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Congressman Jerrold Nadler Says Let The Russia Probe Investigation Continue; Trump's Views on Cutting Alliances Frightens Many; Unease Over President Trump's Upcoming NATO Meeting; Antwon Rose's Family Speaks About Their Loss. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired June 29, 2018 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So heated moments on Capitol Hill Republicans in the house judiciary committee taking aim at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI director Christopher Wray over the Russia probe.
Congressman Trey Gowdy who spent years on the Benghazi investigation delivered this message to the Justice Department.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If you have evidence of wrong doing by any member of the Trump campaign present it to the dam grand jury. If you have evidence that this president acted inappropriately present it to the American people. What ever you got, finish it the hell up, because this country is being torn apart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right joining us now is Congressman Jerry Nadler. He is the raking democrat on the house judiciary committee. Congressman thanks so much for being with us. This was four hours plus yesterday. Did you learn anything from this hearing with Christopher Wray and Rod Rosenstein?
REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: No. We didn't learn anything we didn't already know, except the perhaps how really bad the republicans are, how their trying to intimidate and defame the Special Prosecutor and pressure the investigation.
We knew that but this was a real illustration of it. But Trey Gowdy who conducted the Benghazi investigation for close to four years, to say finish this investigation already. I mean this investigation has been going on for less than a year. They've already got 20 indictments.
BERMAN: It's more than a year. Rosenstein was appointed more than a year ago. And part of the investigation was going on before that.
NADLER: Call it a year and half. Call it a year and a half. In a year in a half they've gotten 20 - 20 indictments, 5 guilty pleas. And that's a lot for a year and a half. And it's a complicated thing there investigating. And there's no reason to assume they're not going as fast as reasonable, which Rosenstein said they were when I asked him.
BERMAN: One of the things that you hear from republicans on the committee and there was a vote yesterday. In the mist of that hearing republicans say the DOJ is not being compliant with requests for documents and information.
NADLER: Well that's particularly shameful accusation. The fact is the republicans are making requests - well first of DOJ has in response to an investigation into republicans investigation into the investigation, have supplied 100's of thousands of pages of documents.
What they haven't supplied is what they can not supply. And that is you can not give over information relating to an ongoing criminal investigation. You can not give over scoping documents showing the lines of inquiry. That can not be done. If the republicans are asking for that, demanding it, knowing that they can not - that those requests can not be complied with, so that when there not complied with they can trash and defame the investigators.
I read yesterday a letter from the Deputy Attorney General of the United States in 2000 to the then Chairman of the Rules Committee, making the same points. These kinds of information can not be supplied. You can not supply information with regard - certain kinds of information with regards to an ongoing criminal investigation.
That interferes with the investigation. It could endanger lives. We know already the republican - as a result of the information that the republicans have gotten two FBI informants, their identities have been outed. That endangers lives.
BERMAN: One of the implications, and you don't have to go far to hear this whisper in some circles. Is there concern among some democrats that republicans will get this information and in some cases have received this information?
And then they handed it over to the president's defense team. Have you actually seen any evidence of that though?
NADLER: Sure. We saw that. We saw Devin Nunes hand that over to the - hand information over to president's team. We've seen other information handed over. Mayor Giuliani on TV in so many words that that's what they wanted to do. Of course we've seen this, and never mind the President's team, Fox News.
BERMAN: One of the things that was said in the hearing yesterday was when Peter Strzok testified behind closed doors the FBI agent in the middle of the email investigation in the Russian investigation. He didn't answer some questions because an FBI lawyer advised him not to. Is that true.
BERMAN: It was my understand, Peter Strzok, going into that hearing, his lawyer said he's going to answer all questions. He's not going to plead the fifth. Why wouldn't he answer some questions?
NADLER: Well, because the FBI told him not to for reasons of FBI privilege. I was sitting there through most of that and he clearly wanted to answer. He was champing at the bit to answer some of the questions. He answered as best he could.
BERMAN: Do you feel there were legitimate reasons not to not answer certain questions?
NADLER: I don't know. I tried to get the FBI to let him answer one or two questions; they didn't. I don't know the legal reasons but it wasn't up to him.
BERMAN: And it was a closed hearing. You can't tell me exactly what it was. Can you give me the nature of what he could answer?
NADLER: No, I don't remember but there were quite a few -- a number of questions. We have said, by the way, Democrats are demanding that the transcript of the hearing be released.
BERMAN: Right. I've been asking for it to go public. I'd love to see it on TV.
