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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Francis Suarez Says He's Made The GOP Debate Stage Next Week Despite Not Meeting Criteria; January 6 Investigator: Committee Didn't Know About Chesebro Video Before CNN KFILE's Reporting; Trump To Be Booked Next Week In Atlanta. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired August 18, 2023 - 21:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was always this tension, between genuine public service, and the pursuit of the glory of Giuliani.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rudy is not a guy, who backs down. Rudy is a guy who doubles down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To stand up, and be defined. In America, that's what they love.




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And then, on Sunday night, "THE WHOLE STORY" breaks down the details of the Georgia criminal indictment of the former President. That's right here Sunday, at 8 PM Eastern.

That's it for us. Have a great weekend.

The news continues. THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS starts now.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST, THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS: Tonight, straight from THE SOURCE, Donald Trump's fourth surrender could happen, just hours, after the first Republican debate, which we are now learning, tonight, he is expected to skip.

Plus, Jack Smith, you might want to call your office. CNN has new video that now places one of Trump's co-defendants, at the Capitol, on January the 6th. Is that why the alleged mastermind, of the fake electors plot, pleaded the Fifth, to Congress?

And the West Coast, tonight, bracing for the impact, of Hurricane Hilary. Forecasters fear that that Category 4 storm that you see there, could unleash a year's worth of rain, in a single day.

I'm Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE. Only one week left to surrender, from now, actually a little less than that since the deadline is new, next Friday. Tonight, we are hearing from sources that Donald Trump is not expected to do so, until next Thursday, or next Friday, that deadline day.

And while he will show up, to be arrested, fourth time, because he has to, we have now learned that he is likely going to be a no-show, at the first Republican debate, next Wednesday night. With Trump, of course, there is always the caveat that he could change his mind.

But I am told that he must let the Republican National Committee know whether or not he is going to, in fact, be on that stage, in Milwaukee, by Monday night, at 9 PM.

Multiple sources, familiar with Trump's plans, tell CNN that he has basically made up his mind, and he does not plan to be there. Instead, he is expected to sit, for an interview, with Tucker Carlson, that night, snubbing the network that is hosting the debate and, of course, fired Tucker Carlson.

It would not only be a snub to Fox News, though, but also to the Republican National Committee, which is holding the debate. The Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, personally appealed to Trump, to come. Fox executives did too. They actually went to Bedminster, his golf club, to lobby him, to go.

So far, we do know who will be there, on Wednesday night. Eight candidates have met the RNC's polling and donor requirements, to qualify for that stage. And we should have a pretty good idea, by Monday night, at this hour, who is officially in, and who is officially out.

That is by the time the GOP candidates must deliver their signed loyalty pledges, to support whoever it is, is the eventual nominee. We should note Mike Pence's campaign says that he signed it today.

Our first guest says he has just met the polling threshold, as well.

Let's go straight to the source, Miami's mayor, and Republican presidential candidate, Francis Suarez.

Mayor, thank you for being here.

You say that you have qualified to get on that debate stage, on Wednesday night. The RNC, I should note, says that you have not yet qualified. Are you sure you're going to be there, Wednesday?

MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ, (R) MIAMI, FLORIDA, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, I'm sure I'm going to be there, on Wednesday. We've been having conversations back-and-forth. They've never done this before. We've never done this before.

And we are sort of crossing our T's and going through the process. For example, we've shown them that we've reached the donor threshold, by having, I think, 42,000 or so donations. But understandably, they need to audit that. So, there's a process, for them to audit that. We've sent them, just tonight, a couple of polls, including one, by Kaplan Strategies, where we're actually at 2 percent, which would meet the national polls. They're certifying that as well.

And so, it's a process. We understand it's a process. We did sign the loyalty pledge. And we expect and hope that very, very shortly, in hopefully the next 24 or 48 hours, but certainly by Monday, we'll know, for certain.

We're planning on it. We booked hotel reservations. We're inviting people. We have a bunch of guests coming up from Miami. It's going to be -- it's going to be wonderful opportunity, to introduce myself, to the nation.

COLLINS: OK, so you're confident?

SUAREZ: As I'm having an opportunity, to do, right now.

COLLINS: And you're confident Mayor that the polling will be there? Because we look at the RNC's requirements. And CNN's reporting on these polls is that you've hit 1 percent, in one qualifying national poll. You've hit one qualifying state poll, but you need one more of each to get on that stage.

Are you confident you're going to have those numbers?

SUAREZ: We are. We are. We sent them a poll, from Kaplan Strategies, tonight. That's a 2 percent poll. So, we think that will qualify. They have -- they're in the process of certifying it. They actually did go through and sort of scrape it, to make sure that it meets all of their requirements.

And then, there's other polls that have been already performed, including one that was not paid, by another camp's campaign. But it's a poll that they've used that they're also considering certifying. And then, we believe that there'll be more polls between now and Monday that will also certify.


COLLINS: OK. So, but you haven't actually gotten that number yet, to where the RNC says, "Yes, you've made it?"

