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Battle over your health care and the new Senate bill; White House has been cutting back on its frequency and lengths of its own camera briefings; Johnny Depp has now apologized after making a seemingly veiled illusion to the killing of President Donald Trump; Bill Cosby plans to go on a tour; Prince Harry is opening up about the devastating loss of his mother; Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 24, 2017 - 19:00   ET



[19:00:21] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: 7:00 eastern, 4:00 in the afternoon out west. I'M Ana Cabrera in New York. We are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Great to have you with us.

Don't look at me. Look at the guy who was here before me. That's President Trump's message tonight in response to the stunning "Washington Post" report detailing how and when former President Obama learned about Russia's campaign to interfere in the election.

The President tweeting just a short time ago, since the Obama administration was told way before the 2016 election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T.

Obama administration officials said they choked when it came to acting on Russian meddling of the election. Why didn't they want to hurt Hillary? Now, the "Washington Post" reports the CIA told President Obama back in August that Moscow was interfering in the election and that Vladimir Putin had directly ordered the cyber campaign specifically to hurt Hillary Clinton and to help Trump. The public wouldn't learn about Russia's role until two months later in October. And it wasn't until December that we learned about Russia's exact goals.

Now the timing does raise valid questions about whether President Obama did enough to stop Russian interference. But it also raises questions about what the current President has done since taking office to keep it from happening again.

We want to talk to CNN global affairs analyst and "Daily Beast" senior international security correspondent Kim Dozier.

Kim, you just saw the President even today continuing to defend his election victory against charges that the Russians may have influenced it. Now, does this new "Washington Post" report actually support the President's claim that there was no collusion with the Russians that trying to influence elections is just something Russia does and doesn't really need collusion from the Trump camp?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, maybe that explains why he has taken this new attack where he is saying, well, it is all Obama's fault. That he didn't try to stop what he knew the Russians were doing. But this flies directly against his previous statements where he said he didn't believe that the Russians were behind the hacking. At one point he even said maybe it was China.

And I have got to say this has left intelligence officials current and former pretty dismayed. I spoke to one senior intelligence official who said he just wished that the President would get beyond this notion that he has to protect his election and, therefore, not acknowledge that there was any attempts to influence it.

However, this new report from the "Washington Post" details pretty firmly what other intelligence officials have told me, that, yes, they knew that Putin was directly behind this attempt and that the Obama administration was grappling trying to figure out just exactly what to do.

CABRERA: Now, in terms of the response what to do, this report has drawn criticism of the Obama administration not doing enough to expose the intelligence and then to punish Russia. As President Trump points out in his tweets. But this current administration hasn't been bold in its response to Russia. Is there reason for Trump's team to hold back?

DOZIER: Well, that's another area of concern. There was, among the intelligence officials I have spoken to, some worry that this administration, like others before it in the last 20 years, would think that they could get it right this time with Moscow and warm relations and that perhaps that is why they were holding fire on any sort of response, even as their intelligence community is telling them, as they told the last administration that Russia is trying on all different fronts to undermine the U.S., undermine the U.S. policy.

So the concern is that when they get further evidence that this White House won't react to it. Their concern is also that this White House won't take some of the punitive measures to push back and that Russia, month after month, year after year keeps doing things to sort of poke the United States and doesn't get pushed back and therefore takes that as permission to keep seeing how far it can go.

CABRERA: What measures are hearing about, if any, to prevent election interference from happening to us again could this administration take?

DOZIER: Well, everything from offensive cyber measures that were mentioned in the "Washington Post" article, things like planting programs so that the Russians know that they are there, know we interfered and it is a signal, hey, we only went this far this time but we could do the same kind of things you are doing to us.

Other measures like stepping up sanctions. The Trump administration did renew or tighten sanctions this past week over Crimea and Ukraine. These are sanctions that posed by the Obama administration and the international community. And in the course of them being applied, loopholes had appears, ways that Russia was getting around them. So the act this past week was to tighten that up. But, you know, they could go further with sanctions. It is just do

they have the political will or is Trump still holding out the hope that he could be the guy to turn Russia into an ally.

[19:05:35] CABRERA: All right. Kim Dozier, thank you.

Now reading the report from the "Washington Post," hearing that an Obama official said that the administration choked in responding to the Russians, if you were part of the Clinton campaign, what are you thinking? Let's ask.

Former manager of the Clinton campaign Robby Mook is here with us tonight.