NADLER: Well, it wasn't done on camera. But the transcript should be released as far as I'm concerned. Now, the committee apparently is going to ask Strzok to testify in public in two weeks.
NADLER: And that's fine. I don't see any reason why that whole transcript shouldn't be public.
BERMAN: Let me play you one more moment...
NADLER: And the decision that it isn't is the Republicans.
BERMAN: Look, we would like to see it go public. We would have liked to see the hearing the other day live and televised. We're looking forward to hearing these questions because I think the American people need to see it. Let me play one more moment from this hearing yesterday. This is Jim Jordan and the Deputy Attorney General.
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: I am Deputy Attorney General of the United States, okay? I'm not the person doing the redacting.
JIM JORDAN, (R) OHIO: You're the boss, Mr. Rosenstein. Did you threaten staffers on the House Intelligence Committee? Media reports indicate you did.
ROSENSTEIN: Media reports are mistaken.
JORDAN: Now who are we supposed to believe, staff members who we've worked with, who have never misled us or you guys who we've caught hiding information from us, who tell a witness not to answer our questions. Who are we supposed to believe?
ROSENSTEIN: Thank you for making clear it's not personal, Mr. Jordan.
BERMAN: It's a strange dynamic. That's the Republican Deputy Attorney General squaring off with a Republican member of Congress and you who's the Democratic leader of this committee is defending Rod Rosenstein. Do you have any questions about how Rod Rosenstein has handled this?
NADLER: No. As far as I can tell, he has handled it with consummate professionalism. Let me make a couple of comments. The President and the Republicans acting as his agents in the House, Trey Gowdy, Jim Jordan, and others, have been making all sorts of accusations against the investigation. This is a witch hunt, the 13 angry Democrats even though we know...
BERMAN: Gowdy's never said that. Gowdy's never said witch hunt.
NADLER: The President has a lot of other people out. In general they're making all these accusations about the integrity of the investigation, et cetera, et cetera. The fact of the matter is, and either Gowdy or Jordan said yesterday people are losing confidence in the investigation. Well, may be because of all the accusations being made. But the fact is that the investigation is being conducted properly. There are no leaks from this investigation.
All we know, for good or ill about the investigation, are 20 people have been indicted, 5 pleaded guilty, including very close associates of the president of the campaign. And all we know is the indictments and the information we know from court filings. No leaks. Whether the investigation is being done properly, not properly, et cetera, we don't know except that there have been no leaks. The campaign of defamation against the special prosecutor and against Rosenstein has been one sided. They haven't answered back as they shouldn't.
BERMAN: Congressman Jerry Nadler, great to have you here with us today. I do appreciate it. Erica.
NADLER: Thank you.
HILL: President Trump offering a better trade deal for France but what would France have to give up? Next.
(BEGIN VIDEO) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The European Union of course was set up to take advantage of the United States, to attack our piggy bank, right? You know what, we can't let that happen.
BERMAN: President Trump has taken on the European Union at recent rallies. Now we are learning the President's issues with the EU also came up at a private meeting with the French President Emmanuel Macron. CNN Political Analyst Josh Rogin broke the story for the "Washington Post" and joins us now. Josh, my understanding is he suggested to macron that France leave the European Union. Correct? Is that what happened?
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right, in a private meeting, they're talking about trade and President Trump suggests that if France leaves the European Union, he will give a better deal on trade than the European gets with the United States. It is in one interpretation an offhand comment and on another interpretation, a shocking proposal that would destroy an alliance of American allies and a statement against U.S. government policy.
You know, it fits into a pattern of President Trump saying really, you know, unconventional things about U.S. alliances. Taken in isolation, it can be written off as a joke or suggestion. But in the context of what's going on in the U.S./Europe relationship, it actually fits a pattern that is shocking allies and destabilizes them.
BERMAN: It can't be taken in isolation because there have been reports in the last few days he was running down NATO, suggesting in his words that NATO is as bad as NAFTA. And then just this morning, Josh, we are getting reporting from "Axios" that he was suggesting that the United States pull out of the WTO, the World Trade Organization. Let me just read you that quote.
He is threatening to withdraw a hundred times. It would totally screw us as a country said a source who's discussed the subject with Trump. The source added that Trump has frequently told advisers quote, "We always get F-ed by them, the WTO. I don't know why we're in it. The WTO is designed by the rest of the world to screw the United States."
So again, just within the last week - you're reporting -- reporting that the president wants out or at least talks about wanting out of the WTO, runs down NATO.
