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Funding To AZ Audit Firm Cyber Ninjas Cloaked In Secrecy; New Confusion Over CDC Mask Rules; Rep. Matt Gaetz's Former Wingman Cuts Deal With Feds. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 17, 2021 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: That's it for us. The news continues. Want to hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, Anderson, thank you very much. Happy Monday!

I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

Look, when it comes to our politics, there is a game afoot. And here, we expose it for you. Caught on tape tonight, we're going to show you just how ugly the game has gotten, when you look at the effort to suppress the vote.

Now look, it takes a lot of money to push bills, and gain traction, on the grassroots level, especially when you're playing with deception. And one of the big players behind-the-scenes has been caught celebrating the suppression.

My team has independently obtained the video, first reported by Mother Jones, this weekend. I need you to watch it, as the Head of a major dark money group - remember, the problem in politics isn't illegal money. It's the legal money.

And this Head of this dark money group brags about ghostwriting many of the bills, clearing GOP state houses, across the nation.


JESSICA ANDERSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HERITAGE ACTION FOR AMERICA: Iowa was the first state that we got to work in. And we did it quickly. And we did it quietly. Honestly, nobody noticed.

Then we turned to Georgia. Whoo-hoo!

I was able to sit down with Governor Kemp, three days before he signed the election package, in Georgia. And I had one message for him. "Do not wait to sign that bill. If you wait even an hour, you will look weak."

It's the same message we're giving Governor Ducey, here in Arizona, the Governor of Texas, Governor DeSantis, in Florida as well. We're working with these state legislators to make sure they have all of the information they need, to draft the bills. In some cases, we actually draft them for them, or we have a sentinel, on our behalf, give them the model legislation, so it has that grassroots, you know, from the bottom-up type of vibe.


ANDERSON: And we are going to take the fierce fire that is in every single one of our bellies to right the wrongs of November.


CUOMO: I want you to remember the word "Sentinel," and the phrase, "You know, they pass it along, so it has that grassroots vibe." This is the game.

Now look, we reached out to Heritage, about the video and the claims. Here's their response. And I'll read it to you.

"Heritage Action is proud of our work to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. That work begins at the state level through our grassroots and continues through state legislatures across the country. Left-wing media," that's us, "who want to spin up panic and paranoia instead of focusing on real efforts to save our elections should be ignored."

Now here's the problem. They're right about how it works. Money matters. And this is the intelligence of money in politics. They have ideas they want to get across. The platitudes are easy. The policy is hard.

What does that mean? "Well, we want to make it hard to cheat." No, you want to cheat. You want to limit how many people can vote, from minority groups, and big urban areas, and those local officials you want cut out of the process. That's what you want, because that is the far-right sale of White fright.

These suppression advocates organize, and then weaponize many selling White fright in false notions that the election was stolen by big groups. Who's she talking about cheating? Who's cheating? You see what I'm saying?

You have to just look at the premise. Who was cheating? Now, that's going to matter here, in just a moment. Minority areas and local officials there, that's what they're talking about.

We reached out to every state mentioned. None has responded to us directly.

The Iowa Governor's Office referred us to a Des Moines Register article where their bill's co-author denied Heritage had anything to do with it.

The Georgia State GOP leader there is also denying the Heritage help, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting. And a spokesperson for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent a link to

the Heritage website, which features their views on election fraud, and told us "This isn't - not Heritage writing the bill."

They're all playing the game. They don't want to comment on the video itself, because it's ugly and obvious, just like these efforts.

The Heritage boss mentioned using a "Sentinel." What does that? I mean the word comes from a soldier. But what they really mean is a strawman. They mean just someone who's a proxy, right, because that's what they want is someone to offer up their ideas, who seems more, legit than they would. That's the game.

Dark money funding efforts to do dark things, like BS voting bills, and like what's happening in Arizona right now, the so-called Fraud- it, play on audit and fraud, as obvious as the situation itself.


The latest lie from the Fraud-Father, Trump, "Did you know a key Arizona county's database was somehow deleted?" Lie! How do we know? The Republican, who serves as County Recorder, who could see the database, while, he tweeted "As readily falsifiable as 2+2=5."

