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New Twist in the Scandal Involving the President's Son; Republican Operative who Apparently Hunted for Hillary Clinton's Missing Emails Now Found Dead; Blast from One Passenger Plane Sent a 57-year-old Woman Flying into the Retaining Wall; President Trump and VP Mike Pence Making Phone Calls This Weekend; President Trump's Friend Named Jim. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired July 15, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'M ANA CABRERA in New York.
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. CNN has now learned all of the people as well as at least two others attended a meeting last summer at Trump tower. Lawmakers are now zeroing in on a Russian born lobbyist who, by his owned admission, worked as a military counterintelligence officer for the Soviet Union. Although, he denies being formally trained as spy. The President for his part said he only recently became aware of his son's meeting. He is spending the weekend in New Jersey at one of his golf courses. And CNN's Boris Sanchez is nearby.
Boris, lawmakers are eager to hear from both Trump Jr. and this lobbyist.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Ana. And we should mention that Rinat Akhmetshin, that Russian lobbyist is a dual Russian and American citizen. So he could be called before Congress to testify. And as you said you bet that lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committees would love to hear from Donald Trump Jr. under oath, testifying about his thought process in taking that meeting with what he called a Russian lawyer. And now as we know Rinat Akhmetshin, this Russian lobbyist, with alleged ties to Russian intelligence gathering.
We should also mention that some of the questioning to Donald Trump Jr. if he does indeed testify would have to be about why this story has changed so many times. We have heard administration officials tell us that there were no contacts between Russians and the campaign during the campaign, even up to last week when the story then changed when Donald Trump Jr. said that there was a meeting with a Russian lawyer, but it was specifically about adoptions. And then the story changed again when he released his emails and it was a revealed that he took this meeting in part at least to gather some dirt on Hillary Clinton gathered by the Russian government. And then last night we find out this story about who specifically was in the meeting. As you mentioned at least eight different people there. Despite all
of this and the mounting evidence the President continues to call this a hoax as he did on twitter just a short while ago. Separately, though we have not gotten an official statement from the White House about these new revelations, officials at the White House have told CNN in private that this is frustrating, that it's not a good thing that the story has continued to change - Ana.
CABRERA: And still no official comment as you mentioned besides that tweet where we see the President say it's a Russian hoax.
But Boris, the White House has added a new lawyer to their team this weekend. What can you tell us about Ty Cobb?
SANCHEZ: Yes, his name is Ty Cobb. He is a high powered attorney in Washington, D.C., a former federal prosecutor and a partner at Hogan and Lovell's. He is supposed to come into the White House now and handle and oversee the response to the Russia investigation. Not only legally, but also in the press. We will still have to find out more specifically about what he is going to be handling on. And we will bring you that information as soon as we hear from officials in the White House.
CABRERA: Boris Sanchez, thank you.
Let's talk more about this thickening plot. Joining us former undercover KGB agent Jack Barsky. He is the author of "Deep Undercover, my secret life untangle the allegiance as a KGB spy in America." And also with us editor at large for "Time" magazine, David Von Drehle. David is the man behind this cover.
But jack I'll start with you. Take a look at who is in this meeting. As we are learning there were up to eight people. A Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin, a Russian lobbyist - Russian-American lobbyist who is admitted to being an ex-soviet military officer, a publicist who organized the meeting, a translator and still an unidentified person.
Jack, does this seem like a Russian intelligence operation to you?
JACK BARSKY, FORMER KGB AGENT: It's an interesting collection of people. In preparation for this, I refreshed my memory. We don't have good data on Russian intelligence and soviet intelligence but there's some really, really good data on intelligence out of my old country the German democratic republic, because it became public knowledge.
One out of ten -- think about this for a moment. One out of ten people had official/unofficial connection to the Stasi secret service. So these kind of tentacles you would expect to have been in place in the old Soviet Union. And, you know, Russia is just -- it's a child of the Soviet Union. I guarantee you at least -- there was at least one if not multiple folks who had some intelligence connection in that meeting.
