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Sources: Congress Investigating Another Possible Sessions- Kislyak Meeting; Source: Comey To Testify Trump Urged Him To End Flynn Probe; Clinton Charges Russians "Guided By Americans"; Spicer "Explains" Trump's Incoherent Tweet. Aired 11-Midnight ET
Aired May 31, 2017 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:07] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT HOST: Breaking news, President Trump and Hillary Clinton waging a whole new war of words tonight. This is CNN Tonight, I'm Don Lemon. Apparently, they didn't quite get all of these out during their -- out of their systems during the campaign. What we're going to tell you what the former and current adversaries are fighting about tonight. Hint? It rhymes with Mucha (ph).
Plus, sources telling CNN Congressional investigators are looking into whether Jeff Sessions had another private meeting with the Russian ambassador doing -- during the campaign. More on that in a moment and what's the real story of Tiger Woods arrest on suspicion of DUI. The former golf super star says he had an unexpected reaction to prescribe medications. See for yourself what happened on the dash cam video.
Let's get right to our exclusive reporting tonight. CNN's exclusive reporting, new interest being raised into a Trump campaign speech in Washington last year. In the audience that day, Russia's ambassador to the US. Jim Sciutto, Jamie Gangel and Shimon Prokupecz broke the story and Jim joins us now with the very latest on that. Jim what are your learning?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well Don, Republican and Democratic Hill sources and intelligence officials all briefed on the investigation. Tell myself, Jamie and Shimon that Congressional investigators are examining whether Attorney
General Jeff Sessions had an additional private meeting with Russia's ambassador during the presidential campaign.
Investigators on the Hill are now requesting additional information including schedules from Sessions, a source with knowledge tells CNN. They are focusing on whether such a meeting took place April 27, 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel here in Washington, where then-candidate Donald Trump was delivering his first major foreign policy address. Prior to the speech, then-Senator Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak attended a small VIP reception with organizers, diplomats and others.
In addition to Congressional investigators, the FBI is seeking to determine the extent of interactions the Trump campaign team may have had with Russia's ambassador during the event, this as part of its broader counterintelligence investigation of Russian interference in the election. Neither the Hill nor FBI investigators have yet concluded whether a private meeting took place. They acknowledge that it is possible, Don, that any additional meeting might be describe as incidental.
LEMON: Has Sessions responded?
SCIUTTO: He has. We have this response from the Department of Justice tonight. The Department of Justice, I'm reading it in full, appointed Special Counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. We will allow him to do his job. It is unfortunate, the statement goes on, that anonymous sources whose credibility will never face public scrutiny are continuously trying to hinder that process by peddling false stories to the mainstream media. The facts haven't changed, but then-Senator did not have any private or side conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel. Not withstanding clearly that it's an unsatisfying as of yet to the Hill and then the FBI, they're still investigating that question.
LEMON: So these all turns out to be accurate, it would be not be the first time that Jeff Sessions fail to disclose a meeting with the Russian ambassador.
SCIUTTO: No, and that's one reason why this information raises new questions. During his confirmation hearing on January 10, Sessions testified that he quotes did not have any communications with the Russians, ends quote, during the campaign. He said the same in a
written submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee. When reports emerged in March that he did, in fact, to have two meetings with Kislyak during the campaign, one at the Republican National Convention in July and one in his Senate office in September. Sessions conceded that the meetings happened but insisted they were part of his Senate duties and had nothing to do with the campaign. Nonetheless, Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
After that revelation, Sessions was asked at a news conference on March 2nd, whether there were any other meetings with Russians besides those two. Here was his response then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you met with any other Russian officials or folks connected with the Russian government since you endorsed Donald Trump?
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I don't believe so. I -- you know, we meet a lot of people, so --
RUM: -- from those two meetings you discussed with the ambassador?
SESSIONS: I don't believe so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Now later that week when Sessions updated his sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he acknowledged those two meetings with Kislyak, but Don he did not mention any encounter at the Mayflower Hotel.
LEMON: All right. Jim, thanks for that, but I want you to stick around. I want to bring in Michael Isikoff, the chief investigator correspondent for Yahoo News, David Gergen, the CNN senior political analyst and Eric Lichtblau, he is CNN's Washington investigative editor.
