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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Pompeo in Singapore Delivers Letter From President Trump; Mid- Term Elections May Change Balance of Power; Mueller's Investigation Likely to Now Include Roger Stone; White House Monitors Mid-Term Election for Further Russian Meddling; ACLU Steps in to Help Immigrant Families Reunite; Search Continues for Mollie Tibbetts. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired August 4, 2018 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: -- end of the shuttle program seven years ago after 135 missions and since it ended, NASA has paying Russia about $70 million per seat to carry astronauts to and from the international space station.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In Helsinki, I had a great meeting with Putin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As I have said consistently, Russia attempted to enter fear with the last election.
TRUMP: Now we're being hindered by the Russian hoax.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is taking decisive action to defend our systems from meddling and interference.
PAUL: Well, good morning to you. Take a nice deep breath because you've made it to Saturday. That includes Martin taking a nice deep breath. Weekend number two, I'm Christi Paul.
SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. It's great to be with you and with all of you.
PAUL: Absolutely. So new this morning we are talking about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who met North Korea's foreign minister at a summit today. They discussed their plan to cooperate apparently on the de-nuclearization of North Korea.
SAVIDGE: Pompeo also tweet that he had the opportunity to deliver President Trump's reply to Kim Jong-un's letter. Despite the friendly handshakes and the meetings a confidential U.N. report says North Korea is continuing to develop nuclear and missile programs in violation of international sanctions. CNN international correspondent, Ivan Watson, is live from Singapore. Ivan, what are you hearing from, it's not a summit, and it's a casual gathering, but still an important setting, nonetheless?
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. I mean, this was a gathering of the top diplomats from dozens of countries, Martin and Kristi. But you have Pompeo coming here and I think we're going to have a fireworks display here in Singapore. You had Pompeo coming and the North Korean foreign minister, they didn't have a bilateral meeting scheduled, but is Pompeo went out of his way to walk across a crowded room to shake hands, exchange a couple nice words with the North Korean foreign minister and also make sure a letter from President Trump was handed off to him to then deliver to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
It's a little less than two months ago when Trump and Kim met her historically for the first time face-to-face in Singapore, but now Pompeo had some tough words for the North Koreans. He was criticizing them, saying they weren't fulfilling Kim's commitment to disarming his nuclear arsenal. He was urging the other countries that had gathered for the meeting to continue to diplomatically and economically isolate North Korea and he singled out Russia, accusing Russia of breaking the United Nations' sanctions regime around North Korea. Take a listen.
MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: We have seen reports that Russia is aligned for joint ventures with North Korean firms and granting new work permits to North Korean guest workers. If these reports prove accurate, then we have every reason to believe they are, that would be in violation of U.N. Security Council resolution 2375. I want to remind every nation that has supported these resolutions, that this is a serious issue and something we will discuss with Moscow.
WATSON: So it's very clear, even after this summit two months ago, between Trump and Kim, this is a very complicated relationship between the U.S. and North Korea. Martin, Christi.
PAUL: No doubt, Ivan. So what is North Korea's reaction this morning?
WATSON: Well, that was interesting because the North Korean foreign minister, somebody from his delegation, they didn't give a press conference, they didn't talk to journalists, really. But they taped up, quite literally taped up a five-page English printed statement in the press room next to where the gathering had taken place, and while it had nice comments about how historic the U.S. - North Korean diplomatic overtures and openings have been, it had tough criticism.
For example, accusing the U.S. quote, "Of raising its voice louder, for maintaining the sanctions against the DPRK and showing the attitude to retreat even from declaring the end of war, a basic and primary step for providing peace on the Korean Peninsula," also accusing the U.S. of unilateral demands that deepen distrust. He was calling for a quote "simultaneous actions and phased steps, in whatever this process of de-nuclearization is going to be." He also had some tough words for the U.S. and he even turned down a formal face-to-face meeting with the South Korean foreign minister who had asked for this when they were having their own kind of nice informal moment at a gala dinner last night. Martin and Christi.
PAUL: You know, Ivan is the epitome of a capable and focused reporter.
