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President Trump Preps for United Nations Debut; Trump to Host World Leaders at U.N. General Assembly; Protest Against Cop Acquittal Turned Violent; Georgia Tech Student Killed in Police Confrontation; Facebook Hands Mueller Information on Russian-linked Ads; Exploring the Case of the Russian Who Met Team Trump; Five Things to Do If Worried About Equifax Hack; Dinner, Dessert Amid Deals at the White House; Aired 8-9p ET
Aired September 17, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:00] STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Much like politics of late, expect the Emmys to serve up plenty of surprises.
Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: It is the top of the hour, 5:00 in the evening out West, 8:00 p.m. here in New York. I'm Boris Sanchez filling in this weekend for Ana Cabrera. Thank you so much for joining us.
President Trump is in New York City after spending most of his weekend at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, and it's just hours before the president again takes the international stage hosting several world leaders ahead of the United Nations General Assembly. He's scheduled to speak there on Tuesday. His first appearance before the U.N.
Most analysts are expecting that the pressing nuclear threat from North Korea will dominate President Trump's address.
Our global affairs correspondent Elise Labott joins us now.
Elise, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave a rare television interview this morning saying that he is hoping for a diplomatic solution on the North Korean issue, though he did keep military options on the table and other administration officials are also taking that hard line.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. I mean, listen, you can definitely sense this kind of increased military rhetoric against North Korea, Boris. I mean, I think it's not just a military deterrent to North Korea that if it, you know, take provocative steps, particularly against the U.S. or any of its territories, it's not going to go well for Kim Jong-un, but it's also a message to China and other countries that if they don't, you know, really implement those diplomatic sanctions, those economic sanctions.
You know, there's no more kicking the can down the road, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has said. There's no more road left.
Take a listen to her speaking this morning to CNN's Dana Bash on "STATE OF THE UNION" about the fact that, you know, the U.S. feels it's running out of options.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I think we all know that basically if North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed and we all know that and none of us want that. None of us want war.
But we also have to look at the fact that you are dealing with someone who is being reckless, irresponsible, and is continuing to give threats not only to the United States but to all of their allies, so something is going to have to be done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LABOTT: And what is that have to be done? Boris, I mean, listen, privately officials say that the military options are not good. Not only are the North Korean nuclear arsenal very hard to find, a lot of it, you know, kind of hidden, and the U.S. doesn't have very good intelligence there, but North Korea would be sure to respond and there would be clearly a reaction from North Korea, a conventional response, and killing thousands of civilians.
So I think, you know, obviously this is going to be a main focus of President Trump's discussions at the United Nations on the sidelines of the General Assembly, and as short of being, you know, on his list of things when he talks to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.
SANCHEZ: Right. Elise, the State Department actually announced earlier today that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was going to meet his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
What do they have to discuss especially with Russia's potential role in delaying Kim Jong-un's track when it comes to developing a nuclear weapon that can fit on the head of an ICBM?
LABOTT: Well, Russia has been pushing, you know, this option of, if the U.S. will stop its military exercises with South Korea, perhaps North Korea would stop its nuclear missile test. You know, the U.S. has said that's not a good option. Russia has signed on to some of these sanctions reluctantly. I mean, it's trying to be a constructive actor, I think, and that's just one of the issues that the U.S. and Russia, Secretary Tillerson and the Foreign Minister Lavrov have to talk about.
There's also of course the Iran nuclear deal and the conflict in Syria. You saw over the last couple of days Russia struck U.S.-backed coalition forces on the ground even after, we understand, talking with the U.S. and saying they wanted to go in this area. And the U.S. said no, we have our people on the ground. So, I mean, you have these key international issues, and then you have
the, you know, background of tension between the U.S. and Russia. Not just on those, you know, diplomatic compounds here in the United States that the U.S. has seized from Russia and said that they can't use, but also the fact that Russia keeps continuing to cut U.S. diplomats from Russia and, you know, kind of lessening the U.S. diplomatic footprint there.
So I think, you know, U.S. Secretary Tillerson and Foreign Minister Lavrov are trying to, you know, keep focused on their agenda on hand. But clearly these irritants, as Secretary Tillerson calls them, and the relationships are going to be the elephant in the room.
[20:05:04] SANCHEZ: Plenty to discuss. Elise Labott, thank you.
