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Lawyer at Trump Tower Meeting Says She's Kremlin "Informant; Judge Issues 90-Day Delay in Stormy Daniels' Lawsuit; NY Times: Proximity to President Trump Has Been a Crushing Experience for Many; Central American Migrant Caravan Arrives in Tijuna. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 27, 2018 - 21:00   ET



[21:01:04] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: I went from the President's doctor to the President's unlikely pick to run the V.A. to an allegedly drunken pill passer, known again, allegedly as the candy man.

Yesterday, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson withdrew his nomination. Today more allegations about him emerge. And now tonight we have got new information about his job back at the White House. CNN Pamela Brown is there for us tonight. Pam, what are you learning?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we can tell you, John that the White House has pulled documents to in their view exonerate Dr. Ronny Jackson with some of these allegations including the allegation that he drunkenly crashed a government vehicle leaving a secret service party. The White House providing these documents pulled from GSA, showing three different vehicle accidents that Ronny Jackson was involved in over the last few years during work hours.

None of which were his fault. The White House saying that this shows that, look, if there was some accident involving a government vehicle where he was driving drunk after a secret service party, that would be in the paper trail. But there is no such paper trail according to this White House official.

Also, the White House providing six audits from Walter Reed Medical Center that say that the White House medical Unit that Jackson was overseeing was in compliance with properly storing prescription pills. There were some procedural adjustments recommended in these audits. But overall it says that he was in compliance.

So basically, the White House is providing these documents according to this official to defend the President's remarks earlier today about his V.A. pick, that look, he is a fine man, that he has done nothing wrong. These allegations are false, and also, to defend Jackson's representation, John.

BERMAN: Defending Dr. Jackson who is back at the White House. But we understand tonight not back as the President's doctor, correct?

BROWN: That's right. As you'll recall, Sarah Sanders, the press secretary sort of left the door open yesterday saying he is a doctor in the navy assigned to the White House he is back at work today. As it turns out according to this official I spoke with, John, he is back in the medical office but he is not back as the President's doctor. And it's unclear even if he will return ever as a President's doctor ever since he was announced as the nominee. There was another physician who stepped in as the President's doctor. That person is still in the role. And Dr. Jackson, while back at the medical unit has not resumed his role as the President's doctor, John.

BERMAN: So Pam we also saw the President repeat two of his favorite words today, no collusion with Russia while he was standing next to the German chancellor. And that was based on the Republican House Intelligence committee report, correct?

BROWN: That's right. It was clear that Russia was top of mind for the President today for a couple of reasons. There was a house intelligence report by the Republicans that said there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. And so the President was referring to that sitting next to Angela Merkel saying that he was honored by the report that there was no collusion, again reiterate what we've heard so many times that this whole thing was a witch hunt.

But also today is the report that Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney who met with Don Jr. during the election to offer dirt on Hillary Clinton, that she admitted to the media that she is also an informant for the Russian government, despite previous denials. And it was interesting, John, during the joint press conference today, the President unprompted even though he wasn't asked a question about Russia brought it up in an unrelated question about Dr. Ronny Jackson. He said he understands what Jackson is going through in terms of false allegations because he has also faced false allegations in the Russia investigation, John.

BERMAN: Pamela Brown at the White House tonight. Pam, thank you.

More now on today's House Intelligence Committee report specifically now the objections to it as you know Democrats and the committee published a lengthy and critical minority report. Ranking Democrat Adam Schiff accused his Republican colleagues of ignoring evidence that he says was plain to see.

[21:05:00] I spoke about the investigation earlier tonight with another Democrat on the panel. Texas Congressman Jauquin Castro.


BERMAN: Congressman, you're accusing the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee of turning a "blind eye to key leads" in failing to follow specific evidence of collusion. What specific evidence do you think the American people deserve to know about? And why do you think your Republican colleagues don't want it out?

REP. JAUQUIN CASTRO (D), TEXAS, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, let me give you one example about a piece of evidence that was not followed up on. And remember, we said that the committee didn't use any of its subpoena power to verify anything that any of the witnesses told to us. So in the set up of the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort at the time there were a few phone calls to set up the meeting.

In between the phone calls there is a call from a blocked number. And we believe that it's quite possible or I believe I'll speak for myself it's quite possible that Donald Trump Jr. spoke to his father, Donald Trump, in setting up that meeting. So it's possible that Donald Trump actually had knowledge ahead of time that this meeting was going to happen.

We just found out the today that that meeting included a woman who was an informant for the Russian government, Natalia Veselnitskaya. And -- so that's a very serious thing when the committee turns way -- turns a blind eye and doesn't try to figure out exactly what happened.

