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President Is Staying Silent On The Gun Control Debate And The March That Took Place Yesterday; Former U.S. Attorney D.C. Joseph diGenova Is Not Going To Be Part Of The Legal Team; Russia Is Now Blaming The U.S. For Developing The Type Of Nerve Gas Formula That Poisoned Former Russian Spy And His Daughter In The UK Earlier This Month; White House Controversy; Donald Trump White House; United States Government; CNN Heroes; Politics; Reality TV; Entertainment. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired March 25, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: The President returning to the White House after leaving Florida there. First lady Melania Trump will stay at Mar-a-Lago ahead of an interview with the President's alleged former mistress, Stormy Daniels tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fight for your lives before it is someone else's job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And amid passionate pleas for change, the President is staying silent on the gun control debate and the march that took place yesterday and the powerful messages the from tens of thousands of young people marching across the country, including in the nation's capital.
We have team coverage of all of this, with CNN crime and justice reporter, Shimon Prokupecz and CNN White House correspondent, Boris Sanchez, who is in West Palm Beach.
All right, let me begin with you, Boris, as the President takes off, leaves Florida, making the way back to the White House. Meantime, Trump's attorney, Sekulow, in saying that there were conflicts and that's why Joseph diGenova is not going to be joining the legal team. This after just days when the White House said that he would. What happened?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Fred. It really is interesting, because the White House knew about these potential conflicts ahead of time and the ones we know about, at least, are tied to his wife, Victoria Toensing, who is actually representing several clients that are involved in the Russia investigation. Though, we are told that she received signed waivers that would allow her to represent the President, anyway.
We were initially told that diGenova was joining the President's team early in the week. We know that he and his wife met with President Trump on Thursday. From sources, we understand that it was a productive meeting. That the President liked what they had to say, but then he was still uncertain if he actually wanted them to lead his legal team.
Ultimately, from that statement, from Jay Sekulow, and from the President's tweet earlier today, you get the sense that they are not joining the legal team, though Jay Sekulow notably did leave the door open for them to continue to council the President on certain legal matters.
One other note about the President's tweet, he said that reports that the White House was having difficulty finding representation were fake news. Last week, CNN reported that the White House had approached at least four prominent D.C. attorneys, defense attorneys, for representation. All four of them reportedly turning the White House down. So the President is responding to that.
We should take his tweet with a grain of salt, though, because as you know, Fred, last week, he also tweeted that he was thrilled with his legal team, with the job that John Dowd was doing, naming John Dowd, specifically. Saying that there would not be any shake ups and reports about possible shake ups on his legal team were fake news and lo and behold, just a few days later, we saw John Dowd resign, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Well, let me check in with Shimon.
So Shimon, is there any connection between, you know, the attorney, John Dowd's departure and now Joseph diGenova is not going to be on the legal team, even though earlier in the week, the White House said that he would.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: Right. So we know that John Dowd, based on some of the reporting my colleagues here have been doing, that John Dowd was not happy about this move to hire this new attorney and perhaps even quit as a result of this move by the President.
Look, I think the bottom line is, anyone who is going to join this legal team is going to have a hard time, because the issue really is, they are dealing with a very difficult client. And we know that other law firms have been approached, other lawyers in D.C. have been approached to represent -- potentially represent the President and many have said no.
And one other of the things here said he is a very difficult person, a very difficult client. Because from everything we have been told and certainly from everything we see, he doesn't necessarily listen to the counsel that he has given through his tweets, through some of the things he says as press conferences. We know that his legal team has taken issue with some of that. Certainly some of his tweets. And it is very difficult for really good lawyers, especially in Washington, D.C. who like to stay behind the scenes and negotiate such as some have been doing for the President, with this potential meeting with the special counsel, where they want to question him. So it's very difficult really for new lawyers to come in at this point, but certainly he is going to need to hire someone else. And the other thing is whether or not he brings in perhaps someone from New York to this team.
WHITFIELD: All right. Shimon Prokupecz and Boris Sanchez, thank you so much.
All right. Here with me now, CNN Presidential historian and former director of the Nixon Presidential library, Tim Naftali and CNN political analyst and senior political correspondent for the Hill, Amie Parnes.
All right, good to see you both.
