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Omarosa's Book Details Why She Now Opposes Trump; Mueller Focus On Roger Stone Growing With New Moves; "Manhattan Madam" Testifies Before Mueller Grand Jury; Suburban Women Seen As Key Bloc In 2018 Midterms; Russia Probe Looms Large Ahead Of Midterm Vote. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 11, 2018 - 20:00   ET



[20:00:08] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Good evening on this Saturday night. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. You were live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And we now know the name of the airline worker who stole a commercial airliner and crash it just outside Seattle. His name is Richard Russell. He was 29 years old. He worked for Horizon Air for the last three or so year before stealing this plane last night, taking off and then doing these maneuvers. Thankfully, officials say the plane was empty at the time. But Russell flew it for more than an hour doing flips and so called bare wolf before finally crashing on to a wooded island.

Crews are looking for that black box now. But we do have chilling audio from air traffic control. Here are some Russell's last words.


RICHARD RUSSELL, STOLE PLANE AND CRASH: I got lot of people who care about me and it's going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just that broken guy got a few screws loose. Never really knew it until now.


CABRERA: CNN's Dan Simon has been near this crash site all afternoon.

Dan, what else do we know about Russell?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, a law enforcement source tells CNN that 29-year-old Horizon Airline employee has been identified as Richard Russell. Now, we can tell you that Russell is somebody who kept a very active online presence. He recorded You Tube videos talking about his job. He also had an online blog where he mentioned that a few years ago he and his wife operated a bakery somewhere in Oregon.

Now he did work in ground support at the Seattle airport. So does that mean? We know that he loaded and unloaded luggage. He would also tidying aircraft. It also involved riding a tractor or driving a tractor where he would put an airplane in the right place for takeoff. And that is apparently what he did yesterday before getting in the cockpit, firing up the engines and then having a successful taxi and take off. That is very difficult to do under normal circumstances because of the protocols in place.

I want you to listen now to the CEO of Horizon Airlines who spoke out earlier today.


GARY BECK, CEO, HORIZON AIR: Normally, you would request clearance for push back from either your own tower or ground control. You then speak with ground control all the way out to the runway. They would turn you over to the tower who would then clear you for takeoff. And I believe in fact I know that he did communicate on the ground frequency and all of the communications for the entire flight were conducted on that frequency.

You are right. There were maneuvers that were done that were incredible maneuvers with the aircraft. To our knowledge he didn't have a pilot's license. So to be honest with you, I mean, commercial aircraft are complex machines. They are not as easy to fly as say a Cessna 150. So I don't know how he achieved the experience that he did.


SIMON: I spoke to a former coworker who work with Russell. He was shock that he did this. He said he had a very good sense of humor but he wasn't shocked that he had gain the knowledge in terms of how to operate the aircraft. He said because of being on the tow team, you learn certain things that other employees might not know how to do.

Now, as far as what is happening now, I can tell you that we are at the island where there crash occurred. There are dozens of investigators there. They are trying to retrieve those black boxes, the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. But what evidence those boxes might yield, we don't know. We already, of course, have a ton of evidence because of the conversation between Russell and air traffic control -- Ana.

CABRERA: Dan Simon, thank you.

And we just got a picture of Russell. Again, he was 29 years old. He had worked for Horizon Air for three-and-a-half years as a ground service agent. This is from his LinkedIn page.

Now, a few minutes ago, I had a chance to talk with national security analyst Juliette Kayyem and she told me that as sad and strange as this crash was, there is an upside of the things that there supposed to happen in an emergency like this worked well. Listen.


JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Part of what airport security to imagine that something bad happens because you can't predict anything and have the crisis management communications plans just uncase. So fighter jets were deployed within one minute. Communications by the FBI alerting that this was not terrorism. The airline and the airport were really aggressive on communications.

And then just look at the training clearly from that -- from between the ground control and the pilot. Those communications save lives. They sort of, you know, made sure that the pilot who really did come to know that he was going to die did not harm anyone else.

So in some ways you look at security planning this. Did after the thing happens, did the system get into place to protect more people? And I have to say in this case, you know, this is a horrible story but no one else was hurt.


[20:05:35] CABRERA: Here with us right now our aviation analyst Les Abend. He is a commercial airline captain flying the Boeing 777. Just recently retired. He is the author of this book "Paper Wings."

