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House GOP Ends Russia Probe And Breaks With Intel Community; Trump Blocks Broadcom's $142 Billion Bid For Qualcomm; Palestinian Prime Minister Survives Assassination Attempt; Is O.J. Simpson's Friend "Charlie" Real? Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired March 13, 2018 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:15] ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump celebrating the decision from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee to shut down this investigation.
In this all caps, late-night tweet, "THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, AFTER A 14-MONTH LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION."
Let's discuss with CNN legal and political commentator Ken Cuccinelli and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro. Good to have both of you with us.
Look, that's -- that is one take obviously on what we heard from House Intel talking about the fact that they're done and here's what they found before they even left Democrats in on it. And is there any way to look at what we're seeing here and have it not be seen through a political lens?
KEN CUCCINELLI, CNN LEGAL AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, PRESIDENT, SENATE CONSERVATIVES FUND: No.
CUCCINELLI: No. I mean, everything viewed in this arena is seen through a political lens, but they have spent 14 months on this.
One of the challenges and the reason my first answer is no is because it is the House Intelligence Committee and so much of the information they reviewed is not open to the public. It was news when the Republican and Democrat memos came out discussing some of the material they had uncovered.
But it is very significant that they have shut this down and declared no collusion and we'll see if others follow suit. But certainly, there's no -- there -- we're back where we began with a Russian interference of the election. But that's very different than the notion of colluding with one of the candidates.
HILL: Senate Intel, we're told, is wrapping up in the -- in the coming weeks. Meantime, the one that really matters here that we're all waiting and watching for is the Mueller investigation which only seems to be widening at this point.
So with this wrapping down, Ana, as we look at this does this really hurt the credibility of both parties here moving forward, especially once we get that investigation, whatever it may find, even just in terms of how in-depth they were?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think there's a huge difference with how the Senate is conducting its investigation. How Sen. Burr and Sen. Warner are working together. The kind of gravitas and serious they have given it with -- done it with an approached it with -- and what happened in the House.
The House investigation went off the rails months and months and months ago. Let's remember about Devin Nunes sneaking around in the White House at midnight -- for a midnight rendezvous. This House has been leaking. It leaked the text of a senator on this issue.
You know, it's been a tainted investigation, it's been a sham, it's lacked credibility from the get-go. I for one, I'm glad that they've ended this sham investigation paid on taxpayer money because they had no credibility. And I Devin Nunes is doing his party a favor by ending it this way because it's such an example of the lack of accountability that Republicans are holding this president and this White House on.
And I think it's part of the reason why today you may see Conor Lamb win in Pennsylvania because voters out there want a Congress that is a check and a balance on this White House. That is a co-equal branch of government, not just a rubber stamp looking the other way on everything.
Good riddance to Devin Nunes and this investigation. It has been an embarrassment.
HILL: Ken, I see you laughing over there.
CUCCINELLI: Erica, I would -- yes. I would -- Ana absolving the Senate of political gamesmanship in this whole area, I just don't agree with.
I mean, look at Dianne Feinstein making her own unilateral decision to release a transcript out of one of the Senate hearings in a completely to say unusual fashion would be to understate things.
And you're right, the Republicans are the majority in the House. And, Ana's also right that the head Democrat and Republican on Senate Intel are working together better than they did over in the House, but that is not to say you don't have senators playing games with all of us.
I mean, look at some of Blumenthal's questioning. You've got Sen. Feinstein throwing out a transcript completely unsupported even by her own party -- by which I mean not voted on -- and defying their ordinary procedures.
So there's a lot of politics and a lot of this, I would say there's the least amount of politics in the Mueller investigation. But with respect to that Erica, I don't agree with your characterization that that just seems to be widening and widening and widening, I actually think it looks like from the outside that they're checking the tail end boxes -- not to say it will end this month or anything. They're going to have trials and so forth -- but that I think the investigative part of their activity is probably on the back side, not just widening forever.
[07:35:09] HILL: You think the Mueller investigation is on the back side?
NAVARRO: Look, I think none of us have any way of knowing what -- you know, what -- I mean, if anybody has been cryptic about what's going on on this investigation it's Mueller, and I think he's completely -- this --
NAVARRO: His investigation is completely unaffected by what this House Intel Committee report is and what they do. He is focused on what he's doing and we see that he has gotten what, indictments -- over 13-15 indictments and guilty pleas already.
HILL: I want to ask you -- I want -- I want to move on to this --
CUCCINELLI: Yes, but --
HILL: Go ahead, Ken.
CUCCINELLI: But nothing of them have to do with Russian -- none of them have to do with Russian collusion.
They have to do with -- look at Paul Manafort. I don't even think that's within Mueller's jurisdiction and yet, he's carrying the prosecution forward. He should have handed it off to other prosecutors at the Department of Justice.
