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Special Counsel Refuses To Exonerate Trump; Republicans Blocking Vote On Election Security; Prime Minister Not Able To Form A Government; Tornadoes Hit the U.S. For 14th Straight Day; No End In Sight To Mississippi's Long-Lasting Flood; Seven Killed, 19 Missing In Danube River Tourist Boat Sinking; Boris Johnson Settles in Court; U.K.'s Universities and Research Already Affected by Brexit; Pokemon Sleep App. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired May 30, 2019 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: He speaks. Special Counsel Robert Mueller breaks two years of silence to set the record straight on his Russia investigation and his words spark a flurry of new calls to impeach the president.
Tragedy on the Danube. Seven South Korean tourists are dead after their sightseeing boat capsizes and many more remain missing.
Also, Israel looks set to hold a do-over vote after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fails to form a coalition. The Parliament dissolves and fresh elections are now set for September.
Hello, welcome to viewers joining us from all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause, this is CNN NEWSROOM.
After two years of dogged silence and methodical investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has spoken publicly for the first time about his findings of his investigation into Russian election interference.
Mueller tried to set the record straight refusing main the false claims made by the president including the biggest false claim of all, that Muller's investigation totally exonerated the President. CNN's Sara Murray reports.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Today, Special Counsel Robert Mueller chose his words carefully.
ROBERT MUELLER, SPECIAL COUNSEL, RUSSIA PROBE: I'm speaking out today because our investigation is complete.
MURRAY: Breaking his silence on the investigation after two years to clearly say he did not clear President Trump of obstructing justice.
MUELLER: If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. MURRAY: But Mueller did not declare the president was innocent in the
more than 400 -page report or in front of cameras today.
MUELLER: And from them, we concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the President committed a crime.
MURRAY: Instead, Mueller explained he never had the power to make that decision due to Department of Justice regulations.
MUELLER: Under long-standing department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.
MURRAY: Mueller's own words a sharp contrast to Attorney General William Barr's earlier suggestion that the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel or OLC guidelines did not weigh heavily on Mueller's decision.
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: We specifically asked him about the OLC opinion and whether or not he was taking the position that he would have found a crime but for the existence of the OLC opinion, and he made it very clear several times that that was not his position.
MURRAY: Today, Mueller appeared to point the obstruction issue to Congress ramping up the pressure on Capitol Hill for impeachment.
MUELLER: The opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.
MURRAY: Still, Mueller made clear he did not want to be part of that process by testifying before Congress.
MUELLER: I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself, and the report is my testimony.
MURRAY: After two years of attacks from President Trump --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I knew how illegal, this whole thing was a scam.
MURRAY: Mueller defended his investigation and team saying the obstruction probe was paramount.
MUELLER: When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of their government's effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.
MURRAY: And despite Trump's constant refrain --
TRUMP: I call it the Russian hoax. It's a total witch hunt. MURRAY: Mueller's team found evidence that Russia did influence the 2016 election to try to benefit Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. But while Mueller did not charge the Trump campaign for conspiring with Russians, he did not say there was no evidence, only --
MUELLER: There was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.
MURRAY: Now, a spokesman confirmed that Wednesday was Robert Mueller's last day serving as special counsel. One of the last things he did in that ten-minute statement was to thank his team complimenting their integrity and their fairness after this onslaught of attacks they faced under President Trump for roughly two years. Sarah Murray, CNN Washington.
VAUSE: As Robert Mueller concluded both his rare public comments and his time as special counsel, he delivered a stark warning about Russia's ongoing and systematic interference in U.S. elections.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUELLER: I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments that there were multiple systemic efforts to interfere in our election, and that allegation deserves the attention of every American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:05:02] VAUSE: But one American in particular, at least publicly, refuses to take the threat seriously, refuses it seems to even acknowledge there's a threat and that would be the President of the United States. For more were joined this hour by CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and former FBI Special Agent Josh Campbell in Los Angeles.
Josh, that very last statement from Mueller, it seems directly squarely at the president who for the most part refuses to recognize the validity of the central allegation here that Russia hacked the 2016 election.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, exactly, John. And you know, the President has personalized this, he's internalized this, he's come out blasting saying that this is a witch-hunt, that he's a victim. What he hasn't done is actually talked about the main focus here of the Mueller investigation and that is protecting the United States and our elections from a hostile foreign intelligence service which it's not disputed that the Russians attempted to interfere in the election.
The question was what was the degree to which the Trump campaign was willing to accept cooperation. The longer the president has talked about himself in his campaign and again this witch-hunt narrative, that's time that he could have actually been spent talking about the threat which not only happened in 2016 but will continue throughout 2020. VAUSE: Yes. And what was really notable is that Mueller here he's
very clear. You know, this attack he said it was real, it was sophisticated. This was not an inside job by you know, the Deep State. I want you to listen a little more from the special counsel laying out what the Russians did and clearly stating their intentions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUELLER: Russian intelligence officers who are part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system. The indictment alleges that they used sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information and then release that information through fake, online, and identities and through the organization WikiLeaks.
