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Trump Despite Tweets Demanding A Probe Says He Didn't Ask Barr To Investigate Russia Probe Origins; Photos Reveal Migrant Children Sleeping On Ground Outside At Overwhelmed Border Patrol Station, Texas Police Officer Shoots And Kills A Woman Who Said She Was Pregnant. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired May 14, 2019 - 14:00   ET


HARMONY ALLEN, RAPE VICTIM: The jury of seven were very strategic in his sentencing because it took me sixteen and a half years to get that justice and to have that ripped away after finally getting it is so hurtful and crushing.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: NEWSROOM with Brooke Baldwin starts right now.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for being here. Let's begin with something that's actually not getting much attention but should, especially as we get closer to the 2020 elections.

As the President continues to say that he wants good relations with Russia, even though Russia attacked and is attacking the United States and the Attorney General launches an investigation into the origins of the Russian investigation before the Inspector General is finished with that investigation. At least two counties in Florida were hacked in 2016.

Russia attacks the investigation and continues to do so. Alex Marquardt is our CNN Senior National Correspondent. So Alex, what did these Florida officials learn?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, you're absolutely right that this should be getting more attention. Here, we are gearing up for 2020 and we're still grappling with the after effects of 2016. Essentially, what the Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is saying today is that two Florida counties were breached in 2016. And the reason that's new is because until the Muller report came out, we didn't know that any local governments had been breached in Florida in the 2016 election.

The Mueller report said that at least one had and now we have confirmation that there were two counties that have been breached. Ron DeSantis said he signed a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI so he did not name them.

Brooke, he said that these two counties experienced intrusion into the supervisor of elections network. He was - he very specifically said that there had been no manipulation of the data that there had been no impact on vote totals.

Now Brooke, the Department of Homeland Security, has said that they suspect that the Russians via the GRU, which are the Russian military hackers that had been indicted by Robert Mueller tried to target all 50 states. But as I mentioned, there had been no proof until now that there had been any intrusions in Florida.

We should note that Illinois state officials said that there was a breach during the 2016 elections there. They said that the GRU compromised the state board of elections. They accessed the voter database registry with millions of voters. Again, we have to note that there's no evidence that any data was manipulated.

Now, there is going to be a another FBI briefing for members of the House who are from Florida from that delegation. Obviously, Brooke, this raises all sorts of concerns as we head into 2020. You speak with election officials, Federal officials, intelligence officials. They say, we know that Russia is going to do something. The question is, "What?" And of course the critics of President Trump say that he's certainly not giving it the attention that this issue deserves -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Yes, I was about to say, good thing, Trump is coming down really hard on Putin or not. Alex Marquardt, thank you very much.

For the first time, we are seeing the President's fight to stop congressional subpoenas go inside a courtroom. This judge and Obama appointee, her both sides today regarding the subpoena from the House Oversight Committee Chairman to Mazars U.S.A. that's President Trump's accounting firm.

The subpoena is seeking all these documents in response to Michael Cohen's testimony in February. The President's former personal attorney said Trump in the past inflated his assets.


MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER PERSONAL ATTORNEY OF DONALD TRUMP: These documents and others were provided to Deutsche Bank in one occasion where I was with him in our attempt to obtain money so that we can put a bid on the Buffalo Bills.


BALDWIN: President Trump's attorneys then sued Mazars to block the subpoena. They say the subpoena is targeting him for political reasons and one of Trumps lawyers told the judge today quote, "This is an effort to engage in law enforcement not to legislate."

Since January, when the Democrats took control of the House, there had been at least 21 subpoenas seeking among other demands testimony from the President's son, from the Attorney General, and a former White House Counsel, plus Trump's financial documents and unredacted parts of the Mueller report. The judge is allowing both sides to submit additional information if they want and is promising a swift ruling there. President Trump denies that he told the Attorney General, Bill Barr to

basically investigate the investigators who started the whole Russia investigation. This is what the President told reporters just a short while ago.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, did you ask the Attorney General to launch a probe into the Russia investigation?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I didn't ask him to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you know that he was going to do it?

[14:05:02] TRUMP: I didn't know it. I didn't know it. But I think it's a great thing that he did it. I saw it last night and they want to look at how that whole hoax got started. It was a hoax.


BALDWIN: And CNN has learned that Barr is teaming up with the heads of the FBI, CIA, and the Director of National Intelligence to review the origins of the Russian investigation. Barr is said to be very involved and he's tapped a veteran mob prosecutor John Durham to help him out.

