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Ex-Trump Adviser "Heard Nothing" on Russia Collusion; Family Believes Teen's Suicide Linked to Online Game; Flashback to the '90s and the Clinton Impeachment; Strong Corporate Profits Keep Market Rally Going; Trump Tries to Spin 36 Percent Approval Rating; Secret Service Says They Did Not Vet Anyone in Trump Jr. Meeting. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired July 16, 2017 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:00:23] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Great to have you with me.
First, President Trump and his job performance. Approaching six months in office the president now has the worst job approval rating since modern polling began.
I want to show you this ABC News-"Washington Post" poll. 36 percent approve of the way Mr. Trump is handling his job as president, 58 percent disapprove. The president tweeting this response. Quote, "ABC-Washington Post poll, even though almost 40 percent is not bad at this time was just about the most inaccurate poll around election time."
Now that's not true. The final ABC News-"Washington Post" pre- election poll was pretty darn close within 3.5 percentage points to Trump's final margin and just outside the poll's margin of error.
Now the president also tweeting today about his former opponent Hillary Clinton and her e-mails. Perhaps an attempt to draw attention away from another batch of e-mails, those sent by his eldest son Donald Trump Jr. about his meeting with at least two Russian nationals.
Let's go to CNN's Boris Sanchez standing by in New Jersey where the president is spending the weekend.
And Boris, talk to me about what Republican and Democratic lawmakers are saying about all this now.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana, they are certainly intrigued about the details of this meeting between Donald Trump Junior and a Russian attorney and lobbyist at Trump Tower last June. They want to know exactly what was the set up for that meeting. Obviously we saw some of the e-mails from Donald Trump Jr. last week. Well, they want to dig deeper. They also say that they want to hear Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner who were all in that meeting testify publicly under oath.
Earlier today Republican Congressman Susan Collins was on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper and she talked about wanting to hear them testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Here's more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), VICE CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I would like to hear from all these individuals whether we'll be able to get the Russian nationals to come over and testify is an open question. But those people that our committee has jurisdiction over, the Americans, I sure as heck want to talk to all of them.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME), MEMBER, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: We need to get to the bottom of this but the only way that we're going to do it is to talk not just to Donald Trump Jr. who has offered to cooperate for which I give him credit but to everyone who is at that meeting and who was involved in setting up that meeting. That may be difficult in the case of the Russian nationals but we certainly ought to try.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: You heard from Senator Mark Warner there as well.
Meantime, Ana, the White House is trying to do everything it can to keep the focus away from the Russia investigation. They have now announced a series of three themed weeks starting this week with Made in America Week where the president is going to take part in several events trying to highlight companies that not only manufacture products here in the United States but that invest in the American worker.
The following week is going to be American Heroes Week with a focus on service members. Then the week after that is going to be American Dreams Week.
I spoke with a White House spokesperson who didn't have any further details on specifically what American Dreams Week would entail but you can bet, Ana, as we find out more information about this Russia investigation it is likely to continue to overshadow the president's agenda moving forward -- Ana.
CABRERA: Boris Sanchez, traveling with the president in New Jersey, thank you.
I want to bring in an intelligence voice, a media expert and someone who knows the president more than most. Joining us CNN global affairs analyst Kim Dozier, CNN contributor, Trump biographer and author of "The Truth About Trump," Michael D'Antonio, and CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" here on CNN, Brian Stelter.
Michael, the president is already tweeting about this latest approval rating. He responded with a rounding up to 40 percent from the 36 percent. He said it's not a bad number at this time. You of course know President Trump better than most of us. How much do you think he cares about this approval rating?
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think he cares very deeply about this. He follows polls more avidly than I think reporters and then his detractors. So it matters to him. It's always mattered to him. In the past he's been satisfied with 35 percent to 45 percent approval especially in his earlier life as a business person. I think if the press is saying it's a record low, and then it's lower than any other president at the same point in his presidency, that would bother President Trump a great deal because he's so competitive.
[18:05:05] CABRERA: Well, Bryan, there's another part of this ABC NEWS-"Washington Post" poll that found a really big partisan divide when it comes to the Russia investigation. I mean, take a look at this. 80 percent of Democrats believe Russia interfered in last year's election. Just 33 percent of Republicans do.
A, why the partisan divide you think and B, I mean, there's still 20 percent of Democrats who don't believe in it either?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's an interesting point. It was more than six months ago that the country's intelligence services said that Putin and the Russian government, quote, "aspired to help President Trump's election chances." One possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and (INAUDIBLE) her favorability to him.
That was very clear six months ago from the U.S. government. That was the conclusion. This is not new information when you think about the stories about Russia. What's new now is we're learning more about these meetings, about what else happened behind the scenes. But this is not new information. And yet, only 33 percent of Republicans believe that it happened.
I think what that shows is President Trump's messaging calling this a hoax is working for a big chunk of Republican voters. But as you said, even some Democrats are also expressing skepticism.
That's a good old fashion American drizzle of skepticism, I suppose. And maybe people want to see more public evidence. For example there are reports about intercepts, senior Russian officials celebrating Trump's win, but you know, we haven't heard the audio so maybe in this age of social media people actually want to see the evidence for themselves. But it was notable that very dramatic partisan divide. I think it shows how tribal our politics are.
CABRERA: And goes back to the strength and the marketing and messaging of the president.
STELTER: That's right.
CABRERA: Now, Kim Dozier, the fact that this is such a partisan issue, does that affect national security?
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, it does in the sense that no matter what the Trump administration tries to do moving forward on new foreign policy programs, this is the distraction that not just Americans are watching but foreign leaders. And you see things like, the Israeli and Palestinian peace talks. Can Jared Kushner be taken seriously leading those when he's embroiled in something like this?
Well, on the surface yes. But the question remains, will people behind the scenes make the hard sacrifices with someone leading the talks who they think might be forced to resign or step down. And in the meantime, you have Emmanuel Macron, president of France, stealing a march on the U.S., meeting with Bibi Netanyahu today and encouraging the Israelis and the Palestinians to get together.
Every time there's a Trump administration chaotic moment and they take their eye off the ball, that creates a space for other world leaders to step in.
CABRERA: Michael, back in 2015, then candidate Trump was asked which of his children is the most challenging. And he said without hesitation, Don Junior. How do you expect this latest situation is affecting their relationship right now?
D'ANTONIO: Well, I think the president, being as aggressive and combative as he is, is going to initially want to defend his son, and be on his side, but I think behind closed doors, there's probably a lot of recrimination going on right now.
What Donald Trump junior did represented such poor judgment. And it placed the president in such jeopardy now. I think those of us who know him have a hard time believing that he wasn't informed almost on the day that it happened. So this is a very bad thing. It's a very bad turn in this relationship. Donald Trump Junior has spent much of his life trying to prove to his father that he is a real Trump and he really stumbled in this case.
CABRERA: Brian, we know the president is now bringing on another lawyer. And in fact, it's not his personal lawyer that he will be replacing necessarily, but it's the White House lawyer, this guy Ty Cobb. And a lot of people we've talked to who know them like Michael Zeldin was telling us, a pretty nice guy, but he's legit. He's supposed to help control some of the media, the communication, and in particular, try to manage all these different lawyers who are part of the puzzle now because they're representing different clients including some President Trump's personal legal team. Is that likely to help put the president on message?
STELTER: Yes. The hardest of this assignment is the president himself. We see that again on the president's Twitter feed today, wanting to weigh in, wanting to defend his son, wanting to fight back against critics, and called these things a hoax.
The defenses, the excuses we've heard from conservative media, from Trump's allies, they're hogwash. This idea that it was all a Democratic setup. That it's really Obama's fault that this person shouldn't have been in the country in the first place.
