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Russia Probe Targets Trump Campaign Manager; Trump Threatens to Wipe Out North Korea; Earthquake Hits Mexico. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired September 19, 2017 - 15:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: We have some breaking news for you out of Mexico, where a massive 7.1 earthquake just hit. The quake struck little more than three miles east-northeast of Raboso, Mexico, about 75 miles south of Mexico City.

Let's go straight to meteorologist Allison Chinchar for more on this, 7.1.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, 7.1, yes, and in a depth of about 51 kilometers or give or take about 32 miles deep.

In terms of earthquakes, that is relatively deep. However, it's not deep enough that folks around wouldn't be able to feel it. Here is a look. This is Mexico City, just for -- to understand where it is. This is the dot. This is where the earthquake actually took place.

This is the shake map, though. You see those bright yellow and green colors indicating that even though it is about 75 miles away from Mexico City, people there still felt this earthquake because of how strong it was -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: All right.


BALDWIN: It's the president of the United States.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And, again, we have other meetings scheduled for today and many for tomorrow and the next day.

But we're making a lot of progress. Thank you.

QUESTION: But what do you say to people (OFF-MIKE)

QUESTION: Does that mean you're moving towards more aggressive military options?

TRUMP: We are going to see what happens. And hopefully everything is going to work out. We will see what happens.

BALDWIN: All right, I believe the question was on military options on North Korea.

The president there and his entourage moving along, day two United Nations General Assembly.

CNN has just learned that U.N. diplomats were "taken aback" and had an emotional reaction to President Trump's speech today and the threat specifically to destroy North Korea, a country of some 25 million people, as he took the stage this morning at the U.N. for the very first time.


TRUMP: The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.

Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able. But, hopefully, this will not be necessary.


BALDWIN: The America-first president singling out a handful of countries he considers enemies, including Iran, which he labeled a murderous regime.


TRUMP: The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy.

It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent bloodshed and chaos. The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one- sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.


Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don't think you have heard the last of it, believe me.


BALDWIN: Let's go straight to Christiane Amanpour, our CNN chief international correspondent and host of "AMANPOUR."

And, Christiane, there you are in the rain in New York here. I want to ask about your conversation with President Macron of France.

But just, Christiane, what were your initial thoughts on President Trump's speech?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you're asking me, his car has just gone by. So you just dipped in live to what he was saying. His motorcade is just going by. He's leaving the General Assembly building and going off for the day. This was his first major foreign policy speech in front of such a huge

array of world leaders. And, yes, of course, he did have some very, very strong rhetoric. You know what, people certainly were previewing that his speech was going to be very tough on North Korea and on Iran. So, not too much surprise there.

Obviously, people getting a little bit taken aback by the florid description of totally destroying the regime, et cetera. But what he did say was that that would happen if the regime in North Korea threatened the United States or its allies.

And, yes, at the U.N., it may be not the kind of language that people are used to hearing from an American president, but it's quite similar to what General Mattis, Mr. Mattis, the defense secretary, warned North Korea back when it had that sixth nuclear test a couple of weeks ago.

He said, if you threaten us or our allies we will have a massive and overwhelming response against you. Now, on the other issue of the Iran nuclear deal, the president is not quite right there. He says it's the most embarrassing deal ever, that it was done at the expense and unfair to the United States.

And nobody who signed on to that deal actually sees it that way, because what this deal did, while it's not perfect, it was good enough to bracket Iran's nuclear program for the foreseeable future, for at least another -- up until 2025 at least.

And that means it is unable, unlike North Korea, to test, to develop, to use nuclear weapons and ICBMs, et cetera. I talked to the French president about what he would say to President Trump regarding pulling out of that deal. None of the other signatories, including France, wants that deal to be ripped up.


EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: North Korea is a very good illustration of a what-if scenario from nuclear armed deal with Iran. Why?

Because we stopped everything with North Korea years and years ago. We stopped any monitoring, any discussions with them, and what is the result? They will probably get nuclear weapons.

So, my position for Iran is if President Trump was to say, look at the situation in North Korea, I don't want to replicate the situation with Iran.


AMANPOUR: So, there you have it, basically saying that at this moment of grave crisis, grave nuclear crisis, the last thing the world needs is to pull out of a deal that puts a barrier around Iran's nuclear ambitions and its nuclear program.

Now, he did admit that other issues about Iran are troubling and that he understood President Trump about Iran's actions in the Middle East region, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, all that kind thing, about Iran's missile program. But when it comes to the nuclear dealing, pulling out of it would simply aggravate the current situation and make the world a less safe place.

So, that was the message from Macron, who says that he has a good relationship with President Trump. And you saw that he was having yet another chat with him last night before the official speeches. And President Trump was complimenting him on that massive military parade on Bastille Day that he joined Macron for, and basically saying that we are going to have to top that. Maybe we will have a military parade right here in Washington on Independence Day.

So, lots of good humor, but President Macron said he wants to really try to persuade President Trump not to pull out of the Iran deal, and definitely reconsider pulling out of the climate accord.

BALDWIN: I know Macron also talked about refugees, other important items. We will look for your interview on


BALDWIN: Christiane, thank you over at the U.N. for us across town here in New York.

