Return to Transcripts main page


White House: Trump Stands By Sessions After Bashing Him in Interview; Bloomberg: Mueller Probing Trump Business Deals; O.J. Simpson Granted Parole. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 20, 2017 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.

We begin tonight with blowback from Republicans to the president's remarkable interview with "The New York Times". In it, he ripped Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself on Russia. He took verbal shots at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and former FBI Director James Comey.

The president also had a warning for Russia special counsel Robert Mueller not to poke too far into his business. When asked by "The Times" if that would constitute a red line for the president, he said yes. Whether it's that remark individually or the collective tone of many of them, what the president has said has been drawing some negative reviews from ordinarily solid supporters.

A group of Republican senators spoke with CNN.

One who did not want to be named said he was stunned by the remarks, the president's remarks about Director Mueller. Quote: Any thought of firing a special counsel is chilling, he said. It's chilling, that's all you can say.

Another said, quote, one gets the impression the president doesn't understand or he willfully disregards the fact that the attorney general and law enforcement in general, they are not his personal lawyers to defend and protect him.

Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, put it even more bluntly.


SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: The attorney general can't be a wing man for a president. He's got to be very independent. And work for -- be wing man for the people of the country.


COOPER: Over on the House side, Republicans also voicing concerns. Here's what Idaho GOP Congressman Mike Simpson said to "Politico". Quote: I don't even pay any attention to what is going on with the administration because I don't care. They're a distraction. The family is a distraction, the president is a distraction.

He summed it up this way. Quote: At first, it was, well, this is the guy we elected. He'll learn, he'll learn. And you just don't see that happening.

The view again, not from pundits or the press or Democrats, but Republicans tonight of a president some see as treating the White House as his personal domain and the presidency not as bigger than himself but strictly solely about himself, no one but himself. That has never worked for any White House or any president.

More now from Jeff Zeleny who's on the north lawn.

So, how does the White House explain the president's comments that -- then if he does in fact have full confidence in the attorney general?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the White House once again today was struggling to explain the comments. And once again in this position of trying to explain something that they weren't really planning for. This week was not designed to be talking about this but the president essentially went off yesterday speaking something that had been talked about privately in this town for a long time, that he was frustrated with Jeff Sessions. But that boiled over.

But at the daily White House press briefing today and talking to administration officials throughout the day, they said, look, the president is disappointed in the attorney general for recusing himself. He did not -- he was furious at the time back in March. And that was only intensified over these several months as the investigation has intensified.

But Anderson, talking to employees administration officials throughout the government here at the White House, they were jarred by this, largely because this was Jeff Sessions. He is a loyal soldier. He was the first Republican to sign on to the Trump campaign. So, in the words of one official, it had a chilling effect. Thinking if the president can do this to Jeff Sessions, what will he do to us if he sort of upset him in some way?

But Jeff Sessions happened to have a press conference today talking about cyber security but he, of course, was asked about this.


JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I have the honor of serving as attorney general. It's something that goes beyond any thought I would have ever had for myself. We love this job. We love this department. And I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate.


ZELENY: And, Anderson, you heard him say as long as it is appropriate. That is, of course, the central question here. We don't know. He doesn't know how long that is.

But he also spoke in the we. That was the entire high command of the Justice Department standing around him. And no one in that group of leaders, the FBI, the acting FBI director, the deputy attorney general, escaped the president's wrath in that "New York Times" interview. He singled virtually every one of them out.

So, the attorney general was saying, we love this department. He's standing firm tonight. No one here expects him to resign. The president has not asked for that resignation, but certainly awkward because they have not spoken yet I'm told, Anderson. Simply, the president talking about him but not to him.

COOPER: Jeff, what did the White House have to say about the red line the president drew for Mueller when it comes to looking to his family's finances.

ZELENY: Anderson, that was another fascinating part of the interview because it was clear that that is on the president's mind as well. And it's important to remember, he knows more about this investigation than anyone else. He's being briefed by lawyers, and, you know, he made clear that he -- miss finances, his family he's are off limits.

Well, the White House was asked about that today, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy press secretary, said, look, this investigation should stay focused on the Russian meddling in the election. It should stay focused on that.

[20:05:00] It should not be talking about the finances. But the reality here is Bob Mueller has this investigation. He is likely going after that. At least it looks like, at this time.

But, again, the question is, does the president plan to fire him? The White House said again today he does not plan to fire the special prosecutor, but they do say he has the authority to do so if he so chooses. That, of course, is an open question here, but the White House insists he does but he is not going to, at least right now.