The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Yet despite that, we're hearing from Trump's campaign manager for one Brad Pascale. He issued a statement, chock-full of blatant and outright lies. Part of it read, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's remarks today confirmed what we already knew. There was no collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign and there was no case for obstruction.
President has been fully and completely exonerated, no. Now it's time to turn to the origins of the Russia hoax. It was it a hoax. You know, in Trump world, they're sticking with this hoax thing. They're sticking with total exoneration. There was no case for obstruction. It's just a bogus belief.
CAMPBELL: Yes, it does indeed. And I think again you know, what the Trump folks are trying to do is spin a narrative here again that I think distracts from the main focus. And if you go back and look at what Robert Mueller's team had unearthed and a lot of good reporters as well is that for the first time in known history, you had a campaign for the presidency that was willing to accept help from a foreign government, the Russians.
We know about the meetings at Trump Tower. We know about the attempts of people associated with the Trump campaign to try to go after Hillary Clinton's stolen e-mails. Again, the willingness to at least accept help from a foreign intelligence service is something that I don't think can be overstated.
In a normal campaign, in a normal world, we would expect that if someone is actually being contacted by a foreign government that's attempting to interfere in election, they would pick up the phone and call the FBI. The Trump campaign didn't do that. They were willing to set up meetings.
And again, the more that they attack Robert Mueller and his team, it's an effort to try to distract away from that very realization that again this was a campaign that was willing to accept help from a foreign government which is incredibly troubling.
VAUSE: And it's also a reminder that the President and those around him have consistently sided with the Russians. They sided with an adversary of this country, and that in turn, you know, it hampered Mueller's investigation to a point which helped to get away with this election tampering in the first place.
CAMPBELL: You're exactly right. And that's the focus here that I think you know, a lot of national security experts again have been honing in on it again that you have the President doing Putin's bidding for him, creating this discord, going after these intelligence agencies, the law enforcement officers who are attempting to keep this country safe.
There is no greater goal for the President of Russia and the intelligence services than to undermine the FBI, the agency here in the United States that goes after foreign spies, but that has actually been a byproduct of these constant attacks on our intelligence services and our law enforcement.
And I there's another aspect here as well. We've long talked about this inability of President Trump to criticize Vladimir Putin. That raises a lot of eyebrows. There are people out there who have gone so far as to say that perhaps the Russians have some kind of leverage over the president which obviously the President denies. But again, the more this happens, the more we run out of innocent explanations.
And then the one last thing which i think is also important to focus on is that the President believes that if he admits that the Russians interfered in the election, that somehow disparages his own abilities and diminishes his own elections which might be the case. But again, at the end of the day, you want a president that's focused on protecting the country not just his own reputation.
VAUSE: Well, what's more important in this equation I think it comes down to you know, this is a U.S. Congress which really can't agree on the day of the week. But you know, there's no disagreement here on the facts. There's dispute that the Russians did hack the 2016 election. There's no disagreement that they're at it again in 2018 and it's game on for 2020. And yet the Senate Leader, the Republican Mitch McConnell is refusing to allow a vote on an election security bill.
He's a tweet from a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute Norman Ornstein. He tweeted, "So here's a powerful take away from Mueller's statement. The fact that Mitch McConnell is blocking the bill to protect the United States from Russian interference in future elections is one of the most unpatriotic and despicable acts imaginable from an American public official.
And from Democrats Senator Tammy Duckworth Robert Mueller just made it crystal clear, Russia interfered in our elections in 2016 in a systematic way. So why won't the Senate Majority Leader let us vote on any election security bills to prevent foreign adversaries from doing it again. So one of the consequences here are these Republican do-nothing approach to election security. CAMPBELL: Well, sadly with Mitch McConnell, this is a pattern. And I don't think history is going to be kind to him in the end because if you go back and look in 2016, the U.S. government, the Obama administration, the intelligence services were wanting to call out the Russians at the time and it was actually to again, some good reporting that it was learned that it was Mitch McConnell who stood in the way who said that no I'm not going to allow the U.S. government to hold hearings here, to talk about the Russians and folks that you know imagine that he was essentially playing politics again trying to run interference for perhaps a Trump campaign.
And now we see him doing that again where again as you mentioned, we're going to -- we know the Russians are at it, they're going to continue, and it just beggars believe that you're in this day and age 2019 is we're on the cusp of the know the presidential election that anyone in Congress would stand in the way of a strong election bill that would protect this country. Again, raises more questions than it answers but if you're the American people, if you're our allies around the world, you have to be looking at this Congress and wondering what is going on and actually scared that whether the United States will actually be equipped when it comes time to 2020 to fend off these attacks that we know are coming.
VAUSE: Yes. We're out of time, Josh, but the point here is that you know, the elections are essentially you know, the mechanisms that make the democracy work. If they don't work, the democracy doesn't work, it's undermined and that's the point. It's good to see you. Thank you so much being with us, Josh.
CAMPBELL: All right, thank you.
VAUSE: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just did what no other Israeli Prime Minister has ever done, sending voters back to the ballot box just seven weeks after a general election. An unprecedented move after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government in part because of a standoff with his former defense minister.
