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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump Responds To Sessions: Go Investigate Dems And Critics; Manafort Juror Speaks Out; John McCain Halts Treatment For Brain Cancer; Hurricane Lane Hammers Hawaii; Prosecutors Grant Immunity to Longtime Trump Finance Chief; President Trump to Sessions: Go Investigate Dems and Critics. Aired 8-9pm ET
Aired August 24, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:11] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: It could be a big flipping deal for the president.
John Berman here in for Anderson.
The man who for decades kept Donald Trump's books, ran his charity, even signed his tax returns is now cooperating with federal authorities in the Michael Cohen investigation. Now, there may be no human being on earth who knows more about the president's finances and he's been talking to the feds. Let that sink in because you know President Trump has.
So, that's obviously major news, but even as we reported our thoughts are with Senator John McCain and his family. Today, they announced that he has decided to discontinue medical treatment for brain cancer.
Now, when he made this speech we're going to show you from last October accepting an award from Joe Biden who lost his son Bo to the same disease, Senator McCain was already well into a battle that he knew almost no one ever wins.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I'm the luckiest guy on earth. I have served America's cause, the cause of our security and the security of our friends, the cause of freedom and equal justice all my adult life. I haven't always served it well. I haven't even always appreciated what I was serving.
But among the few compensations of old age is the acuity of hindsight. I see now that I was part of something important that drew me along in its wake, even when I was diverted by other interests. I was knowingly or not, along for the ride as America made the future better than the past.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: And we owe him our thanks for that. We'll have more on the senator's condition a bit later in the program.
First, though, the commander in chief whom he has so often been at odds with and we should note that the president made no mention of Senator McCain at a Republican event in Ohio, not a single mention nor a single nod to the McCain family. Nothing. Maybe it's a lack of compassion, or maybe the president has something else on his mind or more likely someone -- someone who knows virtually all there is to know about the Trump Organization, Donald Trump's charity and the president's own finances, he is the inside man of all inside men and he's worked for the president and before that the president's father since the original godfather was practically in its first run.
Now, keeping them honest, such people used to be called cooperators because that's what they do, to cooperate with police, with the FBI, with prosecutors to help make cases. The president, though, sees it differently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This whole thing about flipping they call it. I know all about flipping. For 30, 40 years, I've been watching flippers. Everything is wonderful and then they get ten years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is, or as high as you can go. It almost ought to be outlawed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: The president on Fox News. He was talking about Michael Cohen, his old consigliere who implicated him in court Tuesday on the payoff to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels. Yesterday, it was revealed that the tabloid publisher who was involved in both arrangements is also cooperating with authorities and today we learn the Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg was also given immunity and has cooperated in the Cohen case.
The reaction from so many who have followed President Trump for years was, wow. He's the Allen Weisselberg mentioned in the recording that Cohen secretly made as he and candidate Trump discuss what appears to have been the McDougal payoff just a few weeks before the election.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP LAWYER: I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David, you know, so that -- I'm going to do that right away. I've actually come up and I've spoken --
TRUMP: Give it to me and --
COHEN: And I've spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with --
TRUMP: So what do we have to pay for this?
COHEN: -- funding.
TRUMP: One fifty?
COHEN: Yes. And it's all the stuff --
TRUMP: I was thinking about that.
COHEN: All the stuff. Because here you never know where that company -- you never know what he's going to be --
TRUMP: Maybe he gets hit by a truck.
COHEN: Correct. So I'm all over that that. And I spoke to Allen about it. When it comes time for the financing, which will be --
TRUMP: Wait a second, what financing?
COHEN: We'll have to pay him something --
TRUMP: We'll pay with cash.
COHEN: No, no, no, no. I got -- no, no, no.
TRUMP: Check --
COHEN: Hey, Don. How are you?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BERMAN: So that's the man who implicated the president in two felonies, talking about a deal with one cooperator, publisher David Pecker, which he says, he's already run by another cooperator Allen Weisselberg. And if you're keeping a score, Mr. Weisselberg makes it six Trump associates who have been cooperating in one way or another with the feds or in Michael Cohen's case have otherwise turned against the president. Rick Gates, Cohen, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, David Pecker, and now, Allen Weisselberg.
And joining us now with more, CNN's Shimon Prokupecz.
Shimon, what are you learning about why investigators are speaking with Allen Weisselberg.
[20:05:00] SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: So, it's really is the money here, right, John. It's obvious that Weisselberg controlled a lot of the money, the flow of the money. He's named as an executive in the court documents.
They don't name him by name, but in the charging documents that Michael Cohen -- that the court filed in regards to Michael Cohen he is in there, he's referred to as executive 1 and it essentially says that he reimbursed Michael Cohen for some of the hush money payments. So it's understandable why the government would want to seek him at the very least as a witness.
