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CNN Live Event/Special
First Look at Never-Before-Seen Trump Documentary Footage; Ivanka Trump Appears to Support President's Election Lies in New Video; Trump Talks About 1/6 Attack in Never-Before-Seen Footage; Federal Agents Raid Home of Former Trump DOJ Official Jeffrey Clark. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired June 23, 2022 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: We are breaking down new evidence shared with the January 6th Select House Committee. Never-before-seen interviews with then-President Trump, members of his family, members of his inner circle, both before and after the horrific attack on the U.S. capitol January 6th.
British documentarian, Alex Holder, was just interviewed by House investigators about his documentary, which will air later this summer on Discovery Plus, which we should note shares a parent company with CNN, and provided us with clips from the film.
I want to take a look at a new clip for you.
It's a portion of the documentary that features an interview with the president's daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, as the president was engaged in a full-court press in December to try to overturn the legal legitimate results of the 2020 election.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNE APPLEBAUM, STAFF WRITER, "THE ATLANTIC": They thought because people showed up to their rallies that meant they were popular.
APPLEBAUM: The idea that other people might be sitting at home feeling differently about it seems not to have occurred to them. They genuinely thought that must be true.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We won Georgia. We won Michigan. We won Pennsylvania. We won them all.
IVANKA TRUMP, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISER & DAUGHTER OF FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: As the president has said, every single vote needs to be counted and needs to be heard. And he campaigned for the voiceless.
PHILIP RUCKER, DEPUTY NATIONAL EDITOR, "THE WASHINGTON POST": It's interesting to see Ivanka Trump say that her father wanted every vote to be counted.
RUCKER: Because Trump's mission in the days after the election was to stop the counting of votes.
ERIC TRUMP, SON OF FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP: The reality is people in this country were getting multiple ballots in the mail. There are thousands and thousands of people who are voting in multiple states.
DR. EDDIE S. GLAUDE JR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: There's no evidence whatsoever that the voter fraud that they're claiming.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After weeks of trying to overturn the results of the election, his legal team has come up with nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So far, they've lost 30 cases.
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP: I would love to release all the information that I have. I would love to give it to you all. Except most of you wouldn't cover it.
TRUMP: All the legal documents and everything else, it's not even a contest. But you need a judge that has courage and, so far, we haven't found that judge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: In addition to that clip, the documentary reportedly includes Ivanka Trump saying her father should continue to fight because people are questioning, quote, "the sanctity of our elections."
You can compare what Ivanka Trump said in the documentary, before it was clear that her dad was not going to be able to steal the election, to what she said under oath to the Select Committee about the results.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did that affect your perspective about the election when Attorney General Barr made that statement?
IVANKA TRUMP: It affected my perspective. I respect Attorney General Barr, so I accepted what he was saying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That's a reference to Attorney General Barr saying that the claims of widespread voter fraud were, quote, "bullshit."
Let's go to Pamela Brown on Capitol Hill, who has some new reporting on Ivanka Trump.
Pamela, tell us more.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Right. So I spoke to a source familiar with the behind-the-scenes activity having to do with this documentary.
This person I spoke to, Jake, downplayed it significantly, saying it was pitched to Ivanka and Jared and other members of the Trump family as a, quote, "puff, puff, puff piece."
They viewed it as inconsequential. They said it was pitched to them Jason Greenblatt, who is former White House lawyer for Donald Trump.
Now, I pressed on, well, well, why would they sit down and do these interviews during such a sensitive time if it was seen as inconsequential?
And the person I spoke with said, well, Ivanka Trump didn't want to get into a fight with her dad, and she was doing it as a favor for her friend.
But what's important to note is that what I am told is essentially what Ivanka said in that clip, as you pointed out, that contradicted what she said told the January 6th committee under oath, was that she didn't really belief what she said in that documentary.
That this person I spoke to said she didn't want to contradict her dad. That is why she said what she said, trying to defend her and downplay it.
But we know from our own reporting, Jake, that, even in mid-November, Ivanka Trump was privately telling her confidants that she didn't think the legal challenges would change the outcome of the election.
And so clearly, she's trying to have it both ways here. Privately, telling confidants that. Clearly, under oath, saying she knew, once Bill Barr said, especially December 1st, that there was no widespread fraud.
But then saying on camera, in this documentary, that's supposed to be a puff piece, that she thought that every vote should be counted because people were questioning the sanctity of an election, that she knew her dad had lost -- Jake?