BERMAN: There was no follow up on who the blocked number might be?

CASTRO: Well, there was not only no follow up on the blocked number. There was no follow up on anything that was told to us. How does a committee not issue a single subpoena? This was basically a kindergarten exercise where they brought in witnesses, let them say what they were going to say took them at their word and said OK guys we're all done here, no collusion.

BERMAN: The flip side of that, you don't have any evidence yourself that that blocked number was from now President Trump, do you?

CASTRO: No, not at all. And the reason that we don't is the reason we can't say that it was or wasn't, is because the committee would not use the subpoena power.

BERMAN: You brought up the Russian lawyer at this meeting. And we did learn today that this lawyer says her own words, says that she is an informant, she works as an informant for the Russian government.

Mike Conaway, the Republican who led the House intelligence investigation on Russia matter said that was news to him. He did not know. Now, you didn't know that, your committee did not know that this woman admits to being a Russian informant?

CASTRO: No. I think that was news to everybody on the committee and to the American people and so this just underscores the fact that the investigation shouldn't have been closed prematurely, that there is still a lot of leads and things to investigate. And I imagine that we're going to see more things like that come out. And the more things like that come out, the clearer it's going to be that this was a very perfunctory investigation.

BERMAN: We know that Donald Trump Jr. had been promised dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.

CASTRO: Right.

BERMAN: Does it really change much of anything that the lawyer now admits she was a Russian informant? CASTRO: Well, I think her admitting that she was an informant means that there is a very clear and direct link to the Russian intelligence services and the Kremlin that they were involved all along.

BERMAN: The President today used the Republican report and said that it exonerates him. Proves he says that his campaign did nothing wrong, end of story. What do you say to that?

CASTRO: Well, that's been his position since before the investigation ever began. And so I don't think the President is ever going to admit to many of the things.

But, remember, the campaign denying any connections or any meetings whatsoever with any Russians. So it took a lot of time and investigation to figure out that this meeting in Trump Tower happened, that the George Papadopoulos meeting with the professor happened, that Roger Stone reached out to Julian Assange in WikiLeaks and knew ahead of time about the email dump from the Clinton campaign. So that's Donald Trump strategy admit to nothing until you find me out.

BERMAN: Look, given this new information for the New York Times about the Russian lawyer, will you try to push in a formal way to reopen the investigation, or you think that door has been closed now?

CASTRO: Look, we've been pushing and we're going to continue to push. And if there is a new Congress in January then I suspect we'll reopen it.

BERMAN: Look, and finally, the word collusion means so many different things to so many people. Can you tell me what you think it means specifically and whether you think you've seen evidence now that the Trump campaign conducted in it?

CASTRO: Sure, I believe it means that there was a coordinated effort between the Trump campaign and operatives of the Russian government to affect the 2016 presidential election. And I believe that we've seen evidence of that.

BERMAN: The Republicans on the committee say that's flat out not the case. How do you reconcile?

CASTRO: Again, I think they are protecting the President more than they are doing a fair and thorough job and the job that they owe the American people.

BERMAN: Congressman Castro this doesn't appear over yet, thanks so much for being us.

CASTRO: Thank you.


BERMAN: All right, let's get the panels take on it. Joining me now Rachel Bade, Bakari Sellers, Bryan Lanza, Christine Quinn and Rob Astorino. A great Friday night grouping here. [21:10:02] Brian, the President says there is no collusion. Congressman Castro said he has seen evidence of collusion. You have Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort in that meeting now with this woman who says he is a Russia be informant promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. Do you think at a minimum that is inappropriate or suspicious?

BRYAN LANZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I'm going to put my hat on what Senator Feinstein said she had never seen any collision between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

BERMAN: That was eight, nine months ago.

LANZA: It was actually six months ago and it was -- sure but what new information has come forward since then? Nothing new has come forward since then. And so what you have is a very partisan -- very partisan Democrat, very partisan committee even Schiff said he hasn't seen collusion.

BERMAN: First of all, we don't know what's in Robert Mueller's investigation right now.

LANZA: Correct.

BERMAN: Now, we do still know that this meeting happened. My specific meeting was about -- the question was about this meeting in Trump Tower in June of 2016 and my question was, is that meeting inappropriate?

LANZA: I think that meeting was careless.

BERMAN: Extremely careless?

LANZA: It was careless. It was a careless meeting.

BERMAN: That's a word the Republicans have had problems with before is careless.

LANZA: Yes. It was a careless meeting.

BERMAN: All right, Bakari, you know, we said means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In a certain level does not necessarily a crime.


BERMAN: Right.