Currently he is the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, nominated to that post by President Trump. Durham's career spans over 30 years with the DOJ. He has investigated a number of corruption cases under both Republican and Democratic administrations, including the FBI's ties to crime boss, James "Whitey" Bulger.

This now marks the third and separate inquiry into the early days of the Russia investigation. Elie Honig is a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Good to see you.

So, we saw the President earlier saying he didn't ask Barr to investigate the investigators. But you know, you listen to the President, you look at what he says on Twitter. He's obviously called this investigation illegal and has said someone should be investigating?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, does he really need to ask when he's out there every day on Twitter and making public declarations that we need to look into this. This is right -- this is the real conspiracy. So it doesn't really require a direct conversation from the President in order for Bill Barr to know what he wants. And Bill Barr is I think nothing, if not, tuned into the President's political wishes. And I really think Bill Barr is making a big mistake here. I think he is --

BALDWIN: You said it's a joke.

HONIG: I said, it's a joke. That's a PG version of what I said.


HONIG: But I think he is acting as a as a political operative, first, and as a serious prosecutor, second. This is this is the opposite of what real prosecutors do. In real life, when you're prosecuting a case, sometimes you learn that some other office, some other agency has an overlapping investigation. What we do then is we de-conflate.

You sit down with the other agency. You say, "Hey, let's make sure we're on the same page here."

BALDWIN: Sure, sure.

HONIG: Let's make sure we're not replicating effort. Let's make sure we're not running into each other. Here, Barr is throwing a new investigator into the mix. It's the opposite of what a serious prosecutor would do.

BALDWIN: So all of this said, you point to this particular exchange between Bill Barr and Senator Kamala Harris, who we all know would also like to be the next President and beat Donald Trump. And so, it's this exchange that you say is quite telling -- roll it.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Attorney General Barr, has the President or anyone at the White

House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone?

WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I wouldn't, I wouldn't...

HARRIS: Yes or no?

BARR: Could you repeat that question?

HARRIS: I will repeat it. Has the President or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? Yes or no? Please, sir.

BARR: The President or anybody else?

HARRIS: Seems you'd remember something like that and be able to tell us?

BARR: Yes, but I'm trying to grapple with the word suggest. I mean, there have been discussions of matters out there that they have not asked me to open an investigation, but --

HARRIS: Perhaps, they've suggested?

BARR: I don't know. I wouldn't say suggest.

HARRIS: Hinted?

BARR: I don't know.

HARRIS: Inferred? You don't know. Okay.


BALDWIN: We all remember that exchange. What is the point you want to make about it.

HONIG: Bill Barr is a very, very smart person. All of a sudden he gets asked about whether the White House or the President suggested/directed him to open an investigation and all of a sudden he can't hear. He doesn't understand basic English like "suggest" I'm sure he knows what suggest means and his ultimate answer was, I don't know. How do you not know?

So I'm very suspicious of that response. And I -- it could well be that this is what Barr had in mind when Senator Harris was asking this, which caused him to squirm so badly.

BALDWIN: Stay tuned for your column. I can tell you're all over this.

HONIG: It's going to be that one.

BALDWIN: We'll go to for that, Ellie Honig. Thank you so much, as always.

Now to this, as the Trump White House is also facing a series of tests abroad as tensions with Iran, China, and Russia all escalate. Two of those topics. Were on the agenda today for U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who came face to face with his Russian counterpart is Sergey Lavrov in Sochi before a plan meeting with Vladimir Putin. Secretary Pompeo sought to tamp down the rhetoric while saying, the U.S. will not back down if threatened.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We fundamentally do not see a war with Iran. We've also made clear to the Iranians that if American interests are attacked, we will most certainly respond in an appropriate fashion.


BALDWIN: Iran's Supreme Leader also dismissed the possibility of war with the U.S. while adding that there would be no negotiations over the nuclear deal. Michelle Kosinski is CNN's senior diplomatic correspondent and retired Rear Admiral John Kirby is a former State Department spokesman and CNN military and diplomatic analyst. And so Michelle, let me just begin with you here.

[14:10:03] BALDWIN: Russia and Iran are strategic allies in Syria. What is their response to all of this?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Yes well, we heard a lot of the typical responses that we hear from Russia. They emphasize serious sovereignty and that that needs to be respected. They did open up and we've heard this before that discussions will continue on humanitarian issues on returning refugees. Pompeo said that they both agree that there needs to be a political process here. But we hear those kinds of things a lot.