COOPER: All right. Jeff Zeleny, appreciate that.

Before moving on, again, I just want to underscore the White House's take on the president's veiled warning to Robert Mueller. Here's what spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at today's no-cameras allowed press briefing.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I think that the president, the point he's trying to make is that the clear purpose of the Russia investigation is to review Russia's meddling in the election and that that should be the focus of the investigation, nothing beyond that.

REPORTER: That should not be viewed as a threat, as a warning to what the special counsel should or should not be looking at if it relates to the president's and his family's finances?

SANDERS: The president is making clear that the special counsel should not move outside of the scope of the investigation.


COOPER: Sarah Sanders off-camera today.

To her point, though, it looks like the special counsel's team is already pushing pretty hard to exactly the area that the president's warning is a no-go zone. "Bloomberg" is out with a new reporting which I should point out CNN has not independently confirmed. "Bloomberg's" headline make it close to Trump Tower and the Trump White House, quote, Mueller expands probe to Trump's business transactions.

"Bloomberg's" Greg Farrell is on the byline. I spoke to him just before airtime.


COOPER: So, Greg, based on your reporting, what is Mueller expanding his probe to include?

GREG FARRELL, LEGAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, BLOOMBERG: What we've learned is that he is taking a broad view of the investigation and not a narrow view. So, the mandate he was given in mid May is open to interpretation. Anything related to Russia, and that might have resulted in interference in the election. He's clearly going back more than a decade to any real estate transactions involving Russian national --

COOPER: Really more than a decade?

FARRELL: Exactly. Well, Russians were buying Trump's -- particularly in the U.N. We did a big story on this earlier. Russians were buying Trump apartments at the U.N. development I think more than a decade ago.

COOPER: Yes. He has a building basically across from the U.N.

FARRELL: Yes, exactly, exactly. And that's a lot of Russian -- a lot of Russians bought there. He became very popular among Russians. So, that's one thing. The times, the scope of the time is like, you know, something I think was a new element of this.

COOPER: And your reporting is that Mueller has already issued subpoenas to banks to get records?

FARRELL: It's less specific than that.


FARRELL: It's that he's clearly focused on any major transaction that has taken place. Like the Miss Universe, you know, 2013 pageant in Moscow, it's either the flipping of the Florida mansion. In order to get information, you'll have to issue subpoenas.

COOPER: Right.

FARRELL: He has issued some to some banks and more difficult is to issue not subpoenas but requests from information from foreign banks, European banks. That takes time. COOPER: So, is that something that President Trump would be aware of? I mean, if a bank he had done business was subpoenaed --

FARRELL: Yes, I think in general, when -- even you and I, if someone wanted our bank records and subpoenaed our banks, we would be notified of that. So, it's not something that would happen, you know, in secret.

COOPER: So, do you know the exact financial interest that he's looking into? Donald Trump had bought a house in Florida.

FARRELL: Yes, in Palm Beach, Florida, yes.

COOPER: That for like $41 million.

FARRELL: Good memory, yes.

COOPER: And then sold it.

FARRELL: Four years later in 2008, March of 2008, sold it, having done almost nothing with it, for $95 million to a Russian oligarch. And at a time when property values were not going like this anymore. So, it could be like, you know, the Russian oligarch wanted it, he was going through a divorce. He wanted a home.

There was a number of reasons that I've read about why it made sense for him. However, it was a staggeringly high price. So, it could be totally legitimate. But things like that that look unusual, why was the sum of money paid? That's the type of thing an investigator would want to get into.

COOPER: And is any of this linked to Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney in New York?

FARRELL: Yes. In some ways, some elements of this grew out of an investigation started here in New York. And, of course, the irony was Preet was asked to stay on by Trump in November and he did stay on and was fired in early March.

So, the -- an element of that which involved Paul Manafort among others -- among other threats has been subsumed into the larger, you know, Mueller probe.

COOPER: But no evidence that the firing of Preet Bharara had anything -- I mean, there's no connection --

FARRELL: There's been no such sort of like reason given on Bharara. And it could be that he was just fired because Trump got -- you know, was feeling the heat after the events of the first five weeks and wanted to get rid of anybody who was not on his team.

[20:10:01] COOPER: Any reaction from the White House to your reporting?

FARRELL: No, we do have a response from Trump's lawyer, John Dowd, who took issue with -- you know, first of all, he said, we're not aware of any of this. Secondly, he raised the question that he thought that, you know, what we reported indicates that the special counsel has gone beyond what his mandate was given two months ago. And besides, some of these issues are beyond the statute of limitations.