SAVIDGE: He never blinked during that --
PAUL: During those fireworks, thank you very much for clarifying that for us. He is smart enough to know we are going to think what are those explosions in the background? Ivan Watson, always a pro; thank you sir.
SAVIDGE: Well done. Meanwhile, President Trump is waking up at his New Jersey resort this
morning preparing to do what he does best and what he really enjoys and that's speaking with his base.
PAUL: Then he's heading to Ohio today for a campaign rally, just days before the state votes in a crucial special election there. Tuesday's race, key to Republican efforts here to maintain control of the House.
SAVIDGE: And a new poll shows why Republicans are so concerned about this race. The latest Monmouth University poll shows the candidates are neck and neck and that is a very big swing from over a month ago when the Republican lead or the Republican candidate there led by ten points.
PAUL: Also a new twist in a Russia investigation to tell you about. Sources tell CNN, Robert Mueller's team has interviewed the woman known as the Manhattan Madam. Here's CNN Political Correspondent Sarah Murray with a look at her possible connection to this whole collusion probe.
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kristin Davis, the woman known as the Manhattan Madam, meeting with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team for a voluntary interview earlier this week, sources tell CNN. Investigators apparently interested in her ties to longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. She and Stone have been close friends for a decade. Investigators also expressed interest in having Davis testify before a grand jury. The latest indication prosecutors are aiming to build a case against Stone. Davis' lawyer declined to comment.
In a statement, Stone tells CNN, "Kristin Davis is a longtime friend and associate of mine. I am the godfather to her 2-year-old son. She knows nothing about Russian collusion, WikiLeaks, collaboration, or any other impropriety related to the 2016 election, which I thought was the subject of this probe. I understand she appeared voluntarily. I am highly confident she will testify truthfully if called upon to do so." Davis once ran a high-end prostitution ring and went to jail as part of the scandal surrounding then Democratic New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
ELIOT SPITZER: The remorse I feel will always be with me.
MURRAY: She's has worked with Stone over the years, and in late 2016, she joined his payroll to help him with clerical tasks. Mueller's team has been looking into possible contact between stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during the 2016 campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, I followed Assange's twitter feed. I had a goggle alert for him. I read every interview he gave. You could foreshadow what he was doing, but I'm not involved in any collusion or conspiracy with the Russians or anyone else and there's no evidence to the contrary.
MURRAY: Investigators have also been probing Stone's finances and his personal life. People familiar with the situation say at least two witnesses were asked whether Stone was actually the father of Davis' son. Earlier this week, Stone posted a photo of Davis and her child to Instagram with this caption, "Why do FBI agents dispatched by Robert Mueller keep asking a number of my current and former associates if I am this baby's father? What does this have to do with Russian collusion and the 2016 election?"
Now, this week, another former associate of Roger Stone, Andrew Miller, was also ordered to testify before the Mueller grand jury. Yet another indication of how the special counsel's team seems to be circling around Roger Stone. Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.
SAVIDGE: And this is certainly a tawdry development as a part of this investigation. Joining me now to discuss, Tim Naftali, CNN Presidential Historian and former director at the Nixon Presidential Library and Michael Moore, former U.S. attorney for the middle district of Georgia. Thank you. Tim, let me start with you. So interviewing a former New York madam, what's going on here? Where is channel leading us?
TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I'm not sure where it's leading us but I suspect that this has to do, as Mr. Stone has said himself, this has to do with the special prosecutor's interests in the relationship if any between Mr. Stone an WikiLeaks and Mr. Stone and Gucifer 2.0 which a Mueller investigation indictment or a grand jury indictment described as actually an alias for Russian military intelligence. It's perfectly logical that what you want to do is figure out from the associates of the people that are of interest whether or not these improprieties occurred.
I would point out Mr. Stone in his statement to CNN did say that collusion with Russia and collaboration with WikiLeaks were both improprieties. He denies he did either one. Actually unlike President Trump, he's actually admitted those things are not hoaxes, indeed, they are improper; it's why they are the focus of Mueller's investigation.
