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Trump Helps Son Don Junior; White House Capitalized Dead Man's Story. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired August 1, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, HOST, CNN: Two big stories that go right to the heart of this White House. The president said to be directly involved in both.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Chris Cuomo in for Don Lemon.
The first story, the White House changing its story again about the president's role in Don Junior's initial statement about his meeting with Russians in Trump Tower. First, the White House denied there was any role on behalf of the president. Now, the White House admits the president weighed in on that misleading statement.
The second story, an explosive lawsuit charging the White House worked hand in hand with Fox News and a wealthy republican donor to concoct a fake news story about a murdered DNC staffer. His family outraged.
Now, tonight, we're going to put that donor's side of the story to the test. But first up is this latest twisting of the truth on Russia. The White House has been denying for weeks that the president had anything to do with that misleading statement about his son Don Junior's 2016 meeting with a Russian attorney.
The statement claiming the meeting was primarily about adoption of Russian children. The president's own attorney was asked specifically about this by me on New Day. Here's what he said.
CUOMO: So he didn't have anything to do with the statement that Don Junior put out that was being worked on with his team?
JAY SEKULOW, MEMBER, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LEGAL TEAM: No, the statement that Don Junior put out, are you talking about yesterday, Chris?
CUOMO: The one over the weekend that the president's team was helping with.
SEKULOW: That was written -- that was written, no, that was written by Donald Trump, Jr. and I'm sure in consultation with his lawyer.
CUOMO: Then came the Washington Post reporting that the president didn't have nothing to do with it. He had everything to do with it. Actually dictating language confronted with this revelation, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders admitted the president did have a hand in that statement after all. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Like the statement that Don Junior issued is true, there's no inaccuracy in the statement. The president weighed in as any father would base on the limited information that he had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Different story. What are the implications? Joining us now, Robert Ray, former Whitewater independent counsel and CNN contributor John Dean, former Nixon White House counsel and the author of "Conservatives Without Conscience."
Counselor Dean, let's start with you. What do you believe the implications of this changing story is by the White House on a narrative level and any legal implications to the president's potential involvement?
JOHN DEAN, CONTRIBUTOR, CNN: Well, politically it, puts it to his lawyer very quickly and makes a liar out of his lawyer. On the broader scale, I looked at the history of impeachments and I found that false statements have always played a role, while they may not be criminal acts in themselves, indeed they do show a state of mind and every impeachment proceeding in modern times from Nixon through Clinton we see them played out.
CUOMO: All right. So let's, Robert, you play the role of the proverbial bucket of cold water on this. Do you think these woes qualify as false statements for the purpose of legal analysis?
ROBERT RAY, FORMER WHITEWATER INDEPENDENT COUNSEL & SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: Well, not in a criminal context. Because first of all, false statements to the media don't give rise to a criminal proceeding, that only applies to statements made to government officials. I mean, let's not be overly technical about this.
It's a P.R. problem. It's political problem. It's a credibility problem which is not insignificant. And as I think, you know, your network has shown over the course of the past hour so with Jonathan Turley, I think I'm in agreement with the general notion that let's not try to turn every single disclosure event into it's an impeachable event or a possible criminal case. I don't think that that's what we're really talking about here.
Whether he weighed in or dictated it, I mean the problem is for the White House is a credibility issue. But it doesn't really rise to the level of a criminal offense. It's not obstruction of justice and it involves a family member, you know, to boot. I mean, seriously, he's trying to, you know, orchestrate or impact what Donald Trump, Jr. would testify to. I mean, that's clearly not what his intent was. He was trying to manage a news story. CUOMO: Well, he don't know what his intentions were until he tells us
what they were. And you can look at this on a couple levels. One is, just because it's not illegal doesn't mean it's not wrong, right?
CUOMO: This new standard for what is acceptable conduct coming out of the White House seems to be felonious activity. If it's not a felony, leave the man alone. That seems to be a little officially low.
The other way is, though, John Dean, back to you, the suggestion that OK, on its face, this is no crime. However, it may wind up playing into what the special counsel looks at in terms of a pattern of behavior, how so?
[22:04:58] DEAN: Exactly. Well, you know it, the parallel that struck me immediately was Nixon's concern for his friend and attorney general John Mitchell. How he got himself involved in the Watergate cover-up not because he was actually covering up his own actions but because he was reaching out and showing empathy for the man he thought had helped put him in the presidency.
It's not dissimilar to try to reach out and try to help your son in a situation like this. They are all part of a pattern that resulted from Mr. Nixon of course in obstruction of justice being the strongest charge in the impeachment it bill against him. So where this will end up in the greater picture with Trump, we don't know. But it's certainly going to be a factor.
CUOMO: Why would it be a factor? To Ray's point, the idea that just because something that could be, I guess misfeasance, doing something the wrong thing, not necessarily malfeasance in the law which would put you into the criminal territory. Why would this ever wind up putting you on the road to impeachment what is the theory that would gets you there?
DEAN: It wouldn't put you on the road. It would be a weigh station along the road. It shows state of mind. Here he clearly made a deliberate misstatement of the facts. He's trying to cover up. In fact, the remarkable thing is, everything that this White House has done since they've assumed office and it actually predates that, has been to show a cover-up mode. If they wanted to solve this, they could. There are many ways you could end this. But they don't seem to have this disposition. Rather they keep reaffirming and taking steps to show cover-up.
CUOMO: Look, we certainly have a problem with consistency of information, transparency and truth coming out of the White House. That is probably an easier debate to have. But tonight we're looking at something more specific. And let's pull something else from this Washington Post reporting, Robert Ray.
It said because Trump believes he is innocent, some advisers explain he therefore does not think he's at any legal risk for a cover-up. In his mind, they said, there is nothing to conceal. This rings true to me in terms of what I've heard of those in and around the White House. (CROSSTALK)
RAY: Sure, but it's dangerous and, you know, if I can put on my defense lawyer hat for a moment, I mean, that's the one place where a defense lawyer has got to the protect the client.
CUOMO: Why? If I think I did nothing wrong.
RAY: You can get yourself into a whole lot of trouble, you know, being well meaning. I mean, it's every, you know, every person's natural reaction faced with a criminal investigation is to, I didn't do anything wrong. Therefore, I have nothing to worry about. Therefore, I don't need to act any differently than I otherwise would act.