OK, how about if we look at the week that was, you know, and perhaps there is some anticipation of what's around the corner. So it was just last Monday that Joseph diGenova, former U.S. attorney in D.C. was announced as joining the President's personal legal team as it relates to the Russian probe. And Tuesday, the fallout from Trump's congratulations to Putin for winning the election. And then on that same day, there was also the Stormy Daniels polygraph report that was released. Then on Wednesday, Trump reportedly was furious over the leak that he was warned by his own White House team not to congratulate Putin in the call. And then Trump's top lawyer, John Dowd, resigned. National security adviser, H.R. McMaster out, replaced by John Bolton. Attorneys Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, his wife, they have a law firm. They met with the President on the same day that "Playboy," you know, pinup Karen McDougal tells CNN that Trump tried to pay her after sex during their affair.
And then Friday, Trump threatened to veto the omnibus spending bill because of DACA and his border wall, but then ended up signing it anyway. And then, today, we find out that diGenova is not going to be part of the legal team.
That's a lot. All right. So, Tim, you know, it has been a very complicated week. I'm sure the White House wants to be optimistic that this will not be a complicated week upcoming, but you know, they have to recover. How does it?
[16:06:26] TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: How -- well, I mean, one of the ways they recover, I assume, is by not having so much visual -- visible chaos. Having a stable team around the President. So that we can get used to certain people representing him. The other is by not telling us or indicating he will do one thing and then doing something else.
He was hurt by the uncertainty surrounding whether or not he would veto the spending bill. If he wants to send the signal to his supporters and others that he is in control and he is shaping the presidency to himself, then he can't be changing all the time, the way he did this past week. This was not a good week for the President.
WHITFIELD: And so, Amy, you know, as it pertains to the legal team, what does all this turnover potentially mean? Is it a sign that this Robert Mueller investigation is really rattling the White House in a very big way?
AMIE PARNES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it is. And it has to be. I mean, because it is a looming matter. It's not going away. The President wanted this to go away very quickly. He though, he kept signaling that this was going to end very soon and it's not going to end anytime soon. And in fact, Mueller's train is gaining speed and he is getting closer and closer to Trump and not so much the outside people around him. So I think it has to be worrying them. And that's why a lot of people, particularly a lot of these lawyers in Washington don't want to go anywhere near it.
And so, you know, I have spoken to a lot of Republicans who also don't want to touch it. This is a mess for the White House. It has been for a while. And it continues to be that. And so I think he is going to have a really tough time trying to get people on the same page and trying to have a cohesive strategy that he can agree with and that his lawyers sort of agree with and are sending him down that path.
WHITFIELD: And then yesterday, you had this unbelievably powerful assemblage of marches across this country and frankly, across the globe. And the President and members of Congress are under a whole lot of pressure, you know, to pass stricter gun laws. We saw the passion coming from a lot of these young people and their families.
Here's what senator Chuck Schumer had to say just a short time ago about all of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER: Today, I am demanding that leader McConnell put those bills on the floor of the Senate and that speaker Ryan put those bills on the floor of the House and let the American people speak. The NRA represents a small minority, but it has a stranglehold on leader McConnell, on speaker Ryan, and if they were simply to let the bills come to the floor, they would pass.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And Tim, you know, silence from Mitch McConnell, silence from, you know, Paul Ryan. Silence from the President of the United States on what unfolded before everyone's eyes yesterday. For how long can the White House not acknowledge the power behind the voices of these young people and their families and the pain?
NAFTALI: Well, you know, yesterday was a beautiful moment, because it was a reminder that change in America is not always top down. And there are grassroots movements and they don't have to be started by adults. Yesterday was a reminder that there's a hunger among millennials for leadership. It wasn't partisan. It was about, you know, you have done nothing for us. We have faced these challenges in our schools. Where's the adult leadership?
So I think the challenge for the baby boomers who are still in control and some of the gen-Xers that their games, their political games may not be as successful going forward if they are facing an anger among millennials, millennials who are tired of the system as it was.
So How long can they wait? I don't know. I mean, they are trying to wait out the clock. They are trying to figure out a way that, I'm talking about the GOP leadership, to hold on to the House and hold on to the Senate. And they are hopeful that the kids will go away. Well, I doubt the millennials will go away.
[16:10:29] WHITFIELD: And then Amie, you know, OK, silence from the President, but also perplexing, silence from the first lady, when this past week, she advocated publicly, you know, for young people, by way of cyber bullying and beyond. This silence from the White House on this issue and then, now, kind of a split this week, you know, between the first lady and the President. I mean, what signals are being sent from the White House? She is going to remain in Florida. He will, you know, continue business in Washington. And this is a really tenuous time.
