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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Subpoenaed for Ukraine Documents; Trump's Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Named 31 Times By Trump- Zelensky Phone Call Whistleblower; New Report Suggests White House Limited Access to Trump's Calls with Putin and Saudi Prince. Aired 6- 7a ET

Aired September 28, 2019 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...unconcerned about Moscow's interference in the U. S. election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN has confirmed that Kurt Volker, President Trump's Ukraine diplomat has now suddenly resigned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House in crisis, we just learned the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has just been subpoenaed by three House committees.

MANU RAJU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Democrats say if they don't get this information from this subpoena or other subpoenas, it will only strengthen their case for impeachment.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: To impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president is blatantly extorting a foreign leader.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No push, no pressure, no nothing. It's all a hoax, folks. It's all a big hoax.


ANNOUNCER: This is "New Day Weekend" with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Well good morning to you. We're following major developments in the Ukraine and the scandal and impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Within just the past 13 hours Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been subpoenaed to turn over documents related to Ukraine and the whistleblower scandal and he's already missed two deadlines; his third and final chance to hand them over. Several House committee chairmen say it is his Friday.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: The special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, is out of a job. Three sources tell CNN he resigned late yesterday. The whistle-blower complaint says Volker advised Ukrainian officials regarding how to deal with President Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

BLACKWELL: Also "The Washington Post" is reporting that in 2017, President Trump told two Russian officials that he was not concerned about Russia's interference in the 2016 election because the U.S. quote, did the same thing in other countries.

PAUL: And if that isn't enough, CNN has leared the president's phone call with Ukraine's president may not have been the only one the White House wanted to keep quiet. Our sources say details of the president's conversations with other world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, were subject to tighter than normal restrictions in terms of those transcripts and where they would be revealed. Some of those transcripts, in fact, weren't even circulated to officials who typically have access to that kind of information. Senior White House correspondent Pamela Brown has more for us.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have learned the White House efforts to limit access to President Trump's conversations with foreign leaders extended to phone calls with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. This is according to several people familiar with the matter. Those calls, both with leaders who maintain controversial relationships with Trump, were among the presidential conversations that aides took remarkable steps to keep from becoming public.

In the case of Trump's call with Prince Mohammed, officials who ordinarily would have been given access to a rough transcript of the conversation never saw one according to one of the sources. Instead a transcript was never circulated at all, which the source said was highly unusual particularly after a high-profile conversation. The call which the person said contained no especially no especially sensitive national security secrets as the White House was confronting the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi which U.S. intelligence assessment said came at the hand of the Saudi government.

Now with Putin, access to the transcript about at least one of Trump's conversations was also tightly restricted according to a former Trump Administration official. It's not clear if aids took the additional step of placing the Saudi Arabia and Russia phone calls in that same highly-secured code word operated system that held that now infamous phone call with Ukraine's president and which helped spark the whistle-blower complaint made public this week. Though officials did confirm calls aside from the Ukraine conversation were placed there and those calls didn't also reach the threshold similar to the Ukraine conversation. But these attempts to conceal information about Trump's discussions with Prince Mohammad and Putin further illustrate the extraordinary efforts taken by Trump's aids to strictly limit the number of people with access to his conversations with foreign leaders.

I'm told this practice really went into place more than a year ago after their conversations leaked between the leaders of President Trump and Mexico as well as Australia. We should note the White House did not comment about the limiting of access to calls with the Russian and Saudi leaders.

Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.

BLACKWELL: Pamela, thank you. And now to those comments reported by "The Post," the "Washington post," reporting that President Trump told two Russian officials that he was not concerned about Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

PAUL: Yes, apparently the comments came during the president's infamous 2017 Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov then Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. "The Post" says President Trump told the two officials he wasn't concerned because the U.S. quote, did the same in other countries. One of the reporters who spoke - or who actually wrote that story spoke with CNN last night. Ss


SHANE HARRIS, INTELLIGENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT WITH "THE WASHINGTON POST": He was essentially asserting from his perspective that this wasn't a matter of grave concern because it's something equal to what he thinks the United States does to try to influence politics around the world, and these comments alarmed senior White House officials for a number of reasons.