SELLERS: I mean, let's be clear. Collusion is not a crime. There are no federal statutes that say collusion is a crime so forth and so on.

I think the biggest issue is, yes it was extremely careless. I think that we have had 13 Russian nationals who have been indicted. I think that we the chairman of Donald Trump's campaign who has been indicted. We have had the deputy chairman of Donald Trump's campaign who has been indicted.

Donald Trump doesn't make good decisions, I guess outside of Nikki Haley who is the most popular elected official or cabinet member in the country --

BERMAN: -- running for president.

SELLERS: Whatever. She doesn't make good decisions outside of Nikki Haley, for anybody who is a around him but my only point is simply this, as much as you want to get in pretzel (ph) and say that Donald Trump is doing this right or that right. Donald Trump and all of his associates build the pressure of this Russia investigation and until we see what Mueller said.

In South Carolina we have a good saying. For Devin Nunes, you know, bless his heart. I mean, bless his heart and over his head. He has no idea what he is doing.

LANZA: But we actually do know what Mueller is looking for regarding this investigation. He sent a letter to the Trump campaign stating the four topics and none of it had to do with Russia.

SELLERS: So what happen --

LANZA: Well, no, hold no, hold on. Look at the -- well, that's a different narrative that's not what Mueller was doing, that's the southern district of New York --

SELLERS: With all due respect, if this was --

LANZA: We're talking about Mueller right now.

SELLERS: I understand that and you go from white water to blue dress, right?

LANZA: Sure, this payback?

SELLERS: No, it's not payback. What it is, this is a natural. It's a natural.

LANZA: Sounds like it.

SELLERS: It's a natural progression. And my only point to you is that Donald Trump or Michael Cohen or Paul Manafort or Rick Gates or any of these people who are associated with the Trump campaign have done anything illegal they need to pay for it.

LANZA: I agree. Nobody says otherwise. And what we have is we have Gates lying and pleading guilty. We have Papadopoulos lying and pleading guilty. Those are nothing associated with what happened with the Trump campaign. Gates has lied about his finances. Go ahead.

BERMAN: Both work for the Trump campaign.

LANZA: Right. Sure, a lot of people worked for the Trump campaign. Are we going to go -- SELLERS: And we have a full panel here.


SELLERS: Hang on. No, no. We have a full panel. We have a full panel here so I want to let everybody get a chance to talk. But remember that the only --



SELLERS: -- that we were complaining about Barack Obama wearing a tan suit. That was the legitimate concern about Barack Obama. And now we literally have --


BERMAN: On tan suit. I go to you.

QUINN: Thank you very much.

SELLERS: There we go. That was a natural --

QUINN: I think it was absolutely -- look, I think, you know, today we see this report come out from the Republicans. And it's not particularly stunning that the Republicans have said the Republican President who whose water they carry every day and twist on Sunday didn't do anything wrong. That's not surprising. But you know what is not worthy is that in that report it says that the periodic praise and communications with WikiLeaks a hostile foreign organization that they found it to be highly objectionable and inconsistent with United States security interests.

So even in the report done by the little boy who was caught stealing cookies of out of the cookie door about whether the little boy steal the cookies. Even in that kind of report investigation, they still said the President and his team did things that were inconsistent with national security interests. That I find stunning and something we shouldn't overlook.

And Bakari is right. We were about tan suits and silliness and now we have a list of potential violation.

BERMAN: Tan suit is like the way to move on to the next person.


BERMAN: Rob Astorino, what Cristine said right there is interesting. Should the President of the United States who went out of his way when not asked twice today to bring up no collusion should he pinning this on the report from the committee lead by Devin Nunes, who had to recuse himself?

ROB ASTORINO, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, I think that everyone is making Mount Elbrus out of a molehill. Mount Elbrus is the largest mountain in Russia. I look it up today.

[21:15:06] So what we're seeing here is a bunch of -- so far is a bunch of nothing. I mean, we were just talking about some of the people who are arrested. They were charged with crimes that had nothing to do with any of this. You're talking about Manafort and tax evasion from four years ago, five years ago. And in that report -- and I read the report -- a lot of it was blocked out. But what I read, it also said the FBI screwed up. The executive meeting the Obama team screwed pup, there was a lot of screw ups here. So you know to say that this is --

BERMAN: I do think it's notable that we're hearing a lot of nothing was found and nothing is happened on a day when a Russian woman said, I am a Russian informant and I was --

ASTORINO: Nobody knew that then.

BERMAN: Right. They didn't know it then because they closed the investigation. They stop the investigation.