PARNES: Yes, on a lot of levels. On guns, on a personal level, I think, because, you know --
WHITFIELD: Right. And with that interview tonight, Stormy Daniels on "60 Minutes."
PARNES: Exactly, it can't be easy. And I think for months, I have been hearing this, a lot of people around the White House have been hearing that she is really unhappy. And you know, and the White House wants to telegraph that this is a tradition, that she goes down there with her son all the time and wanted to remain out of, you know -- didn't want to remain out of the spotlight. But, you know, was -- this was something she does. So I think -- but it is, obviously, a problem for her, personally. And one that the White House wants to avoid, because it's yet another thing that they have to contend with.
WHITFIELD: All right. Amie Parnes, Tim Naftali, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.
NAFTALI: Thank you.
PARNES: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. It's not over yet. That's the message from students and survivors who marched demanded action on gun safety. How they are using this historic moment to hold lawmakers accountable.
[16:16:15] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. Student shootings, survivors, and activist who is called for stricter gun laws during nationwide protests this weekend are make their messages clear. This is just the beginning. We heard cries for change, warnings to politicians and a powerful speech punctuated with deafening silence.
EMMA GONZALEZ, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds. The shooter has seized shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it is someone else's job. NAOMI WADLER, ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENT FROM VIRGINIA: People have
said that I am too young to have these thoughts on my own. People have said that I'm a tool of some nameless adult. It's not true.
DAVID HOGG, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS SCHOOL SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I say to those politicians that say that change will not come, I say, we will not stop until every man, every woman, every child and every American can live without fear of gun violence and to that I say, no more.
RYAN DEITSCH, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS SCHOOL SHOOTING SURVIVOR: We cannot make America safe again until we arm our teachers. We need to arm our teachers. We need to arm them with pencils, pens, paper, and the money they need! They need that money to support their families and to support themselves before they can support the futures in those classrooms, to support the future that sits down at that desk, waiting to learn.
WHITFIELD: Hard-hitting messages from young people there.
CNN's Diane Gallagher joining us now from the nation's capital, not far from where they took to the stage there.
So the day after, how are students feeling about all that unfolded?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Fred, when I talked to a lot of these students today and immediately after the march last night, a lot of them seemed relieved. They have been working on this for weeks now. A lot of them have been channeling their grief, their anger into planning for this. And every single Marjory Stoneman Douglas student and really the students that they brought into their movement afterward seemed to feel like it went off exactly as they had hope. Maybe even more than they had hoped for.
At this point, most of those kids right now, Fred, are getting some rest. A few of them are touring the capital while they are still here. Most of them are reuniting with their families, though, and heading either back home to Florida, back to where they were already planning to go for spring break now, before that shooting happened at their school. Trying to maybe take a little bit of a break before they get right back into activism and advocacy because, Fred, that's what they say they plan to do.
WHITFIELD: All right. Diane Gallagher, thank you so much from Washington D.C.
All right. Still ahead, President Trump could be on the verge of expelling Russian diplomats in the U.S. why? That's next.
[16:23:59] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.
Russia is now blaming the U.S. for developing the time of nerve gas formula that poisoned former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK earlier this month. A high-ranking Russian official said that the U.S. developed this poison back in 1998. And this comes as President Trump is considering expelling a group of Russian diplomats from the U.S. over that poisoning in the UK.
Multiple countries have said they believe Russia is likely behind the attacks. Here is what President Trump said when he was asked about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who was behind this, Mr. President?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It looks like it. I spoke with the prime minister and we are in deep discussions. A very sad situation. It certainly looks like the Russians were behind it. Something that should never, ever happen. And we are taking it very seriously as, I think, are many others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: The UK has already removed 23 Russian diplomats and Russia retaliated by ordering expulsions.
CNN's Michelle Kosinski has been working this story.
So, Michelle, you know, the President is weighing in one way. Now Russia is responding and saying, you know, hey, you started it, U.S.
[16:25:11] MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it seems like Russia really knows something is coming tomorrow. Because now the accusations that the U.S. developed this type of nerve agent. Yesterday, Russia was trolling the U.S. on twitter again, saying that the U.S. was putting all its eggs in the UK basket by agreeing with the UK's assessment that Russia was responsible for these poisoning on foreign soil which, of course, is a big deal.
