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A Key Trump White House Official Is Said To Be Cooperating With Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Investigation; The Fallout Continues Today From President Trump's Controversial Move To Revoke The Security Clearance Of Former CIA Director John Brennan; President Trump's Dream Of A Massive Show Of Military Might Will Have To Wait; A Damning Grand Jury Report On Priests Preying On Little Boys And Girls While, Quote, "Men Of God Did Nothing"; A Striking Glimpse Into The Life Of One Of President Trump's Most Prominent Advisers. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired August 18, 2018 - 18:00   ET


ANA CABRERA, HOST, CNN NEWROOM: Top of the hour, you are live in the "CNN Newsroom." I am Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for rolling with us, as we begin this hour with the breaking news. A key Trump White House official is said to be cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. In fact he's been cooperating for the last nine months and it's just now being revealed publicly.

According to the "New York Times" White House counsel, Don McGahn has talked to investigators for no less than 30 hours, and he is said to have given them information they wouldn't have otherwise. To put this into perspective, an attorney says McGahn's cooperation is something prosecutors would, quote, "kill for," and added, it's quote, "like having the keys to the kingdom."

Tonight, a source tells CNN the current relationship between President Trump and McGahn is like quote, "an old married couple complaining about each other." Let's get straight to CNN's Ryan Nobles, and Ryan, do we know why McGahn decided to be so forthcoming and what he has told investigators?

RYAN NOBLES, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, that's part of what makes the story so interesting, Ana and that's that -- it was actually Donald Trump's personal criminal lawyers who suggested that had McGahn sit down with the special counsel and also sit down without any preconditions about attorney-client privilege. And that's what led McGahn to be so open with the special counsel, in particular because according to "The Times," it was McGahn's personal lawyer who he was concerned that perhaps McGahn may be put in a situation where he may become the scapegoat if the special counsel determined that there was an effort by the White House to obstruct justice as it relates to the Russia probe.

But McGahn's role in this is so very important because there are few people inside the White House that have been so connected to all the very important flash point moments in the Russia investigation than Don McGahn.

Let me give you just a couple of examples, of course, he was there during the lead up to the firing of James Comey. He knows exactly what the President was thinking during that time, his comments and his actions before the President finally decided to fire James Comey. He also knows a lot about Trump's obsession with putting loyalists in charge of the probe, and then of course, he is directly involved with the conversations that the President may or may not have had as it relates to the firing of the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

In fact, we've been told that Don McGahn specifically told the President that if he fired Robert Mueller, that he would step down from his position. Now, the White House has not specifically responded to this report, Sarah Sanders telling the "New York Times" that the President's relationship with Don McGahn is still strong, and this doesn't change those things, but we should point out this tweet from Rudy Giuliani, who is of course, perhaps the chief spokesperson for the Trump legal team. He said, quote, in a tweet, "Time for the Mueller investigation to file a report. We will release ours. Don't interfere with election like Comey, the President had nothing to do with the Russians. He didn't obstruct an investigation. 1.4 million documents and 32 witnesses, no privilege raised."

And Ana, before I send it back to you, I just want to give you some idea of the thinking about Don McGahn in all of this. And I spoke with someone that is very close to his legal team that understands the legal team's strategy here. They simply said that they wouldn't agree with the insinuation and the story that Don provided incriminating information about President Trump. He just told them the truth, which he is required to do.

Now, the extent of that truth and how it impacts all of this, we still don't know, Ana, but the one thing we know for certain is that while there have been bits and pieces of information about the Mueller investigation that have turned out and that have been made public, we still don't know the scope of everything that Robert Mueller is collecting and we may not know all of that until he does release that report, Ana.

CABRERA: Oh, to be a fly on the wall in those conversations, in those 30 hours of interviews, Ryan Nobles, thank you for the reporting.

Now, the idea of a White House counsel turned cooperating witness might sound familiar. You could draw the same parallel to Richard Nixon's White House counsel, John Dean. Apparently, McGahn did. The "New York Times" writes, "Worried that Mr. Trump would ultimately blame him in the inquiry. Mr. McGahn told people he was determined to avoid the fate of the White House counsel for President Richard M. Nixon, John M.Dean, who was imprisoned in the Watergate scandal."

Now, I talked to Dean a short while ago. Here's our conversation.


CABRERA: John, what's your reaction to all of this and this reporting that you were on McGahn's mind?