CABRERA: David, I want to read you a portion of your cover piece for "Time" magazine. In it you write this. But is much is now clear, thanks to Trump Jr.'s twitter stream, whether the Trumps teamed up with the Russians or not, they certainly wanted to. He now admit that he knew of purported Russian attempts to help his father weeks earlier. In fact, he tried to make it happen. The proof is in an email chain. And of course, you are alluding to the emails that he tweeted out himself right before "the New York Times" of course put together their latest reporting.
Do you think enough is being made to the fact that the Trump campaign was told last summer that there was a Russian government effort to help them win, but even to this day questions Russia's interference in the election?
[16:05:26] DAVID VON DREHLE, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, TIME: I think that this is what makes this story so big is that it's no longer the intelligence community of the United States. It's no longer the media that's going into this. It's -- we have the firsthand testimony as it were in that email chain of people at the very highest level of the Trump campaign.
This is -- you know that President Trump's operation is a family business. This is his oldest son, this is his son-in-law and then the manager of his campaign at the time, Paul Manafort. And they had this document which said, hey, the Russian government wants to help your dad. And we would like to give you some damaging information, can we do that? And the response was, if this is true, we would love it. I would love it said Don Jr. So it's not coming from his enemies anymore. It's coming right from the heart of their own operation.
CABRERA: Yes, it's black and white. And if it is what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer he writes.
Jack, I want to ask you about this new player in the meeting, a Russian lobbyist that was at this meeting. We just learned his name yesterday, Rinat Akhmetshin. He was an officer in the soviet army in the late '80s. He said his unit was loosely part of counterintelligence. Now, Republican senator Chuck Grassley has also noted in a letter to homeland security that was in April that he allegedly still has ties to Russian intelligence, although Rinat Akhmetshin denies this. Do you see any red flags in his background?
BARSKY: Yes, absolutely. Again, you know, as I said before, in the former soviet union as well as Russia, if you are anywhere near a center of power in the army, if you are in the army that's the center of power, you have some connection with intelligence.
Now whether this was all a concerted effort to do some real damage in the United States, that's a whole different ball game. But, you know, I have said that before. You know, any time you have contact with a -- with a connected individual that comes out of Russia, you have to be very much aware that you are dealing with an adversary. And the Trump organization was totally --
CABRERA: We are just looking at -- I'm looking at the right side of the screen there, gentlemen. These are live pictures of President Trump. He's at Bedminster golf club. That's where the U.S. open is taking place. So there's a lot of crowd there, as he is spending the weekend in New Jersey.
Back to our reporting, I'm curious, Jack, given your ties to the KGB if you ever heard of this person, Rinat Akhmetshin, before.
BARSKY: No. That's a different generation. I'm sorry.
CABRERA: All right. Well, the big question that remains, David, is what did President Trump know and when did he know it? You point out that just hours after this Russia meeting was scheduled, then candidate Trump announced to the world he was drafting a major speech to make public all things that have happened with the Clinton. Just a coincidence, do you think?
VON DREHLE: Well, the problem is whether intentionally or unintentionally, President Trump and his administration have made it very difficult for us to know anything categorically because they changed their stories daily and hourly.
But this is the important thing. Regardless of what his opponents, political opponents do, regardless of what the media does, the facts are going to come out. Because he is now embroiled himself largely through his own decisions in a major federal investigation in which people will be put under oath at risk of perjury and the facts are going to be ascertained. You know, some citizens don't realize this, but the media -- we don't have subpoena power. There's no penalty for lying to us. But the whole game is different when you are dealing with the FBI and the department of justice and special counsel Mueller.
CABRERA: Jack, based on what was said in the emails we don't know what was actually discussed if there was any information that was gleaned there by the Trump campaign, but based on the emails and based on what you said about just the tentacles of the Kremlin, do you think the Russian government would have been aware of this meeting? And if so, what kind of information even without even knowing what was discussed could have been gleaned by the Russians just by having this meeting?
