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Omarosa Manigault Newman Releases Recording Of Call With President Trump; CNN Reality Check: The State Of Race In America In The Era Of President Trump; Teen Says She Was "Medically Kidnapped" By Mayo Clinic. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired August 13, 2018 - 07:30   ET



[07:30:48] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we do have breaking news.

Omarosa Manigault Newman has released new audio of a phone call she says she had with the President of the United States the day after she was fired by chief of staff John Kelly. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Omarosa, what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving. What happened?

OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: General Kelly -- Gen. Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave.

TRUMP: No, nobody even told me about it -- nobody.


TRUMP: You know, they run a big operation but I didn't know it. I didn't know that -- Goddammit.



BERMAN: All right.

This comes after a day after Omarosa released a secret recording of her conversation with Kelly the day he fired her. That meeting was inside the White House Situation Room.

And, "The New York Times" is reporting this morning that the White House believes there could be dozens of Omarosa tapes.

Joining me now is Marc Short, President Trump's former White House legislative affairs director, now a CNN political commentator. Welcome to CNN, Marc. Great to have you here on NEW DAY.


BERMAN: I'm sure this is exactly how you always envisioned being welcome here with a tape --


BERMAN: -- from someone who worked the White House -- Omarosa, from the day after she was fired. A recording of a phone call she had with the President of the United States.

Your reaction to hearing that?

SHORT: Well, I guess my reaction is whether the president was aware or not, it seems that Gen. Kelly made the right call there.

BERMAN: Do you think there is something odd or unusual about taping a phone call with the President of the United States?

SHORT: Oh, of course. Absolutely it is -- absolutely it's odd and unusual.

And it's -- I think in the beginning of the administration there were concerns about people having phones inside the Oval Office and, Gen. Kelly, I think, implemented a more stringent, appropriate protocol there.

But I think the more shocking one, actually, is the Situation Room because when you walk in the Situation Room you have career national security officials, often those who are still active military, who ask you do you have any phone or any device that needs to be turned in to lockers right here next to you as you walk in the door.

So the fact that she would have brought in a recording device into such a secure facility, I think, is an extreme breach of protocol.

BERMAN: I want to get to the Situation Room in just a moment.

But just to stick on the phone call here, do you find it surprising that the president didn't seem to know that an assistant to the president -- which is a high-level position in the White House -- had been fired the day before?

SHORT: I would -- I would think so. I mean, I would -- I think that Gen. Kelly, as chief of staff, has broad discretion about staffing decisions, but I would imagine that he would have had a conversation with the president upfront.

But as I said, either way, it's apparent that Gen. -- it's true that Gen. Kelly made the right decision as far personnel decisions there of Omarosa.

BERMAN: Omarosa says she felt the need to record people -- and again, we'll get to the Situation Room in a second. And I don't know if she's including the president here the day after she was fired, but she felt the need to record people because there were so many lies being told inside the White House. SHORT: I never recorded anybody, John. I certainly trusted the people I worked with inside the White House and they remain still friends. And certainly, I think that there were many dedicated public servants working there.

BERMAN: Maggie Haberman reports there could be dozens of Omarosa tapes. Do you have concerns about what might be on those tapes?

SHORT: Well, of course, anytime you're an assistant to the president and you're recording conversations that should be private conversations. So naturally, you have concerns. But I have no way of knowing whether there are or not or what's possibly on those tapes.

BERMAN: Why would Gen. Kelly bring Omarosa into the Situation Room to fire her?

SHORT: Yes, I don't why choosing that location but I think that probably there were concerns about some elements of the public firing of Omarosa. But why he chose that room, I don't know.

Again, I think the bigger breach of protocol is bringing a recording device into the Situation Room in the first place.

BERMAN: And again, explain to us exactly what happened. Someone would have asked her directly?

SHORT: Every time I was in the Situation Room, yes.

There's -- there are two different entrances and there is a -- there is a national security official at each door. And there's a series of cubbyholes where you could put in any of your phones or personal devices. You're actually asked not to bring any down in the first place.

But just as a final reminder, if you walk in the door with one they say are you sure there is no personal devices. If so, here's key and a locker. Please lock them up.

