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Trump: No Human Being Would Want To Live In Cummings' District; Candidates Prep For CNN Democratic Presidential Debates Tuesday And Wednesday Nights 8 P.M. ET Live From Detroit; Mueller Warns Russia Attacking U.S. As We Sit Here. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 27, 2019 - 19:00   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. The President of the United States for some reason decided today to focus on a major American city to insult, denigrate and disparage.

He took to Twitter of course and started in on the city of Baltimore, calling it filthy and dangerous, running down the entire 7th district of Maryland and the long serving Congressman who represents it.

This from the President today in a tirade against Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, ripping his district as "a disgusting rat and rodent infested mess." If he spent more time in Baltimore he writes, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous and filthy place.

The President went on to say no human being would want to live there. Congressman Cummings in response writing directly to the President, "I go home to my district daily. Each morning I wake up and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the executive branch but it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents."

People who know Cummings, people who hail from and love the city of Baltimore rallying in support today. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tweeted this, "Representative Cummings is a champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice. A beloved leader in Baltimore and deeply valued colleague. We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership."

We go straight to the White House now and CNN Correspondent, Boris Sanchez. Boris, any clue from the White House since this morning as to why the President chose to insult the city of Baltimore with such venom?

BORIS SANCHEZ, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Ana, it appears to be a combination of things, the President apparently unhappy over the way that Representative Cummings grilled DHS officials over the issue of immigration during congressional testimony earlier this week.

And we should point out just about in the hour before the President sent out these tweets there was a segment on Fox news about West Baltimore in which a Fox news commentator questioned conditions in Congressman Cummings district, comparing them unfavorably to conditions at the southern border.

Aside from questions about race baiting or decorum, we have to point out the President's tweets are simply misinformed and the district that Cummings represents is actually one of the most well educated and most affluent, predominantly African-American districts in the country.

Here's the Mayor of Baltimore, Jack Young, sharing how he feels about the President's attacks.


MAYOR BERNARD YOUNG (D), BALTIMORE: I guess everybody in the 7th district will be insulted including me. I mean, - you go through the 7th congressional district, see all the developments we have done and we're still working to rebuild some of the areas that need the help the most.

So for him to say that was an insult to me as a resident who lived in the 7th congressional district. It was a total insult.

REPORTER: Mayor, some people are saying it's better just to ignore this.

YOUNG: We're not going to ignore anyone degrading our city and its elected leadership. No one.

REPORTER: --fuel to the fire--

YOUNG: I don't consider it fueling the fire. I look at it as defending Baltimore city, the city where I live.


SANCHEZ: President Trump as we've come to expect at this point digging in further. He sent this tweet out not long ago. The President writing, "Elijah Cummings spends all of his time trying to hurt innocent people through oversight. He does nothing for his very poor, very dangerous and very badly run district." Take a look and then he hash tags it, #BlacksforTrump2020.

The President in campaign mode there. He may need some help, trying to court the African -American vote though Ana, remember he only got 8 percent of it back in 2016.

CABRERA: All right, Boris Sanchez at the White House, thank you. Many people who called Baltimore home are understandably shocked and appalled at the President's choice of words to describe the major American city.

One of those people is my colleague right here at CNN, Victor Blackwell and I can never tell you how hurtful, how tasteless or how wrong the President's attack is as well as Victor did earlier today.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: This morning the President attacked another member of Congress on Twitter. This time it's House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings. He wrote this, "Cummings district is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous and filthy place. No human being would want to live there."

Infested, that's usually reserved for references to rodents and insects but we've seen the President invoke infestation to criticize lawmakers before. You see a pattern here. Just two weeks ago, President Trump attacked four minority Congresswomen.

Why don't they go back to their totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.

[19:05:00] Reminder, three of them were born here. All of them are American. Infested, he says. A week before his inauguration, January 2017, Congressman John Lewis has spent more time on fixing and helping his district which is in horrible shape and falling apart, not to mention crime infested.

Donald Trump is tweeted more than 43,000 times. He's insulted thousands of people. Many different types of people. But when he tweets about infestation, it's about black and brown people. September 2014, at the height of an urgent health emergency, "Why are we sending thousands of ill-trained soldiers into Ebola infested areas of Africa. Bring the plague back to the U.S.? Obama is so stupid." Infested he says.

