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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Source: Suspect Drove Cross Country, To Parent's House In PA Around Christmas, While Law Enforcement Was Tracking Him; Tax Returns: Trump Paid Just $750 In U.S. Federal Income Taxes In 2017, Nearly $1 Million In Taxes To Foreign Countries That Same Year; Legendary Journalist Barbara Walters Dies. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired December 30, 2022 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tony Ornato, when he talked to the Committee, didn't recall all kinds of things. I mean, he said, he didn't recall Trump being angry. He didn't recall what had happened, in the motorcade. Essentially, he didn't remember things that way.
And when it came to the events of January 6, the Committee said, "You know, do you remember people trying to get Donald Trump to say something, to make some kind of public statement?"
And Tony Ornato compares it to the fog of war, saying, "I'll be honest with you, it was a very chaotic time in trying to get the information, and it was usually late information or it wasn't accurate or it was the fog of war and it was misrepresented. And it was very - a very chaotic day, so I don't recall those specific details."
Ornato's attorneys previously told us, they felt like he was cooperative, with the Committee that he was honest with the Committee, but the Committee went out of their way, in their final report, to question Ornato's credibility, and his testimony, multiple times, Pam.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: All right, Sara Murray, staying busy, on this Friday night, of a holiday weekend. We appreciate it.
BROWN: Hopefully, you get a break, over the weekend, with these transcripts.
And coming up, we remember the four students, killed in Idaho University, and head back to Idaho, and Pennsylvania, for the very latest, on the suspect, arrested, for their murders.
BROWN: An arrest, in the murders of four college students, brutally stabbed to death, almost seven weeks ago, and new details, tonight, about the events, leading up to the arrest.
[21:05:00] A law enforcement source tells me that authorities were tracking Bryan Kohberger, at some point, during his cross country drive, from Idaho to Pennsylvania, around Christmas time. He went from Idaho, to his parent's house, in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested, today, on four counts of murder, in the first degree, plus felony burglary.
Kohberger is a 28-year-old graduate student. He attended Washington State University, near where the four victims attended college.
CNN's Veronica Miracle has been following this story, since it broke, and joins us, from Idaho.
So Veronica, Police are asking the public to call in, and provide any tips, or information, regarding that suspect. What kind of information are they hoping to get?
VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, today, authorities made clear that this investigation is far from over. They also credited the nearly 20,000 tips that they received, from the public, as giving them information, to get to those strong leads that led them to the suspect.
Now that they have that suspect in custody, Bryan Kohberger, they're asking people, not only in this community, but across the country, if they know this man, if they've had any interactions, with him, and if they have any information, about his background.
They say the tip line remains open. They want to hear from the public. They also say they're - now that they have this arrest, it's not just about an arrest, but it is about getting that conviction.
BROWN: And you've been following the story, from the very beginning. It's been seven weeks, since the murders. How is the community of Moscow, Idaho feeling tonight?
MIRACLE: Well, the sense of relief is just palpable, Pamela.
When we were here earlier, during the time, when the Police were really not releasing a lot of information? There were students, who were leaving the University of Idaho, to study virtually, because they were so scared. There were businesses that were closing early, so that their employees could get home, at a reasonable time.
And the Police presence was massive. There was Idaho State Police, Moscow Police officers, private security that were not only patrolling campus, but they were all over town. And it's really hard to feel comfortable, when there's just this edge of a lack of safety, around the community.
And today, walking around town, you can just feel everyone relaxed just a little bit. We even spoke to members of the community, who showed up to the press conference, because they wanted to hear, for themselves, exactly how this all unfolded. We were speaking next to a woman, who sat next to me. She's a DoorDash driver. So, she's been particularly on edge, as she's been going out at night, making those deliveries. And she got emotional, when she was talking to us. Even though she's not connected to this case, she says she's been watching it and tracking it.
Here's what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel relieved, very relieved. We all do. Everybody, our neighbors, our friends that we've - we've, you know, told and everything - yes, we're all relieved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MIRACLE: And Pamela, this arrest comes on the same day that the families of Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves held a Celebration of Life, about an hour and a half north of here, in Coeur d'Alene.
This has been planned, for a couple of weeks, the families wanting to honor those victims, and their loved ones. It's close to the media but open to the public. They wanted to bring everyone together. Of course, all of this happening, on the same day, an arrest has been made.
BROWN: Wow! Veronica Miracle, thank you so much.
And I'm joined now by CNN's Jean Casarez, who is right outside the correctional facility, in Pennsylvania, where the suspect has been held.
Jean, you've been talking to your resources, and you're learning new details, about how the Police zeroed in on the suspect. What more can you tell us?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And it has to do with the DNA, because a source that is familiar with this investigation tells me that it is genetic genealogy that led them to identify, in part, this suspect.
In genetic genealogy, they found DNA, because we know that, and that was unknown DNA, I am told. And so, the unknown DNA routinely is put through a coded database, to see if there's a hit. When there's not a hit, it's still unknown DNA.
And that's where genetic genealogy comes in. Because you then can take it to a public database of DNA and you can see if there are any familial family hits. And it can be distant relatives. But that's your starting point, right there.
