president there at a campaign rally over the weekend. It's often at these rallies we euphemistically say he went off-script.

This was a lie he said about Democrats and doctors supporting mothers killing their children. Let's take a look at exactly what he said: "The baby is born. The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrapped the baby beautifully. Then the doctor and mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby."

This is not only a lie, it is disgusting. It also went practically unreported. But beyond that, it seems to be potentially dangerous. Because there are those Trump supporters out there who believe anything and everything this guy says.

RUPAR: Yes, agreed. This is definitely one of Trump's most dangerous lies to date. And as you mentioned in the lead-in, as "The Washington Post" compiled the most common lie that Trump has told was about his border wall. And that's one of the lies that, you know, it's easy to kind of dismiss or write off as being silly, because it's kind of a semantic debate.

But this lie that he told on Saturday -- and it's not the first time that he's told it -- about Democrats wanting to murder babies is the sort of thing that gets people killed, especially, you know, many of his supporters who hear that -- you know, for instance he spoke at the NRA convention on Friday, and people sometimes take those comments to be a sort of call to action.

So you know, he's capitalizing on a misstatement from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who in a radio interview kind of misspoke and made some comments that have been spun as endorsing infanticide. But of course, Northam doesn't really endorse that. No Democrat actually endorses that.

So that's one of the most egregious and dangerous. VAUSE: There is an art to the lie. In one respect, you know, seems

if you make an outrageous statement, like there are good people on both sides at a pro- and anti-Nazi rally, like you know, Charlottesville, then double down on that statement. But then find an opening, some kind of little crack there to create enough confusion, enough of a lie. Here's White House advisor Kelly "Alternative Facts" Anne Conway on CNN over the weekend.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO DONALD TRUMP: He wasn't talking about them when he said "fine people." He was talking about a monument discussion.


VAUSE: No, he wasn't! So no, it wasn't about statues. Was it about Nazis, or about Nazi statues? You know, there's this big haze of Trump pixie dust, and we all just move on.

RUPAR: Yes, in that one, you know, it's a rewriting of history, because, you know, living through that rally in August 2017, it was very clear what Unite the Right was all about. It was very clear that it was about the alt-right getting together, white supremacists getting together.

So this notion that, you know, there was a significant contingent of people there who are merely protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument, that just doesn't really hold up to the facts as they existed at the time.

I do think, on some level, you know, that is part of the intention here, is to so bewilder people with a blizzard of false claims that, at a certain point, people who aren't as engaged in it as I am or as you are sort of shrug and move on and, you know, just aren't sure what to believe. So it does create a haze of confusion that works to his benefit.

VAUSE: It also seems those who speak for the president end up lying for the president. And when they're caught in a lie, lie some more.

Sarah Sanders back in May 2017, told reporters not only had the president lost faith in the FBI director, James Comey, but so do had the entire rank-and-file of the agency. Here she is.


SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can speak to my own personal experience. I've heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the president's decision.


VAUSE: Under oath, she admitted the statement was not founded on anything. In other words, she just just made it up. But then, she went on television to lie about the lie. And here she is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[00:35:00] SANDERS: Actually, if you look at what I said, I said the slip of the tongue was in using the word "countless." But there were a number of FBI, both former and current, that agreed with the president's decision. And they've continued to speak and say that and send notice to the White House of that agreement with the president's decision.


VAUSE: No, there wasn't, because it was -- it wasn't founded on anything.


VAUSE: I mean, the lesson from here is don't believe anything anyone in this administration says unless they're under oath and facing perjury charges?

RUPAR: Well, and you know, with those videos that you just showed, actually, the most compelling one, which you didn't show, was the first time that Sarah Sanders offered her comment about countless members of the FBI losing faith in Comey. She was actually reading it from a statement she read --

VAUSE: It was a prepared statement.

RUPAR: -- at a press briefing. And then so later, she claimed that that was a slip of the tongue. But I mean, in how many instances, are you reading something that's prepared in advance and then you read it correctly, and it's a slip of the tongue, especially after you repeat it numerous times?

So there is a certain shamelessness involved here. You know, there's just no conceivable way to spin that comment as a spin -- as a slip of the tongue. And yet, that's what Sarah Sanders has been saying for two weeks.

So you know, when it comes to questions of credibility, you know, people like her don't have any left at this point at all. But they're so shameless that, you know, I think there is kind of this notion that people are so dug in on one side or the other with Trump, and their opinions are so, you know -- they're so kind of formed at this point, that it doesn't really matter. You can just keep on doubling down, and you know, you'll live to survive another day.