And I did want to point out, if you want to read more about Nikki Haley's work at the U.N. and why she didn't want to be President Trump's first secretary of State, check out Elise's in-depth profile in this month's issue of "STATE." It's a digital magazine from CNN Politics. You can find it at CNN.com/state.
I want to continue looking ahead to President Trump's debut at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. Joining us now on our panel, CNN political commentator and former Republican lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Andre Bauer. We also have CNN political commentator and former Democratic state senator from Ohio, Nina Turner, and Eugene Scott, he's a political reporter for the "Washington Post," formerly of CNN.
Eugene, let's start with you, the White House has described the president's speech on Tuesday as business as usual, but that can have multiple meanings when you're talking about President Trump. So how far do you think the president is going to go to address the issue of North Korea?
EUGENE SCOTT, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: I certainly think that it's going to be a primary focus of the president's considering how significant of an issue it's been in the news recently and the fact that North Korea is a global issue.
You will have people, leaders from different countries at the table who are deeply invested in their relationships with North Korea from a perspective of trade and also from a perspective of national security. And it will give the president and the State Department employees who will accompany him an opportunity to talk face to face about the best way to respond to the challenges facing the country right now.
SANCHEZ: Nina, to you, President Trump has repeatedly said that he wants to tear up the nuclear deal with Iran, though just this week he let a key deadline pass without taking any steps to undo the nuclear deal.
Do you expect to hear him get tough on Iran? What kind of language do you think we'll hear from President Trump?
NINA TURNER, FORMER OHIO STATE SENATOR: I think he will be tough. But it's hard to predict, Boris, what the president will say or not say. He says one thing in the media, one thing in his tweets. And then maybe another thing when he gives a speech on Tuesday. The one thing that we are guaranteed of is that he will be unpredictable.
SANCHEZ: Andre, to you now, the president has said that the U.N. is weak, that it is incompetent, that it's a club for people to get together and talk, alluding to the fact that he believes that the U.N. is ineffective.
How do you think world leaders are going to take his speech Tuesday knowing that he has pushed for this America first isolationist type policy that takes us out of world agreements and isolates the United States from the world?
ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well hopefully as smartly they'll come to him and give them a reason why they should want him to stay and continue to be involved, but give him some feeling that hey, maybe if they hadn't in the past, and as engaged as they should have, or paid what they should have that they in fact will change their ways. And that will reassure our president that in fact there is as engaged as the United States is.
And what we want is fairness in the U.N. We want respect, but we also want people to feel like we want to feel like they're doing their fair share and what was ultimately agreed on many years ago and the president, like so many Americans, feel like they haven't been treated right.
SANCHEZ: Eugene, I'm curious to hear what you think about how world leaders are going to be receptive to the president when he's planning to pull out of the Paris accord, he's pulled out of the TPP, he's threatened to pull out of NAFTA.
The mission of the United Nations is to bring the world together. Donald Trump is seeming to pull the United States out of that.
SCOTT: I certainly think that is something quite a few world leaders will be concerned about, the fact that the president will probably double down on the America first philosophy of global affairs that was so successful for him in this campaign. But I think that leaves quite a few questions.
I mean, how does this respond to peace-keeping efforts in war-torn countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and what does this mean for (INAUDIBLE) and countries in Asia that are dealing with conflict as well. These are issues that we have not seen the president speak about often if at all, and they definitely would leave people who are concerned about America first to wonder if for the president that means America only.
SANCHEZ: Nina, I want to focus on North Korea and something we heard from Nikki Haley this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION." I'm not sure if we have the sound bite. We do not, but she essentially said that we have exhausted every option. The U.N. Security Council. Despite that, China's ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said the United States should be doing more, more than now. What else can the United States do at this point if you're hearing that from Nikki Haley?
TURNER: I mean, we certainly have to be prepared. I mean, I certainly agree and I believe all Americans agree that we have to protect ourselves, but as Teddy Roosevelt said, speak softly, you know, and carry a big stick.
[20:10:02] And in that regard, any efforts, any -- no threat of war can be taken -- can be taken lightly. And we know that North Korea is a powder keg, but we also have to worry about the impact that that will have on South Korea, the impact that that will have across the world. So the president does have an opportunity, not just to affirm our strength, but also to affirm that not only do we need Russia and China, but we do need the other world leaders.