And he's not just debunking the insanity spewing out of Mar-a-Lago, but co-conspirators on the home-front, like the GOP-controlled Senate, leading this fugazi scavenger hunt, for alternate endings to reality. Listen.



I have been accused of shredding ballots tabulated in election that I didn't run, run by my predecessor, my political opponent. I have been accused of inserting fake ballots delivered from a South Korean plane. The claims have even been indulged by the Senate Majority Whip.

JACK SELLERS, (R) CHAIRMAN, MARICOPA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: This Board has done explaining anything to these people who are playing investigator, with our constituents' ballots and equipment, paid for with real people's tax dollars.


CUOMO: Look, it's a waste of money. But there's another thread here.

That last guy heads the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Now, nearly all of them are Republicans, OK? They're pushing back on the big lie, now burning the valley of the sun, why, because they are responsible.

See, that's the limitation of the big lie, in many of these states. They're Republican-run. So while yes, the Party of Trump is in full effect, on the national level, on the state level, well, they don't want to swallow the big lie, when it means that they were the ones rigging the election, right?

If you're going to have to be the one, who framed it, it doesn't sound as great to you now, does it? That's why you just saw these two guys. "It wasn't even me. It was the guy before me. Don't accuse me of these lies."

The Head of the Board, "You know, you keep saying we did everything wrong." It's about them, you see?

The Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs joins the Republicans, in their scrutiny of this, and joins us now.

It's good to have you.

KATIE HOBBS, (D) ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE: Hi, good to be here, Chris. Thank you.

CUOMO: What is your thought on that video of the Heritage Action organization saying "We help do these bills. We get them to the governors. We use sentinels," which I believe is a word for strawman, "that make it look"--


CUOMO: --"grassroots, so we tell them, "You better sign this." What kind of power would they have to get a governor to sign something?

HOBBS: Well, the video is certainly alarming. But it's not surprising, given what we've seen since November 4th, immediately after the election.

These folks are the same folks that who have helped perpetuate the big lie, based on Donald Trump's refusal to accept that he lost the election. And they're using that to promote bills, across the country that, make it harder for people to vote.

They're not saving our elections. They're working to make it harder for people to vote because they don't like the election outcome.

CUOMO: Governor Ducey just signed, Governor of Arizona, just signed these bills into law.

Put up the graphic please.

1485 revises the state's Permanent Early Voting List removing voters who haven't participated in the last four elections. Another one bars officials from granting a grace period for voters to fix signature issues.

Why should we care?

HOBBS: Well, I want to be clear. The Permanent Early Voter List in Arizona was passed by a Republican-majority legislature, based on the popularity of early voting in Arizona, which we've done for decades, before it was cool around the country. And this bill also removes you from the Permanent Early voter list not if just if you don't participate, but if you vote - but you choose to vote in a manner other than using your mail-in ballot, which has been allowed for years, in Arizona, and voters have taken advantage of using various options that they have to vote.

And so, this is again a bill that is not necessary. It is not fixing any existing problem. It is making it harder for people to vote. This will disproportionately affect people that are homebound, and who maybe tend to move a lot. And this is, again, just a response to people who don't - by people who don't like the outcome of the election.

CUOMO: What's wrong with fixing signature issues? Where is - is there a lot of fraud with fake signatures?

HOBBS: No, there's not. And we actually treat these signature issues differently. If you - if your signature doesn't match, you have an opportunity to cure that, five days after the election.

If you just forget to sign the ballot, which is a common problem on the Navajo Nation, because the ballots are not printed, or the instructions are not printed, in Navajo, Navajo is not even a printed language, they miss the signature more often than other voters.


And so, it stops their cure period earlier than the mismatch signature cure period. And it treats voters disproportionately.

CUOMO: So, to those in the audience, right now, who are going to roll their eyes, and say "The Navajos?" how big a deal is that? The Navajo nation has denounced these laws. They've gone to court over the measures.

And how significant was the Native American voter population in this last election?

HOBBS: The Native American voters turned out significantly in this last election. And I have to say it's because of work that our office did, partnering with other organizations, to make sure it was safe to vote for them.

