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Scaramucci Cancels Plans to Discuss White House Firing; Sentencing for Woman Convicted in Boyfriend's Suicide; Speaker Ryan Confronted at Town Hall; Leaked Transcripts of Trump's Testy Calls to Mexico President, Australian P.M. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired August 3, 2017 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
[14:30:00] ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: You know my financial disclosure's been leaked to "Politico," which is a felony.
RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR & WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORKER: When I wanted to ask you if you wanted to be profiled.
SCARAMUCCI: I don't want to be profiled.
LIZZA: What are you trying to do? What are you trying to do?
SCARAMUCCI: I'm not Steve Bannon. I'm not trying to suck my own (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I'm not trying to build my own brand off the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) strength of the president. OK. The Mooch showed up a week ago, this is going to get cleaned up very shortly, OK, because I nail these guys. I got digital fingerprints on everything they've done through the FBI and the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Department of Justice.
SCARAMUCCI: For the felony, they're going to get prosecuted for the felony. They'll probably get prosecuted.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Wowsa.
Ryan Lizza, good enough to join me from vacation on the phone.
LIZZA: Hi, Brooke.
BALDWIN: It was one thing to read your interview with him in print, it is quite another to hear the bleeps out loud. I mean, you labeled this interview in your computer as "Insane Scaramucci Interview." Was that the craziest phone call you've ever had with a high government official?
LIZZA (via telephone): Yes. I mean, I have to say, when I got off the phone, I thought that was just the most unusual conversation because just to summarize what he was saying there, I mean, he said he threatened to fire the entire communications staff if I wouldn't reveal sources, which I thought was a very strange threat to offer a journalist. It's not like that would be an incentive for me to change my mind about that. He launched those pretty serious attacks on his colleagues. And probably the most newsworthy thing is he said he called the FBI and the chief of staff at the White House. Just consider that for a moment. We're talking like a Watergate-level, you know, news there. Like, I've never heard of a high government official telling a journalist that they've called the FBI to investigate a colleague at the White House.
LIZZA: So, yes, I got off the phone and immediately thought, all right, this is extremely newsworthy, we got to figure out what to do with it.
BALDWIN: So, looking back on his 11-day tenure, this was the "let Trump be Trump" guy, right? We heard that through the campaign and kind of became cliche. But this is how -- what was he, you know, in terms of being the head of the communications shop, he was -- this is how he was trying to convince people to go, right? Which obviously something changed once Reince Priebus was out and General Kelly was in.
LIZZA: I think it's a mixed bag. If you read the communications memo that he wrote that leaked out yesterday, a lot of communications professionals in politics and a lot of journalists who were reading it yesterday said, he had some good ideas there. And on the plus side of the ledger, he was trying to open the White House up a little bit more, get the cameras back on in the briefing room. He was really emphasizing having a better relationship with the press. So those were all positive things.
I think on the side of the ledger that if he had stayed, not so sure how it would have went, is that he believed that the real problem in the White House was that the public just didn't see the side of Trump that he saw. He had this very -- has this very worshipful view of Trump and just believes that all the problems could be solved if the, you know, if the world saw Trump the way he saw. And I think a lot of people in politics think that everything's just a communications problem, that all the politicians' issues with the public could be solved with slightly better communication, when usually it's a lot deeper than that.
LIZZA: So it's a mixed bag. I think he's got a -- you know, I think he's getting hammered a little unfairly on some of these things. But you have to understand why the new chief of staff would say it's just intolerable to have someone who is sort of super empowered by the president reporting to the president rather than the chief of staff. I think you can understand why John Kelly wanted to have a fresh start.
BALDWIN: Yes. Within the first six hours of his first day there at the White House.
[14:33:48] BALDWIN: Ryan Lizza, thank you so much. Go back to your vacation. I would have asked you, you know, what do you think is going on with this public address tomorrow, but he scrapped it. So wish him well, obviously, in his personal life.
Ryan Lizza, thank you for calling in.
Coming up next, this young woman who was convicted for involuntary manslaughter for texting her boyfriend to commit suicide, she learns her fate today. She could face up to 20 years in prison. We're watching the courtroom there. There she is in the white shirt. We'll bring that to you.
Also, where is Sean Spicer? He has a few more days in the West Wing. What's he up to? And what are the plans for Spicy when he's out of the White House? That's coming up.
BALDWIN: Any moment now, this Massachusetts woman will learn her fate for pushing her boyfriend to commit suicide. The judge is now taking just a short recess before sentencing Michelle Carter for involuntary manslaughter. She faces up to 20 years in prison for the 2014 death of Conrad Roy.
The judge ruled Carter repeatedly pressured Roy through text messages and phone calls to kill himself. He said Carter knew the danger that awaited Roy.
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UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE: Ms. Carter, please stand. This court, having reviewed the evidence and applied the law thereto now finds you guilty on the indictment charging you with the involuntary manslaughter of the person Conrad Roy III.