One which was that they feared that Russia could perceives that the president was essentially saying you have a green light to do this in other countries or even perhaps again in the U.S. elections in the future. Steps were taken to then really lock down this memo and restrict it even more tightly than memos of leadership meetings and calls that had already been restricted in the White House because of press leaks. I think it's safe to say the people who heard this at the time; it struck them also as troubling because it seemed that the president was showing a certain kind of deference or kind of solicitousness to Russia. This was coming one day after he had fired the FBI director James Comey and the suspicions at that point publicly had been mounting that perhaps he had done that because he knew the FBI had been investigating his campaign in connection with Russia.


PAUL: We're going to get more on this with Nathan Hodge, CNN Moscow bureau chief. Nathan, good to see you this morning. How is Russia reacting to this?

NATHAN HODGE, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Christi, we haven't seen any response officially on the Russian side to the "Washington Post" story that came out last night but the reaction from the Kremlin to the scandal that's unfolding in Washington has been telling. Yesterday, Dmitry Peskov, that's President's Vladimir Putin's spokesman, said that he hoped that the White House would not be releasing transcripts of calls, for instance, between Russian president Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump.

These comments follow the release of a transcript of the call in July between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Trump. So certainly this is a matter of concern for the Russians, and it's also interesting to note this is part of a pattern of secrecy that we've seen on the part of President Trump when it comes to his conversations with Putin. We know for instance that President Trump took the notes from a translator following a meeting in 2017 with President Putin and instructed that translator not to discuss the content of that conversation that had happened. So certainly this is something that is being watched closely on the Russian side, Christi, but we're still waiting for further reactions to the news that's been emerged just overnight, Christi.

PAUL: But again the White House -- The Kremlin says that it hopes the White House doesn't release the calls between Putin and President Trump. How is this received by the people there in Russia because I think a lot of people here in the U.S. probably look at that and may wonder about the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

HODGE: Well, Christi, I can say that certainly from -- on the part of Russian officials and senior Russian politicians, there's been a fair amount of glee about what's happening in Washington. Just earlier today, Konstantin Kosachev, he's a senior Russian lawmaker put a statement out on Facebook basically taking a swipe at U.S. policy over Ukraine. The U.S. and Russia have been on opposite sides in the conflict that's going on there, and the news of the dismissal of -- I'm sorry - the news of the resignation of Kurt Volker, the administration's point person was greeted by Kosachev with basically a comment saying it was a disservice to Kiev, but this was a way of him taking a dig at United States policy on Ukraine where, again, Moscow and Washington have been on opposite sides, Christi.

PAUL: Definitely. Thank you so much. We appreciate it, Nathan Hodge. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Three House committees have subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and it's after he missed two deadlines to turn over documents on Ukraine. He has until Friday to produce those doscuments that will be part of the impeachment investigation. Let's go now to White House reporter, Sarah Westwood joining us from Washington. Sarah, good morning to you. What's the likelihood and indication that Secretary Pompeo will hand over those documents, and what are they looking for?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. And yes, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Intelligence Committee and the Oversight Committee, all three shave been looking for documents and testimony from state department officials for weeks now. Now, these committees, they want to depose several state department officials including the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, including the newly-resigned special envoy to Ukraine. They also want to see records related to that July 25th phone call, that now infamous phone call that President Trump had with Ukrainian President Zelensky, and they want to see documents related to the president's decisions.

