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Eight People Attended Trump Jr Meeting with Russia Lawyer; White House Hires High-Profile Washington Lawyer for Russia Response; What Did Trump Know about Don Jr's Russia Meeting?; Trump Working to Save Senate Health Care Bill; Conflicting Accounts in Deputy Shooting of Louisiana Man; Soldier Gives Up Medal of Honor. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired July 15, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:3] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Great to have you with me this weekend. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.
We have new details today that are important. To stay on the top of the White House/Russia investigation, go back to the number of people thought to be at the Donald Trump Jr meeting with the Russian lawyer because that number has changed again. Now eight people at least confirmed by CNN were in that room when the president's son expected to receive information that would hurt the Hillary Clinton campaign and was part of a Russian government effort. That was last June. Now, we know now one of the people there was a man whose role in history and Washington is something of a puzzle. Rinat Akhmetshin, a former officer in the Soviet military, now an American citizen, and a lobbyist who now pushes issues of interest to the Russian government.
The president is yet to respond to these revelations by his preferred medium, Twitter. But this issue is on his mind evidenced by his latest tweet just a short time ago. He says, "Stock market hit another all-time high yesterday, despite the Russian hoax story."
The president is in New Jersey this weekend.
And so is CNN correspondent, Boris Sanchez.
Boris, is anyone in the administration saying anything official about the direction this story is developing?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Ana. Not specifically about these new revelations, at least yet. That tweet is the most specific the president has gotten when it comes to the details of who was in that meeting with Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner. Obviously, the revelation being that there's someone who at least one Republican Senator calls a Russian intelligence operative. Of course, that Russian lobbyist has denied claims that he is tied to Russian intelligence gathering.
But the real insight from that tweet is that the president continues to refer to this story as a hoax despite the fact that there is now clear evidence that Donald Trump Jr took this meeting specifically to gather dirt, negative information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.
There has not been an official statement from the White House on this new information. They have yet to comment publicly, instead referring all questions to the president's legal team -- Ana?
CABRERA: Now, just in the past few minutes we've learned the White House have added another attorney to work on their side on the Russia investigation. What do we know about this new attorney?
SANCHEZ: He's a high-powered Washington, D.C., attorney, by the name of Ty Cobb. He's a former federal prosecutor. He is currently a partner at a law firm. And he's been brought in essentially to oversee the White House response to the Russia investigation, not only legally but also the media response. And the timing of this hire, Ana, is very interesting. It comes amid reports that there are some tensions between Trump's personal attorney, Mark Kasowitz, and top White House officials. It has really been a rough week for Kasowitz. There's some e-mails released this week that show a very rough expletive-laden conversation between he and a critic, something he eventually apologized for. He is expected to stay on as the president's attorney. But this is an indication, the hiring of Ty Cobb, that the White House needs to do more when it comes to responding to the Russia investigation. Again, not just legally but also in the press -- Ana?
CABRERA: All right, Boris Sanchez at the White House -- or traveling with the president, I should say, from New Jersey this weekend. Thank you.
More now on that mysterious figure who has become part of this Russia investigation,
CNN senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson, is in Moscow for us.
Ivan, I'm talking about Rinat Akhmetshin, now confirmed to have attended that meeting between Donald Trump Jr and this Russian lawyer. He was an officer in the Soviet army, we've learned, is the Kremlin still saying they don't know who he is?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they say they do not know who he is. We know that he was born in the Soviet Union. And he did do his conscript service in the Soviet Red Army, as all men in those days had to do. But he's been in the U.S. for more than 20 years, Ana. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2009.
If you want to know what he does, we looked at a document from 2012 that he submitted to a New York district court, and he said that he works in strategic communications. He went on to write, quote, "Some of my clients are national governments or high-ranking officials in those governments."
Now, a more recent document that was submitted by the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, to the Department of Homeland Security, was a request for information. The Senator wrote, quote, "I write to obtain information regarding Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian immigrant to the United States, who's been accused of acting as an unregistered agent for Russian interests and, apparently, has ties to Russian intelligence."
Now, in more recent interviews, Mr. Rinat Akhmetshin has denied any links to the Russian government or to Russian intelligence.
We do know he lobbied against the Magnitsky Act. That is a piece of legislation that can be used to sanction Russian individuals who are implicated in human rights abuses or in corruption. And he worked alongside a certain Russian lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya. They had a non-governmental organization together. She is the lawyer who was in that room in June of 2016 in Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr, that meeting that's attracted so much controversy.