[07:35:02] So to actually -- I think that would have required not just a willful disobedience of that, but actually lying to one of those people at the desk who ask for any sort of recording device.

BERMAN: To your knowledge, do you think that a law was broken in that process?

SHORT: I don't -- I don't know, I'm not a lawyer. I'm not sure there's a legal precedent there but certainly there is a -- I think a significant national security concern.

BERMAN: Is Omarosa Manigault Newman the best people? President Trump always said he was going to hire the best people. Is she the best people?

SHORT: You know, I think that Omarosa had served previously in the Clinton White House. She's somebody who had experience working in the White House. She was there to help with outreach and did work with historically black colleges and universities.

But not -- you know, look, at the end of the day John we all make personnel mistakes, too. And I think that that's one that you can consider a personnel mistake.

I do think that there's plenty of hardworking public servants in that -- in the White House, who unfortunately, will all be tainted by having somebody who showed bad discretion.

BERMAN: Just a personnel mistake? Does that really encapsulate what happened here? You have someone whose relationship with the president seems to be as a reality show star.

And then with Sarah Sanders -- look, Sarah Sanders is understandably upset. I mean, everyone in the White House is understandably upset that Omarosa Manigault Newman was recording these, particularly in the Situation Room.

But should they be surprised based on what her relationship was with the president prior to that?

SHORT: Yes, I think we're all surprised, John. I think to have the gall to actually bring a recording device in the Situation Room is pretty significant. So, yes, I don't think anybody would have assumed that -- absolutely not.

BERMAN: Axios is reporting this morning that people inside the West Wing -- inside the White House were afraid of Manigault Newman. Do you believe that to be true?

SHORT: I don't know that that's the case or not. I think that certainly, she had her own relationship with the president that predated many people joining the campaign and so there's certainly a respect there. But I'm not sure there was the same level of intimidation.

BERMAN: What was the nature of that relationship? Help us understand what that relationship was.

And I ask even now because we now hear this recording where the President of the United States clearly is comfortable talking to Omarosa about something that happened with the chief of staff. They seemed to have a relationship that transcended the official chain of command.

SHORT: I don't know that it transcended the chain of command. I think it predated that chain of command is a fair thing to say. I do think that the president enjoys having his own individual relationships with his assistants.

Candidly, John, I did not work very much with Omarosa. My interactions with her were always cordial. We had different portfolios and different responsibilities so it's a little bit hard for me to say here's how people felt about working with Omarosa.

But, you know, I think that clearly, this is a pretty significant breach of trust.

BERMAN: Yes. No, look, I have to tell you I heard the recording. It is not often you hear a recording made with the President of the United States. It was surprising to hear a former White House staffer record a conversation with that.

That, to me, is fairly shocking that it happened at all. Also shocking, the president didn't seem to know she was fired.

But let me also ask you about something the president wrote over the weekend about the attorney general. He says, "Our A.G. is scared stiff and missing in action."

I want to ask you -- again, you dealt with legislative affairs but you deal with members of Congress, and every time the president writes something like that the members of Congress we speak to cringe. They don't love -- generally speaking, they don't love when he goes on the attack like that.

What was your reaction when you were in the White House when he would say things like that?

SHORT: Well, I think that the president still has an enormous amount of frustration with an investigation that he certainly views as a witch hunt.

I think you have to keep in mind historic -- I think changes -- challenges in this investigation going back to enormous bias that was shown by agents that were sexting with each other, with those who said they would stop the president. With an assistant attorney general receiving contributions from Clinton allies.

With now a deputy assistant attorney general who was actually -- his wife was working for Fusion GPS -- that sold the sealed dossier to the Clinton campaign.

BERMAN: Well --

SHORT: So all that is backdrop John --


SHORT: -- to the enormous frustration the president has in saying what is going on at the Department of Justice. And so, I think that he's wanting to share his feelings directly with the American people and that's how he's doing it.

BERMAN: Well look, the president can fire the attorney general or ask him to leave if he wants to.

And you were talking about Bruce Ohr, who does work in the Justice Department, whose wife apparently worked for Fusion. As far as we know, Bruce Ohr had nothing to do with any of the FISA applications, correct?