The Navajo Nation was hardest-hit by the Pandemic in Arizona. And we wanted to make sure that they had every opportunity to vote. And we did that. And they showed up. And now, folks just want to make it harder for them to vote.

CUOMO: And they've also had a tremendous comeback, drawing on their cultural binds, with one another, and what their sense is, of dealing with hardship. That's part of the story we're going to have to tell more of.

I want to ask you about something. Cyber Ninjas, OK?

HOBBS: Yes. CUOMO: I like calling them that because it's ridiculous. And that is the actual--


CUOMO: --name of the outfit that has never done anything like this, at this level, ever before.


CUOMO: Now, four out of the five, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors are Republican. But they're on your side, because they see this as a Fraud-it. And one of their big problems is with the Ninjas. And one of the big problems with the Ninjas is where they're getting their money.

A CNN review of state records shows no contractual provisions or safeguards, controlling how much money the Ninjas can get from outside contributors, how it can be spent, or even where it needs to be accounted to, with the Senate or anywhere else.

Trump supporters and conspiracy theorists claims to have funneled more than $1.6 million to the audit. Why do we care about how much money they're getting, because it means how well they can look for bamboo?

HOBBS: Well, I mean, this is really just a money-making scheme for Cyber Ninjas and the Republicans. We've heard recent reports that they're intending to expand the scope of this so-called audit.

And the longer that they - it goes on really the better it is for the bottom line of both the Republicans and the Cyber Ninjas. And so, it's really a money-making scheme for them.

CUOMO: Now, that's the laughable part. The cry part is this is taken way too seriously by people who have bought into White fright. It's the second time--


CUOMO: --in six months that you have people coming after you in a way that is reasonable enough to demand more security, and they are putting on officials like you, allegations that "Things haven't been turned over, things have been hidden, things are missing."

The effect, on you, personally, and your response to those allegations?

HOBBS: Well, look, I'm going to continue to do my job. And I'm not going to be intimidated by the threats and the harassment.

I'm doing the job that the Arizona voters elected me to do, standing up for the integrity of our elections, and protecting the voters of Arizona. And so, if you're going to come after me for that, bring it on, but I'm going to keep doing my job.

It is very difficult in these circumstances. And I am glad that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is finally joining me in this fight.

CUOMO: It's interesting how partisan lines can fall down, when you're being blamed for something that has a lot of people angry. It's easy - it's so easy to go back to principle, instead of party, when you're the one being blamed, and you're seeing that on the Right, in your state right now.

Katie Hobbs, stay safe. Stay well. And we appreciate you being here.

HOBBS: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right. So, let's take a little step-back into the weekend. How was it for you this weekend? What was like the new normal? Did you take the mask off? You go outside? Did you leave it off indoors? Or maybe out, right?

You're one of those trying to figure it out? You got kids at home? You've been spooked by people saying, "Now you have real problems, if you still have kids home," why? They get sick the least.

See, this is all confusing and awkward. But you know what really makes it awkward? If you haven't gotten your shot. If you have gotten the shot, a lot of this gets easier. Who says? The handsome guy!

The Wizard of Odds says the answer is in the numbers, next.









CUOMO: Still lot of confusion over the new mask guidance issued by the CDC. What does it mean, city, state, business, customers, kids, no kids? Critics say relying on the honor code makes it easier for the unvaccinated to break the rules. Wow! You don't have to be a critic to know that, right?

Our Wizard of the Odds, Harry Enten, is here with a close look at the numbers, and more.

Reaction from retailers, sports teams, on guidance, what are you seeing?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: Look, this is the most confusing thing in the freaking world. And I study electoral politics oftentimes. But I can't explain some of this.

I mean, look at the differences here. I mean, like if you're a baseball fan, in Texas, all of a sudden, you don't have to wear a mask, when you go to a ballgame. You're a baseball fan in New York, you still do.

Or how about the fact that at CVS, you don't have to wear a mask, while at Walgreens, you do? What is the difference between CVS and Walgreens to you and me? Basically nothing! The only difference that I can find in my local neighborhood is that the CVS has a self-checkout and the Walgreens doesn't.

This is extremely confusing to folks. And this is what happens when you give guidance like the CDC does, and that you have medical professionals, who sometimes disagree with it.

