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FBI Releases Secret Carter Page Surveillance Warrant Documents; Page: Fisa Warrant Accusations "Ridiculous" And "Misleading"; Trump Slams DOJ After Release Of Carter Page FISA Warrant; Coats Apologizes To Trump Says He Wasn't Being "Disrespectful"; Trial For Former Trump Campaign Chairman Begins This Week; Trump Goes Against GOP Georgia Governor, Endorses Opponent; House Where Rosa Parks Sought Refuge Goes On Auction. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired July 22, 2018 - 15:00   ET


[15:00:02] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: -- Foreign Policy Adviser Carter Page listing him as an agent of foreign power, something Carter Page denied to CNN this morning. The warrant is heavily redacted, but lays out why the FBI was allowed to conduct surveillance on Page starting in 2016.

So what other details are we learning from this 400-page, newly released FISA warrant? CNN's Crime and Justice Reporter Shimon Prokupecz joins me now from Washington with more on this. What stands out to you?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: You know, Fred, certainly when you get passed all of the political rhetoric surrounding this and when you read this lengthy document and some of what the FBI is alleging is quite troubling, and should be for Carter Page.

I mean, they're essentially, as you said, calling him an agent of a foreign power. They go on to talk about how they believe that he was collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.

They say that this application, this FISA application, in targeting Carter Page that they believed that he was the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government and which they go on to say was trying to undermine and influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

And then really, finally, this point that this application, the FISA application makes is really damaging, you know, I think, certainly for Carter Page among some other things in this, and that it says that the FBI believes that the Russian government efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with candidate number one's campaign, and that is obviously President Trump's campaign.

What's significant in the redactions here, Fred, is likely that there are other people who Page probably was communicating with probably other people as this document says, perhaps worked for the campaign, people that the FBI had concerns about that we don't even know about yet. Certainly this document mentions one other person that we know who is cooperating with the FBI and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and that's George Papadopoulos, but really so much in these documents that we don't know.

But certainly things that we don't know should be concerning and paints really a picture of what the FBI was concerned about considering Carter Page's communications with Russians, his travel to Russia, and really, you know, though Carter Page denies a lot of this in his interview today with Jake Tapper, he can't really escape really all the information and all of the evidence perhaps that we don't even know about that the FBI has gathered in this investigation. And obviously that the Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating.

WHITFIELD: All right, Shimon Prokupecz, thank you so much. So Carter Page joined CNN's Jake Tapper this morning on "State of the Union" to give his side of the story and here is his defense.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: You did advise the Kremlin back in 2013 or 2012, somewhere in there?

CARTER PAGE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN FOREIGN POLICY ADVIDER: Jake, that's -- it's really spin. I mean, I sat in on some meetings but, you know, to call me an adviser I think is way over the top.

TAPPER: Except in the 2013 letter you wrote that say -- it says, "Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to served as an informal adviser to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for the presidency of the G-20 summit next month where energy issues will be prominent point on the agenda," that's August 2013. That yourself, calling yourself an informal adviser to the Kremlin.

PAGE: No, informal having some conversations with people. I mean, this is really nothing and just an attempt to distract from the real crimes that are shown in this misleading document.

You know, page 8 it says just -- it talks about disguised propaganda, including the planting of false or misleading articles, which is exactly what this is. So that is kind of the pot calling, the kettle black by Mr. Comey.

TAPPER: So (INAUDIBLE), "The FBI believes Carter Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government, and then it is redacted and then it says, undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law." It says that the Russians were trying to recruit you.

We know you said that you went to Russia in the summer of 2016 to deliver a commencement address. Is it not a possibility that the Russians were trying to recruit you, even if you didn't take the bait? Is that not possible? It seems to me like that would be their job and you are working for Trump, you'd worked with the Kremlin in the past, that would be a reasonable thing for them to try to do.