CNN has reported it was roughly a week before that call to suspend military aid to Ukraine. They want know what officials were involved in that decision, who knew about the call. [06:10:00]

So these are all things that the state department could provide. Now these committees had reached out to the state department first all the way back on September 9th trying to get documents as you mentioned. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blew through two deadlines and now the chairman of these committees are saying that if the state department refuses to comply with this subpoena by the deadline, October 4th, that is Friday, they will consider that obstruction under their impeachment inquiry. So they're looking for depositions, looking for these documents, but if the past is precedent, the state department could continue to stonewall. That's been the pattern we've seen from this administration so far. Of course, this is one of the biggest new steps under the impeachment inquiry umbrella that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi really made official this week, Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about Kurt Volker, special envoy to Ukraine for the U.S. Nathan talked a bit about him. He's out; the first person to resign since the whistleblower's complaint became public. What role did he play in Ukraine and what do we know about the suggested or claimed cooperation with and by Rudy Giuliani?

WESTWOOD: Well Kurt Volker is really a key player here, Victor. He was mentioned in the whistleblower's complaint then he was the special envoy to Ukraine, and the whistle-blower accused Volcker of setting up a very important meeting between Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer at the center of all of this and top aide to Ukrainian President Zelensky, that's Andriy Yermak, that's the aid.

Now this meeting that took place - that took place in Madrid about a week after President Trump had that phone call with Zelensky, Giuliani met with Yermak in Madrid and the whistleblower described this as a followup to the president's July 25th phone call that's at the center of the whistleblower complaint. So that is something that obviously house democrats are interested in scrutinizing. It's Volcker's role to facilitating Giuliani's meddling in all of this. Volker was said to have done this to try to get the Biden issue that Giuliani was pursuing out of official talks with Ukraine so that is something that is going to get a lot of attention. Volker, Victor, is one of the people that these House democratic committees would like to see deposed before October 10.

BLACKWELL: Yes, so we've heard from the Foreign Affairs Committee that Volker will be questioned sometime next week. Sarah Westwood for us in Washington. Thank you.

PAUL: All right, let's talk about Ukraine, a bipartisan group of lawmakers are meeting with military and political leaders today. Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance in Kiev this morning.

BLACKWELL: Matthew, good morning to you. This trip was planned months ago. Is it about the military, an investment in European - eastern European countries. Has the nature of this visit changed considering the current climate? MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, yes, it has, in short answer to that because this was meant to be a trip to see how U.S. military assistance has been distributed, what impact it was having, that kind of thing, to make sure that the right equipment and the right training was being given in the right places. But actually it's become something very different because it's, of course, in the past several days emerged that military assistance to Ukraine by the United States was suspended for about 60 days by the Trump Administration, so now the focus of this cross-party delegation to Ukraine is more about, look, you know, what was the impact of that in terms of Ukraine's effort. Remember, Ukraine is fighting a conflict on its eastern flank with rebels who are backed by Russia. There's actually a hot war going on in eastern Ukraine with Russian-backed forces and pro-Russian rebels. They need U.S. military equipment, ammunition, and training, to make sure that war is prosecuted effectively, and, of course, it's one of the main reasons and sources of import, if you like, for the United States to Ukraine.

It's an important strategic partner. It's often cross party support for that war effort in the past and so, you know, it's a huge issue that that military aid was suspended. A huge issue for Ukraine, first of all, but also a huge issue for members of congress that thought the United States was doing everything it could to back up Ukraine in its battle against what's generally perceived to be an expansionist Russian government under Vladimir Putin. And so that's the new focus of this investigation into this delegation that's coming from congress, to see what impact that 60-day or so suspension of military aid from the U.S. is having on the ground.

BLACKWELL: Matthew Chance for us there in Kiev. Matthew, thank you.

PAUL: Thank you, Matthew.

Still to come, an administration official tells CNN, President Trump and NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre met at the White House last night. We have details of what they allegedly discussed.



PAUL: Well new developments this morning surrounding the Ukraine con controversy which has led to an impeachment investigation as you know. The scope of the inquiry has widened now to include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He was subpoenaed by three House committees over his failure to bring forth documents relating to Ukraine. We have CNN political commentator and host of the Podcast, "You Decide," Errol Louis. Errol, good to see you this morning.


PAUL: Good morning. Let's listen together here to the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee, what he said regarding Pompeo.

