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GE CEO Stepping Down; Trump Advised to Stop Talking; Mueller Firing Not Ruled Out; Cosby Defense Calls First Witness; Orlando Nightclub Shooting Anniversary. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired June 12, 2017 - 09:30   ET


[09:30:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Underperformed the rest of the market over the past year or so. And you might remember, Jack Welch was his predecessor -


ROMANS: And the company got bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. And he has been selling and downsizing and changing the -


ROMANS: Sort of the footprint of GE. So watching GE here.

I think you're going to see tech stocks overall focus - tumbled today. They were down big on Friday. Another downgrade of Apple today. So we'll watch and see if there's a - a little bit of fallout in the tech - in tech stocks.

We want to talk about (INAUDIBLE) and -

HARLOW: Bubble, bubble, bubble.

ROMANS: Comparisons to 2005 tech stocks have accounted for a third of the S&P 500 gains so far this year. So you're seeing a cooling off in tech.

HARLOW: Yes, they've had an incredible run.

ROMANS: Oh, absolutely.

HARLOW: Maybe a little adjustment.

Christine Romans, thank you very much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

HARLOW: We'll keep watching Uber. She'll bring you that news just as soon as we get it.

Ahead for us, the warnings are piling up from voices in the GOP. They are telling President Trump, the more he talks, the more he may be walking into his own trap. Next, can he avoid it?


[09:35:19] HARLOW: Former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer warning the president in a tweet this morning, writing, "advice for POTUS, you have not been vindicated. You won't be unless Bob Mueller says so. Stop talking. You're heading into a giant perjury trap."

Joining me now, Paul Callan, CNN legal analyst, former NYC homicide prosecutor, and Jams Galliano, CNN law enforcement analyst and retired FBI supervisory special agent.

So, gentlemen, to you first, counselor, it's not just Ari Fleischer, who, by the way, you know, worked for President Bush, a Republican, it's Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who said this over the weekend.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: And I don't think what was said amounts to obstruction of justice. Now what the president did was inappropriate, but here's what's so frustrating for Republicans like me. You may be the first president in history to go down because you can't stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that if you just were quiet would clear you.


HARLOW: They just keeps saying be quiet and the president has not made any indication of that. He said on Friday, of course, 100 percent willing to testify, tell my story, no problem.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Lindsey Graham's a great guy to be listening to because he was a lawyer in private practice, a very successful one, before he ran for the Senate. And the president is making a big mistake in ignoring that advice.

And let me just give you one example. I noticed in going over the president's statements he had made one statement about having been told that what he said to Comey was perfectly proper, even though he denied saying the exact words. Now, if he was told that by his attorney, you know what, the president has waived his attorney/client privilege with Kasowitz by revealing a piece of the conversation.

HARLOW: Once you break it. Wow.

CALLAN: Once you break it, now you can be asked about it. That's an example of how one small statement by the president could totally undermine his case in the long run. And it's foolish for him to be tweeting and talking publicly.

HARLOW: So, James, one of the president's attorneys said that - he - the way he puts it is that he says Comey admitted to making, quote, "unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communication with the president," OK. So many other legal scholars point to the first amendment and they just say, no, he can do this and he can do it again and again and again. How do you see it?

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Poppy, I have been - I've been unequivocal and absolutely full throated in my defense and support of Director Comey. I think he's an honorable man. I think he made a particular calculus that got us here that you can argue whether or not it was the right one or not, but I think he did what he thought was right. I was struck and troubled last Thursday when I watched the - the two or three hours that he testified in front of the Senate Intel Committee. And the part that bothered me the most was the admission about the leak and the way that it happened. It wasn't even a situation where the director went to a "New York Times" reporter. He actually gave it to a surrogate, a memo.

Now, as you look at this chronically and you follow along "The New York Times" and "Washington Post" reporting, there were three such incidents, one back in March where the FBI director was apparently enraged that the - that President Trump had said that there might have been wiretapping and that he might have been involved in it, and then, number two, when the admission about there was a - there was a loyalty pledge that he was asked about. I hate to say it, but I think those three stories probably originated from the FBI director. And I was hurt that that - that it was coming from the FBI.

