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Anthony Scaramucci Appointed New White House Communications Director; Death Toll Rising From Horrifying Human Trafficking Incident in San Antonio Texas; President Trump Again Taking to Twitter. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired July 23, 2017 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Anthony Scaramucci made the explosive revelation in a remarkable interview on this morning's "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper. Scaramucci also says the President has not yet decided if he will sign a tough new bill increasing sanctions on Russia. Here is a portion of that gripping exchange.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: So you come to the White House at a time when President Trump has historically low approval ratings. He signed into law zero major pieces of legislation. Health care is on life support. Multiple investigations are underway. I guess the big question is, is President Trump facing a communications problem or a substance problem?

Did you leave anything out there? I mean, you were doing pretty well there.

TAPPER: I gave you a short version.

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: OK, Listen. There's obviously a communications problem because there is a lot of things that we have done as relates to executive orders, bills that have been signed, economic progress. I don't want to cite all the economic date of the economy is super strong. Business optimism is way up. And over the next six months, we are going to have phenomenal achievements.

I still think we are going to get the health care situation done. One of my closest friend is the secretary treasury, very confident on tax reform. If the President gets those two pillars done, which I predict he will over the next six months, you know, you and I hopefully will sit down around Christmastime and be having a different conversation about the presidency, the communication coming out of the White House and our achievements.

And so, these things, they go up and down, Jake, as you know. The President is an experienced business person. He is a very effective politician. And I just think we need to deliver the messaging a little differently than we have been doing it in the past. And I -- my prediction is, this stuff is going to start to come to fruition quite quickly. TAPPER: As you know, one of the problems that Sean Spicer and others

in the White House have faced is President Trump undermining his own message. You said on Friday that the nation needs to see more of the authentic Trump. Just this week, President Trump set up an interview with the "New York Times" in which he attacked the attorney general, the deputy attorney general, the special council, the former FBI director, the acting FBI director, he then went on a tweet storm Saturday that additionally distracted from his agenda. I guess another question is, is it more authenticity that he needs or is it more restraint?

SCARAMUCCI: Listen, I don't want to be a career guidance counselor for those people that he is talking about, but let me give some advice to those people on your show. That's the President. The President likes speaking from the heart. He likes telling what he likes and he dislikes. He is the type of coach that I work very well with in high school football. It's OK with me if the President doesn't like certain things that I'm doing. We are all on the same team. I would prefer the direct and immediate feedback as opposed to anything else.

What I don't like about Washington if we say one syllable or one sentence, this guy said something bad about me, then all of a sudden they have to be my mortal enemy. I don't think that is how it works in American business. I consider across the table from somebody that work with me and my company that I founded and say here are five things that I don't like about what you are doing and we have to fix it. And by the way, tomorrow I'm going to have a meeting with the communications staff and say, hey, I don't like these leaks. And so, we are going to stop the leaks. And if we don't stop the leaks, I'm going to stop you which is really that simple.

So for me, let me just finish Jake. So for me, I would tell people that that's the President. He is 71 years old. We are not going to change him. By the way, the last time I checked, he won the presidency quite handily. He is going to win it again in 2020. He is our guy. And so, learn how to work with and operate with him.

TAPPER: Congressional leaders have reached an agreement on sanctions to punish Russia for its election meddling and aggression towards its neighbors. Is President Trump going to sign the Russian sanctions bill?

SCARAMUCCI: We have to ask President Trump that. You know, it's my second or third day on the job. My guess is that he is going to make that decision shortly. But you know, there's a lot of questions out there, Jake. You mean, you know. And this is another thing I don't like about the process. This man, our President has phenomenal instincts. A lot of stuff that people said in the mainstream media that was supposedly true turned out that it wasn't true. I think that it was three or four weeks ago there were 17 intelligence agencies that were saying something, then we realize that there is only four intelligence agencies. And I'm not saying four agencies is insignificant. I'm saying there's a lot of disinformation out there, you know.

Somebody said to me yesterday, I won't tell you who, that if the Russians actually hacked this situation and spilled out those emails, you would have never seen it. You would never had any evidence of them. Meaning they are super confident in their deception skills and hacking. My point is, all of the information isn't on the table yet. But here's what I know about the President.

