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CNN NEWSROOM

Rudy Giuliani Reverses Himself From a Month Ago, Now Says Trump Never Talked to James Comey About Michael Flynn; Omarosa Releases Recording of John Kelly Firing Her; NTSB Recovers Flight Data Recorder from Crash Site in Seattle; University of Maryland Football Scandal; The 2008 Elections; Paul Manafort's Long Winding Road; Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 12, 2018 - 20:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[20:00:00] RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: -- they can say it's perjury if they elect to believe Comey instead of Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: So why would Robert Mueller think the president asked Comey to go easy on Flynn? Well, not only did Comey testify to this under oath, but just last month Giuliani himself said that's exactly what the president did.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: How is he a good witness for the president if he's saying that the president was asking him, directing him, in his words, to let the Michael Flynn investigation go?

GIULIANI: He didn't direct him to do that. What he said to him was, can you give --

STEPHANOPOULOS: Comey says he took it as direction.

GIULIANI: Well, that's OK. I mean, taken it that way. I mean, by that time he had been fired and he said a lot of other things, some of which have turned out to be untrue.

The reality is, as a prosecutor, I was told that many times. Can you give the man a break? Either by his lawyers, by his relatives, by friends. You take that into consideration. But, you know, that doesn't determine not going forward with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: You heard that, right? Giuliani clearly saying last month the president asked Comey to give Flynn a break. Today, though, claiming the president never said such a thing.

Let's go live to CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez. He is in New Jersey where the president is spending the weekend.

And Boris, how is the president's legal team explaining this reversal?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Ana. Rudy Giuliani maintains that this is not a contradiction. He is apologizing for confusion that he says he created by using a device in legal argumentation known as arguing in the alternative to make a point. He is suggesting here that he didn't mean to say that the conversation went in that direction. He says that the conversation never actually took place, though he didn't actually say that in the ABC interview.

I want you to watch what Giuliani says after Jake Tapper confronted him with that very sound bite that you just played on "STATE OF THE UNION" earlier today. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: So you didn't direct him to, what he said was, can you give him a break? You said that, I mean --

GIULIANI: Yes, I said it. But I also said before that I'm talking about their version of it. Look, lawyers argue in the alternative. I know it's complicated. But my goodness, we've been over it long enough that -- I mean, why would I say something that isn't true? I mean, the president didn't say to him, go easy on Flynn or anything about Flynn. He's saying that.

I am talking about their alternative. I'm saying the conversation never took place. But if it did take place, and here's the conversation that's alleged, it is not illegal to have said that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Of course, Ana, this is not the first time that the president and his legal team have had to clarify and then re-clarify their positions on certain events that have taken place in the past. As Jay Sekulow put it, the fact -- we're watching the facts develop. Ultimately this is part of the reason that the legal team does not want President Trump to testify before Robert Mueller. They believe that the special counsel is trying to set a perjury trap by asking questions about specifically what the president said to former FBI director James Comey and why the president fired him -- Ana.

CABRERA: Boris Sanchez, thank you.

Joining us now CNN legal commentator and former Trump White House lawyer Jim Schultz. Also with us CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti.

So, Renato, does Giuliani's explanation make sense that he was answering in the alternative?

RENATO MARIOTTI, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Sure doesn't sound like what he was saying on that ABC clip. I have to tell you, Ana, I was on set on "NEW DAY" when Alisyn interviewed Mr. Giuliani. And it really seemed to me like he was winging it. He just was kind of rambling on and coming up with answers as he went along. It's really unusual. I mean, if an attorney at my law firm or other attorneys I know were

going to appear on CNN to represent a client they would be very prepared. They'd be very careful, they'd be very cautious and very precise about what they said. I think at the end of an interview with one of those attorneys you'd be wondering well, did I hear him say anything or her say anything? Because they were so careful.

Mr. Giuliani seems to speak off the cuff a lot. And that's a very dangerous thing for a lawyer. It can hurt the client quite a bit because all of us are looking for clues as to what actually the president said and did and taking his word seriously. So I don't really understand the legal strategy here at all.