SUAREZ: Yes, they have not yet given me sort of that final certification.


SUAREZ: And there's sort of a back-and-forth, like I said. And it's a process that neither we nor they have ever done before. So, we're following it. We're diligent with them. They're being very responsive. And we're hopeful to have that sort of seal of approval certification, very shortly.

COLLINS: OK. So, we'll see if you get that. You say you feel confident, that you will. SUAREZ: Yes.

COLLINS: If you are on that debate stage, on Wednesday night, the Governor of your home state of Florida has been advised, to defend Donald Trump, if he gets attacked, on Wednesday night.

This is what former New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, had to say about that.


CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If he thinks he's going to get on the stage, to defend Donald Trump, on Wednesday night, then he should do Donald Trump a favor, and do our party favor. Come back to Tallahassee, endorse Donald Trump, and get the hell out of the race.


COLLINS: What do you make of that? You agree that if DeSantis is defending Trump, at the debate, that he shouldn't really be at the debate, he shouldn't be in this race?

SUAREZ: Look, anyone, who's going to be in the debate, talking about another candidate, shouldn't be in the debate. You should be focusing on your vision, for America.

And what we've seen, from the Governor's campaign, in this leaked memo, is his desire, to attack certain people, a certain number of times, or compliment people, a certain number of times.

In fact, his spokesman, who has sort of an alter ego, or -- sorry, alter ego Twitter account, put out a false statement, about my campaign, and about my voting record. And it seems like they're not even reading their own oppo research, which they've paid, God knows how much money for.

In a $150 million campaign, where they're, hiring a ton of staff, they're not even reading their own oppo research. Because, in the first page of their own oppo research, it shows that I voted for Republican in 2016, and 2020. And yet, they continue to say that.

So, they're a campaign that's struggling to tread water. But meanwhile, we're growing, right? We went from 1 percent to 2 percent, in the latest national poll.

So, we're excited about the opportunity, to really tell the country, who we are, introduce ourselves, connect with the country, talk about my policies, but also let them, you know, get them to know who I am, as from a personality perspective, and also why I have the right profile, to gain, an advantage, in the contest, in 2024, and get voters, from the Hispanic community, to get voters that are young voters that we lost by 26 points, to Joe Biden, who is --

COLLINS: Yes. So, it sounds like --

SUAREZ: -- I've said before, not the --

COLLINS: It sounds like, Mayor, that you don't think it is your job to defend Donald Trump, on Wednesday night, if he's attacked on that stage, and he's not there?

SUAREZ: No, I don't think -- I don't think it's anybody's job. I think the former President does a fine job defending himself. And he's going to do what he's going to do.

Our job, as candidates, is to convince the American people that we are the right alternative.

The American people have a choice. Right now, what it looks like, even though, you see polls that say otherwise, is that we're going to have a repeat of the 2020 election, if nothing changes.

My job is to inspire people, to give them a hope, for a positive tomorrow, based on who I am, based on what I've accomplished, and based on my ability, to demonstrate to them, that I can win the election, and govern the country. That's what we should be focusing on, not anyone else, to be honest.

COLLINS: And just to be clear, you've said, those who don't make the stage should drop out. That means even if you're one of those people, right?

SUAREZ: Yes, I do agree with that.


SUAREZ: I think, look, and it goes beyond just this one debate, right? I think, hopefully, I'll make the debate. I feel very confident that I will. I feel confident that once given the opportunity, to introduce myself to the country, I'm going to perform well, which will give me an opportunity, to make the next debate stage, and continue the conversation.

COLLINS: OK, Mr. Mayor.

SUAREZ: One of the things that --

COLLINS: We'll see.


COLLINS: Well, let me just quickly get in here, because you said that you have signed that loyalty pledge. You've already signed, even though you're waiting on them to officially say that you can get in that race.


COLLINS: You didn't vote for Trump, in 2016. You didn't vote for him, in 2020. So why, as a result of this pledge, would you endorse him in 2024? SUAREZ: Well, you're presupposing that he's going to be the nominee. I mean, you're not giving me any credit. You don't think I'm going to be the nominee? Just because I signed the loyalty pledge? Look, I'm pledging --

COLLINS: He's the front-runner, right now, by a lot.

SUAREZ: Well, it's OK. He wasn't a front-runner, at this time, in the 2016 race, in 2015.

So, look, I think the beauty of this process is the voters decide, who is the nominee. I've pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, because that's one of the -- that's one of the requirements. And I like to follow rules. And that's one of the rules. And I think that's -- the party has a right to set that rule. And we should follow that rule.

COLLINS: So, if it is Donald Trump that is the nominee? And you're right. We don't know yet. Anything could happen. But if it was tomorrow, it looks like it would be him.


COLLINS: You are comfortable with endorsing him even though you didn't vote for him in 2016 or 2020?

SUAREZ: Look, if that's the case? We're going to go down the hypothetical. And, obviously, I understand that the national press loves to talk about the person, who may not be at the debate --

COLLINS: It's a likely hypothetical.

