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Report: White House Refuses Again To Answer Tapes Question; Ivana Trump Surprised By Viciousness Toward Dad; Mccain Says U.S. Leadership Better Under Obama. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired June 12, 2017 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer there responding to questions about whether President Trump has tapes of his conversations with Jim Comey or not and why the heck aren't they answering that question yet. Joining me now is Adrienne Elrod, Democratic strategist and a former director for Hillary for America, Jim Geraghty senior political correspondent for the conservative "National Review" and Joe Borelli, a New York city councilman who served as co-chair the Trump New York campaign.

So, great to see all of you. Joe, you, sir, this is getting ridiculous. They have to answer this question. Why do they keep pushing this down the road?

JOE BORELLI, CO-CHAIR THE TRUMP NEW YORK CAMPAIGN: They want to make sure their ducks are in a row.

BALDWIN: How do they need ducks in row? It is either a yes-no question.

BORELLI: I think the complexity of the problem and the amount of media attention that focused on this issue over the past few weeks justifies them taking extra precaution. I think we should remember why the notion of the tapes even came about. You recall he said this to refute some of the things James Comey said. If there are tapes, they would vindicate a lot of the things that President Trump has said.

BALDWIN: Why aren't they answering the question?

BORELLI: I wish they would too. We'll have to wait in short order.

JIM GERAGHTY SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR THE CONSERVATIVE "NATIONAL REVIEW": This is one of the weirdest bits of Presidential bluster I have seen in a long time. Presumably, there are no tapes. The Secret Service said they don't have any tapes. They don't know if somebody else might have taping. It amounts to, hey, you better hope there aren't any tapes. And there aren't.

BALDWIN: He tweeted that hey, you better hope there aren't tapes.

GERAGHTY: I guess the idea is I know my version of events is correct, but yours, I guess yours isn't. But I can't prove that because I don't have it. It's this weird thing.

BORELLI: How can you say that unless you're pretty sure the tapes would vindicate you.

GERAGHTY: We're assuming they exist. Why would you withhold exculpatory evidence to say I've got a tape that shows that James Comey is a liar, but I'm not showing it to you yet. Tune into this special episode and I'll show it to you then. Is this bizarre, I've got great evidence but I'll show you later.

BORELLI: It could be related to the Sessions hearing. It could be a lot of reasons. The President was explaining these tapes as a way of vindicating what he said versus the James Comey version of what he said. I don't think they would toy with his issue unless they were confident what the President had said on record on tape was appropriate.

BALDWIN: We'll wait for that answer. I want to ask you about tapes. We'll talk about Ivanka Trump. Let's play the sound.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: It is hard. There's a level of viciousness that I was not expecting. I was not expecting the intensity of this experience. But this isn't supposed to be easy. And I think some of the distractions and some of the ferocity was -- I was a little blindsided by on a personal level.


BALDWIN: Viciousness.

ADRIENNE ELROD, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST AND A FORMER DIRECTOR FOR HILLARY FOR AMERICA: I mean, unbelievable. What about the viciousness of his father's rallies. She never apologized for that or never acknowledged that. How about the viciousness of the way he treated reporters in the media? How about the viciousness of the surrogates? Mike Flynn, who is no longer there for reasons we all know, who chanted lock her up regarding Hillary Clinton at the rallies I'm sorry we're not rolling out of the red carpet for you. We disagree with a lot of your father's decisions. But welcome to the big leagues.

BALDWIN: You were a surrogate.

[15:35:00] BORELLI: I certainly did not say anything vicious, but after seeing the Kathy Griffin incident ask thousand we have this latest theatrical show in central park, vicious is a pretty good adjective to describe how the press is treating Donald Trump. A lot of people condemned Kathy Griffin and others for doing what they did, but that's because there's a society where they were going to do would be welcome. That's really the society we have. We have the Harvard study that e shows 80 percent of stories in President Trump's coverage are negative. What do you expect? She's right. She's 100 percent right.

BALDWIN: We fired Kathy Griffin.

BORELLI: But she thought this would be accepted and encouraged and get a round of applause, not the condemnation she got.

BALDWIN: Are you laughing or cringing?