TAPPER: Wait a minute, Anthony.

SCARAMUCCI: Let me finish.

TAPPER: You are making a lot of assertions here. I don't know who this anonymous person is who said that if the Russians had actually done it we wouldn't be able to detect it.

SCARAMUCCI: How about it was the President.

TAPPER: OK. It's the consensus.

[16:05:01] SCARAMUCCI: He called me from air force one and he basically said to me, hey, you know, this is -- maybe they did it, maybe they didn't do it. I'm going to maintain for you.

TAPPER: This is exactly the issue.

SCARAMUCCI: Hold on a second.

TAPPER: This is exactly the issue here. We have experts. The U.S. intelligence agencies unanimous both Obama appointees and Trump appointees, the director of national intelligence. The head of the national security agency. The head of the FBI. I mean, all of these intelligence experts saying, Russia hacked the election. They tried to interfere in the election. No votes were changed, but there was this disinformation and misinformation campaign. President Trump is correcting it, and you are siding with President Trump.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I didn't say that I was siding with President Trump. He hasn't made the decision yet to sign that bill one way or the other. And so, when he makes that decision, I will 100 percent side with him because I'm his communications director. And I'm his advocate on a show like this.

Last time I checked, the way the founding fathers put the constitution together, they made one person the commander in-chief. It happens to be President Donald J. Trump. He will make that decision when he makes it. And then you - I will come back on the show and I will explain it to you. And I will explain to you why he made the decision that way.

But what I'm saying to you, and you may not want to agree with me, and we can litigate this, there's a lot of disinformation out there, Jake. And so, one of the things I'm going to try to do is speak very transparently to you and the American people, get the President's message out there. I have found in my life experience with President Trump, when he is out there himself and he is being his fresh authentic self, it is very appealing to the people of the United States. And you don't need to (INAUDIBLE) up or coach him on certain things. What we need to do is allow him to be himself so that we can get these policies out there. They will be very good for the American people.

TAPPER: But this is exactly the point because here you have a bill, legislation that was passed 98-2 in the U.S. Senate. The House is about to pass it. It will probably also be an overwhelming vote to sanction Russia. And President Trump told you that he still doesn't believe that Russia was trying to interfere in the election. Even though the overwhelming body of the U.S. Senate, which is controlled by Republicans and his own intelligence experts are telling him the opposite, you are saying you are going to side with the President, don't you owe a duty to the truth?

SCARAMUCCI: What about the conversation are you missing, Jake? There are checks and balances in the system for a reason, OK. The President will make that decision when he makes a decision. You are telling me that something is true that in fact could in fact be true.

I don't have the information in front of me. Once I have cleared my security clearances and I have looked at the stuff. If I think it's true behind close door, I will turn to the President very directly and say sir, I think this stuff is true. But I don't have it in front of me right now.

Here is what I know about the President. You may not like it, he has got phenomenal instincts. You may not like it, he has great judgment on people. You may not like it, but he is a phenomenal politician. He started two short years ago and he is already six months into his presidency. How many people can do that, Jake? Be an American successful business person and television personality, hit a button on June 16th, 2015 and race his way to the presidency, clearing out 18 people. You know a lot of people that can do that? I don't know a lot of people that can do that. He is representing the American people. The people voted him in. And so, he will make the judgment. He will make the decision when the time is right.

What I don't like about the whole direction of this stuff in the mainstream media and the whole narrative is that you are saying that this thing is 100 percent true. If in fact he makes the decision that is 100 percent true, he is going to be super tough on Russia. But let him do it in his own time and pace. He is not hurting anybody by doing it at his own time and pace, Jake.


WHITEFIELD: All right, Anthony Scaramucci with our Jake Tapper earlier today.

And lots to talk about with my panel. Joining me to discuss is CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson and CNN political analyst Ellis Henican, a columnist for "Metro Paper."

Good to see both of you.