SAVIDGE: But Michael, how does a former madam get to us WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and the connection that Tim just outlined for us?
MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: This is a salacious detail in the investigation but there is nothing unusual about it. It's not unusual for a prosecutor to -- when they have a particular heir of interest or person or group of interests to work through contacts to sort of continue to interview their way through to investigate their way through the layers of individuals between them and that group of contact. In this case it's people in the Trump Administration. It's a simple example is you may remember there was the Blow Pop commercial, talking how many licks does it get to the middle of the Blow Pop.
That's sort of what Mueller is doing, that is he's working from the outside in. I think what the madam can tell us at the end of the day is what contacts maybe that Roger Stone had. She apparently was involved in e-mail work, scheduling work. Were there contacts with Julian Assange? Was money transferred back and forth? You know, things leak that.
SAVIDGE: Is she really going to know all of that?
MOORE: I think it's clear from what we've heard in the reporting she has both a business relationship and some type of personal relationship, friendship, whatever it is a good, close, personal relationship with Roger Stone. So you work as a prosecutor, you work through people's associates. You go to...
SAVIDGE: (inaudible) you lean on them. In other words, you're trying to get them to influence in some way Roger Stone.
MOORE: And I don't know if it's leaning as much it is, when you think of who might have been Roger Stone's confidante, it appears this lady may have been that person or at least know a lot of information. He may have shared some things with her that's not out in the public sphere. So that makes it not unusual at all for the Mueller team to want to talk to her to see what he told her, to see what she knew about. Did he share his plans? Did he talk to her about conversations that he may have had or frustrations that he might have had about it?
SAVIDGE: I got that part. Let me just move on before we run out of time, we always do. Paul Manafort, We've had four days of testimony now, we've seen the luxury clothing he had. We got to the meat of the matter, which were records and I guess you know Michael, same question, how much trouble does it look like Manafort is in?
MOORE: You know the reason for showing those things is greed. The prosecutor is trying to put up evidence that there was greed in the case and also show that Manafort knew what was going on. I think the evidence coming this week has been damage against him. Most of what the government has been able do, the special prosecutor's team, look, he knew about this. He was in control of the operation. He was directing the bookkeepers and the accounts and what to do.
And while the defense wants to throw it off on Gates, it really was Manafort who was in charge with it and you can tell because here are the fruits of his labors; the fruits of his deception. So that's the purpose of putting this out. Again, it doesn't make or break the case. This is a paper case whether or not he filed taxes; whether or not he reported income, whether or not he made certain disclosures. But at the same time, this says, look the guys' getting this stuff, he knew what was going on.
SAVIDGE: OK, let me bring in Tim, I don't want to jump the gun, but say there is a conviction here, what damage does this do for the president, this administration?
NAFTALI: Well, two things. One in the insider baseball in Congress, it just makes it more difficult for members of Congress to want to shut down the Mueller probe because he's found illegalities. And too, it makes it harder for the president. The president will not lose his base over this, but the president is interested in independent voters and as is the Republican party and any violations of the laws and pleas associated with the Trump campaign in '16 does make it a little harder to get people to come out and vote for Republicans in 2018. He doesn't lose his base, but it makes it harder for his base to grow.
SAVIDGE: Right, and it was the people around the edges that could have made all the difference.
NAFTALI: Yes. Tim Naftali, Michael Moore, always appreciate it, thank you both.
MOORE: Glad to be with you.
NAFTALI: Thank you.
Paul: Well, U.S. intel chiefs say Russia may be trying to hack the mid-terms but President Trump is calling it all a big hoax. We will ask a former CIA officer what should we make of the mixed messaging out of Washington?
SAVIDGE: Plus the future of hundreds of migrant children in question as they remain in government custody, coming up, why there may not be a resolution to their predicament any time soon.
PAUL: And guess what, the reward is increasing for clues in the missing University of Iowa student. How this tight-knit community is coping with so much uncertainty right now and the latest in the investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just let her go, let's get past this.