"There's a revolution going on in California. So many sanctuary areas want out of this ridiculous, crime infested and breeding concept." Infested he says. The President says about Congressman Cummings district that no human would want to live there.

You know who did Mr. President? I did. From the day I was brought home from the hospital to the day I left for college and a lot of people I care about still do. There are challenges, no doubt. But people are proud of their community. I don't want to sound self-righteous but people get up and go to work there.

They care for their families there. They love their children who pledge allegiance to the flag just like people who live in districts of congressman who support you, Sir. They are Americans too. We'll be right back.


CABRERA: Nick Mosby is a Democratic Maryland delegate. His district covers parts of Baltimore and he's a former city councilman there. Thanks so much for being with me, Nick. The White House sits less than 50 miles from Congressman Cummings Baltimore office.

If President Trump came to that district, what would he see?

NICK MOSBY (D) FORMER BALTIMORE CITY COUNCILMAN: Well, I mean I think it's really interesting again, President not knowing anything that he's talking about. The seventh district constitutes much more than just the part of West Baltimore that he's trying to reference.

It's one of the wealthiest areas in this entire country in certain parts and one of the most educated areas in this entire country in certain parts and Congressman Cummings has done an absolutely amazing job. If President Trump ever decided to step foot in any part of West Baltimore, he would see hard working Americans who wake up every single day, who try to prepare their kids to become the best Americans.

Who go to work, who own small businesses, who are the bedrock of what we see in communities all throughout this country and for him to try to disparage and insult overwhelmingly majority part of the state of Maryland and city of Baltimore is just completely unacceptable.

And that's why I think you saw many folks in Baltimore city speak out against President Trump earlier today.

CABRERA: Speaker Pelosi calls the President's comments racist. What would you call them?

MOSBY: Racist. I mean, I think that you know since he's taken office, either he teethed the line of being racist or he has been racist. I mean you look in the past two weeks, he's told women of Congress, color women of Congress to go back to where they're from if they didn't want to be here.

He's you know, constantly double down on policy that stripping away family members and immigrant population and today to call out a major American city, I mean the birthplace of the star spangled banner with the type of derogatory terms and the type of hatred out of the Oval office is just completely unacceptable.

CABRERA: A top Republican in your state, Governor Larry Hogan condemned the President's tweets against the Congresswoman of color earlier this month. He called in terrible, very unbecoming of a President. We've not been able to reach Hogan today for comment. Have you heard anything from any of your Republican members there in Maryland criticizing these latest comments?

MOSBY: I have not but I think that this is a true opportunity for folks to collectively come together and put partisanship aside and say what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong and for a person who's taking the oath of protecting and serving Americans who's supposed to be moving out of country in a new direction as he continues to tout, to have hatred and to have a derogatory terms in the way that he's used them is just completely unconscionable.

So you know, I know that there have been folks in the state of Maryland that have asked our governor to denounce this.

[19:10:00] But this is an opportunity for us to collectively come together and say, this is just unacceptable. I mean the world is watching.

CABRERA: Are you surprised the Governor hasn't just spoken out on this yet?

MOSBY: I'm surprised everyone hasn't spoken out yet about this. I mean as soon as you hear the words coming out his mouth of comparing a major American city, talking about rats, rodents and infestation, talking about folks who need to leave the city and no one should be there and all the hatred that he spilled out on Twitter like he normally does.

I'm surprised that just at a quick glance any third grader reading that would know that that's inappropriate for somebody who's supposed to be sitting in the title of leader.

CABRERA: I want to share something that former President Obama tweeted out today praising nearly 150 African-Americans who served in his administration. They had recently written an opinion piece yesterday slamming President Trump's call for the four Congresswoman to go back and here's what the Obama veterans wrote in part.

"We've heard this before. Black and brown people in America don't hear these chance in a vacuum for many of us, we've felt their full force being shouted in our faces, whispered behind our backs, scrawled across lockers or hurled at us online."

Now President Obama said he was proud of his alums for standing up to President Trump, President Trump but Mr. Obama's not directly challenged President Trump about either case. Should he?

MOSBY: I think it's very concerning. I mean - I mean look, we're sitting here in an interesting time of America where we all need to take a step back. I mean the level of divisive rhetoric that's coming out on the division. The increase of hate crimes all throughout different sectors of America.

This is very troubling times and we need a leader, we need a President who's going to bring us together, who's going to talk about moving and pushing us forward. When he said those derogatory terms about the city of Baltimore, he was talking about black and brown people, intentionally talking about them and comparing them to living with rats and rodents.