ASTORINO: No, no Donald Trump Jr. --


RACHEL BADE, POLITICO REPORTER: From my sourcing on the Hill because I cover the House republican, day in and day out, they're not going to reopening this investigation just because there's a new information -- you know, this woman is saying I was actually an informant the whole time not just looking to talk about adoption. This investigation was half baked, of course, right?

And even if you get a Republican up there, Trey Gowdy the House Oversight Chairman, Republican very popular, he will tell you that Congress is not the place for an investigation like this, and that's because they can't compel people to come in, they can't make them answer questions. In this case a lot of people from the White House came in and didn't answer questions.

QUINN: Right. Correct.

BADE: And Republicans didn't press him on this, they just continued, they put something together. And there are a lot of documents, there are a lot of questions that are unanswered. But this is not going to be the final word.

BERMAN: Very quickly, the Senate investigation very different?

BADE: The Senate investigation will be -- have a little more, I think, gravitas only because it has a bipartisan nature to it, where the House investigation has totally derailed and not just because of Republicans, because of Democrats too. So a little more emphasis on the Senate campaign, I just think everybody should watch Mueller right now.

BERMAN: All right, we're going to take a quick break. More with this panel after a little bit. Later new and light development in the Stormy Daniels case, that's on hold. We'll tell you why.


[21:20:45] BERMAN: So the central figure in the now infamous or famous or incautious (ph) Trump Tower campaign meeting admits being an informant for the top Kremlin official. And Republicans and House Intelligence Committee who didn't talk to her during their investigation put out a report clearing the President of collusion and although over on the Senate side there is bipartisanship on the Russia investigation. It really is a partisan food fight in the House. And that's really from both sides they admit to that.

Back now with the panel. And Rachel, I want to start with you, quoting something that Bryan said earlier. He, Bryan Lanza, over there, you know, Trump supporter, former deputy communication director for the Trump campaign. You did say we will see what the Mueller investigation finds, which is actually something different than the President is saying. The President is not saying we will see what the Mueller investigation finds. The President is saying no collusion, no collusion, no inclusion, words that he repeats whenever he can even without being prompted. What do you think he is trying to do with those words?

BADE: Hold up this new House -- the House findings and say look, guys, there's nothing to see here. I mean, Trump is going to refer back to this House investigation I think over and over and over again. But let's be clear right now, I mean this is Capitol Hill. This isn't the boy scouts. I mean, House Republicans when they put it together, when they started doing this they knew where they were going to go with this. We knew all along that the President, they were going to find no collusion on this.

I mean, so, you just got to sort of see it with the lens of Washington. The President will use it to try to throw Mueller under bus perhaps. But people know that Mueller is not driven by politics on this. And so --

BERMAN: So right now with you, as if he is watching and maybe he is -- the President wrote two minutes ago.

SELLERS: A tweet?

BERMAN: The House Intelligence Committee rules that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. As I've been saying all along it's a big hoax by the Democrat based on the payments and lies. They should have been special council appointed witch hunt.

Rob, to you, he is like drawing the direct line here. He is saying the House Intelligence Committee says this so the special counsel should never have been appointed, witch hunt.

ASTORINO: Bryan, you want me to come to your aid?


(CROSSTALK) LANZA: Listen, I'll say there is no collusion. I mean --

ASTORINO: And I agree.

LANZA: We have two years.

ASTORINO: I mean, we haven't seen actually -- no we haven't see a drop of that yet. Not an ounce of it anywhere yet.

BERMAN: Does the fact that the House -- this partisan committee -- you know, and that's again, I think Democrats and Republicans agree that this all fell apart.


BERMAN: Is that reason to say that Robert Mueller should never have been appointed and that's a witch hunt?

ASTORINO: No because I think it's just confirming what most of us thought from the very beginning in that there was really no reason because it's gone from point A where they haven't found a thing. Now it's going into tangents --

LANZA: What was the crime?

QUINN: John, can I --

BERMAN: Go ahead, Cristine.

QUINN: So first of all, we don't know what Mueller has found or not found because nothing has been release. So if you want to say nothing has come out or leaked out. OK but Mueller has not released his findings. We don't know until they are released. So it's simply just untrue to say this didn't -- wasn't found or was found.

And again, I think we all know -- and if the Democrats come out with a report that says it was absolutely collusion, that's as absurd as this one because they don't have the resources that a special prosecutor does. So we don't know. But we do know today that more new information has come out that this woman Natalia was not just a lawyer. She is an informant to the Russian government.

Now you can call that a -- I forget the word you used, a careless meeting or something of that nature. It's a disaster that you would bring in top representatives of a presidential campaign to meet with a woman who even has the resume she had but not vet in any way you'd find out she is an informant or connection?