PAUL: Well, President Trump and his administration sending some mixed messages when it comes to Russian election meddling. Just hours after his top national security officials warned that Russia may be trying to hack U.S. elections again, President Trump called it the quote "Russian hoax" during a rally. Listen.
Okay. That's what he said. He calls eight Russian hoax. Sorry we don't have that sound. David Priess, a former CIA intelligence officer is with us. He's also the author of "The President's Book Of Secrets." Thank you so much for being with us David. First and foremost as a former CIA officer, let me ask you, if you were still in that position and this president said this after hearing from leaders, what do you do?
DAVID PRIESS, FORMER CIA INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: I keep doing my job and that's what you saw from all those officials brought to the White House to talk through what they're doing about the Russian interference and looking forward to future attacks.
They're doing their jobs and the people working for them I have no doubt are doing their jobs. Let's be honest here, there is a real - there's a real issue for the workers because on the one hand, have you the a-team of the national security at the White House saying all the things that have been done and are going to be done to protect this country. And all of that can be undone with a presidential tweet and not having the president on board with his top tier of advisers leaves us in a sticky situation because those very same advisers can go out to let's say foreign allies and say we need your cooperation on this aspect of foreign policy, national security, trying to protect us against election interference. And they say, well should we take this to the bank or should we wait to see what the president is going to tweet because if there's a difference, we know where policy is made at that high level and it's with the president, not with them.
PAUL: Is there an obstacle, I guess I'm wondering, for the intel community in terms of what they are capable of doing to you know secure the election so to speak, whether it's mid-terms, whether it's 2020, if the president is not on board?
PRIESS: Yeah, there's two sides to this. One is which parts of the U.S. government do what? And the intel community will help inform all of those that have to protect election systems, they're not directly involved in domestic affairs. That will go to the department of the FBI and homeland security and others. I have no doubt that that is going on and they're doing the best they can to get that out. When it comes to the macro policy, when it comes to the president setting the tone saying, this is the most severe threat we have going into elections, they're not seeing that. I suspect that intelligence officers, law enforcement officers, even election officer will be doing their utmost across the board to address this threat. They just hope the president doesn't try to obstruct that.
PAUL: I want to ask you about the Mueller probe right now because you worked with the Mueller probe for years. We got this news today that he is talking to the Manhattan Madam, Kristen Davis, and I'm wondering, what does that tell you - Mueller talking to her, what does that tell you about the trajectory of this investigation - where it stands, where it's going?
PRIESS: those are three words I never thought I'd hear together in a sentence: Mueller, Manhattan Madam. It just doesn't fit. But my experience tells me that he does not go on wild goose chases. If he is talking to her and if he's considering bringing her before the grand jury, there's a damn good reason for that. The obvious one is the Roger Stone connection that your panelists earlier were talking about and I think that's likely because she was handling some of the paper for Roger Stone and if he was in touch with WikiLeaks about the release of this information, then that is useful.
But given the fact that Robert Mueller and the special counsel dropped indictments on all of those Russian officers involved in some of this activity, this is the kind of thing he probably knew about long ago and he is just looking for corroboration from someone else. It leads me to think there may be another reason. We have been surprised time and time again by the indictments coming out of the special counsel's office. You have to remember the Manhattan Madam admitted to having something like 10,000 clients in and around New York City ten years ago. There were a lot of people in and around the Donald Trump organization that were in and around New York City ten years ago and many Russians flying in and out. It's quite possible we don't know what Mueller is asking her about on top of the roger Stone connection.
PAUL: So what is there a gage of what the U.S. is doing to try to protect the integrity of the elections?
PRIESS: Yes, what we are seeing is all heads of the national security and law enforcement bureaus coming out saying we are taking these steps. I think Chris Wray of the FBI announced they have a task force or a working group that's going after this. So there's actions being taken. We don't know all details, and frankly, that's a good thing, because to the extent we know every detail of where they're focusing their efforts and where they're not focusing their efforts, that gives our adversaries a road map as to where they can target their efforts.
So I hope some of this does stay quiet. I also hope the president, next time he has all of his leading officials come out to a podium at the White House that he personally comes out to introduce them him then that gives the sense that they have a presidential stamp of approval instead of having everybody wonder whether they're on the same page as the president or not.
PAUL: Yes, there's been cohesion there. David Priess, thank you so much for being with us.
PRIESS: You're welcome. Good to be with you.
PAUL: We appreciate your time.
[08:25:00] SAVIDGE: The future in question for hundreds of migrant children still in government facilities. Coming up, what advocacy groups say is slowing down the reunions of those children with family members.
PAUL: Also the latest on the search this morning for a missing University of Iowa student. How a small community is keeping the focus on bringing her home and the latest on the investigation. Stay close.
PAUL: Always good to have your company with us. I'm Christi Paul.
SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell.
PAUL: Yes, so CNN has learned this morning that the justice department will likely appeal a judge's ruling ordering the Trump administration to reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program or as you know it, DACA.
SAVIDGE: Thousands of people you'll remember have protested to keep the Obama era program going. It protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. A judge in Washington ruled Friday that it has to be fully restored. But in a statement, the justice department said the judge's decision does nothing to change what it considers to be the facts of the case and it looked forward to vindicating its position in the future. A judge in a related case in Texas is expected to rule in favor of ending the program.
PAUL: Now a federal judge is slamming the Trump Administration saying the government is completely responsible for re-uniting the hundreds of migrant children still in federal facilities to reunite them with their parents here. So the remarks come as immigration advocacy groups argue over who is responsible for tracking down their parents. Here's Dianne Gallagher.
TRUMP: ...families being separated...
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (voice over) the Trump Administration telling the ACLU essentially we broke it, you fix it. In documents filed ahead of the hearing, the justice department argued the ACLU should use its quote, "considerable resources," it's network of law firms, NGOs, volunteers and others to find parents who the government separated from their children and then deported without them, even suggesting the ACLU be required to share weekly updates about their progress locating parents and whether those parents want to be reunited with their children. Making this even tougher, the government insisted handing over entire case files for these parents, something the ACLU says would help expedite the search.
LEE GELEMT, ACLU: You know what's unfortunate; the government doesn't have a plan. The government has shifted the responsibility to us and NGOs to find these parents. We'll do it because the government is not. What we need is information that the government; any relative the government may know about, any last-known address, something to help us. We're not going to give up.
GALLAGHER: It's not a small task. In a hearing this week, Public Health Service Corps Commander Jonathan White said the parents of more than 500 kids still here may have been deported. Some of those children have been released to sponsors or relatives, but 410 of the separated children with parents no longer in the country remain in government custody. Meanwhile, each week seems to bring new allegations of the abuse at shelters for migrant children.
Court records first reported by "ProPublica" reveal a former youth care worker for Southwest Key, Labian Pechico(ph) is accused of molesting eight boys ages 15 to 17 who were staying at the Mesa, Arizona, shelter where he worked between August 2016 and July of last year. Pechico(ph) denies these allegations. Now on Tuesday another man, an employee at a southwest key children's shelter in Phoenix was arrested on suspicion of molesting a 14-year-old migrant girl who was staying at the facility. The spokesman told CNN quote, "Southwest Key programs does extensive work to prevent all forms of abuse. When these rare situations occur, all staff adhere to our strict protocols.
PAUL: And our thanks to Dianne Gallagher.
SAVIDGE: Now let's bring in now CNN political commentator, Ben Ferguson and CNN commentator and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona. Good morning to you both.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN COMMENTATOR AND DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good morning Martin.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.
SAVIDGE: Ben, let me start with you. This suggestion I guess it was in court documents, so it's stronger than that, that the ACLU take over trying to re-unite these parents that were separated. Really, is that what it falls to? The government can't do it so we give it to the ACLU?
FERGUSON: Yes, one, I don't think that's the job of the ACLU. I however do think of the suggestion that the government work together with the ACLU which has a lot of information because they have been representing a lot of these kids and reunification would be a smart idea, but to put a burden on...
SAVIDGE: But wasn't the government supposed to get that information when they separated the families? At the point of separation, don't you get names and all of that?
FERGUSON: I agree, but have you the reality is immigration attorneys have talked about this sometimes you don't get good, accurate information. Sometimes you get misinformation. Sometimes the parents that are claiming to be the parents of the children are actually not their parents. Some of the parents do not want to be reunified and will waive reunification with their children. So we need to be clear. This is incredibly complex because you do have some parents and some people that were claiming to be parents out of the 500 kids that are still left who do not want to be reunited. That's the unfortunate part. So what I think is very clear...
SAVIDGE: How do you know that Ben? Where does that come from?
FERGUSON: I talked to immigration attorneys who have talked about this. You can look through government documents that happened even before we had this last separation policy with this administration. You have seen where there have been kids unfortunately brought across the border illegally, sometimes with people claiming to be their parents who are not, and sometimes with parents, and when they leave or they're deported unfortunately, they waive reunification.
SAVIDGE: All right, all right. Let me stop you there, so we can weigh in; it's a two sided documentation. Maria, please enter into this. The point Ben is trying to make here, in some cases, apparently the fact that reunification hasn't happened, there are justifiable reasons.
CARDONA: Let's be very clear. The instances that Ben is talking about both when the parents are not the actual parents of these children or when the parents choose to be deported without their children is miniscule; it is less than 1 percent. The majority of these parents, of course they want their children. Look, the fact of the matter is, is that this whole abomination and debacle has been an insidious mix of incompetence, immorality, carelessness, cluelessness and callousness on behalf of this administration.
This has been nothing less than government-sanctioned Trump-approved child abduction that even the judge has said if the government does not get its act together, they will be responsible for more than 500 children being orphans in this country. This is not who we are as America. This is disgusting. It turns my stomach and it is un-American and the government had better get their act together to make sure that they fix what they broke instead of shunning it to other non- governmental organizations and non-profit organizations, who are doing what they can to help these children and to help these families, but it is not their responsibility and they cannot do it alone, so again, this is huge incompetence on behalf...
SAVIDGE: Hold on. We got to move on because there are plenty of other topics Ben, so please let me get you to talk about Russian interference. We had this rather remarkable scene this week where you had the head of the national intelligence all lined up from this administration definitely saying that there is a threat and that they are focused on trying to prevent the influence of Russia here on the upcoming midterms yet you have a president who's out on the campaign trail speaking in front of a friendly crowd and he's referencing it as a hoax. That is a huge disconnect and it seems to send the message that you know there is some stuff that Trump talks about, you just ignore and I mean that's coming from his own representatives of his administration. What do we make of that Ben?
FERGUSON: I do think there are two issues here and sometimes people want to directly connect them. The first is there's no doubt that Russia is trying to interfere in our elections. The second part is, was there actual collusion with Russia in the last election? And I think the president's point is that part is a hoax. Did they try to influence? Yes, was it successful, no? Was there collusion between his campaign, no. And that's why no one has been charged with the crime of collusion.
SAVIDGE: Maria, do you think the president is purposely trying to confuse that message that Ben just separated for us?
FERGUSON: I don't think so.
CARDONA: Yes. Of course, yes. Because he knows number one that his base eats it up. Number two, of course he is worried about the Mueller investigation and what they will find. We don't know at the end of the day whether they will find collusion. In fact, how interesting and curious it is that Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, are now saying that, oh, look well, if there was collusion, that's not even a crime. Huh. After a year-and-a-half of the president saying there is no collusion, there is no collusion. Look. There have been major indictments; there have been people who are now -- one of them is in jail, a lot of them have pleaded guilty, a lot are working with Mueller.
FERGUSON: None to collusion.
CARDONA: We don't - we don't know that, Ben. This investigation is far from being done.
SAVIDGE: It is far from being done and this interview is almost done. Let me stop you both real quick.
FERGUSON: I have to say this real quick, though.
SAVIDGE: No you don't, Ben. I got one other question I want to ask and here it is, you have a pivotal election in Ohio which is a bellwether state. We are all looking at this, all of the issues plain in the mind of the voters going to the polls on Tuesday. So what do you expect to be the outcome, Ben?
FERGUSON: I think it's too close to tell right now and to be honest with you, I think there is a lot of Democratic voters that are very inspired. We saw this on Thursday in a state like Tennessee, for example, where democratic voters were very inspired. They wanted to stick it to Trump voters that gave them Donald Trump. They showed up in big numbers and they had some big wins.
I do think when it comes to get out the vote, Democrats are inspired the same way Republicans were after eight years of Obama.
That can play to their advantage. But again, you got an election here that I think is going to be very, very, very, very tight and close.
SAVIDGE: Well you just described Ohio as kind of a microcosm of the mid-term, Maria. That's what it sounds like he just said. CARDONA: Yeah, that's exactly right and Republicans are worried and
they should be worried because in poll after poll you not only see that Democrats have an advantage in the generic ballot but, more importantly the majority of Americans believe Congress should be a check on this president and not a blank check on this president, which is exactly what the spineless cowardly Republicans have been doing up until now where they completely turn their heads and are blind to the kind of disgusting policies like the family separation stuff. So Americans have had it. I think they're going to the polls.
FERGUSON: Martin, look at the president's approval rating right now, it's not doing that bad.
CARDONA: It's awful.
SAVIDGE: I do look at. I do.
FERGUSON: It's not awful.
CARDONA: It's terrible. It is.
SAVIDGE: Talk to Maria, that is for sure.
CARDONA: It's the lowest in history of any other president at this point in time.
FERGUSON: That's not true.
SAVIDGE: We may - we may very well find out what the attitude is going to be come Wednesday morning from the state of Ohio. And Ben Ferguson, I do appreciate your participation, Maria. As always, thank you both.
CARDONA: Thank you Martin.
SAVIDGE: We'll be right back.
PAUL: Well, the reward to find a missing University of Iowa student, Mollie Tibbitts here, that has reached $220,000 this morning and I went to Iowa, had some very open conversations with her family, her boyfriend, and the community.
Kind, smart, feisty, a fighter, an exceptional writer, these are all words used to describe Mollie Tibbetts; sadly, we can now add the word missing.
MARY JO CULLOM, NEIGHBOR OR MOLLIE TIBBETTS: It's just small town, smalltown, Iowa, and this doesn't happen here.
(END VIDEO) PAUL: Here is Brooklyn, Iowa, a small, sleepy town enveloped by rows of corn fields and stocked with people who all know each other and have become the foundation of a family --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The missing person. My sister actually is trying to spread the word as much as we can.
PAUL: Just trying to hold it together as they fight to bring Mollie home.
ROB TIBBETTS, FATHER OF MISSING STUDENT MOLLIE TIBBETTS: When we're together, it's absolutely fine. It's when, it's when are you alone and you talk to Mollie by yourself.
PAUL: Laura talked about how she feels Mollie's presence. She feels her maybe sitting on her shoulder. Do you have that same sense?
R. TIBBETTS: We all do, when are you alone, you talk to Mollie. Then you know why we're fighting. She's out there. We just feel it.
PAUL: Do you ever feel like you hear back from her?
R. TIBBETS: Yeah. I did this morning, but I don't want to talk about it.
PAUL: On July 18th, Mollie was dropped off at a boyfriend's house to dog sit while he was out of town and then was later seen jogging. No one has seen her since, but neighbors, Dave and Mary Jo Collins, say they used to see her all the time.
MARY JO COLLINS, NEIGHBOR OF BOYFRIEND OF MISSING STUDENT MOLLIE TIBBETTS: She'd come down the road and if I was over there working, you know, on my flowers, you know, she'd just wave and say hi and off she'd go, because that's the house right down there.
DAVE COLLINS; NEIGHBOR OF BOYFRIEND OF MISSING STUDENT MOLLIE TIBBETTS: That's where her boyfriend lives, yeah.