Les, so good to have you with us. What a crazy story. And we continue to learn little bits and pieces about what wept down, who this person was. What strikes you?

LES ABEND, CNN AVIATION ANALYST. Well, this was chilling to me. Just listening to the recorded transcript. It was just absolutely chilling to me that this man could maneuver an aircraft with limited experience or no experience in an airplane. And I would be glad to discuss that later what might be plausible in this scenario.

But let's reassure viewers that this is a one-off situation. This is not an epidemic. The security procedures are still in effect. You know, this was a disturbed man.

As an airline pilot, there were many things that had to go through in order to be hired by the airline. There were many steps involved just to get on with the airline than my medical was very important. The airline gave me a medical review. DFA gave me a medical review throughout my 34-year career.

The ground folks not so much but they require what they call (INAUDIBLE).

CABRERA: What's that?

ABEND: Which is a security identification display area. In other words they have to display this badge to other employees and to appropriate authorities, whether it be TSA, there isn't make any difference, law enforcement. They have to go through a vetting procedure first with the airline. In of itself, their hiring procedures. Then got through a security procedure, finger prints. They have to go through an entire criminal background check. They have to see if they are tied to any terrorist organizations or potential terrorist organization. So there is a lot of vetting involve. CABRERA: So there are opportunities for red flag to come up.

ABEND: Correct.

CABRERA: So how does somebody like this who has no business, getting behind the control of a commercial airplane do what he did?

ABEND: This man would go under the radar in full plain sight because he has got the uniform, he has got the side badge that I refer to, he gets into this airplane. Nobody that was an employee would say what's he doing in the airplane? Closes it up. Now granted he had some experience pushing back airplanes or towing airplanes.


ABEND: That doesn't mean he had inside experience. Because he probably very often because of the small type of operation, this regional carrier Rising Air. He got the opportunity to go in, and talk to pilots who is probably very friendly man. So he got familiarity that way.

The maneuvers that he performed, notwithstanding being able to take off in the airplane without crashing it.

CABRERA: Well, that is why (INAUDIBLE) somebody do that they have no pilot experience. He didn't have his license but we are looking at the video. He is doing some what looks to be fancy maneuvering.

ABEND: And that's what's absolutely amazing. Another way I can see that this be plausible is the there is a big, passionate hobbyist group that flies desk top simulators to the point that the sophistication you can buy - I have been to their conventions, and they can buy sophistication, depending upon how much money you want to spend, they can actually make it realistic to fly that airplane a 777, a Cessna 150. They could get enough experience and exposure it to believe that they could do what this man did and those maneuvers are absolutely incredible. An inexperienced Q400 (ph) pilot wouldn't necessarily be able to perform that maneuver nor would they want to perform that because they know the limitations of an airline-type aircraft.

CABRERA: Incredible. And when you listen to him on that tape with the air traffic controllers, is there any information you think investigators can gleam from their communication?

ABEND: Well, certainly, when the cockpit voice recorder was recovered, you know, if he was talking himself and then the flight data recorder itself to determine, you know, did this man begin his own demise by pushing aircraft into the terrain, into the trees. That aspect of it, I'm sure if it was something disturbed about this individual, I'm not a psychologist. But it sounds like he was going through a period of depression.

CABRERA: He himself -- we heard him say I must have a screw loose. I didn't know it until now I guess. ABEND: And to get in an aircraft and actually almost sound that

relaxed, he must have been overwhelmed. I just can't imagine I would not climb into that Q400 (ph) with 25,000-plus hours of experience, not being trained on that aircraft. It just - it is absolutely amazing.

[20:10:10] CABRERA: Incredible.

Les Abend, thank you so much for being with us.

I want take you live right now to Charlottesville, Virginia. This is a city on edge after deadly violence erupted at a white supremacist rally. And President Trump calling for clam, tweeting in part the riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence.

Also today, a Republican lawmaker from Virginia raising eyebrows when he mentioned Russian meddling and Charlottesville together. Here's what GOP Congressman Tom Garrett told my colleague, Ryan Nobles. Watch.


