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White House Counsel Don McGahn Cooperating Extensively with Mueller Investigators; Prosecutors Considering Charging Michael Cohen by End of the Month; Trump Says Mueller Makes Joseph McCarthy Look Like a Baby; Trump Threatens to Revoke More Security Clearances; Kevin Spacey Film Earns $126 on Opening Day; Where are Paul Manafort's Socks?; Interview with Jordin Sparks. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired August 19, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:00] RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: -- know about what happened in that meeting. The mayor did concede that the initial purpose of the meeting was to gather dirt on Hillary Clinton. But he claimed that the participants including the president's son were not even aware that there were going to be Russians involved. Take a listen to what the mayor had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: She didn't represent the Russian government. She's a private citizen. I don't even know if they knew she was a Russian at the time. All they had was her name.
CHUCK TODD, HOST, "MEET THE PRESS": They knew she was Russian. I think they knew she was Russian. But -- OK.
GIULIANI: Well, they knew it when they met with her, not when they set up the meeting. You told me -- you asked me, you know, did they show an intention to do anything with Russians. Well, all they knew was that a woman with a Russian name wanted to meet with them. They didn't know she was a representative of the Russian government. And indeed she is not a representative of the Russian government. So this is much ado about nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: Now the problem with what Mayor Giuliani had to say is that we know a lot about how this meeting was set up because of the e-mails that Don Jr. actually made public himself. And they were e-mails specifically from Rob Goldstone, who was the person that set up this meeting with Don Jr., a group of Trump campaign officials and this Russian lawyer.
And in those e-mails Rob Goldstone specifically said, "Hillary and her dealings with Russia" and it would be very useful to your father. He goes on to say, "This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump. Helped along by Aras and Emin," which was part of that conversation. And Don Jr. responded by saying, "If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer." And everyone that has been connected to the Trump campaign in this
particular meeting has said that the meeting itself ended up not being about Hillary Clinton at all and instead turned out to be a meeting about Russian adoption and their contact with this individual from Russia never went any further. And the president himself has gone even further. He said that if the meeting even were about collecting dirt on Hillary Clinton that that would be completely legal.
And he continues to say that this is not evidence at all that his campaign was attempting to collude with the Russian government back in 2016 -- Ana.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Ryan Nobles, thank you.
Rudy Giuliani's appearance today comes amid a bombshell report in the "New York Times" detailing how White House counsel Don McGahn has been cooperating with Robert Mueller's team. The paper claims McGahn has told investigators about Trumps' fury over the Russia investigation and his attempts to fire Mueller.
The president reacted to this revelation saying, quote, "The failing 'New York Times' wrote a fake piece today implying that because White House counsel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the special counsel he must be a John Dean type rat. But I allowed him and all others to testify. I didn't have to. I have nothing to hide."
John Dean responded here on this show. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN DEAN, WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL IN NIXON ADMINISTRATION: I did respond in a tweet that I don't think that Trump understands what's going on. We know he is somebody who does not really reveal his full factual problems with his attorneys. They have to sort of find it out the hard way. So I suspect there was no indication in any of this reporting that McGahn was briefed or debriefed before he went in or came out. So they don't really know what he told the special counsel.
And I can tell you this, that even if he didn't go in with the intent to incriminate the president, just giving the president or putting everything in a timeline for the special counsel is just invaluable information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Joining us now prosecutor turned defense attorney Randy Zelin and former Trump White House lawyer Jim Schultz.
Gentlemen, we have brand new information, a source telling CNN McGahn did not give any incriminating information against the president.
So, Randy, to you first, is John Dean wrong then?
RANDY ZELIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think the proof is somewhat in the pudding. Where is Don McGahn? Where was he yesterday? Where will he be tomorrow? I think common sense would dictate that if in fact Mr. McGahn -- and keep in mind, Mr. McGahn is not Mr. Trump's personal lawyer. The White House is its own person. Mr. McGahn represents the office of the White House, but the point is -- think about it.
If Mr. McGahn had actually said something incriminating, had said something that was really harmful to Mr. Trump, do we really think he'd still have a job in the White House?
CABRERA: Well, the president doesn't know exactly what Mr. McGahn said to the special counsel's team.
ZELIN: And perhaps he would have resigned.