We continue following breaking news, this major 7.1-magnitude earthquake felt in Central Mexico. We are starting to get those first images as the region shook. We will bring those to you, tweets, coming back in just a moment.



BALDWIN: All right, welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

To this bombshell about one of the central figures in the Russia investigation. CNN has learned President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was actually wiretapped by federal investigators, not just once, twice during a period earlier this year when it was believed he was actually speaking with the president.

Let's go right to our correspondent, our crime and justice correspondent, Shimon Prokupecz, who was part of our CNN team who broke the story.

What do you know?


And we're told that there are intercepted communications that raised concerns about whether Manafort was encouraging Russians to help the campaign. Some of our sources told us that this intelligence was not conclusive. There's other communications that the FBI has between suspected Russian operatives relating what they claimed were discussions with Manafort, as well as communications involving Manafort himself.

Now, keep in mind, none of this, we're told by our sources, amounted to what people consider a smoking gun in this investigation, Brooke.

BALDWIN: All right. Shimon, thank you.

Let me bring in my panel just to discuss all of this and also some of the reporting out of "The New York Times" about this no-knock warrant for Manafort some summers ago.


"The New York Times" saying prosecutors under special counsel Bob Mueller have flat-out told Manafort they do plan to indict him. This happened back in July, when investigators searched Manafort's Virginia house, according to "The New York Times."

So, let's talk about all these details with Michael Balboni, former homeland security director for the state of New York, and Charles Clayman, a former federal prosecutor, and Emily Jane Fox of "Vanity Fair," how just recently talked to a Trump personal attorney and was supposed to testify behind closed doors.

Welcome to all of you.

First just on -- Charles, on the Mueller I guess we could call it doing his job/aggressive tactics/if you're a critic fishing expedition, how do you see how this is shaping out and what do you make how aggressive he is being?

CHARLES CLAYMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I think it's important for people to know that he's not being aggressive at all. He's using those tactics which prosecutors use in white collar-crimes and used them years ago in organized crimes.

But search warrants, wiretaps, subpoenas, they are in every case. Search warrants and wiretaps, you need a judge's approval. Telling him that he is going to be indicted, that's notifying an individual that he's a target of an investigation.

So, I think he's doing, Mr. Mueller, a very good job. I know many of the people that joined him. They're fabulous attorneys, U.S. attorneys offices from Brooklyn, from Southern District and all over the country.

I think he's doing a very good job. It's a very important case. He doesn't want to make any mistakes. And why wouldn't he use ever tool that was appropriately available?

BALDWIN: Michael, to you. Apparently, according to the sources to CNN, some of the intel from the wiretaps includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged Russians to help in the campaign.

How significant is that? Because some of the sources are saying you can't jump to conclusions on that either.

MICHAEL BALBONI, FORMER NEW YORK STATE SENATOR: So, the whole question in this case has been, what is the information that you can really base conclusions on?

And it's all been speculation and it's he said/she said. If you actually have a wire intercept that puts the definitiveness on the kind of conversation you have had back and forth, that now answers a lot of questions and gives prosecutors to sit there and say, yes, there is a communication and let's take a look at exactly what that means.

And that's where you kind of then -- you lead the case from.


BALBONI: That is the individual talking specifically about the case that you're really concerned about.

But, you know, to his point, Mueller is very aggressive, but what people don't really appreciate is, there's this whole judicial process behind it. And if you talk to lawyers, they will sit back and say, this is -- the no-knock warrants, isn't that used for drug dealers, as opposed to white-collar?

But you recognize that they must have had something. And this is really the theme in this entire case. They're moving as quick as they can and as aggressively as they can. They must have a lot of information that leads them down this path.

BALDWIN: What about the wiretap itself, back to you, the fact that under the two different times, apparently, there would have been times where he would have talked to now President Trump?

It's not clear if President Trump was picked up on any of the wiretaps or in any communications. If he had been, would that be within Bob Mueller's purview to use?

CLAYMAN: Again, a lot of speculation. And I believe they probably were FISA warrants by the FISA court.

BALDWIN: They were?


CLAYMAN: And they would be appropriate to use. That's evidence that can be admissible, if it's needed, if it's appropriate. Yes.

BALDWIN: Yes. OK, yes.

Emily Jane Fox, switching gears off of that, but related in this whole overarching probe, Michael Cohen, Trump personal lawyer sits down with you at a diner somewhere in the Hamptons, right, to have a chat before he is set to sit with us Senate Intel behind closed doors.

He puts out part of a statement before he's to go in there, and they say, no, no, no, no, we warned you not to do this. So, now we still want to question you, but we're going to do it in a public setting.

Didn't he understand the rules?

EMILY JANE FOX, "VANITY FAIR": I don't know the answer to that question.

I spoke to him at great length over the last couple of weeks.

BALDWIN: He talked, talked, talked.

FOX: It never once came up that these were the rules. I feel like in hours and hours and hours of conversation with a reporter, that might have come up. It didn't.