REP. TOM GARRETT (R), VIRGINIA: I sat in a closed session briefing probably two months ago about Charlottesville with the director of the FBI amongst others. And asked if Russian inter-meddling had to do with tormenting the flames of what happened in Charlottesville. I was told, yes, it did. I asks, is this information classify, they said no, it is not related until today.


CABRERA: Let's get right to correspondent Kaylee Hartung in Charlottesville.

Kaylee, police there monitoring the student-organized event happening tonight in Charlottesville. What is the latest on the ground?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, this march continues through the streets of Charlottesville. What we have seen tonight is the eruption of a lot of anger, frustration and outrage for so many in this community, namely University of Virginia students.

This event tonight was advertised as an opportunity for the students to reclaim the ground that they felt white nationalists carry tiki torches on to. This event was planned to be held at rotunda, the plaza in front of the rotunda of the UVA campus, one of the most iconic buildings on campus. You remember those images of the men and women carrying tiki torch a year ago.

Well, when we arrived for what was this planned and advertised event, it was very apparent early that this was turning nothing to something else, an opportunity for them to voice their displeasure with the failure that they feel law enforcement had. The lack of service that they did for them a year ago when white supremacists seized this town. The students quickly steered the rally around the corner because the

university had mandated a secure perimeter be set up on that plaza. People were going to have process through mugs, metal detectors. Only clear bags were allowed.

These students were not willing abide by such standard that they felt were being set by the very institution being UVA and law enforcement who had failed them.

So as this rally turned a corner, there was a very brief confrontation of a few people coming face to face with police in riot gear. And you heard the chant, why are you wearing riot gear? We don't see no riot here.

The sentiment has been shared with me by some of these students who helped organize this event who was they feel like law enforcement protected the white supremacists who came to this town like they allowed violence in the streets of this college town.

This march has continued throughout the city of Charlottesville, stopping at different points. One point being the amphitheater. Above it, dormitories where the University of Virginia have been housing law enforcement who have come here. Some see this incredible presence of law enforcement at tier this weekend, one year later as an over correction after a lack of resources, a lack of preparation one year ago.

Some students telling me earlier today they don't feel any safer today than they did a year ago because they don't feel that law enforcement is doing the job they swore an oath to do. We're not sure where this march will take us next. It is continuing through the streets, the rhetoric very strong for these antiracist, sometimes antifascist people who are very, very angry with the failure they feel the institutions that they feel should be supporting them.

CABRERA: All right. Kaylee Hartung, in Charlottesville, Virginia, as this march continues, thank you.

We are going to hear from one of the professors that University of Virginia, by the way, who organized last year's counter-protest and is marching today as well. What she has seen changed since last year's protest. Still ahead.

Plus a new book from former White House assistant, Omarosa Manigualt- Newman, one of President Trump's associates is making waves with the White House trying to discredit her the President even calling her a low life.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[20:18:44] CABRERA: Live pictures from Charlottesville, Virginia. Tensions are high. Security is beyond heavy, one year after the deadly violence that erupted at white nationalist rally. Marchers calling for change and remembering the life that was lost, Heather Heyer, a young woman protesting against hate.

Joining us now is Jelane Schmidt. She is the University Virginia associate professor of religious studies and organizer of last year's counter protest and a black lives matter activist.

Jelane, thank you for joining us. Tell me about the motions you were feeling today.

JELANE SCHMIDT, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF RELIGIOUS STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Yes. There's been a lot of tension all week here in Charlottesville as we approach the first anniversary of the summer of hate here and there's been a steady buildup of police militarized police, hardware armored cars, 700 Virginia state police that have come to town. National guardsman and then other law enforcement agencies. So there is sense of regimentation about town. The streets are closed off. There's no passage, you know, through certain streets. Parks and rec centers are closed down. So there is a sense that we are being held siege in our own city. That it is marshal hall and all but name.

[20:20:00] CABRERA: You will recall last year, the law enforcement was criticized for not prepared enough and not reacting fast enough. And creating a situation that ultimately resulted in the death of Heather Heyer.

SCHMIDT: Right. It seemed they were over compensating this year by over policing and this is again the community seems to be bearing the brunt of the lack of action last year and this year the tension and the regimentation in the streets is palpable. You can feel it that there have been helicopters hovering overhead for the past two days as you can hear right now.

CABRERA: We can hear, yes.