TAPPER: Yes. She said, as the president has said, every single vote needs to be counted.
BROWN: She knew -- she knew that her dad had lost. She was telling people that privately in November.
TAPPER: Yes, but her dad was not trying to get every single vote counted. Her dad --
TAPPER: Her dad --
BROWN: Because he tried to stop the vote counting.
TAPPER: Yes. Her dad literally tweeted, the Thursday after the election, "Stop the count." I mean --
BROWN: So I brought this up to someone I spoke to today. I said, she was saying she wanted every vote counted but he was saying stop the vote count because it wasn't good for him.
The person, one of the people I spoke with today, tried to defend her, saying, see, she's not just a mouthpiece for her dad.
TAPPER: But clearly, in this case, Jake, she was trying to toe that line, walk the line by saying what her dad had been saying publicly even though privately she was telling confidants different things.
TAPPER: Yes. She was saying -- her dad wasn't even saying count every vote. I mean, that's the thing. She was going even farther than her dad. Her dad was saying stop the count, and Ivanka was misrepresenting what he was saying, he wants every vote counted.
Let me bring in Kaitlan Collins, our chief White House correspondent, who has more on this --Kaitlan?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Jake, basically, the people who sat for the interviews were told that they would have editorial input and that the focus of this documentary was on Trump's legacy, that it was going to be a flattering portrayal.
And so they had no concerns about sitting down. That's why you see the president himself sitting down several times with this British filmmaker, who is pretty much unknown by a lot of the people who sat down with him.
Jared Kushner sat down with him for several moments. Ivanka Trump, obviously, as well.
Donald Trump Jr, I'm told, sat down with them for about an hour and spoke to them. You saw him in the trailer for the documentary. They actually asked him for a second interview. But I'm told, ultimately, that never happened.
But they were under the impression this was going to be a very flattering portrayal of former President Trump. And that also they would have editorial say so over what the final product looked like.
OK, obviously, that has had a wrench thrown into it, given all of this footage that's been turned over to the January 6th committee.
But the question inside has been whether or not they have any concerns about what they've said on camera. A lot of them say they can't recall the full extent of their comments, Jake, because they were conducted, they weren't really concerned about them. When Pence did his, I'm told some of his top aides weren't even in the room for it because they didn't have a high level of concern about what was going to be said on the interviews.
Another key aspect of this, Jake, was not just that they were assured it was going to be flattering, is that this was arranged by Jason Greenblatt. He was Trump's former Middle East peace envoy. He left the White House in 2019 but he stayed very close to the Trump family.
And he was really the one orchestrating this. And they trusted him. So there weren't really that level of concern about what was going to happen or whether or not this was going to be a tough interview.
And I think, Jake, that could explain why you saw Pence sit down with them six days after January 6th happened, after he had gone several days without speaking to Trump.
So that has really been the question coming into focus here about why they sat down for this interview.
But then you also hear others downplaying it, saying they're really not that worried about what it's going to look like.
Though, I should note, of course, it remains to be seen, given that some of them don't fully remember everything they said during the interviews.
TAPPER: Kaitlan, I have a couple of questions about this.
First of all, I find it very hard to believe that any documentary filmmaker would hand over control and editorial decision making to the subject of the documentary.
So maybe they were under the impression they would have input. But I cannot believe that any documentary filmmaker would say this is -- I mean, of course, they'll say this will be flattering because that's what documentary filmmakers do when they try to get an interview from you.
But do they have it in writing when they assert that they thought that they were going to have control of the documentary?
COLLINS: We haven't seen any evidence that they got this in writing, these assurances. But Jason Greenblatt, who arrange this, was in the room for some of these interviews that Trump did.
It does give you an indication to just how involved he was in setting this up. And that was really how it was pitched to the people who sat down for it. And they were told, editorial input.
So you've seen Alex Holder, the documentarian, his company denying they promised them any editorial control over this.
But regardless of what assurances were made, what was said, Jake, no one has control of it now that it's been handed over to the January 6th committee. That's who has control over it.
So I think it does speak to the level of risk here, and questions about whether there were those off-camera moments where maybe they said something, where Pence is being shown a draft of an amendment about the 25th amendment. And so I think that is where that comes into play.
TAPPER: Yes. I mean, when it comes to a "she said/he said" between a documentary filmmaker -- and I don't know Alexander Holder at all. I know his work. I don't know anything about him.