[15:05:37] CABRERA: Ivan, where else do these lines reach in Russia? I mean, we know there was also this Russian pop star's publicist who was part of the meeting. Talk to me about the Russian pop star and his billionaire father who apparently the Trumps knew through the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant.
WATSON: Yes. According to the e-mails that Donald Trump Jr released, the meeting was requested by a British music promoter named Rob Goldstone. He's the one who actually wrote that he was basically going to bring information from the Russian government to help Donald Trump get elected.
Now, the promoter says he was acting for his client, a man named Emin Agalarov. He's a Russian pop star. He just completed a tour in the U.S. And he was also friends and business partners with the Trumps. They helped, together, put on the 2013 Miss Universe contest here in Moscow.
Now, Emin not only this pop star, who had Donald Trump Sr in his music video back in those days, but his father's this billionaire real- estate developer, Aras Agalarov, who has shopping malls here, restaurants, a convention center. He's building soccer stadiums. He was awarded a Medal of Honor by Vladimir Putin.
And get this. We've learned that a couple years ago, his company, International Crocus Group, was awarded $129 million contract from the Russian government to help work on customs infrastructure with the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan. The Crocus Group and the Agalarovs have denied they've sent this Russian lawyer to try to help with the Trump campaign to help win the election in 2016. They do confirm that they sent the lawyer to meet with Donald Trump Jr -- Ana?
CABRERA: It's all very interesting.
Ivan Watson, thank you for that reporting.
Let's bring in our panel now. Joining us, Washington bureau chief for the "Chicago Sun Times," Lynn Sweet. And CNN legal and national security analyst, Asha Rangappa.
Ladies, the president's legal team is now defending this meeting, saying, even though it happened, it is not illegal. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY SEKULOW, MEMBER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LEGAL TEAM: What's being violated here? Because at the end of the day -- I keep saying this -- this is interesting and I understand why you're covering it. But the fact is no legal violation for the meeting. The meeting itself is not a violation of the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So, Asha, first, do you agree there's nothing illegal here? And, second, even if no laws were broken, does that mean there's nothing wrong with having had this meeting?
ASHA RANDGAPPA, CNN LEGAL & NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Right, Ana. So this is once again another Jedi mind trick, being attempted to say this is completely normal. And it's not normal. It may be that if this meeting is taken in isolation we can't get any of the American principles who were there on a crime, but I suspect this is the tip of the iceberg.
I will say that the number of Russians that keep popping up in as being in attendance at this meeting, they could be in some violation of some laws. And that is a big bonanza for Mueller because he has more people to question. So the Senator's letter that was just read by the previous reporter mentioned that somebody may have been acting as an unregistered agent. There's something called the Foreign Agent Registration Act, which requires people who are here and acting on foreign interests, on behalf of foreign governments, have to register, particularly if they're doing things like lobbying. And that carries a penalty of five years in prison. It has been prosecuted before. So Mueller may have leverage to hold over all of these Russian attendees. And when they might be facing prison time, they don't have diplomatic cover like most spies do. They will be hung out to dry by the Russian government, which disavows any association with them. They will start talking. And we don't know yet what other information they're going to start coughing up.
CABRERA: So interesting to think that it's those other players, not Kushner, not Manafort --
RANDGAPPA: That's right.
CABRERA: -- not Don Jr, that would be the source that gets to the truth here.
But, Lynn, the fact this administration has made multiple misleading, if not inaccurate statements about this meeting as we're learning more and more information as it comes out, does it make it harder for them to claim credibly that nothing came of this meeting?
[15:10:11] LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, CHICAGO SUN TIMES: The question -- they answer a question that is not being asked right now. Let's take it one step at a time. If I can build on what we're talking about here, first, you find out what happened. Then you sort it out and see if a crime is committed, what crime. Is it false statements? Is it conspiracy? Is it bad judgment, which is not a crime, but something important for the public to know if we're just talking about what is good for knowing about Russian intrusion in our elections. So the more you say, oh, we didn't commit a crime, isn't the point. It's just they say that in the sense when it's said by the Trump spokesman it's to distract you from finding out what happened, getting people -- and this is classic in how you build a case. Let me underscore what we're talking about here. You build from the bottom up, people that have something to fear from prosecution, so they'll tell everything they know for the real targets of the investigation, the bigger fish.
