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Trump Continues Spy Claim; Stanley Cup Finals; Giuliani Calls Muller's Team Lynch Mob. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired May 31, 2018 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:30:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our campaign. Is there anybody in this big, beautiful arena, right now, that's infiltrating our campaign? Would you please raise your hand? That would take courage, huh?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Here with reaction to this and more is John Sununu, former Republican governor of New Hampshire and former chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush.
Good morning, governor.
JOHN SUNUNU (R), FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNOR: Happy Thursday. How are you, Alisyn?
CAMEROTA: I'm well. It's been too long, governor.
SUNUNU: I know.
CAMEROTA: All right, well, we're going to change that starting right now.
SUNUNU: We'll change that.
SUNUNU: I'm here, right?
CAMEROTA: So --
SUNUNU: I'm here.
CAMEROTA: Yes, thank you. And I appreciate that.
Why does President Trump keep saying that a spy infiltrated his campaign?
SUNUNU: Well, I guess he relies on James Clapper, who was one of the co-managers of that process, who acknowledges that they arranged for somebody, in using Clapper's word, to infiltrate. Clapper doesn't like to use spy. Infiltrate the campaign and get information on it. And so if -- CAMEROTA: That's not what Clapper said.
SUNUNU: If Clapper's preference is infiltrate, that's why the president's using infiltrate now.
CAMEROTA: I see. That's not what Clapper said. Clapper talked about how they use informants. Do you think that somebody was spying on the -- on the Trump campaign?
SUNUNU: Yes, I think -- in the context of being -- in the contest of the description of this professor's actions, Clapper justified it by saying we always use informants like that.
CAMEROTA: And the FBI does.
SUNUNU: Yes. But the actions of that professor, being paid to go in and interact with the Trump campaign, is the act that the president is calling infiltration and the act that Clapper acknowledged was infiltration.
CAMEROTA: What do you want the FBI to do? When they get information that the Russians are trying to coopt people in the Trump campaign or flip them somehow or use them as tools, what do you want the FBI to do?
SUNUNU: I want the -- I would have wanted the FBI and President Obama, who also knew that this might be happening, to notify both the Clinton campaign and the Trump campaign, and to provide assistance to them, technical assistance if necessary, to find out what's going on. Obama chose not to do this because he thought doing it would give a political advantage to the Trump campaign --
CAMEROTA: That's --
SUNUNU: And was talking about all kinds of problems out there.
CAMEROTA: That's one reason.
We also know, from new reporting today, that Obama did go to Congress. He wanted a bipartisan approach to this, to revealing that Russia was meddling, and that Mitch McConnell said, no, and wasn't interested in that.
But the point is, do you think that the --
SUNUNU: It wasn't the legislative branch's responsibility.
CAMEROTA: Listen --
SUNUNU: The FBI was the one that had this information.
SUNUNU: That's executive branch. And all Obama was doing by going to McConnell was looking for political cover.
CAMEROTA: OK. And all the --
SUNUNU: He should have done what any leader should do and notify both campaigns.
CAMEROTA: And shouldn't the FBI do what the FBI always does and investigate?
SUNUNU: After notifying the campaigns that there are problems that they should be aware of.
CAMEROTA: Why would they investigate before they -- why -- why would they investigate before they knew the answers to some of these things? Shouldn't they investigate --
SUNUNU: Why wouldn't they?
CAMEROTA: Yes, shouldn't they investigate first?
SUNUNU: Because -- because --
CAMEROTA: Shouldn't they have rundown this lead that they got from the Australian diplomat that Russia was trying to infiltrate through George Papadopoulos?
SUNUNU: No, they should immediately have notified the campaign that that was happening, then they should have gone into their investigation. And to suggest that notification is somehow a harm to their -- to their investigation is ridiculous.
CAMEROTA: Well, you don't want to tip off George Papadopoulos if he's been flipped by Russia. I mean I don't think --
SUNUNU: But you want to tip off the candidates and the leadership and the campaign that this is a bad -- a potentially bad apple and they failed to do that.
CAMEROTA: I'm not sure that that's how the FBI operates. The FBI investigates --
SUNUNU: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. When it's doing things ethically, that's how it operates.
CAMEROTA: I don't think so, governor. I think that the FBI -- the FBI doesn't go into -- doesn't reveal itself, it investigates and then it reveals what it's found.