So -- but from the outside it does look like they're on the tail end. When you run an investigation there's a certain pattern to who you ask questions when and so forth and, of course, you can always discover new things. But at the same time, the pattern looks from the outside like they're on the tail end.
HILL: Well Ken, but in terms of discovering new things isn't that what determines jurisdiction? Jurisdiction is whatever he may find within the information.
CUCCINELLI: Oh, no, no, no. Jurisdiction -- no, no, no, that is not jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is related to Russian collusion --
CUCCINELLI: -- or the investigation itself. So that would be lying to the FBI, for instance. That kind of a charge in the course of the investigation you're right, Erica. But if Paul Manafort financial charges back from 2011, 2012, 2013 and
so forth, that is not at all related and it shouldn't -- while they're clearly crimes they should have been handed to a different prosecutor.
And I would also just make the political comment back to your first question Erica, that it is significant that the House Intel Committee came to the conclusions they came.
People can disrespect those conclusions and come to it from their partisan perspective that sort of where you end up depends on where you start kind of an attitude, but the fact of the matter is part of the judgment of the special prosecutor's own conclusions will be cast in the light of the other investigators. And so, that will affect the public's view of those outcomes.
NAVARRO: But it's not even just a partisan thing. Yesterday, we had Congressman Rooney from Florida -- who isn't a Republican and he is no moderate squish -- on this network telling Erin Burnett that this investigation had gone off the rails and questioning its conclusion.
So I think even Republicans, when they are having moments of sincerity and honesty with themselves, recognize that this investigation has been a sham.
HILL: We still support the Intelligence Community finding by -- standing by its findings, obviously.
When the president looks at this and he's tweeting about all of this, and we have the Intelligence Community saying hey, we stand by everything we already told you, can -- is that the president getting ahead of himself?
CUCCINELLI: Well, certainly this president does that sometimes and some of his comments about the role of the Intelligence Community in the -- and analyzing the Russian involvement election have been kind of all over the map.
I don't think anybody seriously doubts that the Russians have attempted not only to affect our elections but other countries as well and that isn't really in dispute. That isn't what Mueller is after.
But if we had less -- oh, I don't know how to phrase it -- cloudiness and a lot of the mud being thrown at the wall about the collusion, we'd have a lot more clarity of the Russian role and its impact and a lot more acceptance of the kind of conclusions that are coming out of the intelligence studies about exactly that, which I think is important for our national security going forward.
We've got to have faith in not only the quality of our elections but the federal government, when they do learn things, tells the states so they can protect themselves. That didn't happen. The Obama administration didn't do that.
And it'd be nice to get back to solving those kinds of problems that are real threats going forward. And I think we're working our way there but it's going take a while and it's going to be a lot of political hullaballoo between here and there.
HILL: A lot of political hullaballoo across the board.
Ana, I want to give you the last word there.
NAVARRO: On the Donald Trump tweet, what can I tell you? When he's going all caps lock I feel like he's screaming at us through Twitter and he's completely unhinged.
Look, he has been reaching this conclusion from day one. We know the man has spent a lot more time attacking Oprah and Alec Baldwin than he has saying anything -- anything -- one word about the Russian meddling in the election and integrity of our election system, which is the foundation of our democracy. Shame on him.
[07:40:00] HILL: We're going to have to leave it there. Thank you, both.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Silence is accepted.
CUOMO: It's always -- when they stop talking you've got to go.
HILL: That's why I jumped right in, time cues. I'm listening.
CUOMO: All right.
So there's a big tech merger going on that was blocked by President Trump over national security concerns. OK, so what is the case against Qualcomm? "CNN Money" will give you the facts, next.
CUOMO: All right, it's time for "CNN Money Now."
President Trump is blocking the biggest-ever tech merger over national security concerns.
Chief business correspondent Christine Romans is in our Money Center with more. Is he making a better case of national seucrity here than he did with the tariffs?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, he is. You know, this is a real America first thing here. He's block a $117 billion merger between two huge chipmakers. Computer chips touch, of course, everything from smartphones to cars.
[07:45:06] The president ordering Singapore-based Broadcom to ends its hostile takeover of Qualcomm which is based in San Diego. That's the top U.S. chipmaker. The White House says there's credible evidence Broadcom might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the U.S.
Trump's order follows the rare intervention -- rare -- of a panel that vets foreign deals, the Committee on Foreign Investments (CFIUS). Their concern, China. Broadcom is known for cost cutting. That could slow qualcomm's development of 5G wireless technology causing the U.S. to fall behind China in the race to 5G.
Broadcom, of course, disagreed but the Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said the decision was based solely on national security sensitivites and didn't make any other statement about Broadcom.
This isn't the first time the administration has blocked foreign investiment, especially where tech and China are concerned. Last September, it ended the takeover of an American chipmaker by a Chinese government-backed private equity firm.
