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U.S. Attorney General to Testify before Senate; No Deal Yet in U.K. Government Talks; Insider Attack Kills Three U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan; Qatar Denies It Supports Terrorism; May Faces Backlash for Seeking Deal with DUP; Prosecution Rests in Cosby Trial; Believe Trump. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired June 11, 2017 - 04:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): For the Trump White House, the next few days could be pivotal. CNN learns Attorney General Jeff Sessions may soon testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And in the United Kingdom, pressure builds on the British prime minister after her top advisers resign following a disastrous snap election. We're live from 10 Downing Street.

ALLEN (voice-over): One of the biggest rifts in the Gulf shows little sign of letting up. We'll have the latest from Qatar.

HOWELL (voice-over): It's 4:00 am on the U.S. East Coast. We welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN (voice-over): And I'm Natalie Allen. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.


HOWELL: U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions plans to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Sessions would likely be grilled on his role in the firing of former FBI director James Comey as well as his meetings with Russian officials during the presidential campaign.

ALLEN: All of this comes as the attorney general's relationship with Donald Trump appears to be on shaky ground. We get more now from CNN's Jessica Schneider.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The embattled attorney general facing new scrutiny as he's about to be grilled on Capitol Hill about his interactions with Russians. CNN is told James Comey revealed to senators Thursday in a closed door

briefing that Jeff Sessions may have had a third undisclosed meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. It's an encounter Comey alluded to earlier in his public testimony.

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The possible meeting took place on April 27th, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, where then candidate Donald Trump was delivering his first major foreign policy address.

Investigators caution the encounter, learned about through Russian-to- Russian intercepts, may have been exaggerated, sources say. A Department of Justice spokesperson has said the meeting never happened and, if it did, Senator Richard Blumenthal told Erin Burnett it could put Sessions in serious legal jeopardy.


SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CONN.), MEMBER, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: -- fact denied possibly in violation of the law, that denial as former Director Comey --


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: So it could be perjury?

BLUMENTHAL: Could be perjury.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The allegations arise as a source close to Sessions says President Trump and the attorney general have been at odds in recent weeks, engaging in a series of heated exchanges. The tension sparked after Sessions stepped aside from Russia investigation in March.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R-ALA.), U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): That came after the attorney general admitted that he failed to disclose at his confirmation hearing two meetings with Ambassador Kislyak during the election.

But the Justice Department and Sessions maintain the recusal was solely because of his relationship with the Trump campaign.

That recusal left the president livid, according to a source. At one point, Sessions offered to resign but a source says the president knows accepting that resignation would ignite another firestorm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to resign, Mr. Attorney General?

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: Jessica Schneider there for us.

Meantime, the countdown is on for President Trump. House investigators are giving him two weeks to hand over any memos or audio recordings of his conversation with fired FBI director James Comey.

HOWELL: The president says he is willing to give sworn testimony to prove that he is telling the truth.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he said those things under oath.

Would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version -- ?




HOWELL: Let's talk more about this now with Brian Klaas, live in London. He's a fellow of comparative politics at the London School of Economics.

Brian, a pleasure to have you with us at this hour.

First, let's talk about these tapes tapes that may or may not exist. The president won't say exactly but now investigators want them, if they do.

So if the tapes are real would they either help or hurt this president?

BRIAN KLAAS, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Well, I think they already have hurt him in the sense that even if they're fabricated, his tweet about them is what prompted James Comey to decide to deliver memos to reporters that would corroborate his version of events.

And I think the real problem here is that 19 million people watched the testimony this week, that James Comey delivered. And anyone who's fair-minded saw somebody who came off as extremely diligent and honest and detail-oriented, which is basically the mirror image of President Trump's public persona.

And that's why you do not want to get into a my-word-versus-his-word with somebody like James Comey, who documented carefully everything that occurred with President Trump. So I think Comey, you know, he said I hope the tapes exist because he's so confident in his version of events.

HOWELL: Let's talk just a bit more about that, the president basically branding Mr. Comey as a liar and a leaker.

If the president says he is -- [04:05:00]

HOWELL: -- willing to testify and put his own credibility on the line against that testimony of James Comey, what's the calculation here for Mr. Trump?

