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Muller Subpoenas Randy Credico; Miller Defies Subpoena; Trump Renews NFL Attacks; Trump Doubles Tariffs on Turkey; North Korea Rejects Proposal; Nunes Talks about Protecting Trump. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired August 10, 2018 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: They are going public with private information. They have not denounced their supporters though.
Thank you for joining us today on INSIDE POLITICS. We'll see you back here, 8:00 a.m. Sunday, I hope.
Jim Acosta's in for Wolf today. He picks up our coverage right now. Have a great day.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Jim Acosta, in for Wolf Blitzer. It's 1:00 p.m. here in Washington. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks for joining us.
An act of defiance is where we start. An ally of Roger Stone refusing to testify before a grand jury in the Russia investigation, challenging Robert Mueller. This as another Stone ally, the Manhattan Madam, takes the stand.
A judge ordering a plane to turn around and threatening to hold the attorney general in contempt after the Trump administration deports asylum seekers fighting for their right to stay in the U.S.
And, North Korea forcefully rejecting U.S. nuclear proposals, calling them gangster-like. The question now is, are we back to where we started?
But up first, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators appear to be focusing in on President Trump's long-time confidant Roger Stone. Mueller's team has subpoenaed comedian and radio show host Randy Credico, most likely to ask him about Stone. An attorney for Credico says he plans to comply with the subpoena.
CNN justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider, joins us live.
Jessica, what more can you tell us about Credico and why Mueller's team wants to hear from him?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's interesting here, Jim, is that Randy Credico, he's rebuffed Mueller's team before. He refused to do a voluntary interview. But now his attorney is telling us he's received a subpoena and that Credico will, in fact, comply. So, really, why does the Mueller team want to hear from Credico? Well,
former Trump confidant Roger Stone, he has previously said that Credico was his link to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. And WikiLeaks, of course, released many of those e-mails that were hacked by the Russians during the 2016 campaign.
And what this all shows, this latest subpoena in particular, is that Roger Stone could be under investigation by the special counsel's team. You know, this subpoena is also for Randy Credico to testify before a grand jury on September 7th. That's a pretty key date because it means Mueller's investigation, it will still be going full steam ahead after September 1st.
And, of course, Jim, even though earlier this week Rudy Giuliani said he expected the probe to be wrapped up by September 1, and it looks by virtue of this subpoena, that will not be happening.
ACOSTA: And, Jessica, also today, Andrew Miller, another associate of Roger Stone's, skipped out on a subpoena from Mueller's team. What's the deal with these people skipping out on subpoenas? I didn't think you could do that. What more can you tell us about that?
SCHNEIDER: Yes, that's right.
So Andrew Miller, he skipped out today. He was supposed to be in court. The judge found him in contempt. So -- but he's refusing to be in court. So that's one side of this.
But the so-called Manhattan Madam, Kristen Davis, she did comply with the subpoena. She is before the grand jury today. Of course, Kristen Davis, notorious for once running that high-end prostitution ring that played a part in bringing down New York Governor Elliott Spitzer. But key here, she's also a long-time friend and associate of Roger Stone.
So she's before the grand jury. Andrew Miller, another associate of Roger Stone, not complying. He's been found in contempt.
So, Jim, all of this swirling around Roger Stone. Mueller's team really keying in on Roger Stone right now.
ACOSTA: OK, Jessica Schneider. Thank you very much for all of that.
And for more on all of these developments, I want to turn now, let's bring in CNN legal analyst Laura Coates and our chief political analyst Gloria Borger.
Gloria, why is there all of this focus on Roger Stone? The story seems to come back to Roger Stone from time to time. Why is that?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Roger Stone has been an associate of Donald Trump for decades. He is known as a trickster. And he proudly present himself as one. He continued to talk to the candidate, as you know, because you covered it, during the campaign.
BORGER: But I think most importantly there are questions about whether he was communicating with WikiLeaks in any way, shape or form. So- called Guccifer 2.0. There were some direct messages. There were some e-mails with other Trump associates in which he said, I believe it was to Sam Nunberg having dinner with -- having dinner with Julian Assange, which he then said was a joke. So I think, obviously, Roger Stone looms large, particularly if you're looking for any link between the Russians, which is WikiLeaks, and the Trump campaign.
And, Laura Coates, associate Andrew Miller is challenging this subpoena to testify before the grand jury. What do you make of that? I suppose these folks, they can't defy these subpoenas forever, right?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No, they cannot. Remember, a subpoena is not a request to come in and have a chit chat over some tea and crumpets. It is the court telling you, through the power of the grand jury, who is the one who actually holds the power, and the prosecutor in the case to say that you are required to come and speak to us about a matter of justice. It's not a request. And so the judges look at that and say, well, we need to have the administration of justice. We have to have answers about this very thing.