JOHN DEAN, COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: Well, I think McGahn is doing the right thing. Post-Watergate they resolved a tricky question as to who is the client of the White House counsel, and they decided it is not the President himself, but rather the Office of the President. So he is -- he is doing the right thing ...


DEAN: ... in representing the Office of the President, and there can be conflicts between the incumbent and the office. Don did get wrong that I went to prison. I didn't. I was actually in the witness protection program on and off from June of 1975 until January -- excuse me 1975 June to January of 1975.

CABRERA: The "New York Times," quoting a former Whitewater investigator saying that this is like having the keys to the kingdom. Is that how you see it?

DEAN: Well, it certainly does give them a good guide as to where the problems may or may not be. As the clarifying remark that McGahn didn't in any way incriminate the President, we don't know if that's true or not. Probably McGahn doesn't know if it's true or not.

He gave them the knowledge he had, which would be invaluable to an investigator.

CABRERA: Could the President have stepped in and prevented McGahn from talking openly?

DEAN: I think he could. He could do it on a couple of basis. First, there'd be the attorney-client privilege, which would cause the special counsel to have to test that and go to court and get it resolved, and there is no privilege for government attorneys, personal privilege like that. So that would be the one issue.

Even probably a stronger basis would be executive privilege, where the President can say that he doesn't want people who is helping him in his deliberation process and making his decisions, testifying before other bodies, like the Congress or the courts. That's what Nixon did with his tapes. He said they were subject to executive privilege, the court said, "Well, that's not true when a grand jury sends a subpoena for them."

CABRERA: I want to read you a quote, another one from "The Times" article about how McGahn and his lawyer feared McGahn was potentially being Federal up and came up with their plan. It says, "He" McGahn, " ... and Mr. Burck," his lawyer, " ... devised their own strategy to do as much as much as possible to cooperate with Mr. Mueller to demonstrate that Mr. McGahn did nothing wrong." John, what do you make of this idea that McGahn was worried about being thrown under the bus?

DEAN: That's one I understand. That was what prompted me -- I didn't talk to the media during Watergate or ever when I was in government, but when I had tried to get them to end the cover-up and it was clear they weren't going to, but rather they were going to try to make me the scapegoat for the cover-up and the former Attorney General John Mitchell, the scapegoat for the bungled Watergate break-in, I dictated a brief comment that my Secretary read to "The Washington Post," the AP and the "New York Times," to get the message through that I wasn't interested in being their scapegoat. So I can understand his thinking.

CABRERA: Do you think the President should be worried?

DEAN: You know, the investigation, if it were as simple as Dowd thought and explained initially the approach they were taking, it would have been over, but it is obviously much more complex. They didn't have all the facts. I'm not sure that Trump himself has all the facts. Some of his people may have been unwitting in their cooperation with the Russians. Some of them might have been unaware of even how they were helping or assisting, so this all has to be sorted out and counter-intelligence investigations are not simple. They often go on for years.

CABRERA: All right, John Dean, thank you very much. We appreciate your insight.


CABRERA: And just moments ago, the President tweeted on Don McGahn, he writes, quote, "I allowed White House counsel, Don McGahn and all other requested members of the White House staff to fully cooperate with the special counsel. In addition, we readily gave over one million page of documents, most transparent in history. No collusion, no obstruction. Witch-hunt."

Again, the President responding to the "New York Times" reporting this afternoon. We'll continue to follow that story. And they are taking on Trump. More than 60 former members of the intelligence community now hitting back at the President as he threatens to revoke another security clearance, quote, "very quickly."


CABRERA: The fallout continues today from President Trump's controversial move to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. Now, more than 60 former CIA officials are banding together with a joint statement rebuking the President's action. It says, "Trump is attempting to stifle free speech by revoking Brennan's security clearance." More than a dozen former senior intelligence officials released their own statement calling the President's move ill-considered and unprecedented.

Brennan responded to the President's move by saying, "Trump is trying to frighten and intimidate his critics."


JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: He's drunk on power, he really is. And I think he's abusing the powers of that office. I think right now, this country is in a crisis, in terms of what Mr. Trump has done and is liable to do.


CABRERA: What's critical to understand here is the people who could lose their clearance, next, all of them have either been publicly critical of the President ...


CABRERA: ... or are tied to the Russia probe in some way. "The Washington Post" now reporting documents to strip their clearances have been drafted and are ready for the President's signature. Joining us now, retired CIA Chief of Russia Operations, Steve Hall.