He's willing to boil this down to a he said/he said under oath.

KLAAS: Well, I think it's a mistake. First off, let's clear something up. What he said was that he provided details of unclassified memos to a reporter via a friend. That's not a leak. A leak involves classified information. There's nothing illegal that says if you take notes about a meeting with the president, you cannot as a private citizen thereby disclose it.

So he did not admit to any leaking. In terms of lying, I think James Comey has built up a reputation as an honest person who's widely respected in the intelligence community and the Department of Justice and outside of it.

President Trump has had more than 600 misleading or false statements in the few months that he's been president. He has lied repeatedly about things like President Obama being born in Kenya. He was not.

So when you get down to a credibility contest, everyone who's fair- minded in the world knows that Trump is going to lose that battle. And so I think it's a very unwise decision to try to go up against somebody who has spent their career building credibility versus somebody who has spent their career showing why they should not deserve credibility in the public eye.

HOWELL: Brian, let's now talk about the president's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who plans to testify this week. And from the testimony of James Comey last week, he revealed that there may have been a third encounter with Russian officials.

This is something that Mr. Sessions did not mention in his initial testimony. So the idea has been floated, Brian, that this could be perjury.

Your thoughts here?

KLAAS: Well, I think it's too early to tell. I think that's going to be some of the questioning. I think the thing that we need to worry about a bit is that reports suggest that this hearing on Tuesday is going to be a closed hearing; in other words, the public and press won't be allowed to be there.

Now I don't see any rationale for why that needs to be the case because we saw with Comey that you can have both. You can have an open hearing that does not involved classified testimony and a closed hearing that deals with more sensitive matters.

And I think Jeff Sessions owes it to the American people to answer those types of questions, did he lie under oath during his confirmation hearing? That's a very serious charge. And if he did we need to understand why

and why he didn't correct the record because, in testimony, if you do misspeak, you can easily file something that says, I misspoke; let me correct the record.

Sessions did not do that and we need to know why.

HOWELL: Brian, the last question here, two different lines of investigations happening. One into collusion between Russian officials and members of the Trump administration or Trump transition team and then also the investigation simply into the president himself.

Did he obstruct justice in this case with Mr. Comey?

So first of all, which is the bigger danger to the Trump administration right now, given that there are quite possibly two investigations going on?

KLAAS: Well, they're parallel dangers and there's dangers for Trump's political survival, there's dangers for the Trump presidency more broadly and his political agenda and there's dangers for the United States.

So I think they're all wrapped into this. In terms of political survival, the obstruction of justice is the most pressing one because that before Nixon resigned, the articles of impeachment drafted against him involved obstruction of justice and abuse of power. Article 4 of the impeachment articles drafted against Bill Clinton imvolved abuse of power.

And there's a very strong abuse of power case simply because Trump admitted that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation and also because of the comey testimony, saying I demand loyalty and also urging him to end a probe into Michael Flynn as national security adviser.

We're also losing sight of the bigger picture here, which is that, of the nine encounters, the nine times that Trump met or spoke to Comey, he never raised the issue of how do we stop this intervention in our democracy, the cyber attack by Russia. He had no interest in this beyond his own political survival and I think that's one of the big problems that's being swept under the rug here, is he seems much more worried about his personal political survival than about preserving, protecting and defending the United States, as he pledged to do in his oath of office.

And that's what we need to pay attention to more as well.

HOWELL: Brian Klaas, making that point for us, live here in London, Brian, thank you so much for your insight and we'll, of course, keep in touch with you.

KLAAS: Thank you.

ALLEN: We're going to talk about political survival now and 10 Downing Street from the White House. We go deal or no deal. That's the question today. Days after a snap election backfired on British Prime Minister Theresa May, Downing Street says she still has not struck a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, this after it indicated earlier Saturday a preliminary deal was reached.

HOWELL: And that deal crucial here. Msmay hopes to ally with the Northern Ireland party after voters stripped her Conservatives of a majority in Parliament. It also appears she's cleaning house after the election disaster.

Two of her top aides, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill announced their resignations on Saturday. Timothy admitted in a statement there were failures in the Conservative campaign.