CABRERA: I want to get Giuliani's words correct before you respond, Jim. Listen one more time to what he said just last month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: How is he a good witness for the president if he's saying that the president was asking him, directing him, in his words, to let the Michael Flynn investigation go?

GIULIANI: He didn't direct him to do that. What he said to him was, can you give --

STEPHANOPOULOS: Comey says --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Jim, he clearly says Trump asked Comey to give Flynn a break, and we should note, when that comment made headlines last month, Giuliani didn't issue any kind of corrections or clarification.

JAMES SCHULTZ, CNN LEGAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, Renato said it precisely, right, that Giuliani does not speak precisely sometimes. And that's what happens from time to time. And we've seen that throughout this process.

[20:05:07] But in legal terms you can -- lawyers use the term arguendo and that's a Latin term for argument's sake. It happens all the time in the courtroom, meaning that we're going to assume that the other -- what the other side is arguing is correct or the facts that they are putting forth are correct. And then we're going to argue and we're going to say even though their facts are correct, and assuming they're correct this is something that the law provides is OK.

And it seems that's what Giuliani is doing here and now and being more precise about it this time. But again, it's very, very important that when the president's lawyers on television, that the president's lawyer is getting it right in terms of what the president said and portraying it the right way. And here I think it may have been a little sloppy. It may have been a little imprecise but now he's coming back and saying -- clearly saying that my client, meaning the president of the United States, Rudy Giuliani's client, did not say this and that there is an issue of fact between Giuliani -- between the president's account and the account of James Comey. CABRERA: I still don't understand, though, why he wouldn't have

issued that clarification initially after he made the comments that made headlines a month ago which we played, the one that he said on ABC News. And it kind of is reminiscent, though, of the changing stories we heard regarding Stormy Daniels and the hush money agreement. First it was there was none, there was no agreement, the president knew nothing about it, and then it was, well, the president paid it back.

I mean, why have the changing narratives at all? Is it meant to confuse the public, Jim?

SCHULTZ: Look, you're going to have to ask Rudy Giuliani that question. He is the president's lawyer in this case. But I have to tell you, they need to do a better job of putting -- when they're talking about facts, specifically facts, things that the president said. They have to get them right the first time.

CABRERA: Renato, when it comes to this specific issue of whether Trump asked this of Comey how big of role do you think it plays in Mueller's obstruction of justice investigation?

MARIOTTI: I think it's huge. You know, we've listened now to that clip a few times. And Mr. Giuliani says it was common for people to tell me when I was a prosecutor to let someone go to take it easy on them. The example he uses are of the defendants themselves or the target themselves and their families and their lawyers. And that is -- it is normal for a person's lawyer to ask you to take it easy on them.

What is not normal is for someone who is above you in the chain of command, to ask you to take it easy on someone. That is corrupt. I mean, you can call it whatever you want, and we can have whatever -- Jim and I can have whatever debate about the legality of it. But I think to anyone at home they realized it's corrupt for someone to tell their subordinate when you are, you know, heading up or in charge of a law enforcement arm of the government to let someone go or to let it -- take it easy on somebody.

And there is clearly a difference there. And that is why it's very relevant to Bob Mueller and one way or the other that's going to be discussed at length in the report that Mueller sends to Congress.

CABRERA: Jim, can I ask you about the strategy of the Trump team? Because on Friday Giuliani and the president's other attorney Jay Sekulow hosted Sean Hannity's radio show and they talked about the investigation about their strategy. Here is a short clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: A lot of people interpret it this way, well, if he's telling the truth why wouldn't he just go in and testify? Hey, welcome to the real world. The reason you have to worry about it is, one, we're giving away prerogatives to the president. Second, we're walking him into a possible perjury trap, not because he isn't telling the truth but because somebody else isn't telling the truth. JAY SEKULOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LAWYER: Why would you do this? Why

would you submit any client let alone the president of the United States to this kind of situation?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Jim, if you were still in the White House, would you approve of this very public strategy?