CABRERA: That's thought is an interesting thought. The "New York Times" says based on what they're hearing from the many people they've been talking to that McGahn told Mueller's teams about Trump's comments and actions during James Comey's firing, about Trump's obsession with putting a loyalist in charge of the Mueller probe and about Trump's attempts to fire Mueller.
So, Jim, I'm trying to figure out how does this help the president?
[20:05:04] JAMES SCHULTZ, CNN LEGAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I just think this is not -- you know, we keep talking about fake news. This is really old news. There was nothing new in that "New York Times" article. There was nothing news breaking about it. There was no secret that Don McGahn and a number of other White House officials were interviewed by Mueller's team and -- in connection with this investigation. And part of that was that Ty Cobb and John Dowd sanctioned it as part of the president's legal team.
Ty Cobb representing the office and Dowd representing the president personally. So there is no secret here. This is not news. This is not anything new. John Dean, his comments are not helpful nor are they accurate nor are they legally proficient. It just -- it boggles my mind as to why he would say what he said.
CABRERA: But remember, though, the president brought up John Dean and John Dean was responding to the president calling him a rat.
SCHULTZ: Well, OK, fine, but I just think John -- OK, John Dean got it wrong. And I think in this instance what we need to understand is, one, the White House sanctioned this. McGahn went before and was interviewed. That's not new news. McGahn talked about the things that he talked about. They did that, you know, with an understanding that, you know, they were going to talk to the special counsel, the executive privilege exists in this context but for purposes of speaking to an executive agency that is permitted.
And remember here, the executive privilege piece, the DOJ is an executive agency. To the extent this information or gathering from the executive branch generally and from the White House goes before a grand jury, they have to ask the White House about that before that happens. Same thing if they turned it over to Congress. This is really a non-story in my view.
CABRERA: Well, we do know the president and his lawyers, they keep pointing out that he wanted McGahn to cooperate.
So, Randy, do you think it is a sign the president has nothing to hide?
ZELIN: Well, first of all, there is an old saying in the business. You admit what you dare not deny and you deny what you dare not admit. So I would respectfully submit that since Mr. Trump is not like Mr. Mueller who says nothing.
ZELIN: If he is going to say something and can't help himself but to say something he is obviously almost protesting too much by saying I let him go as if he had a choice. But again, I default back to what I said earlier and I'll add something to it. If Mr. McGahn was a cooperator, he is now ostensibly an agent of the government. He is also a lawyer for the United States government, the Office of the Special Prosecutor to send him back to the White House as an agent for the special prosecutor, would violate a whole bunch of things not the least of which would be Mr. Trump who has counsel and the office of the special prosecutor knows he would be violating his right to counsel.
CABRERA: So could --
SCHULTZ: I'd like to --
CABRERA: -- the president now go to McGahn and say, I didn't -- I don't think I had everything down as far as what you told the special counsel? I want you to tell me everything?
ZELIN: Well, look, the biggest problem that we run in here -- into here and you've just by watching Mr. Giuliani speak you can see how the story changes. In our business you're always one second away -- one word away from getting yourself into trouble. You can only talk yourself into trouble. So what everyone is really trying to say is there is no way in God's green earth that Mr. Trump can stand up to Mr. Mueller given how the story changes from one moment to the next.
Again watching Mr. Giuliani, for example, saying how do we even know she was Russian? Oh by the way, she had a Russian name. Something as simple as that.
SCHULTZ: Let's not --
ZELIN: So for Mr. McGahn going in, he's providing information that can create additional material that can be used to get Mr. Trump to double talk, triple talk, quadruple talk which is why he can't go in.
SCHULTZ: This story was really about trying to drive some wedge between the president and his lawyer. And it was talking about the strained relationship they had which isn't true. I was a governor's lawyer in Pennsylvania. You always going to have disagreements with your client. And it seems that's what they were trying to portray here and it kind of blew up on him a little bit. Quickly the president came out through Sarah Sanders and supported Don McGahn and talked about the great things he's doing in the White House counsel's office on regulatory reform, judges.
And let's not forget, there's a real high profile matter right now that Don McGahn is working on. And that's the next Supreme Court justice. It's not -- it shouldn't be lost on anyone that this is breaking now -- again trying to drive that wedge and drive a problem where Don McGahn is doing a very good job at moving that process along for the next Supreme Court justice.