All right. So Ben, let me begin with you, the President apparently, you know, still doesn't believe that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, why does he continue to question America's intel community? BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first, I don't think

that he is saying that he doesn't believe that they meddled. I think he thinks there is a lot of information and misinformation around this. And there's other people that could have been meddling as well.

I think ultimately, what you are going to see, and this is what I think Anthony was referring to there is, look. I'm going to look over the information. The president is we haven't made a decision on this legislation yet. It has not made it to the President's desk.

I would imagine the President's probably going to sign those sanctions when he sees them. And I think he has said before. He said I think they were involved, yes, but there may have been others. And the President is not going to be bullied into doing what people want him to do or say just because of pressure from others in the media.

Now, if I was advisor of the President I would say look, I think the evidence here is pretty overwhelming, at least from what we see in the public. He has a lot more information than any of us have because he has clearances that none of us have either. So he might have more questions to ask. But ultimately I think he is going to hold them accountable.

And let's not forget, Russia didn't just meddle in this election. Russia has been meddling in trying to meddle in our elections my entire life since the cold war and before that. So we have been hyper-focused on it in one election cycle. And the reality is Russia is always been trying to meddle in American politics. We know that from what Ronald Reagan said after he left the White House.

[16:10:32] WHITEFIELD: OK. But you - but Ben, there has been some renaissance and there has been a lot of back and forth on the position of the President on the issue of Russia meddling, yes.

FERGUSON: Sure. No, look. I think the President --


WHITEFIELD: Is it more clear now, is it potentially more clear now what Anthony Scaramucci, whether he gets his security clearance or not? Should it be predicated on when he gets his security clearance?

FERGUSON: Look, I think Anthony's a guy that's very articulate and smart. And I think the way that you heard him talk about it there is pretty clear. He is going to talk to the President. And when he believes something, he is going to let the President know it. I think they have a very good rapport. They obviously, trust each other. And White House is, especially with all the leaks that have been coming out in and around this White House, you have to have trust with your communications director. You have to have rapport.

I think what you are going to see is probably a more focused president on these type of issues now because Anthony is there in his ear. And I think that is going to be a good thing for clarity with the American people. Donald Trump likes to talk about a lot of things some days. And he likes to talk about him fast and quick. And he likes to bring up multiple angles of an issue.

In politics, sometimes you have to really focus on the base issue and have that be your messaging point. I think Anthony is going to help him do that in a much more clear fashion for the American people and that is going to be good.

WHITEFIELD: So Ellis, with Scaramucci onboard, does this promise more clarity from the President or perhaps even a greater openness to clarity?

ELLIS HENICAN, POLITICAL COLUMNIST: I will use the word like enabler, right. I think he just going to let Donald be even more Donald than he has been so far.

WHITEFIELD: Well, he did say that part already. He did promise, let you know, Donald J. Trump be Donald J. Trump.

HENICAN: Exactly. The notion, Fred, that we need a more authentic Donald Trump is a little disturbing I think. But listen, dysfunctional White House is always want to say they have a communications problem. And almost never do they have a communications problem. And in this case, they have some policy problems. They have a presidential temperament problem. You know. This guy is often off the wall and disassociated with factual reality. So if you are his mouthpiece, you have a choice. Either you want to correct him and try him drag him down to earth or you want to just let him run wild and encourage him. I think that Scaramucci is going with the latter approach.

WHITEFIELD: All right, you be the judge today, were there more conflicting messages coming out of the White House. Scaramucci saying the president has not yet made a decision on Russia sanctions. But then yet press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying this about the sanctions this morning.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting these sanctions in place. And we support where the legislation is now. We will continue working with the House and Senate to put those tough sanctions in place on Russia.


WHITEFIELD: Ben, how do you see it?

FERGUSON: See, I don't think that's miss communication. I think what you are hearing there from Sarah Huckabee Sanders is pretty simple. This White House has not been afraid of sanctions on Russia, if the President feels as if they are need. They haven't tried to stop this legislation. They haven't spoken out against this legislation. They have not hinted that they would not support this legislation.

And so, I think the same thing that you heard Anthony say earlier was, look, I just got here. I'm going to talk to the President about this. When I get my security clearance, I'm going to look at it. The President is going to make a final decision.