PAGE: It's totally unreasonable, Jake, and it actually speaks to another misleading testimony related to the indictments that Eric Holder and Preet Bharara submitted on January 2015 talking about that prior case. And, you know, a lot of that is incorrect spin. That individual, Mr. Padobne (ph), a young diplomat in New York, I talked with him about my class, you know.

[15:05:02] I sat -- we had coffee one time. I met him at a conference at Asia Society. We met once for coffee and I gave him some of my class notes, you know, that my students at New York University were looking at. And it was in one ear and out the other. He never asked me to do anything. I mean, it's just so preposterous.


WHITFIELD: All right, let's check in with CNN's Ryan Nobles who is near Trump's golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey where the President is spending the weekend. So tell us about the President's thoughts on all of this.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, there's no doubt the President views the release of this document is good news as it relates to his argument that the Mueller investigation is nothing more than a witch hunt.

The President tweeted a number of times about the revelation of this FISA warrant application and attempting to make the case that this just proves his point and the point of many Republicans that there were some sort of conspiracy going on with the Justice Department as it relates to the investigation into his campaign.

I want to point out one of those tweets in specific. This is what the President wrote. "Congratulations to Judicial Watch and Tom Fitton on being successful in getting the Carter Page FISA documents. As usual, they are ridiculously heavily redacted but confirm with little doubt that the Department of Justice, and notes that he puts Justice in quote, and the FBI misled the courts." And then the President describes it once again as a witch hunt, rigged and a scam.

And, you know, what's important about this is that the President is attempting to use this as evidence for a long-held Republican argument that the basis of the application to the FISA court to get the ability for the Justice Department to conduct surveillance on Carter Page was based on this dossier, which was a collection of information from various sources on President Trump and his potential ties to the Russian government.

And, you know, the President views that dossier as phony and he believes that it was, you know, a compiled erroneously and therefore shouldn't be the basis of any document, much less an application with this high level of importance.

But it's important to point out that the FBI clearly was interested in Carter Page long before the dossier was of interest and before they even knew about the dossier. They began their investigation into Carter Page before that, but it is true that the dossier did play a role in this FISA application process. Now, we should also point out that there are Republicans, prominent Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio who was on "State of the Union" today with Jake Tapper who say, you know, his review of the documents and his review of this application was that the Justice Department did everything that they were supposed to do. That they followed the law, they presented their case to a judge and the judge granted the warrant. And so, you know, this runs in complete contradiction to what the President is saying this morning and what some Republicans in the House of Representatives are saying.

And the other point we'll make is that when it comes to this FISA law, there's obviously been a lot of criticism of this FISA law that it is too broad and it makes it too easy for the Federal government to conduct surveillance on average Americans. But, you know, there have been multiple opportunities for the Congress to rein it in, to make it a little bit tougher.

In fact as late as January of this year, the Republicans in Congress had an opportunity to change the FISA law or just to do away with it completely, they instead chose to renew it. And it was the President of the United States, Donald Trump, who's been so critical of this process who signed that into law. Fred?

WHITFIELD: All right, Ryan Nobles, thank you so much.

All right, let's talk more about this. With me right now, Dave Jacobson, a CNN Political Commentator and Democratic Strategist, John Thomas is also a CNN Political Commentator and Republican Strategist, and also joining me, Shan Wu, a CNN Legal Analyst and Former Federal Prosecutor. Good to see you all.

All right, Shan -- let me begin with you, Shan. You know, from what you have read and seen, does it appear that surveillance of Carter Page seemed warranted?

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It does, but it is very heavily redacted as is normal in these circumstances. You know, very few FISA warrants are really turned down given how many are asked for. And really the reason for that is because so much detail goes into them. So it was obvious here from the length how much detail went into support to request. It's little hard to understand how the President is able to certain that the detail that is missing doesn't actually support the request.

WHITFIELD: But regardless of what is redacted, what is there, helps in your view support the merit of surveillance for him?

WU: Oh, very much so. I mean, the accusation made by the FBI is so specific. They claim that they believe he is collaborating actively with the Russians. I mean, that's a very damning accusation to that.