So, now, we are hearing from a source familiar with discussions that there is an announcement expected tomorrow, could come from the White House or from the state department, and that Europeans are seeing signs of optimism. That this is going to be a coordinated announcement tomorrow, with the U.S. and multiple European countries, possibly up to 20 of them, to expel a significant number of Russian diplomats.
The discussions have been going on for some time. And we know that President Trump has been recommended to do this by his own national security team. So this decision now expected, according to sources tomorrow. But there's always a possibility that the President decides to go another way.
That would be the story, then, because, you know, multiple members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have been pressuring this administration to do more against Russia and its activities to act faster, to try to counter its influences. So you can see, there would be a lot of questions if the President doesn't decide to do this. There has been some concern that he may not. Remember, it was his own national security team that recommended that he not congratulate President Vladimir Putin on his election win, only days ago. But the President then did just that.
So, we will see what happens in this decision, but we are hearing rumblings now that Europeans are optimistic that the U.S. will go this way. And that will likely be met with the Russian response of expelling more U.S. diplomats from Russia -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All fascinating. All right, Michelle Kosinski, thank you so much.
All right next, CNN's exclusive interview with former playboy model Karen McDougal ahead, including what she said about her first encounter with Melania Trump.
[16:31:57] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN, HOST: All right. Tonight in a highly anticipated TV interview on 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper, porn star Stormy Daniels is expected to provide new details about her alleged affair with President Trump, and the hush money she says she received to keep quiet. Daniels is not the only woman fighting to go public about claims about the President.
Former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, says she had a 10-month relationship with Trump about a decade ago. The White House has denied that affair. And in an exclusive interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, McDougal talks about what caused her to end the alleged affair.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN, HOST: Where does this picture from?
KAREN MCDOUGAL, FORMER PLAYBOY MODEL: That picture is from The Apprentice release party that they had at the Playboy Mansion. So they filmed it like a month beforehand, which is where I met him. And then they had the release party when The Apprentice actually aired. So that's when that one was.
COOPER: So this is a picture with Ivanka Trump, Melania Trump, several of your colleagues and yourself.
COOPER: Did -- so was that the first time you met Melania?
MCDOUGAL: It is. And honestly, if you can tell, I tried to keep my distance. I tried to go as far away as I could, just because I felt guilty.
COOPER: Do you think she knew?
MCDOUGAL: You know, maybe. Maybe, I don't know. You know, it was told to me that they were arguing that night and I said, why? And somebody had said, probably because of you. But I don't know if that's a fact or not, so don't quote me on that one.
COOPER: Did he ever compare you to any of his kids?
MCDOUGAL: You know, he's very proud of Ivanka, as he should be. I mean, she's a brilliant woman, she's beautiful, she's you know, that's his daughter and she should be proud of her. He said I was beautiful like her and, you know, you're a smart girl. And there wasn't a lot of comparing, but there was some, yeah. I heard a lot about her. Yeah.
COOPER: Did that strike you as odd in any way or?
MCDOUGAL: You know I know a lot of people think it's odd. I -- you know, there's been some comments I have heard in the news he's said about her. I think those comments are wrong. But do I think it's strange that a father would love his daughter so much that he brags about her? No, I brag about my dog that much.
COOPER: I guess some people seeing this are not going to believe that you had a relationship. Hope Hicks has said, categorically, you did not have a relationship, there's no truth to this.
COOPER: When you heard that denial, what did you think?
MCDOUGAL: Well, I think somebody's lying and I can tell you it's not me. It's a little hurtful, but at the same time, I have to understand, like if he were to have told Hope that he didn't do it, I guess I would understand because he's trying to protect his family, his image, things like that. But it was definitely a little like, wow. You're going to lie about that? OK.
COOPER: When you've heard the stories of, you know, Stormy Daniels, who has come forward, who said that she was at the Tahoe club as well, and others who said that they were there, you didn't know about that at the time?
MCDOUGAL: No, I did not know.
COOPER: Does it -- what did you think when you heard that?
MCDOUGAL: My first thought was how could she have been with him when I was with him? The only time we weren't together on that particular trip was when I -- well, he was on the golf course golfing. I didn't go, clearly. But I went to every event, every after-thing, parties, daytime things, I was there. That's why I can't understand.