Good evening, welcome to the panel. Everyone, welcome to the program. David, I need to start with you. David Gergen, your reaction to this new reporting about Attorney General Jeff Sessions?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well I think we have to greet it cautiously. We have to see whether, in fact, that he met him, was at in sort some social setting, you know, four or five people standing around to the circle and chatting before speech. That seems to be pretty harmless, unforgettable. On the other hand if they had a private session with him, and they went to a private room somewhere in hotel, that's extraordinarily suspicious.
[23:05:09] And, you know, Jeff Sessions has already been hurt on these questions of what he had been willing to say and not say and back into a corner and all the rest. He said he would be -- was going to recuse himself from this whole proceeding. After, you know, he volunteered to do that and then he got involved in the Comey firing which was -- and direct imaging (ph), I think violation of the recusal promise.
So, you know, it's a mixed record but on this particular element, I think the thing is interested to point out as Jim Sciutto just did is that Republican lawmaker are asking these questions too, it's not just Democrats.
LEMON: Yes, interesting. And you are correct about that. Let's talk about James Comey, Eric, because you have reported tonight on the former FBI director's upcoming testimony. What can you tell us? What can we expect to hear? And what won't we hear?
ERIC LICHTBLAU, CNN WASHINGTON INVESTIGATIVE EDITOR: Well, what we're hearing today is that Comey and Bob Mueller who was appointed a few weeks ago as the special counsel have been talking and have reached an understanding that will allow Comey to testify and to testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee. That had really been a bit up in the air since Mueller was named because there was concern that Mueller might not want public testimony, which could in some way taint or compromise his own criminal investigation.
Our understanding is that Comey will not talk about the substance of the Russian collusion investigation itself which obviously is the centerpiece of this investigation. But will be allowed to talk about and he's eager to talk about the interactions, these tense confrontations that he had with the President which have come out through media reports the last few weeks, including the request from Trump in a Valentine's Day meeting on February 14th that he let go of the Mike Flynn investigation, in other words, to drop the investigation. And separate conversation where he allegedly asked Comey if he could be assured of his loyalty if he were to stay on as FBI director. So those are conversations that are at the heart of the -- sort of the secondary investigation into a possible obstruction of justice. And those we understand Comey will be testifying about it and will essentially corroborate the media reports that have come out in the last few weeks.
LEMON: Yes, the media reports that had been said that is -- that are fake or either conspiracy theories. Michael, the words that you used to describe Comey's testimony are extraordinary and momentous. What's the key question you have?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT, YAHOO NEWS: Well, first of all -- I mean, I do think we're on the eve of what could be some of the most dramatic testimony we've seen in years. I'll defer to David and others on this, but for historical precedent to have -- assuming Comey is going to testify as has been reported, to have a senior U.S. government official basically go before Congress under oath and call the President of the United States a liar. I think you would have to go back to John Dean and Watergate testimony to find historical precedent.
The thing that interests me most, though, is my understanding is that as of this -- as of now, the committee still doesn't have the contemporaneous memos that Comey wrote after these meetings with President Trump. And that is very powerful evidence that could either corroborate the account he's going to give or could fill in blanks and could possibly be used to raise questions about his testimony. So I -- you know and I -- as I understand it, the FBI still has not given them up. It's not clear --
LEMON: Let's ask.
ISIKOFF: -- they are going to and, you know, that is --
LEMON: Jim Sciutto. Do they have those memos yet? Is that accurate?
SCIUTTO: No, they don't, apparently. And we don't know if that's because the Special Counsel is in effect taking over, right, and saying that they need it for their own investigation. It's a fair question. And Michael makes a good point, so that the sworn testimony becomes an important record.
LEMON: Go ahead Michael, finish your thought.
ISIKOFF: Right. Yes, just to finish the thought that, you know, it may be -- I mean, some people are surprised that Mueller is letting Comey testify in public if obstruction is one of the issues he's looking at. Normally a prosecutor wouldn't want a key witness's account being out there in which the target, in this case the President, could know everything he has to say.
[23:10:03] But it may be that Mueller is letting him testify but holding back the memos. He's not allowing the memos to be released so that he would have arrow and he's quiver down the road, you know. Just to continue the Watergate analogy it's almost as though, you know, when John Dean testified the President's tapes had not yet been public. In fact, we didn't even know they existed but they later got released and then corroborated John Dean's account as opposed to the White House's account.