Steve, thanks for being with us. First, I just want to read you part of this joint statement from the 60 former CIA officials and it reads in part, "All of us believe it is critical to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure, but we believe equally strongly that former government officials have the right to express their unclassified views on what they see as critical national security issues without fear of being punished for doing so." Steve, you were part of the CIA. What is your reaction to this letter?

STEVE HALL, RETIRED CIA CHIEF OF RUSSIA OPERATIONS: Well, Ana, I know a number of the people, a lot of the people actually who signed that letter and there's even more when they saw it was released and they perhaps out of the cell phone range or something, wanted to be included.

So this is a really significant thing because these are people who have been trained culturally and actually literally trained to avoid the spotlight, to avoid the press, to avoid public expressions of any type, and for them to come out really shows that there is grave concern. I think a lot of it stems from some of the places that the CIA does its work overseas. When you come in direct and close contact with authoritarian regimes abroad, you become very, very sensitized to how horrible it can be when the head of state can do things like this.

And then when you see it in the United States, it's even more horrifying. So, there's a lot of strong feeling to get those types of people to actually come out and sign a letter like that.

CABRERA: Now, President trump has pushed back on the idea that he is trying to silence his critics or stifle free speech. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's no silence. If anything, I'm giving him a bigger voice. Many people don't even know who he is, and now he has a bigger voice and that's okay with me because I like taking on voices like that.


CABRERA: Steve, do you agree with him that he actually gave Brennan a bigger voice?

HALL: No, of course not. This is something that Vladimir Putin and other authoritarians are very good at, which is twisting things around to make it fit into their particular narrative. What is really going on here is that the President is sending a message using Brennan as a foil to others who might speak out and be critical of President Trump, but that's not going to stop people, especially when you're talking about folks like Admiral McRaven, the intellectual author of the operation that took out Osama Bin Laden. General Petraeus, also a former director of CIA, but also a very distinguished military career. These are people who have served in really difficult places, and put their own lives at risk, and have actually had to, unfortunately, you know, send back the young sons and daughters of the United States who have been very, very patriotic by giving up their own lives.

So, this is the strength of the feeling and the concerns that you have that are causing people to speak out like this.

CABRERA: And the White House can't seem to get its story straight on the rationale for President Trump to revoke Brennan's clearance. In the "Wall Street Journal," the President blamed the Russia investigation, saying, "I called it the rigged witch-hunt. It is a sham and these people let it, so I think it's something that had to be done," and then there was Sarah Sanders' explanation that she gave on Wednesday. Listen.


SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Any benefits that senior officials might glean from consultations with Mr. Brennan are now outweighed by the risk posed by his erratic conduct and behavior.


CABRERA: Steve, what do you make of the mixed messages?

HALL: I've got to take the President at his word, which sounds kind of strange, except that whenever Donald Trump speaks, it's usually kind of what's foremost in his mind. I believe that he did this because of his concern about the Russia investigation because he fears what Brennan knows and because he is concerned about the whole thing.

This is the real reason for why he's doing these things. But again, make no mistake, this is not about clearances per se. John Brennan or anybody else who maintains a security clearance is not going to be any worse for wear for not having a security clearance. It's going to put a little bit of crimp in the style of those who want to talk to them, to consult with them, but there's ways around that. It's not about the security clearance. That's just the excuse. It's silencing people who know and could look very critically at the Trump-Russia situation and comment on it. That's what Trump fears most, I think.

CABRERA: Steve Hall, always good to have you with us. Thank you very much.

HALL: Sure.

CABRERA: The parade is off, but the Twitter war is on. The President pulls the plug on his military parade blaming DC officials for the high cost. And the city's mayor is having none of it. Her response is next.

[18:05:00] CABRERA: President Trump's dream of a massive show of military might,

like the one he saw in Paris will have to wait. The President says he is cancelling a military parade on the books for Veterans Day because of it going to be way too expensive, and he is pointing the finger at local Washington officials. CNN's Brian Todd reports.


BRIAN TODD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Bastille Day in Paris last year featuring guards on horseback, fighter jets zooming overhead, banners and flags along the tree-lined boulevards. A parade that so enthralled President Trump, he wanted one of his own in Washington.



TRUMP: We have to find a way to top it, but we had a lot of planes going over, we had a lot of military might. And it was a really beautiful thing to see. They had representatives from different wars in different uniforms.