WHITFIELD: So this morning, Marco Rubio, Senator Marco Rubio, was on "State of the Union" and here's what he had to say about the surveillance of Carter Page.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: By the Trump's campaign admission, Carter Page was not a big player in their campaign. I don't believe that, you know, them looking into Carter Page means they were spying on the campaign. I also don't believe it proves anything about collusion or anything like that.

[15:10:03] I think Carter Page is one of these guys that kind of -- we never would have heard of him before all of this, but he was a guy that was on their screen even before the campaign and when he comes into the kind of near orbit of the campaign, they get interested when they put that together with what's happening with Russian interference.


WHITFIELD: So, Dave, will it take an indictment, and perhaps even a trial of Carter Page, in your view, to find out the truth about whether he conspired, collaborated with the Russians in any way, shape or form?

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Potentially I think it's a Bob Mueller question, right? But I was really struck by that juxtaposition where you got Marco Rubio essentially defending the FBI's investigation or the FBI's request for the warrant to wiretap Carter Page. And then you have the President's tweet today, which is the precise opposite.

I thought -- while I agreed philosophically with him, I think Marco Rubio looked like a true patriot today. He was standing up to the President and telling truth to the people. That is precisely what they need.

And let's not forget by the way, Fred, it's important to point out that the entire FBI investigation into Russian interference in our election was started by George Papadopoulos. It was not struck by Carter Page, right? That was only the second tier of that overall investigation. So I think it's an important element to include in the conversation.

WHITFIELD: So, John, so the judges who signed off on this for FISA applications were all appointed by Republican president. So are these complaints of, you know, political partisanship really undermined by seeing how this process was played out and by whom it was executed.

JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think one thing we learned in this era of Trump politics is that party politics does not necessarily dictate people's allegiances. I mean, look at -- let's look at James Comey, who was a Republican, is now urging every single person in America to vote Democrat just because Ana Navarro, who contributes to this net work is a Republican, I don't seen her support the Republicans recently. So I don't think necessarily their partisanship dictates that.

But I do think what's interesting about these documents is it how easy quite frankly it is to get surveillance on an American citizen. And yes, it was voluminous in what they wrote, but there were key facts that were left out. The Steele dossier, they -- although they say --.

WHITFIELD: What do you mean it was left out? You mean portions were redacted so the public cannot see. But I mean, it takes quite a bit, does it not, Shan, for even the judges to even consider these applications?

WU: Right. You do need that detail. And, again, it's very hard to discern what they did not put in there, but given the conclusions that the FBI made, it's really -- I mean the obvious assumption we can draw from that is that it was very damning, detailed evidence.

THOMAS: Well, Fred, I didn't see in the documents, and maybe it was redacted, but I didn't see that they said explicitly that the Steele dossier was paid for the by the Clinton campaign. Carter Page just this morning on Jake show (INAUDIBLE) the accusation.

WHITFIELD: So we know that was already revealed. We know that that information was revealed, actually, to the judges.

THOMAS: Okay. Carter Page also said that the documents claim that he met with two members related to the Kremlin that Carter Page swears he's never met with, he's never spoken with of any kind.

So it just appear that -- look, time will tell but here's what I can tell you that if it was a slam dunk case, that if Carter Page was in fact colluding with the Russians to collude with the Trump campaign, you would think at this point that Bob Mueller would be having Carter Page sharing the jail cell with Paul Manafort, but he remains a free man today and it seems like that they surveilled him and found nothing.

WHITFIELD: Right. Except that -- it had been already reported, though, that he had been on radar for a while because of so many interactions with a variety of players, not all of it being spelled out in these 400 pages, but that kind of raised the flag as to why investigators were looking at him.

So, Shan, you know, the release of these FISA warrants is never happen before. Is it worrisome to you that in anyway it could impact applications this day forward?