And then, you do old-fashioned investigative work to find who you believe is your potential suspect. But you obviously, before any arrests, you have to get the actual DNA, from that potential suspect, to do a match, with your unknown. And when that matches, when you have a hit, you can make an arrest.
And once they had done, we believe, that procedure? That is when they went to a judge, in Idaho, and it was yesterday, to get the arrest warrant. The charges were filed, yesterday, in Idaho.
And they had been surveilling him, right here in northeastern Pennsylvania, and I'm talking about the FBI, out of Philadelphia, for four days. And this is his home. We heard that in the press conference, today. This is where he lives. He may be doing graduate work, in the State of Washington, but this is where he lives.
And so, once they got those charges filed, the Pennsylvania State Police went to Albrightsville, which is about eight miles away from here, and it's a very rural area, in northeast Pennsylvania. And at 1:30, this morning, they made that arrest.
They brought him here, to the Monroe County Correctional Facility. He had a court proceeding, early today. No bail at all. The next proceeding will be on Tuesday.
BROWN: And so, at this point, we don't know when he could be extradited to Idaho, right?
CASAREZ: No. It's really in his hands, because if he waives extradition, at this hearing, on Tuesday, then as soon as they are able to get him, there, they will. It can take some time, or they can get in there immediately.
But if he does not waive extradition, that is when the Governor of Idaho must step in, and start the proceedings, so that it becomes a mandatory situation.
And it's important, because his first court appearance, in Idaho, is waiting for him, as soon as he gets there. And there is a probable cause affidavit, we learned, today, in Idaho, about many more alleged facts of this investigation. It will not be unsealed, until after his first court appearance, in that State.
BROWN: Jean Casarez, thank you.
Perspective now, from retired FBI Special Agent, Bobby Chacon; CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analyst, Charles Ramsey, a former Philadelphia Police Commissioner, and Chief of Police in Washington, D.C.; and Lawrence Kobilinsky, Forensic scientist, and Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Chief Ramsey, I want to start with you.
A source told me tonight, a law enforcement source that, at some point, during the suspect's cross country drive that law enforcement started tracking him. And they were able to really zero in on him, around Christmas, when he arrived, at his parent's house, in Pennsylvania. I'm told that law enforcement was also surveilling his parent's house. It was a combination of DNA evidence, and the car, that led to the suspect being identified. Tell us a little bit more about how a law enforcement operation, on this scale, comes together?
CHARLES RAMSEY, FORMER POLICE CHIEF OF WASHINGTON, D.C., FORMER PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONER, DISTINGUISHED VISITING FELLOW, DREXEL UNIVERSITY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I'd tell you. It'll be interesting to find out exactly what it is they did, when they said that they tracked him, all the way from Idaho to Pennsylvania.
Were they tracking his cell phone, if they had that? Were they using toll booths that he may have gone through, as he was traveling? Did they actually have an eyeball on him, where they actually had identified the car, and him, and actually tailed him, all that way? I don't know the answer to that. But it'll be interesting.
Apparently, they began to kind of narrow things down, on him, a while back, but they didn't have enough to really name him as a suspect. So, it'll be interesting. We'll find out more over the next few days, I'm sure.
BROWN: Yes, because I'm told by my law enforcement source that it was really last week, when it was coming together, Bobby that, they figured out, "OK, this is who we're looking for. This is our guy." Then, of course, they made the arrest today.
Help us better understand what was going on, during that time. And why, if law enforcement was so confident, last week, they had their suspect, why they waited until today to make that arrest?
BOBBY CHACON, RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, that's a question that's or - that's a decision that's ordinarily made with - in conjunction with the prosecutors, in Idaho, who are handling this case, and which is a potentially death penalty case.
So, I'm sure that there's a lot of review, before steps are taken, legally, because once charges are filed, then you have a speedy trial motion. Everybody is entitled to a speedy trial. So, you have to really have all your ducks in a row.
And I think they just, once they assessed him, once they kind of started surveilling him, "Is he going to leave the country? Does he have the means to do that? Is he the type to do that?" I think once they had him under surveillance, they were a little more comfortable, knowing that they were sourcing everything else out.
I think Jean was right. I think they did a DNA sample, from the crime scene. They had a profile. They uploaded it to a genealogy website. I believe that led to his father, which led to him.
Once they knew who he was, and he had a white Elantra registered to him, I mean, bells started going off. And so, I think that they waited until the right moment. And again, this is more of a prosecutor's decision than it is the investigative team, because they need everything in a row. He will now be extradited. He can fight extradition, but it's a losing battle. The only issue in that hearing, an extradition hearing, is identity. We used to actually refer to them as identity hearings, at the federal level. And I think that that's the "Are you the person named in that warrant?" He's going to lose that, I think.
And he'd be probably better advised, to waive extradition. And I think he'll be removed back, to Idaho, fairly quickly. I wouldn't be surprised, if he's back there, on Wednesday of next week.
BROWN: Yes. Well we'll have to wait and see what happens on that front.
Professor Kobilinsky, I want to bring you in.
