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West Virginia Governor Says Deal Reached to End Teacher Strike; Ex-Trump Aide May End Up Cooperating With Special Counsel; Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired March 6, 2018 - 10:30   ET



[10:32:55] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We have more breaking news this morning. Just in, it looks like there is a deal in the West Virginia teachers strike that is now in its ninth day. Again kids haven't gone to school for nine days in West Virginia.

Live in Charleston, CNN's Polo Sandoval.

Polo, what have you learned?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, at this point, John, we are still waiting for the exact details. But the key here at this point is Governor Jim Justice is announcing this deal that's been reached nine days into this teachers strike. At this point, he is confirming that there is commitment from this committee that had been working for the last three days to try to come up with a number to confirm and to decide on that 5 percent raise for not only teachers but also for the rest of the state employees.

And at this point, again, officials here at the capital announcing that they have agreed to that 5 percent raise for teachers and other state employees as well. Let's remember what happened a week ago today in this very building, Jim Justice announced that 5 percent raise for the teachers but a 4 percent for state employees.

Well, a week later, this is where we are today. There is certainly a lot of cheers that are echoing through the halls here. Of course John Denver's very familiar West Virginia lyrics are also echoing through here as you can see in the video right now.

Certainly the whole legislative process is still happening right now. They do say that there is still going to have to be a $20 million reduction in spending as well. The budget process ahead is also going to be crucial, but at this point, this bipartisan committee, the governor and both chambers here at the capital are announcing that this is -- in their own words a fair and fiscally responsible solution to get everybody back to work, get them back to school.

Still up in the air, will that happen tomorrow or will that potentially happen Thursday? One superintendent just told me that they could potentially have to push it back to Thursday because they are, after all, still have to restart the system, they still have to get these campuses back up and running so they could perhaps ask for a day of cushion. But technically that could happen as early as tomorrow.

The 300,000 students in the state could go back to school and those 20,000 teachers will go back to their classroom very happy, hoping for now the long-term solution to their main insurance issue, paying for their skyrocketing insurance premium. That is what brought us here in the first place -- John.

[10:35:09] BERMAN: All right, Polo Sandoval in Charleston, South -- Charleston, West Virginia, I should say.

We want to hear from the governor, we want to hear from the teachers and their representatives and also the legislature, but the parameters of the deal now in place. Thanks, Polo.

After a string of bizarre interviews, former Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg now says he will cooperate with the Mueller probe, probably. We have the new developments next.


BERMAN: New this morning, it now appears that Sam Nunberg will cooperate with the special counsel. Nunberg spent most of yesterday in a surreal series of interviews saying he would not comply with the subpoena for testimony and documents. The special counsel also wants months worth of Nunberg's communications with an array of Trump confidants and with Donald Trump himself.

Our Jessica Schneider in Washington with the latest details and now it looks like, Jessica, he will talk after all.

[10:40:03] JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It looks like that, John. You know, but Sam Nunberg as he made those rounds on cable TV, he not only seemed to waffle over whether he would comply with the subpoena from the special counsel, but Nunberg also made some wild claims. He said that Carter Page was colluding with the Russians, to which Carter Page has responded that's, quote, "laughable."

Nunberg also said that the special counsel may be moving in on the president, Nunberg saying he suspects that they suspect something about the president, not really offering any backup, though, to that claim. And then there was this about what Nunberg thinks the president knew about that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting where Donald Trump Jr. met with the Russian lawyer after he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. Take a listen.


SAM NUNBERG, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE: I think he probably knew in advance. And --


NUNBERG: Yes. I think -- I think if I had to guess, Don informed him about it.


SCHNEIDER: So that was his guess and Nunberg provided no evidence to back up any of those claims and of course both President Trump and Donald Trump Jr. have denied that the president knew anything about that Trump Tower meeting. So really with all these claims, it's important to get some perspective on exactly who Sam Nunberg is.

In short, he was a short-lived campaign adviser who has really lashed out at the president, so Nunberg was fired and then rehired and then fired again, all in the span of a few months. He left the campaign for good in its very early stages in August 2015. That was when he was fired for racially charged Facebook posts. And then he did later sue the president for $10 million for allegedly violating a confidentiality agreement.