Carter realizes that Mr. Roy has exited the truck. She instructs him to get back into the truck, which she has reason to know is or is becoming a toxic environment inconsistent with human life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:40:01] BALDWIN: Carter's family wants probation, but Roy's family is asking for at least seven years.
So let's go to Brynn Gingras, who is there covering this case, and Danny Cevallos, our CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney.
Brynn, you're here. So they just took a quick recess. You know, tell us what's gone on at least today and do they anticipate that she will be speaking at all?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the thing, we don't think she is at this point, Brooke, because we think that would have already happened. What happened right now is the judge is taking that recess for about another 20 minutes or so, and that's when we do expect the sentencing. He's got a lot in front of his plate right now. He has the sentencing recommendations from both the defense and the commonwealth. And it got pretty emotional when the commonwealth and the family of Conrad Roy got to speak.
As far as the defense, like you said, though, I want to start there. The defense asked for five years supervised probation for Michelle Carter for this involuntary manslaughter charge, basically saying that she was 17 when this crime was committed, that she does show regret in her actions, that she has aspirations for her future.
But again, but pretty emotional when it was the commonwealth's turn to speak. We heard from Conrad Roy's younger sister. We also heard from his father, who said, quote, "Imagine the worst emotional pain and then multiply that to infinity," and that's how he feels with the loss of his son."
But also hear from his sister. Take a listen.
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CAMDYN ROY, SISTER OF CONRAD ROY: He gave me an amazing 13 years being my best friend and the best role model any little sister could ask for. Not a day goes by without him being my first thought waking up and my last thought going to bed. Throughout those 13 years with him, I have countless amazing memories that will always be with me.
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GINGRAS: And again, she could face, Michelle Carter, up to 20 years. But the commonwealth recommending anywhere from seven to 12 years.
During this entire time through those emotional comments made by the family members, Michelle Carter was sort of sitting back in her chair, wiping her nose. Her eyes were certainly teary listening to this emotional testimony -- Brooke?
BALDWIN: So the max is 20 years.
Danny, we are talking ahead of time and I was asking, would she really get 20, and you were saying, no, that's just the max and the situation. What are some of the factors that they're looking at to determine time?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: In a case like this, because Michelle Carter is a youthful offender under Massachusetts law, a judge has so many options. But as with any sentencing, a judge will consider all kinds of factors, her history, all kinds of things that may either mitigate or aggravate the situation. Will she get 20 years? You're hearing it from me here. She will not get 20 years. Even the highest end of the sentencing guidelines call for 60 months. That's five years. And I think the Massachusetts -- the state of Massachusetts is being a little greedy when they ask for seven years because that's even beyond the guideline sentence. And the guideline is a range that the judge has to consider based on a number of different factors, including her prior history, that's assuming she has no prior history. Even if she does, even if she has the worst kind of prior history in Massachusetts, then her sentence guideline would only be, at the most, 10 years. So that will give you an idea. The statutory max is 20 years in this case. It is not going to happen.
BALDWIN: OK. Stick around. Don't go too far. We're waiting for the sentencing to happen this afternoon. Again, brief recess there in the courtroom and then it will continue. And if that happens, we'll get you back in that seat.
Danny Cevallos and Brynn Gingras, thank you so much.
Coming up here, this stunning leak, transcripts of President Trump's phone calls with world leaders. What he says about the wall and who's really going to pay for it, and so much more.
[14:33:54] Also, how is Sean Spicer spending the last couple days in the White House? We have updates on that. And what might be in store for his future. That's ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put one hand on your belly, the other on your heart.
Forest bathing comes from the word, (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE), which is Japanese.
Reach your arms up.
It means being in nature.
In Japan, they have special medical forests where people can go be out in nature.
You're coming into the forest with a conscious intention to slow down, to connect, to heal. It's all about moving slow, a lot slower than you expect.
What do you think? You think peppery?
And about engaging all your senses.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In our hospital, we actually prescribe nature. Studies have shown that within minutes of walking into a forest, your stress improves. Heart rate will come down. Blood pressure will come down. Then over the course of an hour to an hour and a half, if you walk in through a natural setting, symptoms of anxiety or depression improve.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like to say, pretend that you've just landed on earth and you've never seen any of this before. It's really invoking that curiosity in people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gosh, it's really beautiful here. You can smell the eucalyptus and the flowers. You can see that the berries are just starting to come out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's nothing to do with the destination. It's nothing to do with getting there fast. It's just slowing down.
[14:49:20] BALDWIN: OK. Coming up next, how Speaker Paul Ryan confronted with tough questions at a town hall meeting. Details on what other members of Congress have in store as they are heading home for August recess.
BALDWIN: It is summertime, and up on Capitol Hill, Senators are wrapping up business and heading out on their August recess. But returning home may not exactly feel like a vacation for a lot of these members of Congress. In fact, in his home state of Wisconsin, just yesterday, the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, was asked why when Republicans control both the House and the Senate and the White House, why wasn't more being accomplished. Here's the response.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no plan for anything right now. And when stuff comes up to vote, it always gets voted down, well, we'll table it and come back. It's very dysfunctional. What are you doing right now to take and make it more cohesive in the House, Senate, and presidency?