LEMON: Yes, what was being investigated and that's -- that's good. That was my question to David Gergen. Will Comey's testimony be reminisced of John Dean's testimony during Watergate?
GERGEN: Yes, very much. I agreed with every word that Michael just said. I do think, Don, there is speculation about whether President Trump will invoke executive privilege and try to prevent Comey from testifying. I think it would be a terrible mistake but there is the argument that that would be within his power. I think it would give the impression to a whole lot of people that he is trying to hide something and that release and it come out in the testimony in front of the FBI.
But the critical thing here, and Michael was certainly, you know, pointing in this direction, is that if there is ever going to be an impeachment effort, it may start with a question, was there obstruction? And this testimony is going to either build that case or diminish that case. We don't know, you know, obviously, it points in the direction of building that case and that's what -- if the Democrats really (ph) ever to ever get control of the House while President Trump is in office, they're going to want to use this as their foundation. So, it has really important impact.
And it will also influence public opinion especially if there's drama and if there's a rather clear pattern. The President really trying to get rid of this piece (ph), get rid of this testimony about Flynn, I want this all gone.
LEMON: Yes. I have to ask you, Eric, about the more reporting that you have and get your response to this, about this tweet this morning from President about Carter Page. He said, "So now it is reported that the Democrats, who have excoriated Carter Page about Russia, don't want him to testify. He blows away their case against him and now wants to clear his name by showing the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan. Witch Hunt!" Wasn't the story that President Trump didn't even know Carter Page, wasn't that the story?
LICHTBLAU: Well, exactly. For months and months the White House has distanced himself -- itself as much as it could from Carter Page that he was a nobody, a hanger on, the President had never even met him. Now the President is really doing a bit of a flip-flop and is invoking Carter Page as the important figure in this in trying to debunk the charges from Democrats that there is something to the Russian collusion investigation. So, you know, obviously, the President sees -- now sees Carter Page as ammunition which for a long time he was a potential enemy.
LEMON: Thank you, panel. I appreciate it. When we come back, that sizzling war of words between President Trump and Hillary Clinton.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [23:16:28] LEMON: Breaking news. President Trump and Hillary Clinton taking aim at each other over Russia. And the former Democratic candidate had a pretty stunning charge about Moscow's election meddling at Recode's Code conference tonight. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So the Russians -- in my opinion and based on the Intel and counter-Intel people I've talked to, could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided. And here's --
WALTER MOSSBERG, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF THE VERGE AND EDITOR AT LARGE OF RECODE: Guided by Americans.
CLINTON: Guided by Americans. And guided by people who had, you know, polling -- he dumps that on me on October 28th and I immediately start falling. But what was really interesting, since the mainstream media covered that as I say like Pearl Harbor, front pages everywhere, huge type, et cetera, I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party. It was bankrupt. It was on the verge of insolvency. Its data was mediocre to poor, non-existent, wrong. I had to inject money into it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So I want to discuss now with CNN political commentators Matt Lewis, Margaret Hoover, Kevin Madden as well as CNN political contributor Maria Cardona. So here we go. It's 2016 all over again. So, first Matt, I want to get your reaction. And seriously Hillary Clinton speaking out on the Russia meddling, why she says she loss the election, and also speaking out about President Trump. What do you think?
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, she said something at the very beginning of that clip she said something I think that's very important that almost nobody has picked up on. And it's what might the collusion have been. So I've always thought, like why would Russia, you know, look, Russia obviously tried to meddle in our elections. But why would they need Trump to help? That doesn't make sense. Russia is smart. They've got spies. They're very sophisticated. Why would they need to collude?
Hillary is arguing there that what potentially happened is that the Mercers' have this company that does micro targeting in data, that they may have colluded with Russia to provide them with information that would help them target voters in places like Michigan and Wisconsin to push them to vote for Trump or not to vote for Hillary.
That would be -- and that's a huge -- it's an allegation, yes. And there is no proof of it. But that is what she was alleging. That is a pretty heavy thing, big charge to make.