WU: It is an extraordinary release of information. I'm not sure it's ever been done before. And even though it's redacted, I think it does cause concern if the Justice Department is feeling so much pressure that, you know, they're having to release this. I mean, Trump declassified it. I don't know that it will affect future warrant applications, except in this sense.

The redactions right now still seem very protective of the sources, which is really important to do. Trump obviously has it within his power if he feels that more detail would be helpful, he could order them to redact less. I think if you get to that point where sources, sensitive sources are being revealed, that could pose a problem in the future for the applications.

WHITFIELD: And so, Dave, these documents or at least the release of what we've all been, you know, looking over, pouring over in any way does it cast doubt on Congressman Devin Nunes' House Intel memo?

[15:15:10] JACOBSON: I think it does, right? I mean the whole basis for that was the dossier, which was disingenuous and it was politically motivated. And I think what we found in the FISA documents was they actually explicitly say that some of the research that they had obtained was from a source that had a motive to discredit Donald Trump. They didn't explicitly say it was Steele or the dossier, but they said that the documentation obviously was provided from perhaps a political adversary of the President, right, so I think that's an important note to point out.

But bottom line, if you look at Carter Page's interview today, it just reeks of hypocrisy and disingenuousness. I mean the fact of the matter is he went on television with Jake Tapper today and said that he wasn't an adviser to the Kremlin, when, in fact, Time Magazine reported on a letter that Carter Page put out back in 2013 where he say explicitly, Fred, says that he was an adviser to the Kremlin. And so I think, you know --

WHITIFIELD: An informal adviser, in fact.

THOMAS: Informal.

JACOBSON: Precisely.

WHITFIELD: But he acknowledged.

JACOBSON: Correct.

THOMAS: Fred, the challenge we have here is we shouldn't be needing to look at how the government obtains FISA warrants, but we have to. And we have to because people like Lisa Page and Peter Strzok and James Comey have ruined their credibility and shown that they have a bias against this President. And so now we have to unpack the entire process to make sure that it was done fairly and properly and that is a shame.

WHITFIELD: All right. We'll leave it there John Thomas, Dave Jacobson, Shan Wu. Thanks to all of you. Appreciate it.

THOMAS: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, so from Helsinki to the hot seat. President Trump faces a new round of criticism after his meeting with Vladimir Putin. Coming up, the new poll showing how Americans really feel about Trump's performance and what members of his own party are saying today.

And later, as former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort prepares for the start of his trial later on this week, what can we expect to learn about his past business dealings?


[15:21:30] WHITFIELD: All right, it was a rather awkward moment for the Trump administration when the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, appeared to be surprised when he learned that President Trump had invited Vladimir Putin for a visit in the fall.

Well, now, Coats is apologizing for that moment saying in a statement, "Some press coverage has mischaracterized my intentions in responding to breaking news presented to me during a live interview. My admittedly awkward response was in no way meant to be disrespectful or criticize the actions of the President." So where does that leave the relationship between the President and his intelligence chief?

I want to bring in Aaron David Miller, he's a CNN Global Affairs Analyst and served several presidents in his decade as an adviser at the U.S. State Department. So, good to see you. What do you read into that kind of apology apologizing for an awkward moment?

AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I mean, I think DNI Coats is trying to navigate an impossible situation. You know, in Trump-land it seems to me you either suck up or make sure that you clarify any negative criticism on the President or you stand up. And if, in fact, you stand up for too long, see H.R. McMaster or Rex Tillerson, you don't last very long.

I think DNI Coates is in an impossible situation. He represents -- he's the highest ranking intelligence officer in the community. And I think he's caught between trying to defend the interests of the Republican on one hand by validating the fact that the Russians have consistently interfered, assaulted our political system and the elections. And frankly, maintaining his job in the Trump administration.

Presumably he believes that he's -- it's worth staying in order to defend the interest of the Republican. So I think this was inevitable because the White House, Fred, made it very clear, certainly to "New York Times," that they were very unhappy with Coats' remarks at Aspen.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And so many people have really described Dan Coats as being, you know, a real patriot and -- in his tenure in public service, you know, really exemplifies his, you know, allegiance to country, to the intelligence community and it's a very prickly kind of situation now.

So Senator Marco Rubio had thoughts this morning saying that a real lack of experience led to some of the President's stumbles this week. Listen to his point of view.


RUBIO: And because he's not a political creature, he doesn't realize that some of these things he does, how it would be portrayed by our allies or by others. Let me say this, our allies in Europe wanted him to meet with Putin. I'm not sure they wanted him potentially to say some of the things that he said, but they wanted him to meet with him.


WHITFIELD: Does this chalk this all up to, you know, lack of experience whether it's how he dealt with things in Helsinki, with Vladimir Putin, or how behind closed doors he's unhappy with the way in which Coats may have -- I mean, publicly reacted to news? I mean, how do you assess all of this?

MILLER: You know, Marco Rubio is a smart guy, but I think frankly he's being very charitable in this case. Yes, there is an extraordinary degree of lack of experience on the part of Donald Trump. Let's assume he's a politician, he's not a foreign policy expert. But what's happening between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin goes far beyond the lack of experience, Fred.

[15:25:05] I think you have a situation, perhaps the first in the modern history of this country, where the President of the United States cannot define the American national interests untethered from his own personal interests, views, likes, dislikes. And in the case of his relationship with Vladimir Putin, inexplicable nowhere is that more on display.

And the summit to me suggests either that Mr. Trump has a real affinity for authoritarian leaders over our Democratic allies or alternatively there is leverage that Mr. Putin has, and no evidence to suggest that. But I'm not sure what else explains this extraordinary relationship between Mr. Putin and the President.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And for how long is it acceptable not to hear the President of the United States explain the content of a conversation that took place in the amount of two hours, two and a half hours with this adversary.

MILLER: Well, I think in terms of those sorts of conversations. I mean, I -- there are so many conversation in American presidents and foreign leaders during the 25 years I spent working at the State Department, the details of which have never been revealed. But the fact is --

WHITFIED: But then do you allow the adversary, the other side to --


WHITFIELD: -- you know, say, yeah, there were promises made, there were agreements made, but you don't hear it from the President of your country?

MILLER: No, that's the whole point, Fred. I mean, the reality is what are we five, six days in the wake of Helsinki? There has been no effort to create a coherent narrative or brief anybody.

I'm not entirely sure that Mike Pompeo knows and Putin I'm sure recorded the conversation and perhaps the President left strict instructions we could have recorded that conversation, but I suspect we didn't, so, no. This is virtually unprecedented.

And let's just -- let me just add. I worked for Republicans and Democrats. I voted for Republicans and Democrats. This is not a partisan comment. This is a betrayal of both American values and interests and it continues. And that I think is the real problem and a real challenge we face.

WHITFIELD: Aaron David Miller, thank you so much. MILLER: Thank you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, he once led Donald Trump's presidential campaign, now he's fighting to stay out of prison. We'll break down Paul Manafort's upcoming week in court next.


[15:32:00] WHITFIELD: All right, the first trial in the special counsel's Russia probe is set to start this week. Prosecutors will present their case against President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Manafort is facing charges of money laundering, tax fraud and other crimes. These charges stemming from the investigation launch by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which look in to Manafort's role in the Trump campaign. In total, Manafort faces 25 criminal charges in two separate cases in Virginia and Washington D.C.

For more on what we can expect in court this week, CNN Legal Analyst Shan Wu. All right, Shan, good to see you.

So you served on the legal team for former Trump campaign aide, Rick Gates, during the Mueller investigation. Prosecutors have laid out nearly 500 pieces of evidence they plan to present against Manafort. Take us kind of behind the scenes of how Special Counsel Robert Mueller just might operate in bringing out this case.

WU: Sure. One thing for that I have to say is anything I say is not based on any confidential information I gained as a member of the team. I think this will be a fascinating trial. It's the first one to go. And I think the prosecution is going to face a couple of challenges.

The first is going to be -- this is going to be very technical evidence. They have a lot of it in terms of financial records and such and so it's a little bit hard to make sure that jury follows all that and frankly stays awake during that. So that's one challenge.

And then I think the second one is a challenge for the defense team, which is Manafort is not going to come across as a really sympathetic character, seems like a very rich fellow, very connected. So their challenge is to make him -- to humanize him, to make him a more sympathetic person.

And then the last thing that is so fascinating, of course, is the, really, unusual number of immunized witnesses that Mueller is seeking to have immunized, and that means that they will be free from any potential criminal charges against them and that certainly presents a lot of challenges for both sides, really.

WHITFIELD: And whether it's the journey of this trial or perhaps even the outcome, all of it could really make a huge impact on the ongoing Mueller investigation to what degree? What do you anticipate?

WU: Well, I think it's a very high stakes trial obviously for Manafort because he faces a second one, too. But it's very high stakes for Mueller's team. I mean, they really need to win this first one coming out of the box.

And the use of the immunized witnesses, I think, shows how important the trial is to them to grant or at least to seek immunity to that many witnesses really puts them on the hot spot, they're not holding anything back.

And, of course, with juries sometimes they don't like immunized witnesses. They feel these folks can say whatever they want and there is no consequences. But it's very important for Mueller's team to win this one. I think they're really working hard on it.

WHITFIELD: All right, Shan Wu, thanks so much.

WU: Thank you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, well, just one state, but what could be a very heated gubernatorial race in Georgia? What it could say about the state of politics for the rest of their country? The White House is now weighing in. We'll get some perspective coming up.


[15:39:48] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. President Trump jumped into the governor's race in Georgia this week with an unexpected endorsement tweeting, "Brian Kemp, who is running for governor of Georgia, has my full endorsement." He is campaigning tonight with the vice president. "Brian is very strong on crime and borders, loves our military Vets and the Second Amendment. He will be a great governor."

[15:40:09] Trump's endorsement caught the current Republican governor off guard. He had already endorsed Kemp's opponent, Casey Cagle, who is currently the lieutenant governor.

With me now to discuss this is Greg Bluestein. He is a Political Reporter for the Atlantic Journal Constitution. Greg, it's so good to see you.


WHITFIELD: Thanks so much. All right, so this is interesting because there has been, I guess, this moment of surprise and potential fallout but it all could be potentially influential.

BLUESTEIN: Oh, yes. This is like a bombshell going off in this Georgia GOP race for governor. Trump remains tremendously popular among the conservatives who decide this contest on Tuesday, and so his wading into the race this late.

And, of course, with the Vice President Mike Pence coming over the weekend to stamp with Brian Kemp, really could be a game changer for Brian Kemp's campaign. He has been the underdog all along, now he is the front runner. WHITFIELD: And is this runoff about who is the most conservative, who is most moderate? Who could potentially, I guess, lead the way or cement the President's support?

BLUESTEIN: Yes. I mean this has been a race to the right from the get-go with both candidates both pledging to expand gun rights, restrict abortion, cut taxes, and be the most loyal ally to President Donald Trump. So both of them sort of, you know, jumped on the Trump train to begin with throughout this whole campaign. But now Brian Kemp has Trump's actual endorsement, which is a hard thing for Casey Cagle to stomach.

WHITFIELD: Right. And for the sitting governor and the lieutenant governor, you know, to understand where this is coming from and why, how perplexing is that for the electorate?

BLUESTEIN: Oh, yes. I mean, this is such a late event in this campaign that Brian Kemp is doing everything he can to get the news out. He quickly filmed the new ad just highlighting President Trump's tweet.

And Casey Cagle is out there reminding folks that even before Trump got in the race he had governor deal's endorsement. And governor deal is also a very popular Republican in Georgia.

