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Page Surveillance Documents Released; Trump on Cohen Recordings; Inspector Says He warned Duck Boat Company of Dangers; Aired 6:30-7:00a ET

Aired July 23, 2018 - 06:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[06:30:00] DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Nuclear agreement with the Russians at, you know, four or five days after this summit happened.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Right.

SANGER: I mean that really told you everything you need to know.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. That is the headline. Thank you, gentlemen, very much.

BERMAN: All right, Uber and Lift drivers live streaming passenger rides. Is there a privacy problem here? I think that's a rhetorical question.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: The suspect in Saturday's deadly armed standoff at a Los Angeles Trader Joes is being held on $2 million bail. The 28-year-old faces one count of murder with other charges pending. The store manager of that Trader Joes was killed during the standoff. Some workers had to climb out a back window on a chain ladder to escape before the gunman eventually surrendered.

BERMAN: Uber and Lift have suspended a driver after he used a webcam to secretly record riders in St. Louis and he live streamed their rides. "The St. Louis Post Dispatch" says the driver, Jason Gargac, posted some 700 rides online, broadcasting passengers' names, addresses, as well as private and sometimes intimate conversations.

[06:35:15] CAMEROTA: Segue.

BERMAN: Gargac told the paper he was just capturing the natural interactions between himself and the passengers. He says the cameras were there for his own safety.

CAMEROTA: Is that -- wasn't this -- isn't this some sort of cable show? Isn't there like a tax talk show that he was just mimicking?

BERMAN: You're acting like it's a question. You know, "Taxi Cab Confessions." CAMEROTA: I think that's exactly it.

BERMAN: That was totally one of your favorite shows. I've seen you watching it.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I just forgot the name of it. So that's probably what he was auditioning for.

BERMAN: I don't know. This is live streaming and putting the names and the addresses of people he's talking to out. This doesn't seem very friendly.

CAMEROTA: No, that's not a good policy. I'm glad they're fixing that (INAUDIBLE).

BERMAN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: All right, meanwhile, Carter Page responds to the release of the surveillance warrant that accused him or what he says now about the accusations that he was advising the Kremlin. We have more information than we did before. We'll read it for you.

BERMAN: "Taxi Cab Confessions" I think was the show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:40:02] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Yes, I don't think they did anything wrong. I think they went to the court. They got the judges to approve it. They've put -- laid out all of the information, and there was a lot of reasons unrelated to the dossier for why they wanted to look at Carter Page. And Carter Page was not a key member of the Trump campaign but -- and the Trump campaign has said that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: That was Senator Marco Rubio insisting the FBI had every right to pursue a case against Carter Page if he was acting suspiciously. But the former Trump campaign aid claims that accusations that were laid out in this FISA warrant that he collaborated or conspired somehow with the Russian government are, quote, ridiculous and misleading.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARTER PAGE, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: No, I've never -- I've never been an agent of a foreign power in any -- by any stretch of the imagination. You know, I may have, you know, back in the G-20, when they were getting ready to do that in St. Petersburg, I might have participated in a few meetings that a lot of people, including people from the Obama administration, were sitting in on, And Geneva, Paris, et cetera. But I've never been anywhere near what's being described here.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CAMEROTA: Joining us now we have CNN's senior political reporter Nia- Malika Henderson and CNN legal analyst Carrie Cordero.

Carrie, you know all about FISA warrants, so I want to start with you, because the president seems to -- because of his tweets, he seems to be confused between spying and just customary police work. And that is what Senator Rubio was saying, which was that investigators did exactly what they were supposed to do. If you have a tip that somebody has been compromised, An American has been compromised somehow, or is be used as, you know, a ruse (ph) somehow of the Russian government, of course you look into it. What else would you ever expect the FBI to do?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Sure. Well, this is -- this was an open counterintelligence investigation. And, you know, let's look at the broader context. At the time, the FBI, obviously, had received information that Carter Page had some connections to Russian intelligence services. That's evident just from the information that's in the declassified portion of these applications that were released over the weekend.

At the same -- and he's working with a major presidential campaign. So there's a counterintelligence threat to the campaign that the FBI would have a responsibility to investigate.

At the same time that they have separate intelligence information being developed by the FBI and the intelligence community that there is a broader strategy and intelligence operation taking place by the Russian government to influence the U.S. election. So you put all those pieces together and of course the FBI would have had a responsibility to investigate and FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, is one mechanism that they can use to be able to continue that investigation.

BERMAN: There are a few things we should point out here. Number one, a release like this is completely unprecedented. We've just never seen a FISA application like this.

Number two, when you look at it, it's as if you've died and gone to redaction heaven because it's mostly just blacked out -- completely blacked out.

CAMEROTA: But you can still see some interesting tidbits in here.

BERMAN: You can. And one of those interesting tidbits is the nearly full page of footnotes, the nearly full page, which does identify that the so-called dossier was put together to discredit candidate one, which was Donald Trump. So these four Republican appointed judges, they knew this was at least part of the evidence was political here.

But, Nia, what we're just clearly seeing is that the political sides are falling back on their previous notions. I don't think there's any grand revelation here.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: I think that's right. And you'll see -- you've already seen President Trump tweet about it. I think he's tweeted about it this morning, encouraging people to watch Fox News, which, obviously, has a partisan take on this.

It really is a replay of what we saw before, Nunes releasing his memo that maid all sort of claims, including apparently that the FBI mislead the FISA courts in terms of Steel's -- sort of political affiliations and that he was hired by campaigns who were trying to discredit President Trump, or then candidate Trump. And as you said, that was clearly in the FISA memo there.

What's also the argument of partisans is that this fruit of the poison tree argument. Basically that everything started with this Steel dossier, which was a political document. So everything that comes after it is tainted as well. And this shows, a, that the investigation began, as Carrie talked about, before. This basically began with George Papadopoulos. And this was part of a broader campaign.

But you will see, I think, the partisans declare victor and vindication on either side. Republicans saying that this proves their point. Trump already saying that. And the Democrats, of course, saying the opposite.

And the other thing is, as you said, we don't know the other information. Part of it was the dossier. But if you look at that, at this filing, it shows that they got warrant -- they got these wiretaps renewed several times -- I think three times -- and each time there's more information that the FBI submits to the court. So there's additional information, not just this dossier, which the Republicans obviously want to discredit --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

HENDERSON: And say that it was completely political.

[06:45:17] CAMEROTA: OK, next topic, Carrie.

It turns out that Michael Cohen may have tape recorded --

BERMAN: Lordy.

CAMEROTA: His -- oh, Lordy, his conversations with the president, as well as other conversations. And President Trump said it a tweet that it was inconceivable that a lawyer would record any sort of conversations with a client. So -- well, actually, he was saying it was inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office. So, is it inconceivable? Does -- do lawyers do that?

CORDERO: Well, this is just part of, obviously, the president's reaction to everything that's going on in terms of the emerging information about what Michael Cohen had in terms of recording the president. It's not usual practice for a lawyer to record their clients. So that is certainly unusual.

But this is actually part of the president's broader strategy to delegitimize lawful investigations. So when Michael Cohen -- when the search warrant was executed at Michael Cohen's office and residence, that was according to a court authorized warrant. Same with these FISA applications. These are court authorized processes and so there's nothing partisan about them. There's nothing untoward about them. This is lawful investigative process that the president is attacking in his statements.

BERMAN: And he's trying to politicize it.

All right, Carrie Cordero, Nia-Malika Henderson, thank you very, very much.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

BERMAN: We're getting new information this morning about the horrible duck boat tragedy in Missouri. There were warnings to this tour company from someone who inspected these boats.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:50:52] BERMAN: The Coast Guard will begin raising the duck boat that sank in Missouri last week, killing 17 people. The boat's black box is now being reviewed by federal investigators.

Joining me now is Steven Paul, a mechanical inspector who says in 2017 he warned the Branson duck boat operation about the dangers he found during his inspection.

Steven, thanks so much for being with us.

You inspected these boats in 2017. What did you find?

STEVEN PAUL, MECHANICAL INSPECTOR, SAYS HE WARNED DUCK TOUR COMPANY ABOUT DANGERS: Well, good morning.

Yes, I did inspect these boats last year in August. One of the most prominent things that I found was the exhaust being in the front of the vessel, which, according to the Department of Transportation standards, would not pass regulations. The exhaust has to come out past the passenger compartment.

BERMAN: And one of the things, as we're looking at some of this footage of the large waves and how this boat performed in the water is, you have lingering ongoing concern about the canopies, about the tops of duck boats. Explain.

PAUL: Well, if you have the curtains down on the side, and obviously you had the canopy on top of it, I think it's going to make it extremely difficult for passengers to escape. And back in 1999, when a similar incident happened in Arkansas, where the NTSB warned duck boat operators about the hazard of passengers being trapped in the canopy as well as the side curtains.

BERMAN: Again, we know that none of the victims, as far as we can tell, were wearing life jackets.

When you warned the company after your inspector, or when you gave them the results of what you found, what was the reaction?

PAUL: I pretty much got a, thank you for your report, and they paid their invoice, which I didn't hear much feedback about -- about my findings at all, although I do have -- I do have several pages in my report, I site the Department of Transportation standards in the CFR regulation. Very plainly sight the actual paragraphs and the lines when I was working hand in hand with the Missouri Department of Transportation to help Ripley's decide whether these ships would pass the DOT regulation or not.

BERMAN: You have concern about how these ships handle in storms or when they take on water. Explain.

PAUL: Oh, absolutely, that's one of the -- one of the things I saw first in the eyewitness video that was on the Branson Belle was that the ship was -- was taking heavy waves to the front end. With the exhaust coming out the front and going down below the water line, those waves are obviously pushing water up in that exhaust. If water gets up in the exhaust, the engine is eventually going to stop and then if that engine stops, it's also going to stop the billage inside the boat and the boat's not going to be able to evacuate it's own water in the hull.

There's been a couple of naysayers saying that there's backup systems, batteries, and they're electric driven. These particular vessels, they're not like just a regular boat. They are mechanically driven. The evacuation pump, the billage pump in the center of the ship, in the hull, is mechanically driven through a drive shaft and a transfer case. So it's -- it's an unfortunate chain of events that has occurred here.

BERMAN: And when you're talking about duke boats nationwide, and we've seen other problems here, there's an issue with jurisdiction, who is responsible for it. It's split between basically the land side, DOT, and the water side, Coast Guard. Explain.

PAUL: Yes, you're absolutely right with that. You know there is a huge disconnect between the U.S. Coast Guard and the Missouri -- or, I'm sorry, the Department of Transportation. If anything that can come out -- you know, anything good that can come out of this unfortunate accident is that the two regulating bodies can come together, they can form one type of inspection for amphibious vehicles, and decide who's going to regulate it, who's going to do the inspections, what are the inspection requirements going to be? You know, and realistically, that needs to happen or the ducks need to be shut down. And I would hate to see that happen, I think it was a fun experience. My wife and my family, we've ridden the ducks but --

[06:55:21] BERMAN: Do you wear your life jacket? Do you think everyone should have a life jacket on a duck boat?

PAUL: I didn't wear a life jacket. It seemed -- it seemed safe while we road. You know it's -- if you can think of a cruise ship life jacket, it's just all here around your neck. And I think it would -- it would be pretty cumbersome. But in the event of rough waters, I think it would be a pretty good idea to put your life jacket on. BERMAN: All right, Steven, thank you very much for being with us and

trying to get a better sense of what happened here and overall safety for these vessels. Do appreciate it, sir.

Alisyn.

PAUL: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: OK, so while you've been sleeping, the president has sent out an explosive tweet. It's a warning to Iran. It's in all caps. We will analyze it for you and bring you the news, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:59:53] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The regime in Iran has been a nightmare for the Iranian people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A war of words between the leaders of Iraq and the United States. This seemed to just come out of nowhere. This is really over the top.

REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We were the victim of what Russia did in 2016 and it ought to be a source of unity.

BERMAN: President Trump walks back the walk back, now refers to the Russia