CABRERA: Jim, if this is a non-story, if this is all good for this president, does it make sense given that Don McGahn has told them everything, told them the truth about everything, and now just makes sense for the president to go forward and interview with the special counsel because he has nothing to hide?
[20:10:20] SCHULTZ: I think at this point that, look, there's negotiations ongoing between his legal team and in Rudy Giuliani and the rest of the lawyers that are working for the president in his private capacity and the Mueller team. They are going to continue to volley back and forth. You know, they're always talking -- the Giuliani team is talking about the perjury trap that they are worried about because the president is sometimes imprecise at the way he speaks. So, you know, we -- there are all these issues, that they're concerned about but that has nothing to do with the McGahn issue and the story that broke -- supposedly broke this weekend that again I think --
CABRERA: Well, if the president were to tell the truth about what McGahn was also saying they would just confirm each other's stories presumably, and then that would lead to this investigation wrapping up sooner if that is what the president wants. That is what he says. Right?
SCHULTZ: I think everybody wants this investigation to get over sooner rather than later. And I think they're working -- you know, they're working together to try to get to some type of common agreement as it relates to an interview. But they're not going to leave their client out to dry meaning the Giuliani legal team.
CABRERA: All right, Jim, Randy, stay with me. There's much more to discuss because we have some more breaking news. We're following the "New York Times" dropping another report. Charges apparently may be coming for ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as early as the end of this month. So sometime in the next week and a half. What does this mean for the president, for the Mueller investigation?
Well, the man who calls himself Donald Trump's personal fixer be compelled to tell all as part of a deal? That is next live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:16:00] CABRERA: Breaking news, the "New York Times" dropping a new bombshell that Michael Cohen, President Trump's longtime attorney and so-called fixer, could be charged by the end of this month. Now these charges could deal a major blow to the president because Cohen has said both publicly and privately that he would be willing to tell prosecutors what he knows in exchange for leniency.
CNN Money and Politics correspondent Cristina Alesci is following this breaking news.
Cristina, what more can you tell us?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (via phone): That's right, Ana. You've identified a big piece of new information "The Times" is reporting tonight which are prosecutors are close to bringing charges possibly by the end of August. The other piece of new information "The Times" is reporting tonight is that prosecutors have specifically identified over $20 million in loans that Michael Cohen's taxi business got from various lenders and whether he misrepresented the value of his assets to get those loans which is specifically bank fraud. And also in addition to bank fraud they're also looking at tax fraud charges.
Now just to put some context on this, the bank and tax fraud allegations, both have been circling around Cohen since the FBI raided his home and office. My colleague at CNN has been reporting on those details. Since April we've known that prosecutors were interested in Cohen's taxi medallion business. We also knew that prosecutors were looking at Cohen's lenders in the "New York Times" in tonight's story means two of them, Sterling National Bank and Melrose Credit Union, they happen to be lenders who work with taxi medallion businesses.
And CNN also reported that prosecutors had subpoenaed Michael Cohen's accountant. Now what we're going to see probably over the next couple of days is both the administration and the Trump Organization where Michael Cohen works, they are probably going to try and distance themselves from Michael Cohen and from these charges. The Trump Organization is going to say that, you know, they knew nothing about Michael Cohen's taxi business and that it didn't have anything to do with the president's business.
And it's going to be harder for the White House, however, to distance itself from Michael Cohen as prosecutors go ahead and move forward with other charges which are connected to, you know, silencing women who had alleged affairs with the president.
CABRERA: All right. Cristina Alesci, thank you for bringing us that report.
Let's bring back our attorneys to get their reaction, Jim Schultz, Randy Zelin.
Jim, I'll start with you. Is this a problem for the president?
SCHULTZ: Well, I think it remains to be seen. Again, you have to remember there has to be a there there as it relates to what Michael Cohen knew, the discussions he had with the president, what he was -- you know, what dealings he had with the president and how it relates back to the Mueller investigation. So I mean, there is a lot of unknowns here. I'm sure Mueller knows a lot more than the rest of us. But also remember the case that's being looked at at this point is in the Southern District of New York. It's not part of the Mueller investigation. They moved it to the Southern District of New York's U.S. attorney's office. And the U.S. attorney there is handling -- U.S. attorney's office there is handling that matter.
So, I mean, right now it looks like they're looking at Cohen and Cohen alone as to whether he has anything to say about the president that could help him down the road. That remains to be seen. But if -- we just don't know is the answer to that question.