TODD: But now the President's vision of troops parading down DC's streets has taken a wrong turn, Trump saying in a tweet, he canceled it because of skyrocketing costs, saying quote, "The local politicians who run Washington, DC poorly know a windfall when they see it. Never let someone hold you up."


MURIEL BOWSER, MAYOR OF WASHINGTON, DC: Good evening, everybody.


TODD: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser brushes back, tweeting, quote, "Yup, I'm the local politician who finally got through to the reality star in the White House with the realities. 21.6 million of parades, events, demonstrations in Trump America. Sad." That $21.6 million is the estimate just for the DC government's costs. CNN was told that the overall cost of the parade had swelled to $92 million. The American Legion which represents two million American veterans weighed in.


JOSEPH PLENZLER, AMERICAN LEGION: At the core of our soul, we are all about taking care of America's veterans, and we have young men and women who are still in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and other places around the world who come home injured and ill from their service overseas, and we believe that the money is best spent taking care of them.


TODD: Defense Secretary James Mattis who according to the latest congressional defense spending bill has sole discretion over what to spend for a parade, said he wasn't aware of any $92 million estimates, and insulted journalists who reported them.


JAMES MATTIS, US DEFENSE SECRETARY: Whoever wrote it needs to get better sources. I'll just leave it at that. And I don't know who wrote it, I haven't seen it, but I guarantee you, there's been no cost estimate. Whoever you told you that is probably smoking something that's legal in my state, but not in most states. That's okay.


TODD: But CNN was told by an administration official that the $92 million was a planning estimate, officials noting that Mattis hadn't yet been briefed on that estimate. The American Legion regrets that this has turned to political.


PLENZLER: You know, America does best when they treat veterans affairs as a nonpartisan issue and that's been our history over the years, and so I think we do our best work taking care of veterans when we approach it in a bipartisan way.


TODD: We've asked the White House and the DC mayor's office if despite all the political fallout, they would be open to working with each other to stage a military parade here in Washington sometime in the future. The Mayor's Office was noncommittal. President Trump says maybe they can do it next year if the price goes way down. Mr. Trump meanwhile says he's going to go to a separate parade at Andrews Air Force Base and that he'll return to Paris this november for a military parade there. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CABRERA: Joining us now CNN military and diplomatic analyst, retired Rear Admiral John Kirby. Admiral Kirby, thank you for being with us. The President now has his eye on doing this parade next year, so while he isn't doing it this year, he just postponed it. Do you think it is important to the military to be honored in this way?

JOHN KIRBY, RETIRED REAR ADMIRAL: No, I don't. I hope that the President cancels it all together and doesn't just simply postpone it. I mean, look, I mean, certainly America does support the men and women in the military, and the men and women in the military, they understand that they know that.

There is still, though, a gap between the civilian society and the military. It's an all-volunteer force, less than 1% actually serve in uniform and so what we really should be focusing on is closing that gap. And a parade is not the way to do that.

I think the American Legion spokesman had it right, it really is about putting the money and the resources and time into the issues that matter most to our troops. For veterans, it's very much healthcare, medical healthcare -- I'm sorry, mental health care, but also for the folks inside the military, for the troops and their families, it's making sure they get education opportunities, that there is predictability in their moving and housing schedules, all that kind of stuff matters and, of course making sure that they have the tools that they need to defend the country.

CABRERA: Why do you think the President wants to do this so badly?

KIRBY: Well, I talked about this earlier, Ana. I really believe this is about his ego. And I'm really sorry to say that. I'm not happy to have to put it out there, but I believe this is really more about him and grandstanding for him and making him look strong and powerful on the world stage and much, much less about honoring the troops.

Because I can tell you, the men and women of the military don't need a parade, that's not what they are asking for and frankly, they are the ones that would have be contributing into that effort. And they don't want to spend their time and their effort getting ready to march down Pennsylvania Avenue. They would be rather out in the field training and getting ready to conduct missions on behalf of the American people.

CABRERA: As far as the cost, Defense Secretary James Mattis pushed back saying whoever reported the cost was smoking something, what did you think of that?


KIRBY: Yes, I think that since he said that, we've gotten some clarification. It appears as if there had been an estimate, and it hadn't reached Secretary Mattis at that point when he gave that gaggle to traveling reporters on the airplane. So, at first it bothered me that he would insult the media that way, but I know Secretary Mattis, I've known him since his was in uniform. I know he has respect for the press corps, and that it looks just apparently that he didn't really get the estimate by the time he was speaking, and I think they've tried to clarify that.