Because, as we reported, the suspect's DNA was found at the scene, I'm told, by my source. This was a significant part, leading to the arrest. How will investigators use that DNA? Tell us a little bit more about the process of using that DNA, to determine if this suspect is in fact, the killer?
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST, PROFESSOR, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Well, most laboratories don't use this kind of technology, this genetic genealogy. There may be DNA found under or on the fingernails of the victim, or there may be DNA mixed in bloodstains, between the victims, and the perpetrator.
One thing is clear that Mr. Kohberger match - his DNA matches the DNA, at the crime scene. So, in terms of litigation, there's really no question that he was there.
Now, how they caught him is another story. I say, follow the evidence. And the evidence is DNA. And the evidence is the vehicle.
Now, there were lots of videos of that vehicle, not only near the house, where this - the event occurred. But the Police looked at other videos, and they may have gotten a glimpse of the license plate. And they may have tracked that vehicle, with plate readers, or at toll booths, and followed that vehicle, as it made its pathway, 2,500 miles, all the way to Pennsylvania.
With respect to DNA, I think that was explained fairly well, that this is a matter of not CODIS. Because CODIS is a national database. You have to commit certain crimes to become eligible to have your DNA put on CODIS. It's not clear that he was on CODIS.
BROWN: He wasn't, I was told, right.
KOBILINSKY: Sometimes you could--
BROWN: He wasn't.
KOBILINSKY: You can find close relatives, sometimes, that way. But with genetic genealogy, it's a different pathway. You're looking at public databases. People joined Ancestry, or one of those other companies--
KOBILINSKY: --to find out about their backgrounds. And that really, people don't expect that it's going to be used, for criminal matters.
KOBILINSKY: But nowadays, the companies are warning people, ahead of time, that it may end up this - the information may end up solving crimes.
And some very serious major crimes have been solved with this technique. It's still controversial, because not everybody wants this, to become generally available, in all laboratories. And it's not. So, this is one of those wonderful situations, where a serious major killer has been caught--
KOBILINSKY: --with genetic genealogy. This is correct. Because we didn't hear this, today. This wasn't brought out in the press conference, in the press release.
BROWN: Yes. That's - it was really fascinating. I've covered murder cases, DOJ, for many, many years. And it's just really fascinating, to learn that this was such a big piece of the puzzle, using this genealogy, to help track the suspect.
We'll continue to cover this case. Bobby, Charles, Lawrence, thank you for your analysis and perspective.
And, in a moment, we remember the four young victims, of this horrible crime, the lives they led, and the joy they brought to their families, and friends.
BROWN: Before we get back, to the investigation, we want to spend a few moments, honoring the lives, of the four University of Idaho students, who've died.
Xana Kernodle was 20, and studying Marketing. Her sister told CNN that you rarely get to meet someone like her. Quote, "She was so positive, funny and was loved by everyone who met her."
Her boyfriend Ethan Chapin was 20, and majoring in Recreation, Sport and Tourism Management. He was one of a set of triplets, enrolled at the University of Idaho. And his mother said, he, quote, "Lit up every room he walked into." She called him kind, and loyal.
Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen were both 21. Kaylee's sister has issued a statement, on behalf of both families. She says they were, quote, "Smart," and she also called both of them "Vigilant." Kaylee was majoring in General Studies. Madison was studying Marketing.
For more now, on the investigation, I'm joined by Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst, John Miller; and CNN Legal Analyst, and former federal prosecutor, Jennifer Rodgers.
John, we learned that the suspect is being represented, by a public defender. But we don't know what if anything, he has said to Police. How does law enforcement go about interviewing a suspect, accused of a crime, like this? And how difficult does it become once they're lawyered up?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST, FORMER NYPD DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INTELLIGENCE & COUNTERTERRORISM: Well, I mean, first thing you do is ask. But right before that you advise them of their rights, which begins with "You have the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present." So, it depends, if he decided to talk, or not talk.
It would be surprising to me, as a someone, who is going for a PhD, in Criminal Justice, that he would be open, to be speaking to Police officers, upon being taken into custody. He drove all the way, from Idaho to Pennsylvania, theoretically, if you believe the allegations, to get away, from the scene, get that car away, from the scene, after everybody was looking for a white Elantra?
MILLER: So, we don't know if he made statements yet. But once he's represented by counsel, Police can't talk to him.
BROWN: But so, really quickly, though, on the white Elantra? I mean, if he's like getting a PhD, in criminology, why would he continue to drive the white Elantra, from Idaho to Pennsylvania, especially in like, I'm assuming, he knew that it was all over the airwaves? Every - this picture was publicized across the country, right?
And, Jennifer, I'll get to you right after. Go ahead, John.
MILLER: I mean, interesting question. On the one hand, what do you do with it? If you leave it in Idaho, it's sticking out like a sore thumb. If you show up at home without it, your parents may ask "Where's our Elantra?"
So, I think he made a calculated decision, which is, "Let me get it to the other end of the country, where nobody's looking for it, and maybe invest some time," it's possible, if the allegations are true, as alleged, that he may have wanted to take a second crack at cleaning it up.
