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Southern District of New York to Unseal Documents Today; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Defends Trump Rally Response; Protests Continue in Puerto Rico. Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired July 18, 2019 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ARIANNA BERG, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Good morning. Thank you so much for having me on today. Yes, we expect, any minute, to get some more information. Essentially, two categories of information that are set to be unsealed by Judge Pauley in this case.
The first category of documents is a more full redaction -- a more full unsealing of the search warrant application that the Southern District of New York prosecutors filed for way back in -- it feels like an eternity from now -- April 2018. We expect that to be more fully unsealed.
If you recall, the judge there unsealed the majority of that application, but redacted out about 19 pages' worth of that application. And those 19 pages were with respect to the campaign finance violations --
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Right.
BERG: -- which of course we know directly implicated Donald Trump.
The second category of information that we expect to be revealed is this status report that the Southern District of New York prosecutors filed just a few days ago. We know from Judge Pauley's order, that the prosecutors there represented that their Southern District of New York prosecution, that their investigation had concluded.
So what do we take from this? Hopefully, with the now-unsealing of that status report, we'll find out a bit more information about why the Southern District of New York investigation has concluded. Hopefully, we'll find out some more information about what information they have uncovered as to other co-conspirators in this campaign finance violation, such as, of course, then-Candidate Trump.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: OK. So if the investigation is concluded, are we to conclude -- concluded without charges, in other words, that they looked into this and they're clearing the president? Is that what you're saying?
BERG: You know, we don't know. And that is what I'm hoping the status report will reveal. As I see it, sitting here right now, there are three possibilities here.
One, just looking very carefully at the language that Judge Pauley used, he said the Southern District of New York prosecutors said that their investigation had concluded. They didn't say anything about charges.
It's conceivable that because of the Office of Legal Counsel opinion, counseling against indicting --
BERG: -- a sitting president, that while their investigation has concluded, they're just going to hold off on any charges against Donald Trump until he's no longer in office.
BERG: That's the first possibility that I see.
The second possibility is that they just merely haven't developed enough information to charge any other individuals. Now, remember, with campaign finance violations, it's a little thornier, a little harder to charge people because it requires specific intent --
BERG: -- it requires a criminal to know about that particular law and to have intended to violate it.
Now, with Michael Cohen, that's easy-breezy. He's a lawyer.
BERG: We know he knows about that law.
With Donald Trump, perhaps --
BERG: -- that might be harder to prove.
The third --
SCIUTTO: OK. Well, there's a lot --
BERG: -- possibility -- yes.
SCIUTTO: Sorry, just quickly, go ahead. What is the third possibility?
BERG: Yes. Third possibility is that perhaps they've gotten an order from the attorney general, William Barr, to cease and desist their investigation. And that's the thing that I think has most of us -- that possibility -- has most of us troubled.
SCIUTTO: That's extremely interesting.
So, listen, stick with us, folks. We're going to look at those documents, analyze them for those answers when they come out.
Arianna Berg, thanks very much for setting it up for us. It is set to be a busy day --
SCIUTTO: -- in a lot of ways. Here's "What to Watch."
TEXT: What to Watch... 1:30pm ET, Trump meeting with Netherlands P.M.; 5pm ET, Apollo 11 astronaut panel; 8pm ET, Draw for Democratic debates
[10:34:30] HARLOW: All right. Ahead for us, thousands of protestors, police in riot gear, a governor, refusing to resign. We'll take you to Puerto Rico where tension is just escalating by the night, over the government's scandal.
SCIUTTO: President Trump, escalating his attacks against four sitting U.S. congresswomen from the Democratic Party. This, at his North Carolina rally last night. Particularly the target? Somalia-born but U.S. citizen and sitting elected congresswoman, Ilhan Omar.
HARLOW: She tweeted a response. And she chose to quote Maya Angelou. "You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like, air, I'll rise."
Lawmakers are reacting this morning. Manu Raju is on Capitol Hill.
Namely, Lindsey Graham?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And we just spoke to him extensively about this. Of course, Lindsey Graham is someone who has had a -- is close to the president, after being a critic to him during the campaign. Here is someone who has, of course, promoted a more liberal version of immigration reform in the past, more now in line with this president.
[10:40:07] When we spoke to him just moments ago, he made clear that he did not agree with the notion of sending her back to her country, especially given the fact that she's a U.S. citizen. But he also defended the president's approach and his tactics. And we also asked him about John McCain, how John McCain handled a similar situation back in 2008.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Isn't it racist, though, to say, "Send her back"?
SEN. LINDSERY GRAHAM (R-SC): No. I don't think it's racist to say. Was it racist to say, "Love it or leave it"? I don't think -- a Somalian refugee embracing Trump would not have been asked to go back. If you're a racist, you want everybody from Somalia to go back because they're black or they're Muslim. RAJU: Do (ph) you think this is changing (ph)? You know, John
McCain, when he went, in 2008, went up to that woman, famously, at that rally, and said that Barack Obama is not a Muslim, how much has this party changed since --
GRAHAM: I was -- I was really proud of John, you know? My policy differences with President Obama were real, but I never doubt that he loved the country.