CABRERA: CNN reported exclusively this week that the Pentagon's Chief spokeswoman, Dana White is under investigation for using her personal staff -- rather, the staff of the Pentagon for personal errands, from fetching her dry cleaning and lunch to picking up pantyhose and then apparently retaliating against those who complained. Those are the allegations, if these are confirmed, how unprecedented would that be?

KIRBY: Well, I think, let's start with if they are confirmed. It's really important for your viewers to understand, Ana, these are just allegations. There's an investigation going on, and we need to let that investigation run its course before we jump to any conclusions about what Ms. White did or didn't do, and so I think we need to be -- innocent before proven guilty and we need to go into it with those eyes.

That said, if these allegations are true, it's clearly inappropriate. Look, the American people, they invest trust and confidence into senior officials in the Federal government to take care of the men and women of the military, to take care of their civilian employees and to take care of the resources that are ascribed to you in a responsible efficient way, and it is not responsible to use those resources and those people to run personal errands or pick up your laundry or drive you into work.

As an Admiral, one of the first things that they trained us on when you put that first star on is, how to properly use the aides and the assistants that the military assigns to you. There are very clear lines about what they can and they can't do. They can help schedule your day, they can help make sure that you're in the proper uniform or you're in the right meeting, but they can't run personal errands for you.

So, if these are true, it's serious, and I suspect, knowing Secretary Mattis the way I do, that he will treat that seriously, too.

CABRERA: Admiral Kirby, thank you very much for joining us, I really appreciate it.

KIRBY: You bet.

CABRERA: A damning grand jury report on priests preying on little boys and girls while, quote, "men of god did nothing." Coming up, the shocking allegations of a cover-up spanning decades. I'll speak with a survivor.


CABRERA: Crisis hot lines lit up within 24 hours of a Pennsylvania grand jury report about priest sex abuse going public. Pennsylvania's Attorney General tweeted this, "Our hotline for clergy sex abuse has been lit up since yesterday afternoon. One hundred and fifty plus calls e-mails and lots of survivors who are now surfacing to tell their stories and seek justice." The Vatican's response was not so swift. After two full days of silence, the Vatican's press office released a statement expressing shame and sorrow.

Now, the numbers are bad. More than a thousand children abused by 300 priests over 70 years, the suffering is going public, too, as survivors now speak out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were taught -- I mean, the priests and the nuns are god.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just things like the word "God" makes me think of him and I just ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're being groomed to get used to a grown man's hands on you regularly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So he would always have his hands on me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you have the priest touching you every day, you know, that's a hard memory to have.

ROBERT CORBY, SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY A PA PRIEST: Who would believe me? A priest in 1948 or '47? Would abuse you? Would do that? No, never heard of such a thing, because they covered it up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't ever go away. It has an effect on you for the rest of your life.


CABRERA: Joining us now, John Delaney, he is a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a priest back when he was an altar boy in Pennsylvania. John, you are so brave to come forward, thank you for being here with us. I know your abuser allegedly targeted hundreds of boys before passing away in September. How are you holding up now that it has been a few days since this grand jury report came out? What have the last few days been like for you?

JOHN DELANEY, SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY A PA PRIEST: Thanks for having me. It's been an emotional roller coaster. It really has. There's a lot of good feelings watching some of these victims come forward for the first time, just showing bravery and the willingness to speak out about something that's so normally so secret that you've held secret for your whole life.

There's the flip side to it, it opens up a lot of wounds for me and it brings back some things for me that I went through myself as a victim in the '80s.

CABRERA: Wow. Where do you go from here?

DELANEY: I don't know. That has a lot to do with what the church decides to do. Personally, I'm on my own journey, but being an advocate for this, the church has to step up and take accountability, take responsibility, and begin to protect victims, past, present and future. That is the most important thing. That's what I want to see happen.


CABRERA: Let me read you part of the Vatican's response, again, this came out on Thursday, a few days after we learned of this grand jury report and the statement reads, "The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible. Those acts are betrayals of trust that robs survivors of their dignity and their faith. The Church must learn hard lessons from its past, and there should be accountability for both abusers and those who permitted abuse to occur." And it goes on. "Victims should know that the Pope is on their side. Those who have suffered are his priority, and the Church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror that destroys the lives of the innocent."