Even if you think that this Russian lawyer shouldn't have been in the United States and that it was the Democrats' -- Obama administration's fault for letting her in, the idea that Trump Junior and Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort did not read this e-mail, did not study this e-mail, did not understand what they were getting themselves into, is very, very, very hard to believe.
[18:10:14] And now that we have this graphic on screen, these faces, we haven't yet filled in, so much more to find out. There's still so much of a mystery here including the question of whether there were other meetings or other contacts. I just think to myself, as little as journalists know relatively, Mueller and the congressional committees must know more and they continue to dig, dig, dig, it's almost like journalists are trying to follow right behind to catch up. But clearly the folks who are empowered with subpoena power, they know the most right now.
And the excuses that we've heard from Jay Sekulow, for example, Trump's lawyer today, they ring hallow, I think, to most of the country.
CABRERA: Michael, I got to ask you about the president's recent trip to Paris because we saw that 29-second handshake with President Macron. And I understand French officials actually contacted you to specifically ask about President Trump's handshake.
I got to know what they told you, what they wanted to know and what you told them.
D'ANTONIO: Well, this is actually several months ago. They were anticipating dealing with Donald Trump. It wasn't quite sure -- certain who was going to be the president. But we did discuss this handshake business. And what they took away from this was that Macron should be as vigorous as possible, that he should be prepared to hang on. So that's why that handshake lasted for so long.
I also think one thing that may not be noted by most people is I suspect that the president wanted to halt the little stroll that they were having. I've noted in recent weeks that he doesn't seem as vigorous. He doesn't seem as steady on his feet. When he's walking with someone he'll pause often to point out something or chat. But I also think he may be steadying himself. So that's something for us to watch out for.
CABRERA: And Kim, when it comes to these world leaders watching what's happening here with the American president given President Trump's response to each of these new revelations and the Russia investigation, even after his sons e-mails came out he's still trying to say this is about fake news, as Brian points out, and he continues to question what role, if any Russia played in the election meddling. How could his response be perceived by our foreign allies and adversaries?
DOZIER: Well, they're watching this and saying what happens when there's controversy that involves our country or something that is important to us, say coalition strategy against ISIS. They are learning that Trump will stick with the narrative that works for him and bend the truth. That's got to be concerning.
I'm also thinking about what Moscow is thinking watching this. They almost saw a warming of relations just around the corner and it's as if they can see the finish line but this huge Grand Canyon has opened up in front of them. And -- but every time they do manage to get some sort of warm meeting or signal from the White House that's also useful because it makes one part of America suspicious of the Trump White House, divides America further.
And ultimately if the U.S. is Russia's enemy, which according to military intelligence that's what they think of us, this is all win- win.
Kim Dozier, Michael D'Antonio, Brian Stelter, great conversation. Thank you all.
Up next, the White House's story challenged once again as to what exactly occurred in Donald Trump Junior's meeting with the Russian lawyer. We are getting some new information just in to CNN. Stay with us.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
[18:17:58] CABRERA: Breaking news the Secret Service is now responding to a claim made by President Trump's personal attorney while defending the meeting between top Trump campaign officials and the Russian nationals. Now here is exactly what the president's attorney Jay Sekulow said earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY SEKULOW, MEMBER, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LEGAL TEAM: Well, I wondered why the Secret Service -- if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allow these people in. The president had Secret Service protection at that point. That raised a question with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: The Secret Service just responded telling CNN, quote, "Donald Trump Junior was not a protectee of the U.S. Secret Service in June 2016. Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time."
The Secret Service also says any person entering Trump Tower at the time of this meeting would have had to go through a Secret Service magnetometer and be checked for weapons.
So joining us on the phone to discuss further, CNN law enforcement analyst Jonathan Wackrow. Jonathan actually served as a Secret Service agent for President
Jonathan, thanks for being with us. We know the president had Secret Service protection during this meeting but apparently his son, who organized the meeting, did not. Who would the Secret Service have vetted and what would that vetting have included? JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT: Well, you got to look at that
time period. If the meeting occurred at Trump Tower which, you know, all indications are and reporting that it did, the Secret Service campaign posture at the time for security was primarily focused around physical security measures. So screening people for physical, you know, security threat, so that means going through and screening for firearms through magnetometers. Screening for explosives through the utilization of, you know, canines and other techniques.