And I know that he has made comments about the U.N. Council as being I think 193-member club, but it is indeed a collection and a collaboration of nations that we need to not only keep the peace, but to look forward globally on what we can do to solve some of the world's conundrums.
And so as the president of the United States, it is vitally important that he doesn't go to the U.N. General Council with a one-sided view, but that he understands that nature upholds a vacuum and if our country is not going to lead, who will? Somebody else will step up and it might not be the type of country that we would like to see.
We cannot be replaced there. So I'm hoping as much as the president has some anxiety about the U.N. Council and this so-called lack of respect that is given to the United States, it is a union of nations that is necessary.
SANCHEZ: Andre, I did want to ask you about this because the administration has brought up the potential that they would pass legislation or enact some kind of order that would cut off trade with any country that does business with North Korea. From this White House, we have heard that China accounts for about 90 percent of all trade done by the DPRK.
So are we essentially preparing to cut off trade with our biggest trade partner with the second biggest economy in the world?
BAUER: Well, I want to say, number one, that I felt Senator Turner expressed herself extremely well. I actually agree with her almost 100 percent on what she said, but look, I would much rather us use economic pressure than to ever have to lose one life fighting them. And so I would love for us -- I think China at some point in time is going to buckle. And they're going to say look, we'll have to do what we can to shut down North Korea versus having to shut down trade with America.
They lose more than we do. They stand to lose a lot more in trade and we know we have a trade imbalance anyway, at the end of the day, they're going to have to do what they can to keep America happy with way before North Korea. But that is the one key way to stop this from having to be taken militarily. Just cut him off where he has no funding and he's going to have no way to continue his path. That is the best way I see forward and the safest way.
SANCHEZ: We have to leave it there. Andre Bauer, Nina Turner, Eugene Scott, thank you so much for the time.
SCOTT: Thank you.
TURNER: Thank you.
BAUER: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: The president has long been critical of the U.N. from calling the assembly an underperformer to criticizing the assembly hall's decor. But now he needs U.N. diplomacy to work.
CNN's Richard Roth has more.
RICHARD ROTH, SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The flags are up. It's time for another United Nations General Assembly global get-together. As always, the United States is the host country. A host with an edge from the very start of the year.
HALEY: For those that don't have our back, we're taking names.
ROTH: Much of the world's big names will attend. None bigger than President Trump, himself, whose name has been just up the street from the U.N. for years. At the Trump World Tower Building.
RICHARD GOWAN, PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: This general assembly is about one man, Donald Trump. And the big question is, will Trump insult the U.N. or will he try to make friends with the U.N.?
ROTH: Trump, a New York real estate mogul, has not always embraced the U.N. Nearly five years ago he tweeted, "The cheap 12-inch square marble tiles behind speaker at U.N. always bothered me. I will replace with beautiful large marble slabs if they ask me."
No one asked. Despite years of renovation at the U.N. After his election Trump said the U.N. was a club where people like to talk.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Welcome to the White House.
ROTH: Trump was more conciliatory when members of the U.N. Security Council visited the White House in April.
TRUMP: I have long felt the United Nations is an underperformer, but has tremendous potential.
ROTH (on camera): President Trump will speak to the entire world for the first time from here at the General Assembly rostrum, the leader who vowed fire and fury if Kim Jong-un threatens the U.S. will be closer to North Koreans than he ever has been in his life.
The North Korean delegation will be seated here in the front row, just 20 feet away from where President Trump speaks to the General Assembly.
(Voice-over): There have been some memorable speeches inside the General Assembly. Libya's Muammar Gaddafi tore a page of the U.N. charter. Venezuela's Hugo Chavez warned the devil in the form of George W. Bush had been in the chamber.
HUGO CHAVEZ, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT (Through Translator): And it smells of sulfur still today.
ROTH: U.S. presidents are usually more measured in tone.
[20:15:01] HALEY: I think you're going to have the president who did the bombing on Syria from the chemical weapons, the one that has gone against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq at record pace.
ROTH: Other first time speakers include President Emanuel Macron of France. It is also the first U.N. General Assembly for Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: Most dangerous crisis we face today the crisis related to the nuclear risk in relation to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
GOWAN: Donald Trump has made the U.N. unexpectedly relevant. We thought that Trump was going to trash the organization, but his single biggest foreign policy priority containing North Korea is being handled right here in the Security Council.
ROTH: Trump will also call for more reform of the U.N. unclear if he, again, demands changing of the marble.
Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.
SANCHEZ: Coming up, hot on Irma's trail. All eyes are on Hurricane Maria. Why this storm could wreak havoc on places already devastated by Irma? We'll show you the latest track next.
Plus we're following breaking news. Protesters returning to the streets of St. Louis for the third night in a row after the acquittal of a white police officer in the death of an African-American man.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Stay with us.
[20:20:24] SANCHEZ: There's a new hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean and it is gaining strength tonight. Hurricane Maria, get used to that name as Maria, one of three storms that meteorologists are now watching. Maybe following Hurricane Irma's path to the United States. At the same time, along parts of the East Coast, tropical storm watches have gone up as Hurricane Jose passes closely by.
Meteorologist Julie Martin joins us now from the CNN Weather Center in Atlanta. Julie, bring us up to date with what you're seeing.
JULIE MARTIN, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, Boris, three storms, two of them hurricanes. You mentioned Maria, also Jose, off the east coast of the U.S. Lee is falling apart, no threats with that as of yet. But let's focus in now on Maria.
MARTIN: So couple of major threats here right now to keep watching. And it should be another interesting week as we are in the peak of hurricane season -- Boris.
SANCHEZ: And the peak of hurricane season, there's still about two months to go.
SANCHEZ: Julie Martin, thank you so much.
We are following breaking news tonight. There are more protests happening at this hour in St. Louis after the acquittal of a former police officer, Jason Stockley, in the 2011 shooting death of an African-American man.
CNN's Ryan Young joins us now from St. Louis.
Ryan, we understand that tempers have flared recently. We see police in riot gear lining up. This is different than what we saw earlier.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. So the police are on the ready at this point. What we've heard so far is just the idea that, look, the protest organizers said that everyone should go home. They had been peaceful. Everything that worked out today. We've marched four miles with protesters, nothing happened, OK. There was no real moment of extreme tension, then all of the sudden, someone drove their car almost through an area of protesters that seemed to anger some of the ones who were left standing around.
And now that sort of escalated some tensions in the area. It sort of feels like at any moment, people could sort of lurch forward to go back into what we dealt with last night and I'll tell you, when you see the police officers lining up, that's usually when some of the protesters who are left hanging around kind of confront them and get into their faces.
The same thing that happened last night when everyone was standing there, there's a peaceful march, a peaceful protest. Then all of a sudden someone started throwing things at the officers. We have noticed that in the nighttime, people show up with the masks on their face and they have their gas mask ready to sort of go back and forth with police officers. That's one of the things that's sort of scary. You don't want someone to pop off in the middle of the night because people are sort of agitated about what's been going on for the last few days. SANCHEZ: That's right, Ryan, and we should mention on Friday night,
protesters ended up gathering at the mayor's home and throwing rocks and destroying property there. No one was home at the time so no one was hurt.
YOUNG: Yes. We were standing there, Boris, when that happened. And in fact they marched to the mayor's house, everything was peaceful, but all of a sudden someone started tossing rocks into a window. Police came, used tear gas to move everyone out.
[20:25:07] Last night, same thing. Protest was ending, everything was calm. Then someone started throwing rocks and bottles towards the police officers. They actually didn't respond for a little while. Then they started making some small arrests, then it got out of hand, people started taking hammers out of their pants and started smashing windows and picking up trash cans, city trash cans, and throwing them into businesses.
All day long, protest organizers have said that's not what we want. We do not that want that sort of action here. Everyone was falling along with that, but now it's nighttime and we see a little bit of a difference here in terms of the interaction with the police and protesters.
SANCHEZ: It'll be interesting to see how things move forward, third night of protests in St. Louis. Again after the acquittal of a police officer in the 2011 shooting death of an African-American man.
Ryan Young, we will check back in as the night goes on in case things flare up again, thank you.
Coming up, an encounter with police on the campus of Georgia Tech leaves one student dead. We'll show you what happened next.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:30:35] SANCHEZ: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into a deadly overnight shooting on the campus of Georgia Tech. A student there was shot and killed by campus police. It all unfolded after a 911 call about a person with a knife on a downtown Atlanta campus.
I'm joined now by CNN's Polo Sandoval, he has more details.