John, what are your thoughts about that?

DELANEY: They're only words. We have seen and heard this before and at this point, I've been doing this 13 years, being public about my abuse and trying to advocate for others, and I've heard nothing but empty promises and words. I want action. They're apologizing only because they've been caught and exposed. They did not knowingly do this. I'm not buying that.

The Pope needs to step up and take control of his Church because it's fairly obvious that the Church is run by the College of Cardinals, and the Bishops. He needs to step up and take control and tell these Bishops to stop lobbying, stop moving these predators around. If you do with he will turn you over to law enforcement and you're gone. There's a lot of empty promises in that statement and the fact that it took two days to come out says a lot. They issued a statement saying no statement. That speaks volumes. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it.

CABRERA: The Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh said in a statement just today that 90% of the allegations or of all of the reported cases occurred before 1990. And yet, as you point out, the Church has been aware of what happened for at least several years now. Are you confident the culture has changed?

DELANEY: No, I'm not. That bishop came out -- I'm sorry, there was a Cardinal that came and said, he wasn't involved in any cover-up, yet, from their own papers, from the Church, in the latest report shows his name is mentioned over 200 times, and he actively helped cover it up. They don't get it. They're not understanding the severity of this problem.

And you know, I read a statement somewhere else, that this abuse was decades ago. It was decades ago, but for victims and survivors like me, it's fresh, it's every day. It resonates through my life every single day. This is not old to me. It's always new.

CABRERA: Are you still a man of faith?

DELANEY: Not the faith that I was brought up in, no, and not because of what happened to me, but I do not go to Catholic Church anymore. I don't pray to the God that I was taught to believe in. I kind of have formed my own opinions about my own God. I'm not religious, but I'm definitely spiritual.

CABRERA: John Delaney, I can only imagine how painful all of this is for you. Thank you for coming forward, for sharing your story and for keeping this issue alive and enlightening us all.

DELANEY: Thank you very much for having me.

CABRERA: We really wish you the best of luck. Thanks again.

DELANEY: Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up, a striking glimpse into the life of one of President Trump's most prominent advisers. The complaints Kellyanne Conway made about her husband's anti-Trump tweets, when trying to be an anonymous source.

[18:45:00] CABRERA: Trusted and loyal counselor to the President, Kellyanne

Conway, is living in a divided house of sorts. Kellyanne's husband, Attorney George Conway now regrets ever introducing her to Donald Trump. George is one of the President's biggest critics and has amassed a considerable Twitter following for his Trump take downs.

CNN's Tom Foreman has the inside scoop from the "Washington Post" reporter who wrote a buzzy profile of the couple's complicated political life.


TOM FOREMAN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: As power couples go, Kellyanne Conway and her husband George have something of a short-circuit. Both are conservatives, but while she's the President's fiercest defender.


Trump: There is no den she will not go into.


FOREMAN: He is a sharp Trump critic. And now "The Washington Post" just scored a rare behind the scenes look at their split level home life.


BEN TERRIS, THE WASHINGTON POST: He told me that she rolls her eyes at the tweets. I mean, certainly her life would be easier if he wasn't criticizing her boss.


FOREMAN: Criticizing? George Conway routinely savages the businessman turned politician. Just this week tweeting, "What if a CEO routinely made false and misleading statements about himself, the company and results and publically attacked business partners, employees and kowtowed to a dangerous competitor?" When the President called Ohio Governor John Kasich unpopular, Conway posted a poll showing buckeyes think much less of Trump.

He has trolled the President over his clashes with political foes and the press over his fallen allies and his lies. His wife told CNN's Dana Bash last spring ...


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: He writes a lot of things that are also supportive and he writes a lot of things about corgis and Philadelphia Eagles and sports, too.


FOREMAN: But to "The Washington Post" she said it is disrespectful, it's a violation of basic decency, certainly, if not marital vows. "The Post" says, she quickly tried to have her own words attributed to a person familiar with their relationship.



FERRIS: So, she said that and she kind of tried to weasel her way out of it, but I just printed it.


FOREMAN: Her husband, a lawyer, introduced her to Trump and now says he regrets it. He was once reportedly considered for an administration job, but now seems glad it never happened. Despite all that, Kellyanne suggests questions about their marriage are sexist.