BERMAN: Bryan, I will add to that. I will add to what is now apparently a fact that the top leaders of the Trump campaign met with a Russian informant. You keep saying nothing has come out of the Mueller investigation. He indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities for meddling in the U.S. election and --

LANZA: At no point did he say they interacted with the Trump campaign. BERMAN: Well, that's not true either.

LANZA: Did he say that?

BERMAN: That's actually false. They had contact with members of the Trump campaign. What he did not determine -- they didn't make a determination whether --

LANZA: Collusion took place.

BERMAN: No, no, no. Whether those Trump campaign officials knew, he didn't say they did not know. But he in fact, said there was discussion between the Trump campaign.

[21:25:08] Bryan, what I was saying here is he issued those indictments and then the government of Donald Trump sanctioned these people. So there is a lot that's come out of this investigation.

LANZA: Absolutely. There is more that's going to be potentially come out as Mueller goes forward. But we have the Senate Intelligence Committee, we've had the House Intelligence Committee do the investigation. So they have released some information --

SELLERS: Senate hasn't.

LANZA: The House has leaked nearly everything they could have leaked in the past two years.

BADE: They never subpoenaed people, they could --

LANZA: But here is what we know. This is the first special prosecutor being brought forward without a specific crime to investigate. So Donald Trump is right. What is the actual statute and crime that he is investigating this never happened. That's why he says this investigation should --

SELLERS: That's not true.

LANZA: No, that's actually accurate if you look at white water they actually listed specific statues that were broken --

SELLERS: I'm not sure how you get from white water investigation to blue dress? I mean if Republicans are gaudy over this when it happened under Bill Clinton. But that's --


SELLERS: You should come back on. But my only point -- my only point to you is simply this. There are 13 Russian nationals who have been indicted.

LANZA: Um-hum.

SELLERS: The chairman of the campaign who you worked for.

LANZA: Correct. SELLERS: Has been indicted. His deputy has been indicted. The lawyers -- the personal lawyer for the President of the United States has had his apartment raided. Has had --

ASTORINO: For what?

SELLERS: For what.

ASTORINO: Not on Russian government stuff.

SELLERS: These are totally different things. And by the way part of the House Intelligence --


SELLERS: Has not come out yet.


BERMAN: Let Bakari say one last more and Christine can follow.

SELLERS: Can I follow up for one second?


SELLERS: First of all, there is no concern about flipping if you never done anything illegal. And the fact of the matter is the President is cavorting and hanging out with people who have done crimes, who have had illegal activities and you can shrug your shoulder to that?


LANZA: Show me what he is going to flip on.

QUINN: We don't know.

BERMAN: Let's wait on Michael Cohen because --

LANZA: No, no, you're saying he is going to flip.

BERMAN: Let's wait on Michael Cohen.


BERMAN: Cristine quickly, then Rob.

QUINN: Yes. I think that Michael Cohen, the potential charges et cetera are relevant to Russia in this sense. We all have talked about tonight even Bryan that action is relevant to the Russia investigation were at best careless, at worst illegal. So you have a campaign where we see they'll behave in any way they have to try to win. And in the Michael Cohen case we see very likely federal election commission violations. Anything to win the law be damned.

BERMAN: Very quick, very quick. ASTORINO: One thing we haven't mentioned, in that report it also damned the Clinton campaign for taking the Russia bait as well.


ASTORINO: That hasn't been discussed at all.

BERMAN: Thank you. I would like to thank his back to the green room with tan suits in Russia nuts. Thank you all for being here this Friday night.

Up next, we do have breaking news. A judge puts the Stormy Daniels lawsuit against Michael Cohen on hold. Also what she former wrestler Hulk Hogan and a Republican fund raiser now have in common, the answer may surprise you.


[21:31:33] BERMAN: Breaking news, Stormy Daniels has to wait for her day in court. Her lawsuit against President's Trump attorney Michael Cohen is on hold tonight for 90 days because Cohen is kind of busy. The judge issuing the delay to allow the criminal investigation of Cohen to proceed.

Meanwhile, we have new details tonight about the non-disclosure agreement that Ms. Daniels signed and that's raising questions about just how the deal was done. More on that now from CNN Sara Sidner.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What do porn star Stormy Daniels and former wrestler and Hulk Hogan and former Deputy Finance Chairman of the RNC Elliott Broidy have in common, CNN has learned they all signed almost identical confidentiality agreements written by the same Beverly Hills based attorney Keith Davidson.

In 2012 Davidson tried to broker a deal between Hulk Hogan and Davidson's client who was trying to make money off a sex tape showing Hogan having sex with his friend's wife.

Davidson wrote the confidential settlement agreement saying the sex video would be handed over if Hogan paid his client $300,000.

