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NYC Man to Spanish-Speaking Workers: My Next Call Is To ICE; The Mueller Russia Investigation Reaches 1-Year Mark; Democrats Push for Investigation of Cohen, Russian Oligarch's Company; Gillibrand Pushes Senate to Act on Sexual Harassment Bill Thomas Markle Will Not Attend Royal Wedding. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired May 17, 2018 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have spoken to Emily Scharada (ph), the woman who recorded that video. Apparently, according to her, this gentleman says go back to what -- she's from Puerto Rico.
And we're learning this is not first time this man has been captured on video making these kinds of -- or behind these kinds of rants. In 2016, there was a consultant in New York who happened to have been born in Massachusetts, but this man calls him a foreigner in the video you're seeing here. It is certainly not the first time this individual has exhibited this kind of behavior.
We have reached out to the law firm that this man reportedly owns. No response as of yet. But extremely important to hear from this individual who expressed himself in such an awful way here as we try to find out what exactly happened in the restaurant on Tuesday as more and more people sound off.
The person who shot this video is saying this is a direct result of a very divisive, very heated political rhetoric that we're experiencing right in the United States. But you hear from experts, we all have iPhone now, we all have technology with us now, able to capture these kinds of terrible incidents more often.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And yet, we have not heard this -- whoever everyone thinks this person is, we haven't heard him speak out or deny it.
BOLDUAN: Thank you so much, Polo.
SANDOVAL: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Thanks so much. Really appreciate it.
Coming up for us, the president calls it a witch-hunt, but one year into the Mueller investigation, the special counsel has now brought 75 criminal charges against nearly two dozen people and companies. We'll separate fact from fiction next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [11:35:37] BOLDUAN: It is the one-year anniversary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, what President Trump calls, of course, the greatest witch-hunt in American history. The president and his allies insist it is enough already.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are hopefully coming to the end. It is a bad thing for our country, very, very bad thing for our country. But there has been no collusion, they won't find any collusion. It doesn't exist.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the interest of the country, I think it is time to wrap it up. And I would very respectfully encourage the special counsel and his team to bring their work to completion.
REP. MATT GAETZ, (R), FLORIDA: I call on my Republican colleagues to join me in calling for the firing of Bob Mueller. And, look, it is time for Mueller to put up or shut up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: While Mueller isn't necessarily speaking out, he's making his voice heard. I don't know if maybe that is putting up in court. In one year, Mueller has brought 75 criminal charges against 22 people and companies, and this includes a former White House adviser, three former Trump campaign aides. And that also includes a -- one campaign chairman, a prominent Russian oligarch and Russian-back trolls. Five defendants have pleaded guilty, one already sentenced.
Joining me now, Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly, of Virginia.
Congressman, thank you for coming in.
REP. GERRY CONNOLLY, (D), VIRGINIA: Great to be with you.
BOLDUAN: Let me read for you the president's tweet today marking this anniversary. It says, "Congratulations, America, we are now into the second year of the greatest witch hunt in American history. There's still no collusion, no obstruction. The only collusion was that done by Democrats who are unable to win an election despite the spending of far more money."
What is your reaction?
CONNOLLY: I never understand somebody like Donald Trump constantly repeating the phrase, "No collusion, no collusion. By the way, did I mention there is no collusion, no collusion." That sounds like somebody who has something to be afraid of.
BOLDUAN: Or someone who just thinks he didn't do anything wrong.
CONNOLLY: I think that underscores why we need the Mueller probe.
BOLDUAN: But, Congressman, what if it is just someone who think he's been wronged.
CONNOLLY: He has nothing to be afraid up from the Mueller probe. Why do you want to end it?
BOLDUAN: That's a good question.
CONNOLLY: You're about to be exonerated, apparently.
BOLDUAN: But, good, bad or indifferent? The longer the Mueller probe goes on, do you think it though allows more time for the president and his allies to paint this exactly as they want to as a witch-hunt and isn't that counterproductive, with what -- to what you believe should happen?
CONNOLLY: I'm not sure about the premise of your question. Because the president might have an advantage in a P.R. war, because Mueller doesn't speak to the press, we got to give up the investigation? This is a matter of rule of law. This is a matter of trying to find the truth. And that's why the Mueller investigation needs to proceed until its logical conclusion. It shouldn't be influenced by people like me or people like Donald Trump and his attorneys.
BOLDUAN: I hear you. The reason that it could be a key question is when it comes to public opinion, when it comes to impeaching a president, it would ever be question, that's a political question not a legal one.
CONNOLLY: Well, it can be a political question. But Mueller is beyond politics, right? He wasn't appointed because of a political decision. He was appointed because of a decision made by the Department of Justice, there was sufficient grounds to warrant the appointment of a special counsel. That special counsel needs to be allowed to continue his work until its completion, without interference, from the White House or the Congress.
BOLDUAN: It does seem that Donald Trump's legal team, with Rudy Giuliani speaking out, is trying to make the case that if you can't technically indict a sitting president, then there's no grounds then to subpoena him to force him to testify. Do you think that's the case?