But, either way, it sounds like what you're saying is that you think that the FBI acted unethically by trying to investigate this.
SUNUNU: That's correct.
CAMEROTA: So when they got a tip --
SUNUNU: Without notifying the campaigns. Without notifying the campaigns. And what they engaged in is a process on one of the campaigns and not on the other where both campaigns could -- were probably equally exposed.
CAMEROTA: There were investigations into both of the campaigns. There were investigations into both of the campaigns.
SUNUNU: But they notified --
CAMEROTA: And they only revealed one of that to the public. We only knew about the Hillary Clinton one.
SUNUNU: Yes, that's right, we only knew about the Hillary Clinton one because they refused to let --
CAMEROTA: So how is it (INAUDIBLE)?
SUNUNU: They refused to let the Trump campaign know officially that there were serious issues that they had concern about. And why? Because I believe, right from the top of the Obama administration, through leadership of the Justice Department, into the FBI, they were playing games with the election.
[08:35:07] CAMEROTA: You don't think that Russia was playing games, you think it was the FBI?
SUNUNU: I think Russia was playing games to the tune of about $4 million or $5 million worth of digital advertising in particular, which was trivial compared to the over $2 billion spent on the campaign, and I think the Justice Department and the FBI, with the approval of the White House, was playing political games in the process. Yes, I do. And I think the Strzok emails confirm that. I think all the stuff we saw that will come out in the IGs report will confirm that. And I think this is a serious problem. And I can't understand why the liberal media in this country is turning a blind eye to something this serious.
CAMEROTA: Do you think that there is lasting damage being done to the FBI and their crime fighting and crime solving capabilities by this kind of talk and the president going after them and saying that their reputation is in tatters?
SUNUNU: Absolutely. The FBI has damaged itself by what happened with Comey and McCabe and Strzok and all the others that were involved in this mess. It is -- it is a tragedy that the Obama administration and the leadership at Justice let this go on and, in fact, in my opinion, try to take advantage of this in the election process.
CAMEROTA: Governor John Sununu, we always appreciate getting your perspective on these things.
SUNUNU: Thanks, Alisyn. Have a great day.
CAMEROTA: You too.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I hope that was the reunion -- the reunion you were hoping for. (INAUDIBLE). CAMEROTA: You know, I mean, things are always unpredictable with John Sununu. You never exactly know what you're going to get when you interview him, and that's why we enjoy having him on.
BERMAN: That was great.
All right, a clutch stick save all but sealing game two of the Stanley Cup finals, but the Capitals able to bounce back and tie it all up. The "Bleacher Report" is next.
[08:41:04] BERMAN: All right, Washington battles back to earn their first ever Stanley Cup final win, and there was a sensational save that has everyone talking.
Lindsay Czarniak has more in the "Bleacher Report."
LINDSAY CZARNIAK, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there.
Well, you know, it was the hockey gods behind that save. That's what the Capital's head coach said after the win. That, and, of course, the very talented goaltender.
The Capitals, however, stealing momentum back last night with a great win. Now they take the series home to Washington.
But there is one thing that they cannot compete with. This "Bleacher Report" brought to you by Ford, going further so you can. And that would be that Vegas pregame show that happens there on the ice. It is just awesome. It leaves you glued to your television set like a Super Bowl half time show. It's kind of a medieval rock concert type thing that is kind of scary at times also.
Washington had to find composure among that and Alex Ovechkin helped. He tied at one. The Capital's Russian superstar scored on the power play. Vegas with some late moment but with two minutes left the hero was Capital's goaltender Braden Holtby. Holtby with an eye-popping stick save on the knife (ph) Alex tossed (ph). That was huge for Washington. You could feel the relief. And, look, you can see it here on Alex Ovechkin's face. The Capitals win 3-2, but everyone was talking about that sensational save.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRADEN HOLTBY, WASHINGTON CAPITALS: That's one of those things that helped us win a game. Now we move forward into the next game. And -- because we have a goal in mind that will be a lot bigger than some save on social media.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CZARNIAK: You know, so that goal, clearly, the Stanley Cup, and now both teams have an even shot once again. BERMAN: Alisyn has something she wants to say about --
CAMEROTA: I have finally something to add in sports, the sports conversation. I went to a Capitals game once.