SUAREZ: Well whether it's likely or not, it's a hypothetical. And we're talking about someone else's candidacy, not my own.


But in that event, I am -- and part of the reason why I'm running for president is because I'm definitely afraid of Joe Biden's America. Bidenomics is an economic theory, where the poor are getting poorer, through increased inflation, increased interest rates. It's a place, where America is getting weaker, on the world stage.

I have a 9-year-old and a 5-year-old. I missed my children's first year of school, for the first time, to campaign for president. And I did that because I'm -- partly because of my abilities, and my ability -- my feeling that I can connect with the American people.

But the other part of it is my fear of what happens if Joe Biden is reelected. And that is a very palpable fear. He is not the same candidate that he was, four years ago, when he said he was going to be a moderate candidate, he was going to heal the country. He's done none of that. He's gone to the extreme left.

And our country is more divided than it's ever been. And we need someone, who's going to unify our country, heal our country, and provide opportunities that lead into a generational prosperity that we have in this future.

COLLINS: Right. And I understand. But obviously, to get to Joe Biden, you have to go through Donald Trump, first, since he is the front- runner.

But let me ask you one last question, since we haven't --

SUAREZ: We got to go through all -- we got to go through all --

COLLINS: -- we haven't spoken since --

SUAREZ: -- all the Republican nominees.

COLLINS: That is true. There are multiple of you running. And we'll see who all is on the stage, on Wednesday night.


COLLINS: Trump has been indicted, in Georgia, just on Monday.


COLLINS: The last time I saw you, we were in Miami, when Trump was being indicted, there.


COLLINS: In Georgia, it's for his efforts, to overturn the election. Can you just say, tonight, do you believe that the election in Georgia was fair, and was legitimate?

SUAREZ: I have not seen anything, any evidence that leads me to believe that it was not fair. I haven't delved into all the evidence. But I have no reason to believe that it's not.

I do believe that the former President firmly believes that it was not fair. And I think that's part of the problem, with some of these accusations, including particularly the federal one. But I'm not his lawyer. I don't have to defend him. He can defend himself. But I think he's been pretty consistent, and adamant about that.

COLLINS: Well he didn't get indicted just because he didn't think it wasn't fair though.

SUAREZ: And I think that there are --

COLLINS: I mean it was because he tried to overturn the results of the election.

SUAREZ: Well, no, no.

COLLINS: That's what the allegation --

SUAREZ: No, let me be clear. The federal --

COLLINS: That's what the indictment -- SUAREZ: The federal indictment is all about -- the federal indictment is all about what he knew. And the federal indictment will be about what the prosecutor can prove he knew, or did not know. That's what the federal indictment's about.

COLLINS: Well, it's also about the scheme to have fake electors, to use the levers, of the federal government, to try to overturn the election. I mean, it's not just Donald Trump's mindset. That is obviously a part of it.

SUAREZ: Yes, that's a part of it. And I think the other part of it is, he listened to attorneys that guided him, in a particular direction, and whether or not that was criminal or not.

COLLINS: Do you believe that behavior was criminal?

SUAREZ: Listen, I'm not a judge and jury. I'm not the one putting him on trial. He's the one that's going to have to defend himself, for the charges.

I'm going to focus on running for President of the United States, in the interim, and hoping that I can connect with the American people, in a way that they give me an opportunity to continue to tell my story, so that I can become their president, in November 2024.

So, we don't have to talk about any of these things. I don't want to be talking about impeachment and indictments for presidents or former Presidents anymore. I want to be talking about the plan for America's prosperity and future.

COLLINS: Mayor Francis Suarez, we will see if you are indeed on that debate stage, Wednesday night.

Thank you, for joining us, here, on this Friday night.

SUAREZ: Thanks for having me, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: For reaction, to the Mayor's comments, and also just the state of the 2024 race overall, we have CNN Political Commentator, and former Obama White House Senior Policy Adviser, Ashley Allison; along with former Trump campaign adviser, Jason Osborne, here.

What do you make of what the Mayor had to say?

JASON OSBORNE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Well, first off, I think it's great that he's gone from 1 percent to 2 percent. I think by the time that 2032 elections come about, that he may be in the double-digits.

But I agree with his point that in any debate, you shouldn't be sitting there, defending another candidate that's running for the same office.

COLLINS: Which is what Ron DeSantis has been advised to do?

OSBORNE: Which is what I'm sure a number of the candidates are sitting there, looking at is that "How do we thread that needle?"

And I think it's fairly easy, honestly, because there are -- there were, from a Republican standpoint, there were a lot of accomplishments made, during Trump's tenure. Some of them Trump probably doesn't even know about, quite frankly.

But you can separate the person, from the policies, and still defend that we want to continue to have a better economy, to lower taxes, to make businesses grow, in this country, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, that are different from this administration, without having to defend Donald Trump, and let Donald Trump be out there, on his own --


OSBORNE: -- which is what it should be.