And what you heard from Sarah Huckabee there was, we are not obstructing this. We are not asking for Congress not to do this. We haven't spoken out against this or implied there would be some sort of veto on this issue. This is a perfect example of where I think many people want there to be an issue, where somehow the President would say no to this legislation, when the White House has not given any indication that they are against it or would not sign it. And I think that's what I said at the very beginning, I think the President is probably going to sign this legislation because there's been no indication that they don't want this legislation to move forward.

WHITEFIELD: OK, there could be potentially other pivotal moments this week. Let's talk about the President's son in law, Jared Kushner. He will be interviewed by the Senate Intel committee on Monday. And then he actually be sworn in testifying before the House Intel committee on Tuesday. The President's son-in-law, Don Jr, former campaign manager Paul Manafort, also have agreed to be interviewed behind closed doors.

So Ellis, what should be the expectations on what exactly will be revealed about one or multiple meetings involving Russians?

[16:15:03] HENICAN: Fed, I'm not sure we are going to get any immediate bombshell this week. What this is an orderly investigation. They are unfolding in an appropriate time, right. You question the people, you get them under oath, you get them to pin themselves down to a story that they are going to have to defend later on. And you see where it goes. I just think it's a healthy step down the road. But no, don't expect huge bombshells off of it this week.

WHITEFIELD: All right. Quickly, Ben? Under ten seconds with you.

FERGUSON: This is transparency. You have two individuals that cannot wait to clear their name. They were eager and excited and could not wait to go to Congress and said, get us there as fast as you can. Let's go. I want to be under oath. I want to tell you exactly what happened. I'm sick and tired of these stories that are inaccurate. And I think they are looking forward to clearing their name and letting it know under oath they had nothing to do in a negative way with Russia.

WHITEFIELD: At least one interview starting tomorrow.

Thanks so much Ben Ferguson ad Ellis Henican. Appreciate it gentlemen.

HENICAN: You too.


WHITEFIELD: All right. Up next, we are following this tragic situation in San Antonio, Texas, now 10 dead while dozens were discovered inside a tractor-trailer. Authorities saying this was human trafficking. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:20:19] WHITEFIELD: Welcome back. This breaking news, the death toll is rising now from a horrifying human trafficking incident in San Antonio Texas. We are now learning ten people have died after being trapped in the back of a sweltering tractor-trailer. Dozens of other people were also found inside a parked truck outside a Walmart. And they are now being hospitalized with several and severe injuries.

Last hour, I spoke to the chief of the San Antonio fire department. Here is how he described the gut-wrenching moment when people were found.


CHARLES HOOD, CHIEF, SAN ANTONIO FIRE DEPARTMENT: Units arrived. Found the trailer stuffed with victims in the back. And again very hot, kind of like being in an oven, if you can imagine. And the tractor-trailer had no air conditioning. You can imagine the temperature at the back of that semi-loaded up with people was probably 150 degrees. And so, the ones that we took out, all the pulse rates were about 130. They were hot to the touch. There was no water so they were dehydrated. They were nauseated. They were vomiting. And all those things that you see with heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The most amazing thing, though, to me is that if that truck would have been there overnight, there's no doubt that we would have lost all 38 of those people.


WHITEFIELD: Horrible situation. CNN's Ed Lavandera joining me now from San Antonio.

So Ed, we know the driver is in custody, what are the next steps?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the next step is really trying to unravel the human smuggling operation of this. It is being investigated by homeland security investigators and the ICE, which is Immigration Customs Enforcement. So this is now a federal case. It has been handed up. But normally, investigates these types of human smuggling operations that come through this region of south Texas. So a great deal of work. And obviously that truck itself and the driver, key piece of evidence. And whether or not the driver is cooperating and answers questions is not clear at this point. But he is in custody.

This as we have learned the news now that the death toll has now gone from eight to ten, two people that were transported and taken to the hospital for treatment have since died. We have been told that number could continue to go up. There were 17 people listed in critical condition that were taken away from this area here in this Walmart parking lot, along Interstate 35 just southwest of San Antonio.