CONNOLLY: I think it is an open question whether a president can, a, be forced to testify, compelled to testify, and whether or not a president, a sitting president could be indicted. Richard Nixon was named as an unindicted co-conspirator. And once he left office, it was felt that he need the presidential pardon of Gerald Ford to escape possible prosecution. So this is a gray and murky area. We haven't had a lot of experience in it. I wouldn't be so certain the president can't be subpoenaed and possibly indicted should there be sufficient grounds to justify that. We don't know the answer to that, which is all the more reason why Mueller's investigation needs to proceed unimpeded. [11:40:18] BOLDUAN: You're pushing for further congressional
investigation into Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen's financial dealing with a company connected to a Russian oligarch. Are you -- I do wonder, if you're running on the Russia investigation or if you think Democrats should. I ask that because one of your Democratic colleagues told me something last week that I thought was surprising. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BRENDAN BOYLE, (D), PENNSYLVANIA: When I'm back home in my district, like I was this past week in Philadelphia, when I'm engaging with constituents, yes, I'll talk about the Mueller investigation. I'll say we need to protect the integrity of it. But that's up to Mueller and his career prosecutors to investigate this. What I spend most of my time talking about is what I'm actually working on, health care, raising living standards, opposing extreme legislation from this majority. I think, as Democrats, the more we talk about those issues, the better we'll do this November.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: That was Congressman Brendan Boyle. He says it is not what constituents are talking about. Do you agree?
CONNOLLY: Not entirely. Certainly in my district northern Virginia, the Russia investigation, the possibility of extensive Russian interference with our election is a topic of paramount importance. Not something I run away from, not something I want to avoid, nor is it something my constituents avoid. They bring it up.
BOLDUAN: They bring it up to you?
CONNOLLY: Yes. In town hall meetings, comes up all the time. When I'm out in the street, it comes up: I hope you're going to pursue that, I hope you're going to protect the country, I hope you're not going to let Trump interfere with that investigation. That comes up all the time.
BOLDUAN: OK. Let us see. Playing out different ways in different districts. That's for sure.
BOLDUAN: Rep. Connolly, thank you for coming in.
CONNOLLY: Thank you for having me.
BOLDUAN: Coming up, one Senator is trying to force lawmakers to act on a sexual harassment bill that has been stalled for months. What's the move and what's the holdup? Be right back.
[11:46:35] BOLDUAN: Happening now on Capitol Hill, New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is trying to force lawmakers to act on sexual harassment legislation that has been stalled in that chamber for months. The House has already passed the bill. So what is happening in the Senate?
CNN's congressional correspondent, Sunlen Serfaty, is joining me now from the capitol with much more on this.
Sunlen, lay out what -- basically what the maneuver is, what she's trying to do here and what exactly is going to happen.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is largely a symbolic procedural maneuver, Kate, by the New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, essentially trying to call out the Senate for inaction over this issue. This marks 100 days since the House passed their version of the legislation, so Gillibrand taking to the floor today to demand action over here on the Senate. Here is what she said a moment ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, (D), NEW YORK: We have all witnessed harassment and discrimination. We all see what it actually does to society. Whether it is happening in factories or in restaurants or in Hollywood or the halls of Congress or right here in this building. But the difference is while practically every other industry in the country seems to be taking this issue far more seriously, and at least trying to make an effort to change their workplaces, Congress is dragging its feet. Once again, a problem is staring us right in the face and we are looking the other way. Enough is enough. We should do better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: And behind the scenes, there are bipartisan negotiations in here in the Senate going on, taking place. And negotiators told me this week, Kate, that they're inching towards finalizing that agreement, but as of now, as Gillibrand notes, nothing has been done -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Nothing happened. That's the issue that leaders are taking. They have the compromise legislation in the works, but this is playing out on the floor at the same time.
Two days to go until Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tie the knot. The royal wedding around the corner. The bride to be is now breaking her silence on her father and whether he's going to be on hand for the big day.
First, for us, when disaster strikes, time is of the essence to find survivors. One woman founded an organization that transforms shelter dogs into speedy first responders. It is today's "Impact Your World."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't have anything that can cover a 10,000 square foot area of rubble as fast as a dog can.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Search Dog Foundation has responded to approximately 168 disasters, the World Trade Center, the major hurricanes, Katrina, Harvey and Irma.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My canine is Rex. The biggest obstacle we faced was the Montecito mudslides. He had to dolphin through the mud to get to where we're at.
What a good boy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a FEMA-certified team, we were asked to go to the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995. The nation had approximately 15 of these dog and handler. The country now has approximately 275. The Search Dog Foundation not only uses rescue dogs from shelters but trains that dog at no cost.
[11:49:54] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In training, we have to set up the scenarios as real life as possible. That bark is what the dogs use to communicate to their handlers that they have located live human scent.
A lot of the dogs that come in were slated for euthanasia. Essentially, we're saving these dogs' lives to save people's lives.
BOLDUAN: It has been the strangest question hanging over the royal wedding: Would Meghan Markle's father attend her royal wedding to Prince Harry this weekend? The "will he or won't he" is now officially over now. Markle confirming that her father, Thomas Markle, will not be in attendance.
Let's get over there. CNN's Anna Stewart is joining me right now from Windsor.
Anna, are you hearing anything more about this decision, the announcement and Markle's reaction?
[11:55:01] ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we finally got a decision which is what people really wanted. The whole fiasco has been rather sad. And most of the people I've spoken to have really empathized and felt sorry for Thomas Markle.
But the statement that Kensington Palace released from Meghan Markle said, "Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health."
We've obviously had reports that Thomas Markle was undergoing heart surgery, which is why he wouldn't be able to attend, because he would need many days of recovery. But before that, there was all the reporting around the staged paparazzi photos. It seemed rather embarrassing for the royal family who normally have much tighter control of the press. It's raised the question whether the royal family did enough to protect and advise the Markles on how to deal with the media.
But the story line under it, we don't know yet who will walk her down the aisle, but it's finally time to really get wedding preparations and rehearsals under way.
BOLDUAN: Exactly right. Two days away now.
Anna, great to see you. Thanks so much.
Coming up for us, on the one-year anniversary of the Mueller investigation, is the president and his attorneys employing a new strategy to try and force Mueller to wrap it up? That's next.