RAJU: President Trump would never do that.
GRAHAM: Took a different -- different tack. He's fighting back. But I don't remember anybody treating President John McCain the way they're treating Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: So he's essentially saying that John McCain, he said, he didn't deal with the same, quote, "crap" as President Trump is dealing with on a daily basis. So President Trump is dealing with it differently than the way John McCain dealt with it then. He's also saying that he doesn't agree with what the president is saying, but also is sympathizing with the president, given the fire that he's taking internally.
And we're not getting much other reaction from some top Republicans about what happened last night. John Cornyn, the Senate Republican who sits on the Judiciary Committee, said he didn't see the rally, didn't want to comment. Neither did Joni Ernst, didn't want to comment. She's a Republican who's --
HARLOW: I mean --
RAJU: -- up for re-election in 2020. Others, also saying the president is simply frustrated and saying -- his supporters are, with the lack of action on immigration. So similarly, as we see (ph) on the aftermath of those tweets, Republicans, mostly coming to the president's defense at the moment -- guys.
HARLOW: Yes. Well, look, if they opened a newspaper, their phone this morning, they would have seen exactly what happened --
HARLOW: -- at the rally. I'm so glad you brought up that point, Manu, about John McCain. Because that was at such a heated moment in the campaign in 2008, right? Between candidates Obama and McCain. And still, McCain stopped that person in the audience and said, "No."
HARLOW: You know? "He's a decent person."
SCIUTTO: And in the midst of the birtherism movement -- HARLOW: Yes.
SCIUTTO: -- which was supported by and disseminated by the president.
HARLOW: That's true. OK.
SCIUTTO: Manu, great to have you on. Thanks for asking the hard questions up there.
HARLOW: Officials, getting a look this morning at the damage in San Juan, Puerto Rico after those violent clashes between protestors and police overnight.
Wow, it's incredible to see that. Thousands protested, demanding that the governor, Ricardo Rossello, resign after nearly 900 pages of leaked private text messages with him, filled with homophobic and misogynistic messages, came into light.
SCIUTTO: As you see there, officers in riot gear. They fired tear gas at the crowd after they broke through barricades at the governor's mansion. Leyla Santiago, she was in those protests last night. She joins us, now, live from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
I mean, this is not -- that was not the first night of it. It's been for a couple nights now, and you expect it to continue.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. These protestors are saying they are not going to step down or step back from their calls for the governor's resignation, while the governor says he is not resigning. Let me give you a quick glimpse into what is happening right now. The police are -- I know it's a little difficult to see, so I'll kind of tell you while we get a better view.
Police are still guarding the Fortaleza, which is the governor's mansion, and there is a woman praying for the police officers that are standing guard, with her guitar. It looks like she plans to sing to them at some point.
For just about every single Puerto Rican that we spoke to who was out here in these protests, the words that we heard repeated were, "disrespect," "indignation," as well as "corruption" and "resign." Speaking to the governor of Puerto Rico.
You see, for many of these people, this is about more than chats in which insults went around with the governor and his aides, where they made light of the bodies that were piling up after Hurricane Maria, of the folks in the countryside, they had some choice words that I will not repeat, in describing women.
So this is the boiling point, when these chats were released, for many Puerto Ricans who say, "We want to get rid of corruption on this island and we will not stop these protests until that's done." For the governor's part, he has said that he is apologizing and he will not step down -- Jim, Poppy.
SCIUTTO: We'll see who stays longer, who wins out, the standoff. Leyla Santiago, thanks very much.
[10:44:56] Tonight, we're going to learn which of these 2020 frontrunners will be paired together for the CNN Democratic debate. That can have big consequences. But what would be the best match-up? We're going to discuss that, next.
[10:50:04] SCIUTTO: Could we see another Biden-Harris showdown in the second presidential debate? Or how about Elizabeth Warren on the same stage as progressive rival Bernie Sanders? We're going to find out tonight, live on CNN. We will air the draw, live at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, so you at home can see exactly how the line-ups are chosen. We want to be a hundred percent transparent here.
HARLOW: Here's a look at the 20 candidates who will participate in the Detroit debate on July 30th and 31st. The only change from the first debate, Montana Governor Steve Bullock is in; California Congressman Eric Swalwell, not in because he has dropped out of the race.
Let's bring in our political reporter, Rebecca Buck.
I'm excited, 8:00 tonight, going to get the kids in bed, some popcorn, watch. What's going to happen? How are we doing this?
REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Poppy, you can bet the campaigns are excited too because they'll finally have some clarity tonight and be able to work out their strategies for this debate.
So how is it going to work? We're dividing the candidates into three different tiers, based on their polling, and we'll conduct three drawings. So starting with the lowest-polling candidates, going all the way to the top four candidates in the race, dividing them up equally among these two debate nights.
TEXT: How "The Draw" Works: Random draw will be slip into three parts to determine lineups for each night; During each draw, cards with a candidate's name will be placed into a dedicated box; A second box will hold date cards for each debate night; For each draw, a name will be picked from first box, then matched with date card from second box; After draw, CNN announces podium positions based upon public polling
BUCK: And so we'll have one box with the candidate names, another box with cards with the two debate nights. We'll draw a candidate name, correspond that to a debate night. And that's how we'll get these two debates. And of course after all of that, we will assign the podiums based on who is polling the highest at this point in time.
So we could get some very interesting match-ups here. What makes this process different than the first debate is, we will have evenly split the top candidates in this race, so no de facto kids' table or J.V. debate.
SCIUTTO: Right. And why so important to air these drawings live? TEXT: Final Draw: Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Bernie
Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren
BUCK: Well, it's like you said, Jim. It's all about transparency. It's all about showing our math, so to speak, showing the American people, who are going to be voting in this election, how these groups are being chosen.
And so basically, we want this process to be as fair as possible. We don't want to give any campaigns an advantage. And so we're just showing everyone how we're doing it.
HARLOW: That's the way to do it.
HARLOW: One thing I think is also unique about our format -- and I think good for the viewing public for the debate itself -- is that the candidates, right? Are going to be allowed to give opening statements. Sort of tell America, like, "Hey, here's who I am."
BUCK: Right. What we forget sometimes, because we talk about this every day, we talk about politics every day --
BUCK: -- as part of our jobs here. But most Americans haven't tuned into this race yet. And so many people who will be tuning in might be seeing these candidates for the first time. Someone like Steve Bullock, for example, will be on this debate stage for the first time.
And so this is a really important opportunity for the candidates to say what they want to say to the American people before we get into some of those -- the business of drawing contrasts between these candidates.
SCIUTTO: And debates can change races. We saw --
SCIUTTO: -- it last time around --
BUCK: No question.
SCIUTTO: -- with the Biden-Harris feud. So we'll be watching for what that moment is -- or moments -- this time. Rebecca Buck, thanks very much.
BUCK: Absolutely. Thanks, guys.
SCIUTTO: You can watch "THE DRAW FOR THE CNN DEMOCRATIC DEBATES" tonight, 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. And we'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [10:57:30] HARLOW: It is the latest viral trend -- I think I'm the only one who hasn't done it yet because I'm terrified of how I would --
SCIUTTO: I don't want to do it.
HARLOW: -- look. It is sweeping social media. The app that ages you. But there are some serious growing concerns about it. It's called the FaceApp. The DNC this morning is warning 2020 campaigns not to use it. Senator Chuck Schumer is calling on the FBI and the FTC to investigate it.
SCIUTTO: Question is how this is gathering data, and how that data will be used. CNN business reporter Donie O'Sullivan, he's been following this for some time.
So let's get at what the chief concern here is. Because facial recognition technology is used -- forces for good and forces for ill. Is that the key issue?
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: You know, I think despite all the concerns here in Washington, D.C. this morning, it is still the number-one downloaded app on the U.S. Apple app store.
O'SULLIVAN: I think there's a few different concerns here. One, being the terms and conditions, which people have now been sort of reading over. And truthfully, you know, I mean, there are many apps out there that have terms and conditions, the fine print, which nobody normally reads. When you read it, that it's just as sort of scary- sounding as this.
I think the concern from Schumer and the DNC particularly, who of course were attacked by Russian hackers in 2016, is that this is a Russian company. And that a Russian company who is operating in Russia could be, you know, easier compelled to hand over data to the Russian government.
O'SULLIVAN: -- the company says the no data is transferred to Russia. But obviously, the DNC, saying here --
O'SULLIVAN: -- to be cautious.
HARLOW: Donie, can I ask you a question? Is the way that this app, do you have to pay for it? Because I'm just thinking about the bigger issue of facial recognition technology and all of the data that this company is getting by everyone that submits their face, and that that goes into a database, and then it makes, you know --
SCIUTTO: To be sold (ph), yes.
HARLOW: -- machine learning more intelligent, A.I. more intelligent. That's valuable. Basically, you're their payment?
O'SULLIVAN: Exactly. And for most users who've downloaded the app, the app is free to download. You can get most of the filters, the most popular one to make people appear older than they are, that is free. There are some premium services. But you're right. If an app is free, you are the product.
HARLOW: Yes. Yes. You're the product. So think about, how do you feel about facial recognition technology? Before you do this.
SCIUTTO: And what's your confidence --
HARLOW: By a Russian company.
SCIUTTO: What's your confidence that the company -- because U.S. companies have broken promises on sharing private information. This is a Russian company. Donie O'Sullivan, thanks for covering it.
HARLOW: OK. Thank you.
[11:00:02] Thanks to all of you for joining us. I'm Poppy Harlow.
SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto. "AT THIS HOUR WITH KATE BOLDUAN" starts right now.