SHORT: John, that -- I think that could be the case. But I think the reality is that there has been enormous bias that's

been demonstrated throughout this investigation. I think that's an enormous source of frustration for the president.

I do think -- your question about how people react differently in Congress.

I think for me, the House members, they want to do their own investigation. They've been frustrated that they feel the Department of Justice has not shared enough documents with them, so they're fueling some of this.

[07:40:01] On the Senate side, I think there's a much greater concern that says if we had to replace the attorney general it would be a very difficult confirmation battle, particularly in the midst of the Kavanaugh battle. So there's a greater concern on that side probably.

BERMAN: There's no doubt about that.

Marc Short, thanks so much for being us. I do have the sense, Marc, that this conversation between us was recorded, just so we're fully honest with each other there.

I really appreciate it and welcome.

SHORT: Thanks, John, appreciate it.

BERMAN: Erica --

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: I may post this conversation later online, just so you know. You've been warned.

BERMAN: Thank you very much.

HILL: What is the state of race in America in the era of President Trump? A CNN "Reality Check" is next.


HILL: It's time for a CNN "Reality Check."

As the nation marks one year since the deadly riots in Charlottesville, we're taking a closer look at the state of race in this country.

Senior political analyst John Avlon joins us now with a "Reality Check" -- John.


So, one year after the deadly Charlottesville protest here's the good news. This weekend's attempted sequel dubbed the "Unite the Right 2" was a total bust. Protesters vastly outnumbered the few marchers.

But the searing experience of seeing the white nationalists on parade in the shadow of Confederate statutes one year ago -- well, it revealed an ugly underbelly to American politics and it's growing.

Now, President Trump tweeting Saturday that he condemns all types of racism but again, failing to unconditionally condemn white nationalists. And whether Trump wants to or not, he's attracting a disturbing number of them to his side.

Now, remember that the office of president is primarily a place of moral leadership. The poll numbers show that just under half of all Americans believe this president is racist.

[07:45:10] Now, in Illinois, North Carolina, and Washington State -- about white nationalists, some with explicitly Nazi beliefs are running on the Republican line to the understandable discomfort of party leaders who issued a statement calling such beliefs repulsive.

In Virginia, Senate candidate Corey Stewart has repeatedly praised the Confederacy as CNN's "KFILE" and others have shown.

Now, this all comes as a noticeable creep of dog whistle -- racist dog whistles are infecting the mainstream.

Let's just take this from Laura Ingraham.


LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST, "THE INGRAHAM ANGLE": It does seem like the America that we know and love doesn't exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people and they're changes that none of us ever voted and most of us don't like.


AVLON: Now, on a major American news network, folks. That isn't a dog whistle, that's a bull horn -- or as our own Van Jones put it --


VAN JONES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, CNN HOST, "THE VAN JONES SHOW": That does not sound like anything but white nationalism with no even pretense that there was some other dog whistle. This is -- you're seeing now mainstream media adopting the rhetoric and the rationale of white nationalism.


AVLON: Now, Ingraham later said her comments had nothing to do with race or ethnicity. But white supremacists, including Klan leader David Duke, hailed her comments. Well, they seemed to think they knew exactly what she was talking about.

Well, all this is reflected in one of the most disturbing dynamics beneath political polarization, and that's race.

Since 1994, according to Pew Research, the percentage of African- American voters who identify as solidly Republican has declined in half from six percent to just three percent. The diversity gap between Republican and Democratic congressional coalitions is almost as stark with just three African-American Republican members of Congress -- Sen. Tim Scott and Reps. Mia Love and Will Hurd -- compared with 45 African-American Democrats.

And just yesterday, Kellyanne Conway had trouble naming any African- American senior aides to the president with offices in the West Wing.


JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS HOST, "THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS": Who is most prominent, high-level adviser to the president on the West Wing staff right now?


KARL: Yes.

CONWAY: I would say that -- well, first of all, you're totally not covering the fact that our secretary of Housing and Urban Development and world-renowned --

KARL: I'm asking you about the White House staff. I'm asking you about the people the president is with every day.