It's just unacceptable. We need leadership and unfortunately, our President has not shown that since day one of taking office.

CABRERA: Nick Mosby, I really appreciate you taking the time, thank you.

MOSBY: Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up ready to rumble as we count down to the CNN debates, we take you behind the scenes to see what it takes to stand out and gain ground in a crowded 2020 field plus massive manhunt right now for two teenagers suspected of killing three people in Canada while investigators say good Samaritans may have inadvertently helped them get away.

And the strip under siege. What's behind a massive swarm of grasshoppers in Las Vegas?


[19:15:00] CABRERA: We're just three nights away now from the first of two CNN Democratic Presidential debates and the candidates will no doubt spend time this weekend, practicing and preparing for what could be a make or break showdown for some of them at least.

CNN Chief Political Analyst, Gloria Borger shows us that when it comes to these debates, preparation is everything.


GLORIA BORGER, CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: At this kick off rally, California Congressman Eric Swalwell was center stage. But at the first primary debate, he was nearly off the stage.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Walking out is - that is really intimidating. You're just pointing to people. I don't know if I know you're not but you know I'm pointing, I'm waving and you feel like you're just like completely you know, vulnerable and just everyone's looking at you.

BORGER: That debate would be his last.

SWALWELL: Today ends our Presidential campaign.

Our polling, it just stayed flat, it didn't - didn't go anywhere.

BORGER: Remaining at less than 1 percent and as the field lines up for the two CNN debates, the pressure is really on because in the fall, securing podium spots will be twice as hard. So Detroit could be the end of the trail.

BOBBY MOOK, 2016 HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Maybe 12-13 of these candidates, there's not going to be another shot after this. To some extent not qualifying for the next debate is a death sentence.

STUART STEVENS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There's a lot of ways to screw up a debate. What is essential is to think about what can I do so that there won't be a total disaster here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: McCain attack phrases. Bradley attack phrases.

BORGER: Stuart Stevens has prepped Republican candidates from George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to Mitt Romney.

STEVENS: Ideally before a debate, you look at your polling and you'd say who do I need to talk? You would never make an ad that just says well, I don't know. I'm not sure it's going to apply to it, be like shooting a shotgun in the air and hoping ducks fly by.

MOOK: What really drives coverage in these debates is friction. It is taking someone on.

BORGER: As Kamala Harris did attacking Joe Biden's record on busing. SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There was a little

girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.

STEVENS: She's won when she says that because she's defined herself. And she got her bio and you like that person and you're polling.

BORGER: So it didn't seem contrived?

STEVENS: There's a difference between prepared and being contrived. I think prepared is she thought about it. She's comfortable talking about race and it shows.

BORGER: Biden was uncomfortable being challenged in that way and that showed too.

STEVENS: I mean you're President of United States or you're Vice President, you walk into a room, people usually applaud. And you're not used to having somebody get in your face.

BORGER: If you were advising Joe Biden right now, what would you tell him to do?

MOOK: Be on offense.

BORGER: Offense.

MOOK: Be on offense. You are there to win votes. You're not there to defend your lead.

BORGER: That's fine if you're Biden or if you're Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders fighting over many of the same voters. But if you're not a name brand candidate, breaking out can be hard to do.

[19:20:00] STEVENS: And there's other alternatives out there that are acceptable. There's always this question like why are you on the shelf. I mean, do we really need like 8 variations of barbeque potato chips?

SWALWELL: When you're speaking, you just like feel the glare of the moderators, looking at you like you're not the top tier person. Stop speaking.

BORGER: What are you doing here?

SWALWELL: Yes, yes and like you can just like feel you know, that.

BORGER: So you had like 5 minutes.

SWALWELL: 4 minutes and 45 seconds.

BORGER: But who's counting?


BORGER: But who's counting? What can you do really in that amount of time?

SWALWELL: Have a moment that gets replayed.

If we're going to solve the issues of climate chaos, pass the torch. If we're going to solve the issue of student loan debt, pass the torch. If we're going to end gun violence for families who are fearful of sending the kids to school, pass the torch.

BORGER: Do you think you got a little too torchy there?

SWALWELL: Again, you know, I thought all of these issues as someone who has worked on you know gun violence and student loan debt that many of them are generational.

BORGER: Did it look a little contrived though? Too many torches.