ALLEN: Let's take you now live to 10 Downing Street, where Melissa Bell is and always looks so quiet and peaceful when reporters are going live there but perhaps msmay feels the wall is closing in on her -- Melissa.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is definitely a prime minister that appears more isolated and more fragile almost with every passing hour. What so interesting about this, Natalie, is that having so spectacularly lost, not just the election but her own gamble about the increased majority she hoped this election would gihe her in order to go in with strength to those Brexit negotiations, it takes some time for everything to sink in, for the anger of Conservative MPs to become a plan and for the various scenarios to be looked at by all of those concners.

Now Theresa May iis looking incredibly fragile, not only because that crucial deal that is the one that might allow her to form a minority government, as you say, in fact is not done yet and will probably be the subject of more negotiations going ahead over the coming days, also there are these growing rumblings about the possibility of a leadership challenge.

And Theresa May is going to be facing a very powerful backbench committee early this week, at which she is going to have to provide a pretty powerful performance and some sense of genuine contrition if she's to be allowed to continue.

What is probably saving her for the time being, what is allowing her to remain prime minister for now unchallenged, is the timing of all of this. It is in the interest of all Conservative MPs even those who oppose her, Natalie, to allow her to stay in, to allow her to try and form this minority government because, if she fails, it is then the turn of Jeremy Corbyn to try and form one on his side.

So that is the immediate political consideration even of those who are circling around her, even of those who are opposed to her, even of those who haven't quite forgiven here her extraordinary mistake in calling this snap election at all.

ALLEN: Right. So as you talk about how she may rally to stay there, how long could this go on?

How long could this play out?

How much time does she have?

BELL: Probably very little. As I say, she has to get through that (INAUDIBLE) initial hurdle of speaking at that powerful backbench committee early neext week. Then assuming that the talks go ahead, that they work with the DUP, she manages to cobble together a minority government that holds as long as say a week on Monday, when the crucial queen's speech is delivered, that is when the icoming government announces its legislative program for the coming session, you can expect, since what we're talking about with the DUP, if it is reached, will be a much looser arrangement than a formal coalition deal, it will be a confidence and supply deal.

It means that they will vote together simply on no confidence votes for instance and on budget measures. So every single issue, every single vote will be a matter for debate.

So it will be a loose alliance and almost by definition an unstable one. That queen's speech will be its first crucl test.

Will the DUP vote with the Conservatives on -- agree with them enough so that a legislative program of some substance can be put forward and will the other parties allow it to get through?

ALLEN: It's just almost surreal where this has ended up for now.

Melissa Bell for us, thank you so much.

For more, we're joined from London by Silvia Borrelli. She's a reporter with Politico Europe.

Thanks so much, Silvia.

What do you make of these developments today?

No one too surprised that her aides are out.

But the question is, is the DUP in or not?

SILVIA BORRELLI, POLITICO: Right, that's exactly the question. It's a very fascinating situation. And it seems like Theresa May is scrambling to retain power. They put out that statement last night saying that the agreement with the DUP had been reached but then they had to backtrack after midnight.

That's the latest embarrassment for the prime minister and for 10 Downing Street.

Now the question is, what is going to happen going forward?

Are the Conservative MPs going to challenge her?

Are they going to stay put, at least until they start the negotiations, the Brexit negotiations with Brussels?

And are they going to ultimately be able to get the DUP on board and form this minority government?

So a complicated situation here.

ALLEN: Absolutely. I was wondering, how are the people reacting to this?

They've pretty gorwn weary of elections. And now they are held to a snap election and this happens.

BORRELLI: The people are very fed up. Everyone we've been speaking to, from taxi drivers to pundits to just people that were just enjoying London this weekend, are extremely tired. They didn't want to go to polls for the fourth time in less than three years in the first place.

And now that the snap election has backfired, they're very angry. They're very confused also because they don't know what to --


BORRELLI: -- expect from Theresa May. And the latest poll says 49 percent of all voters want her to step down right away.

But at the same time, they're quite concerned because, on the other side, you have Jeremy Corbyn, who has led a successful campaign but by no means is a successful leader.

And at the same time, we don't know what it would be like to have a left-wing Socialist in power to rule a country like Great Britain. So everyone is quite confused and quite concerned as the Brexit negotiations approach.