AVLON: Look, this racial polarization is not good for the republic or the Republican Party and it seems to be getting worse as what was once proudly known as the party of Lincoln becomes the party of Trump.

And that's your "Reality Check."

HILL: All right, John. I want to thank you.

Up next, a CNN exclusive. A teenager accusing the Mayo Clinic of medically kidnapping her. The story behind that shocking accusation is next.


[05:51:43] HILL: The accusation is shocking -- the world-famous Mayo Clinic medically kidnapping a patient, yet one teenager accuses the hospital of doing just that -- keeping her there against her will.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen is live at CNN Center now with more for us this morning. Elizabeth, good morning.


Alyssa Gilderhus was 18 years old when she says the Mayo Clinic saved her life and then wouldn't let her go.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COHEN (voice-over): Alyssa Gilderhus and her family say they experienced the seemingly unthinkable. In this e-mail to police, Alyssa's mother says her 18-year-old daughter was medically kidnapped by the world-famous Mayo Clinic.

COHEN (on camera): Do you think they were trying to medically kidnap you?

ALYSSA GILDERHUS, FORMER MAYOR CLINIC PATIENT: Yes, I completely do. Not a doubt in my mind.

COHEN (voice-over): This was Alyssa on Christmas Eve in 2016 with her family in Sherburn, Minnesota.

On Christmas Day, a blood vessel burst inside her brain. She had emergency surgery at the Mayo Clinic. Doctors gave her a two percent chance of surviving.

COHEN (on camera): How did those neurosurgeons do?



A. ENGEBRETSON: They saved her life.

COHEN (voice-over): After a month, she moved to the rehabilitation unit at Mayo with new doctors.

COHEN (on camera): When you had opinions or thoughts about Alyssa's care --


COHEN: -- did they listen to you?


D. ENGEBRETSON: I don't feel they did at all.

COHEN: Did they seem annoyed with you?


D. ENGEBRETSON: Because we were parents, not the doctors -- because they knew everything and we didn't.

COHEN (voice-over): The tension eventually exploded and Mayo kicked Alyssa's mother out of the hospital after they say she interrupted a meeting.

In a statement, Mayo told us family members may be restricted "in situations where care may be compromised or the safety and security of our staff are potentially at risk." Alyssa's mother says she didn't do either.

Alyssa begged for her mother.

Family friend Joy Schmidt.


COHEN (on camera): Was that tough?


COHEN (voice-over): Alyssa says she'd finally had enough.

COHEN (on camera): Did you want out of the Mayo Clinic?

GILDERHUS: As bad as possible, yes.

COHEN (voice-over): But what happened next is alarming. Alyssa and her parents say Mayo wouldn't let her go.

COHEN (on camera): Did you ask to have her transferred to another hospital?


COHEN: And what did Mayo say?

A. ENGEBRETSON: They said no.

COHEN (voice-over): A lawyer even wrote this letter asking for an expedited transfer to another hospital.

D. ENGEBRETSON: It felt like you went from a healing place to a prison.

COHEN: So, Alyssa's parents hatched an escape plan. They pulled a trick on the staff to get her out of Mayo and they documented it on video.

They told them that Alyssa's grandma Betty had come to visit but was too frail to come inside the hospital and so Alyssa had to come to her. But when they arrive at the car there's no grandma Betty.


COHEN: It's Alyssa's mother.

Watch as a nurse's aide grabs Alyssa's arm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, she is. She's signed out.

D. ENGEBRETSON: Get your hands off my daughter.

A. ENGEBRETSON: Come on, honey. We're going home.

COHEN (on camera): How did it feel the minute that you hopped into your parent's car?

GILDERHUS: It was like a relief. Like the biggest weight on your shoulders pulled off. It was phenomenal.

[07:55:01] The longer I'm away from Mayo Clinic, the better.

COHEN (voice-over): After Alyssa left, Mayo called 911 and said they'd had a patient abduction. But, Rochester police tell CNN that Mayo was wrong. They said Alyssa was 18 -- an adult making a legal choice to leave the hospital.