SCHULTZ: Well, look, these are the -- remember, these are the president's private lawyers, not the lawyers that are sitting in the White House. But I have to tell you I think that the negotiating of the scope, the negotiating of the time and limiting it to issues other than obstruction is a smart one because there are a number of accounts in this. We've heard that James Comey has his story. We've heard that the president has his story. That was the subject of the discussion with Rudy Giuliani today.

There was a real concern about that. And there is also concern that the president will want to go in and convince Bob Mueller that he didn't do anything wrong. And it's tough -- you know, the president is sometimes very tough to control in terms of what he going -- what he says at times.

[20:10:07] So, you know, I mean, all we have to do is look at the Twitter handle.

CABRERA: Yes.

SCHULTZ: So I just don't think -- I think the strategy is a sound one to limit the time, limit the scope. But even if the president's personality wasn't what it is that would be the same strategy. That's the same strategy that was employed by Clinton, when he was set up to have an interview. It's the same strategy that was employed by the Bush administration. Limiting the time and duration and the place of the interviewing of the chief executive at that time.

And it's right. There are some executive privilege issues here. And there are a number of issues that are constitutional that relate to the Article II powers of the president. So I think there are some real legal issues that could end up before the United States Supreme Court here and they are trying to come to some reasonable agreement to get the president to be interviewed so they could put this behind them.

CABRERA: All right. Got to give Jim the last word since, Renato, you got the first word. Thank you, guys. Always good to have you on the show and appreciate your expertise and perspective on all this.

In Washington, D.C. today white supremacists had a plan, gather in huge numbers, march to the White House, spread their message of hate. It didn't work out that way.

Only a handful of white supremacists showed up today and they ran right into a wall of counter protesters, who let them know that their hateful attitudes were not welcome. The white supremacists made a couple of speeches and then they disappeared.

This occasion is the one-year mark since those violent white power rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia. A young woman, Heather Heyer, died during those rallies. Today Heyer's mother saw people use her daughter's name as part of their protests.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN BRO, MOTHER OF WOMAN KILLED IN CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE: The group who was confronting police used Heather's name. They chanted her name. I wasn't real appreciative of that. It is what it is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your message to people who do that?

BRO: I don't know that I have one. Heather is sort of public property in a way. They weren't defaming her. They weren't using her name to support violence. But I'm glad it calmed down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: That was Susan Bro sharing her thoughts on the anniversary of the death of her daughter.

Wherever she goes, the reality show follows. Former Trump aide Omarosa promotes her new tell-all book by playing secret audio of the moment she was fired inside the White House situation room. Hear it next.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:17:08] CABRERA: She went from reality TV villain to the highest ranking black employee in the Trump White House. But these days Omarosa Manigault Newman is the author of a tell-all book slamming the president and his team, and as part of her press tour she is sharing some of the tape she secretly recorded inside the White House, including the moment she was fired by Chief of Staff John Kelly in the situation room.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I think it's important to understand that if we make this a friendly departure we can all be -- you know, you can look at your time here in the White House as a year of service to the nation and then you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation.

OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: It is obvious a threat. He goes on to say that things can get ugly for you, the chief of staff of the United States under the direction of the president of the United States, threatening me on damage to reputation and things getting ugly for me. That's downright criminal. And if I didn't have these recordings no one in America would believe me, no one.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: Joining us now is CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter, and Asawin Suebsaeng, White House reporter for the "Daily Beast."

Guys, in response to these recordings White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said this, "The very idea a staff member would sneak a recording device into the White House situation room shows a blatant disregard for our national security and then to brag about it on national television further proves the lack of character and integrity of this disgruntled former White House employee."

Brian, the president, he promised he was going to hire only the best people but yet Omarosa she -- I mean, she built her reputation on being the villain. Should he really be surprised?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, she is the boldfaced example of a reality TV style of presidency. And I think if any of us thought what's the season finale of this going to be, Omarosa in the White House, I think we'd end up somewhere around here.