Avigdor Lieberman now leads a party with just five Knesset seats, but in return for those seats, Lieberman wants an end to exemptions to military service for ultra-orthodox Jews.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL (through translator): He never meant to reach an agreement. He wanted in a clearest way the topple the government, and he does it from considerations of getting more votes. That's what he thinks. But he's not going to succeed. He's dragging the whole country to six more months of elections for the second time around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, for the very latest now, we head to Jerusalem and CNN's Oren Liebermann.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: What happened in Israeli politics Wednesday night is absolutely stunning. Never before in the history of the country has a prime minister failed to form a government after an election but that's exactly what happened here. Benjamin Netanyahu who appeared to have a clear path to a right-wing coalition after the April elections failed to put together a government with his coalition partners deadlocked.
Netanyahu had two options, go to the president say he's unable to form a government and risk someone else being given the chance and perhaps becoming prime minister or legislate new elections and that's the option he chose. It means he remains in charge of his Likud Party, in charge of the Knesset, and in charge of the country's prime minister.
Those elections now scheduled for September 17th. Israel has never had two national elections within months of each other, but that's the situation the country is in now. And these results go beyond internal Israeli politics. President Donald Trump's team was ready to roll out part of its long-awaited peace plan in the coming weeks and months. This may throw all of that into turmoil.
On top of that, Netanyahu faces criminal investigations and potential charges. Those aren't going away with a hearing scheduled for October. All of that now hangs in the balance with Israel heading for elections once again. Oren Liebermann, CNN Jerusalem.
VAUSE: Still to come, we have the very latest on search and rescue efforts on the Danube. Seven South Korean tourists are dead after their sightseeing boat capsized and sank, many more remain missing. Also ahead, hundreds of twisters (INAUDIBLE) states in 14 days. The dangerous and destructive weather which continues to sweep across the U.S.'
[01:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Every day, for two weeks now, this sound has been heard across the central United States.
Tornado sirens blaring from Texas to New Jersey, warning of twisters like this one in Canton, Texas. Millions of residents across seven states, facing what is called an enhanced risk of severe weather. The U.S. is having an unusually destructive and active tornado season in the last two weeks. More than 365 tornadoes have been reported in 22 states, mostly Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Nearly half the U.S. is picking up the pieces from hundreds of those tornadoes. Floodwater continues to rise in Arkansas, Oklahoma. The swollen Arkansas River is reaching record levels. CNN's Scott McLean has the very latest now on the dangerous weather which is sweeping across the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, nearly 40 million people are at risk of more severe weather from the plains to the East Coast, after two straight weeks of daily tornadoes. This, after parts of Kansas and Pennsylvania were hit hard Tuesday night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have debris on the radar now confirmed.
MCLEAN: In Linwood, Kansas, a huge rain-wrapped tornado, touched down.
TIM UNREIN, LINWOOD, KANSAS RESIDENT: It sounded like a freight train going over. I just feel my house coming apart. And then all of a sudden, the skies opened up, it was raining like, crazy, in my basement.
MCLEAN: Tim Unrein says the tornado destroyed a brick wall, part of his roof, and relocated his 14-foot trailer behind his neighbor's house, a few hundred yards away. Across the street, Ron and friend, Jones, took cover in their basement, near minutes before the storm turned their main floor into a pile of wood and debris.
Where were you last night?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, right down there is the washroom, and we were underneath the stairs, right there, that would come up to the kitchen. The kitchen, I think, was right there. Yes, there's the refrigerator. And it just took like, 30 seconds, it felt like some hail or something, and my husband looked up and he said, well, we don't have a roof anymore.
MCLEAN: So far, no reports of any deaths, but more than a dozen were treated for injuries from the storm.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a tornado right out front of our house.
MCLEAN: The National Weather Service confirms a tornado also touched down in Morgantown, Pennsylvania.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've lived here for 71 years and I've never seen it this bad, ever.
MCLEAN: Another major concern right now, record breaking flooding for parts of the central U.S., with the Arkansas River cresting at about 40 feet, more than a dozen counties in Arkansas could see historic flooding. Near Tulsa, Oklahoma, they're anxiously waiting and watching as the Keystone dam continues to hold.
But the mayor is warning people the flood risk is still very high, and they need to be ready to move.
G.T. BYNUM, MAYOR, TULSA, OKLAHOMA: There is absolutely no need to wait until the last minute when an evacuation might be necessary.
[01:20:18] VAUSE: In Jackson, Mississippi, they're watching a slow motion disaster play out, as residents wait for an already swollen Mississippi River to crest at record-high levels in the coming days. And that's where we find Weather Nation Field Meteorologist, Logan Poole, standing by for us.
So, Logan, how long do they have before the river actually peaks, and what are they doing at this point to prepare for that?
LOGAN POOLE, FIELD METEOROLOGIST, WEATHERNATION: It looks like the river may crest in Vicksburg, which is just west of Jackson, the first week or so of June. As soon as it's going to be a slow increase as that water from significant severe weather associated torrential rainfall comes in for Oklahoma, Arkansas, down the Arkansas River and into the Mississippi River channel.