Polo, this whole thing was caught on camera.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was, Boris, and we do want viewers to get a clear look at what took place in downtown Atlanta. So we're going to play you a portion of what is relatively graphic video in just a few moments. But first let me at least tell you what took place leading up to that moment when campus police officers were forced to open fire. Investigators saying that the officers were initially called out on a
residence hall on the Georgia Tech campus late last night to reports of an individual that was armed. Possibly with a knife. They encountered 21-year-old Scott Schultz.
Investigators say that at least two officers confronted this individual asking for them to put down the knife and then what we're about to show you what took place immediately following that. Again we have to warn you the video is graphic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on man, drop the knife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on, let's drop it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Drop the knife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drop the knife.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the knife. Drop the knife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drop it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the knife, man, come on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in foreign language)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody wants to hurt you, man. Drop the knife. Drop it. What's going on, man?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are we doing? What are we doing here? Do not move.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do not move.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your name? What's your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drop it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: And of course we have frozen that image there where you can see that partial muzzle flash when Schultz was hit. We understand that he was trying to at least one time rush or this individual was rushed to the hospital where they later died.
We should point out, though, too, Boris, this individual, according to investigators, was told to put down that knife repeatedly and then as you see there in the lower portion of your screen. Apparently this individual was yelling at officers saying, quote, "Shoot me," so they will clearly have to take a closer look at everything here.
Obviously toxicology reports will be crucial in this part of this investigation. This individual's state of mind, what were they thinking when they were facing off against police officers and then finally, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will ultimately have to make the decision on whether or not the shooting was justifiable.
SANCHEZ: Yes. They certainly also want to speak to those that were closest to that person.
SANCHEZ: Before this took place. Polo Sandoval, thank you for the update.
SANDOVAL: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: We appreciate it.
Next, a shocking acid attack injures four women in France. Four American college students. Details straight ahead.
[20:37:59] SANCHEZ: We're learning more about the acid attack on four female American tourists at a train station in Marseilles, France. The Americans are students from Boston College, all four women in their early 20s. According to police, two of them were taken to a hospital, two were in shock. Police say the attacker is a 41-year-old French woman who is mentally unstable. French authorities say there's no indication that this attack was terror-related.
Well, if you've had your eyes on just hurricanes this week, you may have missed the barrage of headlines on the investigation into Russian election meddling. Among them, the infamous Roger Stone, a long-time ally of President Trump says he is scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on September 26th.
Then, there's Facebook, getting hit with a search warrant and having to hand over copies of ads linked to a Russian troll farm to Special Counselor Robert Mueller. That troll farm was spreading pro-Kremlin propaganda.
A lot to discuss, let's bring in Michael Weiss, he's a CNN national security analyst. We also have Asha Rangappa, CNN legal and national security analyst and associate dean at Yale Law School.
Michael, you've looked extensively in the history of one of the key players in that meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and -- let me get the pronunciation right. Natalia Veselnitskaya.
MICHAEL WEISS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes. SANCHEZ: You've really dug deep into her history here. And there's
some red flags about her. What did you find?
WEISS: So this is a woman who was relatively obscure. She was working for the regional state prosecutor's office in the late 1990s, born in 1975, so not that old. 42 years old now. And when she was working for the regional state prosecutor, this is a -- the sort of the provincial government of the Moscow regions. Not Moscow city, in the capital itself. But sort of the outlying suburban areas.
She was on a salary of about $1500 a year which is almost average for that time in, you know, the Russian economy. A few years later, she ends up making about $54,000.
[20:40:02] But even before she earned the bulk of that income, when she only made a few thousand dollars about six or seven, she managed to invest in two plots of land in a very tony enclave, a gated community in the Moscow suburbs known as DSK Riita. And she spent, at least according to real estate brokers who've dealt extensively in that community, a million dollars on that land.
So my question is, this was 2003, where did this money come from? And then of course, you know, what makes this provocative and intriguing is, fast forward to 2016, she is the defense counsel for a company, an offshore Cypriot company that has been accused by the U.S. Justice Department of being a money laundering vehicles for one of the largest tax heists in Russian history, perpetrated a decade ago.
Then she has this meeting at Trump Tower with all the key players, including the president's son, attended also by her associate in U.S. anti-sanctions lobbying, a man called Rinat Akhmetshin, who's been described by "New York Times" as a former Soviet military intelligence officer.
This is kind of strange and intriguing. And she's also gone on record on the "Wall Street Journal" saying that she has an acquaintance -- an acquaintanceship with Yuri Chika, who is the Russian prosecutor general.