DANA BASH, HOST, CNN: If I would ask you that if you were a man and your wife ...

CONWAY: No, you wouldn't.

BASH: ... I would ...

CONWAY: No, no ...


FOREMAN: And George, he disagrees with his wife about the cause of any friction, too.


CABRERA: Tom foreman reporting and as the jury deliberates the verdict in the Paul Manafort trial, the former Trump campaign chair may have cold feet, literally. Jeanne Moos has that story next.


CABRERA: You don't see this every day, a delicate rescue operation caught on dash cam video. The sheriff's office in Lake Tahoe responded to a call about a bear trapped in a parked car. It's that silver car on the right of the screen, watch how a Deputy was able to set it free.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to try and get him out because he is not happy at all. I'm going to try to break out the back window with a beanbag.


CABRERA: Look at that big guy go. And yes, in case you were wondering, bears are capable of opening unlocked doors. So, police say, let this be a reminder to always remove food from your car and lock it especially when you are in bear country.

As jurors in the Paul Manafort financial fraud trial deliberate his guilt or innocence, they may be asking this question as well. Where are his socks? We leave this story to Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It came as a no sock shock. Here is a courtroom sketch of Paul Manafort, and I can think about is, no socks? After all those photos of ostrich and $18,000.00 python jackets he bought, the skin that's now getting attention is human ankle.

As if all the other jokes weren't enough ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Manafort did not take the stand. however, he did take a watch, three wallets and the judge's gavel.


MOOS: Now, his sockless feet are Twitter targets. Another inmate took his ostrich socks? Other public figures flaunt their socks. Be it President George H.W. Bush with his lobster and Superman socks worn on his 89th birthday or Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sporting everything from ducks to Chewbacca.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are famous for your socks.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: It distracts people every now and then.



MOOS: Yes, well, so do no socks in a courtroom. Since he is in custody, Manafort is not allowed to wear a belt or shoelaces and he is only allowed government issued white socks. His spokesman tells CNN, he doesn't like white socks. As "Esquire" put it, Paul Manafort is being forced into socklessness by his own vanity. The "Esquire" also points out, actually, white socks are awesome, they are in.

But some loafer lovers prefer freedom for their feet and if he wouldn't wear white socks, it's a safe bet the fashion conscious former Trump campaign chairman wouldn't get caught dead in Trump hair socks, selling for 30 bucks at Walmart. For across America, I'm Jeanne Moos.


CABRERA: She gets to tell all the fun stories and hopefully made you laugh. Speaking of laugh, when it comes to comedy, keeping it clean is a lot harder than you think. On tonight's brand new episode of "The History of Comedy," we will look at family friendly humor along with the struggles s of abiding by strict network censors.


GEORGE LOPEZ, ACTOR, COMEDIAN: Very interesting background. I'm an only child and being Latino, I know you guys are thinking, that's ethnically impossible.

In the '70s and '80s, a comedian worked clean hoping to get a spot on "The Tonight Show." If a booker from "The Tonight Show" saw you and you were dirty, you were out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care how dirty a comic you were, had you to have your five minutes for Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, all of those shows because television was going to be your only showcase.

TIM ALLEN, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: My background, I am Irish and German, which means, we're just thin, angry, hungry people. It's all we are. Oh, the great chefs of Ireland, there's a thick book for you.

Terrifying is what five minutes is.


ALLEN: But it was a big deal for the population that loves standup comics. That's where you saw us.

JAY LENO, AMERICAN TELEVISION HOST: Please welcome, Whitney Cummings. Whitney.

WHITNEY CUMMINGS, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: You have to figure out five minutes. You'd be changing things or finding synonyms to vulgarize your set basically.

God, I'm having like PTSD flashback of trying to get through some of my Leno appearances.

CUMMINGS: When they say if you catch the bouquet that means you're going to be the next woman to get married or whatever? Uh-uh, catch the bouquet, see if one guy talks to you for the rest of the night.

CONAN O'BRIEN, AMERICAN TELEVISION HOST: Comics have always been a hallmark of our show. And one of the big challenges is trying figuring out, okay, this is working really well in the clubs, but when you put a television lens just a couple of feet away from the performer, it can feel too abrasive, it's too much.


CABRERA: "The History of Comedy" airs tomorrow night at 10:00 right here on CNN. Up next, the executive editors of the "New York Times" and "Washington Post" joins CNN's David Axelrod for the "Axe Files." See you in an hour.