(BEGIN VIDEO) REP. ELIOT ENGEL, (D-NY) CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: A subpoena is the last thing you should do and we only did it because they turned a blind eye to whatever we asked for. We asked for information, we asked for documents, and we were stonewalled, not even so much as an answer. This administration...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just ignored you.

ENGEL: ...ignored us. This administration thinks that Congress doesn't have the right, you know the checks and balances we all learned when we were kids in grade school, this administration seems to feel that it doesn't apply to them.

PAUL: Representative Engle there, so Louis - Errol, what are congress's options if the stonewalling continues?

LOUIS: Well, to continue with the subpoenas by the way which could lead to court fights. By the way, Eliot Engel, the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee is Ukrainian-American. He's not going to let this to away. He's not going to sort of look the other way as Pompeo and Trump and the administration try to stonewall. I think the information is going to come out. We know that the Foreign Affairs Committee is one of the committees that Nancy Pelosi has enlisted in what is broadly being termed an impeachment inquiry, and so Eliot Engel has probably more of a legal leg to stand on than he might otherwise have in demanding the information from the state department.

PAUL: What's at stake for Pompeo at this point? He's missed two deadlines. If he misses another one, what is at stake for him? How far is he willing to go essentially for President Trump?


LOUIS: Well I mean look, we'll find out for one thing. It's interesting, Christi. There seems to be a possibility at least. We'll know as the days sort of reveal what we can find out. But I think it's entirely possible that this is not just sort of Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani freelancing foreign affairs. As Rudy Giuliani has often strongly suggested, the state department was part of whatever was going on as well. It's not as if there were rogue operators operating completely outside the purview of the state department. It's entirely possible that the Secretary of State Pompeo is part of whatever was going on there as well.

PAUL: I want to get to what the "Washington Post" is reporting this morning. President Trump told two top Russian officials, Foreign Minister Kislyak and of course, former ambassador that he was unconcerned about Moscow's interference in 2016. So when people hear that, I think the first question is how am I as a U.S. voter going to be confident going to the polls in 2020?

LOUIS: Yes, it's really alarming, Christi. It's at least consistent, I have to say. We've been asking ourselves for the last couple of years, gee, how is it that the president who likes to insult everybody from reality stars to singers to members of Congress somehow never has a bad word to say about Moscow. I guess in private he's exactly the same way. He has nothing bad to say about them, and it is a source of alarm. One other thing, one reason I think you're going to see and that we're starting to see so many members of congress, mostly democrats but increasingly I think republicans are going to come along as well, one reason that they're so concerned is they rise and fall on fair elections as well. This hits pretty close to home for a lot of Americans including members of Congress if the president is utterly unconcerned about foreign interference -- pervasive foreign interference in our elections.

PAUL: Before I let you go I want to ask you about Pamela Brown's reporting this morning. The White House restricted access to President Trump's calls with Saudi Crown Prince and Putin as well. This wasn't just a Ukrainian call anymore that we've learned. To that point, how does the White House explain this? They say it's because of leaks. There have been more leaks in this. You and I talked about this many, many months ago, the extraordinary amount of leaks coming out of this, but how do they explain transparency as the president has vowed to give the U.S. public if they're moving some of these conversations?

LOUIS: They're going into an embattled mode in which they're going to talk about things like the deep state, so-called that there are spies within the administration, that there's enemies, that there's political bias. It's going to be a very small group of people who are close to the president who's going to say everybody else is against them, and it will be up to the American people to weigh in whether or not that's plausible or whether which I think is more likely. There are people out there who are patriots, who are long-time public servants who are alarm and have been alarmed from day one about the way this president behaves..

PAUL: Errol Louis, always appreciate your insight, Sir. Thank you for getting up early on a Saturday for us.

LOUIS: Thank you Christi.

PAUL: Sure.

BLACKWELL: The president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, let's talk about him. He says he's done nothing wrong despite being named dozens of times in the whistleblower's complaint. When we come back, how he's fighting allegations he helped orchestrate a political hit job on the president's potential political opponent.