HARLOW: That is your - that is your assumption.


HARLOW: You have no evidence of that. I just want to be very clear.

GAGLIANO: Speculation - speculation and conjecture on my part.

HARLOW: I hear you, but that - that's speculation of that.

OK. I want to get you both on something that was pretty startling over the weekend. One of the president's attorneys, when asked if the president would order the deputy A.G., Rod Rosenstein, who's heading up, before Mueller, the Russia investigation, if he would at any point intervene or fire Mueller, here is the answer. Listen to this.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Will the president promise not to interfere, not attempt at any time to ordered deputy attorney general to fire Robert Mueller?

JAY SEKULOW, LAWYER FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Look, the president - the president of the United States, as we all know, is a unitary executive. But the president is going to seek the advice of his counsel, and inside the government as well as outside, and I'm not going to speculate on what he will and will not do. I can't imagine that that issue is going to arise. But that again is an issue that the president, with his advisers, would discuss if there was a basis.


HARLOW: Paul, how do you read that? Is that startling to you that he would not rule out definitively that the president would not basically, through Rosenstein, order that Mueller be fired at some point? CALLAN: Yes, it's absolutely startling. Now, the president, obviously,

has the power to have him fired. But to say this publicly, it creates a chilling effect I think on the entire staff of the Justice Department. What - everybody is sitting in Justice now saying, if we cross Trump we're going to get fired. We'd better be really careful about this investigation. It's a really terrible way and it's a terrible example to set about an objective investigation, which is what the president should want.

[09:40:10] HARLOW: Now just to be clear, he made no indication - I watched that full interview - that perhaps, you know, he pretty much put it off the table, but not completely.

CALLAN: No, but he -

HARLOW: He basically danced around it with legalese.

CALLAN: Well, but he did more than that. I think he said - he said, you can't rule it out.

HARLOW: Yes. No.

CALLAN: The president might do it. And I think he should have been more definitive.

HARLOW: James, did it bother you to hear that?

GAGLIANO: It's reminiscent of looking back during the Nixon era and saying, could this possibly be like the Saturday night massacre? Could that possibly happen? The only thing that troubles me with the special prosecutor piece, I think the president would lose in the court of public opinion, even if he's vindicated and there's nothing there. There's no there there.

HARLOW: By firing the guy running it.

GAGLIANO: Absolutely. The only thing that troubled me from the start, I respect both men. I worked for them. I worked for four FBI director. They were my last two. Why would you appoint a special prosecutor that has a personal relationship with one of the central figures in the investigation?

HARLOW: Your - what is your criticism?

GAGLIANO: My criticism is, the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, has a personal relationship with former Director Comey. Why would you appoint a special prosecutor to conduct an investigation where a central witness and figure has a personal relationship?

HARLOW: Is that problematic?

CALLAN: I've always thought that it was an odd choice because of the relationship. Now - and when we talk about a personal relationship, the Ashcroft incident, remember, Comey -

HARLOW: When Comey rushed to the bedside of John Ashcroft to say, hey, don't reauthorize this NSA legislation.


CALLAN: That's correct. Well, at that time Mueller was the - was his boss and they kind of bonded on this one thing where they stood up to the president of the United States and said, we're not going to go along with violating the rights of American citizens.


CALLAN: It's one of those major events in your life that would bond you to another person. And I think to put him in charge of the investigation now of Comey, that maybe could be problematic.

HARLOW: We've got - let's remember, this is someone who has been complimented by Republicans, by Democrats alike, served under a Republican president and a Democratic president.

Thank you very much, guys. We are way over time, I'm hearing.

Paul Callan, James Gagliano, appreciate it.

Coming up, Bill Cosby arriving today for the second week of his sexual defense trial. The big question now, will he actually take the stand in his own defense? That's next.