So it does, with this long list of facts and everything that Sam Nunberg said yesterday, it begs the question, why is Nunberg speaking out now and making these claims? And, of course, John, the question still being, will he comply with that subpoena? Of course if he doesn't, he could be held in contempt of court and face either fines or even jail time -- John.

BERMAN: Called to testify on Friday, we have been told.

All right. Jessica Schneider, thanks so much.

Joining me now, CNN legal analyst, former New York homicide prosecutor Paul Callan and CNN contributor and author Garrett Graff.

I want to cut through the smoke here and the drama and the soap opera aspect of this, because I actually think we have learned many concrete things here that are very important.

And, Paul, let me start with you, again the fact that the special counsel has issued a subpoena for Sam Nunberg to appear in person before a grand jury, even after answering questions from the investigator, that tells us something.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, it's very important. And as crazy as some of his press interviews were yesterday, they told us some very important things. Mueller's asking about e-mails relating to people like Roger Stone, a famous dirty trickster who was involved in the campaign in the early days, to Steve Bannon, who, of course, is critically close to the president, Hope Hicks and even Schiller who was his --

BERMAN: His bodyguard.

CALLAN: His bodyguard. So he also mentioned another thing, the Miss Universe contest in 2013. A lot of people think that's where Trump's Russian connections began. He was wined and dined by Russian oligarchs, many bought Trump apartments after. Is that the source of the beginning of a Russian connection? All very interesting information.

BERMAN: You know, people look at these interviews that Sam Nunberg did and said how can you believe Sam Nunberg?

But Garrett, you don't have to believe Sam Nunberg to assess the importance of this. You have to believe Robert Mueller. Right? Look at the subpoena which we all have right now and look at that list of characters that he wants communications from.

And I always listen to you, Garrett Graff, and you tell me that Robert Mueller doesn't do fishing expeditions here. So what does this tell you?

GARRETT GRAFF, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, so, one of the things that we can see with this is that he's looking at a very broad cast of characters related to the Trump campaign and the Trump Organization. And as I have said to you in the past and as I sort of repeat, you know, Bob Mueller is not out on a fishing expedition. If he is looking at some things, that means he has good reason and good suspicion to be doing so. And so this gives us a sense of the target list.

It also shows you -- and I think this is significant, the amount of stress this investigation can put on an individual, which I think we sort of saw play out in real time yesterday across the cable channels with Sam Nunberg. That, you know, there are real people experiencing real emotions going through this investigation and having Bob Mueller staring down at you, looking over your communications, you know, subpoenaing you, threatening you with jail time if you lied to him. You know, that is a stressful undertaking for someone to be facing.

BERMAN: And it's also interesting, Paul Callan, that we do learn from people who have answered questions from investigators what types of questions the investigators are asking. And Nunberg says, among other things, they asked about the president's business dealings. And they asked in a way that made him believe that they have something.

[10:45:01] Now you've been in a room I think for some of these, you know, times when witnesses have been questioned before. Can you feel that type of thing?

CALLAN: You absolutely can. And especially this late in an investigation because remember, Mueller has worked his way all the way up to the White House. I mean, he's interviewed the top figures. And now he's circling back, based on information he's developed to relatively minor figure like Nunberg to find out, are there communications from these top people about Russia connections, about the Miss Universe Pageant, about the Trump Tower meeting, which I found to be very, very interesting.

BERMAN: Right.

CALLAN: He's focused very carefully on that because that's the key meeting probably with respect to the Russia connection if there is one.

BERMAN: The issue with Trump Tower, and Number, you know, as we just don't know, look, he is not the most reliable source here. We do not know if Sam Nunberg knows anything about the Trump Tower meeting or not. Again, we only know what Robert Mueller is asking, how he's asking it, and to whom.

And Garrett, I don't know if I'm wrong here, but it seems to me this indicates also that this probe isn't close to wrapping up. Ty Cobb might not have it right when he said this would be over by Christmas 2017. You know, Sam Nunberg doesn't seem to me to be your capstone witness to appear before the grand jury.