BROWN: Jennifer, how closely will Idaho prosecutors be working, with law enforcement, in Pennsylvania, in how they handle this suspect?
JENNIFER RODGERS, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, LECTURER, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, very closely, Pamela. I mean, as John was just saying, they could have taken a crack at questioning him. But I doubt that would have been done, without the cooperation of the folks, who know this case best. And those are the local Police, who have been working the investigation, from the beginning. So, they'll be along every step of the way.
I mean, it's unlikely there will be any sort of substantive hearing that gets into the evidence, in Pennsylvania. Either the suspect will waive extradition, or even if he goes through extradition proceedings, it's more about his identity than anything else.
So, I suspect the Idaho folks don't have to really fly out to Pennsylvania, if they're not already there. Soon enough, the suspect will be back in Idaho, and they can continue working on their investigation. Among other things, I'm sure they're busy trying to establish a motive, for these crimes.
BROWN: Yes. And, on that note, John, it's super interesting, because as a program, 360 doesn't usually name suspects, or killers, because we don't want to glorify them.
But the reality, in this case, is that law enforcement is actually pleading with the public, asking for more information, or any details, on this suspect. I mean, does that tell you, they still have a lot to learn, about their suspect, and motive?
MILLER: So, they've been very upfront about that Pam, saying, "Anybody who has any information on this individual, to come and tell us," which tells us something. What it tells us is they allegedly have something that ties him to the crime scene, in terms of DNA, and that car, which was seen in the area. But they don't really have a complete understanding of motive.
And that's why they're reaching out to other people to say, "Can you tell us things he said? Can you tell us things he was interested in? Did he ever make any comments before the crime, or particularly after the crime, that would be relevant?" I mean, they want all of that, because what they really needed to do, was get him located, and get him in custody, once they had probable cause. They're building behind that now.
BROWN: Right. Because, they have to be careful, before he's arrested, to not speak to anyone, who knew him, who could tip him off. I imagine there's a lot of sensitivities around that.
So now that he's arrested, there will likely be more opportunity to gather information about him. And I'm told that from a law enforcement source, tonight, one of the keys is trying to figure out if you had any connection, to these victims. Right now, they don't know.
Prosecutors, though, Jennifer, they - look, they believe that they have their suspect. They're just building their case. We'll have to wait and see what happens.
Thank you so much, Jennifer Rodgers, John Miller, appreciate it. Up next, former President Donald Trump's tax returns are now public. We're going to talk with one of the key lawmakers, who got those records released. We'll be right back.
BROWN: Among the many revelations, of former Trump's tax returns, released today, are that he paid only $750, in U.S. taxes, in 2017, while paying nearly $1 million, in taxes, to foreign countries that year.
Joining us now is Democratic congressman, Lloyd Doggett of Texas. He sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, which released the returns.
Congressman, you made the first motion, to acquire the former President's taxes, nearly five years ago. Does it surprise you that it took this long?
REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D-TX): Well, it's really outrageous. He had so many accomplices, in the Congress, House Republicans, who refused to permit us, to take a look at these returns, even in private, years ago.
Many years ago, there was another New York City Hotel mogul, who declared "Taxes are for the little people." And I think that's kind of the Trump idea. He thinks it makes him smart that he pays less of his income, a lower rate, on his income, than the waiter, or the maid, or the maintenance person, who works in one of his hotels. And I think that's just outrageous.
When he got to be President, he puts a couple of his buddies in charge of the Treasury Department, and the Internal Revenue Service. And they don't do the audit that was done on other presidents, until they get a letter, from the Ways and Means Committee. They wait a couple of years to do that.
So, we know that the Trump Internal Revenue Service didn't do its job. And there's good reason to believe that Donald Trump owes far more taxes than he's paid. But we don't have the details, because we don't have the audits that should have occurred.
BROWN: Yes, what do you make of that that the audits, as you say that should have occurred, didn't occur?
DOGGETT: It's difficult to determine because the - all we have are the electronic records. There was no conversation permitted with anyone, at the Internal Revenue Service, involved in the actual audit.
But there are some indications that this was irregular, only one auditor for 500 entities. An auditor, who said that there was not enough, in the way of resources, an auditor who said, "Well, if they've got an accounting firm doing this, we don't really need to see substantiation, for all the claims of losses and deductions, and credits that Trump claims."
One thing after another, it could indicate that there was direct interference. It might indicate that there was only indifference.
BROWN: Your Committee held a vote, on the release of these returns. Was there any dissent, among Democrats, any arguments, against these returns, being made public?
DOGGETT: Well, we had a lively discussion about this. I think that there's, certainly, a, sensitivity, on the part of Democrats, to protecting taxpayer privacy. But we recognized that all we were trying to do with Trump is what other presidents have done, and that he had resisted, and that the President is in a truly unique situation.
So, when the votes came, after we discussed it, thoroughly, every Democrat voted in support of Chairman Neal's report, and to release this information, to the public, so that everyone can see, this isn't just a partisan initiative. You can see for yourselves, the fact that this President signed the tax return. You'll see his signature, where year after year, he paid nothing, or paid $750.