[13:05:04] So you can try to defy it as long as you want, but here's our recourse. You can be held in contempt, criminally, and held in jail until you decide that you would like to now speak. It was never a choice. And so probably what he's doing is trying to have some line of communication open to say, listen, I'd like this to be a voluntary measure instead. Maybe it will be in front of a grand jury if I can do that instead, if my lawyer can be present. That may be the reason he doesn't want to go before the grand jury. He wants the aid and the crutch of counsel. But that's not going to happen.
BORGER: I think they're also raising a constitutional question here. The constitutional question is that the president himself did not appoint the special counsel and that Rod Rosenstein had no right to appoint a special counsel.
COATES: Good luck.
But that's -- I do believe that's part of the argument they're going to make.
And Roger Stone says he has no plans to testify against the president. Let's listen to what he said on "AC 360" this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROGER STONE, FORMER ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: I have not been contacted by the special counsel's office. I've made it abundantly clear that there's no circumstances under which I would testify against the president. I would not rule out cooperating if they think I could be helpful in some area. But beyond that, I have not spoken to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: And, Laura, what happens if Roger Stone is subpoenaed? I can't imagine he can flout a subpoena. He'll have to show up and say what he knows.
COATES: He will. And, again, you're seeing this very -- like this theme play out from Rudy Giuliani and the like to say that you can just thumb your nose at a subpoena. And perhaps Roger Stone is becoming emboldened by this concept, which is actually a fallacy, that you can just say, I don't feel like doing it, I'm not going to show up, it's not my preference. And if I do come, here are the ways I will dictate the terms of it. I'll talk about limited aspects of it.
But the power is not before Roger Stone. The power is in the grand jury. And the grand jury would like to have questions answered by them through the Robert Mueller special counsel probe. And so he can't thumb his nose. But perhaps he's taking his page out of a fantasy playbook from Giuliani.
And, Gloria, help me out with this one. This -- other Stone associate, Kristen Davis, the so-called Manhattan Madam, she appeared before a grand jury today. And as I watch this, we're all sort of wondering, well, how does she fit into all of this? Do we know?
BORGER: I -- it -- we don't know. We may eventually know.
What we know is that she is a very close friend of Roger Stone's. That she did run for governor, I believe, in New York. He was helping her campaign then. So I think that they are colleagues, friends, whatever.
We don't know what her relationship with -- was with Roger vis-a-vis WikiLeaks, vis-a-vis anything else. So it was sort of a titillating thing to say, oh, the Manhattan Madam, oh my God, she's testifying before the grand jury. I have no idea what she's got.
ACOSTA: And, Laura, does -- I mean do all these attempts to bring in these different associates, the Manhattan Madam and so on, is this really an attempt by the Mueller team to sort of put the screws to Roger Stone a little bit, see how much pressure they can put on Roger Stone in terms of how -- you know, seeing how much they can get him to cooperate with this investigation?
COATES: I think that's his assumption, but I think that he believes that the target remains Donald Trump. And perhaps Michael Cohen himself made that mistake when he thought that any information or discussion they were having about him was largely to get to somebody like Donald Trump. Maybe Paul Manafort had that same thing. They're all finding themselves, though, at the receiving end of a v. The United States versus or a grand jury about it. And in doing so it looks more and more every day that perhaps Roger Stone is not being squeezed in order to speak against Donald Trump, but perhaps these people being brought in, in the Manhattan Madam, Andrew Miller, a former aide of his, are being brought in because they are talking about the target now being Roger Stone.
Remember, Mueller's probe is about whether or not there were American citizens who were conspiring with a foreign country to try to influence an election. WikiLeaks, back channels, foreign -- with American elections, a foreigner doing that, that sounds like Roger Stone is in the hot water.
BORGER: Don't forget, the Manhattan Madam has the infamous list of --
ACOSTA: That's true.
BORGER: Of people she procured for --
COATES: Oh, yes.
ACOSTA: That could come in handy as well.
BORGER: That could be handy.
ACOSTA: All right. Well, Laura Coates, Gloria Borger, thank you for volunteering to come in. No subpoena necessary. Thanks very much.
Now to a game of political football and President Trump wasted little time slamming NFL players who protested during last night's preseason games. Two Miami Dolphins players knelt during the national anthem. Other players, they either took a knee or raised a fists or stayed off the field during the anthem. The protests are meant to draw attention to racial injustice. And the president once again jumped into the fray, tweeting, of course, the NFL players are at it again, taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the national anthem. Numerous players from different teams wanted to show their outrage at something that most of them are unable to define, the president tweeting there. They make a fortune doing what they love.
White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, she is live from New Jersey right now, where the president is on vacation.