There has been some cooperation between the U.S. and Russia at times over Syria, on ceasefires, but it's been very limited. And remember, the conflict in Syria has been going on since 2011. Are we any closer to a real political process in Syria? Certainly, it doesn't look that way.

BALDWIN: Michelle, thank you so much. And Admiral Kirby, you listened to Secretary Pompeo today, you're calling this trip to Russia, quote - unquote, "good faith efforts" and that President Trump seeks to improve relations. But I want to play this clip from earlier today, here on CNN. This is what Steve Hall, a retired CIA chief of Russia operations, said earlier today.


STEVE HALL, RETIRED CIA CHIEF OF RUSSIA OPERATIONS: Whenever you get a Pompeo or a President Trump over to Russia, it's a big win politically for the Russians. It shows that they're still at the Big Boy table, that they are indeed geopolitically strong, and can insert themselves in these situations. But what the Russians are really taking away from this is that, okay, they can attack the elections in the United States in 2016. They can attack the elections and other Western Democracies, they can do all of those things to include kill their own people, the Skripals or at least make attempts to do so internationally. And what happens, Secretary Pompeo shows up in Sochi and says, "Sure, let's talk about these things, whatever it is."


BALDWIN: The Big Boy table. So Admiral Steve Hall says, you know, because of all that the U.S. and its allies should be excluding Russia from everything, with the exception, the nuclear treaty talks. How do you see it?

JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Yes, I mean, I think he makes a strong point there about Russia's behavior and the lessons they have gotten from that so far, which is that, they can pretty much act with impunity, because this administration isn't going to challenge them significantly enough. But I do disagree respectfully, with Mr. Hall with respect to excluding them from everything.

There are things, as Michelle pointed out -- there are things that we can and have worked with Russia, cooperated with them to the good -- the Iran deal, the Paris accord, trying to get some sort of diplomatic process going in Syria, although that has not bore fruit. There are plenty of things -- counterterrorism, where we can continue to try to work with Russia and we should. We should not be afraid to deal with them on issues that -- where interest converge and/or to diverge with them where they don't and to be and to be willing to stand up to them.

BALDWIN: Now, Iran Foreign Minister though, he says that the U.S. is escalating tensions unnecessarily that as President Trump denies this on "New York Times" report that the White House has reviewed this DOD plan, that would send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks American forces. My question is, does the U.S. have an ally in this part of the world that would even be willing to host or stage U.S. military, and then as a result, be taking aside in this?

KIRBY: Yes, if this is a real proposal, and I'm really not convinced that it is, but I think certainly there are countries in the region that might be willing to consider boosting U.S. presence -- to the tune of 120,000, I don't know.

I mean, all that depends on sort of what you're going to use these forces for. Because if they're used for an invasion of Iran, they're going to have to physically be close to Iran. And there's not too many countries close to Iran, I think, that would be able to house that many. So, it's a -- it's an open question. There are 10s of thousands of troops in the region right now, these would be the kinds of discussions that you would have to have with your allies and partners, before you can make a move, assuming you even get congressional approval on the funding to do that, which is an open question.

My view is, this was a proposal that the White House asked for specifically, so they could leak it to the press and talk about it to do some saber-rattling and try to rattle Iran's cage.

BALDWIN: We'll wait, I guess perhaps then for Iran's response. Admiral Kirby, I appreciate it and of course your expertise in the matter, as always.

Now, to these heartbreaking images of migrant children and families sleeping on the ground, on rocks as they wait to be processed along the border. The story behind these exclusive pictures.

Plus Joe Biden, moments ago, weighing in on the controversial crime bill from the 90s that continues to follow him. Also, his response to criticism from freshman Congresswoman Alexandria, Ocasio Cortez. And a disturbing video of a police officer shooting and killing a woman who said she was pregnant. See what happened before the shots were fired. You're watching CNN, I'm Brooke Baldwin.


BALDWIN: The numbers are staggering. Border patrol officials say they are now apprehending an average of 4,600 migrants a day but little illustrates the word crisis like the pictures you are about to see.

CNN has just obtained exclusive photos from a border patrol station in McAllen, Texas. No room to stay indoors, families forced to wait on outdoor gravel pads, children sleeping outside.

[14:20:08] BALDWIN: Their only blankets silver mylar. Look at this. CNN business and politics reporter Vanessa Yurkevich, is the one who

got her hands on these photos, which are just horrifying yet -- give me the back story on how you got your hands on these, first.