And the problem with this and it's very difficult to apply to family members but cross talk between someone who is subject of a criminal investigation and witnesses in that investigation, that's a dangerous place to be in. And it's dangerous because it can be misconstrued as an intent what John Dean was mentioning as indicative of an intent to try to, you know, orchestrate or move the course of the investigation.
It's the last place you want to be but well-meaning and well intentioned people who don't think they did anything wrong are the ones who need counsel in that -- in that scenario to advise them about how difficult that can be and how their actions can be misconstrued.
CUOMO: One outlier here, John Dean, is it Jay Sekulow, he the attorney who mocked the suggestion that the president had anything to do with this. He bad mouthed the New York Times reporting. What do you think the chance is that the president could have had as heavy a hand in that initial statement as the reporting suggests and now even the White House suggests more mildly and Jay Sekulow knew nothing about it.
DEAN: Well, it's possible. We don't know how much he is conferring with his lawyers. Jay was not on the airplane at that time. So the he might have been speaking out of instinct and just his protective nature of his client. He might well have also known, but I think if he did, he would fes up. Right now, I'm going to work on the assumption he didn't know.
CUOMO: And we have another open question, which is what did the president know? We know Jared Kushner's lawyers had discovered these e-mails that show the true motivations behind this meeting. Were those in the mix while drafting that statement? Had the president heard anything about those? Those are remaining and outstanding questions that matter on a number of levels.
Gentlemen, Mr. Ray, Mr. Dean, you make us better every time you're on. Thank you. I appreciate the help.
RAY: Thank you.
DEAN: Thank you. CUOMO: When we come back, Fox News is accused of the worst kind of fake news. Concocting a story to use the death of a DNC staffer to distract from the Russian investigation. A lawsuit just file this morning claims the White House was involved and so was the president. It's a claim the White House denies and we have a live exclusive interview with the republican donor at the center of the suit. Next.
[22:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CUOMO: Word of an explosive lawsuit accusing the White House of working with Fox News and within this wealthy republican donor to concoct a false story about the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. The network published a story alleging that Rich gave WikiLeaks a trove of DNC e-mails and suggested his death was retribution for his supposed leak.
The private investigator enlisted to develop the story now claims it was all designed to discredit U.S. intelligence which, of course determined that Russia had hacked the DNC. The story was later retracted from the Fox News web site, but the story was also far from over.
Let's get more now from CNN's Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, CNN: When Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was killed, a conspiracy was born, caught up in it, this man.
ROD WHEELER, FORMER D.C. HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: I do believe I was used as a pawn in this entire thing.
KAYE: His name is Rod Wheeler. He's a former D.C. homicide detective and Fox News contributor. And now he's filed a lawsuit against Fox News. Wheeler claims he was used to help fabricate a story connecting the murder of Seth Rich to the WikiLeaks release of thousands of e- mails from the Democratic National Committee. The idea being that Rich was murdered by some sort of DNC operative in retaliation for the leaks.
All of this despite the fact that police say Rich's murder was the result of a botched burglary and that this is key, authorities had already determined that Russians hacked the DNC e-mails and gave them to WikiLeaks.
[22:15:06] KAYE: What was the goal?
WHEELER: I think their goal, based on the e-mails and the voice mail messages that I got from Ed Butowsky was to debunk this Russian hacking narrative.
KAYE: Ed Butowsky is a GOP supporter and Fox News financial commentator. The alleged goal to detract from the Russia investigation was not only pushed by Butowsky but according to the lawsuit, it was done in coordination with the Trump White House. With Butowsky even arranging Wheeler to meet with then Press Secretary
Sean Spicer. Spicer has acknowledged meeting them but said he was unaware of any contact involving the president. Still, just two days before the article was published on Fox's web site, Butowsky left this voice mail for Wheeler.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
ED BUTOWSKY, COMMENTATOR, FOX NEWS: Hey, Rod, it's Ed. So a couple minutes ago I got a note that we have the full attention of the White House on this. And tomorrow, let's close this deal.
(END VOICE CLIP)
KAYE: Hours later, this text from Ed Butowsky to Wheeler, "Not to add any more pressure, but the president just read the article. He wants the article out immediately."
And according to the lawsuit, Ed Butowsky sent an e-mail to Fox News producers and anchors encouraging them to push the narrative that Russia wasn't behind the hack. It seemed to take hold.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS: This issue is so big now, that the entire Russia collusion narrative is hanging by a thread.
(END VOICE CLIP)
KAYE: According to the lawsuit, Butowsky had also texted Wheeler before the article was published saying, "The narrative in the interviews you might use is that your and Malia's work prove that the Russians didn't hack into the DNC and steal the e-mails and impact our election."
WHEELER: I thought it was horrible because what did that have to do with the murder of this guy that I was investigating?
KAYE: Wheeler insists the Fox reporter attributed fake quotes to him, one even suggesting he had information that there had been an e-mail exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks. He called Butowsky to find out why.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
BUTOWSKY: One day, you're going to win an award for having said those things that you didn't say.
WHEELER: Keep your word. Let's tell the truth here.
BUTOWSKY: You're going to be begging to own those words.
(END VOICE CLIP)
KAYE: In that conversation, was he basically acknowledging to you that yes, it's true. You didn't say these things but they sound good and we're going to use them?
WHEELER: That's exactly what he was saying. I mean, he knew it and Ed knew it and so did Malia Zimmerman. They knew I never said these things. And I challenged them immediately.
KAYE: Fox retracted the bogus story a week after it was published. Fox News told CNN in a statement today that the accusations that Fox helped to detract from coverage of Russia collusion is completely erroneous and that it has no evidence that Rod Wheeler was misquoted.
Ed Butowsky told CNN it was all just a joke. And today White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders pushed back on allegations the White House played a role in this scheme.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: The president had no knowledge of the story and it's completely untrue he or the White House involvement in the story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
CUOMO: Al right. Thanks to Randi Kaye for that. Joining us now in a live exclusive is Ed Butowsky, the man named in that lawsuit. Sir, thank you for joining us.
BUTOWSKY: Yes. Chris, thanks and thanks for giving me an opportunity. That setup, I wish I was taking notes. Because I'd love to go through each one of those and just prove what nonsense that is. So, please fire away, Chris.