JOHN SHERWIN, CAPTAIN, ROCHESTER POLICE DEPARTMENT, ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA: That there was no abduction, there was no violation of law. Essentially, you had a patient that left the hospital under their own planning with the assistance of family members.

COHEN: Months later, Alyssa and her family learned a secret while looking at police records. Just before Alyssa escaped, a Mayo social worker had tried to get court orders for emergency guardianship for Alyssa.

COHEN (on camera): If you had not gotten Alyssa out of the Mayo Clinic where do you think she'd be right now?

A. ENGEBRETSON: She would not be in a good place.

D. ENGEBRETSON: I think it would have been the end of us ever getting to see Alyssa again.

COHEN (voice-over): So why was Mayo trying to get emergency guardianship for Alyssa? A county official told police that the Mayo Clinic was concerned for the medical decisions being made for Alyssa.

Alyssa signed this privacy release form so Mayo could speak freely to CNN, but Mayo wouldn't answer our questions on the record.

"We will not address these questionable allegations or publicly share the facts of this complex situation because we do not believe it's in the best interest of the patient and the family.

Our internal review determined that the care team's actions were true to Mayo Clinic's primary value that the patient's needs come first. We acted in a manner that honored that value for this patient."

Alyssa and her parents think Mayo was trying to get guardianship in retaliation for questioning doctors.


COHEN: Alyssa is now 20 and she will start college next month. She says that despite everything that happened she will always be grateful to the Mayo Clinic for saving her life after her aneurysm -- Erica.

HILL: Wow, Elizabeth, that is quite a story. Thank you.

We are following breaking news. Let's get right to it.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: Good morning, welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, August 13th, 8:00 in the east. Alisyn off; Erica Hill joins me.

Let's get right to the breaking news. This is an "oh, my" moment. The President of the United States recorded by one of his own aides the day after that aide was fired.

Omarosa Manigault Newman just released new audio to "NBC NEWS" of a phone call that she says she had with President Trump the day after she was fired by chief of staff John Kelly. Listen to this.


TRUMP: Omarosa, what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving. What happened?

NEWMAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: General Kelly -- Gen. Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave.

TRUMP: No, nobody even told me about it -- nobody.


TRUMP: You know, they run a big operation but I didn't know it. I didn't know that -- Goddammit.


TRUMP: I don't love you leaving at all.


BERMAN: This comes as Omarosa also released a secret recording of her conversation with John Kelly the day he fired her. That meeting was inside the White House Situation Room.


NEWMAN: Can I ask you a couple of questions? Does the president -- is the president aware of what's going on?

JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Don't do -- let's not go down the road. This is a non-negotiable discussion.

NEWMAN: I don't want to negotiate. I just -- I've never talked -- had a chance to talk to you, Gen. Kelly --


NEWMAN: -- so if this is my departure I'd like to have at least an opportunity --


NEWMAN: -- to understand.

KELLY: We can -- we can talk another time. This has to do with some pretty serious integrity violations, so I'll let it go at that. So, the staff and everyone on the staff works for me, not the



BERMAN: And, "The New York Times" is reporting this morning that the White House believes there could be dozens of Omarosa tapes and that Omarosa might not be the only one recording people inside the West Wing.

Joining us now to discuss, CNN political analyst and "New York Times" White House correspondent Maggie Haberman.

Maggie, we have a number of things to discuss with you behind just this recording we heard for the first time of the president on the phone with Omarosa. I want to get to those new things in a moment.

But first, I do want your reaction to this recording. Fairly stunning to me, at least, that a former aide to the president was recording her former boss the day after she was fired.


I mean, I think that the White House feels frustrated and I think too, in a sense, betrayed that she was -- more than to an extent they feel betrayed that somebody who was working there was secretly taping the most powerful person in the country who brought her into that building in the first place, so I understand why they feel that way.

I do think that it all goes back to the question of why was she there in the first place. Why was she hired in the first place?

She was hired over the objection of a number of staff who had -- you know, were not Trump loyalists but who had worked in Washington for a long time and questioned what she brought to the table.

And she had a reputation as being difficult to work with before that and it was at the president's insistence that she be there.

So I think that -- I understand their --