tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN July 27, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
out of the woods. they were not seeing any problems. then the winds picked up and it came into this subdivision. about four other neighborhoods and it just caused this massive devastation. as we talked about, we saw some evacuations at the nearby hospital. just as a precaution, there were some infants there in the neonatal intensive care unit. they were taken to another hospital to make sure in case the flames advanced on that hospital. we've said it time and time again with climate change. we're seeing more of these wildfires and unfortunately, the weather forecast, not looking good over the next several days. triple digit temperatures. 110 degrees, also a red flag warning in the area. >> awful. thank you. the hospitals, the families, everyone in california. thank you stoeo much to dan and crew. let's continue on. top of the hour. you are watching cnn on this
friday afternoon. and you never know who you'll run into when you fly the friendly skies. two gentlemen just found that out. take a look at this absolutely fascinating photo. from politico. taken at the d.c. airport. on the right, donald trump jr. on the left, robert mueller, the man investigating events involving don jr. and his dad. the only thing more awkward, if they sat next to one another on the plane. it just so happens, junior's infamous meeting in the trump tower is one of the biggest news stories of the day. the first accusation that trump knew about a direct link between his campaign and the russians. this is coming from the man who was trump's closest ally. trump's exlawyer, michael cohen, says he is ready to talk to ron mueller. again, the man in that photo, that trump was aware of that trump tower meeting in june 2016
ahead of time. that is the meeting where russians sat in trump tower with a number of folks in the campaign, the top campaign officials, including don jr. there in the photo, hoping the get some sort of dirt on hillary clinton. the major player not seen here is president trump and he had this to say about cohen's claims. this is what the president tweeted. i did not, in all caps, know of the meeting with my son and don jr. it sounds like someone is trying to make up stories on get himself out of an unrelated jam. taxi cabs, maybe? he even retained bill and crooked hm's lawyer. gee, i wonder if they helped make the choice. the reporter for the "new york times", the white house reporter, and before we get into all things cohen, this politico photo. talk to me. is this not crazy? >> i mean, it can be a very small town in washington, d.c. it is a pretty striking coincidence. and you can only imagine what
the conversation would be like if the two of them caught each's eye and were aware that they were on the same flight. it may be that mueller has a lot more questions for don jr. now after this latest round of leaks coming from michael cohen's team. certainly, the story around this meeting in trump tower that don jr. has told partially, partially last summer whenmy colleagues here at the "times" first reported on it has continued to change. it is the latest iteration. the president denies that he knew about this. this certainly puts that whole meeting in a new light. >> so you have this, what cohen is now saying, which is different from what cohen had testified, what don jr. testified on the hill, that he knew about it. number two, this morning news from vladimir putin that he is now invited trump to moscow and has accepted this invitation a
few days late to come to washington. tell me what bunk that. >> well, it's fascinating. after all the negative reports and the summit at the news conference, he then issued this invitation via twitter and he said it would be coming through his national security adviser, for putin to come. and then in moscow, it was received very coolly. they said well, we've gotten the invitation but we'll see. it was sort of, it gave the expense the president was going hat in hand to say please come see me at the white house. and president putin wasn't up for it. now, after the president had basically walked that back on wednesday saying, well, this won't happen until after the first of the year. until after the mueller witch hunt is concluded. now putin has come back and. well, i would like to meet. it strikes me this has been very much on vladimir putin's terms.