WHITFIELD: So these ads, this is then very unique setting. There have been some really quirky ads, some really kind of mind blowing ones, et cetera, and very unique too. There have been a couple of controversial once, including this one where the candidate -- where Kemp, you know, points a shotgun at a teen, a boy who wants to date his daughter. Take a listen.


BRIAN KEMP, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE IN GEORGIA: Two things if you're going to date one of my daughters, respect and a healthy appreciation --.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the Second Amendment, sir.

KEMP: We're going to get along just fine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brian Kemp for governor.


WHITFIELD: OK. So what's been the reception of that ad?

BLUESTEIN: Certainly a provocative ad and the Kemp campaign believes that ad gotten into the runoff, is one of the factors that got them into the runoff in the first place. They got so much national attention and a lot of grassroots support from folks in Republican Party in Georgia who just want to see the Second Amendment expanded. They don't feel like the current governor has done enough to do that and they feel like Brian Kemp will do that for them. WHITFIELD: But is this weird too, because haven't the two kind of been on the same team? I mean, Secretary of State Kemp, lieutenant governor --


WHITFIELD: -- you know, of Georgia, and now they are opponents. How do they distinguish themselves? Have they ever come across as being one on the same team?

BLUESTEIN: Yes. And they have offices across the hall from each under the Georgia Gold Dome at the capitol, so they have been on the same page on a lot these issues. It's interesting because Brian Kemp is casting himself as the outsider and Casey Cagle is the career politician even though they both hold state wide office for almost a decade. Casey Cagle is even longer than that. So you're seeing sort of a battle between the main stream elements in the Republican Party who are backing Casey Cagle and the outsider elements backing Brian Kemp.

WHITFIELD: So whoever win, you know, this runoff on Tuesday, it then is potentially consequential and history -- potentially history making race for governor in this state because either one will be going up against the Democratic primary winner, Stacey Adams.

BLUESTEIN: Yes. Stacey Abrams won back in May and she had a very convincing defeat of -- win over her rival. She would be the nation's first black female elected governor if she wins and she is taking a new approach in Georgia. She is -- instead of taking a more centrist attitude, she is gunning for left leaning voters with pretty liberal policies on gun control, on taxes, on criminal justice that other Democrats haven't really taken in Georgia.

WHITFIELD: Yes. That was already history making for Stacey Abrams and now potentially we'll see what happens in November. All right, thank you so much. Good to see you.

BLUESTEIN: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, this week a piece of civil rights history going up for auction. It's the wooden house that was once resided by Rosa Parks. We'll speak with a family member and the president of the auction house about this historic home, next.


[15:49:37] WHITFIELD: All right, this week a piece of civil rights history will go on the auction block, a house where the mother of the Civil Rights Movement, Rosa Parks, lived.

The small wooden home is where she, her husband, her brother, her brother's wife and their 13 children lived together. Parks received so many death threats after her famous refusal in 1955 to give up her seat on the Montgomery, Alabama bus.

[15:50:02] But 50 years later, she and her husband went to seek refuge in her brother's house, this one in Detroit. Rosa Parks tied in 2005, and eventually her home fell into disrepair and was almost demolished in Detroit, and that is when Parks' niece, Rhea, purchased it. But then a new journey began involving that house. It is an extraordinary story.

Joining me right now are Rhea McCauley, Rosa Parks' niece, and Arlan Ettinger, president of the Guernsey's auction house. Good to see you both.



WHITFIELD: So this auction will be taking place this week, quite extraordinary. But, Rhea, if you could explain to me this house has had quite a journey after being the safe refuge, you know, for your Aunt Rosa Parks where she moved. When you made this purchase, I understand for what, $500, then came a new odyssey of where that home would end up. And it would end up in Germany. Explain how all of that would happen.

MCCAULEY: Well, this has been an emotional ride, of course, but we -- once it was over in Germany, I felt that the home was safe finally. And for the family that was what we wanted. That was the first step. And the second step was to see Ryan Mendoza (ph) who worked so hard on the home himself. And he would be out in the winter time putting up things. He would send me video.

