Return to Transcripts main page


Children and Elderly Among Dead After Duck Boat Sinks; CNN Source That Conversation on Tape Between Trump and Cohen Not Good for Trump; Former New Orleans Mayor Says Helsinki Summit Was Collusion and Motion; Kavanaugh Says in Old Video That Only Congress Can Investigate the President. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 20, 2018 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: A deadly accident in a powerful storm has now killed 17 people. Emergency dive crews have pulled out the last bodies out of Table Rock Lake in Missouri after a tour boat known as a duck boat, capable of traveling on water and land sunk near Branson, and we now have the disturbing video of the boat sinking. You can see the boat violently rocking as the winds picked up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no. Someone needs to help them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No kidding. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He kind of dumped that thing. There's another one.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They should have never came out here with that thing.


BALDWIN: There were severe weather warnings in effect at the time, that message clearly hadn't gotten to everyone in the area. This is what one witness told me last hour.


CURT ELOMAN, WITNESSED DUCK BOAT INCIDENT: That storm came out of nowhere, they were doing their best to get back, get on land. One of them did, the other didn't quite make it. It is tragic. We watched them pull a guy out, just a private citizen. That gentleman drove his boat up onto the concrete boat ramp, there were some rescue guys just getting there, and they reached on, and this guy was clearly gone. Picked him up by his hands and his feet and put him up on the dock, and they went to work on him right then, CPR for about two or three or four minutes. Everybody was doing something. Then they shocked him twice. Had to put an IV in him and we could see him breathing, he wasn't breathing well. His chest was moving, and he was breathing, they put oxygen on him, then an ambulance arrived and took him away.


BALDWIN: They were saying hopefully he is OK. Miguel Marquez is there for us now. Simple question, why was the boat out during a storm warning?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, they go out all day long. There was a storm warning for much of the day, and more serious watches came in a half hour before the boat went out. You look at the lake right now, we're expecting thunderstorms again. This is summer in Missouri. It is extraordinarily hot and humid, and thunderstorms happen throughout the area. This was part of a very long number of thunderstorms, some turned into tornadoes in Iowa as well, so it came up very quickly, but should it have been expected.

[15:35:00] About a half hour and 45 minutes before that storm actually hit, the storm watches and warnings went out. They certainly had some indication, but it will all be part of the investigation. What did the captain and driver of the boat know before the first emergency calls went out at 7:09?

BALDWIN: What do you know about the captain of the boat, did he make it?

MARQUEZ: The captain of the boat made it, the driver did not. The driver was taken to the hospital and expired at the hospital a short time later. The driver or the captain who has been a captain for 16 years did make it. He is said to be cooperating with authorities. The National Transportation Safety Board is on the ground here now, they will take over the investigation. There may be an update from them as early as tonight, so we are watching for that. The other big thing they're trying to do is bring up that boat. It sank 20, maybe 30 feet from the dock that would have taken it to safety. It went into about 40 feet of water and divers said it slid down to 80 feet of water. So, it is very dark. There is a lot of salt there, and they're trying to figure out how to get it up. Looks like Monday before they can get it up.

BALDWIN: Thank you so much in Branson for us.

Show you some live pictures here. Air force One, Joint Base Andrews, waiting to see the President take off to his golf club in New Jersey for the weekend. We'll be watching to see if he stops, talks to reporters about the news of a conversation he had with his former personal attorney was seek relevant secretly recorded. We'll be right back.


BALDWIN: Live pictures of Air Force One, baiting to see the president head on the plane and head to the golf resort in new jersey for the weekend. First time we will see the president since the news broke that he was secretly recorded by his former attorney, Michael Cohen. His new attorney, Rudy Giuliani, says the FBI now has the tape along with other recordings Cohen made of the President. Giuliani said Cohen recorded a discussion with the president about a payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal that said she had this affair with Trump. Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, who also claims to have had a relationship with Trump, had this to say about the tapes.


MICHAEL AVENATTI, LAWYER FOR STORMY DANIELS: The problem for the president is he has multiple problems relating to his relationship with Michael Cohen, but a very big problem is that Michael Cohen will go down as one of the world's great evidence hoarders over the years. This is a guy never threw away an old cell phone, did not delete text messages and e-mails, kept recordings and documents. And that's a very bad thing for this president.

Kaitlin Collins at the White House this afternoon. What is the White House saying? We know Trump is surprised to learn this even exists. What is the White House response?

KAITLIN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: So far, Brooke, the White House hasn't said anything about this, and President Trump walked out on the south lawn of the White House. You can hear the helicopter Marine One right behind me. President Trump walked past reporters who shouted questions at him presumably about the stunning news and this stunning development that Michael Cohen did record a conversation between the two of them, but Brooke, he didn't answer any questions.

Instead, President Trump boarded Marine One, he is on the way to Joint Base Andrews where he is going to spend the weekend at his golf club in new jersey. Brooke, we know the White House doesn't have the best track record on these things. In the past, they said the President had no knowledge about anything to relate to Karen McDougal, the Playboy model that alleges she had an affair with the President. They also said the same thing about Stormy Daniels, the porn actress that said she was paid to keep quiet about her relationship with President Trump.

Now that of course came to light when the president's own lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said on a cable news show, that the president knew about that payment and he did pay him back. So, the White House doesn't have the best history when it comes to the stories about women that say they slept with the president in the past and have been paid to essentially be quiet ahead of the election. This is stunning news, brook. Remember this is something that will agitate the president. Remember in April after the FBI raided Cohen's house, hotel and office, the president was incredibly angry, he was seething, and sources inside the White House told me they had never seen the president so angry before in their entire time in the White House, despite all of the developments of the special counsel investigation and Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, it was the FBI raiding Michael Cohen that sent him over the edge.

[15:35:00] You saw that cabinet meeting where the President was flanked by senior military officials, they were supposed to discuss Syria. Instead he went off about the raid, saying it was a disgrace and really feeding into that. Likely the president is not going to be happy. That's likely why he was unhappy about that raid in the first place. Right now, we're waiting to see if the White House says anything. But Rudy Giuliani, the President's own lawyer, says that this recording of him and Michael Cohen is going to vindicate him possibly, but sources are telling me colleagues at CNN that that's just not the case, and that this reporting is not good for the president, and that there are multiple other recordings of him and Michael Cohen that are now in the hands of the FBI.

BALDWIN: The president saying why would Michael do this to me according to our sources. Kaitlin, thank you, well done. Speaking over the rotors of Marine One. We'll see the president at Joint Base Andrews momentarily. Off to New Jersey he goes.

Up next, new details how the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh feels about investigations and possible indictments of the sitting president. Hear him in his own words in moments.

First, a sneak peek of tomorrow's episode of "THE AXE FILES." David Axelrod sits down with former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, hear his take on the whole Trump Putin Summit in Helsinki.


MITCH LANDRIEU, FORMER NEW ORLEANS MAYOR: Especially given this week, the way the president handled himself on the world stage, where he humiliated the United States of America and as I said before took a knee --


LANDRIEU: With Putin, collusion in motion is what we witnessed this week, that it's got to be clear even to some of President Trump's most ardent supporters, those who supported him because of trade or the economy that this week was a bridge too far, that you can't have a coach playing for the other team. We just witnessed something no president in the history of the United States has ever done.

AXELROD: Why do you think that was? Do you think --

LANDRIEU: You know what, I am not interested in figuring it out anymore. President Trump has us all spinning in circles trying to figure out why he does what he does. We need to focus on what his behavior is, and decisions are, ask whether it makes America stronger or weaker. I think he weakened us in a way we have never been weakened before and he should be ashamed of himself for the way he handled it. More importantly, putting that issue aside, we need to figure out how to work around him as a country. And how to contain --

AXELROD: Hard to work around a President. LANDRIEU: Actually, it is not impossible, it is possible for speaker

of the House to grow some courage and to start checking the president's power and there are lots of different ways we can do that.


BALDWIN: Landrieu also explained why he thinks the former Vice President Joe Biden would be a good choice to run for president in 2020. You can watch it all tomorrow night on CNN at 7:00 eastern, "THE AXE FILES."


BALDWIN: A decades old video raising new questions of President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh. And the views of indicting a sitting President. This is from 1998 implying Kavanaugh believes only one institution to investigate the president, the United States Congress. Not a special counsel. So, let's go straight to Manu Raju up on the hill.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He's also expressed skepticism about whether a sitting president can be indicted and this new video we have found he say that is there's one institution to be investigating the conduct of a president and that is the United States Congress. Now, it's important to note a difference of independent counsel and criticizing the special counsel like Robert Mueller and trying to understand his views of Robert Mueller but in this video, he implies that only Congress is the institution to look into the president. Take a listen.


BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: The implication is that Congress has to take responsibility for overseeing the conduct of the president in the first instance. That's the role I believe the framers envisioned and makes sense if you look at the last 20 years. It makes no sense at all to have an independent counsel looking at the conduct of the president. To be sure, most criminal investigations are going to involve multiple subjects, so we still need a criminal investigation ongoing but coming to looking at the conduct of the president it has to be the congress.


RAJU: Now, this came in the context of his work with Ken Starr who was the independent counsel in the mid-'90s investigating the Clinton White House. He worked for Starr for four years and what does it mean for how he views the constitutionality of the Mueller investigation and if he's a Supreme Court Justice possibly some matters of the Mueller probe to rise to the Supreme Court level, maybe even if a fight over a subpoena trying to compel the president to testify? The president's lawyers have threatened to fight in court if it came to that. How would he view that?

[15:55:00] Those are all questions that members of the Congress and the Senate Judiciary Committee definitely plan to ask him and pin him down on because we do not know his views about that, but we know he does not view the independent counsels of any constitutionality and he certainly has concerns of indicting a president. How does he view something like the Mueller probe? A big question for the confirmation going forward, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Huge piece that will come up in those hearings. We'll talk to you throughout. Manu Raju, thank you.

On Capitol Hill, back to our breaking news out of Washington. Live pictures, Marine One there where the president presumably just landed and about to hop on Air Force One and head off to Bedminster, New Jersey for the weekend. He didn't stop and chat with reporters leaving the White House, but you have to know a lot of people want to ask about this secretly recorded conversation between the president and the former personal attorney, Michael Cohen. That news coming out just this afternoon. We'll be right back.


BALDWIN: Before we go, take a quick moment to honor this week's CNN Hero.


MARIA ROSE BELDING, FOUNDER, MEANS: There was a food pantry in my church I grew up working in. You would have way too much of one thing and in desperate need of a different thing. Inevitably some of it would expire and I had to throw it away. When I was 14 I realized that doesn't make sense. The internet was right in front of us. That's such an obvious thing to fix. This is turning green. You would think the novelty would wear off. It doesn't.


BALDWIN: Love that attitude. You can see her simple and brilliant fix at CNN I'm Brooke Baldwin.