SCHMIDT: And none of this is addressing the problems, which the UVA students are asking the administration for which is to pay the medical fees of those who were badly injured by the torch rally an August the 11th of last year. To issue no tress pass orders for all the Nazis that came for the torch rally last year and to disclose what sort of profits were made by benefits concert in Charlottesville last year.

CABRERA: Are today's marches helping people in this wounded city heel or only tormenting more anger and frustration and discouragement?

SCHMIDT: Well, I think it is bringing to the fore, you know, some of the problems that are long standing, you know. And there is a hope that they can be addressed. The University of Virginia, our new president, Jim Ryan, just took over on August the 1st. You know, there was some hop that this could be kind of turning over a new lead. And that he would have, you know, kind of more flexibility to address some of these demands that have been made, particularly with the payment of the medical bills, of those injured at the torch rally and the issuing a no tress pass orders.

CABRERA: In terms of the bigger picture though and the divisions and the racial injustice, I know are felt, how are activists working to improve relations in Charlottesville?

SCHMIDT: Well, what's happened since last summer is that more and more citizens have started attending public meetings of city council, of the planning commission, affordable housing meetings this and this sort of thing. And there's been a great ground swell and activists. I mean, in the general public, in people pressing for demands for solutions for long standing problems such as the lack of affordable housing, such as the problems that we have with stop and frisk policing. And so, you know, there's been an up-ground swell of supports for establishing a civilian police review board. So this -- last summer was tragic. But what came out of it was a lot of energy, a lot of political organizing hope in that sense that we can make a change.

CABRERA: All right. Jelane Schmidt, thank for your time and thank you for calling attention to what is happening there and the bigger issues that were underlying what we saw happen last year which was, of course, so tragic. Thank you.

On the west coast now, California's governor is declaring a state of emergency as massive wild fires continue burning in areas north and south and now the smoke is so thick, it's even reached New York city.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[20:27:55] CABRERA: Wild fires in the western U.S. continue to rage, many burning out of control in southern California. The holy fire is burning alarmingly close to neighborhoods and some residents are trying everything they can to save their home. Incredible dramatic video. While this man tried to hold them back with a garden hose.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God, please, Lord.


CABRERA: This home owner watching in fear as firefighters battle this blaze right outside. It's a constant battle they are waging on multiple fronts.


CABRERA: In many cases planes are dropping fire retardant as a last line of defense.

Now the holy fire in Orange County isn't even a state from largest wildfire. There are numerous large fires scorching thousands of acres, forcing thousand mandatory evacuations. The governor, Jerry Brown had declared a state of emergency.

The smoke from the California wild fires now stretching 3,000 miles to the east all the way to New York City.

CNN's Stephanie Elam has more.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Firefighters out here in California making great progress on this holy fire here. Containment jumping greatly over a one-day period as they were able to battle back these blazes that were getting pretty close to home.

So if take a look behind me, you can see that there is still some smoke there in the area coming up. Even though the rest of the area looks like they have been able to put the fire out.

What they are doing is fighting deaths on the sky. Because it is some very rough terrain. We are told some parts haven't been in some 30 years. It's hard to get in with bulldozers and hand crews. So they are dropping water retardant and fire from the sky to fight this fire. And what happened when you will see with some of these blazes where it looks like everything is done and then smoke will start to come back up. And what happens is the fire can sometimes get trap in those roots. And it's burning underground and it starts to come back up and that's why firefighters are out there watching it a few more days to make sure none of those hot spots exist.

But still you're talking about conditions being well near 100 degrees in some of these areas across California. It's dry. There hasn't been a lot of rain here, so it's right for wildfires to continue to burn and considering that we've already seen some 670,000 acres plus that have burned. That's equal to about the size of Rhode Island and land mass that we've seen burned here and knowing that we still have a few more months of the fire season. It is going to be a long, hot one here and officials are saying that they could be in those for a few more months.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Lake Elsinore, California.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Remember when President Trump said he only hired the best people? Well, today, the president is calling Omarosa Manigault-Newman, a former assistant in the White House, a low-life, after she released a tell-all book about her time in the White House. We'll have details ahead.


[20:35:32] CABRERA: Another former Trump ally is now in all-out conflict with him. In a ranker between him and his former White House staffer, Omarosa Manigault-Newman has reached a whole new level. Watch the president said about her today.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I better not go any further. Low-life. She's a low-life.