Kaitlan, what is going on here? Why is the president, once again, fixated on this issue? Obviously we saw in these preseason games a small number of players doing this, but the president seizing on this issue again.
[13:10:11] KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, it's a new football season, but the same president and the same attacks on those players who do kneel during the national anthem, several doing so last night or raising a fist. And it didn't take the president long to reply with those tweets this morning, criticizing them for doing so. Once again, that same argument that we saw from the president that first started last September during a rally.
However, this morning, the president said that he believes these players are unable to define what it is they're protesting. That's interesting given the president himself did so at the White House just two months ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a great country. You should stand for our national anthem. You shouldn't go in a locker room when our national anthem is played.
I'm going to ask all of those people to recommend to me, because that's what they're protesting, people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system. And I understand that. And I'm going to ask them to recommend to me people that were unfairly treated, friends of theirs or people they know about, and I'm going to take a look at those applications. And if I find, and my committee finds that they're unfairly treated, then we will pardon them, or at least let them out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Now, Jim, that idea of having NFL players suggest people for the president to pardon is something they largely rejected, but you heard the president right there say it, that he believes what they're protesting is that they're being treated unfairly by the justice system. So he clearly was able to articulate it. That's because they've clearly articulated it. So the president does realize what it is they are protesting when they kneel during the national anthem.
But, instead, the president sees this as a winning issue that he believes can rally his base, and it's likely that he's going to keep these attacks up until the midterm elections.
ACOSTA: Part of the culture wars over at the White House.
And, Kaitlan, football was not the only issue the president was tweeting about this morning. He also announced new tariffs against Turkey in what was a pretty inflammatory tweet. What can you tell us about that?
COLLINS: Yes, this tweet coming this morning announcing that they are going to double those steel and aluminum tariffs that are on Turkey. Now, the White House says that those tariffs are for national security reasons, but sources who speak with the president tell me that this stems from his frustration over their inability to secure the release of that detained American pastor in Turkey, Andrew Brunson.
Now, Brunson has been detained for a year and a half now. He was recently moved from jail to hose arrest. And those are on charges from Turkey that he conspired in this coup in 2016, this attempted coup to overthrow the Turkish president, President Erdogan. Now, U.S. officials say those charges are bogus and that they have seen no evidence, no credible evidence, that Andrew Brunson had anything to do with that.
But the president, the vice president and the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, have been working for weeks here, Jim, to try to secure his release and bring him back home. Those talks have largely broken down. The back and forth happening on a regular basis over the last few weeks, but not making any progress. And though officials once believed they were close to securing his release, they do not feel that way now, and the president is clearly taking out his frustrations here by doubling those steel and aluminum tariffs.
ACOSTA: Absolutely. And inflaming tensions with an ally who's very important in that region.
Kaitlan Collins, thank you very much.
The president's in-laws benefitting from the immigration program that he constantly criticizes. We'll talk about the hypocrisy of all of that.
Plus, a judge turning a plane around carrying asylum seekers deported by the Trump administration. Hear his furious words. Words coming from the judge for Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
And, North Korea flat out rejecting U.S. nuclear proposals. Find out why. What comes next?
[13:18:17] ACOSTA: Frustration appearing to be growing right now inside the Trump administration with North Korea. So far Kim Jong-un has seemingly ignored specific proposals on denuclearization, while holding out for security assurances. North Korea is also angry that sanctions haven't been dropped, saying that the United States is mobilizing serval (ph) mouthpieces to fabricate falsehoods about the nuclear issue. That statement coming from North Korea.
Joining me now from Chicago is Congressman Mike Quigley, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
Congressman, thanks for joining us.
There seems to be a standoff here over North Korea. I was there in Singapore when I saw President Trump and Kim Jong-un sign that piece of paper, that document committing the North Koreans to some kind of path to denuclearization. Does any of this surprise you? And what do you make of this -- some of this talk coming out of North Korea?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D), ILLINOIS: You know, I don't think any of this should surprise us, even under the best of circumstances. Negotiating and working with North Korea has always been difficult. As you recall in 1994, I believe, in 2009, the North Koreans made pretty extreme promises about denuclearization, which they later reneged on.
I think what's troubling here is, we have very little knowledge about the negotiations as they went on, and there were unilateral promises made by the Trump administration that involved and impacted our allies there. So what exactly -- what was the commitment? How do we follow up? That remains to be seen.
ACOSTA: And I want to ask you about some of this late breaking news regarding Roger Stone, the former Trump confidant and adviser. One ally of Stone's is defying a subpoena, as you may have heard in the last several minutes, from Robert Mueller. Another one is getting a subpoena. And another is actually testifying before a grand jury right now, the so-called Manhattan Madam, Kristen Davis.