COLLINS: That's advice DeSantis is getting. I mean, does he have the toughest job, on Wednesday night, if Donald Trump's not up there, and he's not the person that everyone can just attack, in the back-and- forth? I mean, the next obvious idea is that people will try to dethrone DeSantis, I assume?

ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER OBAMA WH SENIOR POLICY ADVISER, NATIONAL COALITIONS DIRECTOR, BIDEN-HARRIS 2020: I think they all have a tough job, because they're all struggling, in comparison to where Donald Trump is.

If you are literally having a debate? And the front-runner doesn't show up? It is a telling sign that he does not consider you a serious competitor. He didn't even show up for the game.


I do think though, there is an opportunity here, for Republicans, to distinguish themselves. And the Mayor wouldn't do that in this interview. He wouldn't just say "What Donald Trump did, on January 6, was wrong," and take a leap -- and "I think it's wrong. And I'm going to pivot and talk about how we make this country better."

And if people don't do that, on Wednesday night, for the debate, I don't think their polling numbers will change one bit.

I think Donald Trump will come out the winner. He will do something, to pivot the conversation, the next day, like turn himself in, and talk about how rigged the system is. And they will all be stuck in the same position, playing Donald Trump's game, rather than being a leader, and playing their own game.

COLLINS: What are we -- what do you make of the makeup of the stage, if Mayor Suarez is someone on there? I mean, he was a late-comer to the race. Others are trying to qualify. Asa Hutchinson is still trying to get on that stage. It's looking to be a little bit bigger, though, than initially imagined that it would be.

OSBORNE: Yes, I mean, I go back to the 2016 race, where we had the happy hour debate, and then we had the main stage debate, right? And I don't know, when you start getting folks on the stage that are at the 1 percent, and 2 percent and 3 percent, and 4 percent, like, it's not really helping any of the candidates then.

I think, to your question to actually was -- DeSantis, obviously is going to be the target, in this. But I also think Vivek is going to be the target, because Vivek is untested.

If you look at the makeup of the debate stage, right now, there's only five or six that have actually have any debate experience. And quite frankly, only one or two that have debate experience, with multiple candidates, on the stage, at this level.

And so, you're going to find that each one of them are trying to figure out how do we put out our policies, but also how do we have that riposte response that's just witty, and that will be remembered, and a meme will be made out of it, and then they can capitalize on that moving forward?

COLLINS: Yes. I mean, how does this look, though? I mean, Donald Trump, right now, is not expected to show up.


COLLINS: He has until Monday, 9 o'clock, to make that official, I guess. But, I mean, candidates are kind of having to prepare. Does he show up? Does he not? They're kind of prepping for two different debates, potentially.

OSBORNE: Well --

ALLISON: See, I don't think they should be though. I think that you should be very clear, in your vision, of what you want to do, as president, regardless of Donald Trump. And that has to be, "I'm either going to say Donald Trump was wrong," and be very ,clear whether he's on the debate stage or not.

But when people are trying to "Well, if he's not there, I'm going to," you can attack Donald Trump, without him being here, and saying he's wrong, and then talk about your vision. You can attack him, with him being here, and be very clear about your vision.

OSBORNE: I agree. I think, quite frankly, my guess? And I'm probably I'm at about 30 percent chance that this is going to happen. But I think Donald Trump is going to turn himself in, either be right before the debate, or during the debate, which will suck all the oxygen out of the room.

And then, Fox is stuck having to air the debate, whereas you and other networks are able to say, "Wait a minute, Donald Trump has actually just turned himself in." And then, there's Tucker Carlson, waiting on the steps of the courthouse --

ALLISON: That's right.

OSBORNE: -- able to interview him, right there. COLLINS: The jail is open 24/7, they said. We'll see.

Jason Osborne, Ashley Allison, thank you both.

With Trump's next surrender, pending, we'll talk to someone, who was once inside Trump-world, what she makes of the situation that he's now facing.

But first, tonight, to the extremely powerful hurricane that is barreling toward California. It could dump a year's worth of rain, in just one day. We'll get the latest, next.



COLLINS: Tonight, Southern California is preparing for what could be life-threatening flooding, from Hurricane Hilary. The storm is now a powerful Category 4, churning southwest of Cabo San Lucas, lashing Mexico, with strong winds, and high waves.

Hilary is expected to weaken slightly, as it moves north. But forecasters are warning that it could dump a year's worth of rain, in California, Nevada and Arizona. A storm of this magnitude is so rare in the Pacific it would be the first of its kind, to actually hit California, in almost 84 years.

CNN's Meteorologist, Chad Myers, is tracking Hilary, from the CNN Weather Center.

Chad, I mean, just looking at those numbers, a year's worth of rain, in just a few days, what does that even look like?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know what? If you're talking about the areas, around the Salton Sea, and the East -- kind of the East Coast there, East range, you're talking about like four to six inches of rain per year total. And we're going to look at 10 to 12.

And that's all going to come downhill, with massive amounts of flooding, life-threatening flooding, and likely infrastructure- destroying flash flooding, wiping out bridges, wiping out roadways, roadbeds. This is not a big wind event. This is a rain event.