And then the second step was, of course, going -- traveling to Germany and seeing the restored work of art myself. And I can't begin to tell you. I felt like I had all the air sucked out of me.

WHITFIELD: So now I understand why it live in Germany, you know, because of your good friend who is an artist who helped make it happen there in Germany. It will become quite a tourist site. People would come from all walks to see this home of Rosa Parks.


WHITFIELD: And at what point was a decision made that it would go from Germany to now Brown University would get involved, in Rhode Island and this house would be taken apart. And, again, it would have another sojourn.

MCCAULEY: Oh, that is good question. Brown was actually selected from a choice of several people, several locations where the house could have been displayed at. Brown was chosen because they seemed like they were trying to make reparations for their terrible history with slavery. I had yet realized how far racism went in this country. Brown rejecting Auntie Rosa was a slap across my face.

WHITFIELD: Wow. So now it is being put up for auction. I mean, this has to be really personal for you. And this decision to now, you know, let go of this physical reminder of your aunt who is also a national treasure and the sacrifice that she made and, you know, the mother of the modern day Civil Rights Movement. MCCAULEY: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Tell me about this decision to say you're willing to let it go and it'd been auctioned.

MCCAULEY: Well, as a part of the McCauley family, we understood and I had yet to learn how loved she is around the world, Auntie Rosa's greatly loved. And we have been -- I want to say, trained to realize that I don't own Auntie Rosa. She is not that small.

And because she is loved around the world, we understand greatly that sometimes you have to be able to let her go, you know. Let her go because people need to understand the impact that she had on the history of the world and how people, excuse me, how people view her.


MCCAULEY: So that has been hard. And I can just tell you, I don't know the Malcolm X or the Dr. King Children personally, but they have had to go through similar and like experiences that our family has.

WHITFIELD: We can feel just how personal, you know, this is for you. So, Arlan, knowing, you know, this is personal attachment, you know, to this house and --


WHITFIELD: -- you know, this history with someone who made such an incredible sacrifice who at the time she just said, you know, "I was tired."

[15:55:05] You know, she wasn't looking at it in terms of just how giant this move would become.


WHITFIELD: What is it? I mean, how do you put a dollar figure, how do you put value on this representation of this extraordinary woman for this auction this week?

ETTINGER: It is very --.

MCCAULEY: I'm sorry.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Go Mr. Arlen, sorry.

ETTINGER: It is very hard to try to determine what something might conceivably sell for when it is as historic as this. But just two years ago, Guernsey's was successful in seeing that the entire archive of Rosa Parks was sold and then donated to the United States Library of Congress.

The auction that we have coming up is one that focuses on the African- American history and culture, and in addition to the Rosa Parks home has many extraordinary items relating to Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, even the contract signed by Joe Jackson to put his children, the Jackson Five and Michael Jackson into the recording world.

So, you know, it is an auction and we believe that good things are going to happen. This home is going to find its proper place where it can inspire future generations as the memory of Mrs. Parks certainly does.

We're having this auction additionally a simple one-page document that Rosa Parks wrote just days after she first met Dr. Martin Luther King for the very first time and hearing him speak, she wrote, "Today I met a man I will never forget."


ETTINGER: And it was only then months later that she refused to give up her seat in the bus. And that coming together on this one piece of paper that we have has to be one of the most extraordinary documents that I'm aware of relating to our nation's history.

WHITFIELD: And she obviously a woman we will never forget, and are forever grateful for what she did and how she did it. Ms. Rhea McCauley and Mr. Arlan Ettinger, thank you so much. And I did read that what a pre-auction estimated value maybe somewhere between $1 million and $3 million for that structure?

ETTINGER: Who knows? It's an auction, hard to predict.

WHITFIELD: All right. Well, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it.

Still so much more straight ahead in the "Newsroom" right after this.