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Manafort Filings Hint at Collusion; Rosenstein to Leave Justice; Emergency to Pay for Wall; Pompeo Delivers Policy Speech; Lawmakers Mark Khashoggi Murder; Cutting Back on Caffeine; R. Kelly Allegations. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired January 10, 2019 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:30:00] REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Want this for. That's the supreme question here, what do they want the polling data for at a time when they're engaged in this surreptitious social media campaign, is it related to that, or was it for some other purpose. Clearly we have to find out.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, look, I mean you've been look -- I don't have to tell you, you've been looking into this for more than a year. Is that collusion?
SCHIFF: I think we need to know more about what this data was to be used for. We know, for example, there have been reports that Manafort not only sought to get paid by these Russian-backed oligarchs in Ukraine, but, in fact, did get paid. What did he get paid for during the campaign or was this after the campaign? Was there a meeting of the minds? Was this delivery of polling data what we would consider an overt act in furtherance of conspiracy? Those questions, I think, still remain not completely answered and we're awaiting what we hope to learn from Bob Mueller, but also there's more work we need to do in our congressional investigation.
So there's clear evidence on the issue of collusion and this adds to that body of evidence. But whether it amounts to conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt, I think we still have to wait for Bob Mueller's work.
CAMEROTA: And about your committee that you now chair, the Intel Committee, are you going to ask Paul Manafort that directly? And do you think that people perjured themselves in front of your committee?
SCHIFF: We would like to hear from Mr. Manafort, although I have to say, given his track record, how much we'll be able to rely on his testimony is very much open to question. Clearly the special counsel feels that even when he said he was cooperating, he was lying.
We do have concern about other witnesses before our committee. We know that Michael Cohen has admitted that he lied to our committee. There are others as well that we want the special counsel to be able to evaluate their testimony and determine whether perjury charges should be brought. This is why one of the first acts when our committee is constituted will be to take up the issue of sending these transcripts to the special counsel to be used for potential perjury prosecution, but also to shed light on different aspects of the investigation that may facilitate his work.
CAMEROTA: Are you concerned about William Barr taking over, it looks like -- if and when he's confirmed -- taking over the oversight of the Mueller investigation and Rod Rosenstein exiting?
SCHIFF: I'm very concerned about it. This is the second pick for attorney general, Matt Whitaker being the first pick to be acting attorney general, who basically auditioned for the part by either going on TV, in the case of Matt Whitaker, and talking down the Russian investigation, or, in the case of Mr. Barr, sending an unsolicited 19 or 20-page brief about how terrible the special counsel's prosecution, overzealous it was, how it relied on a flawed theory, how a president really couldn't be investigated or prosecuted for obstruction of justice for firing people as a way of preventing the investigation from going forward into activities of which he may be implicated. That ought to trouble every American devoted to the rule of law.
And I have to imagine, that for the same reason ethics lawyers at Justice urged Matt Whitaker to recuse himself, they will similarly urge Bill Barr to recuse himself if he should be confirmed. Now whether he'll be willing to follow that advice, I think, is a key question for senator to ask during his confirmation.
CAMEROTA: Does Rosenstein's departure signal to you that Robert Mueller must be wrapping up soon otherwise Rosenstein wouldn't have made that decision?
SCHIFF: I would hope that Rod Rosenstein wouldn't leave before the Mueller investigation was over. So I would certainly hope that that is the case. Although it's not enough that he stick around until Bob Mueller finishes the report. If the new leadership in the Justice Department is inclined to bury that report, I would hope that he would stay and fight to make sure both the Congress and the country get to see what Bob Mueller has found.
But, regardless, we in Congress are determined that the American people are going to hear this story.
CAMEROTA: I want to talk to you about the government shutdown. What do you think of the possibility that President Trump declares a national emergency?
SCHIFF: Well, I think it will fail in the courts. Certainly if President Truman couldn't nationalize the steel industry at a time of war during the Korean War to help in the war effort, then this artificial crisis of the president isn't going to justify his appropriating money for a wall that Congress is unwilling to give.
If that is sufficient to meet the definition of a national emergency, we will have nothing but national emergencies all the time. And I don't think the court is going to go for that. Whether the president chooses that as a face-saving mechanism knowing that it will fail, I don't know.