VAUSE: Speaking of no credibility, Anthony Scaramucci, who was the White House communications director for about a nanosecond, he explained the constant lies from the president like this.


ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: He does it, because he thinks it's fun. And he also does it, because he likes the fact that you guys are talking about it. At the end of the day, for him, he's figured out that there's a very

large group of people inside of our population that, when he does it and the media talks about it, they laugh.


VAUSE: Do you buy that? For the most part, it's just one big joke, and it's at the expense of morons like you and me?

RUPAR: I don't buy that, because, you know, I do really think that there is a world in which, you know, if Trump had more message discipline heading into this reelection campaign, you know, he does really have a strong economy that he could be talking about. There are things that he could be talking about that would be factually accurate that would reflect well upon him. But it just seems like he can't help himself.

And this was the reason that his lawyers were so worried about him testifying under oath to Robert Mueller, was you know, because when you listen to him on FOX Business or on FOX News, the volume at which he lies, you could very easily see how, if he sat down for an interview and was faced with possibly perjuring himself, how it would have been very easy for him, you know, to walk into that trap.

So in that sense, I guess his lawyers really were looking out for him and, you know, successfully navigating that so he didn't actually have to testify.

But you know, it would be easier to believe that Trump was just having fun with some of these lies if they weren't so dangerous.


RUPAR: But the one that we started with at his rally on Saturday is an example of one that really does put people in danger.

VAUSE: Yes. Aaron, good point to finish on. Thanks so much. Appreciate you being with us.

RUPAR: My pleasure.

VAUSE: He was a trail blazer in Hollywood: a director, screenwriter and producer like no other. Now, at age 51, he's gone too soon. When we come back, a closer look at the all-too-short life of John Singleton.


[00:40:36] VAUSE: Yet again, the news came as a surprise to so many, this time John Singleton, the black director who smashed barriers in Hollywood, suffered a stroke two weeks ago and never recovered. He's best remembered for "Boyz n the Hood," his unflinching look at life in South Central Los Angeles.

He went on to direct a steady stream of movies, TV and music videos.

Stephanie Elam looks back at a life that made a difference.


ICE CUBE, ACTOR/RAPPER: Either they don't know, don't show, or don't care about what's going on in the hood.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At 24, "Boyz n the Hood" earned John Singleton a place in movie history as the first black director, and the youngest director ever, nominated for an Academy Award.


LAURENCE FISHBURNE, ACTOR: Something wrong? Yes.

ELAM: His 1991 debut film told the story of three childhood friends coming of age in violent South Central Los Angeles, a place Singleton called home.

He loved movies from an early age, and that passion took him from South Central to the University of Southern California's famed film school.

Singleton's college screenplay won writing awards and landed him a Hollywood agent. In surprisingly short order, he turned his senior thesis, "Boyz n the Hood," into a movie.

JOHN SINGLETON, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/SCREENWRITER: I look at the time my senior year in school as kind of a hallmark in my life, you know. Because I was young; I didn't have anything. All I had was promise.

ELAM: With dramas like "Poetic Justice," "Rosewood" and "Baby Boy," Singleton led a new generation of black directors, making films that spoke to the African-Americans experience.

SINGLETON: My life's journey is to make films. The films I want to make, that come straight from my soul and to just do what I want to do, not only to entertain an audience but to raise people to a high level of consciousness with every film.

ELAM: He helmed action films, as well, including the 2000 remake of "Shaft" and the second installment of the blockbuster "Fast and Furious" franchise, "2 Fast 2 Furious."

He later worked mostly in television, directing episodes of "Empire," "The People vs. O.J. Simpson" and "Billions."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who set you up?


ELAM: He also created the series "Snowfall," which chronicled the Eighties crack epidemic in Los Angeles.

DAMON IDRIS, ACTOR: I'm here to block.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't sell crack to kids.

IDRIS: What do you sell?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I sell kilos to people with money.

ELAM: John Singleton, a pioneer filmmaker whose journey took him from the hood to Hollywood.


VAUSE: Thanks to Stephanie Elam for that report.

And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. WORLD SPORT is up next. You're watching CNN.


[00:44:55] (WORLD SPORT)


[01:00:05] VAUSE: Hello, everybody. Thank you for joining us. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.