Now, I do remember him saying he came in one day and said, oh, there are a bunch of porn stars out there. They were wanting pictures of me. And I was like, oh, that's funny. It's cute, whatever. I do remember him saying that, but I can't imagine when he found the time, except for maybe the day I left. So, it's kind of like, wow. How'd this happen?
COOPER: Did you think maybe this would lead to a marriage? MCDOUGAL: Maybe.
COOPER: That's something, though -- you liked him enough, that's something you would have liked?
COOPER: Did he, at the time, say -- tell you that you were his only girlfriend or did that subject?
MCDOUGAL: You know, we never really discussed that. I knew he talked to ladies, but I didn't know there was anything else. I didn't know he was intimate with other ladies. But I guess if he's -- makes sense if he's doing it behind his wife's back, why would he not do it behind my back so.
COOPER: But at that time, in the frame of mind you were in there, you thought you were the only one.
MCDOUGAL: I thought I was the only one, I did. I thought I was the only one.
[16:36:57] COOPER: Were you worried about people finding out?
MCDOUGAL: I was for a while.
COOPER: You talked to your sister and others.
MCDOUGAL: I was for a while. In fact, there were a couple of instances where we were out in public and he had his hand on my back. And I kept thinking -- I'm looking around, there are a lot of people. I'm like, how do these people - like -- what are they thinking? I don't know what they're thinking, but I thought it was going to get out. So I was scared every time we went to an event, I thought this is going to get out.
And I didn't want it to get out. But at the same time, I felt so honored to be with him in a sense, that I'm like I don't care who knows. But I didn't want that reputation either. So it was kind of like the saying, damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
COOPER: You're saying you didn't want it to get out because?
MCDOUGAL: I mean look at the bad things people are saying about me now. I didn't want that then and I didn't want it for him either.
COOPER: This is a hard question to ask, but you said you had sex that first time. All these times you saw him, this was an ongoing sexual relationship?
COOPER: Can you estimate how many times you actually saw him?
MCDOUGAL: Again, when you're in a relationship, do you count how many times you have sex? No. However, I can tell you we saw each other a minimum of five times a month, up to bigger numbers per month.
COOPER: Over the course of how long?
MCDOUGAL: Over the course of 2006 through -- I think I ended the relationship April of 2007. So we were together ten months before I chose to end it. So we saw each other quite frequently.
COOPER: So dozens of times you were together.
MCDOUGAL: Many dozens of times, yes.
COOPER: And you were intimate, many dozens of times.
COOPER: This is another tough question. And again, you don't have to answer it, but it's been raised with other people, did he ever use protection?
MCDOUGAL: No. No, he didn't.
COOPER: Was that something you thought about or it didn't concern you at the time?
MCDOUGAL: You know we talked about it right beforehand. He was starting to and then he's like, I don't like these things. And you know, we discussed things, do you do -- blah, blah, blah, we were just honest with each other, and we didn't. We didn't use any.
COOPER: You talked about ending the relationship. Who ended the relationship?
MCDOUGAL: I did.
MCDOUGAL: I was just feeling so guilty. It was just digging inside me. I think the excitement of it took over for a while. And I did care about the man. I'm not going to lie. So that made it hard to end it, but I think I just started feeling so bad about myself. Like, how could I do this to, a, myself, but to b, a family. Whether they get along or not, it's still a family.
I just needed to get out of it. I -- you know, I just need to get out of it. It was just tearing me apart in the long run.
COOPER: That's a hard thing to do, end to a relationship, any relationship.
MCDOUGAL: It was very hard. But I knew I needed to get out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, the explicit details coming from the Playmate and an adult film star now was prompting questions over whether or not the President could face political or legal jeopardy. We'll discuss that, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[16:47:41] DANIELLE PEREZ, STAND UP COMEDIAN: I'm very happy to be here debuting my new look, which is aggressively fat, yet still very judgy. I'm Danielle Perez and I'm a stand-up comedian. When I was 20, I was living in San Francisco, living that whole Sex in the City life. I was run over by a mini streetcar. I came to in the hospital and my mother says to me, Danielle, you don't have any feet.
My legs were amputated below the knee. I was in such denial about the reality, that denial allowed me to get out of the house, learn how to drive. But it also delayed that healing process. I got very depressed after that. My best friend, her roommate was a stand-up comedian. So we started going to a lot of his shows. By the third one, I was like, I could do this. I started going to open mics and I just fell in love with it.