So, it's going to be a little while before it crests, unfortunately, it hasn't been down below moderate flood stage in many months. And we're going to head right back into major flood stage above 50 feet here in the coming weeks.
VAUSE: And that's what's so unusual about this, it seems, you know, this is a flood emergency which has lasted for months (INAUDIBLE) some homes have actually been flooded since February. And it seems, every day, just brings more bad news.
POOLE: Absolutely. There's some farmland, it just -- it just won't get planted this year and that's not the case just for Mississippi, that extends all the way up the Mississippi River into portions of the Midwest, you know, our -- the nation's heartland, and where we expect to get most of our grain, even food so, it's going to have a far reaching impact that extend to beyond what you may associate with just rural farmland.
This is going to cause a lot of our plants and farms and grain to really be just not planted this year.
VAUSE: Yes, and that's devastating for so many farmers, you know, they are already struggling with the trade war with China, some were saying, and now they've got this on top of it. So, I guess, how long will it be? This is the crucial question, before the floodwaters actually start to recede? And what's the timeframe here before this, you know, some return to normalcy?
POOLE: You know, unfortunately it's not just the Mississippi River channel that is being tortured here, almost. The water that normally would go into the channel is being hung up into the backwaters of some of the other rivers, like the Yazoo River, in Mississippi, for example.
And like you said, there are some places there that have been flooded since winter. And even if the Mississippi River were not flooded right now, that backwater itself that's being held away from the channel, would take weeks or months to be able to drain out, so you are talking, at least, until mid-summer before some of these places that are underwater become dry land, again.
And that's assuming we don't get another drop of rain which seems unlikely, given that we are headed into more of a wet season, in this part of the country.
VAUSE: Wow. So, the big concerns here, we've got the duration of the flooding, how long it's going to actually last, and the other one which is interesting is, you know, you're sort of alluded to this, you know, where will the water go next?
POOLE: The water is going to try to flow down the Mississippi River channel. And we have a system of flood control mitigation that we've been designing for almost 100 years now, since a massive flood in the early 1900s. And we are trying to, you know, contain this massive -- just torrent of water, one of the largest rivers in the world. And it doesn't always want to cooperate.
So, we have levies and we have flood control structures that are built, but some of those will be under threat, including in Louisiana where, I think they may have to open up the Morganza Spillway, which has only been done a couple of times since it's been built.
So, once that happens, it's going to flood a lot more land, south of here, in Jackson. A lot of places still yet to be impacted, some places are going to continue to be impacted for months to come in some ways. So, it's an ongoing disaster, one that just doesn't seem to want to quit anytime soon.
VAUSE: Yet, we're talking about (INAUDIBLE) started, I think, in December, you are saying, with some of the flooded farm areas and (INAUDIBLE) way into 2019.
Logan, we thank you for your report. Appreciate you being with us.
VAUSE: In Budapest, the search and rescue on the Danube River is now into its ninth hour. At least seven people are confirmed dead after their tourist boat collided with another ship, capsized and then sank, all are South Koreans, 19 people are still missing.
South Korea's president has sent a rapid response team to help. CNN's Paula Hancocks following developments from Seoul, this hour, so Paula, what do you know about this rapid response team? How will they be able to help in the search, because, logistically, you know, will they make it in time? Will they get there to help?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, clearly, the onus is going to be on the rescue teams on the ground. Time is of the essence in these kinds of incidents. We've just been hearing from the South Korean President Moon Jae-in, he gave a press conference, talking about this, saying that they have been meeting about the incident.
They have sent, as you say, this rapid response team. It's 18 people, many of them are involved in naval rescues, there are some from the crisis management center, obviously, to help with logistics of the survivors as well as to help look for those who are still missing. But this did happen at 10 p.m., local time. [01:25:09] So, we understand from what President Moon has been saying, what the rescue teams have been saying, the conditions have been very difficult and challenging to try and find more survivors. The fact that the river, Danube, has been swelling because of intense rainfall, recently, there have been strong currents.
We understand from some of the rescue operators that they have found some of the passengers, more than a mile downstream, because of those strong currents. So, obviously, there are a lot of issues that they are coming up against.
We have been having briefings from Very Good Tour, which is the South Korean tour group, the chief executive speaking earlier, let's listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEE SANG-MOO, MANAGING DIRECTOR, VERY GOOD TOUR COMPANY (through translator): Once again, I deeply apologize to the parties of the accident, families of victims and the people who were hurt by the news report from this morning. The water level was high, but other cruise ships were all operating normally, just like the ship, carrying our clients. I presume the ship collided with a big cruise ship and then capsized.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANCOCKS: So, what we've heard so far of the passengers on board, we understand from the tour group, there are nine families. Most of the people were in their 40s and 50s. But we have also heard that there is at least one child, potentially, age 6, that was on board and then the eldest passenger somewhere in their early 70s. So, a fair differences in ages, there, but nine families at this point, John.
VAUSE: Very quickly, Paula, what about the conditions? Last hour, we had our reporter in Budapest, it was raining. It looked cold and miserable. That must be a concern right now.