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: So the House is the functional body in government in Congress. I say that tongue in cheek, joking, but believe me, I understand your frustration. I feel it right now. So what am I doing about this and what can I do as speaker of the House? I can make sure that the House delivers. I don't run the Senate. I run the House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Let's go to Ryan Nobles there live on Capitol Hill.
And, Ryan, so that's maybe a preview of what these members of Congress will be listening to when they head home for August. But my first question is, do we know what will be item number one on the agenda when they return?
[14:55:01] RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you can read the tea leaves, Brooke, it seems like, right now, both the Senate and the House seem pretty focused on tax reform. Paul Ryan has been talking about that a lot, not only in his speeches to the public but also on his Twitter feed and through press releases. And that's what Mitch McConnell signaled on the Senate floor this week as well. So while health care remains one of these big issues that's lingering, that they certainly did not accomplish during their time here over the summer, it seems as though they're ready to kind of put that in the background for now and focus on tax reform next. But, Brooke, we should also point out that tax reform is not going to be easy either. Even though there's kind of broad agreement among Republicans that the tax code needs to be reformed in some way, shape, or form, there aren't too many people that have exact ideas as to how to make that happen. And we could see another battle as big as the health care one when they come back and talk about tax reform.
BALDWIN: What do you anticipate in the meantime, you know, as they're home and hearing from their constituents, as far as -- you know, I was sitting around this round table last night with some Trump supporters, referring to some of these Republicans as fake Republican. They feel like it's the Congress to blame for not getting anything done and not really placing the onus on the president. What do you think that these folks will be hearing?
NOBLES: Well, it certainly depends on which state you're talking about, which congressional district you're talking about, Brooke. But I don't think there's any doubt that one of the reasons you're seeing such dysfunction here in Washington is because these members are so scared of what greets them when they return home. And there's such, you know, a huge divide between what Republicans want and what Democrats want. And everyone for the most part is frustrated that nothing is getting done. So, whether you're talking about health care, whether you're talking about taxes, whether you're talking about how you interact with the Trump administration, and that is both good and bad for these members of Congress, you should expect them to hear an earful from their constituents when they head back to their home districts.
Not all of these members are going to hold town halls. Some of them will not have that opportunity to meet face to face with their constituents. But those who do should expect to have some kind of rowdy interactions with some folks, because it's clear, not just from the polling, but from the anecdotal evidence that a lot of Americans are frustrated with what's happening here on Capitol Hill.
BALDWIN: We'll get an earful, a month's worth.
Ryan Nobles, thank you so much, back in September. Thank you up on Capitol Hill.
Hour two. Let's continue.
You're watching CNN on this Thursday afternoon. Thank you for being with me. I'm Brooke Baldwin. We begin with leaked transcripts. These transcripts show exactly how testy the president got with leaders of two of the nation's closest allies, both Australia and Mexico. And in the case of our neighbor to the south, the transcripts also reveal that while President Trump repeatedly tweets disdain for the media, he cares what the press thinks.
"The Washington Post" obtained the transcript to the president's phone call with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in January a week after the inauguration.
And so let me read part of how this transcript goes with that conversation. President Trump says, "The only thing I will ask you, though, is on the wall, you and I both have a political problem. My people stand up and say, Mexico will pay for the wall, and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language. But the fact is, we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall. I have to. I've been talking about it for a two-year period."
Let's begin there with Kaitlan Collins at the White House.
Kaitlan, the president repeatedly urged the Mexican president to stop saying, publicly, that he's not paying for it.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we learned a lot from this transcript, Brooke. And essentially. the president was saying, hey, we'll figure out a way to pay for this wall, but stop saying publicly that Mexico is not going to be paying for the wall. Trump told him, hey, I've been saying this for two years now on the campaign trail, so you have to stop saying that. And he even said, you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that, and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press, because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.
Now, this is a pretty startling admission, Brooke, for the president whose biggest campaign applause line was a chant about building the wall and making Mexico pay for it. But here, during this conversation, during his first conversation with the Mexican president, since Trump had taken office, he called the wall the least important thing -- Brooke?
BALDWIN: So, there's that piece. And of course, we're wondering how that sits with, obviously, Trump supporters, who want the wall and want Mexico to pay for it.
Number two, Kaitlan, is the piece, the transcript of the conversation with our friends to the south, way south in Australia, with the P.M., Malcolm Turnbull. What was said there?
COLLINS: That one started out on a good note. The president and the prime minister were discussing how they both have similar backgrounds in business. They were talking about mutual friends. But it became increasingly contentious as the subject of a deal that the Obama administration had made with Australia to take in these few hundred refugees that were living in Australia's detention centers came up. President Trump became increasingly agitated when he --