ALLEN: And yes, it's days away at this point.

Of course, there's that wild card, Boris Johnson, out there, bouncing around.

BORRELLI: That's correct. But Boris Johnson probably doesn't want to go for leadership just now. Of course, we know that he would like to ultimately end up in Downing Street. But it's a question of timing here and probably he doesn't want to be the third Conservative leader in a little over a year that takes up a political gamble that fails.

So Boris Johnson also has to be very careful and very tactical about the timing of his leadership bid if he wants to push it forward.

ALLEN: It's -- I hate to use the word "fascinating." It's fascinating in a bad way but it's certainly fascinating how this thing is spinning and which way it will spin next.

We thank you for your thoughts, Silvia Borrelli for us, Politico, thanks. HOWELL: Still ahead on NEWSROOM this hour, a month-long offensive along the Afghanistan-Pakistani border takes a deadly turn. Coming up, claims of responsibility.

ALLEN: Also the diplomatic showdown that is isolating Qatar. We'll tell you what Russia is suggesting to everyone involved.


HOWELL (voice-over): And why the British prime minister is being criticized for trying to form an alliance with a Northern Ireland party.

Live around the world this hour, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.




HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.

A U.S. official says American troops in Afghanistan came under fire near the Pakistani border.

ALLEN: Dianne Gallagher has more on what was apparently an insider attack.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Afghan Taliban is claiming responsibility for this attack but there is no independent confirmation as of yet.

Now it is important to note that this area where this happened is an ISIS stronghold. The Pentagon said that three U.S. soldiers were killed, one was injured; that injured soldier has been evacuated for medical care.

One U.S. official said that a member of an Afghan security forces opened fire on the soldiers during a joint U.S.-Afghan operation. Vice President Mike Pence, speaking in Wisconsin Saturday, asked people to pray for the families of the soldiers who were killed.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On my way here, I was informed that U.S. service members were killed and wounded in an attack in Afghanistan. The president and I have been briefed. The details of this attack will be forthcoming.

But suffice it to say, when heroes fall, Americans grieve. And our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these American heroes.

(END VIDEO CLIP) GALLAGHER: Now this happened in the action (ph) district. It's an ISIS stronghold near the border of Pakistan. And it's where the U.S. and Afghan troops have been carrying out a month's-long offense against the terror group's local affiliate, ISIS K. It's also where the U.S. dropped what is iknown as the mother of all bombs back in April. During that same month, three U.S. soldiers were killed in two different incidents there.

Two Army Rangers killed during a U.S.-Afghan forces joint raid and, earlier that month an Army Special Forces soldier was killed fighting ISIS K.

U.S. officials believe that ISIS has somewhere between 600 and 800 fighters in Afghanistan; about 8,400 U.S. troops are there now -- Dianne Gallagher, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: Well, the son of the late Libyan leader, Moammar Gadhafi, is now free after six years in captivity. A militia has been holding Saif al-Islam Gadhafi since 2011.

HOWELL: A statement said that Gadhafi was released from the city of Zintan (ph) under a general amnesty law that the Libyan parliament passed. Saif Gadhafi is still wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.

ALLEN: Russia is urging Gulf nations to open dialogue with Qatar if they want to end the diplomatic crisis there. On Saturday, the foreign ministers from Russia and Qatar met to discuss the dispute.

HOWELL: Nine countries have accused Doha of supporting terrorism and cut all ties. Qatar denies the allegations and, at the meeting, the Qatari minister thanked the Russians for support and friendship and bilateral cooperation. He also asked for open communication to end the conflict.

Let's get the latest now from Jomana Karadsheh, following this story live in Doha, Qatar.

It's good to have you with us, Jomana. So mixed messages coming from Washington. Russia steping into find a solution, effectively showing its influence there in the Middle East as well.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: George, this has been one of the concerns, seeing the United States, especially President Donald Trump taking sides in this regional conflict, really raised concerns that you'll see other countries like Russia, like Iran, for example, stepping in and trying to lure Qatar over to their side because of this move by these regional countries, by the U.S., to isolate Qatar.

