Return to Transcripts main page

CNN News Central

Sources Say, Trump Talked on Tape About Classified Doc; Today, Trump Holds Campaign Events in Iowa; Senate Could Vote on Bill as Early as Today. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired June 01, 2023 - 10:00   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: CNN has not obtained a copy of the recording, but multiple sources say the former president can be heard talking about this Pentagon document, which describes a potential attack on Iran.

The audio was recorded in the summer of 2021 during a meeting at his golf course in New Jersey. It also is a meeting that was between him and two others who were helping write Mark Meadow's autobiography. Sources tell CNN federal prosecutors have already questioned witnesses about this recording and the document before a federal grand jury.

This is not the first questionable audio recording first, of course, for the former president to come to light. Just before the 2016 election, the Access Hollywood emerged of Donald Trump talking about being able to grab women. And then after the 2020 election, he was recorded asking officials in Georgia to find those votes to help him to try to overturn the election results there. And now you have this.

Let's get more on this record and new reporting from CNN's Katelyn Polantz. She's in Washington. What more are you learning, Katelyn?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Kate, our understanding of this now with this audiotape that the Justice Department has about this meeting at Bedminster, New Jersey, in 2020, the summer of 2020 after Trump leaves the presidency, it shifts our understanding of this documents investigation in a lot of different ways.

First of all, it is an audiotape, the sort of thing that the Justice Department would be seeking whenever they're looking for a case. This would evidence, and it is the type of evidence that we understand from sources not only the Justice Department has, it is the evidence that they are people asking about, that they have interviewed General Mark Milley, the person that Trump was saying that he got this document about a plan to get an attack on Iran from.

Milley is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and also was someone that Donald Trump often was not -- was very much in conflict with at the end of his presidency. So, there is that. There's this evidence that they are getting grand jury testimony around, that they're building up information, what they know about this meeting. And also it shifts our understanding of this Mar-a-Lago investigation, Kate, because we talking and it as the Mar-a-Lago investigation, what happened last year at Mar-a-Lago in Florida with these boxes leading up to that FBI search of Donald Trump's property.

But that is not the extent of this case. This is a case where the Justice Department is gathering evidence and looking at the incident that they have on this audio recording from people in the room, people working on a biography, a communications aide to Donald Trump were in the room, that it happened in Bedminster, New Jersey, even a year before this was an issue, a criminal investigation.

It was a moment in time that Donald Trump was quite angry, and that in this audio recording, he is captured acknowledging he can't declassify this document, he wants it to be shared more widely and he recognizes that it is protected and secretive national security material.

BOLDUAN: What now are you hearing from the former president and his team about this new reporting?

POLANTZ: Well, they have come out and attacked this as a leak. And, in fact, one of the defense attorneys for Donald Trump, Jim Trusty, he was just on CNN last night speaking to Abby Philip and Kaitlan Collins. Here is what Jim Trusty said in reaction to this story.


JIM TRUSTY, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: The president under the Presidential Records Act has unfettered authority to do what he wants with documents that he's taken from the White House while president. I am not going to sit here and dignify leaks that are incomplete, that are unfair and they're dishonest. This is leak campaign.


POLANTZ: So, he is not denying that the audio tape exists or the merits of this story, but our understanding, he is still saying that there is this ability for Donald Trump to declassify things. But our understanding is that this audiotape, what Trump is saying on this audiotape, that we haven't heard it specifically, that it does undercut all of these defenses that Donald Trump's team has used in court or -- I'm sorry, before they're in court, in the public sphere, as they're saying, we're going to be gearing up we may need to try this case. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Katelyn, thank you, as always, for your continued reporting on this. Thank you very much.

And, John, more for the former president to now face this seasonal campaign.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. And let's not forget, he is the leading Republican presidential candidate at this very moment who arrives in Iowa today for a series of campaign events. These events are going to look a little bit different in some of the rallies you'll remember from past campaigns.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is in Urbandale, in Iowa. Jeff, how will it look different than some of the things we are used to?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, it will look considerably different.