Now I have to admit I'm surprised by the tapes but I'm not surprised she's written a book. I'm not surprised she's written a tell-all book. This is the first kind of tell-all that we've seen from this White House. It's obviously very unflattering. I think that's why this book is a big deal. I think there are two things that are true at the same time. Number one, yes, her credibility is lacking. Yes, her whole persona is about being a lying reality show backstabbing villain. That is her brand.

At the same time this is a tell-all. Some of the details do -- have been corroborated from the book. And she's out there calling her former boss a racist, a misogynist and saying he has declining mental health. I think that's a big deal even though some of the details in the book are ridiculous and downright unbelievable. And when it comes to tapes, well, she's not the only person in Trump's orbit to have tapes.

CABRERA: Yes. In fact --

STELTER: You think about Michael Cohen right away.

CABRERA: That's what I was going to ask you, Asawin, because Omarosa was pressed by NBC's Chuck Todd about making these recordings. Listen to her response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Why did you tape people? I mean, how often --

[20:20:03] NEWMAN: Wait, Chuck. As you'll see in "Unhinged," I protected myself because this is a White House where everybody lies. The president lies to the American people. Sarah Huckabee stands in front of the country and lies every single day. You have to have your own back because otherwise you will look back and you'll see 17 knives in your back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Again Omarosa is now the second person to record Trump without his knowledge. At least as far as we know. His former attorney Michael Cohen was the other one. What does that say, Asawin? Could there be more recordings from there from inside the inner circle?

ASAWIN SUEBSAENG, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, there certainly could. And Omarosa and her publisher had been teasing for the last few days that she has tapes to back up at least some of what she claims and writes in her book.

STELTER: Yes.

SUEBSAENG: As we initially reported at the "Daily Beast" in the middle of last week those tapes apparently made on her smartphone do include President Trump's voice himself. Now according to at least one person we spoke to who had heard at least one recording that Omarosa had clandestinely made of President Trump, so far what we know of in terms of the tapes she has of the president are anodyne everyday conversation, nothing nearly as groundbreaking or breathtaking or surprising as what showed up in the tape Michael Cohen gave to CNN a couple of weeks ago.

But in terms of Omarosa's attitude (INAUDIBLE) towards Trump and his administration today I think it's worth noting over and over again during the ongoing reporting of her current media tour that if there was any evidence that she had any problem with President Trump who she is now deploring as this total racist and bigot during her time in the administration she did not show it to a single person.

She went out of her way to privately tell people close to her, and anyone who would listen quite frankly, how much she loved the president, how she was one of the fewest people -- one of the few people in his inner circle who could be counted on not to stab him in the back and how much President Trump loved her. So her tune dramatically changed as of post December 2017 after she was ousted from the White House.

CABRERA: Right.

SUEBSAENG: But your viewers can, you know, take that to mean whatever they feel.

CABRERA: And I think it's good that you point that out. It does speak to her credibility.

STELTER: Yes.

CABRERA: Brian, you mentioned there are some basic mistakes that have already been identified in this book.

STELTER: Yes.

CABRERA: We've seen now a number of denials from people who she says she is quoting or referencing some kind of conversation. What more can you tell us about that?

STELTER: Right. You know, there are examples from Frank Luntz, George Conway and others who say hey, my name is in the book, but what she's saying about me never happened. It's not true. It's not there. That speaks partly to a lack of editorial rigor or lack of fact- checking by the publisher. Maybe this book was rushed out in ways that actually heard. "Fire and Fury" as well, you know, that Michael Wolff book in January is the best analogy to this.

That became an instant a best seller when the president attacked Michael Wolff. We haven't seen the same thing happened this time. There hasn't been quite as much interest on the Amazon preorders list in Omarosa's book. I think that speaks to the fact that a lot of people don't find her credible.