CUOMO: Well, let me help you, let me help you do that right now.
BUTOWSKY: Ok. Thanks.
CUOMO: There's a lot of spin out there. So let's try to create a record of fact going in order of what matters most here. The suggestion that the president was aware of the story, he may have seen it in advance, that he had a profound interest in its advancement, what is your response?
BUTOWSKY: Not true. You have to understand, Rod Wheeler is dead broke. Rod Wheeler and I can send these text messages, Chris, and you can send them out to everybody had been asking me to get him a job or help, find a way to get him into the Trump administration, not the administration but a job there.
I probably have five text messages from Rod saying that. OK? And the part that I heard a second ago I think is really important. The voice mail that I left for him about the full attention of the White House, that had to do with Joe Della-Camera, the D.C. detective and the D.C. detective wanted to come out and talk because he has a lot of information, and Rod...
CUOMO: Why would a D.C. -- why would a D.C. detective equal the White House in your voice mail?
BUTOWSKY: Well, that's what I'm trying to explain to you.
CUOMO: But I'm saying, help us understand that part. How does a D.C. detective get coded as White House? What does he have to do with the White House?
[22:20:00] BUTOWSKY: Well, that's what I'm trying to say. So let me finish, OK?
CUOMO: OK. Go ahead. Go ahead. Yes.
BUTOWSKY: He wanted whistleblower status according to Rod Wheeler because he had a lot of stuff to explain and expose and Rod Wheeler had been talking to him. Matter of fact, Rod Wheeler's notes with Joe Della-Camera is on a web site called debunking Rod Wheeler's claims.com. And it's all listed there. Rod Wheeler's notes. So Rod Wheeler was trying to help him because he was in a lot of trouble for talking to rod Wheeler to get whistleblower status.
CUOMO: What does that have to do with saying that the White House is interested? Why wouldn't you say Della-Camera or the D.C. guy. Why did you say White House?
BUTOWSKY: Well, what I said was Rod Wheeler had asked me to see what we could do to see if I could help this guy. I just simply made some calls. They never talked to anybody at the White House. By the way, I've never talked to President Trump in my life. And President Trump nor the White House has anything to do with any of this.
CUOMO: All right.
BUTOWSKY: And as you go back and dissect this, as you ask me questions I'm just going to give you the honest answer. But all of the stuff is like little innuendo and that's why I'm happy to be here to answer these.
CUOMO: Well, the problem is...
BUTOWSKY: Please, go ahead.
CUOMO: The problem is they're your words, Ed. I mean, the text message not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article. He wants the article out immediately. It's now all up to you.
BUTOWSKY: Right. CUOMO: But don't feel the pressure.
BUTOWSKY: And you know what? That was Rod. See, you have to understand, again we take things out of context. You know how that work sometimes. Rod Wheeler had been asking me for a long time, and said, Ed, when I get this case settle, the president is going to hire me. And he was always doing this and saying this to me.
So this was tongue in cheek talking just texting. It wasn't serious because Rod Wheeler was always looking for a job because he has no money and by the way, this lawsuit is all about Rod Wheeler trying to get money because he messed up and we'll explain that later.
ECUOMO: But Ed, help me understand this. When you say the White House in the voicemail, you say you meant this D.C. cop. When you say the president just read the article, that was a joke that's funny how?
CUOMO: Where is the punch line in a joke?
BUTOWSKY: Well, look, Chris, it wasn't a joke that was funny how. Rod Wheeler had been, you know, talking to me all the time about how much he wanted to get a job. He said get me on the Trump team. Please get me with Sessions. You've written text messages. Nowadays I'm not going to write any text messages. But it was just two guys me, you know, basically finding a way to chat with him about stuff he's been talking to me about.
CUOMO: All right.
BUTOWSKY: The other one with Della-Camera, let me finish, Chris.
BUTOWSKY: The one with Della-Camera, not a joke at all. Joe Della- Camera has a lot of information and he wanted to come forward. And I told Rod I'll see what I can do to find out about whistleblower status.
BUTOWSKY: And everybody should go talk to Joe Della-Camera and ask him questions.
CUOMO: Well, right, but you know, we have to ask you questions also because what you're...
BUTOWSKY: I'm answering them right now. You may not like my answer but I'm answering them.
CUOMO: It's not like or dislike.
BUTOWSKY: OK. CUOMO: It's about testing them. That's what we do here, right.
BUTOWSKY: Test them, go for it.
CUOMO: So the idea of what you said in the voice mail is code for something that's completely different, you know, is a curious situation as it the text as, is you being on tape talking to Wheeler acknowledging that you knew that Wheeler had been quoted in ways that were inaccurate. How do you explain that?
BUTOWSKY: Yes. That's not true either. So, Chris, let me explain that one.
BUTOWSKY: Rod Wheeler called me up and said, "Ed, Malia Zimmerman misquoted me. And I said, Rod, I don't understand because you -- there's e-mails back and forth that you not only approved the quotes but you added to it. Matter of fact, at that web site that I mentioned Rod Wheeler's claims.com or debunking Rod Wheeler's claims.com, you hear his voice saying the exact quotes he said he didn't say.
What Rod Wheeler did is he called me up. And obviously this was all concocted by Rod Wheeler. Because when he called me up he said, Ed, Malia said that I set eyes on the e-mails. And I said Rod, you never set eyes on the e-mails. I know that, you know that. If you set eyes on the White -- on the e-mails, you would have told me. You never told me.
So if Malia Zimmerman who is a wonderful reporter, if she misquoted you, then you know what? Then that needs to be taken back. I said Rod, show me where that quote exists. By the way, Chris, I'll ask anybody, show me where the quote exists where it says Rod Wheeler set eyes on the e-mails. I've never seen and that's what I was responding to.
CUOMO: So when you were saying you're going to win an award for those things that you didn't say, what did you...
BUTOWSKY: Yes. We were laughing because basically I said how crazy this world is because Rod, you're telling me that you said that you -- you know, that Malia Zimmerman wrote that you said exactly what I just said a second ago that you set eyes on it. I said, Rod, you know that didn't happen. I didn't happen. We were laughing about what a crazy word this is because somehow you know, you're going to win an award for having said something you didn't say.
CUOMO: Well, the good news is there's this is great devices in litigation called discovery. And hopefully all of this will come out because we've only seen the substantiation of his part. We're taking you at your word right now. We'll have to see if there's backup. Let me ask you if this existed.