GERAGHTY: Isn't this the guy that said Ted Cruz's dad killed JFK. They are upset that politics got personal. You go down to low energy Jeb and little Marco. I really wish there was a higher-minded politics. It would be nice beyond name calling. It's awful that Kathy Griffin has decided to emulate ISIS. It would be better if we let our better selves rise up. But I don't think the Trump family is leading by example. I don't think the Republicans, I don't think the Democrats are.

I think CNN made a tiny step in that direction to say, look, no beheading the President. That's where we're drawing the line, even for the most vehement Trump critics. It would be nice to have nicer politic, but I don't think the Trump family is in any position to complain.

BALDWIN: What about Senator McCain, he said this.

I think you guys said no sound in my ear. He was talking about comparing President Trump with President Obama and saying Obama was better in terms of just being a world leader. I am roughly paraphrasing. Do you hear that?

ELROD: Yes, Senator McCain, I certainly don't share the same party affiliation as him, but he is a statesman first ask foremost. Donald Trump has managed to anger our top allies during his first seven months in office. He got into the fight with a prime minister of Australia. A fight with the President of Mexico. For him to say that I'm not going to go over to the UK because I'm not entirely sure I will be welcome there, that's the job of the President. So why don't you try working on repairing our relationships?

BALDWIN: Sean Spicer was asked about this. We know her majesty extended this massive invitation to the white house. I read something over the weekend that the white house was saying we want to go when we're welcomed. He wasn't entirely -- how do I say it, loving to the current mayor of London. Although Theresa May has been the first foreign leader to come visit the white house. What's going on with the visit?

BORELLI: I don't know any specifics, but I do think that he did support his relationship with the UK right after the terrorist attacks. He made very clear that the U.S. stands with our UK allies in responding to terrorism. But just to the point on McCain, that comment is bizarre because he was the one that eight years ago saying the rock star of the world was not fit to lead the world. So, it's bizarre from that aspect. It's also bizarre from another aspect where Republicans are shaking their heads thinking the Obama policy in Iran, Syria with respect to Israel, these are the reasons why Barack Obama's legacy didn't propel Hillary Clinton to the white house in the first place. If you want somebody to talk on the Sunday shows and criticize the administration, every producer in this city and in Washington knows you can call John McCain and he will always deliver.

BALDWIN: Final thought from you? GERAGHTY: Trump's twitter feed and the way he attacks the mayor of

London is annoying. If he's feeling irked with the President, he should read the text of the Iran deal ask he'll remember why he was so angry at President Obama. This is probably a giant red flag for the Trump administration. John McCain is the kind of guy who will do cart wheels when the Trump administration bombed Syria. So, under the right circumstances, John McCain is happy to go out there and defend policies. When things have gotten so bad that John McCain is yearning for the guy, that's a red sign. You need to rebuild your relationship with Capitol Hill.

BALDWIN: Thank you all so much. We're going to continue right now. Closing arguments underway in Bill Cosby's trial. His wife holding on by his side for the first time today. Hear why the defense rested so quickly.

But first, a look at how one company fully automated its warehouse without cutting any jobs. This is week's Future Tense.

[15:40:00] (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: When most working-class people think about automation, there's a fear that technology is coming to take their jobs away. In some cases, they are. But when online wholesale retailer Boxed decided to automate their fulfillment center in New Jersey, the company wanted to be clear that people would still be a necessary part of the equation.

UNIDENTIFIED MANAGER: We're going to move and the new center will be automated. Just like the air was let out of the rom. You are then able to say no one is going to lose their job. You're going to go from what you can argue is an unskilled position to a skilled position.

UNIDENTIFIED WORKER: Not really sure what to expect.

UNIDENTIFIED WORKER: All of those worries going away little by little. And everybody has seen we are still here.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But the threat of robots taking work away from humans isn't entirely imagined. A recent study by price water house cooper showed that 38 percent of Americans could lose their jobs to automation. With the highest risks in fields like transportation, manufacturing, storage, retail and wholesale.

UNIDENTIFIED MANAGER: The definition of work in this skills that we need as workers needs to change. But if you change and are willing to retrain, put in the time, there's a good chance you'll evolve like your role will.



BALDWIN: Welcome back. I'm Brooke Baldwin. A jury could begin deliberations in the Bill Cosby case any moment now. Cosby declined to testify in his assault trial today. After his defense rested calling one witness for further questioning. And in a fiery closing statement, Cosby's defense attorney urged jurors to acquit the 79- year-old comedian arguing that Andrea Constand had changed her story after speaking with attorneys. Let me turn to you first. Who was the one person -- he didn't testify in his own defense. Who was the one person who did?