Robby, let's cut to the chase. Did President Obama fail Hillary Clinton?

ROBBY MOOK, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER, HILLARY FOR AMERICAN: Well, I think a lot of things didn't work right in this last election as it relates to Russia. Make the entire system didn't work. I don't think law enforcement was doing enough. There was a lot of intelligence around that is something was wrong. I don't think that intelligence got out to enough people to do something about it, particularly the campaigns. I think everyone agrees the administration should have been more aggressive.

But, I think -- and a lot of people have said this. This was really complicated. This was really hard. And I don't think there were any clear choices. But I also don't think it is productive right now just to point fingers and say, well, the Obama administration didn't get this right. I think most people don't get this. I don't think the media got this right at first.

CABRERA: Did the Obama administration get it right?

MOOK: I think in retrospect everyone would agree they should have done more. But I don't think it is productive today to just point fingers and say they are all to blame for this. I think what we need to be doing is looking forward now and say, OK, based on where we are, what do we need to do to push back on Russia.

But the other thing and I think a lot people are now paying attention to here is Russia had to prove a concept here, of the strategies, stealing emails, putting them out into the media. Other countries can do the same thing now. I don't think we are talking enough about what are we doing to secure these campaigns?

CABRERA: You are saying it is not just Russia that could be the threat here. Could be other countries.

MOOK: It could be Iran. It could be North Korea. It could be any of our adversaries. The campaigns are secure enough. And our election officials we just learned this information leaked out from the NSA that our election administrators were being pissed the same way the campaigns were. So as much time as we spend looking back and try to figure out what

happened, I think we should put aside a little bit of a finger- pointing and say what are we doing to stop this from happening.

CABRERA: Now, one of the things that the "Washington Post" reports is some of the thinking behind the Obama administration's inaction was because it could easily be perceived as interfering in the election by taking some kind of action, by making this information public. The President was out there on the campaign rooting for Hillary Clinton and saying don't vote for Trump.

MOOK: Yes. Which is why it's absurd to say somehow Obama hurt Hillary deliberately. That's crazy. That didn't happen.

CABRERA: But was there a lack of transparency and did politics end up dictating the decisions that the Obama administration took here?

MOOK: I think it may have influenced them. I think the President might legitimately at some point have been worried if I step in and push back on Russia, it is going to be perceived as a means of helping Hillary. I think a lot of people thought Hillary was going to win this election. I think James Comey would not have handled his investigation of Hillary if he thought she would have lost. In fact, there has been a lot of evidence to suggest he did what he did because he was worried when she won that he would have been blamed for her not losing essentially.

So I think that happened a lot. That's a really important lesson. But again, I just don't see value right now in pointing fingers to say this person is to blame for the election. What matter is just moving forward. But I do think it is important and I know Mr. Mueller is going through a process right now to investigate this entire Russia situation to begin with whether there is collusion and so on. We just need to let all of that play out.

CABRERA: Now, as far as the time line goes, the Obama administration learns in August that not only was Russia interfering in the election or trying to through its strategies it was deploying, but that it was ordered by President Putin to do so and it was to hurt Hillary Clinton and to help now President Trump. He ultimately won. He was the victor. Would the election have happened different, the outcome of the election if this information had been made public before the election?

MOOK: Look, it could have. And what is a shame right now is there are a number of things in this election, actually, I would argue where we are saying was this a cause. Was this a tipping factor? Was this a very close election? It could have been. And that's why, again, we need to go back and make sure these same things never happen again.

Actually, you just made a very important point. These emails were put out there and they were just reported. And I think if reporters and the public at large had really understood in a creditable way why these emails were acquired and that they were being used for this purpose, I think everybody would have looked at it differently. So I think that's an important thing moving forward. We just got to

have a better system for the intelligence community to warn the voters when this information is coming out, what's behind it. We are in a situation we have never been in before where foreign powers are actively trying to influence what voters think and they are using means to do it where it's not obvious that it's them, if that makes sense. So I do think the national security apparatus are law enforcement and the news media and social media, frankly, all need to come together somehow to be more resilient when this happens in the future.

[19:10:37] CABRERA: What has surprised you the most about the election meddling, what we have learned in the month it followed, especially through these intelligence hearings that have been public? What surprises you the most?

