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Clinton Camp and DNC Helped Fund Trump Dossier; Heroin Addicts Shoot Up in "Safe" Bathrooms; Senator Bob Corker Speaks Out Amid Trump Feud; Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired October 25, 2017 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:30:45] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: We have new details this morning about who helped bankroll the dossier alleging ties between -- alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. A source tells CNN Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the DNC helped pay for it. The source says Clinton's camp retained research firm Fusion GPS in April of last year. That is the same firm that anti-Trump Republicans used for the beginning of this research dossier, what have you, in the primary.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: "The Washington Post" reports that Fusion GPS did not hire the dossier author, Christopher Steele, until after Democrats started paying the bill. When the news broke, this is how Brian Fallon, the Clinton campaign's national press secretary, responded. He says, "I regret I didn't know about Christopher Steele's hiring pre-election. If I had, I would have volunteered to go to Europe to try to help him."
That man, Brian Fallon, joins us right now.
Brian, a cheeky tweet, to say the least. But look, let me ask you a serious question here. You say you just learned that the Clinton campaign and DNC funded this dossier. This has been out there for a long time now. This has been in the news a lot since January. It was floated around privately before that.
How could you not know that the Clinton team was paying for it? And didn't someone in the Clinton campaign know this? Marc Elias certainly did.
BRIAN FALLON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. I'm sure that there was a small group of folks that were aware of the nature of the decision to hire Fusion back in the spring of 2016. But it was kept for reasons that I can understand to a very select group, given the sensitive nature of who they hired, a former MI6 agent, Christopher Steele, that was taking these discreet, covert meetings in Europe, trying to track down this information about business meetings that Trump had with Russian oligarchs.
So the details of it, the fact that Fusion was hired, and that they in turn subcontracted with Christopher Steele and that's how the dossier came about, I just learned over the past weekend in anticipation of this story coming out.
What would happened during the campaign would be that in the month of October, especially, we'd been getting a lot of incoming calls from reporters tracking down various tips, a lot of which ended up showing in that dossier. What I and I think a lot of my colleagues assumed was that this was research that had been dug up during the Republican primary but had gone dormant.
And then on October 7th, remember, John, that's when you had the U.S. government come out and say that it was their conclusion that the Russians were trying to intervene in the election, they were behind the DNC hack. And then all of a sudden it resurrected a lot of interest in Trump's business dealings with Russian.
And when those calls would come in, we would found it very interesting, we'd internally convene, we'd trade information about what other things we were hearing from different sources. But we were powerless to help those reporters get over the hump and get over the finish line of reporting because we didn't have any of the research, at least I didn't, have it directly.
HARLOW: Just to be clear, Brian, you have said previously in the last 24 hours, you don't believe Hillary Clinton knew about this either, is that right?
FALLON: Oh, I don't know. I don't ask.
HARLOW: You don't know. OK.
FALLON: I haven't spoken to her. No.
HARLOW: OK, thank for clarifying.
HARLOW: Shouldn't she know? Shouldn't you, someone so high up in the campaign, be informed of this?
FALLON: Well, I mean, she may have known, but the degree of exactly what she knew is beyond my knowledge. For instance, it could have been that a decision was made to authorize to do some kind of commission, some kind of research, but then decisions about, you know, going out and finding Fusion GPS, finding Christopher Steele.
I mean, she may or may not have been aware of that level of detail. I don't know. But I think it's important to remember that, A, opposition research happens all the time in campaigns. B, before -- the reason that Fusion GPS had a head start on this and basically came to the campaign and pitched to us was because they already had been commissioned and hired during the Republican primary.
Now I suspect we're going to learn in the next day or two who the funder of it was during the Republican primary because there is a subpoena here for Fusion GPS' bank records.
FALLON: In order to obtain not just the identity of the funder during the general election. HARLOW: Right.
FALLON: But also during the primary. So we'll probably learn the Republican funder, too.
BERMAN: We may.
FALLON: There won't be any shame about whoever funded it during the GOP primary.
BERMAN: Look, we may find out that Chris Steele wasn't brought on until after the Democrats and Hillary Clinton started funding it. But again Fusion was involved. Do you say this is all in the name of opposition research? That's what Donald Trump Jr. and President Trump said when they were being criticized for Donald Jr.'s meeting with these Russians when he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. Are they analogous?