[16:10:09] BARSKY: First of all, aware of it, yes. Connected to it with plausible deniability. But that would not have been as much as, you know, getting information from the Trump campaign. But you know creating a whole bunch of havoc which, you know, if that was the plan they succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.
CABRERA: David, you have a new "Time" cover. I got to ask you about it. Red handed is the title -- put it up, guys. So we look at this, the Russia scandal hits home, you say. People can read into this as they wish, but what's the message you wanted to get across here?
VON DREHLE: That this is coming not from outside, but now from inside. That it's no longer speculation. We now know that regard -- while we don't know the details of what was passed or what was going on, what we do know now categorically is that the Donald Trump senior leadership of the campaign believed that they were going to get help from the Russian government and that they were excited about that. And that they arranged to have their top people go into a meeting fully expecting to get help from the Russian government. And we will find out as this investigation goes on what actually transpired in that meeting and potentially the other meetings if there are meetings that we haven't learned about yet. But we do know now emphatically this question is resolved. They thought they were going to get help. They wanted the help and they took steps to get the help.
CABRERA: Even conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer is writing and saying on air, this is proof of collusion. Those are the words he uses.
David Von Drehle, Jack Barsky, thank you both for being here with us. Have a great weekend.
CABRERA: Coming up, one person present at that meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer still wanders the halls of the west wing. Next, how Jared Kushner fits into all of this.
Plus, it's a popular activity for tourists in a vacation spot in the Caribbean, but this week it turned deadly. A look at the beach where people literally get blown away by powerful jet engines.
And later, heartbreaker on the court, Venus Williams falls short of making history at Wimbledon.
[16:16:35] CABRERA: Welcome back. You are looking at the latest cover of the "New Yorker," dubbed grounded it features President Trump there dragging his son Don Jr. by the ear, giving his son-in-law Jared Kushner a swift kick amid the revelations that they met with a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin last summer. On light Don Jr., though, Jared Kushner actually works in the White House and now some Democrats want his security clearance revoked immediately.
CNN's Tom Foreman reports -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, the White House is clearly frustrated that the Russia investigation just won't go away. Not only that, it's now circling even closer around someone who is described as very close to the President.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Inauguration week and the President's son-in- law files his first papers for a security clearance on January 18th. Jared Kushner reveals no contact with any foreigners during the campaign or transition. But the next day he says he hit that send button too soon and will amend that.
In May, according to his lawyer, the papers are updated to show Kushner had over 100 calls or meetings with representatives of more than 20 countries, most during the transition. By mid-June as they prepare for congressional testimony, Kushner's lawyers say they discovered the e-mail from Donald Trump Jr., setting up that meeting last year with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, allegedly to get Russian government dirt on Hillary Clinton. Kushner attended that meeting which Donald Jr. now says was a bust.
DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: It went nowhere. It was apparent that was what about that meeting was about.
FOREMAN: Nonetheless, on June 21st, Kushner amended his security papers again to reflect his attendance at that meeting. And according to a source close to Kushner he said he was going to tell President Trump. We don't know if he did.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nothing happened from the meeting. Zero happened from the meeting.
FOREMAN: Yet even as the President called the Russian lawyer meeting meaningless, he is also saying he learned of it not in June, but only days ago.
JAY SUKULOV, TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: He was not aware of the meeting, did not attend the meeting and he was only informed about the emails very recently by his counsel.
FOREMAN: Kushner's late admission of that meeting has spurred sharp interest in all his foreign contacts not initially disclosed. Because as an adviser, all meetings with foreigners must be listed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems strange to me that those meetings were at least conveniently forgotten at least by Mr. Kushner.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: How long was the meeting?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty minutes or so.
HANNITY: About 20 minutes. And Jared left after five or ten?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
FOREMAN: The Russian lawyer says neither Kushner or then Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort played much of a role.
NATALIA VESELNITSKAYA, RUSSIAN ATTORNEY WHO MET WITH DONALD TRUMP JR. (through translator): I don't know, he was the only one I was speaking to.
FOREMAN: But admit all the late revelation, Democrats are fuming that Kushner was given security clearance at all.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Anybody else applying for a clearance under these facts would be denied that clearance.
FOREMAN: Of the three representatives of Donald Trump who we know were in the room with that Russian lawyer, the only one who is now an official adviser to the President is Jared Kushner. And that has put him squarely in the crosshairs of investigators looking to see if anyone did anything illegal - Ana.
CABRERA: Thank you, Tom Foreman.
Joining us now CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Laura Coates.
Laura, always good to see you. Now the CNN reporting that's new is the White House aides, not personal lawyers, but government employees were involved in issuing that first statement from Donald Jr. when the story first broke. They obviously left a few things off and were not accurate. Do they just get dragged into Bob Mueller's special investigation?
[16:20:21] LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: They absolutely did. And they dragged that in Washington D.C. It is getting larger by the day. Remember, this all took place as part of a counterintelligence probe by special council Mueller that was not fully define the parameters of that or not define between one who have the ability and the flexibility to say where they are going to go with it and what angles to take.
But with each new revelation, with each new person who suddenly has the actions of amnesia already again, you have the dragnet getting wider and wider and closer and closer to the west wing which is very problematic to this administration since the investigation began as the Trump campaign as the main focus. Now the administration seems to be at issue too.
CABRERA: As noted in Tom's piece there, Jared Kushner a member of the White House right now, he had to revise the security clearance form not once, not twice, but three times to our knowledge that add over 100 foreign contacts according to his attorney. Now, you say although no one piece of evidence is conclusive, but the repeated intentional admission, now swing the pendulum in favor of proving the key elements of criminal intent. Explain.
COATES: Absolutely. So you have this idea of collusion, of being a nebulous concept in trying to figure out what that would mean and what criminal statute you want to hook it to. But the underlying thing for most criminal offenses is the overall intent the person had, what was their (INAUDIBLE), and you have what the Donald Trump Jr. emails revealing that perhaps there was an intention to receive information that may have been a violation of different federal laws.
But with Jared Kushner in particular, in an omission can also be an affirmative action when you continuously fail to provide information that you are required to do so. Remember, the security forms, Ana, are not a courtesy to the government. They are used to figure out whether this person should be entitled to the highest level of information. The highest levels. And although the unfortunate irony of this is the President is the one who decides about classification, and can ultimately decide to still maintain that national security clearance, but ultimately speaking, Jared Kushner by failing to provide this information it looks far more like he has criminal intent than he does amnesia that's convenient.
CABRERA: You say the President would have to really make the final call on whether or not Kushner's security clearance is revoked. Democrats are calling for that to happen. And some have been using a pretty loaded word when it comes to the emails. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: We are now beyond obstruction of justice in terms of what's being investigated. This is moving into perjury, false statements, and even into potentially treason.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Laura, you are introducing a different word into the conversation, not treason, but bribery. Arguing the presence of the Russian-American lobbyist suggests that the investigation will now include allegations of bribery. So why, why do you think that?
COATES: Well, you have the idea of the campaign finance laws that say you can't receive anything of value -- I guess I would include opposition research in a sort of context that would actually -- you don't have to spend your own money on. But now, you have the revelation that they were aware that the pretext of the meeting was not about adoption, but instead about providing information about Hillary Clinton that was negative, that's one part.
The other part now, you have this other Russian-born ambassador who was also in the room, not Veselnitskaya, but the other gentleman who was there and this person was there --
CABRERA: Yes, Russian-American lobbyist.