Just after midnight last night, as you heard the fire chief here in San Antonio describe, it was a Walmart store manager who was approached in the parking lot by one of the people inside that truck, asking for water and that led to the discovery of these undocumented migrants inside this truck.

So a great deal of work trying to figure out exactly how this operation was moving, what the plan was, was this just a pit stop? Where were they moving to, where were they coming from and that sort of thing is very key pieces of evidence and information that will be needed as investigators look to build this human smuggling case against the perpetrators involve. But this is a - this form of smuggling and human smuggling very common, Fredricka, in this region of South Texas that really sees some of the largest numbers of illegal immigration come through this part of the southwest border between Texas and Mexico.

So this is something that because of the highway systems and the road systems through this part of south Texas. This type of smuggling and moving people in these types of containers and these trucks, they something that investigators and authorities here in South Texas see quite often, Fredricka.

WHITEFIELD: So tragic. All right, Ed Lavandera, thank you very much.

All right. Next, a Presidential pardon is not on the table. That is according to Trump's attorney. So then why is the President floating the issue on twitter, we will discuss next.


[16:23: 17] WHITEFIELD: All right. Welcome back. Key members of the White House administration made the rounds on Sunday talk shows this morning. But the President himself was quiet until a few moments ago.

I want to bring CNN's Boris Sanchez at the White House.

So Boris, the President tweeted and what did he say?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Fred. The President again taking to twitter just a few moments ago.

He writes quote "it's very sad that Republicans even some that were carried over the line on my back do very little to protect their President."

This tweet coming amid a stalled bill to repeal and replace Obamacare in the Senate. Many thought the President would do more to court these Republican senators. It appears he is frustrated that they are not doing more to defend him.

He also tweeted this. Quote "as the phony Russian witch hunt continues, two groups are laughing at this excuse for a lost election taking hold, Democrats and Russians."

Again, the President referring to the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as a phony witch hunt. All of this coming as the White House has to do more to clarify reporting about the President having conversations in the White House regarding pardons. Now earlier this week, our colleague Gloria Borger reported that the

President in a conversation with aids about the different turns that the Mueller investigation may take, asked about his ability to grant pardons.

"The Washington Post" reported that he asked about pardoning family members and even himself. Newly mounted White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci had to fight back on some of the speculation that the President was curious about pardons because he might end up having to use them. Listen to what he said.


SCARAMUCCI: I'm in the oval office with the President the last week. We are talking about that. He said - he brought that up. He said -- but he doesn't have to be pardoned. There is nobody around him that has to be pardoned. He was just making the statement about the power of pardoned. And so now, all of the speculation and all the spin --.





ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: -- the president the last week, we're talking about that. He says he brought that up, but he doesn't have to be pardoned, there's nobody around him that has to be pardoned. He was just making the statement about the power of pardon. And so now all of the speculation and all the spin is always going to pardon themselves and do us although (INAUDIBLE).

The president does not need to pardon himself and the reason he doesn't need to pardon himself is he hasn't done anything wrong.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is another tweet that I want to point out, Fred. Just yesterday, the president tweeted out that no crimes have been committed so far except leaks against the White House. Also in that tweet, a note about how many agree that the president has complete power to pardon.

It's interesting that he tweeted that out, Fred, because apparently he has not had a discussion with his attorneys about his ability to pardon. Listen to one of the president's lawyers, Jay Sekulo, also making the rounds on the Sunday morning talk shows. Here he is.


JAY SEKULOW, MEMBER, TRUMP LEGAL TEAM: Well, the president in that tweet stated something that's unremarkable and that is, that under the constitution under Article II Section 2, the president has the authority to pardon. But I want to be clear on this, George, we had not and continue to not have conversations with the president of the United States regarding pardons.

Pardons have not been discussed and pardons are not on the table. With regard to the issue of a president pardoning himself, there's a big academic discussion going on right now, an academic debate. You got Professor Tribe arguing one point. You got Professor Turley arguing another point. And while it makes for interesting academic discussions, let me tell you what the legal team is not doing, we're not researching the issue, because the issue of pardons is not on the table.