LEMON: And what do you -- Kevin Madden, because, you know, this investigation into whether there -- you know, collusion and I don't think there's any doubt, I mean, everyone knows or believes that the Russians interfered with the election, but whether there was collusion and how it affected the election. This is pretty sophisticated stuff especially in the social media and internet age. It's not the way it used to be as some would think in the 1970s, '80s, '90s or even in the early 2000s.
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is. That's a pretty sophisticated audience too at that Recode conference who has a good deal and knowledge about this type of things. And I think that's the heart of what the investigation is by the Special Counsel is to find out a lot about what potential collusion there was and how it was done.
LEMON: And that can explain why it's taking so long? Some people see that -- think that it's taking a long time.
LEMON: Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.
MADDEN: You know, Don, my main reaction to Hillary Clinton's arguments is I'm reminded of that anecdote about George McGovern, which was -- when he was asked what it was, you know, how long it took for him to finally get over his election loss. And he was -- and he reminded the questioner. He said I'll let you know when it happens. I mean --
[23:20:01] MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And that was three decades later.
MADDEN: Right. Hillary Clinton is just not over this yet. And it will be a very, very long time before she does get over it.
LEMON: Well Mitt Romney in years later didn't -- and you worked with him, said, they still weren't -- the Romney still may not be over it.
MADDEN: Right. Well, look, I'll tell you. At this stage after the 2012 election I was walking around my house in a bathroom muttering to myself, so. And I was only the spokesman on that campaign. So you can imagine, so.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think it helps her or the Democratic Party or the investigation or the issue to continue to focus into -- and to point fingers, because nobody wants to hear from Hillary Clinton right now. The country needs to move on, special investigation needs to focus and all she does is continue to polarize it. And it's true. It's so clear that it reads sour grapes.
LEMON: I know. I get the gist of what you are saying but there are still a lot of people who want to hear from Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: You were saying it may not be --
HOOVER: Maria is one of them. I'll give it to her. There you go.
(CROSSTALK) LEMON: -- you believe that people but obviously --
HOOVER: I don't know but it's helpful to Democrats.
LEMON: The -- you know, Wesleyan University, those folks wanted to hear from her as well. But you're saying it's not helpful to the Democrats for her right now, that's what you believe.
LEMON: Yes. Am I right?
HOOVER: You're right. Yes.
LEMON: Go ahead, Maria.
CARDONA: Well, I don't think necessarily think that that's true. Because, you know, first of all Hillary Clinton has earned the right to say whatever the hell she wants at this point, right?
LEMON: Do you think it's helpful, though?
CARDONA: She owes nothing to nobody, right? And it is clearly helpful to her. This is how she wants to talk about this at this moment. Let's remember that she has taken responsibility for every decision that she has made in her campaign. I'm sure that we will be reading more about this --
HOOVER: She just blamed the Democratic Party for not having all the data.
CARDONA: Well -- and by the way she's not wrong. She's not wrong on that.
HOOVER: That's not her responsibility.
CARDONA: But -- yes. Well, but we will hear more about this in her memoir. And the way, this is probably leading up to, right? Talking about her memoir which is about to come out. So, that is helpful to her.
MADDEN: Maria I remember -- Maria during 2016 --
CARDONA: But here's the point. I think that the conversation about what happened with Russia is helpful because it is of the moment, right? This is something that everybody is talking about. That we're in the middle of these three investigations, that the Trump campaign and Trump himself can't help but put their foot in their mouth every time they bring up Russia.
CARDONA: So I think in that respect, absolutely it's something that she should continue to talk about. It was a huge factor in her losing the election. I have no, no question about that.
LEMON: OK. Kevin, go ahead.
MADDEN: Well, I was going to say I just remember during the 2016 campaign story after story after story about the DNC data juggernaut and how it was so much more sophisticated than the Republicans. I think that's why these remarks today out at this conference made so much news.
LEMON: But here's the thing I asked Kara Swisher about that earlier, and she said, you know, her response to me was come on Don, would you still on, dial up? I mean, things -- a lot of things can change in eight years, especially eight years, and four years. And simply the technology had moved on from the Obama, in those four years, from the Obama administration.
CARDONA: It was a juggernaut in 2012. There's no question about that. But yes things do change in four years. And we unfortunately did not keep up with those changes to the extent that we should have.