MOOK: It's a really good question. Honestly, it's what surprised me is how what we feared is just becoming true. The weekend of our convention in late July last year, I sat on a set like this at the Democratic convention with Jake Tapper, actually and I said, actually I was word for word what you said in this program. Russia did this. They did it for the purpose of hurting Hillary Clinton and helping Donald Trump.

CABRERA: You knew that then?

MOOK: We had very good reason to believe that. And you know, what I said then was this is what the experts are telling us. And to be honest with you, what's scary is almost exactly what the experts were telling us was happening in fact happened.

CABRERA: And those are the same experts that were telling the Obama administration what was going on?

MOOK: No, no, no, not at all. We were just learning from the cybersecurity experts that were dealing with this breach. And I do think, look, we have heard this from the administration. We saw this in the "Washington Post" article. I do think everybody wishes that this had gotten out there sooner so the voters would have had that opportunity. I know when I said that back in July people were pushing back. They thought it was campaign spin. And I think -- I think people felt that way because it was so incredible, the idea that foreign adversary would be so brazen as to do this. It just didn't seem realistic. It seemed like something you would read about in a novel. And it was true.

And I think that's why I'm frankly disappointed on two levels right now, particularly with the Congress. One, that this has become so partisan. I talked to Republicans. They get it. Everybody is vulnerable here. Vladimir Putin is not a Democrat or Republican. He's anti-American.

CABRERA: So why has it become partisan?

MOOK: I think the President has been too quick to make it partisan and too defensive. If they have nothing to hide on this Russia issue, then they should just get to work solving this. These election officials are desperate for someone to come in and provide the technology and the funding and the expertise to help them. Why are we deflecting on collusion rather than talking about what we are doing for these 50 states that are trying to run elections whose databases are vulnerable today.

CABRERA: Did the DNC reject help from the Obama administration when that hacking happened?

MOOK: I wasn't there at the DNC, so I don't know. I think -- I think both sides could have done a better job on this. I think when the DNC was first alerted I think some of the staff who heard about that could have run it up the chain sooner. But I also think the FBI should have called Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That they should have called the executive director in the DNC. They were just calling up an IT desk there.

You know, we know that campaigns were breached in 2008 and in 2012. The authorities were reaching out directly to the leadership of those campaigns in those situations. James Comey didn't provide that same benefit here. That doesn't make sense to me. So again I think everybody wishes they had done stuff differently. So let's all get together and figure out what to do about it.

CABRERA: Let me get your reaction real quickly, last question to the last tweet we saw from the President today on this issue. He writes, Obama administration officials said they choked when it came to acting on Russian meddling of elections. They didn't want to hurt Hillary?

MOOK: I think there was concern --

CABRERA: He brings her into the equation again.

MOOK: Well, I think there was concern on the President's part that were he to seem to get out there too far on this and act too quickly that he was acting on a foreign policy matter with the objective of helping a certain candidate.

CABRERA: Is that tweet accurate then?

MOOK: I don't know. I mean, you would have to ask the Obama administration. But again this to me is one of these -- one of these situations where I don't think it helps to kind of say, well, was President Obama right or wrong for doing this? This was really complicated. The President was doing the best he could. And I think a lot of people on that article are acknowledging from the administration fast. At this point, we wish we had done more. But they were learning this in real-time just like the rest of us, you know. And all of us could point to things that we would have done differently.

[19:15:08] CABRERA: Well, Robby Mook, thank you so much for coming on. We appreciate the time.

MOOK: Thanks. CABRERA: It is a big night for one man inside the President's

administration in particular. Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin is getting married. Both the President and vice President are attending the nuptial, the president's daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner also expected to be among the throng of Washington power players there. Before joining Trump cabinet, Mnuchin worked in Goldman Sachs, is film producers. His soon to be wife Louise Linton is a Scottish actress.

Ahead in the NEWSROOM, a battle is brewing on Capitol Hill. How the Republican leadership is working to secure enough votes to pass a Senate health care bill.

Plus, no cameras allowed. Why the White House is holding off camera press briefings.

And then later actor Johnny Depp to become the latest celebrity to make an offensive joke about the President. Could he be in legal trouble?

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[19:20:06] CABRERA: Now to the battle over your health care and the new Senate bill. President Trump just tweeted this. I cannot imagine that these very fine Republican senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken Obamacare any longer.

His tweet refers to a thorny math problem. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell can only afford to lose two Republican votes. Right now five Republican senates say they oppose the bill in its current form. Three more have concerns.