Hogan's attorney called the FBI and Davidson was caught up in an FBI raid accused of extortion. He was questioned but never charged.

Four years later Davidson became Stormy Daniels attorney. And he used the same document as a template for the Stormy Daniels deal, a source tells CNN, the wording in most of it identical. That means the President's attorney Michael Cohen did not write the hush agreement as previously believed.

JUDD BURSTEIN, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: If Keith Davidson drafted this document for Stormy Daniels, that's an outrage, because this is such a one-sided agreement. SIDNER: Judd Burstein, a New York Lawyer who briefly represented Donald Trump said Davidson drafting the agreement is an unusual move for two reasons. The person demanding the silence usually drafts the deal to make sure it's air tight. They would want to be in control of writing the agreement. And the attorney for the person being silenced is already giving away a large amount of negotiating power by writing it, Burstein says.

BURSTEIN: If you're the lawyer representing the person who is being asked to provide confidentiality, your goal is to make -- to write an agreement that has as many holes as possible to protect your client. Your goal is not to lock up your client.

SIDNER: Part of the deal says Stormy Daniels who again was Davidson's client can be fined $1 million for each time she talks about the alleged affair with the President.

Davidson also wrote the hush agreement signed by a former playboy model he represented who accused a major GOP donor of getting her pregnant. Then RNC Deputy Finance Chairman Elliott Broidy, agreed to pay her $1.6 million his lawyer in the deal was Michael Cohen.

In a statement Broidy, revealed more about the situation saying the woman terminated the pregnancy. The woman's current attorney Peter Stris said none of this should have ever been exposed to the public.

SIDNER (on camera): Can you say definitively that this was not your client leaking this information?

PETER STRIS, PARNER, STRIS AND MAHER: My client did not leak this information. My client was no the involved in the leaking of this information. My client could not be more upset that her personal life in this regard has been made public in any way.


BERMAN: Sara Sidner joins us now. Sara, the Stormy Daniels' current attorney has anything to say about all this?

[21:35:01] SIDNER: He certainly does. He saw the story and said look, any suggestion that Michael Cohen was not actively involved in the negotiating and drafting of the NDA for Miss Daniels is patently false. He has already admitted as much.

I want to bring something else up to you, John, that's pretty important. When we looked at what the judge said when it came to that 90-day stay. He said something pretty strong in some of the language for his decision. One thing that our investigative reporter Scott Glover pointed out and I want to read this to you.

The judge said, look whether or not an indictment is forthcoming and the court thinks it is likely based on these facts alone, he says this is not a simple criminal investigation. Something we all know because it involves a personal attorney for the President.

BERMAN: He says he thinks an indictment is likely. Sara Sidner, great to have you with us, thanks very much.

Next, why so many people who get close to the President, seem to suffer for it, two Trump biographers join us on that.


BERMAN: The headline in "The New York Times" caught our eye. For many life in Trump's orbit ends in a crash landing it said. Reporter Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker share the byline and write, "Proximity to Mr. Trump has been a crushing experience for many who arrive with stellar careers and independent reputations yet ended up losing so much."

According to the Times the President has burned through a record number of advisers and associates in just 15 months who found themselves in legal professional or personal trouble or just been on the outs with the President.

[21:40:11] You're looking at some of the departures and it's a lot. The Times reports that half of the top aides who came to work at the White House with the President are now gone.

Republican strategist Rick Wilson has his own name for the phenomenon and he says ETTD, Everything Trump Touches Dies, he says.

Joining us now two Trump biographers, Michael D'Antonio, as well as Jack O'Donnell, a former Trump Casino Executive, and author of "Trumped! The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump - His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall.

Michael, how does the President view those he works with? Is it truly a one-sided relationship?

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. This is all about Donald Trump and his ego. I don't think he really recognizes the humanity in the people who try to serve him. And this was evidenced long ago. Mr. O'Donnell knows about this from personal experience. But at about the time that Trump was pursuing his casino developments he also opened Trump airways, and burned through executives there.

They actually -- you know, the times headlines about people crashing, he would say terrible things about airline safety. And they would beg him, please, listen to us we know what we're doing. And he ran that company into the ground.

BERMAN: So Jack, I wanted to read you something that Tony Schwartz, the ghost writer of the Donald Trump book the Art of the Deal told the "The New York Times" about the President. It's in the New York Times, it says, "People are not people to him. They're instruments of his ego and when they serve his ego they survive and when they don't they pass into the night. Ultimately the fate of anyone who casts their lot with Trump is, you are passing through. And I just can't think of anybody for whom that is not true."