The former president is arrived in Des Moines last evening, and he'll be meeting with local Republicans here who are gathering for breakfast. It is a weekly meeting conservatives have, and, usually, there are about 20 or 30 Republican voters just talking amongst themselves. Sometimes they have guest candidates who are coming in. And this will be a slightly larger crowd.

But for Donald Trump, it will be a considerably smaller crowd than normal. And that is indeed the point. He is trying to go back to the basics, if you will, that most normal candidates do, and meet with some voters one on one. This is a clear sign that he knows that he has significant competition in this race. He knows that he certainly has to win over and make the case to his supporters to not abandon him and go supporting someone else.

But, John, this is happening on the same morning, of course, as these revelations are coming out about the classified document investigation. And this is just a reminder that this is the presidential campaign. His legal case, his ongoing investigations in several jurisdictions are part of this presidential campaign. It is impossible to delink them, if you will.

So, even though these may not be top of mind to voters here, we are getting the sense that it is on the former president's mind. Of course, he'll be meeting with conservatives here, holding a lunch with faith leaders, and then taping a town hall that will be on Fox News tonight, John.

BERMAN: Yes. But part of the extent to which they will matter will depend on what the other candidates choose to do with it, with all the investigations, with all the developments. And to that end, there is one soon to be candidate in particular who's also in the middle of it all. That's the former vice president, Mike Pence, who we're now learning is going to enter the race next week. What do you know about these plans and how he intends to position himself, Jeff?

ZELENY: Well, John, we do know that former Vice President Mike Pence will make his announcement next Wednesday. In less than a week, here in Des Moines, he'll be meeting with supporters, releasing a video and then having town hall conversation with our own Dana Bash next Wednesday evening here.

But this is really extraordinary, not only a former vice president running against a former president, but also just the relationship and the tensions between these two men. And the reason it matters is, of course, is because election denialism, the insurrection at the Capitol, these investigations of classified documents really speak to the root of not only their relationship but what Republican voters will be deciding.

And then it's not just Mike Pence. The field is growing, multiplying week by week, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also announcing next week. And there is a sense here, as we talk to voters in Iowa and Republican leaders, a growing field, a bigger field, helps one candidate above all, and that is indeed Donald Trump, because it could simply divide the rest of the field, divide the never Trump lane, if you will.

So, John, on the first day of June here in Iowa, you get the sense this race is intensifying considerably. But the former president will be coming here to the Machine Shed restaurant in Urbandale shortly for a very intimate gathering, something that shows he's intent on trying to win this nomination again, John.

BERMAN: Jeff Zeleny in Iowa, I think you are going to be spending a lot of time there in the coming weeks, which I know you like and Iowa likes. Rahel?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN ANCHOR: All right, John. Onto Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pushing for a speedy vote on the debt limit bill after it easily passed the House with bipartisan support. That vote could come as early as today. But the bill first needs to clear two major hurdles.

CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju is on Capitol Hill now with the latest. So, Manu, we know the Senate just gaveled in. What are new hearing?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I've been in the halls talking to senators this morning and talking to some Republican senators who are simply not happy with the deal that was cut between the speaker and the White House.

One, Senator Lindsey Graham, just told us that he would not allow the negotiators who cut this deal to negotiate a car for him. He also called this a dumb idea, the idea that this issue of defense spending, in particular, what he is concerned about because he believes there should have been more money that had been added as part of this agreement that was tied to raising the national debt limit.

The Republicans criticized this as not keeping up with the pace of inflation. And he is demanding that the White House or the Democratic leaders and Republican leaders essentially assure that there will be more money for Ukraine in order for them to allow a vote to go forward, a final vote to go forward.

And that's important because of this. In order to schedule a final vote in the United States Senate to clear this bill, you need to have an agreement from all 100 senators. And different senators have different demands. And that is one thing that Democratic leaders and Republican leaders are working through at this moment, trying to resolve all those demands. Some want amendment votes, some want certain commitments.

Once they get those agreements hashed out behind the scenes, then they can actually lock in a time for the final vote to occur. And we do expect this to eventually pass as soon as tonight, as soon as tomorrow, once that effort is dealt with behind the scenes.

Now, I just also spoke to the number two Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin.


He doesn't like the concessions that the White House gave Speaker McCarthy either, but he is urging his members to vote for it because he's concerned the other option is the first ever default on the U.S. debt.


SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Default is not an option, and that means we have to pass this bill. I'm going to have to swallow hard on some parts of it. I'm sure other members say the same thing, but the responsible thing to do for America is to pass it.

RAJU: So, do you think it will happen tonight or tomorrow?

DURBIN: I think it will.


RAJU: So, that could bring an end to a very messy and bitter standoff that led to this two weeks of intense negotiations between the speaker and the White House.

Remember, senators were really not part of this agreement, so some of them want to have their say here in the final hours. But they do expect those issues to be resolved and then ultimately passage to the president, averting a default in the days ahead.

SOLOMON: Manu, as you say, two weeks of intense negotiations, but two weeks too of really jitteriness on Wall Street and Main Street. So, we'll see what happens in the next day or two to come. Manu Raju live first on Capitol Hill, thank you. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, a prayer book with a bullet hole, worshippers who saw their friends and family gunned down. The evidence and the very emotional testimony that's happening in court right now in the trial of the man accused of killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue. We're going to take you live outside the courthouse as we continue to follow this important trial.

Plus, an effort to show how much the U.S. economy depends on immigrants. It's called a day without immigrants and it's happening right now across the country.

And jumping into action, the L.A. Rams coach who was in the right place at the right time.

We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: On our radar this hour, a crippling cyberattack against a hospital. This happened to the Idaho Falls Community Hospital. It's in the eastern part of the state. The attack was Monday, and it actually forced the hospital to have to redirect ambulances to other medical facilities because it really tied them down. A spokesperson says their staff has now resorted to using pen and paper for patient charts as they work to restore the computer systems.

While the hospital does remain open for walk-ins, it's still unclear when they're going to be able to accept new patients by ambulance because of the disruption to admissions because of the cyberattack. It's just horrible.

And $38 million, that is apparently how much kale is worth when it is covering up a whole bunch of mess. It was all found hidden inside a shipment of kale at a checkpoint on the U.S.-Mexico border. Customs and Border Protection say 268 packages were found inside a tractor trailer, and that comes out to almost 6,000 pounds of meth. I know you're thinking of all of the jokes you could tell. The driver of the truck was detained and turned over to Homeland Security, yet another reason John Berman won't eat kale.

Talk about being at the right place at the right time. Los Angeles Rams Defensive Coordinator Raheem Morris, he helped save a child from drowning in Las Vegas last weekend. Morris helped resuscitate the boy after he was pulled out of a hotel pool by his father. Morris credits his recent CPR and AED training for knowing what to do. Truly everyone's absolute nightmare, John.

BERMAN: It's a wonderful story.


BERMAN: And it speaks to the need to be trained in CPR.

Today, migrant workers across the country are protesting new laws. People in at least seven states are joining what they call a day without immigrants, Florida, California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, South Carolina and Texas, that's where it's happening, largely in response to an anti-immigration measure signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

That law requires employers with more than 25 workers to check the immigration status of these workers using a federal database. The law also invalidates out of state identification cards issued to undocumented migrants. And anyone who transports undocumented people could face steep fines and possible imprisonment.

Joining us now is Victor Prado, who is the co-owner of a restaurant in West Palm Beach in Florida. Victor, thanks so much for being with us. You're closing your restaurant today. Why?

VICTOR PRADO, PART OWNER, EL MARIACHI MEXICAN RESTAURANT: Because -- good morning. We are closing because we want to support this day, because this law is not fair, because we lost not just employees, we are losing our customers also. And I think we come to this country -- I'm Mexican. We come to this country because we want to have a life. We left our family in our country. For me, in Mexico, I have 23 years in this country, this beautiful country, and then this law, I mean, everybody is scared.

So, we lost in about 40 percent of ourselves right now because a lot of our customers, they live in from the state because they are afraid. They told me, okay, I'm going to work, I don't know, if I'll come back. I have a family, I have to pay bills. I cannot let my family be alone. So, that's why we close and to support all the immigrants.

BERMAN: What are people and what are you scared of specifically in this new law?


PRADO: Yes, because, basically, the immigrants, they don't have papers. They are scared. If they -- example in Florida, you have to drive. You have to drive because you have to work. So, if the police stop you, they have to -- probably they say, okay, the police stopped me. Probably they deport me. So, that's why they're scared about it.

BERMAN: Do you feel that you can continue to run your restaurant inside Florida with the current laws as they are?

PRADO: I mean, I don't think so, because, again, we lost a lot of clientele, a lot of our business. So right now, after July, I think we will lose more business because you don't have a customer, how we can pay the bills, how we can pay the rent, how we can pay everything, so you can't afford it. So, what can happen? You have to close the restaurant.

BERMAN: Victor Prado, we do appreciate you being with us today. Thank you for telling your story.

PRADO: Okay. Thank you so much.

BERMAN: Rahel?

SOLOMON: All right. John, thank you.

And this just in the CNN, the Supreme Court deciding against the union at strike. So, this case pitted a cement mixing company against its employees, who they allege caused destruction of property during that strike.

CNN's Jessica Schneider joins us now. So, Jessica, break this all down for us. What happened here?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Rahel. This is really the Supreme Court making it easier for at least one company in Washington State to actually sue union workers. So, eight of the justices here saying that a lawsuit between this cement mixing company and striking workers, it can continue in state court for now, even though the union workers here, they had argued that this suit should only be brought as part of a federal lawsuit.

So, this case has really been closely watched by supporters of unions. Those supporters have really witnessed the conservative majority in recent years chipping away at the power of unions. This is yet another case where it does just that. So, the cement company here wanting to bypass federal labor law and sue this union in state court for damages the company claims were caused by those striking workers.

So, to give you a little background here, this is a case stemming from a strike in 2017. Concrete drivers at this company in Washington State, they went on strike. And when they did, they returned their trucks fully loaded with concrete, so, obviously, rendering the concrete useless. The company was actually able to save the trucks, but they lost the concrete. So, the company turned to sue the union in state court for property destruction.

Now, the union obviously wanted it in federal court in accordance with the Federal Labor Relations Act. But by allowing this dispute, the Supreme Court today to continue in state court, this ruling crucially, it could really chill other workers' decisions to strike, because the fear here is that if they strike, they could be brought to court for matters of property destruction, for example, in state court. This could really amount to expensive litigation. So, the lower court in this case, it actually dismissed the lawsuit, saying that this was property destruction. It happened in the course of a strike, so it should be governed by federal law.

But the court today is saying just the opposite here. They're saying the union's actions not only resulted in the destruction of all the concrete Glacier had prepared that day, they also posed a risk of foreseeable, aggravated and imminent harm to Glacier's trucks. Because the union took affirmative steps to endanger Glacier's property rather than reasonable precautions to mitigate that risk, the NLRA, which is the federal law, does not arguably protect its conduct.

So, the decision here written by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the judgment joined by eight of the justices, including Justice Amy Coney Barrett. So, Rahel, this is really the court here, in a minor way, but still significant, chipping away at union power, allowing a company to file this lawsuit in state court again, potentially chilling union workers from striking potentially in the future knowing that they could in fact be brought for cases like this, property destruction and otherwise in state court. Rahel?

SOLOMON: Yes, Jessica, just really interesting development and perhaps implications here. Jessica Schneider, thank you for bringing it to us.



BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, a drag show was set to return to an Air Force base today and it has now been canceled. Why the Pentagon intervened? And are doctors finding yet another usage for medications like Ozempic? The diabetes drug turned weight loss medication is all also showing signs of helping patients with addiction?


The important new data that's coming in, we'll have that for you next.


SOLOMON: Welcome back. More victims from the Pittsburgh mass synagogue shooting are expected to take the stand today. Jurors heard emotional testimony from five survivors who described devastating details from the incident.


Carol Black recalled hiding in a closet. One of the other men in the closet with her was shot and killed.