So, here it is, a 130 miles per hour. It was 145 earlier. But the Hurricane Hunter flew through and didn't find it. So, they dropped it to 130.

We do have Tropical Storm watches already in effect. Those will get bumped to tropical storm warnings, probably tomorrow, as the storm does get closer.

But here we go. Big storm, in very warm water. But then, it gets farther to the north. And as it gets farther to the north, it loses that warm water, and it loses its wind power. It's not going to lose its rain effect. It's not going to lose all the power it can have here. These areas here Category 4, for flash flooding event, there's only 4 percent of the days in America with this type of purple. And 37 percent of all the deaths happen, when we have this purple on the map, of only a 4 percent chance, there, across the United States.

There's the heavy, heavy rainfall. It is going to be significant, in many areas. And let me take you to the areas that we're most concerned with, Southern California, parts of Nevada and also even into western parts of Arizona.

But there's the Salton Sea. This is the northern part of Mexico, through here, and this is Southern California. But it's those areas that don't get a lot of rain that are going to start putting rainfall, on tops of mountains. You're going to see heavy rain, on top of the mountain.

And all of a sudden, it's all going to run back down, into Twentynine Palms, into Palm Springs, and farther to the north in the Transverse Range. Now, that's Santa Barbara, all the way across back, even toward the, to the areas we're seeing here, where it's such a large area, the topography, on top of this, where all of this water is going to rush down, into these cities.

If you get four inches of rain even on top of that? You don't even talk about 10. You're going to see flash flooding with mudslides, water through the streets, a significant rain event, here, across Southern California, into the Salton Sea, possibly as far east as well, maybe even Las Vegas, certainly Death Valley.


An awful lot of when you put the water, when you put water, up on top of these mountains here, this Transverse Range here, here's Redlands all the way down through, that water is going to go down those hills, and into the cities.

So yes, it's going to rain up here. But that rain is going to end up, in cities and towns, at the base of those mountains.


COLLINS: Chad Myers, I know you'll be watching it closely for us. Thank you.

MYERS: Well, right.

COLLINS: We'll be watching that.

Also ahead, she worked with Donald Trump, for 18 years. What does a former Trump Organization executive make, of his legal and political strategies, as he is facing deadlines, on both fronts?


COLLINS: Donald Trump is facing a pair of key deadlines, coming up soon. Monday, cutoff date, for the first Republican debate which, right now, we are told by sources, he appears to be skipping.

Next Friday is the deadline though, to surrender to authorities, in Georgia, which legally, he cannot skip.

Trump has repeatedly described how he responds to challenges, like this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With counter-punching.

DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: I'm a counter-puncher.

I'm a counter-puncher.

I hit hard. But I'm a counter-puncher.

You have to understand, I'm a counter-puncher.


COLLINS: He appears to be swinging pretty wildly, these days. It may be because of how many people he is fighting.


His list of challenges, in court, include Jack Smith, in both Florida and Washington, D.C. Fani Willis, in Atlanta, as well Alvin Bragg, here in Manhattan. The New York A.G.'s lawsuit, against his business. And E. Jean Carroll and his continuing defamation suit.

That's before you add in the nearly a dozen people, who are running against him, for the 2024 Republican nomination, and the sitting president, whom of course he could face in the general election, if he does win that nomination.

Let's get straight to the source, tonight. Barbara Res ran Trump's construction operations, in the 1980s and 1990s. Her book is called "Tower of Lies: What My Eighteen Years of Working With Donald Trump Reveals About Him."

Barbara, thank you, for being here, tonight. I mean --


COLLINS: Thank you. We're so glad to have you.

I mean, you did work for him for 18 years. When you look at the deadlines, he's facing now, not just, on the legal front, but on the political front? He's saying he's not going to show up, to the debate, Wednesday night. How do you look at that, based on what you know about him? RES: Well, I'm showing -- why would he show up for the debate? All it can do is screw himself up. I mean, he's leading, right? And so, why put himself at risk, I mean? And he wasn't (ph) there at the other debates, in my opinion. So I'm not surprised at all that he's ducking that.

What I find hysterical is this, this big conference he was going to have, where he was going to have proof of, that everything was rigged in Georgia, and that he's going to be exonerated? And all of a sudden, "Oh, we don't need to do that, because the lawyers are going to take care of that."


RES: I thought that was hysterical. But that's typical Donald.

COLLINS: Did it surprise you?

RES: No.

COLLINS: Why not?

RES: Because he's done that kind of thing before. "It was all made-up. There's no -- " obviously there's no evidence, there's nothing. He just, he came up with an idea. "Let's do this." And then, people forgive him for not -- oh, well, they believe him. That was his attitude. He would tell the same lie, a 100 times, if he had to. But eventually, people believed it.

COLLINS: So, you're not surprised by all this? You're saying you kind of saw this pattern playing out, when you were working for him, in the 80s and 90s?

RES: Yes, yes. Yes. And then, it goes over a period of time. I mean, I started with him in 1980. And pretty much stuck with him in 1998 or something like that.