However, I do think we should give her this, the "Washington Post" heard of the tapes, said that the details on the tapes matched the details in the book. So there is some evidence that some of what she is saying has some bearing. And, you know, no matter what you think of Omarosa she spent a year in the White House. She spent a year there right alongside the president, too, as the highest ranking black employee in the White House. And for her to turn on him in this way is absolutely stunning.

CABRERA: There is also this $15,000 a month contract she says that she was offered by the Trump campaign to stay quiet about her time in the White House. Today counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway pushed back on this idea that this is unusual. Here she is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: It is typical and you know it to sign an NDA --

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: Well --

CONWAY: Excuse me, to sign an NDA in any place of work. I'd be shock if you didn't have on ABC. She -- I'm told she signed them when she was on "The Apprentice" certainly at the campaign. We've all signed them in the West Wing and why not have somebody --

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: You signed them in the West Wing? You've signed a nondisclosure?

CONWAY: We have confidentiality agreements in the West Wing, absolutely we do. And why wouldn't --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Asawin, what's your reaction to that?

SUEBSAENG: I'll be very fair to Kellyanne Conway. It is very common place for people in Trump world. And I'll leave it at that. CABRERA: We also heard about $15,000 a month payment that his former

bodyguard and then who became an aide as well in the White House Keith Schiller was continuing to make, which that's what stood out to me when she said that as well.

STELTER: He's being paid the same amount that she was offered.

CABRERA: That she says she was offered.

STELTER: Right.

CABRERA: Guys, got to leave it there. Thank you very much, Brian Stelter, Asawin Suebsaeng. Good to have your input on this.

Now he called himself just a broken guy with a few screws loose.

[20:25:01] New details this evening about the airline worker who stole and crashed a plane as his heartbroken family comes forward. Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: New developments in the crash of a plane stolen from the Seattle Tacoma International Airport. The NTSB says it has now recovered the flight data recover from the site where this plane went down Friday night. 29-year-old Richard Russell performed mid-air stunts before he crashed on a remote island outside Seattle about an hour after takeoff. Now officials believe Russell was the only person killed. Family members say they are stunned and heartbroken by what has happened.

[20:30:03] Kyung Lah is in (INAUDIBLE), Washington, near the crash site.

Kyung, what is the latest on this investigation?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the very latest information that we're getting, Ana, is from the NTSB. Their investigators have recovered as you said the flight data recorder. That has been wrapped up. It will be sent to Washington, D.C. tomorrow. They intend to begin analysis sometime this week, to try to fill in the blanks about what exactly happened in the plane.

What they have not been able to recover is the cockpit voice recorder. And here's why. The plane went through a heavily wooded area in one of these remote islands that's right behind me, and it hit a lot of trees. And so when it crashed into the ground the NTSB says it basically smashed into smithereens. There is almost nothing left that looks like a plane except for one wing section.

So they are not incredibly optimistic about finding the cockpit voice recorder. But a lot of this, Ana, it did play out so publicly. People did get to see this plane. We heard those extraordinary exchanges between Russell and ATC here in Seattle. So many of those movements at the very end throughout this extraordinary scene that played out here, that is already known, a lot of questions, though, about how to prevent this from happening again -- Ana.

CABRERA: And Kyung, you wonder what if there were any red flags. What is Russell's family saying as we're starting to hear some reaction from them?

LAH: And that's another key part of the investigation. Is -- was there something that people missed? Was there a sign that someone could have seen? We spoke to co-workers who said they didn't see anything. His family came forward with a statement saying that they simply did not see any outward signs of mental illness with the young man who they called Vivo, a man who was so loved, he was happily married, they say. They simply didn't see it. Here is what they say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE MATTHEWS, FRIEND OF FAMILY: May seem difficult for those watching at home to believe but Vivo was a warm, compassionate man. As the voice recordings show Vivo's intent was not to harm anyone. He was right in saying that there are so many people who have loved him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAH: The family saying that they are going to take a hard look at themselves, Ana, just as the airline industry is also going to re- evaluate everything it's done -- Ana.