[09:46:26] HARLOW: This morning, a big question, will Bill Cosby take the stand in his own defense? His attorneys are starting to lay out their defense in his sexual offense trial today as we enter week two of the trial. He walked into court this morning alongside of his wife. Just moments ago, the defense called its first witness.

Jean Casarez is outside of the court in Philadelphia with more.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Today it is the defense's turn here at the Montgomery County Courthouse in the criminal trial for Bill Cosby. They will present their case.

The prosecution closed at the end of last week with two major witnesses, first a toxicologist that testified that if Andrea Constand had taken three Benadryl tablets, that she could have experienced the very same symptoms that she testified to. And also that even though Quaaludes are illegal now in the United States, they are still available by prescription in Canada. Their final witness, the detective who read aloud Bill Cosby's deposition in 2005 when Bill Cosby was asked, did you give drugs to women you wanted to have sex with? His answer, yes. The defense counter to that. It was a party drug and it was given to one woman, a woman he had a consensual affair with.

But now the question is, what witnesses will the defense put on? They don't even have to put on a case. They don't have to prove anything. All they want to show this jury is reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt that Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand.

Jean Casarez, CNN, Norristown, Pennsylvania.


HARLOW: Jean, thank you very much for that reporting. We'll keep an eye on it. Of course, Bill Cosby faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Right now a hearing is also underway to decide if 18 Penn State students will face trial in the hazing death of one of their fellow students. The parents of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza (ph) walked into the Pennsylvania courthouse this morning - you see them there. A judge is decides if there is enough evidence to charge those other students in the death of their son. He died after a binge drinking ritual at a fraternity house in February. Security cameras inside of that house captured Piazza falling down multiple steps of stairs, multiple times, hitting his head. The video is key evidence, of course, in today's hearing.

And one year ago today, forty-nine people were gunned down, murdered at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Right now, the entire community is remembering those victims.


[09:53:23] HARLOW: One year ago today, 49 people were killed, 68 others were injured in the Pulse Nightclub Massacre. In just moments, the mayor of Orlando will take part in a memorial service for the victims of the shooting. Overnight, hundreds of people gathered in front of the Pulse Nightclub.

Nick Valencia was there in the aftermath of the shooting. He joins us now.

And, Nick, you've spoken with survivors, you've spoken with families of the victims. What are they telling you?


A year later and it is still so hard to talk about. I spoke to survivors and victims this morning and they tell me that the memories have been haunting. The city is still grieving after the horror it witnessed last year. I spoke with an Orlando resident this morning and they told me that the pain is never far away, but neither is the love.

At 2:00 a.m. this morning, a ceremony was held at Pulse to coincide with the very moment that terrorist Omar Mateen burst into the Pulse Nightclub and opened fire. Forty-nine people were killed and more than 60 were injured.

Earlier today, I spoke with Geo Goate (ph), who lost his cousin, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon. Geo told me, as difficult as it was, he wanted to go to that 2:00 a.m. ceremony to pay respects to his cousin. The city of Orlando will have at least two more official events today to remember the lives lost in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.


HARLOW: Nick Valencia, thank you very much for the reporting. We appreciate it. Keep us posted as they are going to honor them in just moments.

Minutes from now, this could be awkward. President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions will meet inside of the White House for the first time since reports that the attorney general offered to resign.


[09:59:25] HARLOW: Good morning, everyone. Top of the hour. 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Hope you had a good weekend. I'm Poppy Harlow.

Next hour, at the White House, the president's inner circle and what could be an odd man out. President Trump convenes a meeting of his cabinet members, and that includes his attorney general. Jeff Sessions is expected to be there, despite reports that the president has become increasingly frustrated with him and with the Russia probe. So much so that Sessions reportedly offered to resign last week.

Meantime, Sessions says he plans to testify tomorrow before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but the panel's chairman has not yet publicly confirmed that testimony, nor revealed whether the hearing will be public or behind closed doors.

[10:00:03] Let's go to Phil Mattingly. He's on Capitol Hill with more. So, it's this weird sort of flip flop. He was going to testify in front of different subcommittees. Now he's sending his deputy to do that. He wants to talk to Senate Intel.