And Erica, there have only been five times that CFIUS has stepped in and said no to a deal on national security grounds. Two of those have been during the Trump adminsitration so I think you're going to see a new trend here.
HILL: Christine, thank you.
I want to give you some breaking news out of the Middle East. The Palestinian prime minister survived an assassination attempt after his convoy was attacked.
CNN's Oren Liebermann is live in Jerusalem with the breaking details for us -- Oren.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erica, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah had just entered the Gaza Strip. He was on his way there for the opening of a new water treatment facility when a bomb went off by the side of his convoy.
We saw pictures from Palestine T.V. A number of cars there were damaged. Some had their siding ripped off in the explosion, as well as blown out windows.
The minister of the Interior says no one was injured in the attack.
This immediately evolved into a war of words between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the Islamic group that runs Gaza. The P.A., the Palestinian Authority, blamed Hamas for the action calling it a cowardly act. Well, Hamas fired back also condmening the act but slamming the Palestinian Authority presidency for its condemnation of Hamas.
So these groups who have famously not gotten along for more than a decade -- a very acrimonious relationship -- you see that on display here again. The Palestinian Authority prime minister survives an assassination attempt.
Chris, the timing of this is worth noting. Today, the White House is scheduled to have a conference or a meeting on how to improve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. None of the Palestinian, not the Palestinian Authority, and no representative from Gaza is scheduled to attend that meeting.
CUOMO: And it interesting also that Hamas condemned this attempt but someone tried to kill the prime minister. No one was hurt but the attempt very real.
Thank you very much for the reporting, my friend, as always.
So, in Utah -- you have to see this. A deadly courtroom shooting caught on video. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: All right, what just happened?
The man who runs up in the shirt -- the suspect was a gang member, OK? Grabs a pen, tries to stab the person on the witness stand who looks like he's in a jumper, right? You know, he looks like he must have been in custody -- he escapes. A deputy U.S. marshal shoots the man lunging with the pen four times -- kills him.
The video is from 2014. It was released after this 4-year court battle with the suspect's family. A judge ultimately ordering the video be released to the public.
I mean, look, the deputy's case was pretty simple. I thought this man was trying to do serious injury or kill --
CUOMO: -- the witness. And I don't know how you couldn't think that when you see him grab a pen and then lunge at the guy's --
HILL: Yes, and run up and jump it --
CUOMO: -- you know.
HILL: Literally jumping into the box.
CUOMO: Amazing and it's -- you know, these sleepy trials sometimes they change in a second. If you're not on your toes, who knows what ahppens.
Anyway, who is Charlie? Speculation mounts over the identity of O.J. Simpsons -- in quotes -- "friend" that he mentioned in his hypothetical confession. There was never any mention in the trial of someone else. So, does he exist?
Jeffrey Toobin knows this case as well as anyone and he weighs in, next.
[07:52:46] CUOMO: All right.
So, O.J. Simpson's lost interview has social media abuzz about a possible accomplice in the double murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Simpson's hypothetical account of how it all went down includes a reference to a friend named Charlie.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O.J. SIMPSON, ACQUITTED OF THE MURDERS OF NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON AND RONALD GOLDMAN: In the book, the hypothetical is --
JUDITH REGAN, EDITOR, BOOK PUBLISHER, TELEVISION AND RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, INTERVIEWED O.J. SIMPSON IN 2006: Charlie.
SIMPSON: Charlie (laughing). This guy Charlie shows up, a guy who I had recently become friends with, and I don't why he had been by Nicole's house but told me you wuoldnt believe what's going on over that.
We go over -- get in the Bronco and go over and I think Charlie had followed this guy in. He wanted to make sure there was problem. And he brought the knife.
This guy kind of got into a karate thing and I said well, you think you can kick my ass? And I remember I grabbed the knife. I do remember that portion -- taking the knife from Charlie.
And to honest, after that I don't remember.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: All right. So is O.J. Simpson's friend Charlie real?
Joining us now is CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, author of "The Run of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson." It's good to see you, counselor.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST, AUTHOR, "THE RUN OF HIS LIFE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: Am I allowed to say on T.V. that that makes me want to puke --
CUOMO: Yes --
TOOBIN: -- listening to him?
CUOMO: -- and you just did.
TOOBIN: Sorry. OK, go ahead.
CUOMO: Now look, you know -- an important reminder. You know, I was talking about this with Alisyn yesterday. This is not new, the idea of this hypothetical in the book that he wrote.
The reason the interview didn't come out at the time was because of taste.
CUOMO: People were appalled by this. TOOBIN: Right.
CUOMO: They were disgusted by this.
TOOBIN: Yes, as well they should be then as now.
CUOMO: And, Judith Regan wound up losing her job shortly after this at Fox News. She's now back now with the interview. It's coming in and for a lot of people they either don't remember that nuance or they werent really around for O.J. the first time around.