BRYNN GINGRAS: The defense recalled the witness that the commonwealth called earlier and was about a time line issue they wanted to clarify. So, really they call that one witness and didn't bring Crosby to the stand, which there's a ton of speculation he was going to testify. Earlier today you mentioned right there to your viewers the defense gave its closing arguments and it was fiery exchange. The defense attorney was having the jurors laughing at one point. Also, somewhat yelling at them at another point. So very charismatic closing arguments for the defense. But we're not quite sure if it they are actually going to deliberate. But one witness versus the prosecution's 12 witnesses certainly a difference there.

BALDWIN: What do you think the strategy was in having this defense rest so quickly?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think the defense did what it needed to do. We have to keep in mind their job was not to prove his innocence. Their job is to prove reasonable doubt. If you have more questions than answers, then that's reasonable doubt. They poked holes in Constand's stories about the inconsistencies with what she told the police after the alleged incident happened. They talked about the fact that she was having, in it their opinion, a romantic relationship as evidenced she went to his house in 2004 after two other attempts by Cosby to make sexual advances at her. They talked about the 50 phone calls that were made by Constand after the alleged incident. So, the defense team need jurors to leave there thinking we're not sure. If they can do that, they may get an acquittal in this case.

BALDWIN: Your thoughts on this and also significantly in all the pictures we keep -- tor give me we don't have mark. The visuals of the day today, this is the first time his wife showed up and they were arm in arm walking in ask out of the courtroom. Why was that important for his case?

MARTIN: To show solidarity. The women sitting in that jury box will want to know where is his wife. What does his wife think about this? This alleged incident happened in their family home. So, all of the women and probably the men too are thinking what does the wife have to say about this. One thing his defense attorney did as well he appealed to Bill Cosby's America's dad. He talked about the fact that Bill Cosby made us laugh and smile and taught us how to love again. So, they wanted that image of Bill Cosby, the tv personality, the favorite dad that e we came to love on "The Cosby Show" to be front and center as a jury started to deliberate. They wanted his wife to give validation so that jurors would believe if she can stick by him, you, too, should be able to acquit him.

BALDWIN: Finally, on the flip side, Andrea Constand, how is she doing?

GINGRAS: She has given her side of the story. She's received a ton of criticism and a lot of praise for coming forward so certainly it's now in the hands of jurors. We'll see whose side they take.

BALDWIN: Thank you very much. Ladies, coming up next, more on the breaking news. The stage is set for Jeff Sessions testifying publicly tomorrow. Will he invoke executive privilege when it comes to conversations he's had with President Trump. Stay with me.


BALDWIN: This is so exciting to share this with you. CNN asked several of our anchors to feature an organization that really inspires us, challenges us and changes us, and I knew instantly who I wanted to interview, the Heroes Project. This is this awesome organization that combines several of my passions, mountain climbing, helping our nation's veterans and just being a bad ass. The Heroes Project founder features vets who come home facing amputation and ask them from their hospital bed if they want to go climb a mountain.

[15:25:00] Not just any mountain, but often one of the seven summits of the world. I've interviewed Tim and having climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro myself, I had a tough time pulling it off with both legs and I've been in awe of this organization ever since and in particular this young woman who I recently met. We went out to Joshua Tree National Park and faced a daunting climb. I walked off the ledge of this cliff with Kirsty Innis who lost her leg above the knee, and I left this project in awe, inspired and hoping you, too, can see how we should all get comfortable with being uncomfortable.


TIM MEDVETZ, FOUNDER, THE HEROES PROJECT: All I was going to do is help one vet out, climb one mountain with a vet. This is called cyclops.

BALDWIN: He's one of those interviews that I've never forgotten. Congratulations.


BALDWIN: Amazing.

CNN came to me and said, Brooke, you need to pick an organization that you feel really passionately about. The Heroes Project was the first thing that popped into my head.

What is the next after Everest?

MEDVETZ: We're taking dance lessons in Bangkok right now.

BALDWIN: How do you forget someone like that? Hell's Angels climbs Everest and what he's done with the veterans.