You get these rules, and someone, like myself, or a normal person, perhaps, has very difficult time understanding when do I need to wear the mask indoors, and when don't I need to wear the mask indoors?

CUOMO: Two things. One, I like that you distinguish yourself from a normal person.

ENTEN: Thank you.

CUOMO: And two, I think a little bit of this is hype, you know? If you want the answer, the answer is, have a mask with you and wear it. That's not my concern here.

My concern here is about the unvaccinated, and those who are unvaccinated for bad reason, and those who now don't feel like they need a good reason to get vaccinated, because they can just take their mask off. Who's going to know?

What do we know?



CUOMO: About the unvaccinated?

ENTEN: Right. What we know is that the unvaccinated folks are the least likely to wear the masks. It's actually the vaccinated folks, who are the most likely to wear a mask, when they're indoors.

Look at this. 65 percent of vaccinated Americans say they always wear a mask outside of the house, just 46 percent of unvaccinated Americans do.

And let me tell you, people lie all of the time. There is going to be a lot of inclination from people, who don't want to wear the masks anyway, now all of a sudden, you're saying to them, "Well, if you're vaccinated," but we're just going on the honor system, Chris. We're just going on the honor system. So, if you say you're vaccinated, you're good. Now, this is going to give them good reason to not tell the truth. And

that is a very, very bad situation, because these unvaccinated people, to be honest with you, are people who could easily spread the virus.

CUOMO: My biggest concern with the administration is I think they have a fugazi factor with their - why they don't have the passport.

I was chasing Andy Slavitt, the big COVID Advisor for the Biden Administration, for multiple appearances, about "Why not a passport? Why not a passport?"

I think they're worried about having to own systemic inequality here that certain areas, places and faces wouldn't have access, wouldn't be able to get the same kinds of things. And they would now be seeing as instituting systemic inequality here. But it's obviously coming at a price.

And just to be clear, you don't want to get vaccinated, it's not because you know more about science. You also don't want to wear masks, which means you're not about science, you're about politics.

And what about social distancing?

ENTEN: Right, these people who aren't wearing the masks - who aren't vaccinated are the people who are social distancing the least. It's the vaccinated Americans, who are social distancing, as you see on your screen right here.

And again, this is just a problem, because we're going to get these unvaccinated folks, who are going into stores, they're going to say, "Oh, you know, if you're not vaccinated, you need to wear a mask." But a lot of these folks are not going to wear that mask.

So there're going to be people who could spread the virus, spread the virus to people, who perhaps haven't had the chance to get vaccinated, like in those lower-income communities, who might be working at some of these stores, and like a CVS or Walgreens, right?

And so, that, to me, is the big problem here, where you have unvaccinated Americans, who don't want to wear the masks, and are going out a lot. And they can be vectors to spread the virus, to people who unfortunately, haven't been able to get the vaccine for one reason or another.

CUOMO: Now, here's a real concern. People are going to want to go back to work, given the guidance. But you do have safety conditions that people have to be worried about.

And we do see a kind of inverse equation here, where the lower income you are, the more safety issues there are at your place of work, right? You can quantify it. How so?

ENTEN: Yes, this is exactly right, right?

So, if you look at those who are making who - theirs household incomes are less than $75,000, look at that, just 55 percent of them, in the last year was satisfied with the working condition - with the safety conditions at work. That was down significantly.

Folks like you and me, right, who are working, and we don't necessarily have to interact with people, who are fortunate enough, we're generally satisfied with the working conditions. We feel like things have been put into place to allow us to be safe to go back to work.

But those people, who are working behind those counters at say, a CVS, they're the people who are out on the frontlines, who are being put in danger, and they already don't feel that they're safe at work.

Now, all of a sudden, you're saying to them, "Well, you know what? We're going to allow some people in there, who might not be vaccinated, and they might not need to wear a mask."

So, when you're talking about the larger picture, right, and you're seeing that people don't necessarily want to go back to work, who are in the lower income sectors, this is just one more reason for them not to want to go back to work, because they just don't feel safe, Chris.

CUOMO: Harry Enten, thank you very much.

ENTEN: Thank you, sir.