SWALWELL: Yes maybe, I could have done, you know one fewer torch.

BORGER: In these debates, preparation can be everything.

MOOK: You can't do it for 5 minutes here and there. They're getting a lifeline. It's them, it's the camera, the audience.

BORGER: No phone a friend.

MOOK: And the opponents. There's no phone a friend and they're going to sink or swim and that's where you know, this is an important test in the process.

BORGER: And after all that studying and all those rehearsals, how does it feel backstage when your candidate goes off script.

MOOK: It's a very special feeling when you're standing at you know, you're standing there watching the television and you're thinking, why are they doing, that is not what we said, right? On the other hand I will say as a campaign manager, there is no way for you to know what it is like.

BORGER: Public failure is never easy but with 20 candidates, it's more than likely.

STEVENS: You have to being willing first of all, to admit that you're probably going to lose. And be willing to lose some and stand for something. You can try too hard running for President and it will always come back and bite you.

BORGER: So it's a fine line for every candidate on stage, impress but don't look like you're trying too hard. You know Ana, just be yourself.


CABRERA: Joining us now Democratic strategist and debate coach Bob Barnett. He's worked on 10 national Presidential campaigns and has advised more prominent politicians than I have time to name here but I will tell you he worked with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008.

Bob, good to have you with us. I'm curious who were you representing the night of January 5 2008, do you remember?

ROBERT BARNETT, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: January 5, 2008, I think we were in the middle of prep for the primary debates.

CABRERA: Yes, it was between Clinton and Obama, that debate.

BARNETT: Yes, that night I was with Hillary. I was with Hillary all through primaries and then after Hillary dropped out, I helped President - then Senator, soon President Obama with his general election debates.

CABRERA: Well, here's why I ask on that date specifically because we saw one of the most famous or infamous skirmishes of the 2008 Presidential campaign that night. Let's listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What can you say to the voters of New Hampshire on the stage tonight who see your resume and like it but are hesitating on the likeability issue where they seem to like Barack Obama more?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, Senator. I'm sorry.

CLINTON: But I'll try to go on. He's very likeable. I agree with that. I don't think I'm that bad.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: You're likable enough, Hillary, no doubt about that.

CLINTON: Thank you.


CABRERA: Likeable enough. Obama actually - he for that - you remember that?

BARNETT: Oh, I remember it well. I remember it well. Her answer to the let us say difficult question, I thought was very good and he had to come back but some of that comeback, he got some criticism for it so you have to be careful.

CABRERA: Exactly so as a coach, what kind of tone do you advise candidates to strive for?

BARNETT: It depends on the candidate. It depends on the circumstance. It depends on the place you are and the election cycle. Right now, we're going to see some interesting matchups. I think we're going to see an interesting matchup on Tuesday with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. I think we're going to see an interesting matchup on Wednesday with

Cory Booker and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. I think that it will also be fascinating to see what the column lesser-knowns do because this could be the ninth inning for many of them.

So each one as they work with their advisors will have to define what's in their best interest tone wise and strategic-wise.

CABRERA: How do you expect this set of debates to differ from the first round because in both the debates. Obviously, we have as many candidates as we have this time around.

[19:25:00] Ten on the first night, ten on the second night. It'll be a round 2 of just that.

BARNETT: I guess I would make a couple of points. First, with respect as I mentioned to some of the lesser-knowns, it's the ninth inning. And with the criteria increasing for the next set of debates in September.

What do I mean by that? You've got to be two percent in four polls and you've got to have a lot more individual voters in those 20 states. So for a lot of these people, six to eight, maybe even 10 of them, this is their last chance because the criteria will be far more difficult to achieve.

With respect to the front runners, I think it's going to be interesting to see what each of them decides with respect to what's the most advantageous strategy for them. Let me give you some examples. With respect to Warren and Sanders, I think that it's fair to say that Elizabeth Warren has had a steady increase in her numbers.

And I think it's fair to say that she was seen as having a very good night on the first night of last month's debates and I think it's fair to say that a lot of her rise is probably coming at the expense of Senator Sanders. So I think her strategy will probably be to keep on keeping on as they say.

With respect to Senator Sanders however, he's got to make a difficult decision. Does he go after her trying to stop the hemorrhaging, that is conceivably a mistake, why? Because I hate to say it but the dynamics of these debates is such that often a man going after a woman doesn't sell well.