So at the time it's solely based upon physical security. It has nothing to do with screening against intelligence community databases or anything like that.
CABRERA: So safe to say it's not part of the Secret Service's job to stop a candidate for president from doing anything potentially illegal?
[18:20:03] WACKROW: Well, you know, it's -- first of all, there was nothing that was illegal that was going on at the time that the Service would have known about. So, you know, the president's lawyer is conflating the protective methodology of the Secret Service with really counter party diligence from a campaign standpoint. They're two separate and distinct responsibilities.
CABRERA: Was there anything that you've learned about this meeting that would have been a red flag to Secret Service agents?
WACKROW: When you have a campaign structure going on and listen, this is -- this was the only reason why there was protection at Trump Tower at the time is because that's the president's residence. If this was at a campaign office in, you know, Chicago or any other location there wouldn't be Secret Service protection. So, you know, for this meeting to occur, again, the Secret Service as, you know, the statement indicated was solely focused on physical security threat against the candidate and the candidate's wife at the time.
You know, Donald Trump Junior was not a protectee so there was no additional screening that was necessary for him. Again the meeting occurred at Trump Tower which is the residence and that is why there was the physical security screening. No intelligence database cross checks were being done at that time.
CABRERA: OK. So now that we know what kind of screening those in Trump Tower and this meeting went through, could they have brought in recording devices?
WACKROW: Again that would have been -- if they attempted to bring in recording devices, the physical security screening at the time, again magnetometers, you know, handheld mags or (INAUDIBLE) mags, the explosive screen would have detected that. You know, bag check would have detected that and that would have been a separate type of conversation that would have come up.
CABRERA: All right. Jonathan Wackrow, we really appreciate your insight and expertise in this matter. Thank you.
WACKROW: Thank you.
CABRERA: Coming up, a former Trump campaign adviser, Michael Caputo, testified for the House Intel Committee this week behind closed doors. But we talked to him beforehand. Why he says there's absolutely no way the campaign colluded with Russia.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:26:29] CABRERA: A vote on health care was expected to take place this week but now a delay. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he will give Senator John McCain time to recover from a surgery to remove a blood clot from his eye.
Fifty of the 52 GOP senators would need to vote yes for any Senate health care bill to pass. And McCain's vote would be critical because Senator Rand Paul, he's already said he would vote no and a second Republican senator, Susan Collins, told "STATE OF THE UNION's" Jake Tapper today why she is also against this bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Vice President Pence spoke with the nation's governors on Friday. He tried to allay any concerns about what this bill would do with Medicaid, the health care program for low-income Americans and others. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me be clear. President Trump and I believe the Senate health care bill strengthens and secures Medicaid for the neediest in our society. And this bill puts this vital American program on a path to long-term sustainability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Do you agree with the vice president there? Is he telling the truth? Would this bill strengthen Medicaid for the neediest?
COLLINS: I would respectfully disagree with the vice president's analysis. This bill would impose fundamental sweeping changes in the Medicaid program and those include very deep cuts. That would affect some of the most vulnerable people in our society including disabled children, poor seniors. It would affect our rural hospitals and our nursing homes. And they would have a very difficult time even staying in existence and serving vulnerable population.
So no, I see it very differently. You can't take more than $700 billion out of the Medicaid program and not think that it's going to have some kind of effect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Senate GOP aide, by the way, tells CNN the Congressional Budget Office score which helps to really lay out the impact of this bill is not expected to release its score on the revised health care bill on Monday as had been widely anticipated. It's still not clear now when that score will be released. We'll keep you posted.
A former Trump adviser who has deep ties to Russia says he never once discussed or heard anyone else even mention Russian involvement in the race to defeat Hillary Clinton.
Michael Caputo testified Friday before the House Intel Committee as it tries to find what if any involvement Russia had with the Trump campaign. Today the president tweeted out his gratitude to Caputo, saying, quote, "Thank you to former campaign adviser Michael Caputo for saying so powerfully that there was no Russia collusion in our winning campaign."
CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin sat down with Caputo and brings us this exclusive interview.
MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Sandy Beach and Company, Michael Caputo in for Sandy today who's off on a well- deserved vacation.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over) : It's his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee happened behind closed doors but Michael Caputo, now a fill-in radio talk show host in Buffalo, New York wanted it live broadcast and in full view. So instead he says he's telling CNN exactly what he planned to tell the committee about Russia and the Trump campaign he was involved with. That there is just nothing to the allegations of collusion.
(On camera): Let me ask you some questions you'll probably get in Congress. Before, during or after your involvement of the Trump campaign, did you bring any Russians to that campaign?
[18:30:06] Did you talk about Russia or the possible help the Russian government could give the campaign?
CAPUTO: Never once. Never once.
GRIFFIN (on camera): Did you overhear anybody talking about collusion, getting help from the Russians either through information, through fake news spreading --
GRIFFIN (on camera): -- through tweets?
CAPUTO: I heard nothing of the kind. In fact, we were so busy just trying to keep up with the sun rising and setting on that campaign that I can't imagine anyone had the time nor the wherewithal to go out there, even, do something like this.
Anybody who've covered the Trump effort knew this was a pell-mell operation from the moment he woke up in the morning until the moment he went to bed. The idea that somebody at that campaign would have had the forethought and the treachery and the resources to go out and do this is laughable.
GRIFFIN (on camera): I've heard it described as a (INAUDIBLE) show. Too harsh?
CAPUTO: Too harsh for a family television, yes.
GRIFFIN (on camera): This is cable.
CAPUTO: Right, OK.
CAPUTO: Yes. I think the Trump campaign was, in many ways, a (INAUDIBLE) show. There's no question about it. But that was always to be expected. He's not a politician.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): There is a reason Michael Caputo is seen as a possible link to Russia. He was brought into the Trump campaign by his old friend, Paul Manafort. His job? To improve communications especially with the press.
But long before he was part of Trump's campaign, he had a career in Moscow. His P.R. company worked for Russian-owned businesses, oligarchs. He was a protege of Roger Stone, worked with and for Paul Manafort, took contracts in Ukraine, and even his first wife was a Russian woman. He was about as much a Russian insider as an American could be.
CAPUTO: I was working on the Russian elections paid by the United States government. I stayed an additional five and a half, six years running my own company. And ever since then, I've been involved in the former Soviet Union, and I'm not going to stop now.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Among his former clients, Gazprom-Media, a subsidiary of the Russian-owned energy company that took over one of the last independent T.V. stations in Russia in 2001. Caputo was hired by Gazprom to improve the media company's image. It is that history that got the attention of Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Spear who brought up Caputo's name in a congressional hearing.
REP. JACKIE SPEAR (D), CALIFORNIA: All right. Let's move onto someone else in that web. His name is Michael Caputo. What possible reason is there for the Trump campaign to hire Putin's image consultant? Any thoughts on that, Director Comey?
JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: No thoughts.
GRIFFIN (on camera): You worked to improve Putin's image?
CAPUTO: No, that's absolutely false. That's Jackie Spear relying upon her interns for too much information.
I worked for Gazprom-Media, which was a subsidiary of Gazprom which was allied with Putin. I didn't work on Putin's image. I was trying to help Gazprom-Media explain why they took over NTV, a television network. If that somehow, down the line, helped the Kremlin, that wasn't what I was hired for.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Caputo says he has known Donald Trump since 1988, never thought he could be elected president, but in November of 2015, was asked to become a part of the Trump campaign by his old friend Manafort. And even though he supports the Trump presidency, personally, he says, working on the campaign was one of the biggest mistakes of his life.
