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CNN Obtains Thousands Of Texts That Meadows Gave To 1/6 Panel; Austin: Allies To Meet Monthly To Discuss Ukraine War Strategy; Advisory Panel No Longer Recommends Daily Preventive Aspirin Use. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired April 26, 2022 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Now to a new exclusive report from CNN. My colleague is obtaining more than 2000 text messages that former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows handed over to the congressional committee investigating the Capitol insurrection. These messages were sent and received before and after the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol. They offer up a real-time picture of the conversations, at least, some of the conversations among Trump's inner circle and lawmakers around January 6.

CNN's Katelyn Polantz is live in Washington for us with more on this. So, Katelyn, tell us more about exactly what these messages get at.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Kate, this really is the big picture that we're seeing here. Correspondent Jamie Gangel did get access to these text messages, and it's 2000 text messages that Meadows voluntarily turned over to the House Committee and that the House Select Committee now will be looking at as they try to understand what happened inside the west wing on January 6.

And as you read through these, which we now can, we're left with a very dominant impression that many, many top Republicans, more than 40 current and former members of Congress, people who were very close to Donald Trump in the campaign, in the administration, former officials, even his family, those people all believed that Meadows, in real-time, could have the ear of Donald Trump, could get messages to him and could control what Trump was saying publicly and what he was doing, or at least they hope so.

So, there's two I want to point out. Particularly, these are two messages where Marjorie Taylor Greene, who's a representative, and Jason Miller, who's a campaign officially separately are texting Mark Meadows about what they wanted Trump to do on January 6.

Let's start with Jason Miller's text. Miller texted Meadows and Dan Scavino, another White House official. Call me crazy but ideas for two tweets from POTUS. This is on January 6 during the insurrection. One, here's one tweet. Bad apples likely Antifa or other crazed leftists infiltrated today's peaceful protest over the fraudulent vote count. Violence is never acceptable. MAGA supporters embrace our police and

the rule of law and should leave the Capitol now. Or two, the fake news media who encouraged this summer's violent and radical riots are now trying to blame peaceful and innocent MAGA supporters for violent actions. This isn't who we are. Our people should head home and let the criminals suffer the consequences.

So, those were the proposed tweets, the messaging from Jason Miller, obviously, the people who did attack the Capitol were Trump supporters, we've learned that in many, many criminal cases so far. And Marjorie Taylor Greene separately was asking in a separate tweet about Trump potentially bringing up martial law or using martial law and declassifying things to attack Biden days before the inauguration. So this is what we have here, this is what we're seeing for Meadows and there are text messages. He's still holding back that the committee does not have yet, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Katelyn, thank you very much for that. Joining me now for more on this are CNN Chief Political Correspondent, co-anchor of State of the Union, Dana Bash, and CNN Legal Analyst Jennifer Rodgers. It's good to see you, guys. Dana, what do you see here? I say that knowing that I'm asking a very broad question because there are 2300 text messages we're talking about here. What do you see?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, just in what Katelyn just read from Jason Miller, the obvious attempt to spin didn't reach a tweet from the then-president, but that was immediately the thing -- the kinds of things that we did hear from Trump supporters who were speaking out publicly trying falsely to blame it on so-called Antifa when, as Katelyn said, we know -- we knew then and we definitely know now because it's gone through several court proceedings and that is just not true.

They were Trump supporters full stop. But even more broadly, what so many of these text messages to Mark Meadows, particularly on January 6, from sitting members of Congress, Republicans, even Marjorie Taylor Greene, were saying at the time as they were actually being traumatized and frankly terrorized because they were in the building, saying, please get them to stop. This is not right.


BASH: In the moment, they understood what was happening. And probably even now, in their heart of hearts, they knew exactly what was happening, that this was an insurrection, this was absolutely the wrong thing to do. But as soon as that washed over them, that feeling of -- that human feeling of being so scared, and the fear was gone, then they went back to their political games, which is trying to pretend what they witnessed and what they experienced didn't happen. And it's so -- it's so stark to actually see that in black and white.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And also, in terms of the conversations, Jennifer, around efforts to overturn the 2020 election I mean, there are so many different kinds of conversations in these thousands of text messages, any legal exposure, if any, would depend on the person, the conversation, the context, of course, but what kind of text conversations could be a problem, could cross the line?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, first of all, Kate, a couple of interesting things. First of all, these are new to all of us, but the committee has had them since December so they've already been working on this information. And what's interesting to me is that they haven't seemed to push to see more of these congresspeople and other Trump supporters in person in testimony, so I'm a little concerned about that.