CABRERA: Kyung Lah, thank you.

Imagine if your son or daughter were forced to practice until they passed out or in one case until they lost their life. A new bombshell report detailing allegations of a toxic culture at the University of Maryland as the school's head football coach gets benched.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:37:01] CABRERA: The University of Maryland has placed its head football coach on administrative leave. An investigation has been launched now into allegations of player abuse. Including the case of an offensive lineman who died after a workout. It all stems from a bombshell report by ESPN describing a toxic culture of fear and intimidation under Coach DJ Durkin.

ESPN reports players were subject to verbal and physical abuse including one player who said he was forced to eat until he vomited. Another player was allegedly mocked after passing out during a conditioning drill. And then there was 19-year-old Jordan McNair who died of heat stroke two weeks after collapsing during an outdoor workout on campus in June. His body temperature reportedly reached 106 degrees.

Athletic director Damon Evans released a statement last night saying, "The safety and well-being of our student athletes is our highest priority. These alleged behaviors are not consistent with the values I expect all of our staff to adhere to and we must do better."

Joining us now CNN sports analyst and sports columnist for "USA Today," Christine Brennan.

Christine, thanks so much for joining us. I mean, this is a disturbing case. It's a disturbing allegations that are being made. And now we know three other members of the athletic staff have also been placed on leave. What more do we know about this alleged culture of bullying?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Ana, it's terribly troubling and it did take a media report. It was ESPN as you said that broke this bombshell story the last couple of days. And yet Jordan McNair, the 19-year-old who died with as you mentioned the 106-degree body temperature and allegations that he was staggering and he was falling and he couldn't even complete the drill because it was so hot, and he was having such trouble.

And yet that story, of course, that happened and he died in June. And the actual event happened May 29th. And so it took a media report for a university, a public university in this country of ours to be interested enough in what happened in why a young man, a student athlete died to start to actually start to investigate it. And I think that's one of the many troubling stories here is this inner sanctum, this culture of football especially that is just so set apart from what we would call the normal student culture at a university that I think it's a window into a world that is troubling.

It's scandal ridden. My sense is the coach DJ Durkin is not going to survive this nor should he. And I think it's an eye opener for many people who love college football as the sport is about to begin again in the next few weeks.

CABRERA: Has the head coach DJ Durkin said anything about the allegations against him?

BRENNAN: No, he has not. He's been placed on administrative leave. And the only people doing the talking right now, Ana, are the university president and the athletic director. And they're not -- they've just called upon another outside counsel, another, you know, outside investigation so there's going to be two different investigations now of this. Again this has been basically two months since this young man died and now they are investigating, now they're concerned about it.

[20:40:06] So, again, at this point we haven't heard from the coach. The allegations, though, are that he basically ruled by fear and intimidation, obviously something that's incredibly troubling for anyone when you think -- we're talking about 18 to 22, 23-year-old student athletes is particularly disturbing.

CABRERA: Yes. I want to switch gears and ask you about the NFL because in the past few days there have been some notable anthem protests whether it was players taking a knee, some raising their fists, others staying off the field altogether. Is the NFL really any closer to some kind of agreed upon policy on this?

BRENNAN: No, I don't think so. And although I would say this is all self-induced by the National Football League. The story had basically died down. They kind of -- I wasn't talking about it, writing about it. Most of us weren't. And then the NFL owners a couple of months ago decided to come up with a policy saying if you came out of the locker room you must stand. If you wanted to, you know, not stand you'd go into the locker room and stay there during the national anthem.

And that just ratcheted all up again. They had to pull back from that statement in July. And what we have right now, just to be honest, is a big mess. And as the season is approaching this is the last thing the NFL wanted. But the NFL especially a lot of these owners who have been very supportive of President Trump, the president himself ratcheted this all back up last September with his SOB comments in Alabama during that Senate race. So you can look to the external forces in one case the president and then the owners themselves creating a problem.

