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Trump's Unpredictable Nature; Bleacher Report; FBI Raids Manafort's Home. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired August 10, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:32:44] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so the White House says that President Trump's fire and fury comment, his warning to North Korea, was not scripted. It was off-the-cuff.

Also this morning, the president is once again attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Let's get "The Bottom Line" on all of this from CNN political director David Chalian.

So, David, I'm interested in that fire and fury comment because it did seem as though it was very deliberate. The president delivered it twice. It was very deliberate. How -- or why do we believe that it wasn't -- that he and Bannon didn't work that out beforehand?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, we believe what our sources are telling us, which is that if -- while the idea of having a strong response was a planned strategy, his exact words were chosen by him off-the-cuff and that the notes in front of him were about the opioid crisis, which is what the event was about that he was doing. So the words themselves, we're being told, were indeed the president's own choosing and off-the-cuff.

But you are right that there was a strategy for a very muscular, strong response. I think the specific words that he used is what caused Tillerson and Mattis to have to sort of come in the day after and try to get it back into the box of not just rhetoric, but what does this mean towards policy?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I don't know -- but what does it mean towards policy? I mean what we're getting now is, well, it doesn't have to mean military. It doesn't have to mean force. It could mean that it's just tough talk and that that's what this kind of mad man in North Korea will respond to. Is that the best reckoning at this point?

CHALIAN: I mean, really, that's a question not for me but for the administration, Chris. And I do think that China --

CUOMO: Well, I'm asking you, David Chalian, what do you have?

CAMEROTA: You speak with them. CHALIAN: I know you are, but it is -- but I think it is the question we need to continue to be asking. I don't think they have been able to sort of lay out in these last 48 hours or so, a little less than that, since the president made those comments, sort of what this does mean for a strategy, to fully define how they're going to approach this problem beyond the rhetoric.

It seemed, actually, it seems like we're going backwards a little bit, right? There was the sanctions vote in the U.N. over the weekend which seemed to be part of a strategic step here. But then the rhetoric came in and now I feel that the burden's on the administration to come out and put the pieces together of how this is going to fit into the broader vision, strategically, for what they want to accomplish.

[08:35:07] CUOMO: And how does it put more pressure on China than ever before? We heard that a couple of times from lawmakers in --

CAMEROTA: Right, and that he was actually telegraphing a message to China, not to North Korea.

CUOMO: Yes. How? So if you say --

CAMEROTA: That he's going -- that they don't want a war.

CUOMO: Right.


CUOMO: So is that the play, that by saying I'm going to unleash fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen --

CAMEROTA: It will get China's attention.

CUOMO: China will be like, whoa, we better step up? I mean, you know, is that likely? Is that the calculus?

CHALIAN: I mean that may be part of the thinking here. We all know that China is the critical player here with the influence that they can wield, that China can wield.

The one thing about the -- if the entire policy is geared towards China, to me, that is what the Bush administration did, the Obama administration did. That's been U.S. policy, is to get China to fix this problem for the United States and its allies in Japan and South Korea and what have you. That hasn't seemed to be working. So it can't all just be geared to getting China to act. Or there's nothing new there. Why would we think China will behave differently this time around?

CAMEROTA: So the president was tweeting this morning various things. One of them he was --

CUOMO: Not about this.

CAMEROTA: Not about -- not about North Korea, which might go to Americans being able to sleep, say, comfortably tonight. But he -- Mitch McConnell can't because the Senate majority leader is again being criticized by the president. Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed repeal and replace for seven years, couldn't get it done? Must repeal and replace Obamacare.

So he's annoyed, obviously, that, you know, look, the Congress did have seven years to come up with a plan. Mitch McConnell couldn't get it done. But how does it help to have this public spat with Mitch McConnell?

CHALIAN: I'm not sure that it does. First and foremost, imagine if you are Secretary Chao, Elaine Chao, transportation secretary. You wake up and this is what your boss is saying about your husband. That's a little bit of an odd moment as well.

But, yes, I don't think this is all that helpful for what the president wants to accomplish in the Senate.

I look back at how President Trump and his team handled Lisa Murkowski at the end of the battle for the Senate bill that went down. It was this kind of posture, this kind of tough take them on sort of try to use the power to shame the Republican in some way of his Twitter feed or in direct phone with her to be tough. And what emerged? A no vote from her. She was one of three that scuttled the bill.

So I don't know that this is going to be the most effective way to get Mitch McConnell to bend to your will and get your agenda through Congress. My guess, is, it's not the best way to do that. But it is one that the president clearly feels is available to him to vent some frustration here.

CUOMO: Chalian is very well-sourced. Are you hearing what I'm hearing, that McConnell is not a man who takes to being rubbed up in public well and that he's not a man who forgets it quickly either?

CHALIAN: Well, that -- those two characteristics are certainly true about Mitch McConnell. I also don't think he's a man, you know -- you talk to people around him, he's not one to take the bait here either. So I don't imagine that he's going to get in a very public back and forth with the president over this. But I do think he's going to file this away and remember it for a long time.