But I will say this, this is more -- about more than the wall. This is about the president using a tactic of shutting down the government to get his way. If it is rewarded in any way, shape or form, we will see this over and over again. And this has simply got to stop.
CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is about to give a foreign policy speech in Cairo. And CNN has just obtained a copy of his prepared remarks. And he is expected to praise Saudi Arabia as a stabilizing force in the Middle East, but will not denounce the Saudi crown prince for his involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. What are your thoughts knowing that?
[08:35:22] SCHIFF: Well, this is again an illustration of how much human rights have completely fallen off the agenda of the Trump administration. It is simply not a priority. And, quite the contrary, this administration, that commonly makes common cause with autocrats all over the world and ignores or downplays or diminishes the significance of any human rights violation. And we, of course, see that in the premeditated murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
But I will say, also in light of Mr. Pompeo's recent comments on Syria, that we have this toxic combination in the administration of both certain elements of corruption, but also just massive incompetence where you have, in the case of Khashoggi, the intelligence agency's warning us, the administration ignoring those warnings. In the case of Syria, you have the national security adviser saying something one day about our troop withdrawal not happening right away, the secretary of state contradicting that the next day, the president saying something different the day after.
The corruption is bad enough, but you add the incompetence to it and it's just unforgiveable.
CAMEROTA: Listen, it's been a hundred days since Jamal Khashoggi walked into a consulate thinking he was going to be getting a marriage certificate of some kind and never walked out and was murdered. And I know that today you're -- you have a bipartisan event acknowledging all of this.
SCHIFF: We certainly do. Steve Chabot and I co-chair a House caucus on Freedom of the Press. Something I started many years ago with Mike Pence. And we will be joining in this remembrance of Jamal Khashoggi. We'll have individuals, including the editor of "The Washington Post" there, as well as many members of Congress and others, not only to talk about his life, but also to examine other journalists who are imprisoned or have been murdered, other countries where their killers are going without prosecution, and highlight this issue of press freedom, as well as the jeopardy facing so many journalists around the world.
CAMEROTA: Well, Congressman Adam Schiff, we appreciate, of course, you highlighting press freedom. Thank you very much for being on NEW DAY.
SCHIFF: Thank you.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So imagine driving down the freeway and a huge sign just falls on you. It happened. The driver survived. It's all caught on camera. The details, next.
[08:41:37] CAMEROTA: A federal judge dismissed Ashley Judd's sexual harassment lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein. But the judge is allowing her defamation suit against the disgraced movie mogul to move forward. In the defamation case, Judd alleges Weinstein derailed her career after she rejected his sexual advances in the 1990s. Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sexual activity.
BERMAN: All right, I want you to see some incredible dash cam video. A freeway sign fell on to a moving vehicle, crushing the roof of the SUV. This happened on a freeway in Melbourne, Australia. Remarkably, the 53-year-old woman who was driving the SUV suffered only minor neck injuries.
CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.
BERMAN: Transportation officials in Melbourne say the sign had just been inspected the day before. Hmm. We need to speak to that inspector there to find out what happened. That's crazy.
CAMEROTA: That was crazy. I feel like if it had happened one second later, it could have actually hit right on top of the car and I don't know what happens when metal slices on top of a car.
BERMAN: It's not good.
CAMEROTA: Good point.
OK, so that was actually lucky.
Meanwhile, the world's richest couple calling it quits. Amazon's boss Jeff Bezos and his wife Mackenzie are getting a divorce after 25 years of marriage. They issued a joint statement on Twitter saying they made the decision after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation. The divorce could end up being -- well, extremely costly. Bezos is the world's richest person with an estimated net worth of $137 billion.
BERMAN: So she was there -- I mean she was there when he founded Amazon. She's been there since the beginning.
CAMEROTA: Absolutely. In fact, he's given her credit for encouraging him with he came up with this crazy idea that he was going to sell books through the mail. And she said, absolutely, let's go for it. Of course she's entitled to half.
BERMAN: Right. I mean everyone wants to know, is there a prenup, which, of course, I think, titillates the imagination here. But I will say that there are plenty of couples who divorce where there's not necessarily a heated, passionate, acrimonious argument about this. There might be agreement that, you know, they are both entitled to equal amounts or certain amounts.