LEMON: Margaret, I'll give you the last word since I put words in your worth.
HOOVER: Look, we all feel for Hillary Clinton. I'm not sure I have much to add this. We now have shown (ph) so I guess what I'm trying to say to Maria is sure Democrats want to hear from her. But the problem with all the folks who voted for Trump, right, that 39 percent, 40 percent floor of his that's so solid behind him, if they hear Hillary Clinton talking about this they continue to just tune it out. They don't believe there is a Russia problem. They continue to say there's not a single piece of evidence that points to any sort of collaboration with Russia. Right, we all know that, but her getting involved in this continues to politicize it rather than keeping it in the hands of a special investigator and these bipartisan efforts of Congress that will actually have credibility with frankly a majority of Americans or more than usually occurred (ph) into that moderate edge of the opposition that supports Trump, you know, all the time.
LEMON: OK. Quick, Maria, I've got to go to the break. We'll come back on the other side. But quickly, please.
CARDONA: OK. Those 40 percent of people who you say are supporting Trump, nobody will be able to change their minds, Margaret. Not Mueller, not Democrats, not Republicans, not the Hill, not everybody no matter what they are.
LEMON: OK. Standby Margaret, we'll continue. We'll come back. We'll be right back. We'll talk about this more.
[23:29:00] LEMON: We all know that President Trump tweets in the wee hours of the night, but this one was a dozy, "Despite the constant negative press covfefe or covfefe," whatever, allow Sean Spicer to explain, please.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think people should be concerned that the President then posted somewhat of incoherent tweet last night and then it stayed up for hours?
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did it stay up so long? Figured is no one watching this?
SPICER: No, I think the President and a small group of people know exactly what he meant. Blake?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Two things here. I mean, that press -- my panel is back, by the way. But the press briefing not being on camera -- I mean, it's just -- doesn't that look sketchy? There's no transparency there. It looks like, you know, when we do the thing like the Watergate tape and you showed just the audio. Am I the only who thinks --
MATTIS: (INAUDIBLE) or it's just be like a drawback up.
CARDONA: It's weird.
HOOVER: No, it's not that it's just weird. It's bad. I mean, the point of having cameras on is that you can see the person, you can read the facial expressions. You can read all the 45 muscles in your face, the (INAUDIBLE) that tell you, like 150 different emotions. You know, it's important to be able to see somebody, whether they're happy or they're ebullient, or they're sweating under their collar. Whatever it is that tells you so much more than just the audio, although, frankly that audio told us all we needed to know.
HOOVER: Yes. But -- I mean you can understand why Spicer is doing it, right? You can understand that for Trump a guy who spent his entire career on marketing, right? All he cares about, surrounding himself with the babes and the flash and the glam and the gold Trump signs, right?
The person who is on camera every day defending him is actually representative of the most stayed sort of Washington swamp culture that he wanted to drain. It is not flashy. It is not the Trump brand. It is the most off brand representation of him. So the only thing Spicer can do to protect himself from a ridiculing boss, who frankly probably doesn't want him there, is take the cameras off.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Yes.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL STRATEGIST: You know what else he could do, Margaret, to protect himself? Quit.
HOOVER: Quit. CARDONA: Yes. Quit the job.
CARDONA: You know, I used to say that I feel bad for the guy. But no one is holding a gun to his head and making him stay where he is. You know, his colleague quit. Good for him. It was probably the best decision that Mike Dubke has ever made.
LEMON: So, Kevin, can you explain what "covfefe" -- well, there were a handful of people who knew what he meant. I have to tell you what my -- I thought the best explanation came from my own mother, who is 70 years old by the way, who said he did what I do. I fell asleep and I sent something that nonsensical. I just trailed off and why can't you just say that, you know, so.
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Look, I mean I am always thinking nothing will surprise me anymore. What really surprised me was that we even made a whole news cycle out of it.
LEMON: Right. It's just -- it's funny.
MADDEN: It is a typo.
MADDEN: Right. It's a typo. But here's what's even crazier which is that the news cycle was extended because the White House didn't stand there and go, it was a typo, it was a mistake.
LEMON: And it would have been done, over.
MADDEN: It would have been done, over, you know. And, you know, Margaret's right. I think, you know, the reason that you have it on camera briefing is that you have confidence in your message and you're actively interested in promoting your White House message and agenda.