PAUL: Several major headlines we're following for you this morning, good morning to you. First of all CNN has learned White House aids took remarkable steps to restrict access to President Trump's phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

BLACKWELL: "The Washington Post" is reporting that the president told two Russian officials that he was not concerned about Russia's interference in the 2016 election. CNN also learned from multiple sources that U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine, he has resigned and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been subpoenaed after failing to turn over documents related to Ukraine. Let's discuss this with Michael Moore, former U.S. attorney. Michael, good morning to you.

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Good morning. Good morning.

BLACKWELL: Let's start with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We've seen the White House defy subpoenas before but that was outside of the context of an impeachment inquiry.

MOORE: Sure.

BLACKWELL: What's the potency of any executive privilege now that we're in this new climate of this House impeachment investigation?

MOORE: The law is not really going to help the administration in this one. There's a case that dates back to the Nixon time which essentially allows the executive privilege to be used very sparingly, and generally it's if the investigation or the criminal case in some instances or the impeachment inquiry will take precedence over any claim of executive privilege so I really think at some point that's going to go by the wayside. We're going to finally get to the fact. But one thing that needs to happen too are the people in Congress need to enforce it. And, you know, we had a little bit of a silly episode the other day when you had Corey Lewandowski claiming executive privilege for somebody who was never even the president and that seemed to go over. I mean what might need to happen is we ought to have the sergeant at arms come into the chamber and say well we'll let you sit down stairs in the holding cell until you decide that the privilege...

BLACKWELL: Do you think that's realistic?

MOORE: Well you know at some point they've got to move forward and this idea that we're going to get lost in the morass of the court system and try to enforce things, I think as we move forward you're likely to see a little bit heavier hand as this investigation goes forward. I mean we're talking about things involving national security. We're talking about whether or not we've had a foreign power called in to essentially investigate or perhaps persecute a political enemy of the president and these are serious things.


MOORE: And we're not talking about payments to strippers.


BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about Department of Justice. CNN learned from sources that the Justice Department lawyers were first alerted to this complaint more than a week before the formal --

MOORE: Yes --

BLACKWELL: Criminal referral went over mid-August instead of late August. The Justice Department says that Attorney General Barr did not get many of the details of this. You're a former U.S. attorney --

MOORE: Sure --

BLACKWELL: Is that realistic?

MOORE: I find that almost hard to believe in sort of the fast quiddity, I think. It's been pretty clear to me that when the rubbers met the road, that Barr stepped in and done some things to support the administration's position. And I think probably the move to have the department intervene at this point, and to make this decision is telling in and of itself.

And it may, you know, at the end of the day been just part of the cover-up. I mean, we've seen the information from the phone call be moved into a secret server. We've seen things go and whether or not we can have a claim of privilege, whether or not the department was going to let certain information out.

At the end of the day, a lot of times, remember what gets people in these things is the cover-up and not the crime itself.

BLACKWELL: So, Rudy Giuliani --

MOORE: Yes --

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about him. He told CNN yesterday that he would not testify if the president doesn't want him to testify. There's also this "Atlantic" article late this week published in which he said, quote, "I'm not acting as a lawyer. I'm acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government." Considering that assertion, what are his attorney-client privilege protections?

MOORE: Well, if he's not the lawyer, he didn't have -- he can't reclaim attorney-client privilege. But what we -- what he can do is let us look at his billing records, let us look at his time records, and we can tell you know, who has directed him.

And we can find out if in fact he's a personal lawyer for the president, then in fact, that will show that he's been compensated by the president if he's been asked to do something as a patriot by the State Department, then we'll see that too.

And so, I don't think we'll ever get to that point, and you know, in all fairness, sometimes his position changes from hour-to-hour depending on which station he may be giving an interview to --


MOORE: That being Giuliani. So, we don't know exactly what his capacity is. What seems pretty clear is that what he was doing was improper to be kind.

BLACKWELL: Yes, on one night he reveals his -- as he claims, text messages with the U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. And the next day, Volker also tell us -- MOORE: All right --

BLACKWELL: He resigns. Lots of legal questions, Michael Moore, thanks for helping us understand some --

MOORE: Glad to be with you, thanks.