I think if they had just let it go away it would have died out and no one would be thinking about it but because of these incendiary moments with the president and then with the owners the players have not been consulted and I think they're very concerned and it's understandable on their side. And of course I think we're in for quite a long story here on this one.

CABRERA: Where do you see it going? Do you see an increase or decrease from the protests among these athletes?

BRENNAN: We know, for example, that with the Miami Dolphins, two players took a knee. One of them had never taken a knee before. That was in the pre-season. It's not going away. And I think for those people out there who say I just want my football, you know, just give me a sport, you should talk to the president of the United States about that because again this thing was no longer an issue.

CABRERA: Yes.

BRENNAN: Colin Kaepernick who started two years ago was out of the league and not speaking when the president himself decided I guess to gin up his base, to come back and deal with this last September. And really we've been talking about it ever since.

CABRERA: Christine Brennan, good to have you. Thank you so much.

BRENNAN: My pleasure. Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: It was a presidential race that ended in a shocking upset. No, not that one. We're going to go back to 2008 when a little known senator from Illinois defeated a former first lady. A preview of the new episode of "THE 2000s" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:47:11] CABRERA: "Yes, we can." Three little words that captured the hearts and minds of voters and propelled a junior senator from Illinois to the White House.

On tonight's brand new episode of "THE 2000s" we take a look back at the race of 2008. Boy, that's 10 years ago when Barack Obama defied the odds and defeated Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

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DAVID AXELROD, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We were as far as 30 points behind in the national polls. And our view was if we didn't win the first primary in Iowa there would be no chance to win the nomination. And so he spent more than 80 days there in 2007 meeting one-on-one and in small groups.

BARACK OBAMA, 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Are any of these people over 30?

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm on my way to Mason City and then the Sioux City and then the Council of Love, and then out and around.

OBAMA: How many people are going canvassing today? It's a little brisk outside. It will be good for you. Walk quick. Talk fast.

CLINTON: It's time that we moved from sound bites to sound solutions.

JOHN EDWARDS, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need to continue to press, keep the energy up. There is a huge momentum.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY: Iowa, you can make the difference.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Tomorrow night the future of the free world is riding on your shoulders. Don't feel any pressure.

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CABRERA: Joining us now, a woman who lived every second of that race. Patty Solis Doyle served as Hillary Clinton's campaign manager. She is also a CNN political commentator.

Patti, it's kind of fun to do this flashback. I'm curious as to what point did you begin to realize Barack Obama was gaining some serious ground?

PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, in the final months of Iowa really we figured out that this man really has something. He was inching ever closer to us in the polls. We were hearing from our Iowa voters. You know, this guy has something. He is hitting everywhere. And what he really did which really took us off guard is he expanded the feel in Iowa. You know, Iowa's traditional voters are white, they're female and they're older. And that is what we went after.

But Barack Obama and his team went after young people. And at the time we thought well, that's just ridiculous. That's never going to work. It hasn't worked before. And sure enough, we were wrong and he won Iowa.

CABRERA: Right. Because history might tell you that it's not the young people who get out and vote. It's the older people that you can rely on at the polls. SOLIS DOYLE: Right.

CABRERA: But what about his message do you think really resonated with voters enough to steer them away from a former senator, a former first lady with significantly more political experience and clout?

[20:50:03] SOLIS DOYLE: And at the time a lot more money and a lot more traditional support, Hillary had. But his message just resonated. Remember, it was, you know, the time, it was right after George W. Bush's presidency or that's the person who was coming down, and we had gone through an Iraq war, we had gone through the horrible Katrina response and 9/11. And people were not happy. And so the message that Barack Obama was hope and change really resonated with the American voter. And particularly those voters in Iowa.

CABRERA: After Hillary Clinton lost, the Democratic Party in 2008 you went on to work for Barack Obama's campaign. I almost forgot about that.

SOLIS DOYLE: I did.