But I saw the development, the change in him, his going from being like, almost human. I mean, he really seemed like a human person. And now, I don't think he is. I don't know, sociopath? I'm no psychologist or anything. But he's just he's not. He's not. Normal people aren't like him.

COLLINS: You have said that he doesn't listen to experts. And that working on The Plaza Hotel that he started bringing people in, who, in your words, you described had zero credentials.

I mean, just mentioning what you said there, about whether or not he's taking his attorneys' advice, I mean, what is the through line you see, from how he acted on the construction days, to this?

RES: Well, when I was with him, he had very few people. I think there were 10 employees at the most. And he had good people.

And he did listen to them, and he took advice, and he worked with good lawyers. And he did basically what they told him. I mean, of course, he was outlandish. Of course, he puts everybody off. But, basically, he didn't go off on his own. And, like, there was no Twitter or anything like that back then.

And I slowly watched the development, as he became more powerful, more full of himself, more convinced of his own genius, and he stopped really listening to people. He didn't follow advice, unless it was the advice he told them, to give him, which is now the story altogether, hiring people that will tell you, what you want to hear.

But after a while, he didn't listen to anyone. I mean, when he said, "I know more than the generals," I think he believed it.

COLLINS: What do you make of Rudy Giuliani, and his relationship with Rudy Giuliani?

We've reported earlier this week that Giuliani is facing a lot of legal trouble, and he's financial trouble as well. I mean, he's kind of -- he's cash-strapped, his own attorneys, say.

What do you make of the fact that he goes and makes a personal appeal, to Trump, to pay for his legal bills, and Trump rejects? I mean, he paid a small, small part of it compared to what he owes overall.

RES: Yes. It doesn't -- that also doesn't really surprise me. I mean, given -- and not throwing back to 1980, 1982, 1984, but just over the passage of time in the 90s, I mean, he'd make promises he wouldn't keep. He started screwing people out of money that they were owed.

And his thing about suing, "Well, let him sue me," that kind of thing? He made a lifestyle out of that, especially with people that really couldn't afford to play the game, and be in court, with him, where he dragged them out, and dragged them out. Appeal, motion, appeal, motion, until they finally gave up. People that were actually legitimately owed, like $1, would surf as low as maybe $0.20.


COLLINS: You've kind of talked about how he has this strategy of being a showman, that he comes out, and he's got this bravado. But what do you make of now that it's not just a political aspect? I mean, he has real legal implications, and legal exposure, here, on these four indictments?

RES: Yes, I don't know that he thinks he's improving his legal standing, from the point of view of the law. But he believes that he is building up his standing with his supporters. And he's a big press guy, you know?

COLLINS: You think his campaign is tied to his legal troubles?

RES: To his legal troubles? Yes, sure, absolutely.

COLLINS: Why do you think, though?

RES: Well, for one thing, I mentioned it before, he doesn't think that they can, indict him, or put him in jail, or whatever it is, and he's trying to avoid the trials and everything else.

He thinks he's going to win, and then he will be scot-free. He's going to do away with the Department of Justice, and all these different things that are -- make him get away with it, which he always has done. He's always gotten away with things.

COLLINS: Barbara Res, thank you (inaudible) tonight.

RES: It's a pleasure.

COLLINS: Thank you.

RES: Thank you.

COLLINS: Up next, we have a CNN Exclusive report. A close look, a fascinating close look, at one of Trump's co-defendants, alleged co- conspirators, like you have not seen before, where he was on January 6th, something that he previously refused to disclose.



COLLINS: An exclusive CNN report placing one of Donald Trump's alleged co-conspirators, in the crowd, on January 6th.

Kenneth Chesebro is not a well-known name. But he is a key figure, in two cases, against Trump, where he tried to overturn the 2020 election.

Chesebro was indicted, earlier this week, in Georgia. He is one of the unindicted co-conspirators, in the Special Counsel Jack Smith's January 6th probe. If you don't know him, he is the alleged architect of the fake electors scheme.

And now, we have figured out where Kenneth Chesebro was, on January 6th, something that previously he refused to answer. It turns out he was following InfoWars host, Alex Jones, around the Capitol grounds.


COLLINS: You can see his face, highlighted here, in the red hat.

CNN's KFILE was able to track his movements, in photos and videos.

What's not clear, tonight, is why he was following and seemingly recording Alex Jones.

There's no indication that he actually entered the Capitol building, or engaged in any violence, on that day. But still, why this is remarkable is because Kenneth Chesebro is the only member, of Trump's legal efforts, who is now known to have actually been, on the Capitol grounds, that day.

I'm joined now by Temidayo Aganga-Williams, Senior Investigative Counsel, for the January 6th House Select Committee.

Did the committee know about this?

TEMIDAYO AGANGA-WILLIAMS, SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE COUNSEL, JANUARY 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: The committee did not know about this, that he was on the Capitol, on that day.

So, I think that is, we do commend the extensive work that journalists have done. I mean, frankly, when we -- when I joined the committee, part of the work that we did was follow up on the work that journalists have started, from months before. So, I think it's a great find, and very important.