HANCOCKS: Absolutely. And this is something the rapid response team is talking about at the airport, as they were about to get on the plane, saying that the temperature of the water is very low, 12 degrees Centigrade, at this point.
The fact that the heavy rainfall has caused these strong currents, obviously, makes conditions far more challenging for those rescue teams. Of course, the good thing is, it is now daylight, so they will be, at least, having that in their favor, having to try and work through the night with these challenging conditions would have been extremely difficult. John?
VAUSE: Paula, thank you for the update. Paula Hancocks, live for us, in Seoul. Thank you.
At least 23 people have died in a bus crash in South Eastern Mexico. The bus was carrying Catholic pilgrims when it collided with a cargo truck, burst into flames. The parishioners were returning from Mexico City where they visited the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller breaking his silence, why his spoken words could be a lot more powerful than his written report, that's next on CNN NEWSROOM.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. I'm John Vause with an update of the top news this hour.
At least seven people have died when a tourist boat capsized and sank on the Danube River in Budapest, 19 are missing. All the dead were tourists from South Korea. The tour company operating the boat said it was close to docking when another larger ship hit it.
Stunning political developments from Israel -- voters are to go to the polls in September. They voted just seven weeks ago. It turns out that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a government. He tried to put together a coalition after their first vote back in April.
Special counsel Robert Mueller speaking publicly for the first time about his Russia investigation. He says if President Trump did not commit a crime, his report would have said so. Mueller also says he could not consider charging the President because of Justice Department guidelines.
Joining me now from Los Angeles CNN global affairs analyst Max Boot and former assistant U.S. attorney David Kats.
Max -- first to you. You know, watching Mueller deliver those remarks I couldn't work out, you know, from a political point of view if this was a mic drop moment, Mueller our. Or whether he just waited too long to try and set the record straight. You know, the Attorney General, the President they've had seven weeks to build what is essentially a false narrative.
MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, I think what special counsel Mueller said would have certainly had more impact if it had come weeks earlier right after his report was released because it would have dramatically undercut the false narrative that we heard from Attorney General Barr.
But I think even now coming at this late day what Mueller said really resonated. And I think to a surprising extent because for those of us who actually read the Mueller report, there was literally nothing whatsoever new in what Bob Mueller said today.
But the fact that he was saying it himself, saying it out loud, saying it on TV and that had an impact. And you can see that the cat fact that we have been talking about this all day on CNN and every other network it had an impact because he's basically saying in so many words that the President committed a crime and that the only reason he couldn't can indict him is because the Justice Department does not permit to indict a sitting president.
And therefore over to you congress -- it's up to Congress now to take action. Now, he didn't say it quite in those words but that was basically the message that he delivered.
VAUSE: And David -- as someone who is familiar with the thinking inside the Justice Department, how it works, how do you explain the timing here? Why did Mueller decide now was time to speak up?
DAVID KATZ, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, Mueller got a little bit played by Barr. And I don't think it's a dishonor for a former marine and former head of the FBI not to be the kind of street fighter that it turns out that Barr is.
But he worked for the Department of Justice and the Department of Justice has regulations for someone like Mueller. That was one reason why until today when he severed his ties with the Department of Justice Mueller felt that he was bound by their regulations.
And so talking about cases before you've closed down your own involvement that was something that Mueller thought he could not do under the regulations and yes, he got played in that letter by Barr over the weekend and he got played by the testimony of Barr.
But I think now things have been rectified John. And I think that Mueller made a very clear today that the route is impeachment. That you cannot indict a sitting president under the rules of the Department of Justice and as a good soldier Barr is bound by -- excuse me -- Mueller is bound by those rules.
But since a sitting president cannot be indicted under those rules a sitting president is unseated one way and one way only -- unseated by impeachment. And that's where we are going. That's where the House is going right now.
And I don't think it's a pipe dream. I think that that's something that may happen by the fall after the initial investigation.
VAUSE: Yes. Mueller made it clear he wants this to be his first and last public statement on the Russia investigation. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUELLER: There's been discussion about an appearance before congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond are our. It contains our findings and are analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, Max -- putting Mueller's reluctance to one side, the congressional Democrats have made it clear, they want him to testify. And even if he doesn't deviate from his report like today, it's the difference it seems between reading the book and watching the movie. Hearing Mueller has a much bigger impact than reading Mueller. BOOT: I think that's exactly right especially because so few people
have actually read Mueller. I mean I saw one opinion poll that showed something like only 3 percent of Americans have said they had read the Mueller Report and I bet half of those were lying.
And certainly not all members of Congress even have read the Mueller report. So I think simply having Mueller sit there in a nationally televised hearing and walk through his conclusion and walk through the evidence that forced him to conclude that Donald Trump had obstructed justice. I think that would be a very powerful thing and that something that I think Donald Trump is very scared of because he understands the power of television.
[01:34:56] And that's one thing that Donald Trump knows is how to shape a narrative and how to fight on TV. And I think he's very much afraid of having somebody like Mueller denouncing him in so many words on national TV.