CAMEROTA: OK, David Chalian, thank you very much for "The Bottom Line." Great to talk to you.

CHALIAN: You too.

CAMEROTA: All right, listen to this story. Texas lineman and cancer survivor David Quessenberry, making an emotional comeback to the NFL. His triumphant return in the "Bleacher Report," next.


[08:42:30] CUOMO: If there are only five things you're going to know today, these would be them.

CAMEROTA: OK. CUOMO: Number one, North Korea issuing a new threat in response to President Trump's fire and fury warning. State media says North Korea's military is finalizing plans to launch four ballistic missiles near the waters off Guam.

CAMEROTA: President Trump once again attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the defeat on health care. The president tweeting that McConnell screamed repeal and replace for seven years, couldn't get it done.

CUOMO: The State Department claims staffers at the U.S. embassy in Havana were attacked by a covert, acoustic device. This attack caused them to suffer hearing loss and concussion-like symptoms. The FBI, investigating.

CAMEROTA: Hurricane Franklin weakening to a tropical storm and making landfall over eastern Mexico. The storm packing gusty winds and torrential rain. Flash flooding does remain a concern.

CUOMO: Taylor Swift's mother took the stand in her daughter's trial. She is accusing a former radio host of groping her in 2013. The deejay denies the account saying he may have touched her ribs. The case resumes later today.

CAMEROTA: For more on the "Five Things to Know," you can go to for all of the latest.

CUOMO: So, fresh off winning the national championship at Clemson, quarterback Deshaun Watson is making his NFL debut late -- last night. You know that, actually.

CAMEROTA: I knew that. I knew that.

CUOMO: Thank you.

Andy -- well, you bet so much, that's why.

Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report."

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning. Good morning, guys.

CUOMO: What do you got? How did he look?

SCHOLES: He looked pretty good. As a Texans fan, pretty excited about Deshaun Watson. Chris, you know, the last time we saw him, he was throwing the game-winning touchdown for Clemson against Alabama in that title game. And Clemson, you know, it's just a two-hour drive away from Charlotte, so there were plenty of Clemson fans in the stands last night in Charlotte to watch Watson make his NFL debut. And he did not disappoint those fans. Watson running for a 15-yard touchdown in the third quarter. But despite that score, the Panthers would go on to win this game by a final of 27-17.

But an even better story than Watson's debut for the Texans was the return of David Quessenberry. The 26-year-old offensive lineman was playing in his first game since being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma three years ago. Quessenberry finished his last chemotherapy treatment in early April, ringing the bell at Indiana State (ph) Hospital in Houston. He was so excited and he's so strong he actually broke the bell.

All right, Cardinals-Royals last night, St. Louis had the bases loaded, down 5-4 in the sixth when a cat ran out onto the field.

[08:45:04] Now, he ran around for a little bit before a grounds keeper went out there to try to corral him. He gets him pretty quickly, but then the cat took him out, scratching him, biting him as he was running him off the field.

The game would resume. Very next pitch, Yadier Molina hits a grand slam. The cat now being called a hero. Forever going to be known in St. Louis as the rally cat as the Cardinals would win that game 8-5.

And Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, guys, after the game actually said that he heard that someone had actually claimed the cat and was going to bring him home. So a happy ending to that story all around in St. Louis.

CAMEROTA: That was a purrrfect story.

SCHOLES: Oh, you had to go there, Alisyn.

CUOMO: Oh, well done.

Don't you want to know more about this story? Like, hey, I'll be right out, I just have to take the cat with me to the game, as I always do.

CAMEROTA: Right. Where did it come from?

Andy, please bring us that tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the FBI raiding the home of President Trump's former campaign chairman. What does that tell us about where the Russia investigation is heading and how much Paul Manafort is cooperating? All that, next.


[08:50:00] CUOMO: In a pre-dawn raid, FBI agents seized materials from the home of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as part of the ongoing Russia investigation. Sources tell CNN, the raid, quote, rattled a few cages, of Trump's inner circle.

Let's discuss. We've got Jeffrey Toobin, CNN senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, and Ken Cuccinelli, CNN legal commentator and president of the Senate Conservatives Fund.

Gentlemen, thank you.

Jeffrey Toobin, set the stage. The idea of getting a warrant to go and search a man's house is not just a whim of the special counsel. What did they need in order to gain that access? JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: To be sure, Chris. What the

legal requirement was, and is, is that the prosecutors went to a magistrate and said, we have probable cause to believe that there is evidence of a crime in the home of Paul Manafort. The magistrate agreed, signed the warrant and allowed them to conduct this search.

You know, in practical terms, this is the first clear signal that Mueller sees criminal activity in his investigation. He's investigating it, and I think notwithstanding what Paul Manafort's lawyers have said, the Mueller people do not believe that he is cooperating, being honest with them, turning over all the documents he said he would. So they're going in there and taking them.