But at this point it would seem, as we have heard from the Qatari foreign minister, they want to find a resolution for this crisis. They say that dialogue is the only way. And they would like to do that from within the GCC countries, the Gulf Cooperation Council. And we've seen Kuwait taking a leading role over the past week, a lot

of movement on the diplomatic front. Foreign ministers, officials from these different countries, moving around, different phone calls, trying to find a resolution.

But it's really difficult right now to see how this crisis is going to end. You have got Qatar on the one hand, saying that --


KARADSHEH: -- this whole issue of terrorist funding, something that they denied repeatedly, they say it is just a pretext used by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to settle regional scores.

And there's also that theory, George, that what we are seeing is these countries that have had their issues with Qatar, with Qatar's foreign policy, really trying to back this tiny country with so much influence into a corner to try and get concessions from Qatar.

It's unclear what these concessions are. There's lots of theories right now so we'll have to wait and see.

But we have heard from the Qatari foreign minister over and over again over the past few days, saying that they are open for a dialogue but they will not have other countries dictate on Qatar what its foreign policy should be and that it's not going to change its foreign policy just because it contradicts that of other countries in the region -- George.

HOWELL: Jomana, Qatar is certainly a major ally to the United States and the region but also important to point out that there are economic ties between Qatar and Russia. With Russia stepping in, it's not completely out of the blue here.

KARADSHEH: It's not but Russia -- Qatar has had these ties with different countries, whether it's Russia or Iran. If you look at Qatar's foreign policy over the past few years, this is one of the reasons it has been criticized.

While you ahave other countries in the region taking a hostile stance toward countries, toward powers in the region, for example, like Iran, Qatar has always kept a friendly relationship with almost everyone in this region and beyond.

And this is one of the reasons why it feels that it is being criticized and backed into this corner right now -- George.

HOWELL: 11:26 in the morning there in Doha, Qatar. Jomana Karadsheh, live for us with the latest. Thank you for the report.

ALLEN: British prime minister Theresa May is trying to recover from a political disaster. No one really knows if she will. Next here, why a Northern Ireland party could be the new power broker in Parliament.

HOWELL: Plus in the United States, President Trump has yet to say whether he has or doesn't have tapes of his meetings in the White House but he wouldn't be the first president to have an open mike in the Oval Office.

ALLEN: And later this hour, intense testimony in the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby. What the star witness told the court.




HOWELL (voice-over): Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN (voice-over): Thank you for being with us. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories for you.


HOWELL: Let's get the very latest now from our senior international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, live in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Good to have you with us, Nic. So let's talk more about this. We know that a deal has not yet been reached.

Are you hearing anything more about what might be the sticking points between these two parties?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, neither side is really giving out details of what they're talking about and that would sort of be par for the course.

But what is different is Downing Street really did have to roll back what they said last night. They were very quick to send a senior representative of Theresa May's government over to Belfast to meet with the DUP leaders here on Saturday and Downing Street originally saying that they'd reached agreement on the principles of an outline agreement, quite vague language.

But they did then have to roll that back, saying that Theresa May had called a DUP leader and that they were going to finalize talks in the coming weeks. And that's a position the DUP has taken in a late-night statement as well, saying that the talks so far have been good but that they will be having more talks next week.

And that's where I think that no surprise here, the DUP, as all parties here in Northern Ireland, if I can just make a comparison with President Trump who has a book on "The Art of the Deal," you can say the parties in Northern Ireland and the DUP would be among them, more skilled or very skilled in the art of the negotiation.

They are quite ready to let this play out a little bit; they don't want to appear to give in too quickly. That wouldn't play very well with their base supporters here.

There's a sense as well for them that they went through this, they were ready for this, they thought this might have happened in the election of 2015. So they have a game book on this already. So we can expect them to get into the talks next week.

You'll note that they're not having talks today, Sunday; they don't generally do business. They're quite traditional, don't generally do business on a Sunday and, of course, Theresa May would like very much to get this concluded quickly.

So really speaks to the DUP here and to make sure that they sell this right to their base supporters, that they get what they want, that they're not rushing into it yet. But I think there's for both parties here, they do want to get this done. So the indications are that talks continue; probably it will happen.

HOWELL: And in alignment between the DUP and the Tories, it would be quite significant there in Northern Ireland. Explain to our viewers the delicacy, Nic, and also the danger for Conservatives aligning themselves with this party in Northern Ireland.

ROBERTSON: Yes, I think perhaps the surprises here are going to come for the British population when they get a better sense, because for the most part, on mainland Britain, people there don't have a deeper understanding of the politics of Northern Ireland and the principles and --


ROBERTSON: -- the policies of some of the parties here, particularly the DUP, that are sort of even an outlier compared to Theresa May's Conservatives. So the picture from here is going to be one that may surprise the British and other electorates.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Elections barely over, the DUP or Democratic Unionist Party, Northern Ireland's most powerful Protestant party, is already in talks with Theresa May's Conservatives.

ROBERTSON: This is DUP heartland territory and the writing on the wall sums up the thinking, the Ulster Northern Ireland conflict is about nationality: this we shall maintain. They are proud to be British, the Union Jack at the center there, fiercely loyal to the crown and they're ready to fight for it.

Not all unionists are as strident as the murals paint.

MERVYN GIBSON, FRM. DUP NEGOTIATOR: Here people wanted to vote Unionist.

ROBERTSON: Reverend Mervyn Gibson is a moderate Unionist, knows DUP policy well, sees the May alliance as good for his community.

GIBSON: I think it's very simple, that both parties are committed to the United Kingdom and I think any cooperation between them will be good for the United Kingdom. ROBERTSON: Across town in the Catholic or Nationalist community that aspires to Irish unity, the expectation, the DUP, are a political outlier that will cause May problems.

GIBSON: They're against an Irish Language Act. They're against marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.

ROBERTSON: In this city, miles of peaceful divide Protestant unionists and Catholic nationalists. Three decades of sectarian conflict ended 20 years ago. Still, distrust runs deep.

And where that trust is bridged at Northern Ireland's power sharing government Stormont, suspended earlier this year, the impact of Theresa May's DUP agreement could hit hardest.

The power-sharing government here collapsed amid acrimony over hundreds of millions of dollars committed to a green energy scheme managed by the DUP and claims by Sinn Fein of inequality in here.

Negotiations to restart need May's neutral mediation and now she'll be perceived as deeply in the DUP corner.

GERRY ADAMS, SINN FEIN: We have never seen the British government as being neutral or being impartial or being a referee who sometimes they represent themselves as carrying the white man's burden, you know. They are players.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The unionist parties are committed to seeing the assembly back up and running. I think there are other parties who want to play politics, particularly Sinn Fein.

ROBERTSON: Far from securing a strong future, Prime Minister May's reliance on the DUP could be saddling her with yet more problems: Northern Ireland's uneasy peace.


ROBERTSON: That stumble we saw last night from Downing Street would be indicative of some of the problems that will come Theresa May's way when she needs the deal with the DUP. It's not as easy as having a simple majority -- George.

HOWELL: Nic suggesting this could be another play of "The Art of the Deal," I guess taking their time as these negotiations play out.

CNN's international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, live for us in Belfast, thank you so much.

ALLEN: London police are releasing photos of the fake suicide belts the London Bridge attackers wore. There they are. The three men wore leather belts with disposable water bottles covered in masking tape.


A police spokesman says the belts highlight the courage police officers and citizens showed when they tackled the terrorists. In the meantime, a police inspector described how he and how his team responded when they first arrived on the scene at Borough Market. Listen.


JIM COLE, LONDON POLICE INSPECTOR: A stream of people came running out of the market, Borough Market.


COLE: They were in a state of panic. Lots of screaming. So literally just grabbed hold of as many as we could and directed them into the basement at the bar.

So I felt that was as reasonably safe a place as we had at the moment rather than have them roaming the streets. They're not going there. There were a lot of people huddled down low and people looked scared and they looked concerned.

That's why I felt I needed to speak to them and explain that at that point they were safe. We had officers outside with guns and that was the safest place to be and we'd get them out as soon as we can.


ALLEN: The police inspector also said as people evacuated, it was good to see them all helping one another and that's --


ALLEN: -- of course, most people like love, not hate.

HOWELL: Absolutely. And such bravery in this case. Absolutely.

Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, after 12 witnesses, the prosecution has rested.