Because you saw today that Mueller is very understated, he's not flashy just the facts, very kind of Jack Webb in style but a very effective for all that because he is so clearly not this deranged Democratic partisan that President Trump has painted him as being.
VAUSE: Yes. And David -- you know, we heard Mueller talking just in. He's making the point that all the words in his 400-plus page report were carefully chosen. So with that in mind, listen to Mueller talking now about obstruction of justice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUELLER: The matters we investigated were a paramount of importance. It was critical for us to obtain full and accurate information from every person he questioned.
When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators it, strikes at the core or their government effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, he said "when" a subject of an investigation. Using the word "when" implies obstruction took place. He could use the word "if" -- if the subject of an investigation which implies an element of uncertainty. Maybe obstruction of justice never happened but if it did, you know, blah-blah-blah.
So David -- I be wading through the weeds here but it does seem that on Wednesday just like he did with his report, Robert Mueller is making his opinion known very clear.
KATZ: I think he made his opinion very well known in the report itself. And I agree that people should read it. There's a part on obstruction of justice which is -- as good as any kind of writing, it's not legalese. It's concise with the footnotes it's maybe 20 or 30 pages and a person can read in volume two what happened with McGahn and how President Trump had McGahn write a false memorandum to the file or wanted him to.
McGahn refused to do that. And it's just compelling how this is a classic obstruction of justice which anyone else but President Donald Trump would've been indicted by the Justice Department.
There's a letter from over a thousand former federal prosecutors like myself which makes that opinion. And these are people from the Reagan administration. Some of them go back to the Eisenhower administration who signed this letter.
VAUSE: And what was interesting though is when we heard from Mueller, it was enough to sway a number of Democrats running for on 2020 for their support for impeachment. They have still been reluctant up until now.
But there is still this hesitation -- particularly like among Democratic leaders in Congress. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Getting the facts to the American people. Getting the truth for the American people. Where they would lead us, we shall see. Nothing is off the table.
REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: With respect to impeachment question at this point all options are on the table. And nothing should be ruled out.
REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI: You've got to surface more evidence and do the full investigation that we are trying to pursue in the various committees. Then make a decision about whether to prosecute.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, so Max --first it was wait for the Mueller report. The report is out. Then it wait to hear from Mueller. Well now he's spoken.
There's also been this call for Republican support for impeachment. Well, here's Republican Congressman Justin Amash, the first Republican in Congress to call for beating the President. He was arriving at a townhall and he's going (INAUDIBLE) on Tuesday.
Listen to the standing ovation.
TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's coming from --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: This is Grand Rapids, Michigan -- Max, you know. So the Democrats what else do they want here? Why the hesitation?
BOOT: Well, I think they're actually good grounds for hesitation,. The grounds for hesitation are not that there's a lack of evidence that Donald Trump committed impeachable conducts. He clearly did.
But there is a real reason why Speaker Pelosi is hesitating which is that I think she's afraid that while the House could certainly pass the articles of impeachment the Senate would not convict him under any circumstances because there is not a single Republican who has joined Justin Amash in calling for Donald Trump's impeachment. And not a single Republican member of the Senate has done that.
And so I think Speaker Pelosi's concern is that if you moved to impeach Trump and then he gets exonerated by the Senate that will be a win for Donald Trump politically. And that's going to rouse his base. It's going to feed him into his narrative that there's a deep state trying to remove him from office.
So I think, you know, there are reasons for Speaker Pelosi to be cautious moving forward. But I think there are also reasons to move forward because again as Bob Mueller underlined today, we do have a president of the United States who is clearly committed high crimes and misdemeanors. And you can't just ignore that glaring fact and remain a constitutional democracy.
VAUSE: David -- you know, in either impeachment is the right thing to do or it's not the right thing to do, right?
KATZ: Well, first of all, it's a political question just like w what the high crimes and misdemeanors are determined to be. You know, many of these Republican Senator who everyone is sure are not going to vote to remove the President from Office if it gets to the senate.
[01:40:01] They voted to remove President Clinton from office when it was in the Senate under President Clinton except they didn't have the two-thirds vote in the Senate remove him.
But my view on this and I'm a trial lawyer. I kind of see things in these terms. The trial that is an effort to impeach in the House would be a dramatic bad thing for President Trump. I think the Democrats will come to see that. They're going to spend the next few months doing the House investigation of these various potential articles of impeachment.
Then the trial that is the bringing of the charges in the House, not that the trial in the Senate but the bringing of the chargers in the House would be dramatic. There are no rules except for what the House sets for those. They could bring witnesses so they could be like Watergate.
They can also have it presented by hearsay and one week, you know, they would do all of the tax issues. The next week, they would do the Michael Cohen and the payments to the model.
Then the next week, they would do the Mueller investigation that is the conspiracy that they could show whether Mueller thought he could indict for it or not.
Then the next week would be this obstruction of justice that we're talking about with Cohen, with Flynn and with McGahn. Whether they had McGahn or not it would be a compelling showing.
Then what's the Senate going to do when it arrives there with them to try the case? And whether to remove him. You know, Senator McConnell is just going to say "case dismissed" so there would be a huge narrative from the Democrats; that would be awful for Trump. And then there would be what "case dismissed", no response from the Senate.