GRAFF: Absolutely not. And, you know, we know that there is incredibly significant investigation information that we haven't seen become public yet. You know, what George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn and now Rick Gates have all traded as part of their plea deals. You know, we have also seen in the indictment of the Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, you know, Mueller going after him for lying about a single e-mail, a single communication.

So when you get these broad sweeping subpoenas for a wide ranging set of communications, you know, everyone who is facing one of these subpoenas has got to be double and triple checking what they're turning over to make sure that they are not withholding any material information from the special counsel.

BERMAN: Sure. And Garrett, one other thing here has sort of been the ether of the last few days that maybe Robert Mueller is starting to prepare some indictments over the e-mails. Over the hacking of the DNC e-mails, and John Podesta's e-mails to begin with, which is sort of where this all started a long time ago, we don't know who that can include, if we're just talking about Russians here or not.

And Roger Stone is a name that has surfaced in there. Maybe not to be charged, maybe not to be indicted, but as someone who had at least mused about these e-mails over time and that could be a Nunberg connection because he worked very closely with Roger Stone.

GRAFF: Absolutely. And, you know, we have seen sort of Roger Stone pop up in a number of different pieces of this investigation, you know, even with some of his communications with WikiLeaks, and even to a certain extent Guccifer 2.0, one of the hackers who's believed to be involved in this.

BERMAN: All right. Garrett Graff, Paul Callan, counselor, thanks very much for being with us. I do appreciate it.

Could high schoolers soon be welcomed back into the NBA? It's the rule that could change the basketball landscape. "Bleacher Report" is next.


[10:52:46] BERMAN: As the FBI continues to investigate college basketball recruiting, the NBA is making a plan to try to solve the problem.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report" -- Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, since 2005, the NBA has the one and done rule, meaning you had to be one year removed from high school in order to play in the league. But that rule may soon change as the NBA tries to help solve the recruiting scandal going on right now in college basketball.

This "Bleacher Report" brought to you by the new 2018 Ford F-150.

According to ESPN, Commissioner Adam Silver is developing a plan to get involved with high level high school prospects. Now one option on the table is turning the NBA's G-league into a more true minor league basketball system where the high level players, even if they are just 18 years old, can play and be paid a high salary. Now this would make the G-league a more realistic option for kids who plan on being one and done in college before trying to go to the NBA.

All right. Iona and UNC Greensboro punching their tickets to the NCAA tournament last night. But the moment of the night belonging to Fairfield senior Tyler Nelson and his coach Sydney Johnson. As Fairfield season was coming to an end, Johnson pulling Nelson from the game and the two sharing a very emotional moment. And Nelson is Fairfield's all-time leading scorer and last night was likely his final game of his career. Nelson saying afterwards that he'll remember that moment for the rest of his life.

Weeks after winning the Florida State high school hockey title and dedicating it to the 17 people killed in the mass shooting, the Stoneman Douglas hockey team did enjoy a special moment yesterday. The team was being hosted by the Florida Panthers and were surprised with the Stanley Cup. The players getting to skate around with the cup raised over their heads. Stoneman Douglas is set to play for the high school national championship later this month in Minnesota. According to the "Sun Sentinel" the Panthers are helping to cover the travel costs to the tournament.

All right. The NFL Combine wrapping up yesterday, and Roger Goodell, he's in the Combine mood. The 59-year-old commissioner running a 40 through the NFL offices in New York. He clocked a 5.41, faster than when he did it three years ago and faster than six players at the actual Combine.

Goodell was challenged by NFL Network's Rich Eisen who runs it every year in a full suit for charity.

But, hey, John, not bad for the commissioner. 59 years old and a full suit, still able to clock a decent time.

[10:55:06] BERMAN: Which is why he makes $30 million a year.

Andy Scholes, thank you very, very much. I appreciate it.

All right. President Trump set to take questions today. There is a lot to ask him from the new reports about Sam Nunberg, the Mueller investigation, to a possible breakthrough negotiations in North Korea. Stay with us.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Brianna Keilar in for Kate Bolduan. A big announcement from North Korea. No more nuclear or missile test at least for now. North Korea also opening the door for diplomacy with the United States

saying it would end its nuclear program if its security is guaranteed.

What does that mean, though? Officials from Seoul and Pyongyang will host an inter-Korean summit next month.