CABRERA: Right. Randy, Jim points out that this is the Southern District of New York separate from the special counsel investigation. But we know nothing happens in a vacuum. And Cohen has expressed a desire to cooperate, to tell all, to hopefully help his own family, his own fate. Do you see this as a problem for the president?
ZELIN: Not necessarily and really for two reasons. You bring up a great point. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Well, whenever you're making a decision to cooperate, and cooperation is one of the most extraordinarily painful things that a human being can go through because you actually become -- the government says jump, you say how high for everything.
[20:20:14] You don't get to pick and choose about what you're going to talk about. You don't get to pick and choose where your money is and where your life is at. You -- that's it. Everything gets opened up. So one of the first things that you do with a client is you say, OK, let's look at everything here. With bank fraud. If that's what Mr. Cohen is actually looking at, 20 million sounds scary. But everything is about the sentencing guidelines.
His sentencing guidelines probably come out to around five years on his possibly worst day. So you do say to yourself, if my worst exposure is around five years. I have never been in trouble before. I'm a family man. Maybe we get rid of all of the cloud of the politicalization, whatever you call it.
CABRERA: Politicization, I think --
ZELIN: And you are in the right place because oftentimes in the Southern District, in the Second Circuit, forget about the craziness of the fraud guidelines, the sentence has to make sense. It's supposed to be sufficient, not greater than.
ZELIN: He could be walking out with two years, 18 months. 2 1/2 years, and I'm not saying that I'd be happy doing that.
ZELIN: But is it worth destroying everything to get a better deal when I could be walking out of this quickly and go home after two years?
CABRERA: You're saying maybe the risk is in fact great for him at this point.
Jim Schultz, Randy Zelin, got to leave it there. Thank you both so much.
The president is calling out the special counsel by name saying he is worse than the infamous senator Joseph McCarthy. Did we just get the clear sign yet the president doesn't plan to cooperate with Mueller? Our political panel weighs in.
[20:26:15] CABRERA: President Trump today comparing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation to McCarthyism. The president tweeting in part, "Studied the late Joseph McCarthy because we are now in a period with Mueller and his gang that makes Joseph McCarthy looked like a baby."
McCarthy, a GOP senator from Wisconsin, led a Cold War era inquisition of alleged communists whom he claimed had infiltrated American governmental institutions.
Joining us now CNN presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley.
Doug, have any presidents in the past invoked McCarthyism as a way of taking shots at an ongoing investigation?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: No. I mean, you see Donald Trump here. He is a McCarthy-ite figure. I mean, he hired Joe McCarthy's lawyer Roy Cohn to be his own personal lawyer. He uses the scare tactics of McCarthy. And is kind of a fascistic streak in both McCarthy and Trump. Where you see the similarities between Trump and McCarthy is, you know, Joseph McCarthy scapegoated Dean Acheson, the great secretary of state for Truman and then he went after George C. Marshal, a Nobel Prize winning states person, followed the Marshal plan, and just tried to smear them.
And you see Trump doing the same thing with John Brennan. It's because both McCarthy and Trump have this fear of what they -- what today we're calling the deep state. Back in the '50s, it was the Eastern Establishment.
CABRERA: The president today also tweeting White House counsel Don McGahn is not a, quote, "John Dean type rat." Earlier today I asked former Nixon White House counsel John Dean what were his conversations with President Nixon like after Nixon found out Dean had testified against him. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN: He -- I was very open when I broke rank in doing so. And I think he first -- I told John Ehrlichman, who had been my predecessor, he's a White House counsel and was then the president's top domestic adviser. And I told HR Haldeman, the chief of staff. So I told them what I was going to do after I failed to convince the president to stop the cover-up. And I said, you know, somebody has got to go talk to the lawyers about this. Got to talk to the prosecutors. This thing has got to end. And I'm -- I tried to convince my colleagues that we should all go to the grand jury. I couldn't sell that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Doug, a source now telling CNN McGahn did not provide information that would be incriminating against the president. So from a historical perspective, does a Dean-McGahn comparison really hold up at this point?
BRINKLEY: Only slightly. I mean, it's quite telling that Donald Trump uses the word rat for John Dean. That's his favorite movie is "The Godfather." And it's kind of a Mafioso, mob-like -- rat, you dirty rat, or from a James Cagney movie or something. We don't know what's going to happen with -- you know, we'll have to find out what was said in those 30 hours that Don McGahn delivered. So we don't know yet.