as was the summit in helsinki. so he seems to still be taking the initiative here and the relationship. and because of this new wrinkle in the mueller story, the news that they are considering arranging, not just a white house meeting but one in moscow for president putin and president trump throws additional fuel on the fire and the questions surrounding what might donald trump's involvement have been during the campaign. >> it does. thank you so much. let me stay on this. here's the if. if michael cohen is telling the truth, that then candidate donald trump knew his son, his son-in-law and campaign chairman were meeting with the russians, would it contradict, not one, not two, 19 denials. either on camera or in print by the president and other members of the trump inner circle. >> when did the president learn that that meeting had taken place? >> i believe in the last couple of days, is my understanding. >> one key point is this is not
a situation where the president was involved in this meeting, was not aware of the meeting, did not attend this meeting. he didn't know about it until a few days ago? >> that's correct. >> did you tell your father anything about this? >> it was such a nothing. there was nothing to tell. i wouldn't have even remembered it until you started scouring through it. it was a wasted 20 minutes which was a shame. >> did you know anything about it? >> no. i didn't know anything about the meeting. it must have been a very unimportant meeting because i never heard about it. >> no one told you a word. >> nobody. i didn't know anything. it was a very unimportant, it sounded like very unimportant meeting. >> while denials with trump didn't change, just remember what did go through this metamorphosis. he said it was about russian adoptions. and then in the end we learned that narrative was directed by the president. and then we found out that the point of the meeting was to get
doirt hillary clinton. after the truth was revealed, team trump says, well, nothing came of it. much to discuss. he used to serve as attorney general in the great state of virginia and michael who served as special assistant to mueller at the justice department. ken, i want to start with you. at the center of this, cohen v trump, you have two men, both of whom have a loose relationship with the truth. doesn't this come down to who is more credible? >> well, when you take a fact has two binarial alternatives, only one can be right. this isn't an object of opinion. either the president knew at a certain time order didn't. and we're getting all sorts of
stories about this and of course one of the newest ones, coming from michael cohen, having worked on a presidential campaign, do i find the notion that a candidate would know much of anything about who the others in the campaign are meeting with is highly unlikely. just because the candidate is occupied in a way that nobody else is. >> but this was no ordinary campaign. this was no ordinary campaign. >> absolutely not. absolutely not. it was completely unconventional. so that's absolutely true. but what is, what works for every campaign is that there is more things to do and more people to talk to than there is time between pick your date and election day. and that drives the busyness of the candidate. so maybe had something come of it, maybe had they gotten hillary dirt, it would be more plausible that they talked to donald trump. i think under the current
circumstances with what we know, it seems less likely to me. >> we'll come back to the dirt piece in a minute. there is more news that is pertinent to that. but ken is right. it is a ehe said, em. he said there were other people in the room. there were people with cohen and trump when trump was made aware, according to cohen. we know there's no reporting of any of this so it all comes down to evidence. how does cohen prove what he says is fact? >> well, the easiest way for cohen's side of the story to be corroborated is if there were in fact other people at this meeting who weren't don jr., manafort, or kushner. other people. then it is obtaining those individuals' testimony as to their recollect. the other thing here that undermines a bit of what ken is suggesting, it is almost impossible to explain away the
june 7th announcement by the candidate trump that he was going to have a big announcement after the june 9 meeting. so you have a time line of june 2, the initial inquiry to don jr., about whether he would like to have this meeting. june 7th, the president makes this pronouncement that he will have a big speech to give. >> hang on, hang on. more important, this is exactly what i was thinking of. it is a speech that he is teasing that he will give on hillary clinton's misdeeds. right? all the stuff that hillary clinton has been doing. he will expose it. that's what he was teasing. >> and he never gave that speech. >> he never gave that speech. so to me, implied in that is knowledge of this upcoming meeting. when he knew it is only to be determined, but it was clearly in my estimation before june 9th. so that time line would also corroborate if they could prove
the truth of cohen's testimony, that it indicates that trump knew in a traditional way. >> so that's one clue, ken, that could be telling for investigators. also, the fact that before and after this trump tower meeting, we know about don jr. was making these calls over and over to some blocked number, right? question marshall over who that person was on the other end. could have been the president, his father. and again, the speech that michael mentioned. how do you explain that? >> well, i certainly agree with michael that that becomes one circumstantial element on the scale. but if you look over the history of that campaign, the primary is what i was involved in. i worked with ted cruz on that. there were a number of instances where candidate trump sort of teased something that then didn't happen. i mean, it is unlt with of
reasons we indicate such an unconventional campaign. no ordinary candidate would do that. and of course, the relevance here is it was teased to the subject matter that i guess the russian teased don jr. to, right? and that is why this looks more significant of all of his various teases through the campaign. >> if i may, to add one additional potentially corroborative point. after the fact of the meeting, we now can establish that donald trump lied about the denial of the content of the meeting. the air force one statement which he dictated. so if that is proof of his state of mind previously, that also would be added to the analysis as to who was to be believed. >> okay. lastly, we'll throw the picture up. and because, michael, you worked robert mueller, you've seen this picture with robert mueller and
don jr. at dca. what do you think, do you think mueller is aware? you know the man. what is he thinking? >> i think he wants to go to bangor, maine, and have a vacation. all i can hope is they're sitting in separate sections of the airplane because that would be pretty awkward. >> thanks, guys, so very much for that. coming up next, president trump hits the bench mark for 4% growth that he had promised during his presidential campaign. is this sustainable? my next guest breaks down what is really behind this economic win right now. and the russian president, vladimir putin says he would be happy to come to the white house. and not only that, he said to the u.s. president, come on out to moscow. later, north korea sends home what is believed to be the remains of dozens of u.s. troops killed during the korean war. this is a moment families have
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>> we're on track to hit the highest annual average growth rate in over 13 years. and i will say this right now and i will say it strongly, as the trade deals come in one by one, we're going to go a lot higher than these numbers. and these are great numbers. once again, we are the economic envy of the entire world. when i meet the leaders of countries, the first thing they say invariably is mr. president, so nice to meet you. congratulations on your economy. you're leading the entire world. they say it almost each and every time. >> all right. context is everything. so look at what is on your screen. over the last two decades you can see the spikes under each president. so today's figures, the highest since 2014. with me now, the cnn commentator, katherine, the numbers are great. i read your piece.
there was a but. you're saying don't read too much into this 4.1%. why? >> the gdp growth number is very noisy from quarter to quarter. it bounces up and down. it was not so great last quarter -- excuse me, the first quarter of the year. much better in the second quarter of the year. so because there's so much noise in the data, you don't want to read too much into one quarter of data. >> what does noisy mean? >> all up and down. >> what you care about is the trend. so one quarter of strong growth does not indicate necessarily a transformed economy, right? >> the president will say it is not sustainable. it is sustainable. >> if you look at every major forecaster from the cbo to the fed to private forecasters, they all say that we will have relatively strong growth this year and next year as a result of this fiscal stimulus that we have from the tax cut and this spending hike. and then after that we'll fall
back to 1.8% growth. that's because you have a sugar high. you have these fiscal stimuli that are boosting the economy in the near term. but as they fade away, we have an aging work force, productivity growth is relatively slow. we have a lot of challenges that are not going to be addressed by these fiscal policies. in fact in the long term, they're probably going to hurt growth because they're loading up the government with so much debt. >> one explanation, i feel like you always come on, we're talking about trade war tariffs, and you point out in your column, maybe one of the reasons why this number is where it is is because businesses were freaking out over this trade war. and that people stockpiled materials, afraid of prices. >> right. they were trying to front run the tariffs. so trump may be taking away from the strong growth number the exact opposite lesson which is
that trade wars are bad and bad for growth in the long run. in the near term as companies worry about barriers, about not having access, about not being able to get the goods that they need to make their own products, they're going to ramp up activity so that they can try to beat out those tariffs and other trade barriers. so soybeans is a great example of this. soybean exports rose by 3,000%. i saw one 9,000 projection. everybody was trying to front run the tariffs we knew were coming in july and of course that won't be sustained later this year. so you have this big spike in activity ahead of the tariffs and then you'll see a reversal later on so indications that this strong growth probably won't be sustained. >> so you're the expert in this economic nuance. a lot of people out there, i was just talking to a poor farmer
the other day. they're struggling. i'm thinking of voters going to the polls, the november mid-terms and despite all the negative headlines out there on russia and hush payments and you know it, cohen tapes, at the end of the day, how much will these positive number for now factor into voters' minds? >> i think what matters is whether it is sustained and whether any of it translates to paychecks. >> so closer to november. >> as we get closer to have no. so far pay has been flat. year over year in june, average hourly earnings were flat adjusted for inflation. if that continues, maybe trump-o-nomics may be working for some but not for others. >> thank you. coming up next, the white house says it is open to a visit to moscow after president putin extended an invitation today.