CUOMO: Now, for those who say, there's no such thing as systemic inequality, who died the most from the Pandemic, who got sick the most, who had to work the most, even in scared and unsafe conditions, as essential workers often? Same people that you say are not a part of systemic inequality. Now, that's the known, and that's scary.

Unknown can also be scary, especially when you see it in the sky. I don't do UFO talk. I don't believe in it. But there are serious conversations underway about what are technically UFOs, all right? But this is not about some stupid joke about little green men. Otherwise, I wouldn't do it.

I'm going to talk to people, two people, who protected our country, and deserve my attention. They saw things they can't explain, and they have questions about where they came from.

It's about Credible, not Crazy, next.









CUOMO: As if Congress doesn't have enough on its plate, not that it's doing anything with what is on its plate, they're now looking into UFOs or at least they're doing something, right?

Next month, Congress is expecting a report, from the Director of National Intelligence, and other agencies, on UFOs or UAPs. Now, that's the government term for them. It stands for Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

Why? Well, a retired U.S. Navy pilot came forward to say he and his crew witnessed an Unidentified Flying Object on the coast of the Atlantic several times. And he's not the only one.

Joining us now, someone who has personally witnessed sightings, retired Navy Chief Master-At-Arms, Sean Cahill, joined by Christopher Mellon, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

Thank you both. Appreciate you for joining me.



CUOMO: All right, so let's dispense with the obvious here. Chris? People are going to eye roll and say "Boy was Cuomo light on what to talk about tonight?" Why is this worth discussion?

MELLON: Because we have recurring violations of U.S. airspace by unidentified vehicles. They are very capable, in some cases, more capable than anything in our own inventory.


This has been going on for years. The truth is just emerging. We've had a massive Intelligence failure. And we now have a threat, an unknown threat that we need to figure out.

CUOMO: So Sean, it's not that you're worried about something out of a movie coming to get you. It's about the threat, right here on Earth, and how it's being motivated, without our knowledge and ability to counter.

CAHILL: That's correct, Chris. In 2004, I was the Chief Master-at-Arms onboard the USS Princeton. And the technology that we witnessed with the "Tic Tac" was something that we would not have been able to defend our Forces against, at the time.

CUOMO: Help me understand that. As the uninitiated, what does that mean to us?

CAHILL: Well, through that - that means that what we - what we saw on the "Tic Tac," and what Mr. Luis Elizondo describes as the "Five observables" indicate a technology that outstrips our arsenal by at least 100 years to 1,000 years at the moment.

CUOMO: A 100 years to 1,000 years? So, meaning like what kind of technology was at play that you were able to identify it, but know that you can't match it?

CAHILL: Well, first of all, the aircraft had zero control surfaces. It had no means of propulsion that we could detect. It moved at hypersonic velocities.

And it preceded the pilots to their cap points. So, it seemed to have some knowledge of where the pilots were headed ahead of time. And we don't possess those abilities to do that, in our arsenal at the moment.

CUOMO: What does that sound like to you, Chris Mellon?

MELLON: Well, we clearly are vulnerable. And this has been going on for too long. Finally, our Congress is learning of this situation. They're beginning to react. So we've got a lot of catch-up here. But it is - it is very concerning.

It's not an imminent crisis or imminent threat. There's been no hostility. But there's a lot of activity. And it's increasingly bold.

In some instances, recently, we've had these things swarming around war ships off the coast of California, swarming around Strategic Missile Defense bases, in Guam, and other things.

So, with all the tensions in the world, and China, and the rest, with the attack on the Saudi oil facilities, by drones, and so forth, it's something we need to take seriously.

CUOMO: You answered the question, partly there, but let's fill it out a little bit.

This is not new. People play with this. And they play to all kinds of conspiratorial thinking. But a lot of real Military, and policy people say, "Look, there are things out there that we got to keep track of that we can't."

But why now? What's new in terms of the urgency, Chris? And I'll ask you both about this.

MELLON: Sure, happy to address that.

So what happened was a couple of years ago, "Lue" Elizondo, in the Pentagon, who was managing this activity, with almost no resources, he and I, and a few others, became aware that this was going on, at a very significant scale, on the East Coast, at the time, and our pilots were not getting any support.