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS REPORTER: Right. So these photos came from a source who has access to that MacAllen Border Patrol station, and they were really disturbed by what they saw. These photos came to us. We looked at them, we verified them with Customs and Border Protection. These are from that MacAllen Border Patrol station. But this is what we've been hearing from Customs and Border Patrol for months. I mean, we've been hearing about this overcrowding. You see it, you know ...

BALDWIN: But to see the children --

YURKEVICH: Yes, so that's --

BALDWIN: just sleep in the rain on the rocks.

YURKEVICH: That's the tough one. That photo that we're looking at right now. You see a child. There's actually a baby bottle filled with milk just below her and she's sleeping. This is, you know, 5:00 a.m. in the morning, on dirt, with just the, you know, small blankets to keep them warm. And what we're hearing is it's because the indoor facilities are so overcrowded. They have nowhere to put these people including children, and they have to put them outside.

You know, and we know that President Trump in January, before these photos were taken, he did visit this location. And we know just this weekend, the acting Secretary of Homeland Security was there along with the acting Secretary of Defense was there. They were there as well. They saw a lot of what we're seeing right here.

But we asked the Department of Homeland Security about these photos in particular and they said, quote, "Border Patrol agents are doing everything they can to protect and care for migrants and temporary custody. Border Patrol stations are simply not equipped to handle the numbers of families and children arriving along the southwest border. And we need Congress to act to provide immediate relief."

So, you hear them, they're calling for action because they are so overwhelmed. And just to put it into perspective, numbers wise, this past weekend at the southern border, we crossed 500,000 crossings just up until this month until May. Last year in 2018, four hundred thousand.

So we've already way surpassed the amount of people coming across the border in just May of this month. And you see it, they're reflected in those images, you know, those children out there with nothing but a small blanket outdoors to keep them warm.

BALDWIN: And the fact that your source, I don't know how long he or she has been working in the border had never not seen anything like this.

YURKEVICH: No, this was different and that's why the photos came to us. This was different.

BALDWIN: Okay. Vanessa Yurkevich, thank you very much for sharing those photos with us.

BALDWIN: Coming up next here on CNN, a Texas police officer shoots and kills a woman who said she was pregnant. Cell phone video shot by witness provides a rare look at what happened just before the shooting. But will it help a community divided over whether the officers' actions are justified?


BALDWIN: A Houston area police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave after video surface showing him violently struggling to arrest a woman who said she was pregnant. That woman identified by family members as Pamela Turner is now dead. She was shot by the officer when he claimed she tazed him with his own stun gun. The whole shooting was caught on tape CNN's Ed Lavandera is in Dallas with the video. And we just want to warn you, You may find it disturbing.


PAMELA TURNER, VICTIM: I'm walking. I'm actually walking to my house.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The video captures nearly 40 seconds that led up to the shooting of Pamela Turner Monday night. It happened in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Baytown, Texas.

Baytown police say the officer who hasn't been identified yet spotted Turner and tried to arrest her because she had outstanding warrants. In the video released on social media. You can hear Turner yelling at the officer that she's been harassed and that she's pregnant.


PAMELA TURNER, VICTIM: You're actually harassing me.


LAVANDERA (voice over): Police say a struggle ensued and that the officer pulled his taser. You can hear the sizzling charge of the taser being deployed. Police then say Turner was able to get a hold of the taser and fired it at the officer. The officer then steps back and fires five times.

Pamela Turner died at the scene after police say the officer tried to administer first aid. Police say they're still trying to interview the witness who recorded the cell phone video and while calling the shooting tragic, voice their frustration over its release.


LT. STEVE DORRIS, BAYTOWN, TEXAS POLICE: It's unfortunate that somebody takes a tragic incident like and starts posting it on social media. This is extremely disrespectful for everybody involved.


LAVANDERA (voice over): Neighbors say, Turner was a well known fixture in the apartment complex.


RAQUEL CUELLAR, VICTIM'S NEIGHBOR: Sometimes you would see her, you know, get into it with people around the apartment but nothing too, you know, bad is just, you know, just typical her. She's not a bad person.


LAVANDERA (voice over): Baytown, police say, the officer is an 11- year veteran and is on paid administrative leave. Investigators are trying to recreate the events of what unfolded and that will include analyzing the officers body camera footage, which has not been released. Police say the officer was injured by his own taser after Turner deployed at him.

DORRIS: It was an injury to the extent that need to go to the high hospital. Like I say, if you've ever been struck with a taser, it's a very painful experience.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Some residents question whether the shooting had to unfold the way ...