One quick thing. This lawyer, Ty Cobb, distant relative of the baseball player, I first came across him in the 1990s in the Democratic campaign finance scandal. So he knows about scandals in Washington. He was defending, in that day, a DNC fundraiser who was in hot water for maybe taking donations from foreign sources. So, you know, this is all very familiar territory to the new lawyer that is helping President Trump on the White House tab.
CABRERA: OK, ladies, I want to go back over a couple statements that have been put out over the course of the past week. It was one week ago today, Donald Trump Jr released his first statement about this meeting. Let's show it to everybody. It says, quote, "It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed an adoption program. I was asked to attend by an acquaintance but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with."
A day later, released a new statement adding this information, "I was asked to have a meeting by an acquaintance I knew from the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant, an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign. I asked Jared and Paul to attend but told them nothing of the substance."
And now we know, based on the e-mails, that Trump Jr released that he was told he would be meeting with a Russian government lawyer. That this person had damaging intelligence of Clinton. That he did tell Manafort and Kushner what this meeting was about because he forwarded them his e-mail chain. And that others were there, including a lobbyist with alleged ties to Russian intelligence.
Asha, you're a former intelligence official. Does this seem like someone who has nothing to hide?
RANDGAPPA: In my experience, someone who keeps changing their story is usually hiding something. I think that is a pretty common pattern that you see.
More importantly, Ana, as it was mentioned just now, truth telling is going to become very important because often in these large sprawling investigations what ends up clinching some of these people who may have skated right under the law in other ways is making false statements when they're being interviewed by federal officials. So one example of this is Martha Stewart, who was investigated for SEC violations. It turned out, actually, that she hadn't committed any SEC violation. But she had made false statements in the course of the investigation, and that's what she was prosecuted and convicted for. So when I start seeing these shifting stories, I'm thinking these people might get jammed up in lying or, better yet, not saying anything at all.
CABRERA: A White House official told CNN that it's not good that Don Jr's story keeps changing.
Lynn, is it possible we've seen so many different situations because aides and lawyers aren't even getting the full story from Trump Jr and Jared Kushner themselves?
SWEET: Oh, it's possible. When you think about it, did Don Jr, who did release the e-mails, did he think that the fragments, the crumbs he was offering would make the story go away. And that abbreviated statement, especially when he had -- you know, he didn't do public relations 101, get everything out. In a sense, you didn't need a summary statement where he could trip himself up, as we're talking about. The e-mails speak for themselves. You don't have to explain anything. You don't have to give a summary statement. You say, I'm releasing the e-mails. My lawyer's releasing them. And then we know. Every day, in this story, part of the developments are what people are not volunteering to tell the whole story. It shouldn't be a matter, well, you didn't ask me if a Russian translator was in the room. You're right, I didn't ask. Who knew? OK. There are things if you really want out, you can volunteer it. And I think -- and we can talk about this if there's time. Professional investigators, agents that do this digging know where people are not volunteering anything. I know, as a reporter, because there's just holes in the story where you have to go back and say, gee -- you know, I mean, I'm saying this on reflection. So you were talking with this lawyer from Moscow, how did you two talk? Did you speak Russian? Did she speak English? So if --
[15:15:35] CABRERA: Yes, there are just a lot more questions.
SWEET: Right. That he could have. He could have just told the whole story and put it together. If there is mitigating evidence, something's misconstrued, maybe somebody's going to say, you think it's damning in these e-mails, I didn't read it through and through.
CABRERA: We've got to go. There's always more to discuss.
CABRERA: I think it's also important to note that we also learned in the last couple of days that Jared Kushner's legal team found these e- mails as early as mid June.
CABRERA: And since then is how long it's taken for them to come up with a response. And of course, it all exploded after the "New York Times" got the reporting. Lynn Sweet, Asha Rangappa, thanks so much for the conversation.
RANDGAPPA: Thank you.
SWEET: Thank you.
CABRERA: Still ahead this hour, legal limbo. As you just heard, the White House is adding a high-profile Washington lawyer to the mix. How this could change the Trump team's response to the Russia investigation.
Plus, walking a tight rope. Senate Republicans want a vote on health care next week. But if one more member jumps ship, it's a dead deal.
And later, humble hero. Why a Medal of Honor recipient gave his award back, stunning his on brigade.
You're live in CNN NEWSROOM.
[15:20:58] CABRERA: A lot of new developments in the growing Russia investigation, chief among them the changing stories about Donald Trump Jr's meeting with the Kremlin-linked attorney.
And then there's this. The White House just hired a new attorney to help them deal with the growing legal challenges facing the administration.
Let's discuss with a couple of brilliant legal minds of ours, CNN legal Analyst and criminal defense lawyer, Mark Geragos. And CNN legal analyst and former special assistant to Robert Mueller at the Department of Justice, Michael Zeldin.
Michael, last night, CNN's David Gergen, as you know, a presidential advisor to both Republicans and Democrats, he said this Don Jr situation, quote, "May go down in history as one of the most incompetent cover-ups we've ever had."
What's your take?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, as cover-ups go, it's pretty transparent that something is underneath this that may be criminally problematic for a lot of people. And the drip, drip, dripping of these tales that change every day, based on reporting by CNN and "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times," doesn't help their credibility in any way, shape or form. And so, as we talked about in the earlier segments, the lying that is going on, the changing stories could give rise to problems down the road.
But presently, in answer to Jay Sekulow's question in the last segment about what is the crime here, tell me the crime, well, it's a pretty clear crime. 52, United States Code, Section 3121, makes it illegal to solicit a contribution from a foreign national. And the solicitation component of this doesn't even have to be accepted to be a violation of it. And aiding and abetting in solicitation is a crime. So there's a crime here. And there's a conspiracy to commit this crime as possible charges. So to deny the reality of these legal consequences these people face is just silly.
CABRERA: Do you agree, Mark?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Look, it's beyond silly. I really don't understand who's giving counsel or what counsel is being given, because you have to assume, in these kinds of cases, especially when you've got the feds -- have you as a target, that they know more than you do. I mean that's -- one of the things I always tell the clients, if you lie to me, that's fine. But you go out and publicly lie to the cops or the FBI, that's a crime. And if you think that you're smarter than the feds are, it only comes back to bite you. There are -- I can think of other potential violations here besides the soliciting an in- kind contribution or anything else.
But the most important part is it's your intent. It's not whether or not it actually happened. So I don't understand why they feel compelled to get out there in every news cycle and address these things. I would literally, if I was a lawyer on this tell them, I'm quitting if you keep doing this because I'm not going to clean up your mess.
CABRERA: Well, we are --
CABRERA: There is some real friction happening between Trump's legal team and him as well because he hasn't been a very good client.
But, Michael, we now know that this White House is bringing in a new lawyer to help handle issues related to the investigation, Ty Cobb. He's a relative of the famous ballplayer. His role we're told is to be the crisis manager and disciplinarian. Now, my understanding is he doesn't replace Kasowitz. Kasowitz is still Trump's personal lawyer, but he is now a representative of the White House, the administration.
You know Cobb. Tell us about him and does he fit the bill?
ZELDIN: Yes. Ty is a very good lawyer and a very nice guy. Whether he can corral everybody in the White House counsel's office to get everyone seeing on the same score card is something that remains to be seen. But he has a lot of experience, and he's a likable guy. And he could do what the current White House counsel can't do, which is bring a lot of prior experience in criminal investigations to this.
But you see two things going on, Ana, that are interesting. One is they're bringing in Ty to try to replicate what Clinton did during his problems, which is to create a legal war room in the White House counsel's office to deal with this on a day-to-day basis. And you see Abby Lowell coming in to represent Jared Kushner. She's a well-known criminal lawyer. Represented John Edwards recently in his problems. You see the shifting in legal representation. Jamie stays in as the ethics person. Abby comes in front and center on the criminal side. So people are becoming more sensitive to the fact that this is a criminal investigation. It is not a hoax. It is not a witch hunt. It is a serious legal matter and they are beginning to take the first steps, steps they should have taken months ago, probably, to recognize the jeopardy that they're potentially in.
[15:26:03] CABRERA: Mark, do you think there's a little musical chairs happening right now among the legal teams and all these different players who are hiring their own legal counsel? Do you think that Ty Cobb could help with the headbutting we were just discussing regarding the president and his legal team, as sort of this intermediary and somebody who the legal team can go to instead of trying to control the president himself?
GERAGOS: I think what happened initially is they didn't want to bring in somebody who was going to be referred to as a seasoned criminal defense lawyer or seasoned white-collar lawyer, even though I hate that term, because then the story becomes, who did they previously represent. And then you've got all of that baggage that comes along.