CABRERA: That comment comes in the wake of a publicity tour of sorts and Omarosa's new book is about to be published or rather about to be out there. A salacious mostly verifiable account of her time in the West Wing in which she, among other claims, likens Trump to a cult leader and suggests the president can no longer pronounce long words due to a declining mind.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders says this book is riddled with lies and false accusations.

Let's talk about it with CNN political analyst, Brian Karem how is the White House correspondent for Playboy.

Brian, I know you've had a chance to read some of this book. What's your reaction to what you've read so far?

BRIAN KAREM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, OK. Let's start at the beginning. The president called hear a low-life. So the question naturally follows since she worked for him for 10 years when she's a low-life when he hired her? Did it take him 10 years to figure out she was a low-life? Or did she become a low-life by working for him?

Now, as for her, OK. She's essentially called him a sexist, egotistical, lysing, hypocritical bigot, and that may well be true, but it took you 10 years to figure that out? You were perfectly fine with him for a very long time.

And then you have Sarah Huckabee Sanders who's saying it's all lies which is a mouthful coming from a White House that does nothing that lie to us on a daily basis.

CABRERA: Let me read to you what the full responses from the White House though and then you can continue. This is what Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, the full response. "It's sad that it disgruntled former White House employee is trying to profit off these false attacks, and even worse that the media would now give her a platform after not taking her seriously when she had only positive things to say about the president during her time in the administration."

You point out that the White House denials have turned out to be wrong in the past. Will people believe this White House denial on this book?

KAREM: The base is going to believe whatever the White House says. The rest of us, I mean, you could be in a coma, Ana, for 20 years and wake up this week and just take a look at the tweets and what this president has done this week and realize that there's something amiss.

I mean, the president of the United States basically spent the last 10 days hiding from Washington D.C. in Bedminster. He said that there were major renovations going on the White House and it was routine maintenance.

Just to stay away from D.C. He's hiding. He's had limited access and he tweets furiously. Brings this in one when he wants to pool spray or to say something briefly and then pushes it out. This isn't normal. This is not the way any president has ever operated.

And you could, like I said, have bene in the coma, wake up, you know, just last week and see this and go, hey, say something's amiss.

So when Sarah says that --

CABRERA: Sorry. I'm sorry, Brian. Go ahead.

KAREM: No. Go ahead.

CABRERA: I was thinking about this book, because you talk about the different levels of credibility, both the president has, that was White House, but Omarosa herself as well. She's not exactly the most credible person, as we've discussed already.

But the bottom line is, do you think her book as legs and especially when you compare it to a book like what we saw the wolf book for example that got so many headlines that seem to create a bit of a fire for this White House's administration?

KAREM: Well, everything creates a fire for this White House because they're at odds with facts. And he also doesn't like to be pushed around much or challenged. So, yes, there'd be some fire from it. How far it goes and what kind of legs it has, that remains to be seen.

But it is from an insider, someone who -- I mean, this isn't someone who was just with him for a week or two or like Sean Spicer who was with him for a very short time and then left. She was with him before he was president and I think it's been like 10 years. So she has and knows the man far better than most who have already written their tell-alls.

And so it bears some scrutiny from that end of the spectrum. But as you said, the credibility is in question for everyone in that White House. They lied to you while they were in the White House. So, why should you expect them to tell you the truth now? It's a continuing mountain of lies.

[20:40:08] CABRERA: Thank you very much for joining us, Brian Karem.

KAREM: Good to see you.

CABRERA: We have more to discuss tonight on the Mueller probe. New subpoenas from special counsel Robert Mueller including one man, Roger Stone calls his back channel to WikiLeaks. So, is Robert Mueller zeroing in on a long-time Trump advisor?



CABRERA: Is there anyone here who doesn't believe Robert Mueller should finish investigation? The investigation needs to be shut down? So all of you support the special counsel investigation?


(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: Hear why some women in Pennsylvania, including Trump voters, think Robert Mueller should be allowed to finish his investigation, next.


[20:45:17] CABRERA: The investigative walls appear to be closing in on long-time Trump friend and advisor, Roger Stone. Special Counsel, Robert Mueller has his sights set on Stone's inner circle.