But what do you want them to know about the idea that he may have been with somebody else?
TOOBIN: Well, it's totally perposterous and I have a piece up at cnn.com if people want a little more detail on this. But, you know, there was so much hoopla around this case people forget the actual evidence, and the evidence at the crime scene showed without a doubt there was only one perpetrator.
[07:55:02] He had size 11 shoes -- Bruno Magli shoes -- walking away from the scene. Blood on the left -- blood -- a blood trail to the left. O.J. had a cut on his -- on his left hand. Blood on the gate, blood in the Bronco, blood at his home in -- on Rockingham in Brentwood.
No evidence of any other person there at all.
This fictional Charlie is -- it was new in this interview in 2006. The Internet conspriacy theory has always been that Jason, his son from his pervious marriage, was somehow involved. Jason was not in the area -- compoletely untrue.
O.J. Simpson committed this crime by himself.
CUOMO: I remember at the time pyschologists were saying that Charlie was a proxy -- was a way for him to help tell this story. But the whole thing was so obnoxious on its face that O.J. Simpson, just for his kids' sake -- you know, the idea that he would concoct this kind of B.S. story about it and try to make money off it was really just so appaling at the time that it wound up cratering the entire effort.
TOOBIN: Well, yes. And it is worth remembering for those who tolerated the whole interview, he's sort of toying with Judith and he's teasing the audience. Well, maybe it happened this way.
He is talking about the murder of the mother of two of his children --
TOOBIN: -- as well as Ronald Goldman, and the idea that he would exploit it in this way and tease people, more or less admitting that he was involved, really shows you what a sociopath he is.
CUOMO: Now, remind me. Regan was playing it very straight there during it. She says I'd never met him before. Who was putting the book out?
TOOBIN: Judith Regan was the publisher --
TOOBIN: -- at HarperCollins. It was all a Rupert Murdoch production. It was going to be on -- the T.V. show as on Fox. HarperCollins was owned by Murdoch, as it -- as it still is.
You know, it was a synergy operation that I -- that they didn't realize there would be such a big backlash.
CUOMO: Right, and it's just interesting to point out that detail. This isn't about Judith Regan. She didn't do anything wrong. This crime's all about O.J. Simpson.
But, you know, she says I didn't even know him. I had to play it. I couldn't believe it.
She must have had some relatioshnip with him because she was going to put the book out and obviously, that was something that put some -- put some stink on here at the time.
But what do you want people to know about this now? Now that it's out and they're seeing it some people will have fresh eyes on the situation.
TOOBIN: You know, for all that this crime was famous for celebrity, this was a domestic violence homicide. This was wife abuser who had actually pleaded no contest to abusing Nicole a couple of years earlier and his anger built and his -- you know, one of the famous 911 calls that Nicole made -- he's O.J. Simpson. I think you know his record.
CUOMO: And, eight different times they had come to the home. One time, she came rushing out of the bushes saying he's going to kill me, he's going to kill me.
CUOMO: And she would say -- she said to the police at that time no, you're not going to do anything. You're just going to talk to him and then you're going to leave. And it's such a window into a problem that persists today.
We have a documentary coming out in a couple of months about how domestic violence in this country is still underreported and underacted upon by authorities and the system at large, and that played a huge role in the death of the these people.
TOOBIN: Absoultey, and domestic -- this is a case about domestic violence and I think, you know, as we talk about #MeToo which is sort of not identical but releated to this story, it's just a reminder that for all that this was a famous case and it created celebrities, it was a story that is so familiar in the United States -- husbands killing their wives.
CUOMO: And domestic violence at the root of it and not being acted upon the right way by the system.
By the way, it plays into our gun discussions also. If you look at the statistics about when guns are used improperly and by whom, look at domestic violence. It's at the top of the list.
TOOBIN: To be sure.
CUOMO: jeffrey Toobin --
TOOBIN: All right, man.
CUOMO: -- thank you very much. One of the greats from this period and this case.
All right, we're following --
TOOBIN: Rarely, now.
CUOMO: You're right here and looking good.
We're following a lot of news. What do you say? Let's get after it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me the strongest piece of evidence that supports collusion because there just isn't any.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They claim there's no collusion, there's no collusion. They never once looked for collusion.
REP. TOM ROONEY (R), FLORIDA: They were trying to help Trump at some point. They were also trying to hurt our side.
JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I don't agree. They were attracted to him because they thought that he would be much better for them.
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: It is highly likely that Russia was responsible.
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The attack was reckless, indiscriminate, and irresponsible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rex Tillerson has come out condemning Russia. That has not been met at all by the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A loud boom. It shook the windows.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a pool of blood everywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the third, over the past 10 days.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, March 13th, 8:00 in the east.
Alisyn is on assignment. The one and only Erica Hill joining me. Good to have you.