But also Elizabeth Warren is really good and he will have met his match if he goes too aggressively against her because she'll be able to answer in kind if not better. So the dynamic will be very interesting on that night.

CABRERA: We heard that Joe Biden is going to have an aggressive stance in this debate compared to his first one. Do you think that will work in his favor?

BARNETT: Well, I'd say first that a lot of the pre-debate spin if you will, about people and what they're going to do is often set ups. I don't buy into that too much. It depends who the source is, whether they're really somebody in the campaign, whether they really know what the strategy is.

So I kind of discount a lot of that spin. I know that the cable networks love to talk about it and sometimes--

CABRERA: Well, let me ask you a follow then. What would be your advice to Vice President Biden as the front runner?

BARNETT: I think that he should do a couple of things. First, to the extent he can talk about the future rather than the past, that's a good thing. If he has to talk about the past, I think it's better to talk about the recent past meaning the Obama years than the Senate years for obvious reasons.

So I think what he should do finally, is take it to President Trump more than to his opponents if you can so I would see him as best served by talking about the future, looking forward, taking an approach that's forward oriented and I think if he does that, he's probably in good shape.

Now that said if someone comes after him, he's got to be ready. He's got to be sharp, he's got to answer. He's got to be aggressive and I'm sure since he has one of the best prep teams there is particularly Ron Klain and Anita Dunn, I'm pretty sure he'll be ready.

CABRERA: Let me ask you really quickly because I know, I'm being told we don't have much time but if you are one of the lesser knowns who are polling at one percent for example, you talked about this being so crucial for them, what would be your quick advice for them?

BARNETT: I think that desperation is a bad thing and to the extent you try to score points on somebody or say something that's going to go viral, you're probably not going to succeed. I think sadly for a lot of these people, it's probably over after Tuesday and Wednesday night.

So what they should do is leave - maybe not leave in the best way they can with the most dignity they can. If they haven't introduced themselves, do so. If they've got a point to make on why they are the best choice, do so and remember a lot of the lesser knowns are running for Vice President, hate to tell you.

But that's in their minds too.

CABRERA: Interesting. Bob Barnett, I look forward to continuing the debate conversations as we weave our way through the Democratic nominating process. Thank you so much for being here.

Be sure to watch this coming Tuesday and Wednesday night. CNN Democratic Presidential debates. Ten candidates, each night, starting at 8 ET only on CNN. I'll be right back.


CABRERA: Some good news. Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz has been released from a Boston hospital. This comes more than a month after a gunman shot Ortiz in the back in the Dominican Republic. Surveillance cameras captured the moment when Ortiz was shot as he was

sitting at a crowded patio bar. Police have now arrested a handful of people in this case. They say they're still searching for others. Authorities say Ortiz was not the intended target. And an update on his condition is expected early next week.

Turning to Canada where a massive manhunt for two teens suspected of killing three people is continuing. Police are now going door to door in rural north Manitoba after the pair were spotted there. Authorities also believe they may have changed their appearance.

Officials initially thought the teens were missing after their car was found burning on the side of a highway in British Columbia but now investigators say they are the prime suspects in three murders and should be considered armed and dangerous. CNN Correspondent, Polo Sandoval is following all the details for us.

[19:35:00] Polo, where does this manhunt stand?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, put yourself in the position of some of the residents of Gillam, Manitoba for a second. They have been dealing with this already for several days now. They have been witnessing police now essentially going door to door in their search for these two gunmen, speaking to the deputy Mayor of that small community, they say that many of the residents there are certainly living in fear.

But they're also struggling with a really high level of uncertainty, not knowing whether or not these two suspected killers are still in their community so what investigators are doing, they are releasing this surveillance video that we're told was shot on Sunday at a business in Meadow lake, Saskatchewan but it really gives people really a clearer view of these two men that are believed to have killed three people in British Columbia.

Then you also have the elements that these two could potentially be exposed to in and around the Manitoba areas as you're about to hear from my local resident. Mother nature can be quite unforgiving especially if you don't have the training or equipment to survive.

DENNIS CHAMPAGNE, GILLAM RESIDENT: It's nasty. I worked out there I did some diamond drilling there 25-30 years ago and you know, if the bears don't get them, the bugs will. They're going to be wet and cold now, probably little bit desperate if they're still alive.

SANDOVAL: And as police continue the door to door search this weekend, they also say that they are looking into the possibility that a resident in and around the Gillam area may have unknowingly assisted these two in some way, shape or form. Investigators not going beyond that.