And right now, this is, you know, a press shop that's under siege and they're not interested in providing more footage and more B-roll for, you know, cable news coverage every single day, so.
LEMON: So, Matt, so there's a catch-22 here. You could see it either way. The president should be more careful with his language because everyone pays attention or which is I think is worse for him that we shouldn't pay attention actually -- we shouldn't actually pay attention to what the president says.
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Well, I think eventually we're going to have the courtroom sketch of Sean Spicer. I think we need to get that up.
No, look, you know, words matter. And what presidents say, whether it's a tweet or a speech, people pars those, and they really matter. And this president has degraded the notion that words have meaning.
LEMON: Yes. CARDONA: But Trump himself has made Twitter as important as it is to him, right? He is the one who has changed the meaning of Twitter. So you live by Twitter, you die by Twitter.
And what he tweeted was actually concerning because if he did fall asleep, then they should say that. I'm sure there were a lot of people on Twitter, and I actually saw this, who were wondering if the guy had a stroke. And by the way, if he did fall asleep, there's only two words that I can say to describe that. Low energy.
LEMON: Oh, boy. Maybe he got distracted. He got a phone call and hit the button. Who knows? I mean I thought it was either a typo or something just, you know, something silly happened. It wasn't a big deal but you're right, Kevin, it did --
LEMON: Should have said, yes.
CARDONA: It was there for five hours.
LEMON: Yes. Oh, well.
LEMON: Covfefe. Margaret, you're not funny.
HOOVER: No, it's not because -- what it -- it shows that transparency is not the default position.
HOOVER: It's like they're trying to hide something all the time, even something stupid and obvious.
LEMON: Got to go.
LEMON: Thank you all. When we come back, President Trump hires a personal lawyer to deal with the Russia investigation. But imagine being his lawyer and trying to stop him from tweeting.
Plus, new dashcam video of Tiger Woods' arrest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you OK? What's wrong?
TIGER WOODS, GOLF PLAYER: What are we doing?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[23:38:46] LEMON: The White House now referring all Russia questions to the president's new outside attorney, which just might be the toughest legal job in the country. Let's discuss now.
Timothy O'Brien is here. He's the executive editor of Bloomberg View and the author of "TrumpNation". Also CNN legal analyst Page Pate and Mark Geragos. Good evening to all of you.
Tim, I'm going to start by playing what the Press Secretary Sean Spicer said today when he was asked about the Russia investigation. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Our job, we are focused on the president's agenda and all going forward, all questions on these matters will be referred to outside counsel, Marc Kasowitz.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So Marc Kasowitz, he was referring to that attorney, right, that he said the president used him in the past, in a lawsuit against you, which he lost. So tell me about him.
TIMOTHY O'BRIEN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, BLOOMBERG VIEW: Well, Marc had no experience in libel law when they sued us. And there was a -- there were a number of tactical errors during the case. I had very good attorneys. I was with the "New York Times" at the time. I had the "New York Times" in-house counsel, David McCraw and then I advising in the backgrounds but then I had three crack attorneys form Debevoise & Plimpton, Mary Jo White, Andrew Ostrognai and Andrew Levine. And they ran circles around Marc Kasowitz' team.
[23:39:59] And I think the issue that raises now is the president has leaned back into his comfort zone and hired somebody who has never defended someone who is the subject of a congressional investigation and mired in a special counselor's role at the Department of Justice. And there's a real issue as to whether or not Kasowitz is the right person for this role.
LEMON: A good question whether Kasowitz is the right person because he has been an attorney of his in the past. Michael Kohn and other of his lawyers, and very close to the president has been subpoenaed, the White House Counsel, Don McGahn has been criticized. What kind of a team does he need around him, Page Pate?
PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Don, I think the most important thing is he needs people who he trusts. I mean obviously if you're going to retain a lawyer to represent you in any kind of sensitive investigation or case, you have to trust the lawyer to do the right thing.
And the least we can say about this particular lawyer, even though he may not have the Washington experience, the congressional investigative experience that you might look for in someday like this, he at least has a relationship with the president, somebody that the president hopefully will listen to.