COOPER: It's a fascinating article. Greg Farrell from "Bloomberg" -- thanks so much.

FARRELL: Great. Thank you so much.


COOPER: Well, joining us now is Ken Cuccinelli, Pamela Brown, Trump biographer Timothy O'Brien and Jeff Toobin.

Tim, you probably know more about the president's finances at a certain point in his career than probably anyone outside of those who actually work for him. What does it mean to have a special council or special prosecutor looking into his business dealings? I mean --

TIM O'BRIEN, TRUMP BIOGRAPHER: Well, it's -- you know, it's the financial equivalent of getting a thorough physical from a doctor you may not want to visit. You know, he's going to have to get, I think his taxes turned over, his bank records, and records of any business transactions. I think what's also happened so far is that the net has come to include members of the Trump Organization, other people who've worked with him.

I think Mueller will subpoena hard drives from the Trump Organization's computers and I think the larger issue here in light of the "New York Times" article is that Trump threw down this warning to Mueller. I don't think Mueller's listening.

COOPER: You see that, though, as a warning?

O'BRIEN: Absolutely. I think it's a warning, and I also have thought sometime -- we talked about this before, that I don't think Trump would hesitate to fire Mueller if the heat gets turned up. I think we saw this already with Comey. He is someone who tends to lash out when the vice gets tightened, and he's in the middle of a very serious federal investigation.

COOPER: Jeff, I mean, you know, obviously Donald Trump has resisted his finances being looked into long before, obviously, he was even running for president. For him to be pushing back on this shouldn't come as much of a surprise really.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It shouldn't come as a surprise, but the magnitude of firing a special prosecutor who is investigating you, you know, shouldn't be underestimated. It's only happened once before in history, the Saturday night massacre in 1973 when Richard Nixon demanded the firing of Archibald Cox. It would certainly be a big deal.

But when you look --

COOPER: The White House says he has no intention --

TOOBIN: He has no intention. But if you listen to that interview, yesterday, with the "New York Times," you know, he was, I thought, pretty clear that there were lines that if Mueller crossed, he wouldn't hesitate to demand his firing.

He also said something interesting about the finances, which in that interview. He said I don't make money in Russia. But he didn't say, I don't borrow money in Russia. And that's really been the question that a lot of people have. Not whether he has investments in Russia. I think we all know he doesn't really have major investments in Russia.

But has he received loans? That's something where he could generate indebtedness both in a financial and political sense, and that's something that I am certain Mueller is looking into.

COOPER: Ken, I mean, Mueller's instructions from the Department of Justice, in addition to investigating any coordination, or alleged coordination between Russia and the campaign, they also include, quote, any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation. Does that give him a tremendous amount of leeway here?

KENNETH CUCCINELLI, CNN LEGAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you could interpret that way, but remember, one of the criticisms of the independent counsel law when it existed, the reason we don't have it anymore is because of independent counsel's getting outside their initial charge. Now, we have a special counsel regulation, which is what Mueller is operating under, and it is exactly that kind of concern that has been expressed in bipartisan basis for years and years and years.

COOPER: Does it seem to be that he's going beyond his portfolio?

CUCCINELLI: Well, I don't know that that's the case yet, but the way you asked the question, it does not give him the ability properly to just do a fishing expedition on the Trump family, with respect to economics of the Trump family related to Russia and recent years and I don't think a March 2008 sale of a moment would fall into that category -- then it could very well be within the charge he's been given.

But other things that fall outside it, it isn't like they have to go away. He should just hand them over to the Department of Justice to handle on their own as they see fit.

COOPER: Pam, as we said, CNN is still working to confirm the reporting by "Bloomberg", why would investigators be looking to finances as part of the Russian meddling, probably and apartment buying?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, one the main reasons investigators would want to look at that is to see if any Russians or anyone connected to the Russian government was trying to finance real estate deals as a way to curry favor. That is certainly something that logically investigators want to look at in this investigation. As they try to figure out the Russian interference and influence campaign that was going on during the election, and perhaps even before the election, according to investigators.

And you heard and you were just discussing this, the attorneys for the president say that this is outside of the scope -- of the special counsel scope.

[20:15:07] But the wording is important. It does say that anything that arises from this investigation or may arise can be looked at. And so, in talking to prosecutors current and former they say finances would be something you want to look at as you try to build a picture and have a better understanding of what Russia's role was here, Anderson.