But the answer to your question is, they're going to be looking at these potential conspiracy members, right? Starting with right after the election, when they start talking about alternate slates of electors, they start talking about court challenges. That's not illegal in and of itself but the point is, how are they going to make cases proving conspiracies to interfere with Congress, which many insurrections have already been charged with, and then a potential broader conspiracy against the United States that would involve the overturning of the election writ large?

So, these alternate illegal slate of electors, for example, that would be a big part of it. So those people who are on texts talking about, hey, let's talk about alternate slates of electors in important states. Those are the people who should be most worried right now.

BOLDUAN: On -- like, Marjorie Taylor Greene, for one example, she said during the court hearing just last week, it was an administrative hearing. She literally said she doesn't remember having any conversations pushing for martial law. We see in these text messages that she's talking about martial law in the text -- in these textbooks. She was under oath at this hearing last week. Separate and now kind of like-new issue could pop up because she was under oath at this hearing. Is that a problem? What kind of problem is it for her?

RODGERS: So, in theory, it's a perjury problem, right? The testimony under oath if false is perjury. The problem is it's very hard to prove perjury if the statement is I don't recall because what you have to prove is the falsity of the statement made under oath. When you say I don't recall all of a sudden, you don't have to prove that, you know, she didn't say, you have to prove that she doesn't remember it. And that's very, very hard to do.

So, I expect that while it's embarrassing for her, while the fact that that Judge now knows that she almost certainly wasn't truthful, and he will consider that in his rulings, it won't mean a perjury prosecution for her.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Jennifer. Thank you. Dana, thank you so much. It's great to see you. Coming up for us. Millions of Americans take aspirin every day to lower their risk of heart disease, of course. Well, a new recommendation just out of this hour may change all of that. The breaking details ahead.


[11:40:00] BOLDUAN: I want to turn to our breaking news this hour which was Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin saying during this press conference. After meeting with his counterparts from dozens of countries about Ukraine, Austin is saying allies will be meeting monthly to intensify efforts and coordinate assistance against Russia's unprovoked war.

Joining me now is Igor Zhovkva. He's the chief diplomatic adviser to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. Igor, thank you for being here. We just heard from defense -- the defense secretary about this. Committing to monthly meetings with 40 plus other countries to focus on how best to coordinate aid and support to Ukraine. What does that mean to you?

IGOR ZHOVKVA, CHIEF DIPLOMATIC ADVISER TO PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY: A very positive statement of defense secretary especially coming after his personal visit to Kyiv together with the Secretary of State and meeting my president and giving the same messages that the U.S. government would even be more stronger and more effective and more swift in providing Ukraine with the most necessary weapon it needs on the field.

So, absolutely, we're in this positively this meeting of today and the statements. We really need arms in order to be more strong and mor safe in the battles which are ahead of Ukraine and is definitely the battle over Donbass where Russia is concentrating its troops and wanting to have a major offensive in the Donbass, which Russia is trying to capture since 2014. We also need this weapon to deblock the city of Mariupol, for instance, so, yes, absolutely positive development of events.

BOLDUAN: Also happening today, we're seeing that the U.N. Secretary- General is meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. I've seen that you've said that this meeting with Putin was not a good idea. Why?

ZHOVKVA: Well, I don't know which signals UN Secretary-General will deliver in Russia. Politically, the role of the United Nations should be stronger, I think, as well as the humanitarian role of the United Nations in Ukraine should be stronger. So -- I mean, any visit is positive and any efforts to bring peace to Ukraine is positive -- is positive, but you have to understand what are the results. Can you really achieve the results?

So, hopefully, hopefully, this time it will be resolved for visit. But unfortunately, before that, we saw the attempts of many foreign leaders to become a kind of mediator in establishing the diplomatic solution of this war. And once again, Ukraine is ready for the diplomatic solution in this war. But unfortunately, before that, no one was able to convince the leadership of Russia to be more serious about negotiations. No one was able to convince President Putin to sit at the negotiation table with my president and to discuss the end of the war.


BOLDUAN: Because after he leaves Moscow, the UN -- the UN Secretary- General is coming to Ukraine. What will President Zelenskyy say to him when he arrives? ZHOVKVA: Well, if the meeting happens between my president and the UN Secretary-General, my president definitely will be more demanding on the part of both Secretary-General in person and the UN as an institution. You heard his speech in the -- during the last UN Security Council meeting. United Nations as an institution and Secretary-General can do more in order to be helpful in politically -- both politically and economically to defend Ukraine against Russian aggression.

BOLDUAN: I have -- I wanted to ask you, Igor, President Zelenskyy has been very clear that he believes one key to stopping Russia is that you're more fully cut off oil and gas and -- cut themselves off from oil and gas imports from Russia. The German Chancellor said in a new interview that he does not believe that would end the war. I want to read the quote from the German chancellor in this. He said. "I absolutely do not see how a gas embargo would end the war. If Putin were open to economic arguments, he would never have begun this crazy war." What do you think of that?

ZHOVKVA: You know, even before the war, Putin always boasted that sanctions do not influence Russia's economy, which is absolutely not the case. And we see that current sanctions which have been already implemented, and we're talking about Germany, Germany was active in implementing five packages of EU sanctions already.

But really, the embargo on oil and gas is very important in one very important way. We have to cut off the Russian economy from being able to earn more euros, we are -- or U.S. dollars, which they immediately spend at the military defense industry. And the military industry immediately produces more ballistic missiles, artillery systems attacks, which fighters just continuing to kill Ukrainian civilians and Ukrainian soldiers.

So, sanctions is one of the two or three strongest components in order to win this -- our war over Russia. So besides the weapons, which we were talking about already, and besides the -- besides the, for instance, inviting Ukraine to become a -- to become a part of the European Union, sanctions do matter.

So, that's why we need sanctions which have immediate implications. We do not need sanctions which will be you know implemented within 10 or five years, immediate sanctions, which would have an immediate effect on the Russian economy. That's what we need.

BOLDUAN: Igor Zhovkva, the Chief Diplomatic Adviser to President Zelenskyy, thank you for coming in.

ZHOVKVA: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us. A major change to long-standing health recommendations to tell you about. Why a panel of experts now says people should not take aspirin every day to prevent heart disease? Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us next with the details.



BOLDUAN: Developing at this hour, a major change in preventative medicine for millions of Americans. A key federal task force is no longer broadly recommending taking aspirin to prevent heart disease because the risks they see are now outweighing the benefits. This change impacts millions of people who have been taking aspirin -- an aspirin a day for a very long time.

Joining me now is CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


BOLDUAN: Sanjay, this seems like a big shift. Talk us through these new recommendations.

GUPTA: This is a big shift, Kate. And you know you're talking close to maybe 30 million people who this may affect, people who generally have been taking a low dose aspirin, baby aspirin, to try and prevent heart disease, prevent a first heart attack. So you know, when you think about that, that's, you know, close to one in 10 adults, maybe more than that, who have been doing this for some time.

And the guidance has sort of been changing steadily over time, basically balancing the risks of bleeding versus the prevention that it might provide in terms of heart disease or stroke. So let me show you. The big headline here is if you're over the age of 60 if you've been taking aspirin, you know, to basically, they say you should not start taking aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke. That's the big headline. But they also say as young as 40. 40 to 59, if you have a risk of heart disease or sort of significant risk, you should talk to your doctor about the benefits.

And let me just tell you quickly, Kate, because as many times I've reported on this, the next question is, well, how do you know if you're at high-risk or high-risk enough for this? There are various risk calculators for this sort of thing, the American College of Cardiology will just go ahead and put this up on the screen. But you should go ahead and estimate your risk based on your own -- your own profile, your age, your gender, any blood work, things like that.

And then you can figure out what is your risk over the next 10 years of having heart disease, plug that in, you'll have a better idea of your risk, and see what that means in terms of aspirin. But they really want to dial back I think here, the number of people who've been taking low dose aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke.

BOLDUAN: And significance -- this isn't another study not to diminish or downplay the significance of studies.

GUPTA: Right.

BOLDUAN: This is a final conclusion, a final recommendation. So what does this mean for the millions of people who have been taking aspirin to try to lower the risk? GUPTA: Yes, that's a really good question because again, you're

talking about this close to 30 million people who sort of, find themselves in this bucket of prevention. And what was interesting about that number is that about a quarter of people of those -- of those nearly 30 million, had been taking the aspirin on their own, not with -- without some sort of doctor's recommendation. There is no specific guidance here.

I think clearly, they're saying people over the age of 60 should not be taking starting aspirin for prevention. If you're falling into those earlier, you know, two decades 40 to 59, which I am in and I have a risk of heart disease, then you got to talk to your doctor about that and do that risk calculator. People say look, I'm at risk. Well, that's a quantifiable thing. How much is your risk really? And then that might help you actually balance the benefits of taking a low-dose aspirin versus the prevention.


GUPTA: You got to keep in mind. You know, people have often said, look, it's an aspirin. How big a problem can that be? But the risk of bleeding, the risk of causing GI bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, in particular, the risk of bleeding elsewhere in your body, if you've had some sort of trauma can be significant, and that risk goes up as you get older, so that's the balance.

BOLDUAN: There is a real risk.


BOLDUAN: And there's now new recommendations to really take into account and consider. It's good to see you, Sanjay, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: And thank you all so much for joining us AT THIS HOUR. I'm Kate Bolduan. INSIDE POLITICS starts after this quick break.