CHRISTI PAUL, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY SATURDAY: And let's talk about that, more about Rudy Giuliani because he's fighting back, he says that he had actually the State Department's blessing to reach out to Ukraine. CNN's Tom Foreman has more for us from Washington.


RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY TO DONALD TRUMP: Let me tell you the facts, they called me --

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rudy Giuliani is fighting back.

GIULIANI: Well, I wasn't operating on my own.

FOREMAN: Insisting his talks with Ukrainian officials were proper, important and encouraged by the U.S. State Department.

GIULIANI: In fact, I'm a legitimate whistleblower.

FOREMAN: So, why is President Trump's personal lawyer so worked up? It comes in the wake of news about the now infamous call between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky. In that call, Giuliani's name comes up repeatedly as Trump asks for foreign help investigating Democrat Joe Biden.

Rudy very much knows what's happening, Trump says, if you could speak to him, that would be great. That has raised accusations Giuliani was acting as an improper agent of the State Department, arranging a political hit job from afar in the name of official business. Giuliani says no way, he was helping investigate corruption, and he says, he has a paper trail that proves it including this text message from a State Department official arranging a meeting.

GIULIANI: I went to meet Mr. Zelensky's aide at the request of the State Department, 15 memos to make that clear.

FOREMAN: The State Department says Mr. Giuliani is a private citizen and acts in a personal capacity as a lawyer for President Trump. He does not speak on behalf of the U.S. government, but he has spoken for Mr. Trump many times.

GIULIANI: What you just said is totally erroneous. It's not a crime.

FOREMAN: Attacking his foes, dismissing his critics.

GIULIANI: It depends on where it came from. It didn't obstruct.

FOREMAN: The president calls him a loyal ally. DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rudy is a very straight

tutor --

FOREMAN: His critics call him something else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is the political henchman for the president.

FOREMAN: And Giuliani is clearly hedging his bets against another potential title he could be saddled with if the Ukraine affair gets much messier for a guy.

(on camera): Giuliani is pledging to defend himself as vigorously as he has defended Donald Trump. The only question is, will the president stand by him as strongly if the going gets tough. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


BLACKWELL: An ex-police officer charged with killing a 26-year-old man in his apartment testifies in court about why she pulled the trigger. You'll hear it in her own words when we come back.



BLACKWELL: More witnesses will be called today, yes, Saturday, in the trial of a former Dallas police officer accused of killing a man in his own apartment.

PAUL: Amber Guyger is that officer and she broke down on the witness stand yesterday as she told the court that she believed she'd entered her own apartment the night she killed Botham Jean. CNN's Ed Lavandera walks us through this.


AMBER GUYGER, ACCUSED OF KILLING BOTHAM JEAN: I had my gun pointed, and I was saying, let me see your hands, let me see your hands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were you focused on?


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger tearfully detailed the confrontation that ended Botham Jean's life. The 26-year-old accountant was alone in his apartment when Guyger pushed the door open thinking that was her apartment. She says Jean shouted back and then it all ended in a few seconds.


GUYGER: That's it, at that point, whatever, I shot Botham.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somewhere in this area? GUYGER: Yes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you shot, what happened?

GUYGER: He fell down.

LAVANDERA: Guyger says that she walked through the door, carrying her police gear on her left arm, she opened the door and heard loud shuffling and moving inside.

GUYGER: Whenever I fully opened the door, it was -- I saw this silhouette figure standing in the back in the apartment by the window.

LAVANDERA: Her lawyer then pulled the gun used in the shooting out of an envelope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amber, when you pulled your weapon and you fired, why did you fire?

GUYGER: I was scared. Whoever was inside of my apartment was going to kill me, and I'm sorry. I have to live with that every single day.