COOPER: Tim, when you tried to look into the president's finances now over a decade ago, what was his response? I mean, how did he deal with that?

O'BRIEN: You know, he said --


O'BRIEN: But until we got to that point, he never offered substantive documentation to everything. It was always take my word. This and this is worth this much, but I won't tell you how much debt I have.

It was a cat and mouse game, and I think the big difference here is that Robert Mueller has subpoena power. I was a reporter. I just had an ability to interview him. So, it's very different circumstances now.

And I think one of the things that's going to arise in all of this and Jeff alluded to this with the loans is that there's an issue about whether any of these peoples he did with were cutouts or representatives of other interests in Russia, financial or political, Kremlin or other powerful interests. And I think that's another thing that Mueller is going to have to unearth.

COOPER: I want to thank everybody.

Ahead tonight, a question of family ties after one prior apology for doing it already, are Jared Kushner's name and Oval Office connection still being used to attract foreign investors to the family business that he left behind? 360 investigates and gets results.

Also coming up next, O.J. Simpson's parole. What the board agreed to and what Simpson said that got Jeff Toobin's attention. He's back to talk about it when we continue.


[20:20:25] COOPER: O.J. Simpson will soon be a freeman after serving nearly nine years in prison for his role in a Las Vegas hotel robbery. He went before state parole board. The hearing did not lack for drama and one of his remarks about not having a violent past certainly raised a lot of eyebrows. I'll have more on that shortly.

But, first, CNN's Paul Vercammen. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nevada's parole commissioners unanimously handed O.J. Simpson a get out of prison card. A relieved Simpson heard what he wanted. He will serve the minimum nine years of a possible 33-year sentence for his role in the 2007 armed robbery and kidnapping of memorabilia dealers Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley, who is now deceased.

Simpson pleaded with the commissioners for his freedom from the Lovelock medium security prison.

SIMPSON: I'm sorry it happened. I'm sorry to Nevada. You know, nine years away from your family is just not worth it and I'm sorry.

VERCAMMEN: Simpson stressed he had been disciplinary free, a model inmate.

SIMPSON: I've done my time. You know, I've done it as well as respectfully as I think anybody can. I think if you talk to the wardens, they'll tell you I've been -- I gave them my word. I believe in the jury system. I've honored their verdict.

VERCAMMEN: Commissioner Tony Corda called Simpsons conviction a serious crime, said there was no excuse for it but added Simpson complied with prison rules and was low risk to re-offend.

TONY CORDA, NEVADA PAROLE COMMISSIONER: The question here as with all parole hearings is whether or not you served enough time in prison on this case. Considering all of these factors, my vote is to grant your parole effective when eligible.

VERCAMMEN: And his colleagues agreed. The board noted Simpson's 1990s legal issues in California had no bearing in Nevada. An allusion to his acquittal for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

Simpson's life so often filled with sensational moments took another twist during the parole hearing. Fromong testified, but unlike so many crime victims who make frighten pleas for parole boards to keep their offender in prison, Fromong asked for his friend O.J. to be set free.

BRUCE FROMONG, ROBBERY VICTIM: He's a good man. He made a mistake. And if he called me tomorrow and said, Bruce, I'm getting out, will you pick me up? Juice, I'll be here tomorrow.

VERCAMMEN: And Simpson revealed his plan after release is to move to Florida.

SIMPSON: I could easily stay in Nevada, but I don't think you guys want me here.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: And Paul Vercammen joins us now. So, what is next for O.J. Simpson now that he's been granted parole?

VERCAMMEN: So he stays in this prison behind me until about October. A little bit before that, he'll go to another facility in southern Nevada and that's where he will make his exit. Also, those commissioners, Anderson, they hash out the very detailed terms and conditions of his parole and they sent him a message. They said if he breaks any of the rules while on parole, he could be right back in the facility here in Nevada.

COOPER: All right. Paul Vercammen, appreciate it.

Our CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is back. He is, fair to say, stiff in all things O.J. Simpson, having written the definitive account of the murder trial.

Also with us, CNN legal analysts Mark Geragos and Areva Martin.

Jeff, I mean, earlier today, you said the parole board probably wasn't wrong to grant him parole but you were pretty critical of the statements, some of the statements he made.

TOOBIN: Well, I was. I mean, I -- you know, it's been a long time that I've -- I thought, you know, I was sort of over the whole thing. But just to see him there, justifying his behavior, you know, mouthing the words, I'm sorry it happened.

