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Trumps Lawyer: Mueller Investigation a "Witch Hunt"; 8 Prominent Russians Dead in 8 Months; 10-Year-Old Boy, Anti-Violence Activist Killed in Chicago; As Family Outsources Trump Touts "Made in America" Week. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired July 17, 2017 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED NEWS ANCHOR: So you are saying when the president says witch hunt, he is talking about Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation. That is part of this so-called witch hunt.
JAY SEKULOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Yes. When he calls it a witch hunt, when he talks about the scope and nature of the investigation, he is concerned about the nature of what is going on here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: It's been a Democratic witch hunt. It's been a media witch hunt. That was the understanding at this point. Is attacking Bob Mueller and calling him part of the witch hunt part of the strategy of this White House?
DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL & NATIONAL SECURIANALYST: It's interesting. Some people believe by attacking Bob Mueller's creditability -- it seems hard to do given his past s the FBI director --
SANGER: -- Vietnam - a decorated Vietnam veteran and so forth - that they perhaps are hanging out the possibility that he, too, could be removed. That would be a very difficult thing to do, as the deputy attorney general himself said in testimony.
What's interesting about the argument that you just heard was, first, he made an assertion that we do not know is true, that what Mueller is basing these on or what he called illegal leaks. Well, they could be leaks. They may well not be illegal, if they are leaks not of classified or a national security information, which somebody was prohibited from discussing. They may be perfectly legal leaks that then got backed up by the e-mails that were released by Donald Trump Jr just before my colleagues here at "The Times" were preparing to publish them. So you have leaks that were probably perfectly legal, backed up soon by documents provided by Donald Trump Jr that basically corroborated what "The Times" had reported based on anonymous sources. And -- BOLDUAN: Yes, I find it -- I find it really interesting --
BOLDUAN: -- that the strategy becomes that Bob Mueller is part of the witch hunt. That seems to be taking it a step that we haven't yet seen from this White House. We'll see if anyone beyond Jay Sekulow repeats that.
David, it's great to see you both. Thank you.
SANGER: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: The White House declaring it "Made in America" week, despite the president's history as a businessman and how he has successfully run his businesses in the past. Why the practices of the Trump empire makes it a tricky situation and a tricky theme for the week.
Plus, a 10-year-old boy and an activist, who spoke out and fought against violence, killed on the streets of Chicago over the weekend, along with nine other people. Were they targeted? The tragic story. What's the solution? The conversation is ahead.
[11:37:07] BOLDUAN: Eighth months, eight high-profile Russian politicians dead. Some of the deaths attributed to natural causes. Others, like the shooting death last week of a Putin critic who fled to Ukraine, are raising some serious red flags.
CNN's Matthew Chance has been tracking this from Moscow and he's joining me now.
Matthew, who are these people and is there any reason to believe there's a connection?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's co-incidental, of course. That's what everyone insists. But there's definitely a pattern that emerged not just over the past eight months but several years about opponents of the Kremlin, people at odds with the Russian government meeting sticky ends. The last eight months has been eight people, a symmetrical figure. Five have been diplomats.
One of them you mentioned. His name is Denis Voronenkov, 45 years old, a former proletarian here in Russian. He basically defected to Ukraine and was part of an ongoing investigation in that country on the links between the former president of Ukraine and the Russians. He was gunned down in the streets in front of his wife.
There's another one of the eight that stands out to me. His name is Petr Polshikov. He is a senior diplomat. Apparently, his wife found him with a pillow over his head and a gunshot wound to his head under the pillow. But the Russian foreign ministry said there were no suspicious circumstances and that it's likely to be an accident. I
It gives you a sort of sense of the suspicious deaths that have been taking place over the last eight months.
But if you broaden it out over the past three years, for instance, there have been something in the region of 40 people, 40 Russians, over the past three years that have met sticky ends under the suspicious circumstances. 12 of them have been critics of the Kremlin. Seven have been diplomats. Two of them were Russian anti- doping officials. Remember, Russia was implicated in what observers called a state-sponsored program of doping. Its athletes were banned from the Rio Olympics because of the doping. Two of the senior-most anti-doping figures in this country died of apparent natural causes. Of course, there were other people linked with possible links between the Trump administration and the Kremlin. So linked with leaking information about that.
So you put that all together and you have a picture of how dangerous it can be in Russia if you are involved in any way with the Russian government.
[11:39:34] BOLDUAN: Connection, maybe not. Strange, absolutely. And dangerous, most definitely.
Great to see you, Matthew. Thank you so much.
The White House kicking off what they are calling "Made in America" week today, highlighting companies who make their products in America. The only problem here, the president's empire is not taking his own advice. Now what?
Plus this. A shocking killing in the city where gun violence is already all too familiar. A 10-year-old boy dead after a bloody weekend in Chicago claimed 11 lives. That's next.
BOLDUAN: He loved video games, loved his classmates, and he was also looking forward to going back to school very soon. But a 10-year-old boy now is, instead, a victim of Chicago's violence. Gustavo Garcia was riding in a car when someone pulled up, opened fire and he was killed. Gustavo, along with 10 other people, were shot dead over the weekend, including Willie Cooper, an activist from an outreach center for teenagers. Cooper was walking in his neighborhood, shot in the back, then in the mouth. He died on the very street that he dedicated his life to try and make better in some way. His family now speaking out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:45:02] PATRICIA CARTER, NIECE OF WILLIE COOPER: People are just so cold hearted. How could you just take somebody's life? He helped everybody. I just don't understand.