But that's one of the main reasons why they're showing this video right now, hoping that someone, somewhere may be able to provide that crucial information on it that will eventually lead them to these two individuals, back to you. CABRERA: Polo Sandoval, thank you very much. Now I want to show you dramatic video taken off the southern coast of California. It shows the Coast Guard closing in on suspected drug smugglers as their high speed boat careens across the waves near San Diego with federal officers in hot pursuit.

The suspects can be seen tossing large bags overboard as they try to avoid being captured. In the end they were caught with agents seizing 2300 pounds of cocaine. That's for showing crazy video how about this. Las Vegas Strip under siege from massive swarms of grasshoppers.

Some folks are getting a little spooked about it.




CABRERA: As creepy as this may seem, experts say it is a common occurrence when there's been a wet winter or spring and this year Nevada has seen more rain than usual.

Yoo-hoo. Coming up, not made for TV, Mueller's testimony and what the reviews may reveal about the rise of a reality show culture in the U.S.



REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Some have argued that because Director Mueller was reluctant to testify and seemed older than some remembered him, his work is somehow diminished. It is not.

That is House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler defending Robert Mueller's testimony before Congress this week as further proof, the United States was attacked and remains under siege by a foreign power meddling in the U.S. election.

For President Trump, his main take away was quite a bit different.


DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I watched Mueller for 2.5 years, we've watched this. And that's the best they have and it's a disgrace and the world is laughing at him. And unfortunately it's so bad for our country.

It's bad in our relationships with other countries including Russia.


CABRERA: Joining us now, CNN Counterterrorism Analyst, Phil Mudd who previously worked under Robert Mueller at the FBI. Phil, the President says it is Robert Mueller's report that is hurting our relationship with other countries, specifically Russia. To that you say what?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: A pretty simple answer. That is if you talk to the Europeans, they've suffered the same threat to their electoral processes and electoral systems that we have. It's not just America and the President who's trying to defend his legacy when he lost the popular vote a few years ago.

It's not just America that's under threat. It's the countries in Europe are allies who've been our allies since World War II and before that are - that are under threat. I think the question is if you want America first, you have to sit there and say, how do we acknowledge that we have a threat in this country so we can express American leadership overseas and talk to our allies overseas and say we're with you in acknowledging how Vladimir Putin is a problem. Let's work collectively to determine how we defend it. It's not just us Ana. Everybody is facing a threat.

CABRERA: Right and it's not as Russia necessarily that's also threatening America--

MUDD: Yes, that's right.

CABRERA: Because as we've also heard this week from leaders and the intelligence community, it's China, it's Iran that are also picking up for where Russia left up but I want to replay what Mueller did say about Russian election interference, let's listen.


ROBERT MUELLER, SPECIAL COUNSEL, RUSSIA INVESTIGATION: I hope this is not the - the new normal but I fear it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you find evidence to suggest they'll try to do this again?

MUELLER: Oh, it wasn't a single attempt. They're doing it as we sit here. And they expect to do it during the next campaign.


CABRERA: Doing it as we sit here. Going into the next campaign and now thanks to a brand new report from the Senate Intelligence Committee, we now know the Russians likely targeted election systems in all 50 states between 2014 and 2017.

That's far more than had previously been disclosed. What worries you the most when you think of what Russia may have in store for 2020?

MUDD: I think people are viewing this too much as a national problem, that is the United States is under threat without looking at this through a lens that's local. Let me give you a simple scenario. You're in a district across America, your Congress person has opposed sanctions in favor of you name the country, Iran, China, North Korea, Russia.

[19:45:00] As we move down the road Ana, we talked about interference in the last election. This is going to get so sophisticated that a foreign adversary, in this case the Russians might say, the key congressman or congresswoman were worried about is in California, in New York.

Our program of interference is going to be so sophisticated that we're going to target 200,000 voters somewhere that they're - those voters are not even going to know it. I still think we haven't acknowledged the extent of what the problem will look like tomorrow. It's not just about America.

It's about individual districts that I think are going to be attacked.

CABRERA: That's interesting thought. You're right. I mean, who's talking about that. You are now so you're planting that something for all of us to think about. Given your work relationship with Robert Mueller previously, I do want to ask you about this criticism that Mueller didn't have command of his own material because of moments like this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it accurate to say your investigation found no evidence that members of the Trump campaign were involved in the theft or publication of the Clinton campaign related emails.