You remember when Donald Trump Jr. released all those e-mails about how this meeting got put together, the person who was responsible said that they were trying to set up a meeting with somebody who's close to the Russian crown prosecutor. And of course there is no crown prosecutor in Russia with ties in the monarchies.
WEISS: So that the assumption was this was a reference to Chaika. Now this is essentially Russia's attorney general. So the question that I have and the question I try to address in the piece is, is this some lowly freelance who decided of her own accord to come and miraculously get this meeting with the presidential candidate's inner circle just to push against anti or sanctions removal against Russia or was she an emissary or a cutout of somebody much, much more senior in the Russian government? SANCHEZ: Sure. Now there's another question because you mentioned
the e-mails and leading up to that meeting and one of the things we saw in those e-mails was a very contradictory statement from Donald Trump Jr.
SANCHEZ: He's revealed that these meetings were specifically to get information about Hillary Clinton.
WEISS: That's right.
SANCHEZ: But the initial explanation was that this was about Russian orphans and it turns out that Natalia ran an NGO that was sort of cover. Right?
WEISS: Yes, so what's interesting that is, look, this all relates to the Magnitsky affair. Very briefly. A Russian attorney in 2007 uncovers this massive $230 million tax heist, which is money stolen from the Russian taxpayer. He brings this to the attention of the authorities. He shows, with documentary proof, that the people responsible is an organized crime syndicate known as the (INAUDIBLE) Group which consists at the time of active members of the Russian Interior Ministry, the FSB, which is their security service, and other state actors.
So this is a hybrid, mafia government organization that's robbing its own people. Rather than thanking him and saying we're going to go after all these perpetrators, they accuse him, Magnitsky, of tax fraud, throw him in jail and according to the U.S. government, there's a very good chance that he was beaten to death. Right?
Veselnitskaya is so exercised by this, she thinks this entire narrative is a fraud, sold to the American government by William Browder who is the CEO of the hedge fund that Magnitsky represented. The hedge fund itself wasn't defrauded, but the documents and their assets were used to perpetrate this tax heist.
So she's been very active and vocal, even before her meeting with Trump. I was writing about her two or three years ago for the "Daily Beast" because of her agitation and again on the anti-sanctions lobbying front. No one had any idea that she would suddenly emerge to be this sort of central or key figure in the Trump Russia collusion story.
And again, the question is, who is this woman and who does she really represent in Russia? So there's a debate about this. Some people think she's a nobody who just got lucky and getting into this meeting, and then there are others who think well, no, actually she's a somebody who does have ties to the Kremlin. And my question is, where did this money come from in 2003?
And, you know, the family that she has represented as legal counsel is very influential, the guy who is the patriarch of the family now is the vice president of Russia's state-owned rail monopoly. So this isn't -- to my mind this isn't some lowly ambiguous figure. SANCHEZ: It's certainly unusual.
SANCHEZ: And Asha, I want to get to you. Roger Stone has acknowledged that he is set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on September 26th. He says he wants it to be open to the public, he wants everyone to hear what he has to say. It's going to be a closed door session. What do you expect will come from that?
ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Mr. Stone wants any transcript to be released. So presumably we'll see what he has to say. He apparently wants to clear his name and he is willing to testify under oath, so anything that he says is going to be locked down. And so in the future, if he comes up in any peripheral or direct way in Mueller's investigation, which remember is completely separate from this House Intelligence Investigation, which is also separate from the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation.
[20:45:12] We have a multiple investigations going on, but Mueller is the one that has the power to bring charges. And he can use this locked down testimony to help further his own investigation and if there are any discrepancies that he finds between things that he's uncovered, particularly between any links between Roger Stone and Julian Assange which I think is where the questions are, how much of a relationship or knowledge does he have, then that can bring Stone into the ambit of Mueller's investigation.
SANCHEZ: Still so many questions to get to, but unfortunately we are out of time and we have to leave it there.
Asha and Michael, thank you so much for spending your Sunday evening with us. You can go ahead and turn on the Emmys now. Thanks so much.
We're watching pictures from St. Louis right now where we are following breaking news. Protesters are returning to the streets for the third night in a row after the acquittal of a white police officer in the death of an African-American man.