The Intel community was not responding. Nobody was helping these guys out. And it wasn't being reported up the chain.

It wasn't until that got into "The New York Times," it got to the attention of Congress, that finally our leadership, in both branches of government, became aware this was going on. So, this has only just come to light.

CUOMO: Sean, what do you think is the likely universe of explanation that will come up, at the end of these reports, and addressing of this?

CAHILL: Chris, I think that we're going to find that this phenomenon represents a very large spectrum of different things.

At edges of that spectrum are going to be near-peer technology of our adversaries, here on Earth. At the other end of that spectrum is going to be something that we don't yet understand, and haven't identified yet.

So, I hesitate to speculate on the source. But I can tell you that I don't believe that this is within our arsenal of any human technology at the moment.

CUOMO: So, when you say that, it almost guarantees that not just your good looks, but that statement will get this picked up, and sent all over the internet, because there'll be a legit Military person saying that "Maybe this is from outer space." Do you want that to be--

CAHILL: Well--

CUOMO: --taken from people?

CAHILL: Well, that would be taking my words out of context. What we can say is that we don't know what this is. And it's here. It's going to take all of us to figure this out together.

CUOMO: And Chris, what's your comment on that? They'll say, "Look at the resumes of these two guys. They're both saying that it might be from another world."

MELLON: There's no scientific reason or basis to doubt that possibility. That's a hypothesis that could explain the facts. People need to be open to that.

We're spending billions looking for extra-terrestrial civilizations. We've got spacecraft that have already left the solar system. It's possible somebody found us before we found them.

CUOMO: And the age-old question that I've been watching in movies my entire life, "If they are smart enough to come here, and have such advanced technologies, why don't they talk to us?"

MELLON: Well, if they're that smart, what would they have to learn from us? When you go to the zoo, do you talk to the animals?

CUOMO: And I got to tell you, Sean, right now--

CAHILL: For that's--


CUOMO: --we're now presenting as exactly the best kind of people to be talking. We're eating ourselves down here right now. I could understand why they'd want to keep in arm's reach.

MELLON: The main point, Chris, is--

CAHILL: Yes, if there is--

MELLON: --all unanswered questions.

CUOMO: Go ahead, Sean. Go ahead. Last word you.

CAHILL: I was just going to say if they are as smart as we think they are, then I think we're kind of silly, thinking that we can guess their motives.

CUOMO: Look, and for me, look, there is no "Them." I am a "Facts first" kind of guy on this. I am open to everything, because there's so much I've learned in life that I would never have imagined.

But I do know this. I worry about the safety of men and women like you, Sean, and Chris, the people who wind up having to cross the policy line to get into practice. I worry that you're safe.

I worry that people aren't beating us at our own game, and that we have to learn through spending blood and treasure that was unnecessary. So, any exploration, any research, any report, any hearing that helps us understand how to keep our fighting men and women safe is the only way to honor your sacrifice.

So, thank you for your commitment. Thank you for having the conversation.

Chris, Sean, as you learn things, or that you learn that you don't like that it's not being looked at the way it was supposed to, let me know. You've got a friend at this platform.

CAHILL: Thank you, Chris.

MELLON: Thank you.

CUOMO: And thank you both for your service to the country.

All right, Matt Gaetz's former wingman, plea deal filed last week, today goes into court, pleads guilty. Have to, to get the deal.

Joel Greenberg has been feeding Feds for a long time. He's going to go to prison. They would not shed the trafficking, in - sex trafficking of a minor. They wouldn't shed that. It's too high value a crime.

But what does this mean for the sex trafficking investigation into the Congressman? I'll tell you why it is a legitimate question, and we know that it must be, for prosecutors, ahead.



(END VIDEO CLIP) [21:40:00]





CUOMO: Matt Gaetz's former so-called wingman has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking. He went from smiling, living it up with folks, like the Florida congressman, to standing in court, with hands and feet shackled, admitting, among other things, to soliciting and paying a minor for sex.

We know from today's plea deal, actually the deal that was reached last week that Greenberg introduced that girl to, quote, "other adult men," who also had sex with her.

As for what that means to Gaetz, here is Greenberg's attorney.


FRITZ SCHELLER, JOEL GREENBERG'S ATTORNEY: Does my client have information that could hurt an elected official? I guess this is just, you know, mussy television. You'll just have to wait and see.


CUOMO: Look, Fritz Scheller is not a TV attorney, OK? He's been doing this a long time, at a high level. The answer to the question is, yes, all right?

If Greenberg didn't have information about Gaetz, and other people, who are seen are of equal or greater value, he wouldn't get a deal.

If Greenberg hadn't given them information, already, that goes, to potential prosecutable criminality at, or at a higher level, than they had against him, Greenberg, he doesn't get a deal. So what does that tell you?

The sex trafficking has to be in the mix, because they could not justify the deal. And this deal was long.

These deals are usually short documents. A lot of times prosecutors don't want to let anyone else there looking at, know too much about what they have, from the current person, the participant in the deal.

This was like 80-something pages. They went out of their way to make it very clear they have a lot more than just Greenberg in this.

Now, how did we get here? Greenberg. How did we get to Greenberg? None of the questions about Greenberg that took bite on the federal level come to pass without attorney, David Bear. He pushed authorities to look into Greenberg because of what Greenberg was doing to his client. Counselor, good to see you again.


CUOMO: First, perspective on where we have arrived. You were there today watching the proceeding. What do you make of where we are at?

BEAR: I did. We're at a very serious place for a lot of very serious people. So, that document you was just talking, 86 pages, the plea agreement. This is only the recitation of facts pertaining to the plea deal (ph), starts on page 28, and runs through page 86.

It's a lot of facts for a lot of charges, but a lot of details pertaining to what happened that have all been flushed out, just like you're talking about. These aren't going to be surprises, for the prosecutors. They know exactly what's coming.

Some of the words that are in there are really important. You just touched on one. "And others" rather than "Another," "Other adult men," plural, rather than "Another man," these are not accidental words.

So this plea agreement, the fact that it exists, as you said, the prosecutors gave up a whole lot, they didn't have to, the words that are in this plea agreement, tell us a lot about what's coming up in the next months.

CUOMO: What is your suggestion about whether - what do you think the chance is that Gaetz does not get involved in this on any level?

BEAR: Well, I, if we're just talking about percentages--


BEAR: --I wouldn't bet against it. I'll say that. So, I have heard a lot of talk out there about such as "Well, if they had something against Matt Gaetz, then they already would have prosecuted him." That doesn't make any sense at all.

One of their pieces of evidence, they just secured today. They get in federal court, criminal charges against people by grand jury indictments. And so, they present evidence, to the grand jury, such as testimonial evidence from a witness, which now they can do.


CUOMO: And the documentary evidence to back it up. I mean, especially with Greenberg, look, everybody who cuts a plea deal is susceptible to credibility issues. It's because why they cut the deal. They almost invariably have to plead guilty.

Matt Gaetz actually points not just to Greenberg but as proof that he has nothing to worry about.

He points to your client and says, "Look, this guy, Greenberg, has gone after people, and slimed them before, and they had nothing to do, right? I mean, that's this politician, who was running against Greenberg, on the same guy. I'm just like, Bear's client."

What do you think of that?

BEAR: Yes, I have to say when I - when I first saw that, and when Brian first saw that, on Friday, I was really disappointed, and frankly, pretty disgusted.

I mean, we have an individual Brian who, honestly, he's just a normal guy that saw a corrupt politician. And he said, "I want to do something to try to weed that out." He's not into crazy, nefarious things, right? He's just a normal innocent guy. And the most horrible stuff happened to him.

Gaetz is, by all accounts, not that kind of guy. Even if you want to give him every benefit of the doubt, he is not some clean-cut guy. His own defense, for what happened here, is not some clean-cut "I'm a square" kind of guy.

I think he's like the quintessential - all of our grandfathers told us, "Lie down with dogs, you get fleas," at the very least, like his is the story of lying down with dogs and getting fleas.

And so, for that person to try to piggyback off of what Brian went through, and Brian's family went through is, is really disappointing and, and frankly, disgusting.

CUOMO: Well, I'm glad the truth came out, in your client's case, and we'll see that it does here as well.

BEAR: Thank you.

CUOMO: David Bear, appreciate. We'll speak again, I'm sure.