What is next in the sexual assault trial against Bill Cosby?





ADAM WEST, ACTOR, BATMAN: It's true. It was noble of that animal to hurl himself in the path of that final torpedo.


ALLEN (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) right there.

How about that? Does it take you back? A true icon of early American television has died. Adam West, seen here, took Batman from the comic books to the TV screen in 1966, saving the world from The Joker, The Riddler and The Penguin over and over again, and it was always just in the nick of time.

HOWELL: Absolutely in the nick of time. West played Batman for just three seasons but found success 50 years later on the animated TV show, "Family Guy" -- Mayor West, as you'll recall. He died Friday at his home in Los Angeles after a battle with leukemia. Adam West was 88 years old.

ALLEN: After a week of intense testimony, the prosecution has rested in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial.

HOWELL: They called 12 witnesses to the stand, trying to prove that the actor sexually assaulted Andrea Constand 13 years ago. CNN's Jean Casarez looks back at the first week of the trial.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a very intense week last week. The commonwealth putting on 12 witnesses in their case in chief. This is the criminal case against Bill Cosby, the one that Bill Cosby could go to prison to if found guilty.

The first witness for the commonwealth was a prior bad act witness, a woman that said she, too, was drugged and assaulted by Bill Cosby in 1996, well before Andrea Constand but what she testified to was strikingly similar to what Andrea Constand says happened to her. The defense tried --


CASAREZ: -- to undermine her credibility by saying that back in '96, she had said in a deposition everything happened in 1990. It was when Andrea Constand took the stand, though, this is the star witness for the prosecution, the woman who alleges she was drugged and assaulted by Bill Cosby here in Montgomery County, that the courtroom stood still.

They watched her. They listened to her. Her quiet demeanor, her pauses, her confidence as she described exactly what she says happened to her.

This is a case of credibility and on cross-examination the defense tried to undermine her credibility by saying her statements had inconsistencies; in her three statements to police she changed things. She altered the story. She changed the dates.

Now this next week, on to the defense case. The defense says that they are confident in their case. They will be putting on witnesses, special witnesses and Bill Cosby has publicly said that he will not take the stand -- Jean Casarez, Norristown, Pennsylvania, back to you.


ALLEN: We'll follow what happens this coming week.

Well, there's been a lot of talk about whether there are or aren't recordings between Mr. Comey and Donald Trump. Coming up here, how presidents have been caught on White House recordings, doing everything from obstructing justice to averting World War III to ordering a pair of pants.


TRUMP: Believe me.

Believe me.

Believe me.

Believe me.

HOWELL (voice-over): That's what he says.

But does President Trump say "believe me," mean you should or shouldn't?

We'll take a look.





HOWELL: The existence of tapes: do they or do they not exist, is the question. The U.S. House Intelligence Committee has asked the White House to turn over any recordings, including the possible tapes that the president has been a bit coy about, having to do with President Donald Trump's meetings with now-fired FBI director James Comey.

ALLEN: And when asked whether such tapes even exist, Mr. Trump gave a cryptic answer, only promising more information in the very near future. There's a history of White House recordings, as you probably know, going back decades. Here's our Brian Todd with that.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): White House taping systems have throughout the decades been known to exist, quietly recording the color and, at times, the most explosive points of the executive branch.

From President John F. Kennedy, captured here, discussing the Cuban Missile Crisis...


TODD (voice-over): -- to President Lyndon B. Johnson, ordering pants. LYNDON B. JOHNSON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Is your father the one that makes clothes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir. We're all together.

JOHNSON: Y'all made me some real lightweight slacks.

TODD (voice-over): But the most infamous and damaging iteration of any White House taping system was during the presidency of Richard M. Nixon.

RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, no, no, no. I'd rather use a nuclear bomb.

TODD (voice-over): Nixon began secretly taping conversations and telephone calls in multiple locations of the White House in 1971, including the Oval Office.

RICHARD NIXON: We're up against a conspiracy. We are going to use (INAUDIBLE).

Is that clear?

TODD (voice-over): Time and time again, the president's words were clear.

RICHARD NIXON: I want the Brookings safe cleaned out and I want it cleaned out in a way that makes (INAUDIBLE) look bad.