CAMEROTA: Maybe they're consciously uncoupling. BERMAN: Well, they sort of said that. They said loving exploration. I
don't know what the hell loving exploration was there.
CAMEROTA: I don't either but I -- but I -- that sounds even more titillating.
BERMAN: I know. Exactly.
CAMEROTA: All right.
Meanwhile, there's this new documentary creating legal trouble for singer R. Kelly. Was his alleged behavior ignored for decades?
BERMAN: But first, from espresso to energy drinks, many of us rely on caffeine to get through the day. That is the understatement of always. Over time, that can add up.
BERMAN: So Lisa Drayer has tips on how to cut back in this in "Food as Fuel."
LISA DRAYER, CNN HEALTH CONTRIBUTOR: Whether you've become a little too dependent on coffee or have a medical reason to cut back, here's how you can start to overcome your caffeine cravings.
First, keep track of how much you're consuming. One study found keeping a caffeine log helped people successfully reduce their consumption in just six weeks. Try cutting back gradually. Reduce by one serving per week or swap one cup with a decaf version.
Be sure to learn about surprising caffeine sources in your diet. It's not just in coffee and soda, but also in things like chocolate and some pain medications.
And have a plan for when a caffeine craving may strike. Take a break, go on a quick walk, stretch or practice deep breathing exercises.
[08:44:57] Lastly, seek alternatives like tea. Black and green tea have less caffeine than coffee but can still give you a boost of energy plus healthful antioxidants.
CAMEROTA: A new documentary series could lead to more legal trouble for singer R. Kelly. It contains new allegations of sexual, mental and physical abuse. Prosecutors in Illinois and Georgia are now reportedly looking into these allegations.
But Kelly does not seem troubled by any of this. Cell phone video shows him celebrating his 52nd birthday in a Chicago nightclub last night. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
R. KELLY, SINGER (singing): Baby, I don't want to hurt nobody, but there is something about (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: All right, let's discuss all of the latest with the host of "TOURE Show" podcast, Toure, and CNN legal analyst Areva Martin.
[08:50:06] Great to have both of you.
Toure, this comes, I bet, as no surprise to you. You have been following R. Kelly's story for many years. So just to refresh our viewer memories who have not been following along, let me just pull up a timeline of R. Kelly and then you can fill in the blanks.
He married 15-year-old Aaliyah when he was 27. That was in 1994. The "Chicago Sun-Times" investigation revealed police investigated him twice for allegations of sex with minors. In 2002, there was an alleged sex tape that emerged claiming to show Kelly sleeping with a minor. He denied it. In 2002, he was charged with 21 counts of child pornography. In 2008, acquitted on all charges. In 2017, a woman alleges that she was sleeping with Kelly when she was 16.
What have we missed?
TOURE, HOST, "TOURE SHOW" PODCAST: Well, the only thing is would miss is my interview -- and not to make it about me, but I was a critical part of that second part you talk about. He comes off the trial. I'm working for BET. He comes and gives me an interview. It's a big part of the docuseries. The core moment that everybody remembers, I asked him, do you like teenage girls? He could not say no.
CAMEROTA: We have that. Do we have that moment? Let's play that and then you can tell us about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOURE: Do you like teenage girls?
R. KELLY: When you say teenage, how old are we talking?
TOURE: Girls who are teenagers.
R. KELLY: Nineteen?
TOURE: Nineteen and younger.
R. KELLY: I have some 19-year-old friends. But I don't like anybody illegal, if that's what we're talking about, underage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK, so tell us about the reaction to all that. TOURE: I mean it's a softball question. You just got off trial for
that. Do you like teenage girls? This is the simple, just say no and then we'll move on to the harder questions. So just the face and the body language gave up the answer that he didn't want to give, right? Like you can't lie with your entire body. And that's what he tried to do.
I mean, you know, he's been conducting this behavior right under our noses. I mean his album with Aaliyah was called "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number," right? So he's just putting it in our faces over and over and over, being really arrogant about it. I'm not surprised to see him like, you know, out at a club, like dancing at this moment, like when this -- I mean this docuseries is gigantic. It feels like everybody in America watched this. This is a big problem.