SANCHEZ: Pardons are not on the table, Fred. But they clearly, according to his tweets are on the president's mind. Shortly before some of those closest to him meet with committees in the Senate and House that are looking into alleged collusion again, between The trump campaign and the Russians, Fred.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST: All right, thanks so much, Boris Sanchez at the White House. Appreciate it.

I want to talk more about this, the pardons and the Russia investigation. I want to bring in Ambassador Norm Eisen. He's a CNN contributor, former ambassador to the Czech Republic and was the Special White House Council for Ethics and Government Reform in the Obama White House. Good to see you.

And CNN political commentator Jack Kingston, he is a former senior advisor for the Trump campaign. Welcome back Jack. All right, so Ambassador Eisen, you wrote along with Laurence Tribe and Richard Painter in the "Washington Post" that the constitution specifically bars the president from using the pardon power to prevent his own impeachment and removal.

It adds that any official removed through impeachment remains fully subject to criminal prosecution. That provision would make no sense of the president could pardon himself. What we heard from Boris while pardon may not be on the table, it is on the mind of the president. How might he want pardons considered in the future?

NORMAN EISEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Fred, thanks for having me. Hi, Jack. I think in the future the president may feel the walls closing in on him or on those very near and dear to him. Including his son, Donald, Jr., his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who may find themselves -- certainly there is some evidence now that they were involved in this investigation of the Russian attack on our democracy.

They may have known about it. We know now about e-mails, meetings. So the president when he tweets out that he has the complete power to pardon, wants to have the broadest possible pardon power, press reports this week even asking about himself, but Fred, that's not what the constitution allows. The fundamental principle underlying our whole rule of law system is that no man, no person can be the judge and the defendant in the same case.

You can't be on both sides of it. The president can't pardon himself. And there may even be obstruction of justice or other issues if he uses pardons for others with corrupt intent. So, what he tweeted was wrong. The president does not have complete pardon power.

WHITFIELD: So then Jack, you know, does the very mention of the word pardon in association with certain names simply encourage investigators to start looking even closer to certain people, family members, aides, et cetera?

JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it could but I think that they don't need an excuse. It's clear that the Mueller team is a bunch of Clinton hacks that probably aren't going to be fair. They seem to have anti-Trump motivation in their investigation. And now they're not staying confined to the Russian meddling in the election, but they're going to go into business dealings, which was never in their charter.

But I do agree with the ambassador in terms of you can't self-pardon. I do also agree

[16:35:00] with Jay Sekulow that under Article II, Section 2 clause 1, that the constitution does not prohibit it and there are going to be a lot of learned people such as the ambassador and others on both sides looking at this and talking about it for a long time. But I do not believe that there is guilty parties that are out there. I think the --

WHITFIELD: Will you start to look guilty if you even consider or want to cozy up to the word pardon?

KINGSTON: You know, I think you could but I think impeachable would be more what would be likely if people felt that strongly about it and it's clear that there are a lot of people in this town, they want to undermine this president including many within the White House and the intelligence teams that keep leaking information. And so far, the only crime we know about did come from the intelligence community and we've caught one person who's probably going to go to jail. But obviously there are a lot of others out there who have been breaking the law.

WHITFIELD: So ambassador, typically, how long is this process to try to execute a pardon on someone? Is it as simple as the president is saying, here's a name, signature a pardon, boom, or does it take weeks, months? What is the process?

EISEN: Well, it typically has a lot of process around it. When I was working as special counsel for President Obama there was discussion around it, a slow, careful, deliberate process. I do have to say, Fred, that Bob Mueller and his team are not partisan hacks. Mueller is a Republican. He's been promoted and appointed by Republicans and Democrats alike. These are talented career people, and the financial issues they're looking at go to motive, Jack.

Of course they have to look at financial transactions involving possible Russian counter parties and the question of whether there's a Russian financial motives here. That has to be looked at so I have to take exception to that. I do agree with Jack that in the end of the day, there's going to be a lot of debate and discussion, and the courts, if necessary are going to find no self-pardon. It's not allowed under the constitution. The president has yet again shot himself in the foot with his twitter account by talking about pardons as recently as yesterday.