COATES: He was there to lobby on behalf of the Magnitsky act being revoked which, of course, the way to sanction people from Russian who are thought to be involved in human rights violations. Now, you have his presence there and the pretext. And it appears to be a quid pro quo exchange. If you give me dirt, I will give you-you give me the assurances that we will revoke that act when you do take office. And that alone can highlight an issue of potential bribery and potential conspiracy to commit any type of fraud.
CABRERA: All right, Laura Coates, we appreciate it. Thank you very much for being with us.
COATES: Thank you.
CABRERA: Coming up, a Republican operative who apparently hunted for Hillary Clinton's missing emails now found dead. The coroner now calls it suicide. What was written on the note left behind?
[16:28:34] CABRERA: Welcome back. There are new details about the mysterious suicide of a Republican operative who just days before his death told a newspaper reporter he was trying to obtain Hillary Clinton's missing emails from Russian hackers.
CNN's Brian Todd digs deeper into this story for us -- Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, we are getting startling new information now about this Republican operative, Peter Smith. We have learned new details about his estrange suicide note and about his reported attempt to get ahold of those hacked Clinton emails during last year's campaign. There are serious new questions being raised now about the timing of Peter Smith's death.
TODD (voice-over): Peter Smith reportedly moved around under mysterious circumstances. And now there are questions over whether he died under them. Smith a Republican operative was found dead in his room in this hotel near the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in mid-May. Police tell CNN it was suicide, asphyxiation. The medical examiner report saying the victim quote "placed a bag over head and attached helium source."
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: This isn't, you know, shooting yourself or impaling yourself or something that I think people would see as more violent. It's a more peaceable method if you will.
TODD: Police say in his hotel room, the 81-year-old left a road map documents indicating he had been in ill health recently and that his insurance policy was about to expire. The police report says quote "the documents included a note that there was no foul play." That odd suicide note combined with what Smith told "Wall Street Journal" reporter Shane Harris just ten days before he died is putting the death into the spotlight.
[16:30:06] SHANE HARRIS, WALL STREET JOURNAL: So Peter Smith told me that he put together a group of lawyers and technology experts and a private investigators in Europe to get in contact with hackers which he believed would in Russia who they suspected may have obtained Hillary Clinton's private emails from her server.
TODD: Smith told "the Wall Street Journal" he had done this during the late stages of the 2016 Presidential campaign.
HARRIS: He wanted to get the emails, acquire them and then publish them so it would be politically damaging to Secretary Clinton.
TODD: Computer security analyst Matt Tate says Smith told him quote "about being contacted by someone from the dark web claiming to have Clinton's personal emails and said he might need help authenticating them." Tate wrote that Smith quote "had a reckless lack of interest in whether they came from the Russian cutout.
Peter Smith told the Journal that General Michael Flynn then serving as national security adviser to the Trump campaign was aware of Smith's operations.
Was there any legitimacy to that? Was Flynn aware? Did he have any ties to the campaign?
HARRIS: Well, Flynn is not commenting in the story of the campaign. He has said that if Peter Smith was doing something with General Flynn that was in general Flynn's private capacity. So it's still not entirely clear to what extent Mike Flynn was involved in this. There's no doubt that these two men knew each other. TODD: An attorney for Michael Flynn didn't return our calls or emails
seeking comment. In the end, Shane Harris says Peter Smith believed he had gathered those private Hillary Clinton emails but couldn't completely verify their accuracy so he never put them out. Now some on Capitol Hill including one member of the house intelligence committee thinks Smith's efforts are one more avenue that should be investigated in the Russia probe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's something that should be probed further and I hope it now gets folded into what we are doing.
TODD: Now aside from Michael Flynn's attorney never getting back to us, the White House also didn't return our calls or emails. But a senior official from the Trump presidential campaign told me, he had never heard of Peter Smith or about Smith's reported attempts to get hold of those Clinton emails during the campaign - Ana.
CABRERA: Brian Todd, thank you.