But I think Dean is very different because this was -- he went in front of -- you know, on Capitol Hill and spoke to lawmakers and revealed about the tapes were there and cooperated. I think he might say in Trump's terms the rat may be Michael Cohen, his personal attorney who is fully cooperating in the Southern District in New York. And as you had a really stunning breaking news we might find out this month about what -- how much he has been cooperating.
CABRERA: Yes, that's just 12 days away when you think about the end of the month, how fast time goes.
[20:30:03] CABRERA: Let me get your take on this new CNN poll that finds 66 percent of voters think Mueller should wrap up his investigation ahead of the 2018 midterm election. But by historical comparisons we know this investigation has gone on for only 15 months. And I say only because when you compare that to other investigations, Benghazi, Iran contra, and Whitewater, I mean that is nothing. Those investigations went on for years.
So what do you think is behind the poll numbers?
BRINKLEY: The Americans are impatient. This has been a very long drip, drip story. Every day there is a new news cycle about the Russian investigation. And so there is impatience and there's a fear of the clash and the fall. Republicans want to get this behind them if they can. They want to get Brent Kavanaugh put in as the Supreme Court justice. And the Democrats meanwhile are saying let Mueller be Mueller. This
is -- he hasn't really been at it very long. But we're going to have all these roads connecting very soon. I mean, anybody who wants to take a vacation up in our world at CNN better not because the Manafort trial, Michael Cohen coming forward, Mueller may show his hand. It is just crazy speedy out there right now. And it's sort of everybody better be awake and all hands on deck. We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. But it's very dramatic what's going on with this crisis in our country right now.
CABRERA: The news cycle has been fast and furious. You bring up Manafort. His trial tomorrow is day three of jury deliberations. We could have a verdict there very soon.
Douglas Brinkley, thank you. Always good to get your take.
BRINKLEY: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: Meantime, former CIA director John Brennan is fighting back after President Trump stripped his security clearance. A lawsuit he is now threatening as the president promises to revoke more clearances for those who criticize him.
[20:36:15] CABRERA: The already tense battle between the Trump White House and former CIA director John Brennan escalated today. For the first time since having his security clearance revoked Brennan says he is now considering taking President Trump to court to prevent Trump from doing to others what Trump did to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I have been contacted by a number of lawyers and they have already given me their thoughts about the basis for a complaint, an injunction to try to prevent him from doing this in the future. If my clearances and my reputation as I'm being pulled through the mud now, if that's the price we're going to pay to prevent Donald Trump from doing this against other people to me is a small price to pay. So I am going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses in the future. And if it means going to court, I will do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Here are some of the former intelligence officials President Trump says could soon lose their security clearances. And among them another former CIA director and a former National Security adviser.
So what's involved in getting a security clearance anyway? CNN's Tom Foreman breaks it down for us.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What precisely are security clearances and where do they come from? Security clearances are issued by many government agencies and can come in several different levels, offering different access to sensitive or classified material, and even if you have the highest level of clearance, that's not an invitation to plunder all files. You will likely see only materials you need to know about.
Who gets security clearances? As a practical matter, they go to people who are intimately involved in the safety and defense of the United States and its allies. Now this is not all military business. For example, there could be economic information or infrastructure details or negotiations with other countries which might be considered highly sensitive and fall under this umbrella.
But all this has to do with active government service. So why should anyone who has left the government retain his or her security clearance?
Former employees of an agency have experience, they have institutional knowledge. And the people who take over for them may need that. Say you worked on some classified matter involving another country and a new team comes in, they need to know what you did. This would assist the new team to be able to talk to you about the current situation as well.
In addition, some private industries, Defense contractors, for example, do work that requires private citizens to deal with sensitive government matters. So having a security clearance outside the government can also be useful.
So why would anyone lose or have their security clearance revoked?
Usually that happens because they truly no longer need it or some conflict has arisen, for example they start working for a foreign hostile government, or they just get into trouble; they commit a crime or they are linked to some illicit or risky activity, but for criticizing or opposing a politician? No, that has not been a typical reason for such action.
CABRERA: Tom Foreman, thank you.
We all need an escape from reality sometimes. How many of you went to the movies this weekend? I bet I can guess which movie you didn't see. Disgraced actor Kevin Spacey making history at the box office. His latest release just raked in a career low on opening day. In fact you could probably write a personal check for this amount. We'll tell you how much, next.