But you have him, and this charge that he promised them editorial control, and this charge is being made by a group of individuals who have spent the last five, six, 10, 20 years lying to the American people. I'd find it kind of hard to believe.
COLLINS: I will say one thing, Jake. I was told, after the interview that Trump did, where Jason Greenblatt was present, Trump himself was praising the interview, talking about how positive it was and that it went well.
Now, of course, he's left other interviews and thought they went well. And once he sees the clips on television, and sees the reaction to them, he changes his opinion of it.
But it does give you insight into that the fact that the former president didn't think he was being grilled or anything in these interviews that he was doing, at least in the one he did at the White House in December of 2020.
TAPPER: Doesn't sound like he needed to be grilled if the documentary filmmaker gave him the rope and Donald Trump is the one who hung himself with his own words.
We're going to take a quick break. Coming up, we have more on the never-before-seen footage from the Trump documentarian.
We'll break down what it tells us about Trump's final weeks in office, what it means for the January 6th investigations, with two journalists who helped break the Watergate investigation.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: We are standing by for the fifth hearing this month by the January 6th Select Committee. We're bring the first look at new evidence turned over to House investigators, never-before-seen documentary footage.
A lawyer for Alex Holder has released a statement in response to the reporting, as we just heard from Kaitlan Collins, that former President Trump says he had editorial control.
He says, quote, "The Trumps did not request and were not granted any editorial control to the series. To the contrary, Alex Holder said at the outset that he would have full editorial control. The Trumps also did not request any contractual right to control and review." He said, "There is none," end quote.
I want to get more perspective on what we've seen from former Nixon White House counsel, John Dean, and the journalists who broke the Watergate scandal, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
Bob, I want to play again this clip of then-President Trump -- actually President Trump, I believe it was in March, after he left office, talking to this documentary filmmaker, Alex Holder, about January 6th.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX HOLDER, DOCUMENTARIAN: Can we talk for a minute about January 6th?
TRUMP: Well, it was a sad day, but it was a day where there was great anger in our country. People went to Washington primarily because they were angry with an election that they think was rigged.
A very small portion, as you know, went down to the capitol, and then a very small portion of them went in.
But I will tell you they were angry from the standpoint of what happened in the election. Because they're smart, and they saw what happened. And I believe that that was a big part of what happened on January 6th.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I don't think anybody is surprised, hearing this, to hear that the president is sticking with his story.
BOB WOODWARD, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Yes. This is part of the cover-up really. This is the answer he should give, is because I and my aides presented evidence, where there was no evidence, that this election was stolen.
And that's what the January 6th committee has made in a very compelling way already.
I think the news now is that Trump and, I think, mainline Republicans are looking at this and saying, gee, we should have had some people on this committee defending Trump.
TAPPER: You think these hearings are working, in a sense?
WOODWARD: Oh, yes, they are. And the Republicans' obsessively poll, and the polling shows, a year ago, 70 percent of the Republicans really wanted Trump as the candidate in 2024 for the Republican Party.
That has eroded such that it's maybe 60 percent, even 56 percent. And 30 percent to 35 percent of the polled Republicans are looking for somebody different to run for president in their party.
TAPPER: But there are a lot of Republicans who are not watching these hearings at all.
CARL BERNSTEIN, JOURNALIST & AUTHOR: That's true. A lot aren't. But what's happened here, and it's really significant, and these Republicans, whether watching or not, a lot of them know that the earth is shaking.
Why is the earth shaking? Because both the committee and the Justice Department -- I'm not saying this is opinion. I know this.
Both the committee and the Justice Department know that there has been, before, during, and after January 6th, a massive obstruction and conspiracy from the president, down, and also to not allow the transition of power. This is a conspiracy.
What we saw today, the raid taken on the Justice Department official, Clark, that is evidence. Again, the Justice Department is putting this together just as this committee has and the cover-up.
It doesn't mean that Trump is going to be indicted. But what we do know, factually, is the Justice Department has the evidence of this massive conspiracy and cover-up.
TAPPER: I also want to play this sound from then-Vice President Pence. This was, I believe, taken some six days after the insurrection.
And it's not really what he says in this that is of particular interest. It's really capturing a moment in which he's handed a cell phone in which he learns that the House has just called for him to invoke Article 25.
Let's take a look at this clip from the documentary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I joined the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th amendment.
PELOSI: If the vice president and the cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment.
MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Uh, 7:48?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's when I received it. But the House members got it a while back.
PENCE: Yes, excellent.
Tell Zach to print me off a hard copy for the trip home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure, sure.
I'm always hopeful about America.
PENCE: I always believed that America's best days are yet to come, and I still believe that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: John Dean, again, you know, he says the pablum at the end, that he's said before probably many times before, about America's best days. But just seeing him reading this is interesting.
JOHN DEAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT NIXON: It should be shocking, actually. But he is very conscious he's on a camera. He's a media-type person. And he doesn't give any reaction, really.
TAPPER: We should also point out, we don't independently have any knowledge exactly of what he is reading there.
TAPPER: I mean, it doesn't say what it is.
DEAN: That's true. But he is somebody who is always very good at instant responses and nonreactions. We've seen that throughout Trump presidency.
TAPPER: John, to Bob's point, do you think these hearings are working? There's this raid that we learned about just now, yesterday, of -- at Clark's house.
DEAN: I think the hearings are working much better than the Watergate hearings. We forget how protracted the Watergate hearings were. They were seven months.
I didn't testify for a few hours. I testified for five days, eight hours a day. They were grinding on, those hearings. So, yes, these are very effective. They've presented the case to the
American people. They are not really hearings. They're sort of scripted presentations with a few witnesses.
And they're effective. And they're probably getting to Trump because they are so effective. He appreciates good media.
TAPPER: Bob, how do you see the raid on Clark's house?
WOODWARD: Well, it's very dramatic. And you know, I mean, John Dean was making the point earlier that, during Watergate, they never raided anyone's house. And if they ever had cause, they should have.
I think, if you can step back, what's going on here right now and in the Republican Party that 50 percent, roughly, of the Republicans would walk off the cliff for Donald Trump.
Now, I think at least 20 percent want to push him off the cliff.
TAPPER: You think there's been that much of a change?
WOODWARD: Yes, yes. But there are 30 percent who want to do one thing, and that is win. And if there's one lesson from -- writing three books about Trump, spending hours interviewing him, there's the lexicon, win. You have to win. And they want to win.
And voters can make the calculation, is this a winning hand with Donald Trump or not? And it's eroding. Whether it's significant, we will see.
But what they're going to do, the hearings about the Justice Department, I mean, that is meaty, dramatic stuff. Even John Dean didn't see that in the Nixon Justice Department.
TAPPER: I want to play one more clip from this documentary that we haven't seen before.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENCE: Welcome, welcome.
HOLDER: Can you tell me the first time when the president first called you up and asked you to be on his ticket?
PENCE: Well, I got a call from a mutual friend. I was busy running for re-election as governor of Indiana. I had met Donald Trump just on two passing occasions before, but I didn't know him, didn't know his family.
I said I wanted to know the job description. And shortly after that, that same mutual friend called back and said, the candidate really liked your answer. And they'd like to invite you to come to Bedminster, bring your whole family. Their family will be there. Like to spend the whole weekend getting acquainted.
And I did play golf. Not the way he does.
TRUMP: And Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us. And if he doesn't, that will be a sad day for our country.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Look at this. These protesters are inside Statuary Hall.
CROWD: Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is treason.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Pence has been taken down to a bunker.
TAPPER: President Trump could stop this but, instead, he's on Twitter attacking Vice President Pence.
TRUMP: I think I treat people well unless they don't treat me well, in which case you go to war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODWARD: The statement, "I played golf with him. I don't play golf the way he does," you read that a lot of ways. I read it, maybe that he understands Trump because of the way he does play golf.
TAPPER: But people say Trump cheats at golf.
WOODWARD: It's a game of honor. And you, you know, a professional will call himself for a stroke if he whiffs it and no one else saw it, he's in the woods.
I think it sounds like Pence counts every stroke. And it tells -- you can play 18 holes of golf with somebody and know everything you need to know about their character.
TAPPER: And yet, he joined the ticket.
WOODWARD: He did.
TAPPER: Our coverage of the January 6th hearing continues right now.
We're live in Washington, D.C., where January 6th House committee investigators are preparing to make the case that Donald Trump, when he was president, attempted to corrupt the U.S. Justice Department to advance his last-ditch bid to stay in power.
This comes as we're following breaking news on the insurrection investigation. Federal agents, we have learned, have searched the home of Jeffrey Clark. That's the former Justice Department official who was pushing Trump's
false election claims.