I want to take you live now to Bernie Sanders event. Here he is speaking in Iowa for the first time since the 2016 campaign. This just a day after saying in an interview it's too early to talk 2020, but he is not taking it off the table. Here is Sanders moments ago talking about what he sees as the gravest threat to elections in America. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: American democracy is not the Koch brothers buying elections. It is ordinary Americans determining the future of this country. Some Republican wants to run for office talking about giving tax breaks to billionaires and cutting Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid and education that is his or her prerogative. Run for office on those ideas. See how many votes you get.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: We will keep watching this for you, bring you any highlights.
Coming up a popular spot where tourists can feel the blast of jet engines. Now the site of a deadly tragedy. More on the fallout, next.
[16:37:16] CABRERA: We are back with a deadly accident at a popular tourist spot in the Caribbean. For years thrill seekers have gathered at this airport fence on St. Maarten to feel the powerful winds created by the engines. But this past weekend a New Zealand woman was blown away and killed.
CNN's Renee Marsh reports -- Rene. RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, it's a popular
attraction for tourists in St. Maarten. A beach right at the foot of the airport's runway where you cannot only see the planes take off, but you can feel it. The problem is it is so close it can be dangerous. And now it's turned deadly.
MARSH (voice-over): It's a major tourist draw on the Caribbean Island of St. Maarten. Tourists line up on Maho beach with only a chain link fence between them and an active runway at Princes Juliana international airport. The blast from the jet engines on passenger planes about to take off literally knock thrill seeking tourists off of their feet.
On Wednesday, the blast from one passenger plane sent a 57-year-old woman flying into the retaining wall, killing her. The police force of St. Maarten said in a statement the airport authorities and other local authorities have taken all necessary measures such as placing of signs to warn the general public not to stand in the path of the jet blast of a departing aircraft because of the danger involved. Police patrols on a daily basis visit that area during the busy hours to warn persons to stay away. Police say this was the first death at the site. The victim was visiting from New Zealand.
In 2012, the blast sent this woman head first into a concrete wall. Despite the signs warning against it, tourists tried to hold on tight to the fence under the force of the jet engines but some are just no match for the force.
Landing planes are also an attraction, flying mere feet above the beach. Police in St. Maarten do not have statistics on how many people have been injured in these incidents, but tell CNN they are now considering what more can be done to prevent them from happening again.
MARSH: Well the engine thrust produces hurricane force winds. Here in the United States, most airports are carefully designed with barriers and in many cases buildings provide a buffer from the jet blasts, but in St. Maarten it seems there just isn't enough space to do that - Ana.
CABRERA: Incredible video there. Rene Marsh, thanks so much.
People might get a rush out of standing in the wake of the jet engines, there's no denying the dangers. So I want to bring CNN safety analyst David Soucie who is also a former FAA safety inspector and an accident investigators is joining from Denver.
David, first of all, good to see you.
[16:40:12] DAVID SOUCIE, CNN AVIATION SAFETY ANALYST: Good to see you, Ana.
CABRERA: Long before you went to work for the FAA you said you used to do this sort of a thing as a child in the '70s?
SOUCIE: Yes. As a child in 70s Stapleton airport had a road on the east side of the runway and you could out there and park your car and let the airplanes land above you. And I remember as a young child, five, six years old, my dad placed me on the hood and trying to hang on as the airplane landed, it would every time it blow me off and throw me on the ground. And that just shows how far we come. That was a few years ago, maybe like 50 years ago.
CABRERA: Yes. A few years ago.
SOUCIE: Things have changed quite a bit.
CABRERA: It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt, of course. How powerful is this blast of air that's coming out of a jet engine that's getting ready for takeoff?
SOUCIE: You know, I have suffered through a hurricane and those winds are about 150 miles an hour, and these are 200 miles an hour winds. These are winds that are not messing around. If you lift your feet off the ground, if you are hanging on to that, it will lift you right off the ground. I don't know if you remember the movie "Pushing Ten." There was an illustration of that with Billy Bob Thornton. They walked out on the active way under 747 and caught the wind as well. And that's not really too much of a dramatization of it. It really does pick you up off the ground.