WHITFIELD: All right, so Jack, 10 seconds to respond.

KINGSTON: I think he throws out a lot of things for his enemies to go after and I got to say this to my ambassador friend that you probably do know a lot about pardons since Obama holds the records for the number of sentences that were commuted and the pardons that were given, but there's no guilty party in terms of the White House. I can say that as somebody who was part of the campaign team, the only guilty parties we know about are the sleaze bag leakers who are committing treason and at least felonies.

WHITFIELD: OK. We'll leave it right there, gentlemen. Jack Kingston and Ambassador Norm Eisen, thanks gentlemen. Appreciate it.

EISEN: Thanks, Fred. Thanks Jack.

KINGSTON: Thanks Norm.

WHITFIELD: All right. So much more straight ahead in the "NEWSROOM" but first, one in eight American women develops breast cancer during her lifetime, and this week's CNN Hero was one of them. And she battled the disease, she saw the serious toll that it was taking on her husband, her young son and she was inspired to create a way to give families a chance to reconnect and enjoy life again. Meet Janine Patton-Coble.


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WHITFIELD: All right, new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci says he loves the president and is very loyal to him. But that wasn't always the case. The two still hold different views on several major issues and many wonder how Scaramucci will now respond to the president's policies. Here now is CNN correspondent Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Before he was with Donald Trump --


SCARAMUCCI: I think he's got some of the best political instincts in the world and perhaps in the history, if you think about it.


FOREMAN (voice-over): Anthony Scarmucci was I was against him.


SCARAMUCCI: He's a hack politician --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, you're in trouble now.

SCARAMUCCI: -- he's probably going to make Elizabeth Warren his vice presidential nominee with comments like that. It's anti-American. It's very, very divisive.


FOREMAN (voice-over): New York Republican, wealthy Wall Street insider, at 53 years old, the Mooch as he's known, has been playing it rough and tumble politics for a while. In 2012, raising money for Mitt Romney. In 2016, pushing the candidacies of Scott Walker and then Jeb Bush, while steadily trying to derail the Trump train.


SCARAMUCCI: And you know what, the politicians don't want to go at Trump because he's got a big mouth and he's afraid he's going to light them up on Fox News and all this other places. But I'm not a politician, bring it on.


FOREMAN (voice-over): But that was then. Now --


SCARAMUCCI: I should have never said that about him. So, Mr. President, if you're listening, I personally apologize for the 50th time for saying that.


FOREMAN (voice-over): Nonetheless, Scaramucci has made statements at odds with Republican orthodoxy and President Trump. For example, Trump campaigned on strong support for gun rights.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In fact, I have a license to carry in New York. Can you believe that? Nobody knows that.


FOREMAN (voice-over): Scaramucci, the U.S.A. has 5 percent of the world's population, but 50 percent of the world's guns. Enough is enough. It's just common sense.

[16:45:00] Apply more controls.

On climate change, Trump --


TRUMP: I think it's a big scam for a lot of people to make a lot of money.


FOREMAN (voice-over): Scaramucci, the fact that many people still believe climate change is a hoax is disheartening.

And on globalization, Trump --


TRUMP: This wave of globalization has wiped out totally, totally our middle class.


FOREMAN (voice-over): And Scaramucci, trying to fight globalization is counter-productive. But again, that's how it was. Now --


SCARAMUCCI: The White House is on track and we're actually, I think, doing a really good job.



WHITFIELD: All right, Tom Foreman, thanks so much. We have so much more straight ahead in the "NEWSROOM." Stay with us.


WHITFIELD: All right, from Rodney King's police beating to O.J. Simpson's murder trial, the last decade of the 20th century had periods of racial tension. Those are just two of the stories explored in tonight's episode of [16:50:00] the CNN Original Series, "The Nineties." Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning, everyone, homicide detectives in Los Angeles are telling the Associated Press that O.J. Simpson's arrest is imminent in connection with the killings of his ex-wife and a friend.

GIL GARCETTI, LOS ANGELES DISTRICT ATTORNEY: My office filed murder charges against O.J. Simpson for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman. As of this time, approximately 3:00 p.m., no one knows where he is.