The problem is when you've got somebody like Mueller, and then you see the team that he's assembled, and you understand the jeopardy, and if anybody -- if they'd just consulted with anybody who would explain to them the jeopardy. And having gone through this countless times myself and with the independent counsel back in the '90s with Ken Starr, I can tell you that if you don't take these things seriously, it comes back to bite you. And I think -- I don't know it's so much as musical chairs as somebody has come to the realization that this is a real-live criminal -- federal criminal investigation, and you're not playing around. This is serious stuff. Ty Cobb is a serious lawyer. And, you know, they need somebody who can explain to them that, yes, there are potential federal violations here and you need to just stop with the nonsense.
CABRERA: And still today, the president's calling it a hoax on Twitter.
Mark Geragos and Michael Zeldin, thanks so much for bringing your take.
ZELDIN: Thank you.
CABRERA: So it's still unclear what exactly happened in that infamous meeting with the Russian attorney. And did Donald Trump Sr know about it?
Tom Foreman takes a look back at how the events unfolded last June and July around that meeting at Trump Tower.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Late spring, 2016, Hillary Clinton is on a roll. Polls have her far ahead of Donald Trump. A White House endorsement is just days away.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D), FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE & FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.
FOREMAN: Then June 3rd, an intriguing e-mail arrives for Donald Trump Jr from a music promoter for a Russian pop star offering information that "would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father," claiming to be part of a Russian government effort to help Trump win. "I love it," the candidate's son responds.
June 7th, a meeting is set to discuss the matter with Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. Four hours later, a big announcement.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week, and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting.
FOREMAN: Two days later, June 9th, at Trump Tower, Donald Jr, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and campaign official, Paul Manafort, have their meeting with Veselnitskaya for the promised dirt on Clinton. But Donald Jr now says it's a waste of time.
DONALD TRUMP JR, SON OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: I wanted to hear that but, really, it went nowhere. It was apparent that wasn't what the meeting was actually about.
FOREMAN: His father, also at Trump Tower that afternoon, needles Clinton with a tweet that same day, "Where are the 30,000 e-mails you deleted?"
June 15th, a cyber security firm announces a major hack of Democratic National Committee computers and blames the Russians.
A week later, Trump finally rolls out that major speech he promises, once again, talking about Clinton's e-mails but offering no new information.
TRUMP: While we may not know what's in those deleted e-mails, our enemies probably know every single one of them.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Mid July, the Republican convention, Trump is now officially the nominee. His campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, dismissing all allegations of ties to Russia.
PAUL MANAFORT, FORMER MANAGER, DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. There are not. It's absurd. There's no base to it.
FOREMAN: July 22nd, WikiLeaks posts nearly 20,000 e-mails from Democratic Committee computers, some embarrassing and damaging to the party and its candidate.
Yet, on CNN's "State of the Union," Donald Jr dismisses Democratic howls about Russian interference. DONALD TRUMP JR, SON OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it just goes to show
you their exact moral compass. I mean, they'll say anything to be able to win this. This is, time and time again, lie after lie.
FOREMAN: And a few days later, Donald Trump says this.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.
FOREMAN (on camera): Investigators have to look at all these points on the timeline and many more details, while the Trump team keeps saying it's all just a coincidence, and critics keep saying it looks like collusion.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
CABRERA: Up next, the Senate Republicans health bill is on thin ice this weekend, meaning no more "no" votes. Even one could derail their plan indefinitely. How the president is working to save this bill.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[15:35:34] CABRERA: Three people are dead and firefighters are going door-to-door now checking for more possible victims after a fire at a Honolulu high-rise. Here's what we know, the fire started Friday in a unit without sprinklers on the 26th floor. Chunks of the building fell more than 20 stories as this fire burned upward through several floors.
A resident here describes the chaos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: The stairwell was so full of smoke, you couldn't breathe, you couldn't see. You couldn't see the steps in front of you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: The fire chief says the sprinkler system would have contained this fire to just one unit. Again, no sprinklers were inside the building. The fire is now under control. And five people, including a firefighter, by the way, were hospitalized.
I want to turn to the battle over your health care. President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are making phone calls this weekend trying to drum up support for the Senate's newly revamped GOP health care bill. It's part of a new aggressive push on Twitter and behind closed doors to put a win in the president's legislative agenda. The White House cannot afford even one more Republican "no" vote in order to pass the Senate bill. By CNN's count, at least 12 Republican Senators are undecided. Two have already said no way, they're not going to vote for it.