But, you know, trying to justify what he said -- what he did for which he was arrested, but then even worse, to describe himself as someone who had led a conflict-free life, when he was a convicted domestic abuser, when Nicole Brown Simpson had called repeatedly to 911 for the violence that he imposed on her, putting aside the murders for which he was acquitted, I just thought that was so indicative of someone that doesn't think domestic violence is a real-time. I just was totally, totally off fended.

COOPER: Mark, I mean, to Jeff's point. It was interesting. You know, he keep saying he was sorry for what happened as though it was like a thunderstorm that just happened as opposed to for what I did. But you thought it was a slam dunk he'd be granted parole.

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I didn't think there was any doubt given the low risk factors, given his age, given the fact that he was -- he's already done nine years on a case that the prosecution offered him two and a half years, so he got the going to trial penalty, if you will, for exercising his right to a trial.

[20:25:12] And if you take a look at what they're supposed to consider, as I said, it was a slam dunk.

I don't disagree with Jeff. I mean, when this started and he was making that statement, it just -- I had kind of my own posttraumatic stress but more from clients who you talk to and talk to and you tell them just own it, just own it, and he wasn't owning it, so to speak. But ultimately, at the end of the day, when you check off the boxes of

what the commissioners were supposed to do, he met all of those things and there was really no reason to keep him in there. He's 70 years old. The guys who had the guns a basically got slaps on the wrists and that was the end of that. I didn't think there was much suspense of this.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, Areva, the parole board made it clear, their decision was based on this case, had nothing to do with the 1995 acquittal. But legally speaking, would a parole board take into consideration prior convictions? He was convicted of spousal abuse in 1989 involving Nicole Brown Simpson, and there were multiple 911 calls made by her, saying that he was being abusive on multiple incidents, and yet he said he lived a conflict-free life.

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I think that statement was inaccurate, Anderson, and absolutely the parole board takes into account prior convictions. That's one of the 11 factors that the parole board had to take into consideration. And they also looked at aggravating and mitigating factors.

I just think that anyone being objective about what happened today would have to agree the system worked as it should have today. You had someone that was convicted of a robbery. They were sentenced to nine to 33 years. He had a discipline-free nine years in this prison, he met the criteria that's been set, and that's what's supposed to happen. When you meet the criteria, when you are peaceful, when you're under the radar in prison and you go before a parole board, and you have the victim plead for your release, then the parole should act upon that and you should be released.

I think people are confusing this with a popularity contest. This wasn't and isn't a popularity contest.

COOPER: Yes. We're going to have more on this, including exactly what Jeff Toobin has just been objecting to, and play you some of the 911 tapes so you hear what for yourself what his self-described conflict-free life really sounds like.

More ahead.


[20:30:47] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: During his parole hearing today O.J. Simpson made the dubious claim that he has lived a conflict free life, the fact certainly don't pair that out. He was acquitted in the brutal death of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Simpson did later admit to hurting his wife and once plead no contest to spousal battery. Here's just a few of the 911 calls that Brown Simpson made.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're sending the police. What is he doing? Is he threatening you?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has he threatened you in any way or just harassing you?

SIMPSON: You're going to hear him in a minute. He's about to come in again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, just stay on the line.

SIMPSON: I don't want to stay on the line. He's going to beat the [beep] out of me. He wanted somebody's phone number and I gave him my phone book or I put my phone book down to write down the phone number that he wanted and he took my phone book with all my stuff in it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, so basically you guys have just been arguing?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he inside right now?




COOPER: Let's bring out the panel. I mean, Jeff, you listened to that call. Just chilling?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there's one that I always remember, one of the 911 calls where she identified herself and -- who's your husband and she says it's O.J. Simpson, I think you know his record, which suggests how many times she called 911. And we saw the photographs of her with black eyes that he gave her, and this story, as elaborate and complicated as it got, is something that I always thought was something very unfortunately very familiar, a domestic violence homicide. An ex-husband killed an ex-wife. It happens every day in America.

COOPER: And in some places people don't take it as seriously in some lens as other crimes.

TOOBIN: Domestic violence has always been treated at least before the modern era as sort of a family matter, as a personal matter, not something. And maybe something that the victim has a right to complain about but what -- you know, I hope people are starting to see that domestic violence is not a crime just against the victim, it's a crime against society just like bank robbery, just like kidnapping, just like murder.