TODD (voice-over): The president was acting like he had absolute power.


TODD (voice-over): Even the president's own family was taped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have Julie for you, sir.




TODD (voice-over): But it was among Nixon's recordings one night in 1972, one week after the Watergate break-in, that proved to be the smoking gun.

RICHARD NIXON: Good, good deal. Play it tough. That's the way they played it. That's the way we're going to play it.

TODD (voice-over): Nixon did everything he could to fend off the investigation.

RICHARD NIXON: People have got to know whether or not they're president's a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. TODD (voice-over): But the taping system became public when the deputy assistant to the president, Allan Butterfield, confirmed its existence before the Senate Watergate Committee.

UNIDENTIFIED SENATOR: Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?


TODD (voice-over): The tapes, ultimately, led to Nixon's resignation to avoid impeachment.

RICHARD NIXON: America needs a full-time president.

TODD (voice-over): When asked by ABC's Barbara Walters in 1980 why he didn't destroy the tapes, Nixon had this to say.

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC CORRESPONDENT: Are you sorry you didn't burn the tapes?

RICHARD NIXON: Yes, I think so, because they were private conversations subject to misinterpretations, as we have all seen.

TODD (voice-over): Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: Fascinating look back.

HOWELL: It is.

ALLEN: Mr. Trump has yet to say whether Oval Office tapes exist of his conversations with former FBI director James Comey. He first was the one who brought it up.

But should we take him at his word?

HOWELL: Well, there are two words that the president uses many times. These two words, "believe me." CNN's Jeanne Moos delves into the nuances of the president's phraseology.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Who says President Trump isn't a man of deep beliefs?


MOOS: He was deep in "believe mes."

TRUMP: Believe me, we've just begun.

MOOS: Dropping five of them...

TRUMP: Believe me. MOOS: -- as he announced the U.S. would drop out...

TRUMP: Believe me.

MOOS: -- of the Paris climate accord.

TRUMP: Believe me, this is not what we need.

MOOS: But what is five in one speech?

TRUMP: Because, believe me, there is no collusion.

MOOS: When he has been a believer at the rate of two in under 10 seconds.

TRUMP: My total priority, believe me, is the United States of America.

MOOS (on camera): What is Trump's usage like compared to other people?

TYLER SCHNOEBELEN, LINGUIST: Trump's usage is off the charts.

MOOS (voice-over): Linguist Tyler Schnoebelen actually has made charts of Trump's usage.

TRUMP: Believe me.

Believe me.

Believe me.

Believe me.

Believe me.

Believe me.

Believe me, I know.

MOOS: The linguist tallied Trump at 580 occurrences per million words vs. immediately six for Hillary Clinton.

MOOS (on camera): You know, it seems to me it's a time killer or a time filler to collect your thoughts.

SCHNOEBELEN: You're emphasizing something that will let you play for time.

MOOS (voice-over): Jon Stewart has another theory.

JON STEWART, FORMER HOST, THE DAILY SHOW: Nobody says "believe me" unless they are not.


MOOS: The addition to saying --

TRUMP: Believe me.

MOOS: -- is ironic for some that's often described --

TRUMP: Thousands and thousands of people were cheering.

MOOS: -- as having his pants on fire.

AARON SHAROCKMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, POLITIFACT: The 2015 PolitiFact lie of the year goes to the collective misstatements of Donald Trump.

SCHNOEBELEN: I've got lots of friends tells me that their parents explicitly, don't believe anyone of says "believe me." But that doesn't seem to be the case that this is just an easy marker of lying.

TRUMP: Nobody builds walls better than me. Believe me.

MOOS (voice-over): And you, personally, you don't say, oh, here comes a lie when he says, "believe me"?


TRUMP: We're going to knock the hell out of ISIS, believe me.

SCHNOEBELEN: He's really at his most Trumpian when he uses it.

MOOS: You'd better believe it -- Jeanne Moos, CNN...

TRUMP: Believe, believe, believe, believe, believe, believe.

Can you believe it?

MOOS: -- New York.


ALLEN: Creative editing there.


HOWELL: Believe me.

Thank you for being with us for this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.

I'm Natalie Allen. We're right back with another hour of news, believe us. Don't go anywhere.