LEMON: When you hire an attorney, Mark Geragos, the first thing they tell you is to stop talking. The president loves to talk, tell us everything he is thinking, even in tweets. You know, and sometimes it's contradictory. He contradicts himself. Is the president in trouble -- is he a terrible legal client?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't know. He strikes me as most high-profile strong willed CEO types that I have ever represented. The advantage that Kasowitz has that some of us who defend these cases or these clients don't usually have is that Kasowitz has a relationship with him. Usually when somebody walks into my office and they're the target or a subject or embroiled in an investigation, it's a one-off situation. Here, this is not a one-off. So you have to build a relationship, you have to be able to gain their trust. You have to be able to show them what you can do. Here you don't have that.
Kasowitz has got a large firm, and he can throw a lot of resources at this. And, you know, I defended a myriad of these cases, including independent counsel, not special counsel, but independent counsel cases and I'm not so sure that Washington, "experience" translates into the best defense lawyer.
My guess is, is if he starts to feel like he's got some kind of criminal jeopardy that he will reach out to, and I can probably guess or name one of the two or three lawyers that he would reach out to. And at this point he probably does not feel that he has criminal jeopardy. Otherwise you wouldn't go to -- I mean Marc Kasowitz is a fine lawyer and he's got a fine firm but that's not going to be your go-to guy if you think you've got criminal jeopardy.
LEMON: Is that a smart move for him? Shouldn't he be hiring the best person whether he thinks it or not?
GERAGOS: Well, this is the problem. Perception is everything in Washington, D.C. as you know. And if he hires somebody who is known primarily for criminal defense, then that's going to set off a whole wave of stories. And they're going to talk about that person's prior criminal clients and then that will be as long as that's a slow news period that's going to be -- that's going to generate others.
Here, you've got Kasowitz whose firm, has got the kind of the diverse pedigree or the diverse portfolio of everything ranging from the defense of class action to the prosecution and class action to civil litigation and things of that nature. They really have quite a wide portfolio of cases that they do. And I -- to the best of my knowledge, they're not known for, nor do they have a long laundry list of criminal defense cases they do.
GERAGOS: Imagine if he hired Ben Brafman for instance who famously defended Dominic Strauss-Kahn and others, the number of stories that you would have today. But I tell you one thing, if he gets, if he feels at a certain point that they're gunning for him from a criminal standpoint, he will probably pick up the phone and that's who he will call because --
LEMON: Tim, I --
GERAGOS: -- at a certain point, there is no substitute for that.
LEMON: I want to get Tim. Tim, does it matter? I know that perception is reality in some cases. But in this case, does it really matter what the public perception is? Wouldn't you -- shouldn't you be hiring the best person regardless?
O'BRIEN: I really think here perception is a secondary concern. He's already in jeopardy. The investigation has moved from just possible collusion with the Kremlin in the election into the Oval Office by Jared Kushner around possible financial transactions and exchanges, public policy moves in exchange for financial help for a Kushner skyscraper. That's jeopardy.
[23:44:59] And all these atmospherics around well, when will they know that they're in jeopardy or how media handle it? There's already a serious investigation of it, and I think they have to take it seriously from the beginning.
LEMON: Page Pate?
PATE: Yes, I agree, 100 percent. I mean there's no mystery that this is a criminal investigation. We've already heard that the FBI has been looking into Russia's involvement in the last election.
And I kind of disagree with Mark. If you wait to a certain point and then all of a sudden scramble around and say I need a criminal lawyer now, what message does that send? And it really sends that a message that the president has somehow become very concerned about his exposure. But if you hire a good criminal lawyer to begin with, somebody that can help you navigate this entire process, I think that's the safe thing to do.
LEMON: All right, I have to thank Tim and Mark -- Tim and Page. Mark, I need you to stick around. We're going to get to the next segment. Mark is going to stick around.
When we come back, more trouble for Tiger Woods, the golf star arrested on suspicion of DUI. And tonight, we're getting a first look at the dashcam video of what happened.
[23:50:13] LEMON: New dashcam video showing Tiger Woods' Memorial Day encounter with police in Jupiter, Florida sheds more light on the golfer's arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So where are you coming from today?
WOODS: Jupiter, Florida.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're coming from Jupiter, Florida?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Do you know where you're going?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're just driving around or what?