CABRERA: Tell us about your experience working on these two historic presidential campaigns in one election cycle.

SOLIS DOYLE: Yes. Well, it's truly the privilege of my life to have been able to have a front row seat to these two incredible campaigns and to have played even the tiniest minor role in them in electing the first African-American president. But, you know, at the time, Hillary and Barack Obama fought this really, really epic battle to the finish. I mean, I don't know if you remember, but Hillary fought until the very, very, very end.

And when she conceded I went on to work, I was invited, I was asked to work for Barack Obama in the general election. And her supporters did not take kindly to my going over. You know, back then there were a group of Hillary supporters calling themselves the PUMAs which stood for Party Unity My Ass, and they were still very, very dedicated and committed to Hillary Clinton. And they saw my going over as a traitor as smooth.

CABRERA: You talked about the message that resonated with voters. Do you think were we seeing the seeds of what has since carried President Trump into office? A powerful desire to change the old guard in Washington?

SOLIS DOYLE: Look, I think what we're seeing from that '08 race and what we saw in 2016 just a couple of years ago is that change is always a much more powerful message than the status quo. Particularly during a time when Washington and politicians and institutions are seeing with such, you know, dismay and people are just fed up because nothing gets done. So I think we have learned from 2008 and 2016 going into 2020 that, you know, your status quo politician is probably not going to fair very well.

CABRERA: Patti Solis Doyle, thank you very much for giving us that insight into what happened in that historic election cycle. We really appreciate it.

And be sure to tune in there's much more to discuss, to share, to relive the brand new episode of "THE 2000s: Yes, We Can" air at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

Still ahead of the NEWSROOM, Jeanne Moos on why people are turning on Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort left and right.

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[20:57:51] CABRERA: Paul Manafort has a long road ahead of him and we're not talking about the trial.

Here's Jeanne Moos.

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JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In New Britain, Connecticut, they're not afraid to cross Paul Manafort or even turn on him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Turn left on Paul Manafort Drive.

MOOS: You may be used to seeing his name in the news, but here they see it on signs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Turn right on Paul J. Manafort Drive.

MOOS: How did he get from being on trial to being on GPS? Well, actually --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not him, it's his father.

MOOS: The late Paul Manafort Sr. was a three-term mayor of New Britain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a town hero.

MOOS: That's the word at Elmer's Place at one end of Paul Manafort Drive. The road stretches a mile or so alongside Central Connecticut State University. For those who reside on Paul Manafort --

(On camera): What kind of street is this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Loud.

MOOS (voice-over): Just like some of Manafort's jackets. Think python. After his indictment last year, local motorist Dan Russell (PH) was driven to start a petition to change the name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just definitely not something to be proud of.

MOOS: But the mayor's chief of staff told the "Hartford Courant" the name was meant to honor Paul Manafort Sr. and they were going to leave the road the way it is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Paul Manafort was a respected man in our community.

MOOS: Many of the locals didn't know either Manafort, father or son.

(On camera): Paul Manafort, the guy who is on trial?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no, I didn't know about that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Manafort Drive?

MOOS: Yes. Does that ring a bell?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did he do? I don't even know who he is.

MOOS: If they ever do change the name, maybe they ought to change it to "Paul Who Drive."

(Voice-over): Other possibilities?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could become Donald Trump Drive someday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Change it into Fred Shirley (PH) Street.

MOOS (on camera): Fred Shirley (PH), is that you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that's me. Need my own street.

MOOS (voice-over): Fred Shirley (PH) then made a left on to Paul Manafort. For some, Manafort Drive was a mouthful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Long name.

MOOS (on camera): OK.

(Voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Turn left on Paul Manafort Drive.

MOOS: New Britain, Connecticut.

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CABRERA: Jeanne Moos, she is a one and only.

That does it for me. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm Ana Cabrera. Up next is a brand new episode of the CNN original series "THE 2000S" followed by the "HISTORY OF COMEDY" at 10:00. Have a great night and a great week. See you back here next weekend.