CAPUTO: This was the hardest campaign to work on in my entire career. There's nothing even close.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): He was hired to help with communications but says he was never paid, fought with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski almost daily. And when Lewandowski was fired, Caputo sent out this celebratory tweet: Ding-dong, the witch is dead. Caputo was fired almost immediately.
GRIFFIN (on camera): But you still love, support Donald Trump?
CAPUTO: Absolutely. I supported Donald Trump before he ran for president, and I support Donald Trump now. I think he's delivering on what he promised me and my family. The problem we have is that he's got a huge impediment in front of him with the Russian collusion delusion.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Drew Griffin, CNN, East Aurora, New York.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Our thanks to Drew.
[18:34:08] Coming up, a story every parent should watch. A shocking online game encouraging teens and even younger kids to kill themselves. An in-depth look at the Blue Whale Challenge and the warning signs you need to watch for.
CABRERA: A sad story now out of Arizona. At least seven members from just one family have died after being swept up in a flash flood. Three other family members are still missing.
We have new video, aerial video, just into our newsroom where police say 14 family members were near this swimming hole north of Phoenix yesterday when torrential rains caused flash floods, washing them all away. Two children are among the dead. Four of the family members were rescued yesterday.
The National Weather Service says monsoon storms are expected into the middle of the week.
A grieving family is trying to come to terms with their teenage daughter's suicide. They believe she was challenged to kill herself by someone online. CNN's Kaylee Hartung is joining us now.
Kaylee, this is an important story because there were some warning signs the family tragically missed. They want others to know about it. Talk to us.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, the signs were everywhere, on the walls of this teen's bedroom, in her artwork, in her sketchbook. But this family had no idea the significance of that the "Blue Whale," they believe, came to have to their daughter.
HARTUNG (voice-over): She was young, beautiful, and playful. Her family wants to share the teen's story but asked us to conceal her identity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A funny girl who liked to make silly faces or, how we say, the puppy face when she want something.
HARTUNG (voice-over): She was a talented artist, talented enough to hide secrets in her paintings.
HARTUNG (on camera): What's the story behind these paintings?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So these are paintings that she drew and were displayed on the art show at school. At first look, you don't think anything of it. You just think of an abstract painting.
[18:40:05] HARTUNG (voice-over): But there were clues that even her brother didn't see, not until the 16-year-old took her own life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you were to google what a skeleton of a blue whale looks like, it has a tremendous resemblance.
HARTUNG (voice-over): "Blue Whale" is described as an online suicide game. It reportedly started in Russia two years ago and has been linked to teen suicides all over the world. The thing is it's not clear if the game actually exists or whether it's an internet rumor that caught the attention of vulnerable children and teens.
Players are supposedly given 50 daily tasks by an anonymous administrator and must submit photo evidence to prove each task is complete. On the last day, they are allegedly told to commit suicide.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Otherwise, one of the picture is from our roof, and it's something that the game asks.
HARTUNG (voice-over): Originally from Bulgaria, the family has been in the U.S. for 15 years. Unaware of any communication the teenager had outside of the country, if any.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this is basically saying good-bye as well with the blue whale.
HARTUNG (on camera): And this is in Russian?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is in Russian. It's not in Bulgarian, yes.
HARTUNG (on camera): Did you know that she knew Russian?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. We had no idea.
HARTUNG (voice-over): While authorities aren't clear if the so-called game is real, it's caught their attention. Warnings about "Blue Whale" circulate in parts of the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I lost my sister to it or at least part of it. I would say, by the looks of everything that we found, it's a major part of it. And there needs to be awareness.
HARTUNG (voice-over): Mental health experts say it's critical for parents and children to be aware of the Internet impact when it comes to teen suicide.
DR. JEAN PEARSON, CHAIRPERSON, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH SUICIDE RESEARCH CONSORTIUM: You can imagine another trend might come up at any time, so the -- instead of trying to catch every trend, a better approach might be to try to improve our social media literacy to help kids understand how to manage it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These children and these parents need to know. They need to know and watch.