LAVANDERA: Prosecutors hammered Guyger for appearing more interested in her own well-being than saving Botham Jean's life, focusing on video showing Guyger talking to fellow officers who arrived at the scene and texting her police partner who she had been exchanging sexually explicit texts messages with earlier in the evening.

GUYGER: I was in the room with him, and that's the scariest thing even prevention -- I just wanted help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you imagine Mr. Jean's perspective, an intruder barging into his apartment, somebody on the other side of that door being you going in with a purpose of firing the threat and taking care of it? Can't you imagine that being a little bit scarier than you just being alone at the moment?

GUYGER: Yes, sir, I can.

LAVANDERA: Prosecutors also question why Guyger didn't just retreat and call for help when she heard someone behind the door, thinking it was her own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could have taken a position of cover and concealment, you could have called for help on your radio, and you could have had the Cavalry there in two minutes.

GUYGER: I could have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And had you done any one of those things, Mr. Jean would probably be alive today, right?

GUYGER: Yes, sir.

LAVANDERA: Tension filled the court room, this was the first time the public heard Guyger talking about the shooting.

GUYGER: I feel like a horrible person. I feel like a piece of crap. I hate -- I hate that every -- I hate that I have to live with this every single moment, and I asked God for forgiveness. I hate myself every single day. I don't kind of deserve a chance to be with my family and friends. I wish he was the one with the gun that killed me.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Amber Guyger said she heard someone inside the apartment as she opened the door, and as she saw the silhouette come toward her, she felt, quote, "pure fear". But prosecutors pointed out that in her 911 call, Amber Guyger mentioned repeatedly that she had entered the wrong apartment. But she never mentioned that Botham Jean was coming towards her or that she felt threatened. Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.


PAUL: All right, still ahead, an insider's take, yes, an insider's take on the Ukraine call controversy.

BLACKWELL: I'll speak with someone who has manned the situation room at the White House and listened in on calls between world leaders. We'll hear his take.



BLACKWELL: Thirteen minutes to the top of the hour now. Sources tell CNN that the White House took steps to limit access to the president's calls with world leaders including his conversations with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Officials said the practice started more than a year ago after embarrassing leaks about the president's phone calls with the leaders of Australia and Mexico. Those efforts to limit access are now under scrutiny after the Intelligence whistleblower alerts the White House officials took unusual steps to conceal the president's call with Ukraine's new president.

Joining me now, Larry Pfeiffer; former director of the White House Situation Room. Larry, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So, this new information that the White House officials took steps to conceal to limit access to the conversations with Putin and with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, specifically the MBS call that people who would typically get access to that call which had no national security secrets in it that was tightened, how rare is that?

PFEIFFER: It's rare. It's not -- it's not a never situation in the past. We have to remember presidential phone calls are an incredible tool of American foreign policy when a president speaks with a foreign leader, he can establish good relations that can then grease the wheels of our foreign policy and help move things forward.

It can also be used at times to, you know, admonish a foreign leader for some -- for some bad activity. So, there are going to be times when the phone conversation has some sensitive material that needs to be protected, and it happened during my time in the Obama administration where some phone conversations were handled in a more sensitive manner.

BLACKWELL: Yes, your job was to protect some of these sensitive conversations, and undoubtedly there will be questions or requests, I should say, to get access to those conversations with MBS, with President Putin. What's your degree of comfort with disclosing or declassifying these conversations between the president and other world leaders?

PFEIFFER: Well, we have to be very careful. We want world leaders to feel like they can have candid conversations with our president or with any president. At the same time however, if we've got the president who is perhaps conducting a behavior -- conducting a way that's unethical or perhaps even illegal.

Look, absolutely, there needs to be some oversight of that provided by the legislative branch. I would just caution that this be handled in as careful a manner as possible, and that, that'd be transparent to world leaders that this material is going to be protected and not disclosed in some broad fashion.

BLACKWELL: One of the bits of breaking news that CNN was first to get, and actually since your last appearance here was that the White House claims that attorneys, lawyers with the National Security Council ordered this transcript, the rough transcript of the call with the Ukrainian president to be put on this specific server.