[10:35:12] FALLON: No. For a very simple reason. The Russians and Vladimir Putin were only trying to help one side in this election. And you don't have to take my word for it on that. That is the conclusion of U.S. intelligence. That it was the position of Vladimir Putin and the Russian government that they wanted to help Donald Trump.
And we know for a fact that Russian agents committed crimes in service of that goal. They hacked into the DNC, they hacked the John Podesta's e-mails. They tried to hack into voter rolls in different states. And so the fact of Don Jr.'s meeting in June, the reason why that's so interesting and potentially problematic, is because it suggests that perhaps the Trump campaign had foreknowledge or gave guidance to the Russians about some of those criminal acts.
Nothing here that took place with respect to the hiring of Fusion GPS --
HARLOW: But --
FALLON: -- which is an independent private research firm that campaigns contract with all the time, nothing rises to the level of Donald Trump taking a meeting with an authorized representative of the Russian government for the purposes of trying to help Donald Trump's campaign by way of illegal acts.
HARLOW: But, Brian Fallon, in July, to our colleague, Anderson Cooper, you said, quote, "There's a difference between going out and hiring opposition firms that work in the United States of America and going on and soliciting information from a foreign national."
Christopher Steele, who compiled this dossier, was a foreign national. British.
FALLON: Yes. So Christopher Steele's actions here -- this is akin to counterintelligence work. And in fact, after the campaign -- long after the campaign ended, long after the Clinton campaign was paying Fusion GPS any longer, apparently, the FBI itself reached out to Christopher Steele and said, hey, we consider you so trustworthy and we consider your methods so honest, we want to actually contract with you now to keep doing this research.
And then once Christopher Steele's cover was blown and his identity became public, I guess that went south and they no longer went forward with contracting him. But he was very well-known to U.S. intelligence. He was not being handed things by the Russians. Otherwise we'd probably know the details of these supposed videotapes.
FALLON: And the business connections that Donald Trump has with Russia. None of that stuff was out there prior to the election.
BERMAN: Well --
FALLON: In fact, if you remember, John and Poppy, "The New York Times" in late October wrote a whole story basically acquitting Donald Trump on all of this, suggesting that there was nothing to any of these allegations about connections with the Russians.
FALLON: I tend to think if the Russians were actually trying to help Christopher Steele and collude with the Clinton campaign, more of that stuff would have surfaced prior to November 8th. Instead we're still digging and Bob Mueller is still trying to find it.
BERMAN: The Mueller investigation goes on. And Brian, we should note, that the intelligence community has made clear that they have corroborated some of what is inside the dossier.
BERMAN: Independent of who paid for it. Nevertheless, we do appreciate you coming on and answering these questions, helping us clear up some of these matters.
Brian Fallon, thanks so much.
FALLON: Thanks, guys.
HARLOW: Trying to keep heroin addicts alive. New York has come up with a controversial solution. And for one mother, it is the only way to make sure her son does not fatally overdose.
[10:42:23] BERMAN: As soon as tomorrow, President Trump could declare the country's opioid epidemic a national emergency. While that's going on, cities are scrambling to try to figure out ways to deal with the crisis and to keep addict alive.
HARLOW: One solution, a controversial one, is a safe place where drug users can use heroin. And for one distraught mother, she says this is what has kept her son alive. More now from our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
DONNA PRINCE, MOTHER OF HEROIN ADDICT: It's a living hell. OK, you worry day and night. You try to do other things, but it's always in the back of your mind. You go to bed at night. I said, good night, Taylor, and I keep him in my prayers. And just hope that I'm going to hear from him.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The story has become a common one. Donna Prince's son, Taylor, is addicted to heroin. Right now she's sick with worry because she hasn't seen him in six weeks.
(On camera): You worry about that?
PRINCE: All the time.
GUPTA: About him dying?
GUPTA: For the last six week, I mean --
PRINCE: No. For 20 years.
GUPTA: For 20 years.
PRINCE: For 20 years, my son's been a heroin addict.
GUPTA (voice-over): Donna tells us there's a good chance Taylor is here, at the Corner Project in Washington Heights. It's a needle exchange, but also has this.
One of the most controversial bathrooms in the country. A place where people, like Taylor, come to use drugs, but are also monitored and can be saved with the medication called naloxone or Narcan, which can reverse an overdose.
(On camera): When Taylor first told you about the bathroom, what were your first thoughts when you heard about that?