[20:44:06] CABRERA: We could be seeing our first Me Too snub at the box office. Disgraced actor Kevin Spacey's new film "Billionaire Boys Club" took in a total of $126 on opening night. Yes. $126. We get this from "Hollywood Reporter." The film opened Friday in a few select cities, but notably not in L.A. or New York. So not the biggest cities. Here is what the "Hollywood Reporter" found. The top grossing theater
took in a mere $45. A Florida theater sold $19 in tickets. And look at Antioch, California, it looks like it sold one $9 ticket.
There is a line from the movie that applies here. "There is no money." Listen for it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're kind of all over the place, Joe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Diverting investments to pay expenses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait, you knew?
[20:45:03] KEVIN SPACEY, ACTOR: I'm from Wall Street. You think people really get rich playing by the rules?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is the money?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was never any money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ron had a fake account.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: People TV anchor Lola Ogunnaike. I just butchered your name. Ogunnaike.
LOLA OGUNNAIKE, PEOPLE TV ANCHOR: Ogunnaike. It's perfect.
CABRERA: Good to have you with us, Lola. Thank you for joining us.
OGUNNAIKE: Thank you for having me.
CABRERA: There is no money.
OGUNNAIKE: There's absolutely no money, no money in this at all. It has done abysmally at the box office. It made a little more yesterday. It made a grand total of $162 yesterday so that brings it up to $287. Maybe it will break $500 by tonight's end but I highly doubt it. This is a box office bust. And it's all ode to Kevin Spacey.
CABRERA: You think it's the Me Too Movement, maybe the economics of the Me Too Movement with the public speaking in unison?
OGUNNAIKE: The public is saying that we are not going to support Kevin Spacey. He's persona non grata in this industry. I don't see him coming back from this for the foreseeable future. I think his career is definitely over for the foreseeable future. And interestingly enough no one attached to this project could really promote it either because who wants to spend their publicity tour talking about Kevin Spacey.
Does Ansel Elgort or Emma Roberts, the star of this movie, want to be peppered with question about Spacey? Did he hit on you? Did you know he was behaving this way? Have you ever seen him acting appropriately? These are the types of questions that they would get, so they'd rather skip a publicity tour than go on and promote this film.
CABRERA: Why do you think the film maker even decided to release it?
OGUNNAIKE: Well, I think interestingly enough the film was made 2 1/2 years ago. So between editing and shooting, by the time it was ready to be released last year the Me Too scandal had exploded. I think they were hoping that if time passed a little bit people may be able to move past it because Kevin Spacey is not a major player in this film. That said I do believe they took a gamble and the gamble did not pay off. They rolled the dice and it didn't work.
CABRERA: On the flip side we did see the gamble work for "Crazy Rich Asians." How about that movie?
OGUNNAIKE: Listen, I love that film. I have seen it twice already. I would see it again. I read the book. It's, what, number three on Amazon's best sellers list right now. I would read it again. I highly recommend. It is a good time. You can watch it on mute. The people are so beautiful. The scenery is so beautiful. It makes me want to travel to Singapore. It makes me want to go on an eating tour of Singapore. That's the movie to watch.
CABRERA: And --
OGUNNAIKE: So you know, (INAUDIBLE) not so much.
CABRERA: And the director of "Crazy Rich Asians" talked with us this weekend. And he too is a delight.
OGUNNAIKE: He's fantastic.
CABRERA: Thank you so much, Lola.
OGUNNAIKE: So get some time off. I know they're keeping you here a lot, but if you can get out of here, go see "Crazy Rich Asians."
CABRERA: Sounds good. I can't wait. Good to see you.
OGUNNAIKE: Good to see you, too.
CABRERA: Well, the CNN original series "THE 2000s" is celebrating music tonight from the rise of hip-hop to Napsters. See how the industry change. Singer and "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks is my guest next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:52:27] CABRERA: As jurors in Paul Manafort's 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 Moss. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JEANNE MOOS, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It came as a no- socks shock. Here is a courtroom sketch of Paul Manafort and all I can think about is, no socks?
After all those photos of ostrich and $18,000 python jackets he bought, the skin that's now getting attention is human ankle. As if all the other jokes weren't enough.