COOPER: Mark, it was interesting during the hearing say, we did hear O.J. Simpson's side of this robbery story really for the first time. What happened in Vegas since, he didn't take the stand during the trial nine years ago. I mean, it was so convoluted, at a certain point I -- it was almost impossible to follow. The but, again, he just seemed to be kind of saying well, yes, it was all these other people and the other ones who had guns and I was just there and I couldn't sort it out but it all just got out of hand because of these other people.

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That harkens back to what I was saying about not owning it. I mean, the one thing you have to do in parole hearings, if you're generally -- I counsel people to do -- is own it. You're not relitigating the case. And this clearly, as you just articulately recounted, was him relitigating the case. And so I understand that and I understand he wants to tell the story, and basically what he was trying to say -- I think the point he was trying to make was, look, I only went there not for the memorabilia, I don't care about memorabilia. I went there for the intimate family photos. And that, in his mind, I think dovetailed with the idea that he wants to just get out and be with his family.

And so, I understand it. I've been there. I understand that when you counsel a client something it's just, you know, it's one of the reasons you never want to put a client on the stand is because you never know what's going to happen after you let loose with them. And I think that's exactly what happened today.

COOPER: Areva, I mean, you made the important point that this isn't a popularity contest that Parole Board had a job which was to look at a specific number of factors. What where the factors that they were looking at. And how much was his behavior while incarcerated taken into account?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: His behavior, Anderson, was a big part of what they took into consideration. There are actually 11 factors that the Parole Board in Nevada looks at. Age, employment at the time that the incident occurred, substance abuse, including use of alcohol, severity of the crime that was committed, family support, a stable plan once you're released. All of those factors, and of course your conduct during your imprisonment.

[20:35:05] And I also made the point earlier today that you can't really talk about O.J. Simpson without talking about the issues of race, class and justice. And everyone keeps saying that talking about him relitigating the facts and in many ways we are relitigating the 1994 trial that occurred in Los Angeles. I don't condone the conduct listening to those domestic violence tapes were chilling to me, but the reality is that was over 24 years ago and to say that the prison -- the Parole Board should have considered that tape, that audiotape of Nicole Brown reporting that domestic violence and making this determination, to me is just a hype of hypocrisy.

COOPER: I don't think anybody's saying that he consider that, it's more just contradicts what he himself said about living a conflict free life, which I think everyone of you agree with.

I want to thank everybody. Up next the latest on the Russia probe on Capitol Hill, why did the judiciary chairman is threatening to subpoena Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort.


COOPER: The Russia probe is moving forward on Capitol Hill with a slew of testimonies coming up next week. Among the invited guests, Donald Trump Jr. and Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort.

Now Senator Chuck Grassley is threatening subpoenas both of them do not agree to appear. Meanwhile, Jared Kushner has agreed to speak with other senators in a close session. Our Manu Raju has the latest to tell.

[30:40:03] You've been talked to members of Senate Judiciary Committee, what are they saying about these requests for Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: We'll they're saying that they need to respond by tomorrow and tell the committee tomorrow whether in fact they do plan to appear in this hearing next Wednesday. So far we have not heard whether or not they will, but Senator Chuck Grassley and Senator Dianne Feinstein, the leaders of the committee telling me earlier today that they are taking this very seriously, even Grassley raising the specter of sending Federal Marshals over to deliver the subpoenas if they don't comply.


RAJU: Are you concerned that Donald Trump Jr. and Manafort have not yet accept the invitation to appear before the committee next week?

SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN, (D) JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Am I concerned? No. I'm not concerned because if they don't, they'll be subpoenaed.

SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY, (R) CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: We are having hearing next Wednesday so obviously we want to hear right away so we get the subpoena. I hope they accept the subpoena voluntarily. If they don't, then you have to have a marshal give it and that takes a little more time.


RAJU: Now, tonight, Anderson, Paul Manafort's representatives are telling us that they we are weighing the request, they're not saying whether or not they will appear or not. But Donald Trump Jr.'s attorney has not responded to multiple request for comment about whether or not he will actually appear at this public hearing next week, and of course Donald Trump Jr. went on Sean Hannity's program, Anderson, and said he will be willing to testify before Congress but he has not said, yes, whether or not he will this invitation now that it's in writing, Anderson.

COOPER: And Jared Kushner is going to speak with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday, right?

RAJU: Yes, that's right. In fact, this to be a staff level interview, Staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee going to talk to them in a classified session. Now, I am told that this will actually -- he will not be sworn in. He will not be force to take the oath while being interviewed by staff but he of course has to tell the full truth to the staff of the committee, any misleading statements underlying to Congress that could something -- that could be considered a crime.