CNN's congressional reporter Lauren Fox has more on what changes the resisting senators may suggest to turn their votes into yes -- Lauren.

LAUREN FOX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a GOP family divide. What conservatives want and what moderates want are vastly different. Conservatives are asking for a fuller repeal of the affordable care act. They want to make those tax credits for low-income people smaller and they also want to make sure there is a bigger role back of Medicaid.

On the other side of the issue though McConnell has to make sure that moderates get something they want. Moderates are looking more money for Medicaid. They are also looking for more money to combat the country's opioid crisis. And two senators, Senator Liza Murkowski of Alaska and Senator Susan Collins of Maine, are asking that McConnell not include a one-year defund of Planned Parenthood. They argue that they won't necessarily be able to support the bill if that provision is in there. And they want to make sure that there is more robust money for the tax credits.

So as you can see here, McConnell has a very tough climb ahead to get to those 50 votes. And like you said he can only lose two members and still pass this bill.

Back to you.

CABRERA: Lauren Fox, we appreciate it.

Coming up, recognize him? That's White House press secretary Sean Spicer drawn by a sketch artist hired by CNN. Why? Because the Trump White House has barred cameras from the press briefing. Next, how this strategy could play out for the administration.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[19:26:20] CABRERA: The White House have allowed television cameras to film its press briefings for more than 60 years. That's going back to the Eisenhower administration when President Trump was in elementary school.

CNN hired a courtroom sketch artist for Friday's press briefing with Sean Spicer because cameras were once again banned. The Trump White House has been cutting back on its frequency and lengths of its own camera briefings. It will only holding four briefings on camera this month.

Author Josh King joins us to discuss this. He penned the book, "off- script, an advancement guide to White House stage press campaigns spectacle and political suicide.

Josh, thanks for being with us. President Trump calls the mainstream media fake news. But why would he pass an opportunity to talk directly to the American people on live TV.

JOSH KING, AUTHOR, OFF SCRIPT: Good to be with you, Ana. Well, as Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and other administration officials who briefed on camera, camera have shown over 156 days, often, Ana, nothing good comes for them of these briefings. That they are in fact better off when they can brief off camera.

I think Bill Hennessy's sketch, I saw it. As soon as I saw it appear on social media, I was amazed. I was sort of -- it really should go in the museum as an artifact. A great move by CNN to send their Supreme Court sketch artist Hennessy over to the White House briefing room.

But you know, Ana, there is no congressional guarantee that a White House press secretary must brief live. As we have seen with holocaust centers with Spicer's first briefing that first day and any other (INAUDIBLE) that he has had over the 156 days, the results have not been good. And I think that they could legitimately say that they are making themselves available, answering every question a reporter has and yet not doing it on live TV, which frankly feeds CNN, feds FOX, feeds MSNBC, feeds the networks, but it doesn't stop the "Washington Post" reporters from breaking the bombshell that they did yesterday. Magazine reporters can still do their work. CABRERA: Do you think that this is to relieve pressure for them in

some way or is it more a punishment that they are trying to put on reporters?

KING: I saw some reporting on this, Ana, that the White House is trying to screw with most of the television element of the White House press core and use harsher language than that, screw being the euphemism. I think they can, whether punishment - they are certainly denying you content to be able to put together packages. They make you get creative and send Bill Hennessy over to the White House briefing room. You have had some good fun with that. You are getting some good content out of it. But they are also avoiding mistakes.

Any time you don't put Sara Sanders or Sean Spicer under the lights performing live without the ability to correct themselves, consult notes or worry about stuttering, they have a much easier afternoon of it.

CABRERA: Are the optics good or bad for the White House when they don't put a press secretary in front of the camera?

KING: Well, the optics are bad for the President when he spends most of his life as a home body in the White House, doesn't enjoy traveling overseas, doesn't travel much west of the Mississippi and is a pretty inactive President. Those are all bad optics. It doesn't help the White House either when Sean or Sara get up and briefed, make a mistake, and it becomes the centerpiece of a "Saturday Night Live" parody.

I don't think they are any worse off at the end of this week with most of their base and most of the viewing audience as a whole, except for those that, you know, think that what happened during the Obama, Bush and Clinton years of live televised briefings should be a sacrosanct right of the American people.

It's not. They can decide what they want to do. And if you put prior press secretaries to the test, they would have said over and over again that having to go live under the lights puts immense pressure on them and they would have preferred to go more in-depth off camera without it becoming a TV show.