PRINCE: He's going to do it whether he wants to do it or not. Whether he's going to go under the bridge where they go or if he's going to go in my bathroom and do it. At least there, I know that people are watching over him, and if he does overdose, he's not going to die because they're going to be able to save him.
LIZ EVANS, DIRECTOR, WASHINGTON HEIGHTS CORNER PROJECT: I think there is an acknowledgement, generally, that drug users are using bathrooms all over the place. And people are dying in those bathrooms. And so there is an acknowledgement that as a syringe exchange provider, we have a moral obligation to make sure that people don't die in our building. GUPTA (voice-over): Liz Evans directs the Corner Project. She moved
here from Vancouver, Canada, where she helped found Insite, the home of the only legal safe injection sites in North America. Over 14 years, there have been over three million visits there and not one single death.
[10:45:04] The rates of overdose in the surrounding downtown area dropped by 35 percent. And Insite users were 30 percent more likely to get addiction treatment. But here in the United States, this is a very gray area.
(On camera): How does a place like this exist in the sense of the interactions with the legal world, the law enforcement world?
EVANS: There are policies that exist, that the state has provided to encourage access to Narcan, clean surfaces, and other suggestions for how bathrooms operate in syringe exchange programs.
GUPTA (voice-over): Hector Mada manages the Corner Project's bathroom program.
HECTOR MADA, WASHINGTON HEIGHTS' CORNER PROJECT: This is actually how our clients will do it when they come in. They'll sit down, they'll put all their supplies here to make sure that they're preparing like heroin or cocaine or whatever stuff they're going to inject. There's a cooker with colander for people to use it so that the filter, the heroin or whatever they are injecting.
GUPTA (on camera): You've got an intercom in here and so you can talk to somebody, check on them. You got a timer so you can sort of keep an eye on how long.
GUPTA (voice-over): What you're seeing is a particularly provocative way of trying to reduce death from heroin overdose. Some see it as condoning drug use, but others see it as a logical solution to a big problem. In a year, more people in the United States die from drug overdoses than from guns or car accidents.
MADA: When overdoses happen in our bathroom, people are not dying. I've reversed 25 overdoses in this bathroom myself.
MADA: 25, yes.
GUPTA: You've reversed 25 overdoses?
MADA: In this bathroom, in this space.
GUPTA (voice-over): Three of those times, he saved the life of Taylor Prince. Today, at least Donna knows where Taylor is. And on the day we visit the Corner Project, she finally gets to see her son again.
(END VIDEOTAPE) GUPTA: It continues to be a rocky road for Taylor. He's living the life still of a heroin addict, in jail right now, expected to get out next week. Interestingly, talking to his mother, Donna, you know, she says jail has actually been a place where he's been able to get drug treatment. He's getting methadone while in jail, something that he hasn't been able to get consistently while out on the streets.
And I bring that point up, John and Poppy, because, again, it's the reality of being a heroin addict, the reality of difficulty accessing some sort of treatment or, you know, being confident that you're not going to die.
HARLOW: Sanjay, I had no idea these even existed not far from where we're sitting right now. This is in New York City. It's a fascinating and important story. Thank you for bring it to us.
GUPTA: Thank you, guys.
BERMAN: All right. Up on Capitol Hill, Bob Corker, one of the two Republican senators with scathing criticisms of the president yesterday, just spoke again to our Manu Raju. Here's a look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: The president also tweeted today that you didn't run for re-election because you had zero chance of winning. Is that true? Do you have zero chance of winning?
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: I was in a commanding position. I'm sure that, you know, there's been some Republican erosion over the course of the last, you know, six weeks or so with me.
Look, I understand that. But when I made the decision not to run, I was in a dominant position. I had more money in the bank than any Republican incumbent. My numbers in the state were very, very strong. And so that's just not true. But, look, you know, I -- please. I don't really cares what comes out of the White House, so --
RAJU: Yes. What do you mean?
CORKER: Well, it's sort of a daily silliness.
RAJU: He also --
CORKER: But there was no question that when I decided not to run, I was in a dominant position in running. It wasn't -- there wasn't even anybody announced that I assure you ever in the history of the world is going to be a United States senator, OK? So --
RAJU: Also, he said that yesterday's lunch was a love-fest, multiple standing ovations. Is that how you saw it? Was it a love-fest for the president? CORKER: I'm not going to comment. You can talk to other senators who
over time, I'm sure, will share their experience yesterday, but I'm not going to do that.
RAJU: Do you think that the president, though, is fit to be president?