So the Trump White House is now trying to woo governors who are skeptical of the bill in the hopes they might sway some of those undecideds.
Just a short time ago, CNN's Fredricka Whitfield asked Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, to explain why he opposes the bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY MCAULIFFE, (D), VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: We're willing to work with everybody. This, unfortunately, was done in secret. I wish the governors had been at the table. It needs to be done in a bipartisan way, just like the governors work, Democrat, Republican. This has been done in secret. We ought to go to regular order in the Senate. We ought to have hearings, amendments. Bills ought to be introduced. And we all ought to work together.
This is the single most-important policy initiative facing Americans today, is health care. I can't, as a governor, support a plan that costs $1.4 billion to my budget over the next seven years and literally thousands and thousands of Virginians lose health care coverage. I can't. I've got to fight for my citizens.
People will die -- I don't say that lightly -- if we do not get this right. And we cannot eliminate folks and take them off. And I've been very critical because the plans today and millions and millions of Americans will lose health coverage, many will die, many will become sick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: It's not just Democratic governors who are saying things like that. We also heard from Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican, who called this new version of GOP health care bill unacceptable.
And more people are speaking out from the Republican side. Don't miss CNN's "State of the Union" tomorrow morning with Jake Tapper. One of the "no" votes on health care, Senator Susan Collins, will discuss an alternative bill she introduced.
Up next, a controversial police shooting has now left a small Louisiana community in turmoil. More on the conflicting accounts about how the deadly night unfolded, live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Stay with us.
[15:42:39] CABRERA: A man, shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy in Louisiana, is being laid to rest today. But the circumstances that led to this shooting on July 6th are far from settled. This much is known. A deputy stopped an African-American man and his girlfriend who were riding in an ATV in Cajun country. At some point, a struggle broke out and the deputy shot and killed the man. From there, the account given by the deputy conflicts in a big way with the man's girlfriend.
CNN's Kaylee Hartung joins us now.
Kaylee, this happened in a very small town. There's only one stop sign of stop light, so small. We know the state is now investigating this shooting at the sheriff's request. But what do you know about what happened?
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, I spent time in Mamou, Louisiana, this week, and this incident happened about three miles south of that one-stoplight in town. Gravel roads are the only way to navigate the rice fields there.
So Deputy Holden LaFleur was responding to a burglary call on an ATV. He came across this couple on an ATV, so he stopped them. The couple was out in those early morning hours frog hunting, not an unusual activity in this part of Louisiana.
So why did a struggle break out? You're right, that's what's unclear. The deputy says that Guillory punched him first. Dequincy Brown says it was the deputy who punched her boyfriend first. Either way, the deputy got Guillory on the ground and as he tried to handcuff him, that's when Brown got involved. She jumped on the officer's back. The officer says that she then tried to grab his gun.
But the arrest warrant affidavit says that Brown said, quote, "She approached LaFleur from behind, began to choke and bite him." But Brown's attorney says that his client never said that. Nevertheless, shots were then fired. DeQuincy Brown is now facing attempted first- degree murder charges against the officer. And DeJuan Guillory was laid to rest this morning.
Ana, for all the conflicts we see in these two stories, there could be truth on video. The Louisiana State Police say they are reviewing dash-cam footage from the patrol car.
[15:44:39] CABRERA: All right. Kaylee Hartung thank you.
Up next, missing men, four, buried 12 feet underground. Ahead, details on the cousins that have just confessed to the killings that rocked a quiet Pennsylvania community.
You're live in CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: We're learning what really happened to four men who went missing in Pennsylvania last week. Police have now found three bodies in a deep grave. They found the fourth buried about a half a mile away. Now, two cousins have been charged in their deaths. One of them is making a stunning confession. His name is Cosmo DiNardo. He told police how he helped lure the victims promising to sell them marijuana.
Our Brynn Gingras has the latest from Bucks County -- Brynn?
[15:49:46] BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Cosmos DiNardo and Sean Kratz, both 20 years old and cousin, sitting behind bars on no bond after admitting to the killings of four men who disappeared in this area of Pennsylvania last week. In addition, they're each facing more than a dozen charges each in the case.