MEDVETZ: I went down to the hospital and I was there with Kirsty's mom and said are you ready to climb a mountain? She was just like absolutely.

SGT. KIRSTIE ENNIS, U.S. MARINE CORPS (RET.): You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, and you have to suffer well.

MEDVETZ: We're going to get the hard stuff out of the way. Just drop off that 100-foot cliff.

BALDWIN: Why did you want to become a marine?

ENNIS: I needed to figure out what I was going to do to serve of people. 17 years old, I remember looking around. My chemistry lab, no, this is not where I need to be right now and I walked straight out and went to the recruiter's office and convinced my parents to sign the paperwork.

MEDVETZ: See you guys below.

To take somebody who just lost a couple of limbs I don't really feel like going fishing is really going to get them back to being that soldier, that marine that they were. We have to put them back in harm's way to really truly heal them.

ENNIS: Christ, what am I getting myself into?

MEDVETZ: Don't worry here. I've got you. Good balance. Good balance. Let it go and lean back. All right.

Come on down, Brooke.

BALDWIN: I'm a little nervous.

MEDVETZ: Lean back. Push off. All right. Slide down. Go right down below Kirstie, all right?

ENNIS: I was an aerial gunner on a .50 caliber machine gun.

BALDWIN: You were the gal hanging out the door with the big gun.


The actual day of my crash, the last thing I remember is the crew in the back calling for power, and I remember wearing my night vision goggles and look at the ground. All I had time to think is this is going to hurt.

MEDVETZ: She went in for her amputation and they cut her thigh and that was the moment when I went, OK, she's going to need to be shaken up.

ENNIS: He approached me with the idea of climbing the hardest of the seven summits, Carson's pyramid. We oftentimes joke because his first big mountain was Everest. MEDVETZ: 2001, riding my Harley, boom. Next thing I knew I was in a

trauma center. My vehicle for recovery was mountain climbing, 2009. Watching television and this veteran got up and burned beyond recognition and it was like this light bulb hit. I'm not going to climb for Tim anymore. I'm going to climb for other people and show them the path that got me to recover from my accident.

ENNIS: Meeting everyone at the Heroes Project, that gave me my life back because I realized I could go out and conquer anything I wanted. What we're doing out here is working on those skills that I'm going to need.

MEDVETZ: Don't be afraid to like reach over and see if there's something there.

ENNIS: Without these skills I'm not making it to the top.

MEDVETZ: Cyclops, come your way. Come on.

BALDWIN: Honestly, always nice to knock yourself down a peg and I got humbled.

You meet people who are tough in life. The strength of Kirstie and Tim and this just takes it to a whole new level to think of Kirstie climbing that mountain. I don't think I can fully wrap my head around this.

[00:30:00] MEDVETZ: You've got this, OK?

BALDWIN: I've never climbed up rocks in a really technical way.

MEDVETZ: Good. Time to climb. Start looking for holes in the rock. There you go. Nice move. Climb the mountain.

ENNIS: Reach your and right to your right, there's a good hold. You see it.


ENNIS: There you go?

BALDWIN: You made it look easier.

I have huge, huge respect for you.

ENNIS: Thank you. That means a lot to me. These are things I'm doing for the first time all over again with one leg, and to be able to share that with you, that's extremely meaningful to me.

BALDWIN: When you said you have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, and I love that. Put one foot in front. Other and get up a mountain.

ENNIS: Absolutely.

BALDWIN: How do we get down? (END VIDEOTAPE)


I just want to give a huge, huge shout-out to the Heroes Project, to my friends Tim and Kirstie. They will be headed to Carson's pyramid at some point this summer. It's like 16,000 feet, an incredibly technical rock climb. I'll leave the climbing to them, but I just wanted to thank them from the bottom of my heart for allowing me over to Joshua Tree and teaching me how to do that, and for anyone who is in the New York area, come join me. I definitely will be in the front row of this -- it's called Cycle for Heroes. This is how they help raise money for the amazing men and women for the Heroes Project. Cycle for Heroes, September 9, the 9/11 weekend here in New York. All week long my colleagues will be sharing stories like this about the causes that are so near and dear to their hearts. You can also see the next one tonight at 9:00 eastern on "AC 360" and take a look at all of them on "The Lead" with Jake Tapper starts right now.