CAMEROTA: So, fast forward, Areva, to now with this docuseries. So let me just play a little clip so that everybody understands what women are now saying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wasn't free to walk around. If I wanted to use the restroom, I'd have to ask him. If I was hungry, I'd have to ask him. He came up once and grabbed me by my arm in the room and dragged me down the hallway because I talked back to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Areva, that's just one of the women featured. So, to Toure's point, why now, I mean after all of this has been out in the ether, why now are prosecutors looking into him?
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think the pressure was mounting, Alisyn, when you look at those women that came forward, that had the courage to come forward in that documentary. There was no way that prosecutors could sit on the sidelines and not take action. Some of those allegations are startling and suggest that criminal activity is involved and was deserving of an investigation.
I think the whole Me Too era has given more courage to women. I think African-American women, for a long time, have believed that their stories would not be believed, that they would be somehow shamed, they would be humiliated, that they would be made out to be the bad, you know, person in the story. And now they're finding their voices. They're finding that their stories matter. They do have the courage, as we saw with the many women that spoke in the documentary, to tell their stories.
And I am so glad to see that two district attorneys in the country, and hopefully others that may have the jurisdiction to investigate these allegations that have been swirling around R. Kelly for decades, will come forward and open investigations so that justice can be served for victims that have been -- that have suffered as a result of his blatantly unacceptable conduct.
CAMEROTA: Toure, I mean, obviously it's akin to Harvey Weinstein, it's akin to Bill Cosby. When one woman speaks, the dam breaks. And -- but it's also interesting that these women spoke to a film maker and didn't necessarily go to authorities.
TOURE: You know, I mean, this is a really powerful moment in that these stories have played out over years, right, with the Aaliyah story in the 1990s, the tape story with my interviews in the '00s and the stories of him having this sex cult that played out in a lot of magazines. But they had not been together, right? And they were so separated that I think people saw them as different. And what the Dream Hampton, the film maker, has done here is put them all together, right, and do an amazing job of pulling people from throughout R. Kelly's life to tell this story.
This has been a long period of crazy behavior. I mean, you know, at some point --
CAMEROTA: And flagrant, I mean, to your point, just brazen and flagrant.
TOURE: Yes. Yes. Absolutely.
CAMEROTA: Areva, do prosecutors now use this documentary? Can they use this documentary as their evidence for women who hadn't previously come forward?
[08:55:03] MARTIN: Oh, absolutely. They can use the statements that were made in the documentary and they can use it to encourage witnesses to come forward. What we know about the acquittal of R. Kelly in 2000 was that the victim did not take the witness stand and testify. And that gave pause to the jurors. They weren't able to find that he was guilty beyond reasonable doubt. And we know that's a very high standard. But hopefully the women that will come forward that have talked about -- the people that have been a part of this documentary will give courage to other victims to come forward.
Prosecutors need hard evidence. They need the victims telling their stories. They need percipian (ph) witnesses, people that were there that witnessed the criminal activity to come forward. That's how prosecutors can build credible cases and can get convictions if, indeed, the allegations made in the documentary are true. And at this point, we have no reason to believe they're not true, you know?
And you talked about Harvey Weinstein, Alisyn. One of the things that still puzzles me is, how come R. Kelly's music is continued to be played? You know, what is the role of Sony and RCA and the companies that are, you know, in bed with him and have these contractual arrangements with him. Even if you can't get a conviction in a courtroom, we have seen powerful men lose their jobs, we've seen contracts terminated as a result of these kinds of allegations. So the question still remains, what about the companies that are supporting R. Kelly's music? What are they going to do in light of this documentary?
CAMEROTA: On that -- understood. And on that note, Lady Gaga tweeted this statement today, I stand behind these women 1,000 percent. I'm sorry both for my poor judgment when I was young and for not speaking out sooner, because she had done a duet with him.
Toure, Areva Martin, thank you both very much.
MARTIN: Thanks, Alisyn.
BERMAN: All right, in just a few minutes, the president leaves for the southern border. This after saying bye-bye to negotiations with Democrats.
CAMEROTA: You've come around.
BERMAN: We have new reporting on plans to declare a national emergency, that's next.