My dad passed away and he -- he had been the man of the house, making sure me and my mom was OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: I want to bring in Donovan Price, a community activist in Chicago, much like Willie Cooper.
Mr. Price, thank you for joining me. I really appreciate it.
DONOVAN PRICE, CHICAGO COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: You knew Willie Cooper, not well. But you knew of him. He was shot and killed less than a block from his organization where he worked on the south side. What was your reaction when you learned it was him, he was a victim over the weekend.
PRICE: It's a very sad thing when pillars of the community are taken away from us, the things that could help or aid, the people that could play a bigger role in the solution of this problem, are taken away. Whether it be somebody active, like Will, or there was a 68-year-old gentleman who was just a senior and a wise person who was taken away last month. When fixtures of the community are taken away from an already broken situation, then you really start to wonder about it tumbling apart all together.
BOLDUAN: What does that say when someone like Willie Cooper, who is a person folks turn to when they needed help, when trying to escape the violence, he's one of the folks that falls victim to the violence that he was dedicated to trying to stop?
PRICE: It says there's a total disregard for life, a sense of hopelessness. It brings about a sense of hopelessness that comes from a sense of hopelessness. The hopelessness on the part of the people who would shoot or discharge a weapon at somebody like Will Cooper or even in the presence of somebody like Gustavo, young Gustavo, whatever the case may be. It shows there is a deep-seated problem.
BOLDUAN: President Trump, since he took office, he's put a spotlight on Chicago from time-to-time. He's promised to send in federal help to stop gun violence. As of last month, that meant more than a dozen ATF agents sent in to aid and also some additional support. Have you seen that on the streets? Do you see federal assistance making a difference here?
PRICE: I see assistance. I don't know if it's federal. I see more state troopers and things of that nature working with Chicago Police Department. I don't see any federal things on the street, per se. But, you know, that's -- I think they could be doing something behind the scenes or something else.
BOLDUAN: When this makes headlines for all the wrong reasons, what is your message beyond Chicago, to the country, to the president, who is paying attention?
PRICE: Well, this is a problem. When one little kid dies, all of our sons are killed. All our little cousins are killed. There's hope. The hope of the future is killed. Who knows what Gustavo could have been. Who knows what the little Tyshawn Lee (ph), the 9-year-old who was tragically gunned down a couple years ago, what that could have meant. We are losing hope. We are losing our future. You are losing voters. You are losing possible supporters. If you are truly interested. I haven't seen many people walk these streets. I noticed one thing. There were floods in the area recently. The
governor always goes down or the president goes down to where there was a flood or tornado and walks through the streets and declares a sense of emergency as a result of what he sees and what he talks with the people in the community. I don't see a lot of that. The numbers in Chicago aren't the highest numbers in the country. I talked with somebody from Baltimore who, per square mile, their numbers are bigger. Chicago's dynamic is very different and very tragic.
BOLDUAN: It sure is.
But it's always great to have you on to be a voice to speak out against this.
Thank you so much, Donovan. I appreciate it.
PRICE: Thank you.
[11:49:21] BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, the White House -- keep the focus there. The White House is calling this "Made in America" week. What about the president's own family? The president's own brand? Are they making any of their products in America? What are they going to do about it now? We'll discuss.
BOLDUAN: "Made in America." Another week, a new theme at the White House. The president set to highlight products and companies made right here in the USA. But is the president leading by example on this? Is his family's empire taking his own advice?
Joining me now, David Fahrenthold, CNN contributor and a reporter for the "Washington Post."
Great to see you, David.
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Your paper has done a deep dive into Trump products over time, where they're made, where they come from. What have you all found?
FAHRENTHOLD: My colleagues looked closely at Ivanka Trump's clothing empire. She sales all different kinds of clothing and jewelry. They looked at ship manifests, cargo records, customs records to see, OK, as her father talks about "Made in America," let's make more things in America, where are Ivanka Trump's goods made? The answer is exclusively overseas, mostly in Asia, and places where often workers are not well protected, workers work for low wages and don't see their families often. They talked to Ivanka Trump's CEO and they said, hey, are you going to make things in America now that Ivanka Trump's father ran for president on the basis that was something everybody could do. The company, Ivanka Trump's CEO said, we don't think it's possible. We can do a little bit of manufacturing in America but we don't believe the capacity exists. Not an optimistic statement at the beginning of "Made in America" week. BOLDUAN: And not dissimilar to probably what you hear from many
companies, who are trying to keep prices down when that's why they make things overseas. But is there any sign other than from Ivanka's brand, any sign since he's taken office they've made any moves, the Trump Organization, or with Ivanka, to try to move their products back to the U.S.?
[11:55:07] FAHRENTHOLD: There's been some lip service paid to it. I don't think we're seen any concrete evidence either Ivanka Trump's brand or Donald Trump's many lines of clothing, ties, fragrance, anything like that. We haven't seen movement they are going to make it in the United States. In fact, one of our reporters asked the White House, hey, how do you square "Made in America" week with what the Trump Organization and Ivanka Trump's company actually do with their products. The answer was, we'll get back to you.
BOLDUAN: Interestingly enough, yesterday, at a briefing they were asked, the White House was asked specifically, in light of this, is the White House going -- is the president and this daughter going to do more to bring it back to the U.S. They said, we'll get back to you.
Thanks, David. Great to see you. I appreciate it.
FAHRENTHOLD: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: We'll get back to you.
We'll be back in a moment.
[12:00:06] JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Welcome to "Inside Politics." I'm John King. Thanks for sharing your day with us.
A few days from the six-month mark and President Trump is historically unpopular.