HARTUNG (voice-over): As law enforcement investigates the circumstances of the suicide, the family continues to search for evidence, hoping their tragedy will prevent others from falling prey to "Blue Whale."
HARTUNG (on camera): How will you remember her?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy and as my little sister that I love and I miss.
HARTUNG: The teen's death was ruled a suicide by the county sheriff and the case was closed, but now the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has gotten involved. They have the teen's phone, and if they can find evidence that she communicated with one of these so-called administrators and that the person helped her to commit suicide, Ana, this could become a criminal investigation.
CABRERA: It's a tragedy, no doubt. What is the significance of the "Blue Whale" in all of this? We saw the pictures, but I don't quite get it.
HARTUNG: Well, reports say that it's related to the behavior blue whales are known to have when they beach themselves when they are ready to die, essentially committing suicide.
Now, nothing seems certain about this game, the extent to which it exists or how it began, but there is a man in jail in Russia who claims to have started the game. There is an open investigation to the charge against him of incitement to suicide.
CABRERA: Kaylee Hartung, thank you for that report.
Straight ahead, scandal in the White House and a president unable to push his agenda forward. Sound familiar? I'm talking about President Bill Clinton.
Up next, a look back at the legacy of the Clinton White House. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:47:58] CABRERA: On tonight's new episode of the CNN series "THE NINETIES," we revisit the Clinton years in the White House and the scandal that nearly brought down a president. Here's a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LESLEY STAHL, CORRESPONDENT, 60 MINUTES: There was something icky about pursuing this. And there was no dignity here from anybody.
LISA MYERS, SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS (voice-over): Prosecutors emphasize the real issue here is not sex, but the President allegedly subverting the legal system by getting others to lie and obstructing justice.
KENNETH STARR, INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: The evidence suggests that the President repeatedly tried to thwart the legal process in the Jones matter.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, AUTHOR, "A VAST CONSPIRACY": The constitution says that a president can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, but the constitution does not define what those terms mean. So they're up to Congress to define.
SEAN WILENTZ, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: I do not think that unless this misconduct raises the level of an assault on our fundamental political system that they are impeachable, even if every one of them was true.
This was not an impeachable offense. It's very painful, it's very embarrassing, but it has nothing to do with the running of the government.
There were a number of Republicans who knew that this was all nonsense, but they were going to go along because they were being forced by the party.
GWEN IFILL, CAPITOL HILL REPORTER, NBC NEWS: History unfolding this the nation's capital today as a somber House of Representatives voted for only the second time in American history to impeach a president of the United States.
CLAIRE SHIPMAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: After a lifetime of striving for a celebrated rank among American presidents, this diligent student of history was has handed his place today, one he did not want but can never give back.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want the American people to know today that I am still committed to working with people of good faith and good will of both parties to do what's best for our country. It's what I tried to do for six years. It's what I intend to do for two more until the last hour of the last day of my term.
NANCY GIBBS, MANAGING EDITOR, TIME: It was up to the House to decide whether there was grounds to impeach the president, and then it is up to the Senate to conduct the trial and act as, essentially, the jury.
[18:50:07] WILLIAM H. REHNQUIST, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATE: -- the said William Jefferson Clinton be and he hereby is acquitted of the charges in the said articles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Bringing into the conversation a woman you just saw in those clips, CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks April Ryan.
April, thanks for spending some time on your weekend with us. You were very involved in journalism during the Clinton years.
APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Yes.
CABRERA: He was actually impeached by the House of Representatives. How did that impact his ability to push forward a domestic agenda?
RYAN: Well, that whole time, that was the second term of Bill Clinton. It was all about a lot of this, what we just saw, what we witnessed from Ken Starr coming to the White House to depose the president.
I remember that day. At that time, you know, many visitors were allowed to walk closer to the White House. And I remember standing there watching Ken Starr turn into the White House to go depose the president in the map room of the White House. I remember that evening.