Now, I have been told in the past that he is also agreed to talk to Senators but unclear whether or not that will actually happen and or when that will happen or if will happen Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Manu Raju, thanks. Earlier today I spoke with a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Chris Coons.


COOPER: Senator Coons I'm wondering if Judiciary Committee has received responses from Donald Trump Jr. or Paul Manafort to request that they come Wednesday?

SENATOR CHRIS COONS, (D) JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I don't know specifically, Andeson, whether or not the committee staff have yet heard a confirmation from Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort whether they will come willingly next Wednesday. But the Chairman, Senator Grassley and the ranking member Senator Feinstein have both said now publicly that they're willing to subpoena them if they don't come willingly. So it's my expectation that el we'll be seeing them next Wednesday.

COOPER: Yes. Do you recall with that approach, the idea of subpoenaing them if they don't come willingly?

COONS: Well, I think it's a way that the Congress has of ensuring that folks who we view as very important, very high level witnesses come and testify. Obviously it's preferable if they keep public commitments state made and come willingly. But the Congress does have subpoena power and I think it's appropriate to use it when necessary.

COOPER: Has the committee requested any documents like e-mails from either Donald Trump Jr. or Paul Manafort?

COONS: My understanding is that yes, there's been a fairly wide ranging document request but I don't know the details of exactly what documents have been requested.

COOPER: If they in any way refuse, is that something also you would support subpoena?

COONS: Yes, it's my expectation that the committee will use its subpoena power if necessary to get document the relative to the meetings and the relationships that we're investigating.

I think this is an important next step for us in the Senate Judiciary Committee as an important part of the intelligence committee's work as well using Congress's subpoena power.

COOPER: For Donald Trump Jr. is the focus just that meeting that we all know about last June? Or is it beyond that?

COONS: Well speaking for myself, one of my main concerns is the meeting that Donald Trump Jr. had that was initially mischaracterized as a small and brief meeting about adoption but over the next couple days it turned out it was a much larger group, about eight people talking about potentially receiving derogatory information about Secretary Clinton from someone who represented herself as being a Russian official, someone on behalf of the Russian government.

The e-mail that's now been disclose by Donald Trump Jr. is quite challenging, quite intriguing and raises more questions than it answered. And with Paul Manafort, the issue here is that he was representing interests in Ukraine that were closely tied with the Kremlin and whether or not those were complicating relationships that played a role in decisions he made as the manager of the Donald Trump for president campaign.

COOPER: And as you know, I mean the New York Times is reporting that Paul Manafort was in debt $17,000 to pro-Russian interest groups. I assume that will be of interest to people on the committee.

[20:45:06] COONS: Any sort of complicating relationships that Trump's campaign manager may have had with Russians, with Russian creditors or with Russian leaders would be of interest to the committee.

COOPER: Do you know if the committee is going to be bringing anyone else from that meeting at Trump Tower in to the committee to testify?

COONS: I don't know that but my expectation is following Wednesday's testimony by Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. We may well expand the request to have before us a sworn testimony, several other participants in that meeting and several other folks who could shed more light on the complicated relationship between Donald Trump's campaign manager and Russian interests.

COOPER: Senator Coons, appreciate your time. Thank you.

COONS: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Up next, this past bring Kushner Companies. The family business once run by Jared Kushner apologized for using his name and his White House connections when attempting to lure investors for real estate project. So, is his name still being used? I'll tell you what "360" investigation uncovered in a moment. You'll only see it here.


COOPER: Tonight, 360 investigation into the Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner is no longer involved in the family's real estate operation. But you may remember just two months ago, the company was caught using his name and his White House connections in an effort to lure for investors, then came the apology.

[20:50:05] So, you might have thought his name was stopped being used to promote the company. It's not entirely true. Take a look what CNN Senior Investigator Correspondent Drew Griffin discovered. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The ethical questions surrounding the promotions of this Kushner family project in Jersey City, New Jersey are about to grow. That is because despite an apology from Kushner companies, CNN has discovered that groups working with the Kushner project had continued to use White House adviser Jared Kushner as a promotional tool to attract Chinese investors seeking U.S. immigration visa, labeling him, Mr. Perfect and Trump's son-in-law.

The promotions are for a Kushner building development covered under a U.S. Government program called EB-5 gives foreigners and their families a chance the chance for a green card as long as they invest at least $500,000 in an American project.