Stay with us, you're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:50:35] SANCHEZ: Outrage is growing over the Equifax data breach that exposed the personal and financial data of 143 million people. The hack leaves half of Americans extremely vulnerable to theft, fraud and a number of other crimes for years to come.
So if you think your information is now in the hands of hackers CNN's Alison Kosik has five things you can do to protect yourself right now -- Alison.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Boris. For most consumers, chances are some of your personal or financial information was compromised in the Equifax data breach. With 143 million accounts exposed by hackers, that's more than half of the U.S. adult population.
No matter if you're freaking out or not worried at all, there are five things you can do to protect your credit and your wallet right now. First check all three of your credit reports. You get a free look each year from each credit reporting agency. Equifax, Experian and Transunion. Look for any new requests for credit or other suspicious activity. They may take a while to show up and it won't show you if someone has accessed your bank accounts.
Second, put a fraud alert on your credit report. Just contact one agency to do that. They have to contact the other two. Also, keep a close eye on your bank accounts and credit card statements. Experts say in most cases theft happens over time so get in the habit of checking your statements and accounts online.
Fourth, sign up for free credit monitoring. If you go to the Equifax Web site, you can sign up there. It's free for a year and will alert you of any moves on your credit report.
Finally, if you're really worried, you can freeze your credit. This is an extreme step. It may carry a fee. A freeze blocks anyone from accessing your credit reports without your permission. But it also makes it more difficult for you to open a credit card or take out a loan.
The other thing working against you, many consumers are rushing to do all of these same things so be patient with each of these steps. Many of the agencies are flooded with requests and are having a hard time keeping up with demand. Bottom line, hackers may have your information and it's up to you to protect yourself -- Boris.
SANCHEZ: All right. Alison Kosik, thank you.
We've got some startling video to show you from North Carolina. Look at this. A Central Carolina Fair employee falls while working on a Ferris wheel in Greensboro. The fall was captured on cell phone video. It shows the worker first climbing up the Ferris wheel, trying to reach a car that was stuck. He appears to lose his balance at one point and then he goes tumbling down. Fortunately, according to police, the worker is fine. He was taken to the hospital, though he has since returned to work. Frightening moments there.
Also, a Navy SEAL parachuter only injured his pride after nearly slamming into the stands at a college football game yesterday. Watch this.
Ouch. The jumper missed the landing mark in the BYU Stadium. Barreling into that wall behind the end zone. The chute ended up flowing into the stands, you can see it there. We're only laughing because the jumper was able to walk away. He was fine and no one else was hurt, though it did not look like a whole lot of fun.
Coming up, many of the biggest deals in Washington are made over dinner and dessert. The invite that Democrats and Republicans just cannot resist. Ahead.
[20:58:15] SANCHEZ: Political foes or dinner dates? This week, the White House had the hottest table in town. So does presidential deal- making all come down to dinner?
CNN's Dana Bash digs in.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For President Trump, the art of the political deal begins with breaking bread.
TRUMP: I remember when Republicans and Democrats would fight like hell, then they go out have lunch together, have dinner together, go back, fight like hell and get a lot of things done.
BASH: From Chinese food and chocolate pie with top Democrats at the White House --
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: Really the atmospherics of the dinner were very friendly.
BASH: To a fancy treat from French President Emmanuel Macron in the city of lights.
TRUMP: Dinner tonight at the Eiffel Tower. That will be something special.
BASH: The Trump approach is that a good meal served a la mode can be the best way to a politician's heart.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: Everybody says you get a scoop of ice cream. Well, there was a perfectly shaped egg and it was ice cream. And the president only got one, too. He didn't get two. He got one.
BASH: Of course not everyone wants to be wined and dined by the president.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: He called me at my desk at lunchtime and asked me was I free for dinner that night. I said, whatever works for you, sir. And then I hang up. And then I called my wife and break a date with her.
BASH: And as commander-in-chief, even the nicest of meals can go even awry.
TRUMP: We're now having dessert and we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you've ever seen. So what happens is I said we've just launched 59 missiles. This is during dessert.
BASH: White House guests can expect to be wooed with calligraphy and fine wine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you like fries with that? BASH: But when it's just him, the billionaire's tastes are a lot more
TRUMP: Fish delight sometimes. The Big Macs are great, the Quarter Pounders with cheese. I mean, it's great stuff.
SANCHEZ: That was Dana Bash. I am Boris Sanchez. Thank you so much for joining us. Have a good night.