[22:25:03] BUTOWSKY: I'll send you any backup, Chris. By the way, I'll send you anything. CUOMO: You should send.
CUOMO: You should send all of the proof of everything that you're suggesting right now.
CUOMO: I can't believe it's not out already frankly.
BUTOWSKY: I'm going to come up there tomorrow. I'm going to come up there tomorrow and hand it to you, all right?
CUOMO: You're welcome. The I'm easy to find, Ed.
CUOMO: Let me ask you something about this. Did this happen? Did the Sean Spicer meeting happen or is Wheeler making that up?
BUTOWSKY: Yes, great question. So I've known Sean. I was a surrogate for the RNC, and not really that will used that often, by the way. But I was a surrogate. I got to know Sean a little bit. And this -- there's a recording of a man named Cy Hersh (Ph) that you need to see.
CUOMO: Seymour Hersh.
BUTOWSKY: Excuse me, Seymour Hersh. I didn't know who the man was. But when after I met the Rich's and offered to pay the bill for a private investigator, and by the way this whole idea that will something was coordinated with Rod Wheeler, that's absolute nonsense. I interviewed tons of different private investigators that recommended...
CUOMO: One thing at a time. The Sean Spicer meeting, Ed, did it happen.
BUTOWSKY: All right. I'll go back to it.
BUTOWSKY: I have a tendency to do that. I apologize.
CUOMO: That's all right. That's why I'm here. Did it happen? The Sean Spicer meeting.
I had a meeting with Sean Spicer. I brought Rod Wheeler along.
(CROSSTALK) BUTOWSKY: And my meeting with Sean Spicer it was about, let me tell you.
CUOMO: Go ahead.
BUTOWSKY: It's about this audio recording that Cy Hersh of Cy Hersh saying that there's a mirror copy of the hard drive of Seth Rich's at the cart division at the FBI.
CUOMO: Right. You know that Hersh says that you got his -- you know that Hersh says you got his reporting wrong, right? That he says you took two and two and made 45 out of it.
BUTOWSKY: Yes. Well, you know what? Cy Hersh, maybe that's his math but the reality is I'm not saying anything. Go listen to it and listen to his own words.
BUTOWSKY: I'm not concluding anything. I'm not concluding anything at all, Chris.
CUOMO: I'm just saying when the source of the -- I'm just saying when the source of the material says that your conclusion about it was wrong it should be out there in public space.
BUTOWSKY: What's my conclusion? Wait, wait, what's my conclusion?
CUOMO: Well, you saw...
BUTOWSKY: I don't have a conclusion.
CUOMO: Well, I know, but you saw it as something that was important enough to take to it Sean Spicer. Did he know why you wanted to meet with him?
BUTOWSKY: No. And as a matter of fact...
CUOMO: So he just took a meeting?
BUTOWSKY: Yes, because I said Sean I was going to be in town I had something I wanted to talk to you about. And Rod Wheeler was a tag along because I thought at the last minute, I said, hey, why don't you join me because I go to Washington often, I said, why don't you join and kind of get to know, you know, Sean and meet and so on.
My conversation with Sean about this recording lasted about one minute. He said "Ed, I don't know anything about it. I don't want to know anything about it. I can't do anything." And we ended up talking about many other things. Believe it or not, including, because he and I both get our shirts at the same place through some company. And we talked about the new cotton material on these shirts. And Chris, that's the truth.
CUOMO: Ed, do you think -- do you think it's coincidental that there seem to be these meetings that Trump officials take that they don't know anything about but they take the meeting anyway and when they get into it they wind up changing the subject away from something else? Like we heard from Don Junior.
CUOMO: That he didn't know what the meeting was about but he took it anyway because a friend ask him too. Then they start talking about adoption, he didn't understand it. This seems a little similar to that in terms of a scenario.
BUTOWSKY: No, it's not.
CUOMO: You know Sean but you don't know him that well, you ask him for a meeting.
BUTOWSKY: No, no.
CUOMO: He said he'll take it without knowing what it's about. And then you come in and you tell him about this tape and wind up talking about shirts. Sounds a little convenient, no?
BUTOWSKY: Chris, I think you're trying to twist something and make a point that's not there. So let me correct you, OK.
BUTOWSKY: I called up, I have no idea about Donald Trump, Jr. and this and any of that meetings. I'm going to talk directly about Sean Spicer. Sean and I know each other. We're not good friends but we're friendly. I told him I was going to be in Washington I want to come by and talk to him about something.
CUOMO: And you never told him what.
CUOMO: You didn't say what it was about?
BUTOWSKY: No, no. You know what?
CUOMO: Were you surprised that he said he would take a meeting as busy as he was at the time with somebody he kind of knows but not that well.
BUTOWSKY: No, it wasn't surprise -- I was actually happy. So apparently he like me more than I thought. OK.
CUOMO: And then when you took the meeting and you told him about the tape, before you switch on to what shirt maker you use, what did he say? BUTOWSKY: Which we really did, believe it or not.
CUOMO: I'm not saying you're not telling the truth.
CUOMO: I'm just saying that when he said to me..
BUTOWSKY: Right, I told him after he heard it, by the way, and Cy Hersh can say whatever he wants. I didn't make a conclusion, Chris, like you said. I didn't make any conclusion. Go listen to it and anybody who listens to it will say, hey, there's something here and they should go listen to it @debunkingrodwheer'sclaims.com.
CUOMO: You still believe that even though Rod corrected the story? Do you still believe there's something to it?
BUTOWSKY: All right. You got to let me finish my point because that's one of the things I really want to be able to do, OK? So, anybody that listens to it will know there's something. I didn't make the conclusion. I sat down with Sean. He and I are friendly. We see each other. I saw him in a debate once or twice. I used to do some commentating on economic matters for the RNC.
And you know what? We developed a nice little friendship. The meeting lasted maybe 12, 15 minutes. And then we got the old, by the way, Sean, someone's here to see you which, you know, just means Ed get out of here.
CUOMO: And how did you leave it with him?
[22:30:00] BUTOWSKY: I just left. I thought it was kind of cool and they're been inside the White House...
CUOMO: Did he say let me know what happened, I'll follow up with you about this.