WOODS: I like to drive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry?
WOODS: I like to drive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You like to drive.
WOODS: (Inaudible) golf course.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Have you had anything to drink tonight?
WOODS: Have not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you sure?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 100 percent?
WOODS: 100 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Have you taken any illegal drugs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Have you taken any medication?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So back with Mark Geragos and joining me now is Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil from the NYU School of Medicine.
He admits right off that he was taking medication, Doctor.
DR. DEVI NAMPIAPARAMPIL, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, REHABILITATION MEDICINE, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Yes. So there are a couple things that come to mind. I mean, first of all, is the medication what's causing him to have those symptoms or to look that way? And second if it is related to the medication, has he been taking the medication appropriately or inappropriately?
LEMON: And he had surgery I think not long before that, but it was -- was it in the time span of taking that medication?
NAMPIAPARAMPIL: So it's unclear. So, some of the reports say that he had surgery about five weeks prior. Now, usually if you have surgery, the pain lasts for maybe up to a week or two weeks. If it's longer than that then you get concern. Is there some other issue?
The postoperative pain usually lasts a couple weeks. So if he's taking the medication about five weeks afterwards, then either he might be treating something else, so whatever pain he had before the surgery or maybe there's another issue, something that would have to be looked at again.
LEMON: It's hard to tell just from the video because you're not his doctor, whether this is a one off or not, right? Maybe, you know, sometimes people have interactions to medication or they just don't know the severity of taking the medication or how they're going to react to it. But you can't tell just from this?
NAMPIAPARAMPIL: You can't tell just from that. But typically I mean even over the counter allergy medications, right, can cause you to feel really sleepy. Prescription medications --
NAMPIAPARAMPIL: Exactly. So I mean anybody who's taking something new should be more cautious. And you can have a drug interaction, but here, this wouldn't necessarily be an unexpected reaction if it's a pain medication. They're known to cause sedation, known to cause confusion. Not something that you really want to go get behind a car taking. And then on top of that, you know, being Tiger Woods, it's so easy nowadays to call for a car or have someone else take you some place rather than go through this.
LEMON: Car service or Uber. I mean --
LEMON: Yes, yes, or lift or whichever one you want to use. Mark, I want to play some more of this Tiger Woods' field sobriety test at the time of the arrest and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heel to toe. Step fine. Do you remember the instructions to touch the tip of your nose and then put your hand directly back down by its side?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you're going to recite the entire English alphabet in a slow manner, meaning you're not going to sing it, OK? Do you understand the instructions?
WOODS: I do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. What were the instructions?
WOODS: Not to sing the national anthem backwards.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not to sing the national anthem backwards.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. All right, go and spread your feet for me. Do you have anything on you that's going to poke me, prick me, stick me or cut me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Mark, as an attorney, what do you make of this? What's his defense?
GERAGOS: I think that the reason before the body cam was released that Tiger released that statement, was because he understood just what problems he had. Obviously one of the good things about these videos is whether it's dashcam or body cam, is you can see after the fact in real time what was going on in here.
He is impaired, whether it's because he was just asleep, which he doesn't sound like. I mean in Tiger's defense, if he had been sleeping and just awakened and was groggy, generally you would come to kind of a quicker return to consciousness. He has been reported if it was .00 which means there was no or little or negligible alcohol in his system then the question is, you can still even if you're at a .00, drive under the influence if under the influences of a medication and that medication can be legal.
[23:55:04] It doesn't necessarily have to be illegal. It's just if it impairs you. And I think most people would say that based on that video, that looks like it's somebody who's impaired.
LEMON: Yes. And he put up a statement saying, as much that it was prescribed medications but do you think -- and his offenses, well, and I'm sure many people don't know, or a lot of people don't know that it can be prescribed medication under the influence. And you should be aware of these things.
GERAGOS: I've said it for years, Don, because people don't understand, they say they come in waving a prescription into the office. And I said, well, that's great, but that isn't the question. That would be a different offense if you are found with a drug that didn't have a prescription. What you're charged with is a DUI, driving under the influence and if you are impaired whether it's legal, illegal, over the counter or anything else.
LEMON: Yes. Thank you, Mark, thank you, Doctor. I appreciate it.
That's it for us tonight. Thank you so much for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.