CZARNIAK: You did?
CAMEROTA: And here's what was very exciting about it. If they got something like five goals or six, I can't remember, everybody in the place got a free pizza. So I was like, come on. Finally, I was invested in --
CZARNIAK: And did it happen?
CAMEROTA: Yes. Yes. Everybody got a free pizza. It -- I, too, could not believe my good luck. I was shocked that I was at that game. But they don't actually bring out like a hot pizza. They just give you a coupon for a free pizza.
CZARNIAK: So did you check it in -- cash it in?
CAMEROTA: Yes, but I thought like you -- we got -- I thought that they would give you like a hot pizza.
CZARNIAK: Right, like they'd all - like it's like "Ellen" or something, you bring it out and you -- exactly.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Yes. Yes.
CZARNIAK: We're on the same page.
CAMEROTA: But, still, it was great.
BERMAN: It's all about you. The Stanley Cup final is all about you.
CAMEROTA: Well, it's all about food. It's about food, yes.
CZARNIAK: It's all about keeping the fans happy.
CZARNIAK: No matter who they are.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Yes. Thank you very much, Lindsay.
CZARNIAK: OK. Thanks.
CAMEROTA: All right, listen to this, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is now calling Mueller's investigators a lynching mob and setting his own deadline for Mueller's findings to be made public. We break down Giuliani's latest blitz, next.
[08:47:43] BERMAN: The president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, with brand-new attacks, calling Robert Mueller's investigators a lynching mob. This comes after he called FBI agents, the ones who raided Michael Cohen's apartment and hotel room, he called them storm troopers. So what exactly is the mayor doing here?
Joining us for "The Bottom Line," CNN's chief political correspondent, Dana Bash.
You know, when you hear lynching mob, it sparks outrage. It sparked outrage for a lot of our guests. Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah, we had on just a moment ago, said it's not the language he would ever use. But this, based on your brand-new reporting, which is just out -- this is on purpose, Dana.
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. This is a concerted effort by Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump, of course, his client, to undermine the Mueller investigation using the most Trumpian language that is possible. And this is a perfect example of that. Talking about law enforcement as storm troopers in the past is another example. And really going after the investigation in a no holds barred way.
Look, he has been criticized pretty roundly for the way that he has approached this, this defense of the president in terms of the legal work that he's doing. But I -- the people who are criticizing him are missing, I think, the larger, public relations and political point here, which is that he is trying to erode what people see and think and hear about the Mueller investigation because he can talk. The president can get all of this out there in the public and Robert Mueller and his team, there M.O. is to keep quiet. So it's a one-sided P.R. war which the -- which Rudy Giuliani and the president believe, and polling certainly backs them up, that they're winning by just being as sort of out there and crazy and outrageous as they possibly can.
CAMEROTA: And to that point, Dana, it is working. So polling suggests that, at least among Republicans, that there are -- people do have more questions and feel more suspect about the investigation. Robert Mueller's investigation.
[08:50:02] We just had former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu on. And he's running with that feeling of the FBI did something wrong, the FBI should not have been investigating the campaign. I mean these seeds have been planted and they take root despite the fact that the people who have seen the intelligence, like Congressman Trey Gowdy on Oversight --
CAMEROTA: Say, the FBI did nothing wrong here. The FBI, in terms of how -- using an informant to figure out if Russia had infiltrated the campaign was doing exactly what it was supposed to do. So the people with the real facts are being somehow drowned out by the Rudy Giuliani message getting out there.
BASH: That's exactly right, Alisyn. Look, by the time Trey Gowdy got out and decided to use his time during congressional recess to try to poke holes in what is a conspiracy theory, this notion of they call it spygate, and to say that's not accurate. I saw the intelligence. I saw the information. What the FBI did was right. They were doing their job. The seeds had been planted. And the -- and the sort of -- the rhetoric had been out there for a couple of weeks. And -- and kind of the notion of kind of the P.R. war I think was already done.
And yesterday -- yesterday, Rudy Giuliani was at the White House and, you know, both presidential lawyers, if they're visiting their client, would avoid the press. What did he do, he made a beeline for the press, talked about this Trey Gowdy issue and blew it off, just like Sarah Sanders did from the podium, just suggesting that, you know, that they're still not sure that nothing was done wrong.