And this project is the same one Jared Kushner's sister was pitching the wealthy Chinese investors in Beijing in May. Nicole Kushner Meyer used her brother as a selling point. Sparking outrage, a statement from Jared lawyers saying Jared know nothing of the promotion was no longer financially tied to one Journal Square and would recused himself from particular matters involving EB-5. From Kushner companies came this, "Kushner companies apologizes if that mention of her brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors. That was not Ms. Meyer's intention."

GRIFFIN (on camera): It was still in this website.


GRIFFIN (voice-over): But here on Chinese social media pages, CNN discovered companies continued promoting the Kushner's One Journal Square property, alluding to or directly referencing Jared Kushner and his connections to President Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jared Kushner was on the FORTH Magazine in 2016.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Right here forms 99.


GRIFFIN (voice-over): Ads in Chinese writing that described the Kushners as real estate big shots, Jared Kushner as the celebrity of the family and 30-something Mr. Perfect, Jared Kushner who once served as CEO of Kushner companies.

Another refers to the President himself saying, "Even some members of Trump's family have participated in the growth of the EB-5 program and refers to Trump's son-in-law." And that Forbes magazine reference refers to this edition, with Jared on the cover, this guy got Trump elected.

The posts come from two companies who worked with the Kushners to attract investors to their project. Chinese company QWAS or Q-W-O-S which organized the event in May where Kushner's sister spoke. And the U.S. immigration fund, a private company seeking EB-5 investors for the Kushner's New Jersey Development. CNN contacted both businesses as well as Kushner companies. We have not heard from QWAS but within hours the U.S. Immigration Fund sites had removed any references to Jared Kushner.

In a statement the company blamed the post on a third party saying the post was several months old and has not had any interaction by followers. Kushner Company sent this response saying, "Kushner companies was not aware of these sites and has nothing to do with them. The company will be sending a cease and desist letter regarding the references to Jared Kushner."

In a letter sent June 1st, three democratic lawmakers asked Kushner companies to explain the nature of its relationship with these companies but so far they have not received a response.

The visa program is perfectly legal but ethics lawyer Richard Painter says using the president's son-in-law to lure investors to the program is unacceptable.

RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ETHICS LAWYER: We talked to people in the Bush White House, don't let other people use your name to raise money for investments.

GRIFFIN: Michael Gibson says he believes that Jared Kushner references are deliberate. He is an expert on helping foreign nationals invest in the EB-5 visa program and says Chinese investors, especially, look for projects they feel the U.S. government supports.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Having the president's son-in-law name on a project, if I'm sitting in China I would perceive that as some level of security.

MICHAEL GIBSON, EB-5 INVESTMENT ADVISOR: What they want to make sure is that they get the green card, so if they see a public official associated with the project that gives them the impression that this project is safe enough for them to invest in terms of getting the green card.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Originally intended to spark development in rural and blighted urban areas, the EB-5 program is now work into a funding source for developers who can raise millions of dollars from foreigners as long as the investments create jobs. About 10,000 EB-5 visas are available to foreign investors and their families each year.

The developers get the cash and as for most investors, QWOS website states the whole family gets their green cards, it comes at a minimum price of a half a million dollars. And what better way to invest that money than with the company who's former CEO, Mr. Perfect is the son- in-law of the President.


[20:55:12] COOPER: Drew Griffin joins us now. I mean this does seem like a pretty explicit strong conflict of interest? GRIFFIN: And that's exactly why Democrats, Anderson, are asking for more information, why government emphases are crying foul on this. Jared Kushner's position is pretty simple. He is not involved in this. But the fact that his family up until just yesterday still had this company is using Jared Kushner's position to raise money, only highlights to critics just how valuable is going to be for the Kushner companies, these four years maybe eight that they can either sell, promote or just benefit, Anderson, from people knowing they have a relative in the White House.

COOPER: Drew Griffin, I appreciate that the update.

Coming up -- up next, O.J. Simpson's parole has claimed the parole hearing that he is basically let a conflict-free life. Keeping our eyes on that.


COOPER: We're at the top of the hour, the end of a day that stirs all kinds of memories and emotions for all kinds of reasons. O.J. Simpson has been in his 70-year-old life a sports hero, pitch man, actor, role model, admitted wife beater, one time alleged murder and more. For the last eight plus years, he has been in Nevada prison inmate. Today, he learned he will soon be going free. And just as it has been for the last two plus decades today's parole hearing keep people some of it talks about including this unfounded claim.


[21:00:00] SIMPSON: I always thought I have been pretty good with people. And I have basically spent a conflict-free life. You know, I am not a guy that ever got in the fights on the street and with the public and everybody.