So you worked for Donald Trump. Do you agree with Tony Schwartz there? JACK O'DONNELL, AUTHOR, "TRUMPED": Well, I certainly do in the -- from my experience, the last year that I worked for him. I was fortunate in that the first two years that I worked for Donald. He had a CEO that he listened to. And we were pretty stable. But as soon as Donald took control and he had direct reports is when he started burning through people. So I think what Tony Schwartz described is absolutely true in the latter part of my experience and we have seen of course, in the administration as well.

BERMAN: You know, Michael, it's not just he burns through people it's the idea as the Times puts it that when he is done with them they are left bloodied on the side of the tracks?

D'ANTONIO: Well, look at what's happening with Michael Cohen right now. And there is a risk in all of this for the President. He -- you can't just humiliate people continuously and expect them to remain loyal as someone like Cohen has been. You know, the coverage of that case must be excruciating for him. And at some point men and women do stand up and say I'm not taking this anymore. And they either walk or they in the worst-case scenario for the President flip and become witnesses for the special counsel.

BERMAN: You know, Jack, then there is the issue of his children. You know, his children work for him, are incredibly close to him. Are they exempt from these rules? Or is it a one-way street when it comes to the children as well?

O'DONNELL: Well, I think we have seen the Trump's management style has put his children at great risk. And I think a good manager protects their people to some extent. And of course I don't think Donald Trump does that. I think he basically lacks compassion and empathy, as Michael has suggested.

But his -- you know, the whole Donald Trump, Jr., story that you just -- we're talking about in the last segment is a good example of how he will put his employees -- and in this case it was his son -- at risk because of the lack of experience. And a good manager doesn't do that to the people working for him.

BERMAN: Will he stick his neck out to protect his kids in ways he won't other employees?

O'DONNELL: Well, I think that he will. I have said many times that there is the loyalty of his family and the trust that he has in his family is greater than any employee that's ever worked for him. So I think he would go to some stent to protect them absolutely.

BERMAN: Michael, the "Wall Street Journal" had a story this week that was also stunning about Michael Cohen talking about the President humiliating Michael Cohen in sitting and Cohen trying to send messages to the President what do you make that, very quickly?

D'ANTONIO: Well, I think it's terribly embarrassing for Cohen. And it's almost pathetic. And he is sort of being challenged by now the national media to man up. It will be fascinating to see if he does.

BERMAN: Michael D'Antonio, Jack O'Donnell, thank you so much for being with us.

Coming up, a caravan of Central American migrants has arriving in Tijuana. Some hoping to get into the United States, the President made his feelings clear, he is against that.

[21:45:03] What happens next is anyone's guess. We're going to get the latest from Leyla Santiago who's been traveling with the caravan and listening to the people. That's next.


BERMAN: Hundreds of migrants from Central America made it to Tijuana in Mexico, some with the intention of crossing into the United States and asking for asylum. The President tweeted this week that he is told that the head of Homeland Security -- he has told, the head of Homeland Security not to let them in.

What happens now is a question mark. Leyla Santiago has been traveling with Caravan for weeks and is introducing us to some of the people who are making that journey. Here's her latest reports.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The pushing, the walking, the riding, the waiting, the exhaustion. But Gabriela Hernandez says she has no choice. This is what she must do to reach this point.


SANTIAGO: Off in the distance, behind a tall fence for the first time she is getting a glimpse of the United States of America.


SANTIAGO (on camera): She said it just doesn't seem real that she is that close given all they have struggled through to get here.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): We met Hernandez in Puebla, Mexico.


SANTIAGO (on camera): I'm asking where she is from.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): And live TV early in the journey with a large group of Central American migrants making their way north. She got off the bus and knowing she was part of a group that had become the latest target of President Trump. He called them dangerous.

[21:50:14] SANTIAGO (on camera): Asking if they are dangerous.


SANTIAGO: She said a child of this age cannot be dangerous.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): We tracked her journey as the pregnant mother of two boards more than half a dozen buses for road trips totaling more than 50 hours. We watched her wipe away her own tears after realizing her children would sit on mound of scrap metal on a free train with little to no money or food she is trying to go protect them in search of a better life.

A month ago she joined more than a thousand migrants on Mexico Southern border for an annual march north, a caravan calling attention to the flight of the migrant including a number of people planning to seek asylum, a legal way to enter the U.S. under federal law.

Trump has ordered homeland security not to let what he calls large caravans into the country.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already said he will make sure enough U.S. attorneys and judges are in place at the border to rule on the cases of this caravan.

GABRIELA HERNANDEZ (via translation): A lot of people are against us. A lot of people think we just woke up one morning and left for a trip. It's difficult with kids. It is not an easy decision to make, to leave behind your family.