Now, that might fly in the face of the facts, and it certainly, according to Republican Trey Gowdy, it does. But the thing that we have to all keep in mind is that this is a public relations and political war and I'm not really sure that -- that -- in the face of all of this criticism and looking at Rudy Giuliani saying he's the president's lawyer, he's not really doing him any favors, people are seeing that is exactly what he thinks he's doing, the president too.
BERMAN: Right. Because it's not -- facts matter in a courtroom, right?
BERMAN: In a public relations battle like this, they don't care about facts. The -- whether or not the facts are true or not don't matter as long as people are talking about them out loud, which is after -- very quickly, Dana, the mechanics of this. Does -- you know, does President Trump say hey, today I want to use the word lynch mob, and then Rudy goes out and says lynch mob?
BASH: Yes. My understanding is, no, and that is why Rudy Giuliani is kind of the perfect person for this. They have been friends for decades. They're, as I say in the piece, two Geminis in their early 70s born and bred in New York City, and so Giuliani speaks Trumpian about as well as anybody else. So my understanding is that he doesn't have to be told to use terms like that. He gets it intuitively.
BERMAN: He has a black belt in Trumpian.
All right, Dana Bash, thanks very much.
"The Good Stuff" is next.
[08:57:01] CAMEROTA: OK, time now for "The Good Stuff."
Take a look at this video you're about to see. You're going to see Riley Duncan (ph), this little boy, helping an elderly woman with a walker climb these stairs.
Here's the back story.
The eight-year-old from Georgia spot this woman struggling while he was in the car with his mom. He immediately asked his mom to pull over and he jumped out and off he went to help. Oh, my gosh. Guiding this woman up the stairs. After they made it to the top, they both celebrated with a big hug.
BERMAN: I love that.
CAMEROTA: OK. I love this little boy.
BERMAN: Good for them.
CAMEROTA: Maybe he could baby-sit my older children.
CAMEROTA: You know.
BERMAN: All right, President Trump touted the importance of physical fitness at the White House yesterday, but critics say that's an exercise in hypocrisy. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The only thing on the president that got a real workout, his hands. The event was organized by the president's Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition. Three things not instantly associated with the president.
Though he did start a race and swing a golf club as he mingled with sport stars like pitcher Mariano Rivera.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Does winning get boring to you, Mariano?
MOOS: But the president may think his diet has gotten boring. Five months ago, Dr. Ronny Jackson proclaimed --
DR. RONNY JACKSON, WHITE HOUSE DOCTOR: I think a reasonable goal over the next year or so is to lose 10 to 15 pounds.
MOOS: Now we're hearing the president is occasionally trading in a steak --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Super golden --
MOOS: For a dover sole and leaving off the top bun when he eats a burger. Chefs in the White House kitchen have been told to reduce calories and fat.
MOOS (on camera): Keep in mind that this is a guy who has expressed the view that exercise is bad for you.
MOOS (voice over): Some call it the Energizer Bunny theory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still going.
MOOS: Trump's apparent belief cited in "Trump Revealed." "The human body was like a battery, with a finite amount of energy which exercise only depleted. He once suggested to Dr. Oz that rallies are a workout.
TRUMP: I'm up there using a lot of motion and I guess that's a form of exercise.
MOOS: From the kiddie lift, to the fist pump, to the half toss. We've seen no indication President Trump is hitting the White House gym. As he once told Reuters, I get exercise, I mean I walk, I this, I that. Not to mention --
JACKSON: He has incredible genes.
MOOS: To keep him running like the Energizer Bunny.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep going and going and going.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And going and going and going.
BERMAN: I'm going to go to the gym and whale on my this and that.
CAMEROTA: I know.
BERMAN: As the president says, really going to work those from now on.
CAMEROTA: Yes. No, I this and that for exercise also.
CAMEROTA: I've had a couple of meals with the president and I will say -- before he was president -- not a fan of vegetables. I've tried to point this out that maybe he should add that to his diet. Not that interested.
[09:00:03] BERMAN: Not a lot to love there.
CAMEROTA: All right, in terms of the plate.
BERMAN: Eat vegetables.
CAMEROTA: Yes, (INAUDIBLE).
Time for CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow and Brianna Keilar. See you tomorrow.