BUTOWSKY: No. No, he had no interest at all.
CUOMO: Were you disappointed?
BUTOWSKY: No, I thought it was cool being in the White House.
CUOMO: But, Ed, you went there to tell him something you thought was very important. You wanted him to know about this tape.
CUOMO: When he didn't show any interest then.
BUTOWSKY: I wasn't disappointed.
CUOMO: You just thought it was cool to be there.
BUTOWSKY: I told you he didn't show any interest. He said, Ed -- he said, Ed, you know what? I'm new here. I don't know. But I can't do anything. Nobody here can do anything. You got to -- you know, whatever. We just let it go.
CUOMO: He didn't tell to you keep him aware of anything or anything like that?
BUTOWSKY: No, he had no interest. He didn't even know I was going to talk about anything. Then we ended up talking about other things, about being in here, how cool it was. We start talking. The TV was on. There was some game on. We talked about that.
Rod Wheeler did not talk about asking for a job. I told Rod come along and, you know, meet him. Maybe somehow you can smooze and get to develop a relationship with him. Another point Rod Wheeler sent me a text message saying can you get me back in to see Sean. I want to give him some information. I have a text message that I'll send to you or I'll bring to you.
CUOMO: All right. Good. The Fox News retracted the story as we now know.
CUOMO: Do you still believe there is something to the suggestion?
BUTOWSKY: I don't believe there's anything in that story that isn't accurate. The reason that Fox News retract...
CUOMO: You believe it's all accurate.
BUTOWSKY: Let me finish. I believe Rod Wheeler's saying that he was misquoted is the reason they pulled it. Rod Wheeler wasn't misquoted. What Rod Wheeler did the night before, he had a crush or has a crush on a lady named Marina Morocco with Fox 5 Washington and he leaked the story to her the night before. She wrote a lot of stuff. And I have a text message showing Rod saying I need to sue Fox 5 because they misquoted me.
So now Fox 5 misquoted Rod Wheeler. And then you got to bring in this lawyer named Wigdor who sues Fox for everything, he's been on your channel many times. And the combination of Rod Wheeler being broke, Rod Wheeler lying and Wigdor putting a case together against Fox, now you have a lawsuit that you're quoting that's just full of nonsense.
CUOMO: You know, Ed, why are you getting critical questioning here? Because it matters. Why does it matter?
BUTOWSKY: Of course it matters.
CUOMO: Because there's a lawsuit. In part because Fox News has come under the microscope for its journalism in part but there's a bigger reason I think. It has nothing to do with politics it has nothing to do with the media.
You went to the Rich family. They were in grieving. They were hurting. They had the worst kind of scenario. They lost a loved one and they didn't know what happened. And you went to them with this story about what happened to their son.
BUTOWSKY: No, no let me tell you something, Chris. I heard that said before. And I want to be very clear.
BUTOWSKY: That did not happen.
CUOMO: How did you get to them?
BUTOWSKY: Let me tell you what happened. But do you know want to know what happened or you want to tell you what happened?
CUOMO: I really want to know what happened. I want to know why you would go to this family with this type of stuff.
BUTOWSKY: I'm going to tell you exactly what happened. I heard something. Someone told me something about the Seth Rich. I don't know the Rich family.
CUOMO: Who told you something?
BUTOWSKY: I'm not going to tell you.
BUTOWSKY: That's not something I'm going to share with you.
BUTOWSKY: Because I'm not bringing that up.
CUOMO: I thought you said you will tell me everything. I thought you wanted to be all open. You were going come up here and hand it to me.
BUTOWSKY: How about this. I'm going to tell you everything except that.
CUOMO: Why? It matters. Because it was so important...
BUTOWSKY: No, it does.
CUOMO: ... whoever told you this that you would go to a grieving family... BUTOWSKY: Chris, are you...
CUOMO: ... and talk to them about the thing that would hurt them the most.
CUOMO: So I think we should know who told you. Because they must have been damn credible.
BUTOWSKY: Right. Chris, before I came on air, I had a discussion with your producer to let me talk. So let me talk.
CUOMO: You've been talking plenty, Ed. I', just saying I got to check while you're on cam.
BUTOWSKY: You interrupted me. You continue to craft -- excuse me, Chris, you continue to try to point something out that you think is important and not let me talk.
I went to the Rich family after finding them, I got introduced to them. I spoke to them December 17th at 3.17 p.m. for 30 minutes. I started off saying, thank you, I'm sorry what happened and so on. I heard something. I wanted to share with you.
And when I told them, I'll tell you exactly what it was. I heard something about WikiLeaks. They said to me, you know what? We don't believe you. I said fine. We started talking about many other things. Started talking about children and life and so on. They said if you ever find out anything, will you please let us know?
That's all. You know what? This was very private. I had a private discussion with them. When I left or skuts me, when I hung up the phone, I just let it go. And then at some point, someone introduced me to Cy Hersh (Ph). Cy Hersh (Ph) then who told me all of this information. I sent that privately to the Rich family.
They said, you know what, Ed, if you ever have anything concrete, let us know. And then I said to them this, I said, why don't you hire a private detective. And they said, we would love to. We can't afford one.
[22:35:05] And you know what, Chris? You don't know the me but a lot of people out there do. You know what I said? I said, I'll pay for it. Now, I'm not a rich guy. I'm not some rich donor. I don't know why you guys keep saying that, OK, because I'm not rich at all.
But I said to these people, you know what? I'd be happy to pay for it. I thought as most people would say, no, thank you, that's -- we don't know than you. They said yes. And I said. I had no idea how much a private detective cost. I started asking people, who knows anybody who is a private detective.
I got recommended Rod Wheeler by somebody. I have an e-mail exchange that I'll share with you. And they said why don't you meet Rod Wheeler. The first time I ever talked to Rod Wheeler was February 23rd. So this nonsense that Rod Wheeler said that he had been pinpointed is all B.S.
Rod Wheeler wasn't pinpointed. Rod Wheeler spoke to the Rich's for two weeks back and forth with contract. And the whole contract negotiation, Chris, according to Rod Wheeler was Aaron Rich and Aaron Rich's wife saying don't ever look into WikiLeaks. Don't ever talk about e-mails.
And if you listen and if you go to debunkingRodWheeler'sclaims.com, there's a 27-minute audio there of Rod Wheeler stating all of this. So Rod Wheeler then is now involved. There wasn't any of this nonsense that he's talking about coordination, trying to do bad things to him. He knows all of that.
Rod Wheeler is broke and he's trying to make some money out of extorting maybe me, maybe Fox, who knows. But the facts are, none of this stuff is adding up to what Rod Wheeler is claiming.
CUOMO: Is that your full answer?
BUTOWSKY: Yes, but thank you for letting me talk.
CUOMO: All right. So let me, let me ask you some questions.
BUTOWSKY: Go ahead.
BUTOWSKY: You're a Trump supporter, yes.
BUTOWSKY: I'm a republican. And I didn't donate any money to Trump.
CUOMO: You're a Trump supporter, yes?
BUTOWSKY: I don't want him to get mad but I'm a republican. I didn't give him any money and I didn't campaign for him. So I don't know what a Trump supporter would be, but I did vote for him? Absolutely.
CUOMO: So you voted for Donald Trump.
CUOMO: So we establish that. You go to the Rich family whom you didn't know. You didn't have a pre-existing relationship, right?
BUTOWSKY: None whatsoever.
CUOMO: You hear something from somebody who you won't reveal the source to be, right?
BUTOWSKY: Yes. Yes.
CUOMO: Here's why it matters. Because on the strength of whoever that person was, and what they told you which you have admitted on this show was not that much that you actually knew what happened because you learned more after the Rich's when you met Seymour Hersh and then did whatever other investigating that you did, so on the basis of this one piece of information from this one person whom you won't reveal.
You go to a family that is in the worst situation of their live and say to them, hey, I have an idea of what may have happened with your son. Does that make sense to you? Is that the kind of thing that somebody does?
CUOMO: They go to a family that's grieving, excuse me, let me finish. I let you finish.
BUTOWSKY: You know, Chris, I don't appreciate.
CUOMO: You go to the family that's grieving and say I heard something, you don't know anything but you heard something.
CUOMO: And on strength of that have alone and your humanity, you went to this family and offered up to them and that was your only motivation to give them this piece of information?
BUTOWSKY: So Chris, I resent you trying to characterize me as an insensitive jerk. Because Chris...
CUOMO: Those are your words. I'm asking you a question.
BUTOWSKY: .. I thought, yes, I know but you know what? That's what obviously it's coming across, so here's the answer, Chris. I went to this family because I thought I had heard something that would help these people. Because they had said in newspapers and by the way, when I heard that information, it took me about two months after my son went to college and I couldn't imagine what it would be like to have a son murdered. And nobody was telling them.
The Washington police according to what I read wasn't telling them anything and they weren't investigating anything. So when I got hold of them, I went to them thinking, I was actually going to try to help these people bring some relief or some knowledge about what happened to their son.
My son had just left to go to Vanderbilt. I was an empty nester. Had a lot of time to reflect on my life and you do that when you're an empty nester, Chris, OK? And I'm reflecting and I thought this is weird because if I know something and this is the way I am about somebody's kid or if I think I know something this is how I was growing up -- excuse me, with my kids, I'm not going to hold on to something without the parents knowing.
And anybody who knows me knows that's the way I am. So what I did is a called up, got hold of them and shared with them. As soon as they said we don't believe you, it was over. I just thought I needed to say something. CUOMO: Except that it wasn't. You went and found Wheeler, you went
and talked to Hersh and then they wind up that's going to be with the family.
BUTOWSKY: No, you're wrong. You're wrong there.
CUOMO: Well, that's what you just said.
BUTOWSKY: It was over at that time, Chris.
CUOMO: All right. I understand. I understand the distinction.
BUTOWSKY: Chris, again, you're trying to me look...
CUOMO: It wasn't over but that was over. The whole situation wasn't over but that introduction was. I understand it.
[22:40:03] BUTOWSKY: Right.
CUOMO: I get it.
BUTOWSKY: What you don't know is they asked me to make a donation to the son's memorial. They asked me to come up for a concert in his name. They asked me to find out who this Jack Burkman guy was.
BUTOWSKY: Rich's asked me. I have a text message or an e-mail. They also said this that guy Brad Bowman just showed up one day and said he was assigned to them from the DNC. And they asked me, why?
BUTOWSKY: Now let's remember something. I'm a republican. Seth Hersh -- excuse me Seth Rich is a huge Bernie Sanders supporter. The Rich's are big democrats. I don't care what somebody's political party is. I care about human beings and I heard something and I felt inside that I needed to share this with a family.
I didn't go there there to upset this family. I went there to help them. They were already upset because the D.C. police wasn't telling them anything. They were upset because their son was killed, Chris.
CUOMO: Absolutely understandable.
BUTOWSKY: And I heard something so I thought I would share with them.
CUOMO: That much we know to be true.
CUOMO: And we know something else also. The Rich family put out a statement saying they hope that this lawsuit will end the connection of their son and their family to an ugly set of conspiracies. I'm out of time for this. But, Ed, I hope you feel you got the full opportunity.
BUTOWSKY: I've got so much more to say.
BUTOWSKY: I want to tell you more.
CUOMO: This was a good start. And I'm looking forward to you giving me all the backing for everything that you said. Right. The support material.
BUTOWSKY: And have me back.
CUOMO: Greatly appreciate it. Let's look at the information you have.
BUTOWSKY: I want to come back.
CUOMO: All right. Thank you very much, Ed Butowsky. Take care.
BUTOWSKY: All right. Chris, I'll come back.
When we do come back, the republican senator who is taking his own party to task over President Trump. Why he says the GOP is in denial about the president. And I can hear social media heating up. Social media, tell us what you think of what Ed Butowsky just taught you. You know how to get me.
CUOMO: All right. We're back. Arizona republican Senator Jeff Flake says politics has turned too destructive and he blames his party and our president, President Trump. It's part of his book, "Conscience of a Conservative."
And in it the senator writes, "To carry on in the spring of 2017 as if what happened was anything approaching normalcy required a determined suspension of critical faculties and tremendous powers of denial."