I think if it went to the Senate people would be surprised, I think the senate would try it to hear it.
VAUSE: There could certainly be some movement there. But you know, when it comes impeachment, perhaps the President might not be the only members of this administration who should be concerned? Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Attorney General Barr, Robert Mueller said today that President Trump was not of obstruction of justice. Would you exonerate him?
VAUSE: Max -- could they take a practice run acts, by impeaching the Attorney General? I mean are there grounds there for impeaching Bill Barr.
BOOT: Yes, absolutely. I mean I think Attorney General Barr has become Obstructor General Barr. I mean he is basically helping Donald Trump to obstruct justice into office (INAUDIBLE) findings with the Mueller report.
And yes I think he could easily be impeached for that just like I think Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin could be impeached for failing to comply with a clear that says he must turnover the returns of any tax payer upon the request as the House Ways and Means Committee. It gives you freedom to do that because he is paying attention to Donald Trump's whims rather than what the law actually says, but again, you come back to the basic issue of impeachment being a political act.
And you're not going to get more than 1 Republican vote at the moment in favor of impeachment. And that's the big difference between this time and Watergate.
During the time of Watergate, you had Republicans like Bill Cohen and Howard Baker and Barry Goldwater and others who showed some independence from the White House. Today at the moment you have exactly one Republican out of the 250 in the House and Senate who shows any independence from Donald Trump.
And so the fact that the Republican Party is marching in lock step with Trump even as he continues to undermine our democracy, and it very hard to successfully pursue impeachment under those circumstances.
VAUSE: We have said this before and say it again, it has been yet another an extraordinary day in Washington for the special counsel to make those statements. And the reaction to them but it just seems to be run of the mill for this administration.
And Max -- thank you for being with us. Also David as well, thank you so much. We appreciate your time.
BOOT: Thank you.
VAUSE: He could be Britain's next prime minister but before he gets close to Number 10 Boris Johnson is a little matter of settling in court. Details in a moment.
And Brexit is getting a failing grade in Britain's universities. The groundbreaking researchers are already feeling the impact.
[01:43:56] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUSE: A new twist in Britain's leadership battle -- The leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister has been ordered to appear in court. Boris Johnson or BoJo, a high profile Brexiteer accused of lying in the lead up to the 2016 referendum.
He claimed British membership of the EU cost $350 million pounds a week. That number was then plastered on a big red bus and toured Britain. A businessman filed suit against Johnson. This legal fight is being paid for through a crown funding campaign.
As Britain staggers towards another Brexit departure deadline the country's universities are already paying the price. Recruiting European students is getting harder and faculty are being poached by other institutions urged to relocate to the continent.
And as Nina Dos Santos reports lashings and lashings of research money is at stake.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At the U.K. Birmingham University, these scientists are working to find new treatments for arthritis.
The research there's German professor that could help some of Britain's ten million sufferers. (INAUDIBLE) because this work is largely supported by the E.U., the funding could dry up after Brexit.
DR. DAGMAR SCHEEB (INAUDIBLE), UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM PROFESSOR: So we are trying to sort of have some stuff. But it is never going to be the same volume of funding as we had from the E.U. that is trying to maintain desperately (ph) our work.
DOS SANTOS: British university is a home to some of the most the groundbreaking research in Europe. As such, they receive one of the largest shares of the bloc's academic funding. About one and a half billion dollars in grants per year.
That's money that labs like these could not live without.
The government has guaranteed to fund current programs until next year. But, universities U.K. which represents 136 institutions says that a firmer commitment is urgently needed.
VIVIENNE STERN, DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITIES U.K. INTERNATIONAL: It's what happens after 2021 that is the real issue. We're pressing our government to start early negotiations to allow us associate to the research program and the Erasmus program.
DOS SANTOS: Funding is just one item on the long list of concerns for higher educators after Brexit.
The U.K.'s top universities have 50,000 staff and 130,000 students from E.U. nations. And as uncertainty increases, (INAUDIBLE) is about visas, higher tuition fees, and fear opportunities to study abroad.
Then there's the question of sharing knowledge and technology after the U.K's. departure.
ANNE CORBETT, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Britain has a huge reputation but that reputation is very largely built on collaboration so there's something that Cambridge makes history with. It's almost certainly not Cambridge alone, it's with an institution from another E.U. state.
DOS SANTOS: The Birmingham lab is part of a network of six European research hubs tackling some of the most common and complex age-related illnesses.
But it could be frozen out of those networks. Because aside from Brexit complicating funding, it also makes jointly publishing research more difficult.
Meanwhile, PhD students are becoming harder to recruit and staff are being approached by European universities. Including the lab's own directors.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've decided to stay here for now if my research becomes impossible here I will try to move on.
[01:49:58] DOS SANTOS: As universities wait for clarity the U.K. risks the Brexit side's brain drain with devastating effects for Britain's world famous academic institutions.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN -- London.