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i'm a small business, but i have... big dreams... and big plans. so how do i make the efforts of 8 employees... feel like 50? how can i share new plans virtually? how can i download an e-file? virtual tours? zip-file? really big files? in seconds, not minutes... just like that. like everything... the answer is simple. i'll do what i've always done... dream more, dream faster, and above all... now, i'll dream gig. now more businesses, in more places, can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. vladimir putin has just showered new praise on president trump and says he's ready and eager to meet again had washington or in moscow. cnn has learned putin has extended an invitation for president trump to visit russia. the white house responded with a statement this morning. this is what it says.
president trump looks forward to having president putin to washington after the first of the year and he is open to visiting moscow upon receiving a formal invitation. jill doherty is with me, former moscow bureau chief. first just on the timing of these invitations this morning. all of this happening before president trump gave a big speech on the economy. what do you make of the timing? >> the timing actually happened because president putin was in johannesburg at a bricks meeting. you can't say it was timed precisely to that. all this reminds me of like two men in a doorway. one says, no, please, you go first, no, please, you go first. it has that feeling. remember, it seems like a long time ago but president trump invited president putin to washington. and then it was very interesting
to watching for a number days, the kremlin did not say yes, no, or anything. it has said, we're thinking about it, we're thinking about it. and then president trump kind of withdraws and says let's not do it until january. and then this. so i think what you've got is both sides would like the get together. no question. but when they do -it-yourself ad how they do it, putin coming to the united states could be very touchy. this is no way congress will be friendly to him and invite him to capitol hill. it would be very diplomatically dicey. >> minor details, the fact the intel chief said russia hacked our democracy in 2016, that senator mccaskill's computers were attempted to be hacked into. she's running for re-election. mid-terms are being attacked, small potatoes. i'm being facetious but we understand why congress would
respond that way. >> and just so you get in the reverse, if president trump went to moscow, that would be a big deal, too, and it would be fraught with a lot of potential problems. so it is very interesting. i watch putin almost more than trump, if that's possible. but it is very interesting to watch how putin is playing this. it is kind of like, yeah, yeah, you come over here, yeah. and then slathering president trump with praise today. i mean, it was over the top. he is a great businessman. he follows through on his promises. this is all in quotes to his electorate. and you have to read between lines that president putin was just elected. so president putin thinks it is a good thing that presidents carry out their promises to their electorate. it is a lesson for him. look at me. i do the same thing. i'm a good president, too. he works it in many different ways on many different levels.
>> what about the other russian piece of this, you lived in moscow for a number of years. let me play this clip and we'll talk on the other side. >> translator: it is really odd. you can't bash your own country. especially with you're its president. >> translator: trump blaming u.s. stupidity for bad u.s. relations, make him smell like kremlin agent. >> so good. so this russian anchor saying that trump smells like a cell lynn agent. reminder, russia once celebrated trump's victory. what are we to make of the fact the kremlin is slamming trump. and what should trump expect from the russians? >> i watched that show very carefully. that anchor happens to be not exactly a fan of the united states. let's put it that way. so her saying that was really fascinating. you know, brooke, what is really
going on, there's a bit of trolling on many different levels. in russia, although they're saying we hope we'll have a better relationship. president trump, uyou know, wans to have bear relationship. there is another sub text out there. it is kind of, not necessarily making fun, although that sometimes happens. but pointing out the problems that trump has, that he's not predictable. who knows what he will do. and that's also in the russian media. so they're kind of having it both ways. yeah, good relationship, but you never know. so if president trump were to go to moscow, i think there would be interesting average people would say great. let's just have good relations. i'm kind of tired of this. but the other people, specially kremlin, would want to make sure the person who ultimately comes out on top is president putin. because domestically, he has to look strong to his peoplest has
to look as if he is the adult in the room. and that's why i don't think it will be very soon that they will meet. i think it is really too complex. >> yeah. jill doherty, thank you. good to see you. >> coming up next, the possible remains of dozen of americans killed during the korean war back on u.s. soil. what this move by north korea tells us about the ongoing talks there. plus, president trump denying michael cohen's claim that he knew and approved of that trump tower meeting in 2016. the question is, does rob mueller already know which man is lying? [music playing]
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a solemn moment at osan air base in south korea this morning. soldiers carrying boxes believed to be the remains of u.s. soldiers killed. some 65 years ago during the korean war. the return of the remains was one commitment the north korean leader kim jong-un made when he met last month in singapore. the president spoke about the return from the white house. >> fallen heroes from america. back from the korean war. they're coming back to the united states. these incredible heroes will soon be laid to rest on sacred
american soil. >> gordon chang is with me. the author of nuclear showdown, how north korea takes on the world. and a columnist with the daily beast. so gordon, when i first read about this, was it wrong of me initially when i read about it, believed to be the remains. this is north korea we're talking about. what if it's something else? >> well, it certainly could be. the north koreans could be known to supply the remains of dogs to countries where they said they were actually returning soldiers' remains. at this particular point, until the dna analysis is done in hawaii, we won't know who they are. these could be british soldiers. the british fought alongside us in the korean war. presumably the north koreans would return remains that they thought were westerners. until that analysis is done, we certainly don't know. >> you know it is the u.n. flag draped over the remains and not an american flag. the dna analysis, they say it will take months of detailed
analysis to determine how many americans can even be identified. you were saying there are 7697 unaccounted for americans in north korea. considered m.i.a. and they're thinking they're handing over 55 of them? >> right. the north koreans on various occasions have said they have 200 sets of remains. the pentagon estimates there are 5,300 sets of remains and that 7697 number are missing. we also know that of that 7697, they say they're m.i.a. many should be characterized as p.o.w.s. we have incontrovertible evidence that americans were captured. we have no indication of death. and although they're quite old, nonetheless, they should not be m.i.a.s and we should be talking with north korea torsion china, and russia about these people. we know that they were taken to those various locations.
>> we know when secretary mattis american troops to north korea to find these remains. do you see that happening? >> i think we stopped in 2005 because it became too dangerous. this is a step forward and president trump gets credit for this. he raised this on his own. it is very important to families but it is more important that we get an accounting of americans who were probably p.o.w.s or we know were. they might still be alive, brooke. >> to think the families who have been waiting 65 years for this would question. if this is kim, if these american remains and he is making good on his promise, what does that signal to you? >> it is a small step forward. this is something easy for kim to do. wave long way to go. not only the issue of remains but disarticling the missiles,
the nooks. there's a long way to go. it is better than the possibility of not making steps at all. >> gordon chang, thank you so much. >> coming up next, follow the money. federal prosecutors subpoenaing. how this is not good for the president. and one of the president's former advisers who has already spoken to robert mueller and said there is no way trump didn't know about the meeting. . with moderate to severe crohn's disease, i was there, just not always where i needed to be. is she alright? i hope so. so i talked to my doctor about humira. i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of crohn's disease after trying other medications. and the majority of people on humira saw significant symptom relief and many achieved remission in as little as 4 weeks.
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while michael cohen's new claims about that trump tower meeting could have massive implications for this president, there are some new developmentes in cohen's investigation that could expose something the president has worked tirelessly to keep confidential. his finances. according to the "wall street journal," the chief officer allen weisselberg has been subpoenaed. one employee said this is the quote, ultimate nightmare scenario for this president because he, quote, knows where all the financial bodies are buried. allen knows every deal, every dealership, every sale, anything and everything that has been done. he knows every membership, anything you can think of. david kay johnston is back with us. a pulitzer prize winning journalist. he has been reporting on trump's finances for almost three
decades. so david, welcome back. you of all people know how much this man knows. how rattled donald trump must be right now. >> donald is undoubtedly extraordinarily rattled. allen weisselberg may invoke his right to the fifth amendment. it's a right we all have and we shouldn't draw any conclusions but prosecutors can grant him immunity in an effort to force him to testify will he will know sources of money which is critical to the russia matters. he will know who trump is fully indebted to. because the financial disclosure forms for the president are not very good. as mr. trump himself. these forms were not designed for a imagine of mr. trump's great wealth. >> according to the "new york times," >> he goes way be the family.
can you talk about the importance of loyalty within the family, within this organization? >> well, fred trump had a business partner named willie thomas sela identified in law enforcement public reports as a front for the gambino mafia families, two biggest mafia families in new york. and donald grew up and came boo the business when, of course, fred was still in charge of it. what's changed is that the current trump organization has lots of dealings with russian mobsters. by that, i mean russian-speaking peoples from the russian federation. ass asser zahn, that's all stuff that allen will know. donald is not a detail guy. he once said when he found out that the vice president for finance of one of the casinos was black he wanted the guy
firing saying i don't want black people touching my money, only short guys that wear yamakas. >> are you serious? >> i'm dead serious. >> wow. let me read you a tweet of a man that worked on the trump university lawsuit. he said he reviews every payment an signs every payment for all of the subsidiaries of the trump organizations, random llcs. do you know, david to you, do you know if weisselberg would have signed his name or trump's signature? i ask because if the checks come into question, does it become a legal liability if he's been signing donald trump's name? >> well, it doesn't matter whether he has authority to sign on donald's behalf or signs personally. what matters is he is granted authority by donald to do these
things and unless they make a showing that somehow he was acting improperly or without authority, then he's acting as donald's surrogate and will mat tore the grand jury looking into michael cohen. and here we are getting into where there are records. you cannot move money across borders anymore except for something called the hawala system used in the middle east without a financial trail and the irs agents working for fin sim, the money laundering agency, they're masterful at finding needles in haystacks, trillions of dollars sloshing around and they find you if needed $100 transaction. >> and as i'm thinking money and looking at you, that is man who also then would have had the hands all over trump's tax returns. yes? >> well, presumably but let's remember the guy that did the trump tax returns for years jack
mitnit testified under oath, looking at the tax return that was in evidence and said, your honor, that's my signature on that return but neither i nor my firm prepared that tax return. so one of the things dealing with donald trump you always have to remember is you can't really trust anything that you see. you've got to verify very carefully and get the actual records. >> when you mentioned a second ago the potential of weisselberg pleading the fifth, what are the chances you think he would receive immunity? >> oh, if prosecutors want his testimony, i'm sure they'd be perfectly happy to grant um munty. can be for specific transactions or prophylactic. this is a crisis. donald surrounds himself with loyalty to him, unquestioned you are the boss loyalty is what matters. he is known to replace highly
competent executives in the casino business with falling down drunks because they were totally loyal to him. and this is going to be a real challenge for mr. weisselberg who i fear, you know, how this will go for him if he decides to try and tough it out. >> david cay johnston, thank you. you are excellent. appreciate it. it is the picture that's everyone talking this afternoon and now robert mueller's spokesman responded how close physically the special counsel was to don jr. there at the d.c. airport. we're back in a moment. ♪ ♪ when it comes to strong bones, are you on the right path? we have postmenopausal osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture,
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time is up onning orunning nominate someone for a hero. >> nominated the doctor to be a cnn hero because we grew up together and then i saw that he was doing all this of this wonderful community work. i'm very familiar with cnn heroes, a fan of the show and as i was volunteering here, i said to myself. wait a second. perfect match. and here we are. so i'm so proud of my friend and so surreal and exciting and so rewarding.
>> it's awesome. we love hearing the different stories these men and women in the u.s. and around the world and could become the next cnn hero. keep in mind the nominations close tuesday night. if you know someone who you would like to nominate, go to cnn heroes.com. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me today. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. the fixer has become the problem that needs to be fixed. "the lead" starts right now. president trump's former fixer michael cohen now says that president trump knew the inner group of his was about to meet with russian operatives. i'll ask another former trump aide what did the president know and when did he know it? the breakup from the guy once said he'd take a bullet for trump and seemingly ready to expose. plus, catastr
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