I was on The Price Is Right and I won a treadmill and a walk-in sauna. That video went viral. I was even contacted by Jimmy Kimmel Live! I guess I'll just what everyone else does and just use it as a piece of furniture. Stand up comedy has helped me heal because it's really given me purpose. What I'm trying to convey, it's OK to be yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. We expect to hear more allegations tonight from adult film star, Stormy Daniels about her claims of an affair with President Trump. She's giving her first extended television interview to Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes. Joining me to discuss this is Joey Jackson, a CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney. Also with me is Gina Loudon, who a member of President Trump's Media Advisory Board.
All right, good to see you both, so Joey, you first, you know there was a tweet today from Daniels' attorney, and he tweeted this. Note, a, not all of our evidence will be mentioned, displayed tonight. That would be foolish. B, we are not sure what CBS will include, but we know a lot from the full interview will have to be cut because of the time allowed. C, tonight is not the end. It's the beginning, a rather ominous warning there.
So, Joey, is this the attorney downplaying expectations for tonight or is it possible that he knows that the legal battle is about to intensify?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The Twitter wars. I shall not say they begin, because they have begun. Those are what are intensifying at this point. Good to see you always, Fredricka. Look, here's the reality. I think what he's doing, as he mentioned, he's firing that warning shot. And what he's doing is he's protecting his client's interest in the following way.
He's not in the business of public relations, though certainly he's been doing a good job of it by appearing on TV. But I think what he's doing is he's saying that the Trump people have to be very careful in terms of what they spin and how they spin this interview. Because there may be a lot that he knows and a lot that certainly he has in terms of evidentiary information that is not disclosed.
So, say, for example, Trump or his people come out calling her a liar or doing any other type of thing, then it goes to the issue of, is she being defamed? And the defamation at the heart of that is a falsehood. And so if there's something factually false that she ultimately can back up in terms of what she said, then I think Trump and his surrogates have to be careful and mindful of that. And that's exactly what he's doing in that tweet.
WHITFIELD: And Gina, we noticed from your Twitter account that you visited the President last night at Mar-A-Lago. He and the family and all of the friends there and you even tweeted this picture and you wrote, lovely to see the real Donald Trump relaxed and happy. As for those who scream chaos and turmoil in the White House, I have never seen one of them here, not once.
How could they know? So what do you mean, seen one of them. Do you mean the chaos and the turmoil, one of them? Or are you talking about the people who are alleging to have a relationship? Never seen them at Mar-A-Lago, what do you mean?
GINA LOUDON, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S MEDIA ADVISORY BOARD, MEMBER: I'm talking about the people that allege that there's some sort of chaos or turmoil in the administration. It looks to me like we have a President in the White House who's accomplished more than any President in history. He looks very confident, very happy, very comfortable in his own skin, when you see him in and out a casual atmosphere, he's surrounded by family and friends who love him, especially here in Palm Beach at the southern White House.
And I just -- my point was that for all these people who do all of this speculating about what's happening behind the scenes, I never see them there, so I'm not so sure that they would know exactly what the President is feeling or acting or thinking.
WHITFIELD: Well, what did you see, while at Mar-A-Lago, what did you see between Melania and Donald Trump there?
LOUDON: Well, I make a habit of not talking about any details of anything I see with the President.
WHITFIELD: You tweeted a picture.
LOUDON: I tweeted a picture.
WHITFIELD: It started there.
LOUDON: Well, yeah, with you know, he -- I, of course, I would never do that disrespectfully.
[16:52:57] You know just the point is that the President is very happy. He's very much surrounded by his family and his friends and his loved ones, and he gets a standing ovation no matter where he goes. When he walks in the room, everyone stands up and claps.
People feel good about where he's put us economically, where he's put us from a perspective of national security. People feel good about the things to come in America, and I think...
WHITFIELD: Were there any discussions about the upcoming 60 Minutes interview this evening? All of those people there at Mar-A-Lago, friends, you know family members, not one person talked about the -- you know curiosities about what might be said? Involving Stormy Daniels?
LOUDON: I think the American people are not that curious about this story.
WHITFIELD: I'm talking about at Mar-A-Lago while you were there? Since you let us know that you were there, what was discussed as it pertains to that.