Senator Flake also said this to my colleague Jake Tapper earlier today. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF FLAKE, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: We've kind of as republicans taken up -- taken up an unfamiliar banner that you know, this populism and you know, in some cases xenophobia, anti-immigration, protectionism. That's not familiar to us and I don't think that that is a governing philosophy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: So the senator is making a very specific argument. Let's discuss/debate. We have CNN political commentator Jack Kingston, former senior adviser to the Trump campaign, and republican strategist, Rick Wilson. Gentlemen, thank you very much. Jack, I start with you. What, first of all, good to have you both
here. Thank you for joining us. What do you make of the senator's argument about what has happened within the party and what the president means to it.
JACK KINGSTON, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Chris, I had the honor of sharing third base on the congressional baseball team with Senator Flake. He got more game time than I did, but I got to know him very well.
[22:45:01] Jeff has always been an independent thinker, always kind of out there a little bit. He had what we used to call the Flake amendments where he would take on earmarks from either party. So he is fearless when it comes time to criticize.
But as I read one of the articles today about him, his conclusions were we needed to protect the filibuster which I think the filibuster is one of the big problems with the Senate. It keeps them arrogant and aloof. I think disconnected with the American people.
He said that the president was guilty of playing to his base and I would say no duh, what president doesn't play to his base. And then he said we needed to have free trade. Well, we all support free trade but the other word is fair trade. And what the president has said about NAFTA, it's 20 years old. We need to renegotiate it. What he said about TPP was the same thing Hillary Clinton said.
KINGSTON: So, you know, I think his conclusions were on what we needed to do, I think they were a little bit weak on substance.
CUOMO: Well, the senator is making a little bit different point. And I'll redirect it to you, Rick. The senator is not talking about the what as much as the how. Another excerpt from the book that makes this point.
"Too often, we observe the unfolding drama along with the rest of the country passively. All but saying, someone should do something. Without seeming to realize that that someone is us, the silence from McConnell, the silence from Ryan with outrage after outrage and strange things that come out of White House."
That's what the senator is talking about, not the policy, not TPP but how he conducts the business of the White House and being America's leader. What's your take on that, Rick?
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There is a very broad sense that Senator Flake has touched on something that a lot of folks inside the party recognize is that Donald Trump is not a conservative. He is not a republican in the sense that we've understood being a republican or being a conservative for a long time.
He is not about limited government or individual liberty or the rule of law or any of these things that are the normative forces that shaped consecutives for a very long time. He's a populist is, sometimes he's a very effective populist but that's not conservatism.
And the things that he does behaviorally are also very distant from what we've always considered to be, again, normal conservative behavior and the things that we would expect and hope that a president would have, dignity, intellectual discipline, a sense of the majesty and honor of the White House and the role he plays.
And I think Senator Flake has identified a lot of these problems that folks inside the party have identified and agree with, many of them are afraid to say anything about it, many of them the afraid -- the fear of the mean tweet is there. But that's something that he's definitely touched on.
KINGSTON: Rick, those are the party elites. The party elite doesn't like Donald Trump. And they've been saying that same thing. But here's a guy who for every new regulation he's put on the books, he's repealed 19 regulations. That's conservative. Here's a guy who has invested in our military and improved our strength and our stature abroad. The same thing that he proposed...
WILSON: Jack, Jack, here's the thing. Donald Trump has proposed -- Donald Trump has proposed expansions.
CUOMO: One at a time. Jack, finish your point and let Rick respond.
KINGSTON: He's working for energy independence, protecting our borders and cutting down on illegal immigration. That -- those are conservative principles, Rick. And I know that a lot of the elite in town doesn't like the way he's ruffled feathers to get the job done but he is getting a conservative agenda through.
CUOMO: Rick, your response.
WILSON: The conservative things that Donald Trump does are incidental coincidental and accidental. What happens with this with a guy like Donald Trump, he's talking about wildly expanding the power of the state. I'm a conservative. I don't want...
KINGSTON: You mean evolve in power back in the state government?
KINGSTON: ... a stronger more powerful government. He's talking -- Jack, I let you speak. He's talking about expanding the power of the state dramatically. He's talking about engaging in trade wars. He is a guy who lacks the mental discipline to understand the complexities of the foreign affairs challenges that face us right now.
So I really don't think that you can just say that the occasional things that you get from regulatory rollbacks with Donald Trump comprise a consistent conservative philosophy.
KINGSTON: Rick. WILSON: And a coherent intellectual framework of conservatism. And you know, the elites, Jack, have a benefit once in a while is that they don't just respond to the base emotions of the screaming crowd. That is Donald Trump's forte. That's what he loves. That's his gig. I get it. OK? He doesn't have the intellectual bandwidth for conservative philosophy to really talk about conservatism.
KINGSTON: Well, you know, I'm sorry (Inaudible) Rick, but that's what democracy is about is every man, one man, one vote. What did you think about...
WISLON: May I remind you we're in a republic, congressman.
KINGSTON: ... his speech in Poland? His speech in Poland in defense of the west and western values, I thought it was a speech not just for the day not just for the week but for the decade. Even for decades to be studied about the difference between the west and the terrorism and the recklessness and the lack of the rule of law in the rest of the world or a lot of the world.
[22:49:59] WILSON: Right.
KINGSTON: And I thought it was real leadership. And here we get the president of France inviting him back for Bastille Day? And this was the guy who according to the E.U. and all the liberals socialist over in Europe, he is horrible. He is horrible. But guess who invites him back for Bastille Day? The president of France.
KINGSTON: A very significant stride that he makes.
CUOMO: Jack, we take your point. Rick, quick button. We have to go.
WILSON: Listen, I think we're in a situation now where a lot of conservatives are really looking at the behavior of Trump more than just the promises. The promises aren't being met. The behavior is evident every day and it's a problem for conservatives.
CUOMO: Rick Wilson, Jack Kingston. Thank you for the robust debate. I appreciate you both.
KINGSTON: Thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: All right. I want to turn now to the latest White House shake up. Is it really going to change the balance of power in the West Wing? How so? What about Ivanka Trump's tweet about the new chief of staff General John Kelly.
Here it is. "Looking forward to serving alongside John Kelly as we work for the American people." Working alongside is what caught the eye. Why? Because General Kelly is supposedly everyone's boss now. Everyone has been put underneath him. Does that include the children?
Let's discuss. We got Tim O'Brien, executive editor of bloomberg View and author of "Trump Nation," and Annie Karni, White House reporter for Politico. Thank you both for bow being here.