We thought that the evidence was overwhelming. There was no doubt this is the man who committed the crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're looking at a live picture right now. Do you believe that to be O.J. Simpson down there below you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O.J. was a guy who felt like he was above race. He became the exceptional Hollywood negro. He had a blonde wife, he lived in Brentwood. He played the role very well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O.J. sitting there on the passenger seat with a gun pointed at his own head.

GARCETTI (voice-over): If the person that had murdered two white people was a street thug, it wouldn't have been a big case, but it was this kind of icon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We understand O.J. is in custody.

GARCETTI: And you don't want to believe that this kind of person would have done this.


WHITFIELD: O.J. Simpson's 1995 murder case was called the trial of the century. And just this past week, Simpson was granted parole for a 2007 armed robbery conviction. I want to bring in CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney Areva Martin. Areva, good to see you.


WHITFIELD: So overall, how do you think the O.J. Simpson trial shaped the nation at the time, influenced court cases whether they'd be televised or whether they'd be high profile?

MARTIN: Well, as you know Fredricka, this is the first trial where we saw the kind of intense media attention, some say over half a billion people tuned in to watch the O.J. Simpson trial. We got to see for the first time the intricate workings of the criminal process. We saw how the lawyers put their cases together. How they presented evidence. We saw the infamous glove scene with Johnnie Cochran and it ushered in this new era of lawyers being experts and speaking about legal cases and it raised this issue of race. And some say you can't talk about O.J. Simpson if you don't bring up

the issues of race, class and culture. So, it really changed the way, I think, the American justice system is viewed and a lot of people to see what happens in these high profile cases and how difficult they are, even when prosecutors think, as they did in this case, that they had a completely winnable case.

WHITFIELD: It also inspired a real interest among the laymen, right, about the legal system, the inner workings as well.

MARTIN: Yes. People -- I'm sure there are thousands and thousands of lawyers today who say they became inspired to become either prosecutors or defense attorneys as a result of watching this trial. This is the first time that we saw high profile lawyers like Allen Dershowitz, Johnnie Cochran, you know, on television showing us what they do on a daily basis inside courtrooms.

WHITFIELD: And isn't it something else that this look at the 90's would also coincide with the other chapter of O.J. Simpson and his parole and how the parole board did see that he will be released after that 2007 armed robbery. Do you see that there is still some similarities and an equal interest that also was also based on race and class in watching that unfold this week?

MARTIN: I had the opportunity, Fredricka, to be on CNN all day on Thursday for the most part talking about that parole hearing. Not the same number of viewers tuned in to the parole hearing as did the 1995 trial, but again, intense interest by the public and again a lot of people divided along racial lines in terms of what should happen in that parole hearing.

We know the hearing was strictly related to the 2007 botched robbery that O.J. Simpson committed, but there were many who wanted to hold him accountable for the acquittal that happened in 1995. And many thought that he should not be paroled in the Nevada case simply because they believed justice wasn't served in 1995.

WHITFIELD: Interesting. Is the '95 case looked at and viewed with a different lens today?

MARTIN: I don't think so. I think the case, the story of O.J. Simpson is as divisive today as it was in the 1990s. You can't have a conversation about O.J. Simpson I think and not hear

[16:55:00] from people on both sides of the aisles. Those that believe that justice was served and that the prosecutors did not present their case and prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was the murderer. And those that believe that he used his celebrity status, and it was because of that status that he was acquitted. He just invokes a lot of emotion when his name is raised and the conversation is raised.

And we saw that again on Thursday with the parole hearing. If you looked at the social media feed, there were people who were outraged that he was paroled. And there were others who said, look, what happened in '95 is over, he met the requirements for parole in the Nevada case and he should be allowed to be paroled, but again, raised so many issues for people.

WHITFIELD: It certainly does. All right, Areva Martin, good talking to you. Thank you so much. And don't miss the new episode of the CNN Original Series, "THE NINETIES." It airs tonight 9:00 eastern and pacific right here on CNN.

Thanks so much for being with me today. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. So much more straight in the NEWSROOM with Ana Cabrera. It all starts right after this.