CORKER: You know, you keep asking me that question. Why don't you answer it for yourself?
RAJU: I wonder what your thoughts are. Thanks.
HARLOW: OK, so Manu Raju, who always seems to get the key lawmakers at the key moments, Senator Corker, again. I think we're hooking Manu up and they'll let us know as soon as we have him.
BERMAN: Yes. One of the key lines out of Senator Corker there, I don't really care what comes out of the White House. That's what he tells Manu Raju, who I believe is with us now.
You know, Manu, once again, you've caught up to Senator Corker. Once again, he has no problem being dismissive or more about this administration.
RAJU: Yes, no kidding. And in fact, calling it daily silliness that's coming out of a White House and really saying, I don't care what the White House has to say, saying that he was in a dominant position to run for re-election even though the president continues to say that he would have zero chance of winning, as he tweeted this morning.
As Sarah Sanders said yesterday, that Corker would not have won and it was a good move for him to quit, because of how unpopular they were in their states.
[10:50:04] You know, Corker has some -- there's some evidence to back up what Corker is saying, that he was in a dominant position. There was no announced candidate at that point who could beat him. A number of these members who have now announced, like Marsha Blackburn, she would not have run for this seat almost certainly had Corker said that he was going to run for re-election.
And Corker himself has nearly $8 million in the bank. So this was already going to be a pretty aggressive campaign. It would have been very difficult to beat him. And Corker wanted to make that very clear, saying that he was in a very dominant position.
But also, he did pull his punches, guys, about the Russia sanctions bill, which has not yet been enacted. He helped push that through Congress, but still saying that he wants to see what the White House and the administration tries to do in a very complex bill. So pulling his punches at least on that -- Poppy and John. BERMAN: All right. Manu Raju, once again, the man with the
microphone in the moment. Manu, thank you very, very much.
HARLOW: All right. Quick break, we'll be right back.
HARLOW: In what was the hottest world series game ever, the Dodgers beating the Astros to take an early lead in the series.
BERMAN: Andy Scholes joins us now with this morning's "Bleacher Report."
Andy, I always feel like I have to apologize when I come to you with a Houston team losing.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it was a rough night, but it's a long series, John, so I'm not getting too down on my Astros just yet.
This "Bleacher Report" brought to you by the new 2018 Ford F-150.
As you said, Poppy, this was the hottest World Series game ever. Temperature 103 degrees at first pitch. And this was also one of the fastest World Series games ever. Taking under 2 1/2 hours. That was the fastest since 1992. And it moved so quickly because both pitchers were on their game. Clayton Kershaw striking out 11 while walking none.
[10:55:02] Dallas Keuchel nearly as good for the Astros, but he made a mistake right here to Justin Turner in the sixth inning and that two- run homerun was the difference as the Dodgers win game one, 3-1 to take the lead in the series.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN TURNER, DODGERS THIRD BASEMAN: I didn't know if it was going to be a homerun or not, but I knew I back spun it pretty good and I knew I hit it really height and I knew it was about 98 degrees. So when it's that hot here, the ball does travel a lot better.
CLAYTON KERSHAW, DODGERS PITCHER: It was hot tonight, so warming up, didn't take long to get loose. But, you know, try to get that first inning under your belt, definitely as good a start as we could have hoped for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: Good news for the Astros, Justin Verlander on the mound tonight, taking on Rich Hill for the Dodgers. Verlander, a perfect 9- 0 since coming to Houston. First pitch for game two set for just after 8:00 Eastern tonight.
All right, the Cavs beat the Bulls last night and you've got to check out the post-game handshake between Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. They've been teammates now for a while, so they've got it down. Wade and Kevin Love, on the other hand, they just share the firm handshake, whereas LeBron and Wade have the fancy one.
Guys, what about you? You've been together now for a while now. Do you have come up with some sort of handshake?
BERMAN: Just a giant high five. But no. We don't believe in any kind of public display of celebration here.
HARLOW: We don't.
BERMAN: It's a very serious news broadcast.
HARLOW: Serious news. OK, Andy?
SCHOLES: All right.
BERMAN: Thanks so much, Andy Scholes with the "Bleacher Report."
A love-fest for the Republicans. That's what the -- that's what the president calls it right now. Senator Jeff Flake, though, says more Republicans will come out and speak against him. Where are they?
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. A sitting U.S. senator takes to the Senate floor to renounce the sitting president from his own party. That is the definition --