We got a look at court documents that detail a horrific confession from both men. In those papers, we learned was that Cosmo DiNardo admitted to luring one of these men to his family's property with the intent to sell him drugs. Instead, he shot and killed one of those men and buried his body on his family's property. Two days later, he joined up with his cousin, Kratz, and again three other men to his family's property, this time, with the intent to rob them. Instead, we're told by those papers, they short all three men, burying them in a separate grave. And also trying to burn their bodies to conceal evidence.
We have learned from the district attorney in this case that they were able to recover all four of the men's bodies from the property. That was one of his hopes, to bring them home to their families. We also know they recovered the guns used in this case.
What know that DiNardo gave a full confession in exchange for the death penalty being taken off the table. But the district attorney says, that's not the case for Sean Kratz, and it's possible he could face the death penalty in this case.
Back to you.
CABRERA: All right. Brynn Gingras, thank you very much.
For now, a judge, by the way, has entered not guilty pleas on their behalf as this works through the court system.
This week "CNN Hero" had a rough time growing up. Harry Grammer was arrested at 16. He was sentenced to five years juvenile probation. He has since turned his life around. And he created a nonprofit group in Los Angeles helping young people stay out of trouble. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRY GRAMMER, CNN HERO: Bottom line is everybody in this room including myself, we got a story to tell. You're going to tell the world about who you are. I want to see what you have inside of you that wants to come out. Going to tell them their struggle
GRAMMER: We need to listen to the young people. We need to find out what it is they're longing for. What they want.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: To learn more about Harry's mission, head to cnnheroes.com. While you're there, you can nominate someone who you think should be a "CNN Hero."
[15:56:30] CABRERA: The first living Medal of Honor recipients since the Vietnam War has refused to keep the highest award for valor. Instead, he gave it to the people he thought deserved it the most -- his unit.
CNN's Barbara Starr has his story.
STAFF SGT. SALVATORE GIUNTA, MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT: The whole time frame maybe lasted anywhere between like two minutes, three minutes and five or six lifetimes. I don't know.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 2007, Salvatore Giunta went on a night patrol in the mountains in eastern Afghanistan and he stepped into history.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This soldier is as humble as he's heroic, Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta.
STARR: In 2010, receiving the nation's award for valor, the first living Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War.
OBAMA: He'll tell you that he didn't do anything special, that he was doing his job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Salvatore Giunta.
STARR: Now a decade after that patrol, Giunta has taken another extraordinary step, giving this Medal of Honor to his unit, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, where he thought it belonged.
GIUNTA: I'm not here because I'm a great soldier. I am here because I served with great soldiers.
STARR: The brigade's current sergeant major, Frank Velez, said Giunta's action left him speechless.
FRANK VELEZ, SERGEANT MAJOR, 173RD AIRBORNE BRIGADE: The first thing that came to mind was, are you sure you want to do that? And he said, yes, I think it belongs to the 173rd.
STARR: The brigade posted video capturing a moment of humble strength amid years of grief.
GIUNTA: I want this to stay here in Italy (ph) with the 173rd, to the mean and women who earn this every single day from their sacrifice.
VELEZ: There were a few gasps in the crowd and then there was folks going wild. That is incredible. This just really happened.
STARR: CNN first talked to Giunta in 2010 about the battle.
GIUNTA: I'll think about it and it hurts. But to say it out loud makes it that much more real.
OBAMA: Sal and his platoon were several days into the mission in the valley, the most dangerous valley in northeast Afghanistan.
STARR: Suddenly, ambushed, there was gun fire from all directions. His friend, Sergeant Joshua Brennan in peril.
STARR: Giunta, 22 years old, charged into a wall of bullets.
OBAMA: He crested the hill alone. There he saw a chilling sight. The silhouettes of two insurgents carrying the other wounded American away, who happened to be one of Sal's best friends.
STARR: Brennan, rescued by Giunta, died of his wounds.
GIUNTA: This is where it gets rough for me. You know, every time -- every time -- I can try -- I can try to explain it and I can try to put it into terms so people can understand it, and the more I do that -- talking about it doesn't help me.
STARR: Now a decade on, the medal will be on display with the troops, exactly where Salvatore Giunta wants it to be.
Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
[15:59:54] CABRERA: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for being here. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.
Today, a new twist in the scandal that already involves the president's son, his son-in-law and his campaign manager. A British music promoter, a former Soviet soldier with alleged ties to Russian intelligence, and a Russian lawyer peddling dirt on Hillary Clinton.