COLLINS: And he had essentially pleaded the Fifth, when he had been asked where he was that day?

AGANGA-WILLIAMS: Committee staff asked him that exact question. And he did plead the Fifth.

COLLINS: Why did they ask him that question? Was that something they had asked everyone? Or did they have suspicions that maybe he was there? What was the sense behind that?

AGANGA-WILLIAMS: Well, I think the committee always focused on was how the political coup led to the violence of that day, and how that through line was connected. So, it was important to always know, people who were at the forefront, of Donald Trump's plan, to know where they were, when the violence took place. And that's why it was asked.

COLLINS: And so, that's why this is kind of interesting is because he is the first person. We've seen this kind of cross-section of who was actually there, fanning the flames. Alex Jones. And this is someone, who was involved more in the legal aspect of it, the fake electors aspect.

I mean, what do you make of the fact that those two were seemingly combined on that day?

AGANGA-WILLIAMS: I think those two have always been combined. And I think that's an important takeaway.

What Donald Trump started, after the election, and what happened, on the 6th? That is one story. They're not two separate stories. And I think what the video shows us is that exact point.

The political coup, created the fertile ground for what happened and the violence that took place. Donald Trump, with his words of incitement, created, again, the ground of what took place on that, on the 6th.

Donald Trump was the person, who first, with his tweet, on December 19th, "Be there and be wild," he was the one, who announced the rally, on the 6th. All of it is connected. And that's what that video also shows.

COLLINS: Yes. He said, "Will be wild."

I mean, how do Prosecutors now use this potentially as evidence? Could they -- I mean, Chesebro is indicted, in Georgia, and that -- in that indictment, those charges there. He's unindicted in Jack Smith's case. But the only person indicted there is Trump.

AGANGA-WILLIAMS: I think, in the Jack Smith case, it could potentially be evidence, to flip someone, like him. I'm sure Jack Smith is looking for ways that he can get cooperators. That's what prosecutors always want.

Here, showing Chesebro, on the Capitol grounds, trespassing, that's another way that prosecutors could put pressure on him, to cooperate.

COLLINS: Yes. We don't know that he actually went in the building. But if he were to potentially mount some kind of defense, "Oh, I was just providing legal advice to clients. I was doing this," I mean, would this video that KFILE has uncovered, undercut that?

AGANGA-WILLIAMS: Well, it's part of the story. But I think prosecutors would probably have to draw a line there. I think the evidence of what he did, with the fake electors scheme, would probably be treated independent, than what happened on the 6th. So, I think, it's part of a story. But I think as far as in a courtroom, that evidence might be slightly distinct.

COLLINS: Yes. All right, Temidayo, thank you, for breaking all that down.

AGANGA-WILLIAMS: Thank you so much.

COLLINS: And also, tonight, we are keeping a close eye, on what is happening in Hawaii. We have now learned that the military has deployed forensic anthropologists to gather and identify human remains, after the horrific wildfire on Maui.

CNN has also obtained letters, this evening, that allege a Hawaiian State agency may have delayed diverting water, to nearby reservoirs, when the fire first broke out. These letters were previously reported by two local outlets. We have now confirmed them.

But what isn't clear, tonight, is whether or not rerouting that water faster, would have made a big enough difference, given just of course, how quickly we know these flames spread.

State officials are investigating their response to that disaster. It has now claimed at least 111 lives. Though we've had warnings from officials, they do expect it to grow as 1,000, or more people could still be missing, tonight. We'll keep you updated on that, of course, also the legal efforts, in that front.


Next week, Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Mark Meadows, are among the 19 people, indicted in Georgia, who now must turn themselves in. They'll be booked into a notorious jail, known for its deplorable conditions. The Rice Street jail even made rap lyrics. What they can expect? Next.


COLLINS: Donald Trump, and his 18 co-defendants, have exactly one week, from today, to turn themselves in, at George's Fulton County Jail. Local officials have vowed to treat the former President, like any other defendant, and have standard operating procedure.

Tonight, sources tell CNN's team, that -- or tells CNN that Trump's team has already been in contact, with the District Attorney's office, about the conditions, and the logistics, what that surrender is going to look like.

Of course, even though Trump's time is spent waiting for fingerprints and any potential mug shot, we don't yet know whether or not he'll have one, will likely be expedited.

The former President is going to be booked at one of the most notorious facilities, in the country. The conditions, sometimes so egregious, that the Justice Department has had to launch a civil rights investigation, after an inmate was found dead, covered in lice and filth.


And, according to my next guest's reporting, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this jail, as the inmates regularly contend with violence, overcrowding and sexual assault.

Joining me now is George Chidi, a journalist, for The Atlanta Objective.

George, of course, we'll get into what happened, with you, on Monday. You were there to potentially testify before this indictment came down.

But let's talk about this jail first, and what this is going to look like, not just for Donald Trump, but also for these 18 other co- defendants. I mean, what are they going to be walking into, as they are expected to turn themselves in, over the coming days?