LOUDON: Like I told you, I don't discuss private conversations on national television, but I will say that I think that the American people are much more concerned about the things that impact their daily lives. They want jobs. They want the health care disaster that was created by the last administration fixed. They know this President is the caveat, the answer to that.
He works tirelessly. And these sorts of discussions, you know, it was the Russia thing, then it was whatever, the women accusations, where we never saw any evidence of anything. I think people -- the American people are generally tired of that. And they want to move on to, hey, what is this going to be mean to my pocketbook, to my job, to my children's future.
WHITFIELD: So in a legal case, Joey, part of the evidence is testimony. And an account and these two women are making these allegations. So is this a political problem? Is this a significant legal problem?
JACKSON: I think you have some of above. And I just have to take umbrage. I'm not here to get into the politics of it. Certainly the law, and I'll address that, but we can't have wild allegations. Accomplished the most in American history? What, in terms of firing people from the White House, in terms of ending DACA, things the complete chaos.
LOUDON: No, in terms of low unemployment, home ownership.
WHITFIELD: Let's hear Joey.
JACKSON: I could probably likewise go on all day with the other side, but again I won't. So let's talk about the facts and not hyperbole and misrepresentations and every other word.
LOUDON: But you did and I was citing facts.
JACKSON: Let's discuss facts. In terms of the facts, I think that it certainly could be problematic. Now listen, it's not against the law to have an affair, right? So the reality becomes is that she'll tell her story and that, of course, will be interesting to some and will not be interesting to others. But the critical issue is whether or not there was some kind of campaign finance violation here.
And I think that's what needs to be looked at critically. Now, perhaps there was not. But I'm not sure if many lawyers, certainly I have been a proud member of the New York Bar for two decades and more. I have never, notwithstanding my zealous advocacy for clients decided to write a check just because I'm a kind guy, a nice guy, and want to protect someone I really care about. So the issue becomes, who directed you to do that?
Are there emails, are their witnesses, or other individuals which would suggest that you did it not because you're kind, but to preserve and protect the President and to make a campaign sort of contribution. In the event you did that, was it disclosed? Certainly, it's in excess of the limits that are imposed. And so that's the legal issue as it pertains to that. And so I think that's what investigators will examine, if they have the taste to examine it.
WHITFIELD: And the legal issue, this nondisclosure agreement, she, Stormy Daniels did accept the $130,000. Now her team saying, you know that because Donald Trump didn't sign it, that that agreement was not valid. But then, you've got Trump's team talking about this $1 million fine potentially for tonight's interview for allegedly breaking this nondisclosure agreement.
Even the challenge that perhaps she may owe them or owe Trump $20 million for the many times that she has spoken, so a legal issue or not, a relationship or not?
JACKSON: Look, we live in a society where there's freedom of contract. You like Trump, you don't like Trump, you know, you like him some, you dislike him some. Look at the facts. Look at the legalities of it. People enter into contracts every day. I'm one that believes that this was a valid contract. There was an offer, there was an offer of $130,000 to be quiet, it was acceptance of this offer, as a result of that you had this meeting of the minds. So it's valid. So the question now becomes, what happens when she
speaks. So the contract provides for two things. Discouragement, what's that mean in English? It means you give back the $130,000 under the provisions of the contract. It also has what's called, Fredricka, a liquidated damage provision. That in English means that we anticipate both parties be damaged $1 million per breach, so that's what she would have to pay. However, liquidated damage clauses are not enforced if it could be deemed that the $1 million is a penalty.
[16:57:57] So she could be penalized for speaking tonight, but I don't think in the area of $1 million. Not even close.
WHITFIELD: We'll leave it there for now. And quickly, Gina, will you be watching the 60 Minutes interview? LOUDON: Listen, the Palm Beach boat show is in town and that's where
I'll be tonight.
WHITFIELD: All right.
JACKSON: I'll be watching.
WHITFIELD: Enjoy, Gina Loudon and Joey Jackson, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.
JACKSON: Thank you, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: We'll be back in a moment.
WHITFIELD: All right. This week's CNN Hero is John Albert, whose wife battled terminal cancer. He realized that he could turn the time she had left into a priceless gift for their family. Since then, John has given more than a thousand families a chance to do the same.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The cruelest part of late-stage cancer is the emotion. Guilt that you're leaving behind your children and dread that you're going to miss their milestones. We give these families a chance to have fun.