CABRERA: Now at this airport, there are apparently danger signs posted everywhere at the end of the runway there in St. Maarten, but there's no law stopping people from standing next to the jet blasts. Are there any rules for this type of thing here in the U.S.?
SOUCIE: Well, in the U.S., there absolutely are and the FAA and aircraft certification and airport certification, both work together to make sure that there are protections for this. That there is a road within proximity to an airport. You have to have blast fences installed that redirect that blast up and out of the way so it won't hit the cars or anybody below.
But the international civil aviation organization, they have rules that recommend things, but they don't have any enforcement authorities so each country is up to its own demise. I think St. Maarten I believe is a Dutch controlled country or island. And it needs to be with their regulations. So obviously, they haven't enforced those and they haven't put those into place.
CABRERA: What's your take? Do you think places that allow this now might reconsider or is this just something people should be allowed to do at their own risk, like whitewater rafting or rock climbing and other dangerous activities?
SOUCIE: Well, I found it interesting, Rene accurately reported that, you know, they feel that they have done everything they can to prevent people from doing this and that's simply not true. A sign up there is not that. If you look at You tube videos, it's almost a tourist attraction. And I think that the government there knows what is going on and know it attracts people. It's -- there's no plausible deniability that's happening. And I think they really do need to take some measures to make sure it doesn't happen.
CABRERA: David Soucie, good to see you, my friend. Thanks for being on.
SOUCIE: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: It was a heartbreaker for Venus Williams today at Wimbledon. She came up just short of becoming the oldest women's grand slam champion of the open era. Williams lost to Garbine Muguruza. I just didn't get that name. I had practiced it, too. She is from Spain. This is a final. She had an absolutely incredible run Venus Williams before today. She is 37. She beat three players who were born the same year she made her debut at Wimbledon. She is been battling and debilitating autoimmune disease for the past several years.
Now put yourself in this situation. You stop by an ATM to get some money. And out at the receipt box comes a note saying, please help. I'm stuck in here and I don't have my phone. Probably would think you were being punked, wouldn't you?
Well, that is exactly what happened in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Wednesday. A repair man changing out the lock of the ATM got stuck inside the room that houses it. Now, several passersby did just think it was a joke. Eventually, someone called the police.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure that we can hear little voice coming from the receipt. You'll never see this again in your life that somebody is stuck in the ATM machine. It was just crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Just crazy. Police eventually had to kick the door down and rescue the man. There's the note.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words but a selfie can be worth $200,000 in damaged art. Take a look.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
CABRERA: This is an exhibit by Simon Burch. It's not supposed to be a domino's exhibit but as you can see, that's pretty much what it became earlier this month. This is the 14th factory in Los Angeles. You can see there how the woman taking a selfie knocks over one piece of art, which topples another and so on and so on. By the time it was all over, three sculptures were permanently damaged. Ouch.
Coming up, the curious case of a guy President Trump mentions all the time, his friend Jim. Who is this Jim? Does he even exist? Jeanne Moos is on the case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [16:45:13] TRUMP: A friend of mine, he is a very, very substantial guy. He loves the city of lights. He used to tell me for years, Paris, Paris. Jim, let me ask you a question. How is Paris doing? Paris, I don't go there anymore. Paris is no longer Paris.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[16:49:56] CABRERA: I want to turn now to the battle over your health care. President Trump and vice President Mike Pence are making phone calls this weekend. They are trying to drum up support for the Senate's newly revamped GOP health care bill. Now, this is part of their aggressive push on twitter and behind closed doors to put a win in the President's legislative agenda.
But it won't be easy. The White House cannot afford even one more Republican no vote in order to pass this Senate bill. And right now, here's where things stand. By CNN's count, at least 12 Republican senators they are undecided. And the White House is now try to woo governors who are skeptical of the bill. They hope that might suave some of thin undecided. We already know of two confirmed no votes including the second name on your screen there, Senator Susan Collins. She will be on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" tomorrow morning with Jake Tapper. Again, Senator Susan Collins discussing the alternative bill she has since introduced.