M. COLLINS: That's where her boyfriend lives, yes.
D. COLLINS: Right down there, that white house. It's just like this girl walking by right now.
M. COLLINS: Now I pay attention to what I they have on. She's got a head band, she's talking on her phone...
D. COLLINS: The color of her shoes, the color of her top and shorts. Before we never would pay any attention. You just glance and wave.
PAUL: They were some of the first volunteers who searched for Mollie.
D. COLLINS: We went to corn fields...
M. COLLINS: The cornfields, yes...
D. COLLINS: ...we walked cornfields searching and we didn't turn up anything.
M. COLLINS: We wanted to find her so bad but then we were afraid to find her. I mean, you know.
D. COLLINS: Well, if we found her, we was praying she was just tied up.
M. COLLINS: Right.
D. COLLINS: We wasn't thinking of the worst.
PAUL: Her boyfriend Dalton has a hard time being in his house now.
DALTON JACK, BOYFRIEND OF MISSING STUDENT MOLLIE TIBBETTS: I don't go to my room anymore, because that was our shared space. I don't do that I have been sleeping on the couch since she went missing.
PAUL: And he's had to deal with the scrutiny of people wondering if he had something to do with it.
JACK: I have been cleared by so many people and to be totally honest, I don't care what they think so long as if they quit thinking that, you know, the guy who did it is standing right here, just keep your eyes peeled for anything at all that you see, any suspicious activity because if you're not helping your hurting at this point.
PAUL: Who is hurting? This entire community especially Mollie's mom and dad.
MARY JO TIBBETTS, MOTHER OF MISSING STUDENT MOLLIE TIBBETTS: Every day I feel Mollie's presence with me. Sometimes I feel her sitting on my shoulder.
R. TIBBETTS: Just hang in there, hang in there, we're fighting like hell. We've got a great law enforcement team, the community is all behind you, media is helping. The whole country is in love with you, Pie. We'll find you.
PAUL: Where does Pie come from?
R. TIBBETTS: We call her Pie; I've called her Pie since she was a baby.
PAUL: Mollie's dad there also says it's not too late to do the right thing. He says that to the perpetrator and if you have any information about Mollie, please call the local sheriff. The number is 641-623-5679. We'll be right back.
[08:50:00] (BEGIN VIDEO)
LARRY CHARLES: It's sad, it's tragic and that's how live is; it doesn't make any sense and it's sad and tragic and that's where the comedy is.
MITCH HEDBERG, COMEDIAN: You know you can't please all the people all the time. Last night those people were at my show.
MIKE BIRBIGLIA, COMEDIAN: Mitch Hedberg is, I believe one of the great comedians of all time. If you look at what he's writing on a page, it's almost like comedic haiku.
HEDBERG: You know when it comes to racism, people say I don't care if they're black, white, purple or green, oh, hold on now, purple or green? You got to draw the line somewhere. I like rice. Rice is great when you're hungry and you want 2,000 of something.
One time a guy handed me a picture of me and said here's a picture of me when I was younger. Every picture is of you when you were younger.
PETE HOLMES, COMEDIAN: Rich Henberg is like Joke MacGyver. He's handing you the ingredients in the setup and you're like, this isn't an air boat and it's not going to rescue us MacGyver, but then it does. That's the fun. It's like a very absurd bait and switch.
HENBERG: I think bigfoot is blurry. That's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are dying in their 30s and you don't get to see them flourish. It is a rip off. You're like oh man I wish I could hear how they process the world today.
HENBERG: I love you guys. Thanks for coming to my special.
SAVIDGE: The "History of Comedy" airs tomorrow 10:00 p.m. Eastern right on CNN.
PAUL: So police arrested a guy for taunting a wild bison earlier this week in Yellowstone National Park. Look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no, no, no, no, oh, no. Oh no. Oh no. Oh God.
PAUL: Oh my gosh.
SAVIDGE: Officials warned the visitor to stay at least 25 yards away from the bison. Authorities say this was the third time the man was arrested in the past week for causing a disturbances while visiting the national park. PAUL: Come on buddy, really? All right. Smerconish is next.
SAVIDGE: We'll see you back here at 10.