MUELLER: I don't know. I don't know. What they have - well--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On July 22 through WikiLeaks, thousands of these emails that were - that were stolen by the Russian government appeared. Correct? That's on page 6 of the report. This is the WikiLeaks posting of those.

MUELLER: I can't find it quickly but please continue.


CABRERA: Phil, you again, worked with Mueller. What did you see there?

MUDD: Let me be really clear on a Sunday - on a Saturday evening. Look, the report has two basic components. American citizens involved in the campaign were willing potentially to accept information about an adversary, Hillary Clinton from a foreign - from a foreign government. Inappropriate.

American citizens including the President tried to obstruct a campaign. The report says that. Let's take that aside. Robert Muller is the best I ever saw. I did 25 years. He was decorated at Vietnam, let's forget that. He was nominated by Republicans and a Democrat President Obama, let's forget that.

I saw integrity, I saw humor, I saw kindness, I saw a courtesy. I saw it in more than 2000 meetings. I'm going to tell Washington DC. There are 50 states but people in this town are obsessed with this. The man is an American hero. I never, never saw anybody better. Let him go.

He was the best ever Ana and this just pains me. He was the best. He issued a report that's clear, read the report, let the hero go. I love that man.

CABRERA: I hear you. I hear you Phil, but what we just saw, did you see something different than the critics?

MUDD: I'm not going to take the question. Read the report and I realize Americans won't, that's their problem. The report may have hundreds and hundreds of pages but it's not subtle.

We have an adversary that interfered with elections, the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Homeland Security department talked about it. The President refuses to accept that. We have interference in elections and people in that electoral process from one campaign chose to accept information from that campaign.

Unacceptable. We have instance after instance laid out in black and white where people in that campaign including the President said, why don't we attempt to remove the Special Counsel because we don't like the investigation. We call that obstruction.

If we want to have a conversation about how an American hero maybe didn't bring an A plus game after 50 years of service, count me out Ana. I'm not playing, I'm done.

CABRERA: Let me ask you then about something that we saw on the Atlantic this week. This theory that the negative reaction to Mueller's testimony is maybe proof that we've all internalized Trump's own reality show standards for what counts as significant political development.

And I'm quoting here, "all the world is trashy television and the President and his opposition are merely producers after three seasons Russia gate just got old and the critics got bored with it."

Phil, is the bigger worry that Trump doesn't seem to care or that the public is not demanding action because they've been conditioned to expect a certain level of entertainment in Trump's America.

MUDD: You know, I think it's the latter. Look, the President has his own personality issues in terms of how he accepts negative criticism. If you look at Presidents during my not too lengthy life, Presidents who are honorable, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, the Senior.

If you look at a present Obama, very honorable. President Carter who may not have been a perfect President but maybe the best ex-President in American history. If you had laid out this document during their administrations. If you had said their administration was involved in accepting that kind of administration, if you had said that President in the past was involved in trying to obstruct a federal investigation.


People like me would have sat back and said, is this a Sunday morning cartoon Or is this reality? I think the issue is that Americans are so divided that when they see something about somebody they support, whether it's Hillary Clinton or whether it's Donald Trump, that they refused to accept the fact.

That's not healthy and I don't think Republicans and Democrats would have accepted it earlier.

CABRERA: Phil Mudd, good to have you with us. Thanks Sir. We'll be right back.


CABRERA: On tomorrow's brand new episode of "THE MOVIES" we're taken back to the seventies when ground-breaking films paved the way for directors to have greater control.

[19:55:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAM WASSON, FILM HISTORIAN: Robert Altman had an unbelievable run in the seventies. He had Mash, California Split. He had the Long Goodbye, he had Nashville and McCabe and Mrs. Miller. In every movie he wants to capture a sense of spontaneity and simultaneity.

The sense of really being there.

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON, DIRECTOR, MAGNOLIA: When you first see McCabe and Mrs. Miller, you can smell that film. It's the steam and the piss and cooking and all the different things that were going on in this town. It's such a beautiful film and the absolute heartbreak and all of it.


JULIANNE MOORE, ACTOR: I think people underestimate the tremendous empathy that Altman had as a film maker. He loved people if they were flawed, if they were terrible, if they were wonderful. He celebrated real humanity.


CABRERA: A brand new episode of "THE MOVIES" airs tomorrow night at 9 right here on CNN. We're back in a moment.