I will say that he told me that he initially wanted these hearings to be public and that, at the advice of counsel and his friends, that they decided to keep them private. So, maybe this will end up back where he wanted it all along.

BALDWIN: Reading your piece, just fascinating tidbits about, is sadness the right word to use? He walks past Trump Tower wanting to be part of it all in Washington. Tell me what he shared with you.

FOX: He nearly teared up when he talked about the fact that he walked past Trump Tower on the way to his new office now and doesn't speak to the president, at the advice of counsel again, and doesn't speak to any members of the family who he worked very close with, the Trump Organization.


And, look, I think he is a bit of a showman, like his boss. And he's in front a reporter who is going to be writing all of this. So, I think that that plays into it.

But these are people he worked with every day for a decade. And I think he misses their friendship and was looking forward to today getting this behind him, so that he could be in communication with them again.

BALDWIN: How long has he known President Trump? Years and years?

FOX: I think he's worked there for more than 10 years, yes.


Emily, Charles and Michael, thank you all so very much on all that.

I want to get back to our big news, though, on this earthquake, this breaking news, this powerful earthquake, 7.1, rocking Mexico. New video just in.

Let's go back to Allison Chinchar.

Allison, what are you seeing?


So, again, just for a refresher, this was a 7.1 earthquake, about 75 miles, give or take, southeast of Mexico City. Here is the dot. This is where the earthquake was located. This, for reference, is Mexico City. OK?

The depth of this earthquake was about 51 kilometers deep, give or take, about 32 miles. In terms of earthquakes, that is relatively deep, but not deep enough folks far away wouldn't be able to feel it. Again, here is that point.

This is where the epicenter of the quake was located. This is Mexico City. But you can see that yellow color spreading out, indicating that people there still felt it, and not just felt it, but likely encountered at least some damage from the earthquake.

The question now is, to what extent was that damage and how far out from the center is it going to be. OK? Now, here's the thing. They are going to start to experience some aftershocks in this region. Anything that has been structurally compromised at this point could end up causing more damage as we start to get those aftershocks in, depending on what magnitude those aftershocks are likely to be. OK?

Again, here's Mexico City. This is where the epicenter of the earthquake was located. You can see it's down towards the south and east, closest city likely about Puebla, but you have got some other communities also inside this area that were likely impacted by this particular earthquake.

You have got some video there that you can see on the other side of the screen. Again, we have been seeing video and photos come in of damage from some of these places, you know, everything from parts of buildings that have fallen down. You know, obviously you have got some power poles that can come down. Things like that.

The question is, what is the extent of the severe damage? That's what we need to wait to kind of find out with this particular earthquake what actually occurred. Again, 7.1 earthquake, about 75 miles to the southeast of Mexico City. As you recall, it will be two weeks this coming Thursday that we just had an 8.1 earthquake in Mexico.

So, again, the earthquake is on a lot of these people's minds. It's still fairly fresh from just having had an earthquake, not in this exact same spot, per se, but in Mexico, they just had an 8.1 earthquake that unfortunately had fatalities with it.

Again, it will be two weeks to the day coming up this Thursday for that particular quake. So, again, that's going to be something that we kind of have to keep in mind with this particular earthquake -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Allison, just quickly, I'm glad you brought up the 8.1 from two weeks ago. Was that in a different part of Mexico?

CHINCHAR: It was. It was.


CHINCHAR: It was not in this particular location, again, but it was large enough that the amount of people that felt it was actually pretty widespread, just like this one.

When you start getting to those numbers where they're in the 6's, the 7's and the 8's, the area that it can spread out is pretty large. So, you don't have to be near that epicenter to encounter some damage.

BALDWIN: We saw people in some of those pictures there being treated. So, injuries, we don't know yet as far as fatalities are concerned, but that is a significant number, indeed, 7.1 earthquake striking 75 miles away from Mexico City.

Allison Chinchar, thank you. Stand by.

More on the breaking news and just more today here. We will be right back.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BALDWIN: Let's get you back to the breaking news here, this 7.1 earthquake that's just hit Mexico. This is Central Mexico, 75 miles away from the capital city of Mexico City.

So, let's go straight to Leyla Santiago, who is actually in Puerto Rico covering this incoming hurricane.

But you live in Mexico City. You know Mexico City. This is the second powerful earthquake to hit around this region in two weeks.


Actually, I just got off the phone with the president's office, and they tell me that the president of Mexico was en route to Oaxaca, sort of closer to the southern end of the country. And he was on his way there to continue to give follow-up to victims of the last earthquake there that claimed more than 90 lives, at last check.

So, this is a series of earthquakes, or at least multiple earthquakes now having an impact in Mexico. Now, the difference is, this one is closer to Mexico City. Mexico City, big city. And I just -- when I talked to one of the officials from the president's office, he was even a little shook up. He tells me that people are still trying to get ahold of family members to make sure they know where everyone is.

When I asked him how he was doing, he was in shock. So, Mexico obviously is very aware of earthquakes. In the 1980s, there was an earthquake that really actually kind of even changed the infrastructure of Mexico City -- this earthquake hitting much closer to that than less than two weeks ago, when it hit in Chiapas and had a big impact on the southern end of the country.