And where he claimed huge losses in the past, we don't have the details on those losses. The "New York Times" did great work, on this, years ago. And they suggest it may be a part of his losing his Atlantic City casinos. But whatever they are, they were used to wipe out profits that he had, and to justify paying little or no taxes. It's also difficult given the--
DOGGETT: --foreign entanglement there is. We do you know that he paid some years, more taxes, to foreign governments than he did, here, in the United States. But because we only looked at eight of the 500 entities, we don't know what other influences may have occurred, from overseas, on Trump's operations.
BROWN: Right. And that's a big reason why, there are calls, for transparencies, for people running for president, to release their tax returns, so that you can see if there is any conflict of interest, if their policy could be influenced by anything that can be picked up, on the tax returns.
Congressman Doggett, thank you so much, for coming on this show.
And still ahead, tonight, on this Friday--
DOGGETT: Thank you, Pam. Happy New Year.
BROWN: Thank you.
New transcripts of January 6 committee testimony, why Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, says she has regrets.
BROWN: Tonight, new transcripts show Ginni Thomas testified, she regrets texts that she sent to Mark Meadows, about voter fraud, in 2020. And she testified, quote, "I regret the tone and content of these texts. I really find my language imprudent and my choices of sending the context of these emails unfortunate."
I want to bring in CNN Political Commentator, David Urban, a former Trump Campaign Adviser; and CNN Senior Political Analyst, David Gergen, who advised four U.S. Presidents.
David Urban, we learned in emails that Jared Kushner provided to the January 6 committee that former President Trump wanted to trademark the phrase "Rigged election," just days after the election. Does that surprise you that he would want to own the rights to that phrase? What do you think?
DAVID URBAN, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. It does surprise me. It seems a bit--
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER TO NIXON, FORD, REAGAN & CLINTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. No--
URBAN: Oh, I didn't know which David--
BROWN: One second.
URBAN: --you're talking to.
BROWN: Oh, yes, David Urban, David Urban. We're going to you.
And then I'll get to you, David Gergen.
URBAN: It's what happens when you have two Davids.
GERGEN: All right.
URBAN: Well, yes, it surprises me. Jared Kushner is a straight shooter. And so, yes, it did surprise me to find that out.
BROWN: What do you think, David Gergen?
GERGEN: Yes. I was surprised by the whole thing. But I don't think - I don't think it's going to go very far. I think it's another hit below the waterline. But this particular issue, I think, is not going to explode the way - I think the tax issue, for example, is much more accessible to most Americans. They understand there's been a lot of concealment of his taxes and his losses.
And people are waking up to the fact, as has been reported that the lot of the original assets came from his inheritance. This is a guy, who had a huge inheritance, from his family, and he's frittered away a lot of it, apparently, and is now claiming he's a great capitalist. Well, I think the documents that have come out here, in the last 48 hours, took a lot of that once - yet, once again.
BROWN: Yes. So, we have the tax documents, coming out that we were just talking about. And now, we have all these transcripts, coming out, with people in Trump's circle, speaking to the Committee, including the President's son-in-law.
And also, Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Thomas, she claimed, she had told the Committee, according to this transcripts that she never thought the 2020 election was stolen, despite the fact that one of her texts, to Mark Meadows, said that Biden and other members of the left were attempting a, quote, "Heist."
What do you think about that David Urban?
URBAN: Yes, look, I'd take Ginni Thomas at her word, right? She was under oath. She gave testimony. She said, what she said. I mean, people, when they get caught up in the excitement of politics kind of tend and trend to hyperbole. And I think that's what the case was here.
This is again, as David Gergen says, I don't think this is - this is all going to be kind of lost in the ephemeral, in comparison to other things that are going on, in the news, today. And I think the January 6 committee did some - had some mic-drop moments. And now, they're kind of passed.
BROWN: So, you believe that the mic-drop moments have happened that people are moving on.
But I'm wondering, David Gergen, given the fact that you have advised so many different presidents? Look, Donald Trump has been under scrutiny, a lot of different times, for a lot of different reasons.
But if you take a step back, in big picture, look at all this come out, from the January 6th committee, what do you think this all means for President Trump--
BROWN: --as he runs for office, again?
GERGEN: Well, listen, I think the turning point that came were the midterm elections. The fever broke with those midterm elections. And what we've seen since then is a steady decline in Trump's credibility and in his position with the American people, and a rise among people, who might be his successors, like the Governor of Florida. That's what - I think that's the larger picture what we see here.
Did Ginni Thomas make a mistake? Yes, she made a mistake, by calling Mark Meadows, the Chief of Staff, in the midst of all of this.
But I think, to go to David Urban's point, what was she calling about? Well, she was calling, she testified, because she called - because she thought there was fraud that had been committed, and had not yet been explored, and that it ought to be studied before conceding the election. That's not a totally unreasonable argument, you know? So, that's why, I think, yes, she made some mistakes. But, I think, in the big scheme of things, the taxes, the lying about so much, is so much more transcendent. And I think that's got Donald Trump in a really - in the toughest place, he'd been, in this presidency.
BROWN: Do you agree that he's in the toughest place that he's been? And do you agree with David Gergen, that the taxes are the real problem, what came out today, not necessarily what has come out of these transcripts, David Urban?
URBAN: Yes, Pamela, I do think, in this past news cycle, right? Look, Donald Trump has been in hot water, many times. I've been on this network, many, many instances, on many days, when "It was the darkest day, for Donald Trump, and it was done. His goose was cooked." And yet, here we are, years later.
But I do agree with David Gergen that look, people can understand the tax issue, right? And they can understand, well, not paying taxes. They can't understand not paying taxes.
But in that instance, look, this is the Tax Code. I think the Tax Code is terrible, and it is what it is. And Donald Trump is not sitting around his kitchen table, on his laptop, with TurboTax, doing his taxes by himself, right? He's got a cadre of lawyers, and accountants, and he's taking - he's availing himself of the net operating loss carry forward, which is in the Tax Code.
If we want to change the Tax Code, let's change the Tax Code, and we'll have a debate about that. But the fact that Donald Trump availed himself of something that's in the Tax Code? Even Dave Chappelle recognized that on - in his "Saturday Night Live" opening monologue there, where he said, "Don't hate the player. Hate the game."
BROWN: But - OK. And look, we're not going to get into the Tax Code here. But what about the money that he gave to several foreign governments? I mean, do you think the voters should have known about that?
BROWN: Because of the potential for conflict of interest and concern about--
BROWN: --the fact it could be influencing his policies? Go ahead, David.
URBAN: Sure. And Pamela, your point?
BROWN: David Urban. URBAN: Yes. Pamela, your point earlier about - listen, that's why normal - candidates, normally, put forth their tax returns, so that people could see. The American public can see just if there are any conflicts, they can judge themselves, right?
Put your tax returns out there. You're a public official in the public eye. Let people make the calls for themselves, whether they think there's a problem or not, and then go to the polls. Let reporters examine it, scrub it, and delve in. And if there's a story there, write it. If not, move on. By not putting your tax returns out, it looks like you're trying to hide something.
BROWN: OK, David Urban, David Gergen, thank you.
We have some breaking news we have to get to, some very sad news, coming in to CNN. We have just learned that legendary broadcast journalist, Barbara Walters, has died.
Walters was a working journalist, for more than six decades, a trailblazer, who held some of the most powerful people, in the world, to account. She was an inspiration, for young female journalists, like myself, coming up the ranks.
Here's a look-back at her career.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barbara Walters was one of the most fascinating people, of any year, in the television era.
BARBARA WALTERS, AMERICAN BROADCASTER: I know that I've done some important interviews. I know that I have been a part of history.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was she ever?
WALTERS: Are you sorry you didn't burn the tapes?
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, I think so, because they were private conversations.
WALTERS: We read that you are mad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From murderers?
WALTERS: Why did you kill John Lennon?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To movie stars?
WALTERS: Are you a changed man since the illness? Did it affect you very much?
Did you mind being thought of as "Sex, sex, sex?"
I think that what is important is to have curiosity. Follow that curiosity. I'm a great believer in homework.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before people revealed all on social media, Barbara Walters was "The Interviewer" to open up the stars.
WALTERS: Does he hit you?
ROBIN GIVENS, AMERICAN ACTRESS, MIKE TYSON'S EX-WIFE: He shakes. He pushes. He - he swings.
WALTERS: I am me, and I hope that they think that I'm fair, and that I can be penetrating, without being a killer. And I am, I hope.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And which interview was her most important?
WALTERS: The first and, at that time, the only, then he (ph) didn't want to have to interview that Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin.
MUHAMMAD ANWAR EL-SADAT, FORMER PRESIDENT OF EGYPT: You are always like this, Barbara.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said her 1977 interview, with Cuba's Fidel Castro, was a news coup.
WALTERS: A man who runs a country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (FOREIGN LANGUAGE).
WALTERS: A man who allows no dissent?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (FOREIGN LANGUAGE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Castro didn't make it easy.
WALTERS: Blowing Cohiba, you know, the cigar that he smokes, I had smoke in my face for three and a half hours.
I didn't mind it. It was a different time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 74 million people, the most viewers for a news program, tuned in, to see Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern, involved with President Clinton.
WALTERS: What would you tell your children when you have them?
MONICA LEWINSKY, AMERICAN ACTIVIST: Mommy made a big mistake!
WALTERS: She got a reputation for making her interview guests cry.
PATRICK SWAYZE, AMERICAN ACTOR: He never got to know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you won't feel so big.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After Katharine Hepburn said she felt like an old tree, Walters was cut down by critics, for asking this.
WALTERS: What kind of a tree are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It didn't take long, for Walters, to become part of pop culture.
WALTERS: And well, this is Baba Wawa.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The same network that made fun of her was where she got her big break, NBC's "Today" show.
WALTERS: I was not a television suffragette. I kicked the door open, because after being there, 11 years, I was named the first co-host of the morning program.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But she was not permitted by her co-host, to ask a question, until he posed three.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harry Reasoner.
(CAMERA SHUTTER SOUND)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barbara Walters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It got worse, when Walters, to the surprise of many, was named the first female co-anchor of a network evening newscast.
HARRY REASONER, AMERICAN JOURNALIST: I've kept time on your stories and mine tonight. You owe me four minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She later described it as "Drowning without a life preserver."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Barbara Walters Special!
WALTERS: The Specials saved my life.
Good evening, I am Barbara Walters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And launched a legendary career, at ABC, kept by creating and co-hosting "The View."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When did you first learn about sex?
WALTERS: Well, I didn't learn about sex until I started to do this show. And now I know more about sex than I ever wanted to know!
WALTERS: The chemistry of it, and the fact that it's live, that it's outrageous that you never know what you're going to hear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When she left "The View," and ABC, they named a building, in her honor, a lasting monument, for a woman, who changed TV.
WALTERS: I'm so proud of the women, today. There are so many of them that are wonderful. That's my legacy. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BROWN: I'm joined now by someone, who knew Barbara Walters, well, The Washington Post's Sally Quinn.
Sally, first of all, I know that Barbara Walters was a dear friend of yours. I'm so sorry that we are talking under the circumstances. But she was an absolute giant in journalism. She was a trailblazer. She broke glass ceilings. Tell us about her, and what her legacy means, tonight.
Sally Quinn, can you hear us?
OK. We have David Gergen, on standby, who can hopefully speak with us, about Barbara Walters, the legend.
I am just so saddened by this news, David Gergen. I have looked up to Barbara Walters, my whole life. I've read her memoir. I've learned so much of her, as a young journalist, and was inspired by her, because of the fact that she was a trailblazer, in this industry. And she was in this industry, and was a giant, in it, for several decades, five decades.
How will you remember her, David Gergen?
GERGEN: Oh, yes, it's a huge loss. But I'm so glad you're speaking the way you are, about her. There's no woman - there's no person, in America, who did more to advance the rights of women, and to place women more - more at the forefront, of American business, frankly.
And this is a woman who - ABC wouldn't have been ABC without Barbara Walters. She and Roone Arledge, and Peter Jennings, that was a terrific crew, there, for a long time. And Barbara was right at the center of it. She was tough. She was tough-minded. But she was always fair, very fair, in what she did.
And I do think that she was so proud of the ways, especially, I think, those Castro interviews, for example?
GERGEN: They're - they've became for journalism schools everywhere, because Barbara showed the way. She was there, the out-front person, a person who took a lot of hits, or had some real sadness and tragedy. It wasn't all positive. But she - but she suck - she hung in there. And I just I can't tell you how much I think she was - sort of built the foundations, of modern news television--
GERGEN: --especially with the inclusion of more women.
BROWN: Absolutely, I mean.
And I want to bring Sally Quinn, back, because Sally Quinn was also a trailblazer. GERGEN: Yes.
BROWN: But for me, as a little girl, wanting to be a journalist one day, watching Barbara Walters, I thought, "Oh my gosh! She can interview these world leaders, like Fidel Castro, like Boris Yeltsin, like Vladimir Putin." The courage it took for her to be a trailblazer, to be able to interview these world leaders, was incredible.
She was tough, Sally. But there was so much, to Barbara Walters, beyond that, right?
ON THE PHONE: SALLY QUINN, AUTHOR: Well, she, I've never - I've never known anybody, who worked as hard as Barbara. And I mean she was a killer. When she went out to get a story, she would get the story. And I mean she was the best. She was - and, in those days, people would criticize her, because she was doing what men did. And women weren't supposed to be killers.
But when I came to CBS News, Barbara wanted to be an anchor woman on the "Today" show, and they wouldn't allow her because they said women couldn't be anchors. And so, I was hired by CBS, as an anchorwoman, as the first network anchorwoman, in America, to go up against Barbara Walters.
And "New York Magazine" had a cover story, and it put the - the lead was "Look out Barbara Walters! Here I come!" And I was so horrified. And Barbara called me up, and she said "Don't let them bother you. This is - they're going to try to pit the two of us against each other. And I want you to know that I'm your friend, and I wish you well."
And she was always unbelievably gracious, and kind to me, and we became best friends. And we were best friends for 40 years or 50 years.
And she was always gracious and helpful with other women. People don't understand that about Barbara. Because she was so strong-willed and she was hard-working, and she was tough. But they don't understand how she helped so many women, in the business. And she, you know, you said she was a trailblazer.
QUINN: But, I mean, Barbara is the one, who started out, getting the interviews that no other women could ever get.
QUINN: And would ever get.
BROWN: She allowed me to understand--
QUINN: And she--
BROWN: --it was possible.
QUINN: Well not only that--
BROWN: That my dream could come true.
QUINN: Yes. Well, but not only that, Pamela, she also was getting interviews with everybody else too. So, when she would do her Specials, she'd have a world leader, and she'd have a movie star, and she'd have a politician and, she'd have - she - there's nobody that she couldn't interview.
And I used to laugh, because I would call up, and I'd try to get an interview, with somebody, like Fidel Castro, and they'd say, "Well, Barbara Walters will be coming down, next week, but you can interview him, after that," you know? I mean, Barbara was always a step ahead of everybody.
BROWN: And she interviewed--
QUINN: And but--
BROWN: Go ahead.
QUINN: Well, she was a great girlfriend. I mean, she was somebody that you could then - we would have lunches, all the time. And we'd sit and schmooze for hours, you know?
And we'd talk about clothes, and hairdos. And we'd talk about politics. And we'd talk about world leaders. And we'd talk about foreign policy. And, she was just - there was nothing she didn't know about, nobody she didn't know, nothing she couldn't talk about. And she was really fun. And she had a great personality, a great sense of humor.
And she was, you know, my husband, Ben Bradlee, adored Barbara. And they were, I mean, we were all really close. We saw each other a lot in the summers. And we had a house near hers.
And she was always the life of the party. I never had a party out there that I didn't have Barbara. And Barbara was always the most fun person. Ben always wanted to sit next to Barbara, because she was the most fun, and she would keep the table going.
And she once wrote a book about, I think it was called something like, "How To Talk To Anybody About Anything?" And she could. There was nobody - you could put Barbara, in a room, with anybody, from any class, or social status, or culture, or country, or ethnic group, and Barbara could immediately become their best friend.
QUINN: It was an amazing talent. I've never seen anything like that. BROWN: Amazing, she could talk to anyone.
BROWN: And yet, here she is, interviewing these world leaders. She also interviewed every U.S. President, and first lady, from the Nixons to the Obamas.
BROWN: She interviewed President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump--
BROWN: --before they entered the White House.
So, I want to bring David Gergen back in, if he is still available, to get his reaction to that.
Just the fact, David, that she could speak to anyone, and she was able to land those huge interviews that every journalist, like Sally was saying, wanted to land? She'd be the first to get them so often.
GERGEN: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I think Sally Quinn's one of the only people in the country that captured Barbara Walters like that. I mean the friendship that existed between the two of them, was legendary. And they grew up, sometimes competed against each other. But I think each one of them enjoyed that.
Yes, so this is a - this is a big, big loss for American discourse, for American journalism. But it's an opportunity, a moment, when we can also focus on the fact that what one individual, like Barbara Walters, with all of her talent, and her drive, how much good she did, for the industry, and how much good she did, for building American journalism.
So, we have a - the news program, we've had a Golden age. We're no longer in that Golden age, I'm sorry to say. But she was really representing the Golden age of American news, journalism.
BROWN: Yes. Her tremendous - her legacy is absolutely tremendous.
And I loved Sally, how she would talk about, "Look, you got to prepare. You got to do your homework."
BROWN: Like you said, she was the hardest working journalist there was. What do you think she will want people to remember her by?
QUINN: Well, I think that she would like to be remembered as being really hard-working and as serious journalist. And, for so long, because she started out being a quote, "Hostess," unquote, even when she ended up being co-anchor at ABC News, her co-anchor, his name was Frank McGee, I think, I'm - I may be getting that right. But anyway, he was awful to her.
And everybody treated her like a second-class citizen. And she was the co-anchor. And she was the one who was getting the interviews, and doing the hard - and doing the reporting.
QUINN: And she - I think she never felt totally appreciated, for what she did. Particularly as she got older, I think she didn't feel that she had gotten the kind of recognition that she should have.
And I know that she was very disappointed a lot of times, particularly at ABC, toward the end, where she had worked so hard. She started "The View." She founded "The View." She did everything possible, to get as many interviews, and to get that network. I mean, she's really one of the reasons that ABC became such a top network at one point, is because of Barbara. I mean, she's so single-handedly put them on the map.
QUINN: Was first at NBC, and then at ABC.
But she lived for her work. She absolutely lived for her work. And that was everything to her. And she didn't particularly enjoy vacations. She would go up on vacations and always complain about how she would get bored, because she couldn't wait to come back to work.
BROWN: Typical journalist!
QUINN: And I do think that when she finally left television, she just - I don't - I mean, I think she just didn't want to live anymore. And I haven't - Barbara was one of my closest friends. And I haven't seen her in at least five years or six years.
And she - once she left television, we had one really long lunch, and she was very sad, and she didn't talk much, and it was very quiet. And she hugged me. It was right around the corner from her house. And she called me "Darling" and "Sweetheart," and we hugged, and we said goodbye. She was using a cane. And I never saw her again.
And she stopped answering phone calls from everybody, even her closest friends. And I mean, I would check in like I'd email, or call, and so did everybody. And I would check in with my friends. And people would say, "She just doesn't want to see anybody, and she doesn't want to talk to anybody."
QUINN: And I think that that was, you know, that was someone she had - I mean, she had a daughter. She had grandchildren. She had an adopted daughter. And her daughter was important to her. But I think that her life was her work.
QUINN: And that once that was over, she felt like she had done what she had meant to do on this Earth.
BROWN: And an incredible legacy she leaves behind.
BROWN: Sally Quinn, David Gergen, thank you so much.
As we remember Barbara Walters, tonight, the news continues. Let's turn it over to Alisyn Camerota and "CNN TONIGHT."