BEAR: Agreed.

CUOMO: I got a little piece of information for you before we go to commercial.

Newly unsealed court documents reveal something very interesting that the Trump Administration was up to.

Last year, they secretly subpoenaed Twitter, why? They wanted to unmask the user behind a parody account that pokes fun at GOP congressman, and of course, Trumpet, Devin Nunes.

The subpoena for the "NunesAlt" account notably landed after the Congressman's failed attempts to sue Twitter, last summer, over fake accounts that posed as his mother and his cow.

Court filings indicate the DOJ's criminal investigation focused on threatening messages. But prosecutors didn't make clear what the threat was, or if it was directed at Nunes.

Twitter, notably, fought the subpoena. They argued the user was protected by free speech, and suggested this wasn't about threats, but unmasking Nunes' critics and silence them. Neither the DOJ nor Nunes' office have responded to CNN's request for comments. Surprised?

Shortly after the court records were disclosed, the "NunesAlt" Twitter account, which describes itself as the "Not-so-proud" mother of Nunes, tweeted, "This is the closest thing I'm going to get to a Mother's Day card."

BOLO! That's a BOLO right there. That is abuse of power.

I got another BOLO for you. The first major test of a woman's right, her liberty, controlling what happens to her body, since Trump got his third and final justice on the Supreme Court, has been set.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, her place on the bench, as an outspoken advocate, against reproductive rights, the next battle in the evolution of Roe v. Wade is upon us. I'll tell you about it, next.









CUOMO: All right, here's a BOLO, Be On the Look-Out. We are about to see if Mitch McConnell's Supreme Court mission pays off.

It's now a 6-to-3 decidedly conservative court. And it now says, the Supreme Court of the United States, that it will hear a case that could remove a woman's right to control her own body.

Dobbs v. Jackson Mississippi Women's Health Organization, it tests a state law that bans almost all efforts to end a pregnancy, after 15 weeks, including pregnancies resulting from incest or rape.

Legally, the issue is fetal viability. When does what is inside a woman become a person with rights under the law?

You would think we would have impaneled experts on a special commission, by now, to see what the science says, right? But we don't seem to have the intellectual curiosity about this issue because it's not really about science.

It has become a culture war. It's a political lever to use as a distraction from policy and solving problems, to allow people to get up in their religion, and their righteousness, over any sense of what science suggests.

Though medical capabilities may be moving the point of viability, well short of what it was assumed to be in 1973, with Roe v. Wade, so you'd think some of the proponents of harsher measures would want the science involved.

Most Americans want the court to uphold Roe v. Wade, which found women have liberty over their own body, as a right to privacy, of privacy right under the 14th Amendment. 62 percent, uphold, 24 percent, overturn.

But again, it's not about science or consensus. It's about dividing lines, legislating to the far-right White fright vote, flooding the zone with 536 bills that abridge a woman's right to control her own body, in 46 States.

It's just like voting rights in one way, you see? It seems like the far right only cares about protecting humans before they are born. But the legal issues are much closer than the politics on this.


1973 Roe was a 7-to-2 decision. Reading Rehnquist's dissent is actually worth your time, especially given that this Dobbs case is coming, especially also because Roe is not inviolate. Yes, it's stare decisis. But that is subject to when they decided to overturn it. It was partially overturned in the 90s, 1992, I believe, in the Casey case.

And now, we have a much more conservative group of judges, one of whom, Justice Amy Coney Barrett is an outspoken opponent of any reproductive right in this regard. And if anyone's going to say "No, she's never really said anything that bad," she belonged to a group that's all about it.

So, we're about to see the fruits of McConnell connivance. Will it come true, with the crown jewel of the culture wars? BOLO!

We'll be right back.








CUOMO: Couple quick things, I really do believe it's worth our time, right now, to pay special attention to the game that is afoot. And once you expose it, on a regular basis, and you see what's going

on, as a distraction, to any real efforts, toward progress or dialog, towards the same, the more obvious it is, the uglier it gets and, hopefully, it'll be easier to reject.

That's it for us. And now, I turn you to the big show, "CNN TONIGHT" with its star Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You messed it up!

CUOMO: What?