SETH MEYERS, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": 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're famous for your socks.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: It distracts people every now and then.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It does.
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. Though "Esquire" actually points out, actually, white socks are awesome. They're 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.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
CABRERA: That guy has got some moves.
It was a decade of digital innovation. "THE 2000S" gave rise to MP3, social media, YouTube stars. It had paved the way for some of today's biggest celebrities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justin Bieber was the first of the YouTube kids. He was using the new tools of the Internet to really do an end run around the traditional industry.
[20:55:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 2000s, the music industry was undergoing a massive shift with all of the technological change and the fact that the price of music had effectively been ground down to zero.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: The 2000s also saw the rise of reality TV including singing competitions. And I recently sat down with that pretty lady, "American Idol" alum and winner Jordin Sparks to discuss tonight's episode.
CABRERA: You are proof that shows like "Idol" that got so big in the 2000s really can launch a career. Can make you a star. Tell us a little bit more about what that experience meant to you.
JORDIN SPARKS, SINGER: For me, I was such a huge fan of the show before I even auditioned myself. So to be able to actually make it once I got there, I was like, oh look, there's the camera. There's Ryan. There's the stage. There is the judges. And then it all of a sudden hit me, oh, I have to do this now. And it was a blast to be able to do it.
I don't think I realized the pressure that I was really under. I think part of that had to do with my age at the time. Because right now looking back on it I'm just -- I think to myself, whoa, I mean, I don't know how I even got through that. But at the same time, it was one of the best things that I ever did.
CABRERA: During the time that "American Idol" was happening, as you're growing up, you were --
CABRERA: -- in the middle of all these technological advances that changed the --
CABRERA: The way the music industry got out to listeners. Music sharing sites like Napster, the sort of emergence of social media. What did that do to your career? What was the impact?
SPARKS: You know, for me, it really has been an experience because I really was on the verge of everything at that time. Facebook was still just for college students. There wasn't Twitter. There wasn't Instagram. There wasn't Snapchat, there wasn't any of that. And so for us it was basically blogs and, you know, TV interviews or radio that really helped us get our voices out there.
It was definitely interesting. My season was the first year that they did our songs on iTunes. And now iTunes is everything. Apple Music, we've got Spotify, we've got everything. It's just amazing that we have this ability to get music out so quickly and so easily to our fans. At the same time, you kind of feel like it can be over saturating sometimes. CABRERA: What is some of your favorite music of the 2000s? What were
you listening to when you were competing on "Idol" and working on some of your first albums?
SPARKS: Oh my gosh. I was listening to Gwen Stefani, I was listening to Fergie, "London Bridge," "Big Girls Don't Cry," she was just everything. I was also listening to Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears. I was listening to Celine Dion, Destiny's Child. All of that just really helped influence me and everything that I do.
CABRERA: I mean, those are some female power houses you just listed off that obviously you are now kind of walking in their footsteps. So I have to ask you.
CABRERA: The death of Aretha Franklin touching so many people. What did she mean to you?
SPARKS: Aretha was one of the names I heard probably from the time I was 3 years old through now. "Respect" was probably one of the first songs hearing a power house vocal like that. I think my grandparents or my mom introduced me to that.
She was an incredible woman, an icon. In some shape or form Aretha has influenced all of us. And that song, "Respect," of course for women in general, you know, yes, hi, all we're asking is just for a little respect. You know. That song will live on forever and everything that she ever did.
One of my first big performances actually was doing a tribute for her. And I sang "Respect" and she was sitting in the front row. And I just remember being like please let me don't forget these lyrics. Please let me get everything right. She's sitting there, I hope she likes it because, you know, she wanted to hear her songs be sung well and correctly. And so for me that was a big lesson. She looked at me while I was on the stage and blew me a kiss, I'll never forget that.
Then when I was in "Sparkle," she did the original sound track. And so to sing her songs again for our version of the movie and to see her when we were on the -- you know, the tour for all the premiers, it was amazing to have her there and to see her. She was very supportive and very kind.
CABRERA: Well, Jordin Sparks, thanks again for being with us. It's such a pleasure to talk with you and keep up the good work.
SPARKS: Thank you so much, you guys.
CABRERA: "THE 2000S: I WANT MY MP3" airs next right here on CNN.
That's going to do it for me. I'm Ana Cabrera. So glad to have you with me this weekend. Have a great night and a great week ahead.