Now, one of the witnesses is defying Mueller, refusing to appear for his grand jury testimony. Andrew Miller is a Stone associate who tried to fight Mueller's subpoena by arguing that Mueller's appointment was unconstitutional. All of this happening as the special counsel just subpoenaed another man, a guy who Stone said was his WikiLeaks back channel.

And as another close Stone friend, the woman known as the Manhattan Madam is taking the stand before the grand jury in this investigation.

With me now, Dylan Bank. He directed a Netflix film called "Get Me Roger Stone."

Dylan, you may know this guy better than anyone. Besides his family members or maybe the Manhattan Madam. Do you think he's feeling the heat right now?

DYLAN BANK, DIRECTOR OF NETFLIX FILM "GET ME ROGER STONE": I think Roger is definitely feeling the heat. As many things that he's done that might not be related to the Mueller investigation directly and the Russian interference, but that they might be trying to use as leverage over him.

CABRERA: What can you tell us about his relationship with Kristin Davis, the Manhattan Madam?

BANK: Well, originally, they were Eliot Spitzer antagonists, who was the former governor of New York who went down in a prostitutions scandal several years ago. And that's when she went to prison also for a prostitution. That's why she's the Manhattan Madam. Except she was very furious that she ended up in Rikers in solitary confinement, stripped searched by male guards repeatedly and Eliot Spitzer had no legal repercussions, even though he as attorney general of New York was the one who really helped change the law to help put them in prison.

So she went on a publicity campaign against him and met Roger at a radio station and Roger saw her and said, oh, my Lord, you should go into politics. We can team up against Eliot Spitzer together and that's exactly what they did.

CABRERA: And so now, she's involved in the Mueller investigation. There's this new character, Mr. Credico, who has apparently been called his back channel to WikiLeaks as well. You said you're familiar with him as well. How do you see him fitting into the bigger picture? BANK: Roger and Randy Credico have a very similar history in the way that Trump has relationships with people that he works with them and then a minute later is calling them a liar and a scum bug and he has nothing to do with me and I never met him before.

So they've been at times have teamed up on things. They've done standup comedy together. And other times, they absolutely want to distance each other -- themselves from other.

In this case, Roger seemed to feel like he had a great connection to Julian Assange through him. But Roger was never really able to successfully get to Julian Assange personally himself it seems. He always do intermediaries or through other people.

And at the time, Roger thought Julian Assange was really cool. He was one of the people tearing down the system and that's what Roger loves and only later did he say, oh, I had nothing to do with him.

CABRERA: Yes, because Guccifer 2.0 we now know is connected to Russia and at one point Roger Stone was sort of bragging about having contact with Guccifer.

I do want to ask one last quick question about Stone's loyalty. Do you consider him a very loyal person? Because when he was asked by Anderson Cooper, whether he would testify against ever against President Trump, he said no.

BANK: Roger and Trump have fallen out as his ex-wives said to us in an interview. Roger and Trump have been married and divorced more times than they could count. But Roger is actually in a general sense, very loyal, even when he and Kristin Davis had fallen out and they bashed each other and she was nailed for selling prescription drugs, ruining all of his plans. He then later made up with her and was helping her which is actually why she's testified -- being called to testify right now because she later was helping him.

But Roger does have a very strong loyal streak to him and if there's one thing Trump values over anything else in the entire world, it's loyalty and Roger was to hang on to the that Trump. It's paying off for him.

CABRERA: All right, Dylan Bank. Thank you so much for giving us the insight with all these different characters.

But just how closely are voters following the Russian meddling investigation? We went to a key swing state to take the pulse of a critical voting bloc. You'll recall, President Trump beat Hillary Clinton among white women and suburban voters. They were really important in 2016 and political pundits predict they will be key to victory for either party in this year's midterms as well.

So what's their take on the Mueller investigation? I sat down with five women in Pennsylvania to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CABRERA: Is there anyone here who doesn't believe Robert Mueller should finish his investigation? That the investigation needs to be shut down? So all of you support the special counsel investigation?

[20:50:02] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Uh-hmm.

CABRERA: What are you watching closely for? And why do you support that investigation? Because not all Republicans do.

FELICE FEIN, PENNSYLVANIA REPUBLICAN: I support the investigation because I want the truth to come out. I think everybody does. The investigation is still going on. But so far, nothing has come out that said collusion. And so I'm waiting to see.

CABRERA: It sounds to me like this is an issue that you care about and that you're paying attention to and that matters. Fair?


FEIN: Well, in all fairness, the media's covering it. So we see it, we hear it. So if the media wasn't covering it, we probably wouldn't know nearly as much. Is it one of my top two or three things that I care about? Not really.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My neighbors would like to just not hear it anymore. I can tell you that.

CABRERA: Rudy Giuliani today was saying this is an issue that could actually be a really good thing for the president if it continues past the midterms, that that's going to motivate his base voters to get out and vote.

Do you think that's the case, Danielle?

DANIELLE YAMPOLSKY, PENNSYLVANIA REPUBLICAN: I definitely do think so because it has been going on for over a year and there is yet to be any substantive evidence. And usually in the legal process when there's a case, it usually starts with a piece of evidence and then you investigate further. And so far it seems like the only reasoning is that he won an election people weren't expecting him to win.

CABRERA: What do you mean there hasn't been any substantive evidence when we've seen more than 30 people face charges now being criminally indicted with five guilty pleas and one person who's currently on trial?

YAMPOLKSY: Yes. Meddling and collusion are not the same thing. There's been nothing about Donald Trump working actively with Russia. And to have this kind of case go on and on and on, it's only making Trump look better.

CABRERA: Caitlin?

CAITLIN HAAS, PENNSYLVANIA DEMOCRAT: Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm pretty sure that Trump just came out and said that the meeting did take place. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong -- CABRERA: The Trump tower meeting.

HAAS: Yes.

CABRERA: With his son and Jared Kushner with the Russians. And he did say that it was to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.

FEIN: But that's not an illegal thing. To get information about your opponent.

HAAS: Yes, it is, actually, when you have a foreign entity interfering with a national election, offering information on your opponent. It is. That's what that is.

YAMPOLKSY: Did you see what Hillary Clinton release like what kind of information that was completely falsified she leaked about Trump?

HAAS: But that's not what we're speaking about.

YAMPOLKSY: She worked with Russia as well on that.

HAAS: But that's not what we're speaking about, right? So, are you considering that more information is coming out and the story is changing almost every other day?

YAMPOLKSY: I mean, meeting with a lawyer who is from Russia and collusion are two different things.

CABRERA: Is that evidence, though, that they may have wanted to conspire with people from Russia against Hillary Clinton if the promise was to give dirt on the opponent?

YAMPOLKSY: I don't think so. That's not collusion.

CABRERA: How do you know definitively?

YAMPOLKSY: I mean, I don't know the hardcore facts. I'm not in Robert Mueller's shoes. But from my perspective, if there was hardcore evidence Donald Trump would have been indicted already.

CABRERA: Your thoughts, Sarah?

SARAH TOMS, PENNSYLVANIA DEMOCRAT: There's a part of me who's still trying to come to terms with the election, all these years later and still trying to understand where -- why and how we landed where we did.

I believe in this being a fair trial. I believe in this being a fair investigation that's happening. But I'm also wondering, was Russia actually part of why we have Trump today as our president? I'm still waiting to hear whether that's where the investigation is going to land.


CABRERA: Let's see it through, let's see where Robert Mueller goes with his investigation. We'll be right back.


[20:55:44] CABRERA: Explore the wild ride of the 2008 presidential election that featured at the time a junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this a real thing? Like is it possible that America could do this? And so it was all like a collective holding of our breath.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're only a few seconds away from the top of the hour, when these states will be closing.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: The rules are that we had to wait until all the voting had ended. And I remember at 10:59:50, my executive producer was in the ear saying 10 seconds. It was an electric moment that I'll never forget.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And CNN can now project that Barack Obama, 47 years old, he will be the first African-American president of the United States.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For those who'd lived through segregation, lived through the civil rights era, it felt like the fulfillment of everything they thought the country could be.

[21:00:07] When something seems impossible and suddenly it's achieved, it's beyond words. It's still a shock to me.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's been a long time coming, but tonight, change has come to America.

CABRERA: A new episode of THE 2000s: YES WE CAN airs tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern here on CNN.

UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA with W. Kamau Bell starts right now.