GEORGE CHIDI, JOURNALIST, THE ATLANTA OBJECTIVE, HOST, "KING SLIME" PODCAST: So, believe it or not, that's not entirely certain, right now.

My last word from the, both the jail, and from the court system, is that they're still working it out, in part, because there's a Secret Service detail that has to be engaged, through all of this. So, there's some negotiating.

I mean, normally, you'd walk in, I mean, and it's fairly typical. You get your mug shot taken, get weighed. There's a medical examination and sort of a walkthrough of what you can expect. And then, you're either held or arraigned. It's not sure -- we're not sure what's going to happen with Donald Trump. COLLINS: Well, it's not just Donald Trump. I mean, maybe we've seen, in other places, where he's been indicted, it's kind of been an expedited situation, easy in, easy out.

But there are 18 other people that are going to be coming in. I mean, Mark Meadows, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani. I mean, are we going to potentially see mug shots, and the standard process, for those defendants, do you believe?

CHIDI: I think that you should expect that. I think that we should expect to see an array of 19 mug shots, all taken by the same person, and probably more or less, at the same time.

I think they're likely to clear a space so that this could get done, because, it's a media circus, so that they could get those folks out of the way, so that the regular processing can continue.

COLLINS: Is your sense that Trump will have to take a -- get a mug shot?

CHIDI: Absolutely. I would bet money on it, right now. Because I know the --

COLLINS: That's what you're hearing from sources?

CHIDI: -- I know the Sheriff. He wants to take that mug shot. I wouldn't be surprised if he did it himself.

COLLINS: So, when the Sheriff says that, that Trump will be treated like any other defendant, you really believe that he will be treated, like any other defendant, here?

CHIDI: I think in terms of the process, like how, getting a mug shot, getting weighed? I think so, yes. And I think it's because the Sheriff really believes that, everybody should be treated equally before the law.

COLLINS: Yes. You've done extensive reporting, on the Fulton County Jail. I mean, just today, you're reporting on another death that happened there. I mean, can you just kind of describe for someone --


COLLINS: -- who hasn't been to Atlanta, who has never been to Rice Street, what it is, what it looks like, what the conditions are at the actual jail itself?

CHIDI: So, the jail, multi-level jail, much of it is given over to medical facilities that are, frankly substandard. The medical service provider essentially quit, and had to be dragged back into service, because they believed it was too unsafe, for them to operate.

And we're talking about a place, where inmates will literally dig through the walls, from one jail cell, or one jail block, to another, in order to go and stab someone. But the Sheriff, at one point, last year, took multiple wheelbarrows, of homemade shanks, out of that jail, after being found, and brought them to the County Commission, in order to ask for more money and resources.

COLLINS: I mean, given the fact that it's going to be the -- such a high -- place of such high-profile arrests that are happening, this week? I mean, how did the conditions there get to this point?

CHIDI: So, I think a lot of this has to do with the general neglect of the criminal justice system, and the jail system, in general.

But the pandemic made things worse. The courts shut down trials anyway. And so, you started to see this increasing backlog of people, who are stuffed in the jail, with nowhere to go, because the trial dates weren't coming up.

To this, you add just the pandemic problems of violence, in the city. We had a tremendous -- we had a 60 percent increase in homicides, in the City of Atlanta, during the pandemic. That's starting to come down.

So, you end up with an overcrowded jail, and a jail that's got a lot of folks, who are accused of violence. The problem is you also have a jail that's filled with people, who have mental health problems, who are there for relatively petty crimes, like shoplifting, criminal trespass, which is you could be graffiti, frankly, is 20 percent of the folks, who are there.

COLLINS: George Chidi, we have a lot more questions for you. We're out of time, unfortunately. But we'll have you back, of course, to talk about, what your waiting time was like, on Monday.

George Chidi, thank you, for being here, tonight.

CHIDI: Anytime.


COLLINS: Speaking of Atlanta, the 34-year-old judge, who was assigned to Trump's case there, is a rising star, in legal circles. He also has a hidden talent. And there is video of it. And we'll show you next.


COLLINS: The judge, now overseeing, the massive racketeering case, against former President Donald Trump, and 18 co-defendants, has an impressive resume.

At 34-years-old, Scott McAfee is a Superior Court Judge, award-winning prosecutor, and a former State Inspector General in Georgia.

But as it turns out, he is also a gifted musician.




COLLINS: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution uncovered this video, of the Judge, back in high school, not that long ago for him, rocking out to "The Star-Spangled Banner" in the vein of Jimi Hendrix. And just like Hendrix, played the guitar with his teeth, McAfee did the same with his electric cello.




COLLINS: The crowd was so impressed that someone even in the audience, even yelled, for him to take off his shirt.

Thank you so much, for joining me, tonight, and every night, this week.

"CNN PRIMETIME" with Abby Phillip, starts, right now.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST, CNN PRIMETIME: Well you learn something new, every day. That is really fascinating. Thank you, Kaitlan. Have a great weekend.

COLLINS: Bye, Abby.