VAUSE: Up next catch 'em all even when you sleep. How the makers of Pokemon Go plan to keep you gaming every hour, every day, all the time,
VAUSE: Well it was the craze that captured the imagination of so many around the world. Pokemon Go turned millions of relatively normal people three years ago with smartphones into mindless zombies. They were running everywhere in public and trying to catch imaginary monsters. The game was a big boon to Nintendo, so now the developers would like
you keep playing and never stop even while you sleep. There's not a lot of details here but a new app called Pokemon Sleep will somehow incorporate a little dream time and a little play time.
Katie Pagge is a reviews editor for "Gamespot". She joins us now from San Francisco. Thank you for being with us. I don't know anything about this. It sounds incredibly dystopia.
You're going to show how to play this Pokemon Sleep and you need an app and it's installed on a device like Fit Bit -- what have you been told about it. So does it work.
KATIE PAGGE, GAMESPOT: So we just got all the information on Pokemon Sleep yesterday in the Pokemon press conference. They have these yearly now, starting with last year.
Pokemon sleep is interesting because it's an extension of what Pokemon Go was as kind of a lifestyle app. Gets you out walking. This time they want you enjoy waking up in the morning.
We don't know exactly how the game play will work but it seems like it will be, you know, when you wake up in the morning it might affect what happened in the game or how long you sleep might affect what happens in the game. And the external device with Pokemon Go plus- plus because there is already something called Pokemon Go plus will track through (INAUDIBLE) algorithm you're sleep and possibly other functions kind of like a Fit Bit, yes. And put that into the game.
VAUSE: Yes. Because just to be clear on this, this is how one reviewer described it. That the device is a Fit Bit like device. "The device will use an embedded accelerometer to track a user's time sleeping and send this information today to their smartphone via Bluetooth. This new device also has the same functions as the original Pokemon Go plus. The trainers can use it with Pokemon Go during the day and a Pokemon Sleep at night.
I still don't understand how it's a game.
PAGGE: That's what I'm curious about too. It seems like the game part could be for example maybe you can catch a certain kind of Pokemon if you wake up at 6:00 in the morning versus of you wake up late at 10:00 in the morning.
That's kind of the impression I got, there still being a little coy about it. But the Pokemon Tutor you can joke there are a couple of Snorlaxes, consult it to me and the app. So the -- of course is the Sleeping Pokemon always is in everyone's way.
That is my guess, I think it would be, you know, the longer you sleep maybe you find a Snorlax because it's a sleepy Pokemon. That's kind of the impression I got.
VAUSE: You know, the thing is that obviously they're aware of the fact that, you know, a lack of sleep is a one of the concerns a lot of people have with these sort of games. Is it appropriate, is it possible that, you know, these games can now encourage healthy sleep?
PAGGE: I would hope so. I mean as a Pokemon fan myself who also has really bad sleep patterns, I might be encouraged to may be wake up a little bit early in the morning if I had an opportunity to catch a rare Pokemon or something like that.
I don't know exactly how much it could encourage the way you think a lot of sleep apps you know focus on mental state, meditations, and stuff like that. I don't know how much that will be in this but you know, Pokemon Go has got a lot of people walking a lot of places they will not walk so. Like that's the thing --
VAUSE: -- walking into buildings and across the street getting hit by cars like tens of thousands or accidents when they're all awake. What's going to happen when they're asleep.
PAGGE: Hopefully nothing bad.
VAUSE: That's the thing. I mean there is some concern because I remember when this also -- the craze went, you know, nutty around the world and people were literally, you know, I think walking off buildings some point and into traffic.
Because these games become so all-encompassing. It's going to a 24/7 this is like sometimes you need to switch off. You're going have a break right.
PAGGE: Yes. Definitely as somebody who works in videogames I always need a break from them because, you know, your hobby becomes work then and you are always working. I definitely want to be able to switch off Pokemon. It seems like maybe this is something that's a little more passive. So hopefully that's not the kind of thing where I have a friend who broke his foot playing Pokemon Go
So I know how that goes. It seems like this is a little bit less involved. Hopefully
VAUSE: Ok. I've never played Pokemon but all I cans is hand me a bubble of ambient, I'm in. Kaylee (ph) thank you.
We'll find out more about how this actually works will have you back.
Page: Ok sounds good thanks for having me.
VAUSE: A pleasure thank you.
A follow up here -- Amazon has addressed some privacy concerns about Alexa and similar devices capture and store. A lot of data that recognition devices. There have been growing concerns at concerns of elector and similar devices can store a lot of data that normal data than intended rather. Even casual conversations.
So from Wednesday users have the option of telling Alexa to delete the day's recordings. In a few weeks Alexa will be enabled to delete anything that's just been said.
We've recently reported that Amazon reviews some (INAUDIBLE) clips in order to approve Alexa's voice recognition software. Yes, right.
Elected will be able to enable anything that is being set. Yes, right. They've reported that amazon refused to approve Alexis a voice recognition software.
You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.
Stay with us. Rosemary Church is up next after a very short break.
You're watching CNN.
[01:57:06] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: A rarely heard voice after years of public silence, Special Counsel Robert Mueller gives a stunning statement saying his investigation did not clear President Trump of wrongdoing --