SANTIAGO: About a 130 of the migrants planning to turn themselves into authority in San Diego. Volunteer attorneys are helping the migrants who get the chance to play their case.

Hernandez says this is about survival. She said the gangs that control her neighborhood in Honduras threatened to kill her six-year- old son. Having no based in any sort of government protection in her own country she fled.

HERNANDEZ (via translation): I don't care if something happens to me, but not my kids.

SANTIAGO: Mexico granted many in the caravan temporary permission to be in the country some have opted to seek asylum in Mexico over the any possibility of ever dealing with Trump. Hernandez knows in the U.S. detention is likely, deportation a possibility, her concern now her family.

HERNANDEZ (via translation): I fear they will take away my kids.

SANTIAGO: She worries she could be separated from her children while in the custody of U.S. immigration officials. Homeland Security insists children are only separated to protect a child or if there's any doubt the adult is the child's legal guardian.

But what will happen under the watchful eye of the Trump administration as the caravan approaches the U.S. border remains unknown.


SANTIAGO (on camera): She says she doesn't know what she will do as she can't get in because she can't go back to her country.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): And yet that uncertainty hasn't stopped them yet.


BERMAN: Leyla Santiago joins us now from a shelter in Tijuana where the migrants are staying. Leyla, what are the next steps for that woman Gabriela?

SANTIAGO: Well, Gabriela today met with several attorneys to talk about that asylum case for her. She says it is important to do this the legal way, to turn herself in to a port of entry seeking asylum as U.S. federal law permits. You know, for some of these migrants they actually say they will stay here in Mexico, seek asylum here. In the meantime as Gabriela prepares to turn herself in, for her she is actually talking about the mental preparation.

She is actually memorizing phone numbers in case her belongings are taken away and she doesn't have it. She is actually preparing from what she has heard are cold detention facilities in the United States. But still in the back of her mind is that hope that she will find a better life for her family and the United States of America.

BERMAN: Leyla Santiago in Tijuana, thank you very much, Leyla.

So could marijuana be a key solving the opioid crisis? Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks with Anderson about that in his upcoming CNN Special, Weed 4, next.


[21:57:32] BERMAN: So could medical marijuana helps solve the opioid crisis? This Sunday night Dr. Sanjay Gupta investigates in the CNN Special, Weed 4: Pot Verus Pills.

Anderson spoke with Sanjay about this special, first preview.


MARK WALLACE, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR PAIN MEDICINE AT U.C. SAN DIEGO: I got into pain medicine at that time when we didn't have very good treatments for pain.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Mark Wallace is the Director of the Center for Pain Medicine at U.C. San Diego. He, like must of us doctors was taught in medical school to prescribe opioids.

WALLACE: We were told that -- well, there's evidence that use of opioids were probably not that risky and that we should use them more liberally.

GUPTA: It was the 1990s and doctors were seeing a lot of commercials like this one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These drugs, which I repeat are our best strongest pain medication, should be used much more hour for patients in pain. GUPTA: The problem is while they were FDA approved for some kinds of pain they were never intended to be used long term.

NORA VOLKOW, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE: We went alone with some of the advertisement that was coming around and the advertisement that we were getting in medical schools.

GUPTA: Dr. Nora Volkow, the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse believes that was the beginning of our opioid crisis.

VOLKOW: We started to see patients who were prescribed opioids for their pain condition who have never been addicted to anything becoming addicted to those drugs.

GUPTA: We knew that there was a danger. We knew that they weren't as effective after a period a time and yet it still happened anyway.

VOLKOW: Marketing.

WALLACE: We started questioning whether we should be using opioids but we didn't have a lot of good alternatives at the time.

GUPTA: And Dr. Mark Wallace since then over the last 20 years now roughly started using cannabis to try and help those patients not only treat their pain but also help get them off of opioids. And he is, Anderson, treated hundreds of patients like this now. There's no alternative back then. This is the big alternative for now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: What makes cannabis -- I mean, can you say the cannabis is better than opioids for this treatment of pain?

GUPTA: I would say two things. One is that it is definitely safer. You have someone dying every few minutes, in 19 minutes or so of a drug overdoes in this country. There is been no documented cases of someone dying or an overdose of cannabis.

So it's definitely safer. And that's not important here. I mean, one of the throws of the worst self-inflicted epidemic in our history right now with this opioid epidemic it's head to believe that it's flattened our life expectancy in this country.

Number two, it that, it treats pain, you know, opioid treats pain by interring with pain signals to the brain, so does cannabis. What cannabis also does is that decreases inflammation, which is often the source of the pain. So it's seems to be safer and do things that opioid can't even do.