ROGIN: All right, so we are talking about the pillars of the liberal international world order that the United States and Europe have just spent eight decades building, the cornerstone of peace and stability in the world, the alliance that will allow us to confront the coming strategic challenges of Russia and China.
And Trump, very basically, doesn't agree with this structure despite the fact that his aides tell him it's a good idea, despite the fact that he knows that this would be hugely disruptive if he pulled the U.S. out of any of these organizations. The president just doesn't simply believe that these are delivering for the United States.
Now his administration has an explanation that he's just trying to reform the world order, not dismantle it, but the effect on our allies is real. And I spent a week in Europe and let me tell you, they're freaked out and they don't understand why the president doesn't understand the value of the alliances and what they bring to the table.
And when your allies are freaked out and your enemies are very happy, you're doing it wrong. OK? That's a diplomatic fail and heading in to the NATO summit and his meeting with Russia, there's no telling what other suggestions he might break up - bring up and that has everybody really, really, really -
BERMAN: And you used a phrase, world order, right there. We are talking about institutions that have held keep this world together for decades, but also, you noted correctly the president, to an extent, ran against them. The president, to an extent, has always said he doesn't like them.
The question is do you believe he fundamentally understands the role that they have played in the world over the last several decades?
ROGIN: Yes, it's clear that his advisors have been trying to convince him of the value of the liberal international world order and he's simply not convinced. He says all the time to people who work for him, I just don't simply agree with the arguments. Its also a glaring sort of fact that all of these positions track exactly with the opinions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
We don't know why the president agrees with Putin on all of these things. I'm not going to speculate on that, but its either a huge coincidence or there's some good reason that all of these strategic moves, the Russia national security interests and align the president with Putin's personal views.
That's a huge strategic windfall for Russia. That's a huge blow to our allies. The effects of that are felt not only in diplomacy but also in America's relations with all of these countries. So, you know, that's a problem. Now in the first year you could have said, well, his national security cabinet kept him pretty much, you know, on track.
He - they managed him, he didn't do anything too shocking, some shocking things like pulling out of Paris, et cetera. But basically the guard rails held. In the second year, President Trump is unleashed. He's going rogue. He's going Trump, OK?
And now nobody knows if people like Mike Pompeo, Mattis, Kelly -- as long as he stays around, are going to be able to keep the president from succumbing to his worst instincts with huge implications for the U.S. and international -
BERMAN: And, again, remember the president - he knew (ph) Vladimir Putin in the days after he meets with America's oldest allies in the NATO alliance. Josh Rogin, great to have you here with us, appreciate it.
ROGIN: Thank you, anytime.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And - I'm there too - I'm just thinking that with Josh that in the end there in terms of rhetoric from Vladimir Putin and similar language and similar talking points.
This, of course, brings us back to when you were in Singapore, right, covering the meeting with North Korea and the rhetoric and - and the language that we heard from the president just after that that certainly mirrored what we hear from Kim Jong Un.
JOHN AVLON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well that may indicate a certain susceptibility to repeating the person he's last spoken to but this is something different. This is something different. You know, Josh said, maybe it's a giant coincidence that the president seems to favor withdrawing the United States from international institutions that our country helped create.
You know, comparing the - you know, the NATO to NAFTA, saying that - telling Macron, well, why don't you pull out of the EU? Saying you know, WTO, WTF, why are we part of this? This is - dovetails exactly with Vladimir Putin and Russia's National Security (inaudible) - security issues and division (ph).
And it is the opposite of America's national -
BERMAN: And I will note, John, that (inaudible) to the investor we had on earlier who will suggest, oh, the president's just saying this. Just saying it has consequences.
HILL: It does have consequences, absolutely. And that's the whole point. You can't just say it. Even if you think you're buttering someone up, real world consequences.
HILL: Just ahead, we have been following the story of Antwon Rose, the 17 year old, unarmed teenager who was killed in east Pittsburgh. His family joins us next on the heels of charges for that officer.
HILL: An east Pittsburgh police officer is charged with criminal homicide for shooting and killing an unarmed 17-year old. Antwon Rose was riding in a car which was suspected of being involved in another shooting. Officer Michael Rosfeld shot Rose as he tried to run away.
Joining me now for their first interview since that officer was charged, Antwon's mother, Michelle Kenney, his sister, Kyra Jamison, and their attorneys S. Lee Merritt and Fred Rabner. Thank you for taking the time to come in today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
HILL: There are no amount of words, obviously, that can express our condolences but you do have them.
MICHELLE KENNEY, MOTHER OF ANTWON ROSE: Thank you.
HILL: There has been an outpouring of support for your family, for your son. Tell us about Antwon, first of all.
KENNEY: Antwon was kind. He was loving and would give you the shirt off his back. Antwon volunteered not because he had but because he wanted to. We were an extremely close threesome.
HILL: One of your - one of your oldest friends joined us earlier this week. You two grew up together in (inaudible) and now you're in a nearby town. And she said he was beautiful and he was so full of life and talked about the way he would help you. He was a skier, he was into sports, he was also a writer.
He wrote a poem his sophomore year and its gotten a lot of attention. We shared it and I'm going to put it up on the screen again. And he talks specifically about you saying "I'm not what you think. I am confused and afraid. I wondered what path I will take.
I hear there's only two ways out. I see mothers bury their sons. I want my mom to never feel that pain."
There have been far too many conversations with mothers in the wake of losing their sons. And I know from friends of mine and from other people that I've spoken with there's a talk that you often have with your sons. How hard was it to have that talk with Antwon?
KENNEY: It was one that I talked all the time. I just wanted him to know that I loved him. I never forsaw anything like this happening but I just always felt the need to tell him that I loved him. I don't know why, but I - I just always wanted both of my kids to know that I loved them.
But I wanted Antwon to know that he was special and I really just wanted to stress the fact that there's no love like a mother and a son. I love my daughter, I love my kids equally, but that mother and son love is just unexplainable.
HILL: Kyra, you're sitting here with your mom holding her hand. You talk about how you two were - you were a threesome. You're such an important rock for your mom. There's so much going on and we see these protests and I know that you had asked while you're paying your respects and laying Antwon to rest for them to stop.
They had been persistent but they had been very peaceful. People out there, though, they want to see justice for your son and for your brother. What's it like, Kyra, when you see all of this happening on a daily basis?
KYRA JAMISON, SISTER OF ANTWON ROSE: Sometimes its overwhelming, you know, because it's like that's my brother. And its strange because all these people show us so much love and support. We would never have imagined this. I mean, we would never imaged this would happen to Antwon.
But we would never have imagined everybody just trying to help us. We appreciate it, we do. We're not out there yet because we're still going through our moments. But we're going to be out there right with them. We promise that. We just want justice for my brother at the end of the day.
Because my mom, she lost her only son. My daughter, she lost her uncle and her role model. I lost my brother and my best friend. He did not deserve that. Everybody passes judgment, everybody has stuff to say, but no one really knows him so its crazy because we have to sit back and we have to watch the protest fight.
But right now we have to grieve before we step out there.
KENNEY: Can I say something? I just wish Antwon was there to see all of it. Not - he didn't - he didn't live for fame or fortune or any of that. If you read his letter and you read his poem, you know his primary concern was his family.
KENNEY: But I always told Antwon how much I loved him and I wish he could see how much the people around him loved him.
HILL: You mentioned justice, Kyra and that you want justice. And I know you do too, Michelle. What does that mean for you? What is justice in this case?
KENNEY: I'd have to turn that one over to the attorneys to answer that question because that's a legal question and right now, I can only deal with how I feel as a mom. I can't see past having to bury my son.
HILL: One moment at a time.
KENNEY: One second at a time. I'm heartworn (ph). I don't know how to explain it.
HILL: There probably aren't words.
KENNEY: No I just - I just pray no one ever - no one ever after me has to feel this way. No one.
HILL: The officer's out on bond right now. How do you feel about that?
KENNEY: I buried my son. He's not coming back. We have pictures, memories. I'm glad we did but I don't - I have no words, no words. I mean, for me, I buried my only son. I buried my baby. I don't know. I really don't.
HILL: I think a lot of people can understand that and can understand that sentiment. We talked about justice. You said that's more of a legal question for you right now. Lee, what is justice?
S. LEE MERRITT, ATTORNEY FOR ANTWON ROSE'S FAMILY: Justice in this case means not only the charges, which we appreciate, but an actual indictment and an actual prosecution that results in a conviction and appropriate sentencing. So a lot of - in a lot of these cases that we've walked through over the years, we see the initial charges that pacifies protestors and the community.
But it doesn't result in a conviction. It is very difficult, anywhere in the country, to get a conviction of a law enforcement officer, police officers, because of the nature of their - their profession. They're given -