And I also remember the president trying to push forward with his agenda, but what was first and foremost on the minds of Americans were all of the twists and turns about different things involving the scandal. And I mean, it evolved into basically a scandal about an affair with an intern -- a then intern.
So it was a very tough time for the nation. It was a very tough time for the president. It was a very tough time for the first family. And it was a tough time for this president to push through with his agenda.
And I remember, specifically, that was also the time, you know, seconds-term presidents look at it as -- you know, it's a term where they can do whatever they want almost and basically push things through.
He tried to talk about issues of race, you know, trying to bring America together. I'll never forget that some town hall meetings were taken off the table because they did not want to deal with the issue, you know, possibilities of people standing up asking questions about that.
So if he was trying to push a piece that was going to be a legacy piece about race and other issues through, it was really tough at that time because people were looking at it as, you know, as if, you know, is this, you know, something that he's really going to be able to do? But he was a president who was impeached but not removed.
RYAN: But it was tough for him. It was tough for him.
CABRERA: Talk to me about his staff. You know, talking about controversies encompassing the White House, all of these scandals have got to affect the morale of those around the president.
RYAN: Yes. Yes. I remember -- Again, going back, I remember some of the people, you know, who were there. Paul Begala was there at the time. I remember seeing then former first lady Hillary Clinton, how she walked around the White House.
And she was one of those who helped deal with the staff and helped change the narrative, tried to fix this because she understood that this was an attack. I mean, yes, this happened, but it was an attack on this Democratic president.
I remember, you know, people trying to pull it together and trying to push through. It was a very, very tough time because, in those modern years, we have not seen anything like this before. And you go back, look back, at Watergate, but this wasn't Watergate. You try to figure out what's going on.
We kept talking to people but everyone kept saying, just wait, let's see. You know, let's see how this all plays out. Just listen to the stables. Those were the kinds of things that we were getting.
You had some staffers who were very upset because they didn't know some of the ins and outs. Some did know. Some of the inner circle did know. And it was a very, very tough time to really pull things together, but he really worked together to work for the American people.
But the funny thing about it, at that time, that president, William Jefferson Clinton, he still worked the press even on his worst days. You know, he worked the press because he knew, ultimately, it was about access and information.
In his worst days, he talked to us. And I'm thinking about then versus now. It's a very interesting and -- interesting polar opposites and interesting dynamics from Bill Clinton to this president. CABRERA: Yes.
RYAN: You've got a president who is going through a lot of issues right now with this Russia scandal, and then you had a president going through a scandal, Paula Jones, Whitewater. And then you had impeachment and Monica Lewinsky and all of that.
And Bill Clinton talked to the press. You know, he would even have, what do you call it, carnivals for the press. This president looks at us as the opposition party.
RYAN: So it's an interesting dynamic from 20 years ago versus now.
CABRERA: Such a contrast.
CABRERA: And the response by each presidents --
RYAN: Most definitely, yes.
CABRERA: -- to what they're facing behind the scenes. April, stand by.
CABRERA: You've obviously been in the thick of it when it comes to the current president's battles with the media as you start to discuss there. You'll be back with us in a moment and we'll talk more about that.
[18:54:59] But, first, don't miss, "BILL CLINTON, THE COMEBACK KID." Revisit the presidency that defined a decade, "THE NINETIES," tonight at 9:00 Eastern and Pacific. Only here on CNN.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN MONEY CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. This week, it's all about corporate profits, how much money companies are making.
Second-quarter earnings start flooding in this week. Strong company results have kept the rally going on Wall Street, even as the Trump economic agenda has been slowed by turmoil in Washington.
Expectations are high, Ana. Last season, profits grew at the fastest pace in years, about 15 percent, and analysts predict S&P 500 profits will rise at least six percent this quarter.
[19:00:01] That would mark the fourth straight quarter of earnings growth. Again, that means companies are making money and the stock market is a reflection of that.