So John Kelly, general, military. Trump respects him, we are told, especially when in uniform. He's in charge of everyone. Then Ivanka's tweet comes out. Was this a nudge against power or just an ownership of the obvious which is I'm his daughter. I don't, you know, you don't stand between me and my father. How do you recommend?
TIMOTHY O'BRIEN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, BLOOMBERG VIEW: Jared and I are first among equals. I don't think that -- I'm doubtful that Kelly will make a difference in this White House. The reality is that Trump is his centrifugal force. He pushes everyone away from him except family members. He is -- he can't be disciplined. I think that ultimately Kelly is going to be trying to lasso the world in here with trump.
And that's the problem in this. It's never going to be an organization that's run in a linear tactical way because that's not how Trump rules. He's in it I think for self-aggrandizement and self- preservation. I think, you know, your previous guest talking about where Trump where trump ideology is. I think it's a mistaken path and to understand he's not about ideology. He's really about almost...
CUOMO: People see that as refreshing. He's pragmatic.
CUOMO: He's about the empirical. He just does what works. That would be the virtue.
O'BRIEN: He think he can get it done. He's got to get it done. So refreshing alone doesn't get policy put in place.
CUOMO: So, Annie, respond to that. Let me put my wedding band on my pinky ring for a second so I can make this point more easily. The head rots from the -- the fish rots from the head down. That was what's Scaramucci into the ether and Mario Cantone and now I can't say it without laughing.
But the truth of it is that leadership begins at the top. Tone begins at the top.
ANNIE KARNI, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, POLITICO: Yes.
CUOMO: So, yes, General John Kelly. People say you look in his eyes and you realize he is no joke. But you also realize he is not the president. So how much change can come from beneath?
KARNI: Well, I would just say that the fact that there were four rival power centers and a weak chief of staff who couldn't control who the president talked to and didn't have most of the staff reporting to him wasn't -- didn't just happen. Trump set it up this way and it's the same play book he's been using for 30 years.
He likes to see play people against each other to see them fight, to know that they all are trying to fight for his favor. That's the way he ran his business and that's the way he ran the White House for the first six months.
I don't know if John Kelly wants to impose some new order and firing Scaramucci was a nice way of showing that things are going to be different. I don't know if Trump will like that. And if Ivanka and Jared have said they plan to abide by the new rules. They wanted Priebus out, they wanted someone who can be more orderly.
But what John Kelly can't control is that they have access to the president in the East Wing whatever they want.
KARNI: Even if they technically report to him...
CUOMO: But would anybody expect differently, though, Annie? Wouldn't that be unfair if not impractical to say that Ivanka, Jared, that they would have to go to the general before they can go to their father? Isn't just that an impossibility?
KARNI: It's just, I mean, no chief of staff in history has had to deal with family members reporting to him. And, I mean, they can say they want to report to him but if Jared and Ivanka have dinner with their dad, are they going to go tell Kelly what they discussed and read out every conversation they have with Trump on their private time. It's just so blurry which is the way Trump -- what happens when you have family members serving in senior positions.
CUOMO: Well, also there is a distinction to be drawn, you brought it up there, it's a good point, Annie. Let me bounce it back to Tim. Which is there's a difference between being an intimate and being an instrument.
[22:55:05] And sometimes people around Trump can confuse themselves for one when they are the other, entertain Anthony Scaramucci. Now, I put to the side these ideas that he was brought in as a single purpose vehicle to get out Priebus. I believe we often ascribe sophistication and strategy so situation with Trump that are random or reactionary. And he's got a good ear and a good gut as we both know.
So the idea that the general would get rid of Scaramucci and the president wouldn't know or wouldn't approve I think unlikely. What do you think?
O'BRIEN: I think highly unlikely. I think that...
CUOMO: So what does that mean about loyalty? Because if Anthony Scaramucci was anything -- I know -- I know it is fair right now to attack him and I know that that's very popular. He was loyal to the president. He believed in the president and he's gone.
O'BRIEN: Wore his loyalty on his sleeve. And I think that, I think the intimacy thing you point out is spot on. Because the only intimates are his family members, and the only intimate in this White House are Jared and Ivanka and everyone else is fungible beyond that, and that's a problem because Jared and Ivanka in over their heads. They lack the relevant experience and skills to be playing the roles they're playing there.
The president himself is in desperate need of wise counsel and he doesn't take it and most of the adults in this administration, maybe with the exception of Mattis have been sidelined.
CUOMO: Tim O'Brien, I appreciate it as always.
O'BRIEN: Thank you.
CUOMO: Annie Karni, thank you very much. Provocative thoughts needed on this occasion.
All right. We're going to be in just a second. I mangled one of the best going impersonations out there. You know how you love Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer, right, then comes actor singer-performer Mario Cantone, who picked up the mantle of the mooch with a performance of Anthony Scaramucci that went viral. He's back.
Here's the taste of his latest attempt. The Scaramucci goodbye.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIO CANTONE, ACTOR: I was a threat. The second I walked through the White House, my days were numbered. Look at me. I'm trim, I'm good looking. I dressed sharp. I smell good. The kind of war. You're going to want to lick me like a popsicle. I smell better than anybody on Trump's team. Those guys smelled like canned corn and that's the first thing in the morning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: All right. I hope that by now we all understand that rainforests provide the world with clean air and water but we have to also know that keeping these vital ecosystems in balance is not easy.
Now in South Asia, the sun bear, it's the smallest bear in the world, it play as key role in keeping these forests healthy. So when this week's CNN hero realized the little bears were under threat, he dedicated his life to saving them. We want you to meet Siew Te Wong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[22:59:58] SIEW TE WONG, CNN HERO: Wild forest 20 years ago no one has ever studied sun bears. The more I learn about them, the more I care. The more I care, the more I worry. I have to help them.
And this is why I want to be the voice for the sun bear too, fight for the sun bear to insure the survival of the sun bear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Dedicating his life not just to protect the bear's lives but so many others who benefit from the rainforest as well. If you want to see more about the world's smallest bear and find out how Wong is helping them, you go to cnnheroes.com. And remember while you're there you can nominate someone that you think should be a 2017 CNN hero.
All right. That is it for us tonight. I'm Chris Cuomo, in for Don Lemon. Thank you for watching and I'm going to see you tomorrow morning to start your new day with Allison, and I'll be back again here tomorrow night. So please take care.