[13:20:14] Congressman, what do you make about all of -- or make of all of these people, these contacts, these associates of Roger Stone, coming into the crosshairs of the special counsel's investigation? What does this mean about Roger Stone? What can you tell us about Roger Stone, why he's so important in all of this.
QUIGLEY: I think Roger Stone is very important because Roger Stone made himself important. He talked about being close to Julian Assange during the campaign. He bragged about it. He claimed to know that Mr. Podesta was next in the barrel. And, lo and behold, shortly thereafter, those e-mails came out. He pulled back on that after the fact, but it's hard to do that. This was pretty important stuff if we're talking about conspiring with a foreign power to affect our democratic process. He claimed publicly to have that awareness and that knowledge.
ACOSTA: And Devin Nunes, as you know, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told the -- told an audience at a Republican fundraiser recently why he thinks they have to keep the majority in Congress. He said if Robert Mueller won't clear the president, then, quote, we're the only ones.
What do you make of those comments? What do they say about Devin Nunes and how he's been handling his position as the chairman of that very important committee that you sit on?
QUIGLEY: You know, I think it's a public acknowledgment of what anyone should have known all along. Mr. Nunes directed the House Select Committee on Intelligence to tank the Russia investigation and shut it down. They refused to subpoena key witnesses, at least 40. They -- to call those witnesses and they refused subpoenas on all but one witness and went along with the White House on their gag orders so people didn't have to answer our questions.
Perhaps more important than all that, he unilaterally committed to and conducted investigations into our own government. So as DNI Coats said, the lights are blinking red. Our democratic process is under attack by the Russians. But Chairman Nunes let the Russians off the hook and instead went after our own government. And, frankly, continues to do the same.
ACOSTA: And how about the House speaker, Paul Ryan? We know he's leaving soon, leaving the scene soon. But do you think, as one of his final acts as speaker of the House, does he need to remove Devin Nunes from leadership of the House Intelligence Committee, do you think?
QUIGLEY: I think he should have done that a year ago. The only Republicans I've seen really step up and speak honestly about the Russia investigation and what has to take place are largely those members who are leaving office, where the profiles encourage. If the speaker of the house wants to leave showing he has that courage, this would be the first step to take Chairman Nunes off that position and tell the White House we are an independent, separate branch of government. You are going to cooperate. We're going to call in these key witnesses. We're going to find out what happened. And as important as that, we're going to secure our democratic process.
ACOSTA: And, congressman, you mentioned the warning system blinking red with respect to Russia. As you know, the Democratic senator from Florida, Bill Nelson, claimed earlier this week that the Russians had penetrated some of the voting systems in his state. Now, I know you've looked into Russian meddling as part of your role with the House Intelligence Committee.
Senator Nelson, up until this point, hasn't really provided any evidence of this, but the Florida Governor Rick Scott, as you know, who's running against Nelson for that Senate seat, is asking that Nelson provide some proof to back up his claim. What do you make of this back and forth between these two guys who are obviously running for a very critical Senate seat? And as you know, from your position on the House Intelligence Committee, is there anything to this? Do we think the Russians have penetrated the state of Florida's election systems, which obviously the state of Florida, as we know, we only have to look back to the year 2000, is a very critical state when it comes to national elections.
QUIGLEY: It's hard to imagine that the Russians didn't attempt or successfully hack into the Florida Board of Elections process. How do we know this? Because we know that Illinois was the first state in August a year -- two years ago, August of 2016. The Russians hacked into the Illinois State Board of Elections.
We've been told by Homeland Security and others that that number of states is somewhere between two dozen and 41 or 42. So if we do the math, it's hard to imagine a big state like Florida wasn't a target.
[13:25:05] As you know, a unified intelligence community had said that the Russians hacked our democratic process, and they did it to favor one candidate over another. We tried -- an amendment I passed for the 2018 funding to secure $380 million to prevent this from happening again. That decimal point was in the wrong spot. The last time our democratic process and the electoral process was called into question after Bush/Gore and hanging chads, we spent $3.5 billion. My amendment on the House side failed on a partisan vote. We lost every single Republican to try to fund at least another $380 million. Mr. Comey said they will be back. The fact of the matter is, they never left. The Russians are still attacking all our board of elections and I think individual candidates.
ACOSTA: OK, Congressman Mike Quigley, obviously something we're going to have to keep our eye on. Thanks for coming in and joining us. We appreciate it.
QUIGLEY: Thank you. ACOSTA: Coming up, a federal judge erupts at the Trump administration after it deports a mom and daughter seeking asylum. Why the judge ordered the plane they were on to turn around and threaten to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt. That's coming up.
Plus, the president has long railed against what's called chain migration, but his wife's parents just got citizenship using it. So what's the difference between his in-laws and countless others?