Walk us through how that could happen. They would have to be directed to make that move, right?

PFEIFFER: One would think. It's an unusual move. I don't ever recall during my time there the lawyers being the one to direct this to happen. The "New York Times" article that came out late yesterday suggests that those lawyers didn't begin to take that action until they were tipped off by CIA's general counsel who had been approached by the future -- then future whistleblower just days after the call happened.

You know, very unusual, you know, and so either the lawyers were directed from on high or the lawyers were perhaps recognizing potential wrongdoing or maybe worse, you know, buffoonery on the part of the president were looking to limit the distribution of this document so it wouldn't get currency across town.

BLACKWELL: OK, so which of those is the case there, of course, members of Congress would try to get an answer to that. But to that question, and to that point, what leeway does a president have in determining where and how tightly some of these conversations are either stored or protected if it's buffoonery -- if it -- by using your word, if it's politically sensitive versus sensitive in the national security context?

PFEIFFER: Well, I believe it's important to protect conversations between world leaders when they are discussing sensitive activities such as shared covert action plans, shared sensitive military operations, and very sensitive diplomatic relations like occurred during the Obama administration in those very early days when President Obama was talking to the Sultan of Oman about moving forward, with engaging with Iran to try to -- and ultimately led to the nuclear agreement we had.

So, those kinds of things, I think, should be protected and held more closely. But the more routine conversations, the conversations that are trying to advance foreign policy objectives are those need to be shared with the people in government who are actually executing that policy.

Without that, they're operating in the blind, they don't -- they're seeing things happen on the ground, they're not understanding why they're happening, and then, you know, ultimately being surprised to find out they're happening because of a phone conversation they weren't privy to.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and there are so many conversations about why the military aid was held up, and that would be another element that members of Congress will explore. Larry Pfeiffer; former director --

PFEIFFER: Right --

BLACKWELL: Of the White House situation room, always good to have your insight.

PFEIFFER: Thank you very much.

BLACKWELL: We'll be right back.



BLACKWELL: It is the first official weekend of Fall.

PAUL: Is it?


PAUL: It's 92 degrees outside --

BLACKWELL: But that's why we're wearing Burgundy and the things, you can't just -- all right --

(LAUGHTER) Yes, it doesn't feel like --

PAUL: Right --

BLACKWELL: It as Christi said, 90-something outside in a lot of places -- hey, it either feels like in the middle of Summer for some people or others, I don't know where this is, the middle of Winter.

PAUL: Oh, I was telling Allison, CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar with us this morning. I said, can we get some of this snow you're talking about?


PAUL: I would actually like some snow right now --

ALLISON CHINCHAR, METEOROLOGIST: Yes, but I don't want this much. There's a huge difference in having a couple of inches versus a couple of feet. And that's unfortunately what some of these areas are going to be dealing with. Yes, in September, we're talking a potential historic snowstorm impacting areas of the Pacific Northwest.

You can see all the Winter weather alerts taking place for seven different states. And it's a series of low pressured systems they're going to be pushing all of this moisture into the area. The problem is cold air from Canada has already been pushed down from another cold front that just slid by.

That's why we're talking about such substantial amounts of snow. Look at this in the valleys, the low-lying areas, 6, 8, even as much as a foot of snow. Then once you start getting up into the higher elevations, now you're talking 2, 3 feet of snow in the highest elevations, perhaps even more than that in terms of snow.

But on the other side of the country, it's quite a different story, not just warmth but record warmth. Look at this, over the next several days, over 170 potential record-highs could be set across this portion of the country right here. Again, it's very impressive now for places like Atlanta, Dallas, St. Louis and Washington D.C.

You're already going to be experiencing those incredibly hot temperatures as of now, Victor and Christi. Chicago, a little bit cooler than normal today, they had a lot of heavy rain move through, but give it until Monday, then you'll even start to see your temperatures warming up as well.

PAUL: All right --

BLACKWELL: Well, Allison Chinchar, thank you.

PAUL: Thanks. We'll be right back.