[19:30:39] CABRERA: All right, Josh King. We appreciate your insight. Thank you.

KING: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: And now a look at what you may have missed this week.

That deadly London tower fire which killed at least 79 people could lead to manslaughter charges. London's metropolitan police service is considering manslaughter among other criminal offensive that may have been committed. A refrigerator we learned has been identified as the source of the Grenfell tower fire. The police investigation now focusing on how it spread so fast. And whether any person or organization should be held responsible. Meantime, officials say the search for victims could continue through the end of the year. Brick and Mortar retailers in the U.S. take another hit. Sears

holdings just announced it will be closing another 20 stores, 18 sears and two K-mart stores join 216 others stores closed by the company just since January of last year.

And (INAUDIBLE) listen to this. Knoxville Tennessee based House of Fuller (ph) has recalled three of its Hummus product. The company is concern roasted pine nuts in the humus may be contaminated with listeria. The hummus was distributed nationwide between April 18th and June 13th. The brands affected as fresh foods market, Artisan Hummus, Lantan White Bean Hummus and Marketside classic Hummus, all are topped with pine nuts. The lot code of the affective products starts with a W. You can go to the FDA Web site for a full list of the recall dates and the code.

After the break, it is one thing to hate someone you didn't vote for, but invoking images of their death, that's going too far. We will look at the latest celebrity feeling the heat from an outrageous comment about President Trump.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[19:36:22] CABRERA: Actor Johnny Depp has now apologized after making a seemingly veiled illusion to the killing of President Donald Trump. On Thursday, Depp said he was attempting to make a joke, now admits it was in poor taste to the crowd at a festival in England. Now, the comments sparked widespread condemnation as it should. It comes on the heels of other outrageous celebrity comments and actions aimed at the President.

CNN's Stephanie Elam has more.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Actor Johnny Depp knew what he was about to say to a crowd in the UK would get a rise out of people.

JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR: When was the last time an actor assassinated the President? I want to clarify. I'm not an actor. I lie for a living.

ELAM: For the record, the answer to his question is April 1865 when actor John Wilks Booth killed the President Abraham Lincoln. Critics have condemn Depp for what he said but he is far from the only celebrity to engage in these kinds of comments. Yes, Hollywood has long the tended to lean left, but this kind of extremist talk is new.

In January, Madonna said this at the women's march in Washington.

MADONNA, SINGER: Yes! I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know that this won't change anything.

ELAM: In Snoop Dog's video for Lavender he shoots a clown version of the President with a gun. And graphic images of Kathy Griffin holding a mock blooded head of

President Trump made her a target of a secret service investigation according to her lawyers. It also cost her a job. CNN called the photos disgusting and offensive and fired her as its New Year's Eve cohost.

At issue is free speech versus security. Threatening the life of the U.S. President is a federal crime that can result in a fine or up to five years in prison or both. A lot of Hollywood stars are very public about their liberal politics, but these incidents cross a line.

JOE BEL BRUNO, MANAGING EDITOR, VARIETY: Really, there hasn't been anybody saying enough is enough. And I think that needs to come from Hollywood, from the left wing, from somebody who can say, hey, you know what, I voted for Hillary Clinton, but let's not insight violence against the President of the United States. I might not support him, but, you know, there is a fine line that we -- you know, that we can't cross over.

ELAM: As for Depp, the White House released this statement quote "President Trump has condemned violence in all forms and it's sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead. I hope that some of Mr. Depp's colleges would speak out about this type of rhetoric as strongly as they would if it were directed to a Democrat-elected official.

Now an update to the story, Johnny Depp did release a statement to People magazine saying quote "I apologize for the bad joke I attempted last night in poor taste about President Trump. It did not come out as intended and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone."

It is worth pointing out that it is probably not very likely that Depp will be arrested for this. But perhaps it is food for thought for anyone in thinking about speaking in public about harming the President of the United States.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.


CABRERA: Dive a little deeper into this story with CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Danny Cevallos is joining us.

Thanks, Danny. You wrote an op-ed about these death comments. Where is that line in terms of triggering an investigation?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It is an objective - well, an investigation is totally different than whether or not someone violates federal law, which criminalizes threatening the President. The secret service is going to investigate on a much lesser level of evidence. They have to. They have to resolve all issues in favor of being careful. You know, they have to be careful in these situations.

However, the test under the law is an objective one. The test is whether or not a reasonable person would foresee that the audience to whom he was speaking to would perceive it as a threat. Now, that's a mouthful. But it doesn't require that the speaker actually intend to carry it out. It doesn't even matter if that person has the ability to carry it out. What matters is whether or not the audience would have perceived it as a threat.

[19:40:36] CABRERA: And in this case, would you have perceived this as a threat.

CEVALLOS: Probably not. I mean, you look at this. This is just someone's attempt at bad taste. You listen. He used the word bad taste. It is interesting that he did because I imagine a lawyer got in his ear. Those words appear in a Supreme Court opinion addressing this exact issue and saying that bad taste, high personally, bad jokes, these are not criminalized under the law.

CABRERA: I want to ask you and switch gears to talk about Bill Cosby.

CEVALLOS: Yes, of course.

CABRERA: That was the other bog story this week. And a jury deadlocked, mistrial declared last week. Now it looks like there is going to be another trial. Well, now we are hearing from Bill Cosby's publicist, the comedian plans to go on a tour of sorts, town hall style sort of thing where he is going to travel around and talk about how to behave to avoid sexual assault allegations. Now victim's advocacy groups have come out and spoken against this. What are your thoughts on this?

CEVALLOS: If victim's advocacy groups are against Bill Cosby, they should come out in support of this tour and let me tell you why. If you are a fan of the prosecution of Bill Cosby, this tour is the greatest news you have heard in a long time because every word that he speaks will become a transcript that the prosecution will mine for new evidence to be used against them, even if that's an inconsistent statement. In fact, even if the defense seeks to file a motion based on pretrial publicity. The prosecution could argue, look, some of this you brought upon yourself by taking your show on the road.

So if you are an anti-Bill Cosby person, this tour is actually fantastic news. If you are Bill Cosby's defense, I would think after putting up a tremendous fight this idea of him going on tour is a very frustrating one.

CABRERA: And when we heard about what happened inside the courtroom this last go-around, the jury was deadlocked. Some way it was 5-7 on some issues about whether or not he was guilty and other times it had come to 10-2 split. Here's what one juror told our Jean Casarez.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was settled in 2005. The man has lost his career. He's been penalized the last 11 years, whether in jail or not. At age 79, 80, what's the purpose of wasting all this money to put him in jail?

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: Sounds like his age was a factor they took into account. Does that surprise you?

CEVALLOS: You never know what juries are going to fixate on. You prepare this case and you put it in front of the jury and they grab a little piece of information and they hyper focus on it. So, no, I'm not surprised at all. They in this case there are many thing it is jurors could have hung their hats on and now when they are interviewed, as with many jurors, it is a surprise what they found interesting and not interesting.

CABRERA: All right. Danny Cevallos, always interesting to get your take. Thanks so much for coming on.

CEVALLOS: Thank you.

CABRERA: And do read Danny's column. He has two of them, one on Cosby and one on the Johnny Depp comment, on right now.

Coming up Prince Harry makes a surprisingly candid statement about his mother's funeral. Why he still resents how he was treated that day and why he says none of the royals are really interested in being king or queen.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[19:48:06] CABRERA: He was just 12 years old when tragedy struck his family. Nearly 20 years later, Prince Harry is opening up about the devastating loss of his mother. How he is keeping Princess Diana's causes a life and why he thinks the world needs the royal family today.

In a revealing new interview, Prince Harry tells "Newsweek," we are involved in modernizing the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people. Is there anyone of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don't think so. But we will carry out our duties at the right time."

Let me bring in Sally Bedell Smith, the CNN contributor and author of "Elizabeth the Queen."

Sally, thanks for being here. What do you make of Prince Harry saying no one wants to be king or queen?

SALLY BEDELL SMITH, AUTHOR, ELIZABETH THE QUEEN: Well, Harry has a tendency to speak before he thinks and he is a rather instinctive character. And quite in contrast to William, who is very caution in what he says. And, of course, Harry is fifth in line to the thrown so he has no remote possibility of even becoming king. But I think it was a classic Prince Harry statement of which he has made a number in the past. And he tries to qualify it by saying that the monarchy was very important for British life and that they need to preserve the magic and they all needed to work very hard, but the horse was out of the barn. And the comment was out of his mouth. And it rocketed around the world and got him in a little trouble, I think.

Because, in fact, William, I spoke at length with William and Harry's advisors when I was writing the book about Prince Charles. And they were very emphatic that William, because he is in line behind his father, is being carefully prepared to take the thrown in late middle age, which is about when it is likely to happen and they are training him carefully to do that.

So Prince Charles certainly wants to be king. Here's waited longer than anybody in British history. He is the oldest hare to the throne in British history. He has done a lot in his life in the meanwhile, but he does want to be king as does Prince William? And we obviously can't speak for Prince George. Harry doesn't need to worry about and that is the point.

[19:50:30] CABRERA: It's easy for him to just sort of brush it off the old shoulder. Like nobody cares about --.

SMITH: Yes. But I think you have to bear in mind that Prince Harry is one of the most popular members of the royal family. And he has really made a transformation. He was definitely the family trouble maker over the last ten years.

CABRERA: Well, he has become popular in part because he says things like he said.

Let me just move forward because I want to ask you about another comment that he made and get your take on this. He said when he was asked about his mother's funeral and the impact it had when his mother died. And he wrote my mother had just died and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin surrounded by thousands of people watching me while million more did on television. I don't think any child should be asked to do that under any circumstances. I don't think it would happen today. And that day clearly still haunts him.

SMITH: Yes. Well, I think he is quite right that people are much more cognizant of the emotional impact of something like that on the child. And he probably wouldn't be asked to do that today. But you have to put some perspective on it which is that at the time, men were expected to walk behind the casket in a royal funeral. It was actually Princess Ann who broke that tradition in 2002 when she walked with the men at the queen mother's funeral.

But back in 1997, it was expected even if you go back to Winston Churchill's funeral in 1965, his 12-year-old grandson marched. So it was tradition for state funerals and royal funerals. And Prince Charles urged his sons to do it in that tradition. And there was another factor that was really quite important and I heard about this from people in the government and people in the palace. And that was there was a real fear because of the overheated environment in London at the time that Prince Charles could possibly have been attacked in some capacity as he was walking.

And so having Harry and William with him was sort of important protection in a way for him. And it was up to Prince Philip who is their grandfather who was not supposed to be walking in the (INAUDIBLE) who said to them both, but William in particular, he said I think you will forever regret it if you don't walk. And if you are reluctant to walk, I will walk with you. So Prince Philip walked with them having persuaded them both to walk.

CABRERA: Well, Sally Bedell Smith, thank you for your time tonight. Interesting to hear.

SMITH: You are welcome. Appreciate it.

CABRERA: A quick programming note. Tomorrow morning Ohio governor John Kasich will be on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" 9:00 a.m. eastern and pacific only here on CNN.

We will be right back.


[19:57:36] CABRERA: It takes a cast of thousands to make a newscast happen. And most of the time we pull it off without a hitch. But once in a while things go off the rails and when it happens, the anchor desk can be an awkward place to be.

CNN's Jeanne Moos takes a look at one painful case in point.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here is what the news sounds like when the anchor doesn't make a sound for four minutes.

BBC's flag ship news at 10:00 was silent except for breaking news announcements run amok. During those four long minutes of technically melt down, veteran newsman Hue Edwards sat calmly with only the occasional facial flinch.

Tweeted one viewer, kind of an absorbent like a lava lamp.

After so much bad news lately, tweeted someone else, wasn't it lovely, sort of time out from all the craziness?

No matter how many times they play the graphic saying breaking news -- the news remained broken, a show editor blamed it on a technical system crash seconds before air time. The veteran anchor told Radio 4 --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was so much going on in the director's gallery that nobody board to tell me, of course, I was actually on air. I have ti say I sensed that I probably was so I tried to behave myself.

MOOS: He played with his mouse, he scribbled, prompting everyone to ask the same question, what did you start writing? Help? I think he was writing down his order for dinner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was listening to all these pandemonium in the background.

MOOS: We know one guy would specially appreciate four minutes of silence from a BBC.

TRUMP: Where are you from?


TRUMP: There is another beauty.

MOOS: And speaking of beauty, after the meltdown ended, cue the anchor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight at ten.

MOOS: Actually, 10:04. Edwards only sign of stress was his post- newscast tweet, a double dragon ale, I think I'm going to enjoy this little beauty after that ten, fold by the welsh equivalent of cheers.


MOOS: Breathing (ph) in that newscast Zen at ten.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.