The goal seems to be to get the goods on Manafort and then get him to flip and disclose what he knows, if anything, about wrongdoing by others perhaps higher up.

CUOMO: Ken, how do you mitigate the -- that perception, that they had to go into his house because he's not going along with it and this is bad for Manafort?

KEN CUCCINELLI, CNN LEGAL COMMENTATOR: Right. Well, look, no law enforcement officer on earth ever believes someone involved in an investigation who says I'm fully cooperating. They can't. I mean you'd be a chump as a law enforcement official, wouldn't you? Oh, gosh, I -- he told me he gave me everything and he didn't.

But one thing, Chris, that a lot of your viewers probably don't know, the federal government can go look at your bank records, they can go look at my bank records, they can go look at Jeffrey's bank records now for no reason at all thanks to rulings from the Supreme Court in the '70s. They can do the same with your phone records. And Manafort has a long and rather ugly trail with Russian money from his work in Ukraine.

So he's a natural starting point for this. He failed to disclose foreign bank accounts that he had for a year. As we know, he recently disclosed those. It's way beyond the legal limit. And so he is an easy person to get the probable cause met with for that magistrate, in my view.

So it's a logical starting point. No law enforcement official ever believes everyone is completely cooperating. And they have access to our bank and phone records and our businesses without the need of a warrant, which I don't think is the way the Fourth Amendment should be, but that's the law today. And so that's where they've started. And, otherwise, I generally agree with Jeffrey in terms of why they started here.

CUOMO: Well, what do we make of the tactic, Jeffrey, in terms of this kind of public shaming of Paul Manafort?

TOOBIN: Well, I don't know that it's public.

CUCCINELLI: Yes. TOOBIN: Remember, I mean it was intended to be public. It was -- this raid took place July 26th and only came out in the "Washington Post" this week.

CUOMO: Right. But they knew it would come out.

TOOBIN: Well, they knew it would come out. I think the message was not so much to the public. The message was to Manafort, which was, if you think we are satisfied with your cooperation, you are very wrong. Plus, you know, once you go into someone's house and have a search warrant -- now the warrant itself is not public yet. But almost certainly it will require his devices, his phones, his computer. Once they get access to that, that is a trove of information because like everyone these days your whole life is on your phone. A search warrant can get to a phone. And that could open up all sorts of avenues for new information.

It's really, though, mostly a message to Manafort that if you think we are leaving you alone, you are very mistaken. And we think we have evidence that there is criminal activity that you're involved in. That's how they got the warrant.

CUOMO: Ken, what are the main issues that you want people to keep in mind about what matters in this probe, vis-a-vis Manafort?

CUCCINELLI: Well, vis-a-vis Manafort, Manafort can stand alone on his own, as his own potential criminal problem. Remember, he had years of interaction in Ukraine with the Russians, with pro-Russian Ukrainians and with the Russians directly. That was his business for years and he made a lot of money.

It was striking to me when I read the first article on the raid. It said, raided "a home" of Paul Manafort. You know, that's not the antecedent most of us have. For most of us, it's "the home" of Paul Manafort. He made a lot of money in Ukraine working on behalf of pro- Russian forces.

[08:55:10] TOOBIN: $17 million -- at least $17 million.

CUOMO: Right.

CUCCINELLI: Right. Right, which we now know because he (INAUDIBLE) disclose --

CUOMO: The last time I checked (INAUDIBLE) crime, so it's about how he made the money that they're going to have to discover.

CUCCINELLI: Well, that's right, but the people who were over there have serious questions about that.

But, Chris, for purposes of that magistrate, he failed the disclosure requirements of American law for all that work for the better part of a year.

CUOMO: All right. Ken Cuccinelli, appreciate it very much. Jeffrey Toobin, thank you. Appreciate it. Fellas, what do you say here on Friday adjacent? How about a little

"Good Stuff," next?


CUOMO: It's time for "The Good Stuff."

Parents at one school in California can scratch off a few items on their to-do list. That's because backpacks chock-full of school supplies are being handed out free just in time for the start of school.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To see the smiles on their faces when they see the backpacks. We were having a couple of them close their eyes and just to see that big smile that, hey, I have a backpack to go to school.


CUOMO: Volunteers say they were able to hand out 300 backpacks this year, and they say knowing they're helping families reduce expenses is comforting, especially in a program entirely based on donations from the community.

Now, here's the thing. This is huge. My sister runs one of the families --


CUOMO: The country's largest homeless housing organizations.


CUOMO: The stigma and the insecurity that comes with not knowing what you have.


CUOMO: This takes it all out of the equation. Love it.

[09:00:01] CAMEROTA: That's great. A great program.

OK, hold down the fort for me. I'm off to the beach.

CUOMO: What?

CAMEROTA: And the fire pit at night. That's all I need to tell you.

CUOMO: Have you walked on embers? Sober?


Time for CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow.