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FBI Releases Warrant Documents; Trump Says Nothing Was Given Up to Putin; Trader Joe's Gunman Held on Bail; Trump Tweet Not a Distraction; Michael Cohen Tapes. Aired 8:30-9:00a ET
Aired July 23, 2018 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:30:00] MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN AIDE: With anything.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, that's true, he's uncharged.
CAMEROTA: But, I mean, maybe you should take it up with the four federal judges all appointed by Republican presidents I mean if you think they're illegal.
CAPUTO: If you think this is about Republican versus Democrat, you're not paying attention.
CAMEROTA: You think this is about Republican versus Democrat. I'm saying these are real judges. These are sitting federal judges.
CAPUTO: I don't. I think it's the -- I think it's this --
CAMEROTA: I don't think they're in on the scheme.
CAPUTO: I think it's the establishment versus the people. I think that if you think that it matters whether they were appointed by a Republican or a Democrat, you're not paying attention.
CAMEROTA: I'm speaking your language. I'm trying to speak your language.
CAPUTO: I understand.
CAMEROTA: But, Michael Caputo, we appreciate --
CAPUTO: I love it when you talk my language, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Yes, you do.
We appreciate you coming in with your interesting perspective. Thank you.
CAPUTO: Alisyn, you have a great week. Thank you.
CAMEROTA: You too.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You have a great week.
CAMEROTA: Oh, I will.
BERMAN: You have a great week.
CAMEROTA: Oh, I will, John Berman.
BERMAN: Look, you were just having a fascinating discussion about Russia and the president's views towards Russia and the Russian attack on the U.S. election in 2016. You know how the president has responded to all of this?
BERMAN: He threatened Iran overnight.
CAMEROTA: Oh, I -- I remember that.
BERMAN: He threatened Iran overnight. We're going to talk about this language, we're going to talk about the president's admission that he believes that the entire Russia investigation is a hoax. And we'll talk about Michael Caputo and what he just said to you there. James Clapper joins us next.
[08:35:10] BERMAN: All right, some breaking news for you. This is what the president of the United States wrote just moments ago. He says, when you hear -- I don't even want to say the words -- people talking negatively about my meeting with President Putin and all that I gave up, remember, I gave up nothing. That is the president's claim.
Joining me now on the phone, James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, CNN national security analyst.
Director, the president says he gave up nothing with Vladimir Putin. Yet, standing next to him and taking his side on whether Russia attacked the 2016 presidential election, is that not a concession to Vladimir Putin?
JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST (via telephone): Well, I think so. And I don't agree, not surprisingly, that he didn't give up anything. I thought he gave up a lot simply by meeting with Putin. For me, this was a huge reward for very bad behavior on the part of Putin and specifically in the Russians generally.
BERMAN: Discussing perhaps turning over a former U.S. ambassador for questioning. Mike McFaul, is that giving something up, merely discussing it with Vladimir Putin?
CLAPPER: Well, exactly. Even his response that this was, you know, an incredible proposal. I don't know whether that reflects lack of preparation or lack of knowledge about the tremendous mistake this would be to even consider, even discuss -- even to take it on as a serious proposal to turn over an American diplomat for interrogation by the Russians. It's just -- it's just beyond the pale.
BERMAN: Does Vladimir Putin, sitting here today one week after the meeting, think that President Trump gave up anything to him?
CLAPPER: Well, I'm sure he does. Again, the mere fact he met with him on a coequal basis on an international stage. And from what was said and the body language and everything else, I think clearly Putin came off as the -- as the top dog.
BERMAN: And, again, the president overnight writing that the Russia investigation is, in his words, a big hoax. Is that giving something up to Vladimir Putin?
CLAPPER: Well, of course, it is. And, of course, this is -- one area where the president has been entirely consistent, ever since he was briefed on the intelligence community findings in January of 2017 about the Russian meddling and the extent of it. And he has great problems accepting that because it cast doubt on the legitimacy of his election. And he continues, whether intentionally or not, to conflate the meddling with collusion.
BERMAN: And in addition to all of this, just to wrap up this I gave nothing up refrain, do we have any idea beyond what -- the things we've talked about, beyond the Mike McFaul discussion, beyond the Russian attack on the 2016 elections that we believe did come up in discussion, do we have any idea what actually was discussed in this two-hour-plus meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin at this point?
CLAPPER: Well, we don't, obviously. The public doesn't. I hope that members of the national security team, notably the secretary of defense and the secretary of state and the national security adviser all do know what was discussed and perhaps what was conceded. You know, if I were sitting in the Pentagon, where I spent a lot of time, I'd be wondering what in the way of military operations or capabilities did he perhaps unknowingly compromise or give up. And we don't know that.
BERMAN: We know that the director of national intelligence, your old gig, Dan Coats, didn't know as of, what was it, Thursday?
BERMAN: He didn't know as of Thursday what was discussed. I don't know if he's found out since then, but that would be unusual, yes?
CLAPPER: Yes, it would be very unusual. And I felt bad for Dan Coats, who is an honorable man and a great public servant. And I thought, frankly, he reacted as gracefully as he could under the circumstance.
BERMAN: He apologized for his reaction. He apologized, I think, for what was perceived by the White House as a sign of disrespect when he laughed openly, and he said that the notion of a second summit between President Trump and President Putin would be special. Were you surprised by the apology? CLAPPER: Well, not really. I think probably he felt himself he had to
do that. And I think it's -- the White House doesn't have a sense of humor.
BERMAN: Right. I want to ask you about the president's message about Iran that he wrote overnight to really President Rouhani, suggesting you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before if he continues to threaten the United States.
[08:40:06] Do you believe -- and we've been down this road before. It was a year ago. It was August one year ago where we had fire and fury with North Korea. Do you believe there's a risk in this language?
Well, of course, there's always a risk in, you know, these feel-good tweets in the middle of the night. You know, I guess I understand the president's point. I just wish some temperance would be -- would -- he'd remember some temperance here.
I also was struck -- I couldn't help but recall President Putin's speech of last March 1st in which he laid out five strategic weapons under varying degrees of development. The objective of which is only the United States. And I don't recall any similar tweet protesting what the Russians were doing. And, again, there's only one adversary the Russians have in mind for these strategic weapons, and that's the United States.
CLAPPER: But I was struck by the contrast between what the president said to Iran, which I guess I can understand. I just wish it had been more moderate. But the lack of any reaction to threats from Russia.
BERMAN: All right, James Clapper, great to have you with us this morning. Thanks for helping us work through some of these statements that we've heard just over the last few hours. Appreciate it, sir.
CLAPPER: Thanks, John.
CAMEROTA: All right, John, as you know, there was this deadly hostage standoff at a Trader Joe's. So we have all of the latest for you on what happened here.
[08:45:36] BERMAN: The suspect in this weekend's deadly three-hour standoff at a California Trader Joe's has been identified and charged with murder. His bail set at $2 million. CNN's Paul Vercammen live in Silver Lake with the very latest.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you said, bail set at $2 million, John. And the murder charge is just one of the charges. Authorities saying many others are likely to be added. Not the least of which would be attempted murder.
It all began in south Los Angeles as a domestic dispute involving, according to a cousin, the suspect, his grandmother and someone described as her girlfriend. He took that young woman after a shooting at the house on a high-speed, terrifying chase through the streets of Los Angeles, winding through Hollywood and ending up here at this Trader Joe's, where he hit a utility pole.
According to police, he traded shots with the authorities, ran inside the Trader Joe's and kept people hostage for a harrowing three hours, threatening people who were sitting on the ground in the aisles at Trader Joe's. All the while hostage negotiators are trying to calm him down. Some people were able to escape from the Trader Joe's, sneaking out of a window in the back, descending on a chain ladder.
Eventually, the hostage negotiators got the suspect, Atkins, to give himself up. He handcuffed himself inside and was later seen handcuffed to a gurney.
As for his grandmother, shot seven times, in critical condition, somehow surviving this. The woman described as the girlfriend, just grazed by a shot. We did lose one person in the shooting. Unclear if it was in the crossfire or if he was shot -- or if she was shot by the suspect. Her name, Melyda Corado.
Behind me you can see a scene here where they have created a memorial for her. A blue Trader Joe's shirt. Many here describing her as a bright light.
This Trader Joe's remaining closed now. They're allowing people to process and mourn a very, very sad and terrifying moment here in Silver Lake. Back to you, Alisyn and John.
BERMAN: What an awful night there. What an awful, awful night.
CAMEROTA: Just horrible. Paul, thank you very much for all of that update.
So, it's a Monday, but there's been a lot of news, including breaking news, international news. Luckily, we have David Gregory here for "The Bottom Line," next.
BERMAN: Thank the dickens.
CAMEROTA: Thank goodness.
[08:52:03] BERMAN: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisting moments ago that President Trump's threat to Iran is not meant as a distraction. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Is the president trying to change the subject from Russia to Iran? Is that part of the purpose of his tweet today? SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No, I think the president
has the ability, unlike a lot of those in the media, to actually focus on more than one issue at a time. And certainly we know that the media's obsessed with speaking about all Russia all of the time. But the president's focused on a lot of things that are taking place across the globe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: That was an answer, plus a bonus dig at the free press.
BERMAN: That is what Sarah Sanders said. But what does David Gregory say about this? David Gregory, our political analyst, here with "The Bottom Line." Your opinion on the matter?
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, a couple of things. First of all, the only way to try to begin to understand this Iran tweet is perhaps the prelude to a new process that is diplomatic in the president's mind that may end up in some talks with Iran. We know the administration got rid of the Iran nuclear deal. What's next? We have heard sound and fury before with the North Koreans and it ended up in really warm and cozy summitry, the outcome of which we're uncertain about.
You know, we actually, Sarah Sanders should know, have an ability to talk about all kinds of subjects at the same time. And, you're right, the question will keep coming up. Why is it the president was so obsequious to Vladimir Putin, an enemy of the United States, and to North Korea, a brutal, oppressive, murderous dictator, for whom the president also apologized and offered propaganda? That's -- those are legitimate questions to be asking of the president.
BERMAN: David can talk about musical theatre, by the way, at any time. He can talk about that subject (INAUDIBLE).
CAMEROTA: Oh, I know. I know. He breaks into song often.
But, also, we haven't had a chance to talk about this, because of all of the breaking news. But Michael Cohen, the president's long-time personal attorney, apparently taped conversations with the -- he had with Donald Trump maybe through the years. And one of them that -- it seems to have been confirmed by Rudy Giuliani, the president's new lawyer, is that it was about payment to this Playboy playmate. So it seems as though the investigation into Michael Cohen is bearing some fruit.
GREGORY: Well, we don't know exactly what all of this means other than the apparent sideshow piece of it. There is a -- there's an investigation in the southern district of New York involving Michael Cohen, perhaps violating campaign finance laws. That's one aspect of it. We know he may cooperate with the Mueller probe. That's another piece of it. Perhaps this taping and the unearthing of this is some prelude to getting a pardon from President Trump down the line. So there's a lot of questions about all of this and what it amounts to. Michael Avenatti, I heard on another network yesterday, saying there are other tapes of the president talking to Michael Cohen about making such payments. We'll see if he comes through with that.
Again, the question is whether this is a violation of attorney-client privilege, number one. Whether it's unethical. And whether there's a real crime here, or does the president come out saying, you know, why would we pay her if I did nothing wrong? There's simply so much we don't know.
GREGORY: But this is one more thing we have to try to keep track of.
[08:55:13] BERMAN: Can we agree that it's unusual, though, to have the person who is now the president of the United States, his voice on tape, discussing a payment to a former Playboy model to silence her on an alleged relationship that they had? That's unusual, David.
GREGORY: That is so last -- you know, last century thinking on your part. I think we've moved into -- into a new dimensions all over the place with this president.
CAMEROTA: David Gregory makes a good point. If that's the part you think is unusual --
GREGORY: Yes, right. That's what's keeping you up at night?
CAMEROTA: That's through the looking glass moment for you? OK.
BERMAN: I think it a little odd. I do.
CAMEROTA: A little odd.
BERMAN: I find it a little odd.
CAMEROTA: All right, David Gregory, always great to talk to you. Thank you for "The Bottom Line."
GREGORY: Likewise. Thanks.
BERMAN: David Gregory, bearing fruit on "The Bottom Line." No question about that.
CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow picks up after a quick break.
CAMEROTA: See you tomorrow.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good Monday morning, everyone. It is 9:00 a.m. out East. 6:00 a.m. in the West. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.
Lashing out, standing still and walking back a walk back. We're following the major developments this morning on President Trump's all caps threat overnight to Iran, his reportedly waning patience on North Korea and his unfiltered views on the Russia probe. Not to be confused with the script that he read last week, or the subsequent interviews he gave or the news conference that he held with Vladimir Putin.
[09:00:13] First, this seemingly