We all know he's a fun of puns so Bill Clinton just couldn't pass this one up. And this picture is all over the place. His press secretary snapping this photo of him literally hiding behind two Bushs. The two former President Bushs that is. Not only funny, but also historically accurate.
And of course twitter loved this. Clinton posed between the statues after giving a talk about leadership with President George W. Bush where bush called him a brother from a different mother.
On tomorrow's CNN's new series "90s" we revisit the presidency that redefined a decade and here is the preview.
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It becomes clear he wasn't always telling the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over the years there have been dramatic late night speeches from the White House, national tragedies and national triumphs. But nothing like the speech that we're about to hear from there tonight.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Indeed, I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible. I misled people including even my wife. I deeply regret that. TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: That's where the '90s
took us. The President of the United States had to testify under oath about a woman in the oval office. This would have been inconceivable in the time of John F. Kennedy. But the '90s weren't the '60s.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Clinton's mea culpa sparked a lot of reaction from those who watched his speech. From New York --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I still like him as a President.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To California.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He should have laid more of his cards on the table.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was skepticism in Houston.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What else has he lied about?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And cynicism in Minneapolis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If Hillary don't mind then it shouldn't be anyone else's business.
CABRERA: Tune into the original series "the '90's". That's tomorrow night at 9:00 eastern.
Finally this hour, President Trump says he has a friend named Jim who loves Paris. But who is he?
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump got the royal treatment. But whether he was wringing the hand of the first lady of France or complimenting her physique.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're in good shape.
MOOS: Or getting chummy with her husband, the President, somebody was missing. Jim.
TRUMP: A friend of mine, he's a very, very substantial guy. He loves the city of lights. He used to tell me for years, Paris, Paris. Jim, let me ask you a question, how's Paris doing? Paris, I don't go there anymore. Pair sis no longer Paris. France is no longer France.
MOOS: So he talked about Jim so often trying to make the point that France had succumbed to terrorism that the New Yorker started hunting for Jim in vain. He inspired memes and tweets like just hanging out with #Jim.
But when the White House refused to say whether Jim actually exists, thus was born Jim the President's imaginary friend. With his own twitter account insisting I exist, the view dedicated a photo album to Jim. A French reporter brought him up at the joint press conference.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have mentioned a friend Jim who told you that Paris is no longer Paris.
TRUMP: That's a beauty, you know what? It is going to be just fine because you have a great President.
MOOS: If Jim were imaginary, it wouldn't be the first time that an invisible character has entered the political fray. Would it?
CLINT EASTWOOD, ACTOR: What do you mean, shut up?
MOOS: Clint Eastwood riffed with an imaginary Barack Obama.
EASTWOOD: What do you want me to tell Romney? I can't tell him to do that. He can't do that to himself.
MOOS: Judging from the body language, Donald Trump's imaginary friend didn't get between the two Presidents.
[16:55:06] TRUMP: I'm coming back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are always welcome.
MOOS: What about Jim? They're making him jealous.
Jeanne Moos, CNN.
TRUMP: France is no longer France.
MOOS: New York.
TRUMP: They won't like me for saying that. You see what happened in Nice. You see what happened yesterday.
[16:59:34] CABRERA: Hello on a Saturday. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Great to have you with us.
It's the now infamous Russian lawyer meeting at Trump tower last year when the President's son tried to get some election dirt on Hillary Clinton. A group of people who were in that room is growing with every new detail that comes up. The earlier reports it was the President's son, his campaign manager, one of the closest advisers. And now we know at least eight people were in that room. Here's a look. Everybody who was in that maybe for different reasons, we are still not exactly clear why they were invited and what was discussed.
I want to bring in our global affairs correspondent Elise Labott in Washington and CNN Boris Sanchez in New Jersey.