What's really interesting about this is that you have between Weisselberg and Pecker who has apparently also been cooperating and was given immunity, you have all these people that are around the president who have either been facing charges or perhaps could have faced charges in this deal, they have all had to worry about this, but really one person and the ultimate person who benefited in all of this, the president, so far goes unscathed.
It is a big deal here, nonetheless, that this Weisselberg would cooperate, that they would give him immunity. Clearly, investigators felt that important enough where they would not charge him and instead give him immunity, John.
COOPER: Is the immunity -- this is the big question, Shimon -- is the immunity specific to information related to Michael Cohen or does it go beyond that? What are you learning?
PROKUPECZ: So, basically, all we know is that he has not -- Weisselberg has not been called back by the U.S. attorney's office, by investigators, since he began his cooperation and his -- since he received the immunity regarding the Michael Cohen investigation. However, we also know, as "The New York Times" has been reporting, that the Manhattan D.A.'s office is doing its own investigation, so perhaps he could be given immunity in that investigation. And keep in mind that a federal investigators think they want to pursue other things related to this, they could always bring him back, offer him more immunity or perhaps really make him a full-fledged cooperator if they think it would help them in their investigation.
And one last point, John, important to all of this is is that this now also frees Weisselberg from any prosecution so that he could appear before members of Congress should he be subpoenaed. He can't claim, well, I may -- I have to plead the fifth because I may be charged or I could face charges in this case. So that, John, is another element which I think is important for people to keep in mind.
BERMAN: His role in this drama not over. Not nearly over.
Shimon Prokupecz, thanks so much.
In a moment, a lawyer with experience in questioning Mr. Weisselberg and the president as well, also Barbara Res, a former senior executive in the Trump Organization and colleague of Allen Weisselberg.
First, though, more on the man himself from 360's Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Allen Weisselberg knows where all the financial bodies are buried. That's according to a former Trump Organization employee who spoke with CNN.
Weisselberg is the chief financial officer for the Trump Organization. The top bookkeeper who likely has knowledge of everything from Donald Trump's tax returns to the hush money paid to silence two women claiming they had an affair with Trump before he became president, something Trump denies.
If Trump reimbursed Cohen for the payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, as his lawyer Rudy Giuliani says, then perhaps Weisselberg can corroborate that for federal prosecutors.
When Trump won the White House, he put his sons and Weisselberg in charge of the family business.
SHERI DILLION, ATTORNEY AT MORGAN LEWIS: He has relinquished leadership and management of the Trump Organization to his sons, Don and Eric, and a long time Trump executive, Allen Weisselberg.
KAYE: Weisselberg who hasn't returned our calls for comment oversees the family trust. He is prepared the president's tax returns and was the treasurer for Trump's charity. Weisselberg has also reportedly been privy to Trump's real estate transactions, both here at home and overseas, including where all the funding was coming from.
(on camera): There's no doubt about how vast Weisselberg knowledge is, he has a long history with the Trump family going back decades. In the 1970s, he was an accountant for President Trump's father, Fred Trump. He then moved over to the Trump Organization.
"The Wall Street Journal" reported Weisselberg oversaw many of Trump's personal transactions, including household expenses as well as the purchases of planes and boats.
(voice-over): Tristan Snell, a former assistant attorney general who helped lead the prosecution of Trump University says Weisselberg is the single most indispensable person in the Trump Organization. In that case, he says, Weisselberg knew where every dollar in the Trump Organization came from and controlled where every dollar went.
Over the years, Weisselberg has kept a pretty low profile, one former colleague telling the "Wall Street Journal" that Weisselberg, quote, fits in with the wallpaper. Suddenly, though, he seems to be a household name.
Randy Kaye, CNN, New York.
BERMAN: And we have a household name of our own, CNN legal analyst and former Nixon White House counsel, John Dean, who became perhaps the most famous criminal cooperator in modern history when he blew the whistle on Watergate.
[20:10:07] Also, attorney James Forge who has deposed both Allen Weisselberg and the president. And Barbara Res, former long time Trump executive and author of "All Alone on the 68th Floor: How One Woman Changed the Face of Construction".
And, Barbara, I want to ask you first because you've worked within the Trump organization, is there any person who has a better understanding perhaps outside the family of how that organization works and Allen Weisselberg, and I'm taking down to the nickels and dimes here?
BARBARA RES, AUTHOR, "ALL ALONE ON THE 68TH FLOOR": You know, I've been asked that question many times and I've heard all the people -- experts speak to what he knows and what he doesn't know and what he controls. And I'm a little surprised to be honest with you, because when I worked there, which is many years ago, Allen was working in Brooklyn and was working for Fred Trump and he was in charge of the buildings, the apartment buildings.
But when he moved to New York and I can't pinpoint the date, he was the chief accountant who was the person that paid the bills, that made sure the payroll was right, that did send out the invoices and things like that. He had a title, he was an executive vice president, but he was not a member of the inner circle by any stretch of the imagination.
So, this is news to me. Perhaps over time, things have developed with Allen. He certainly was a very low key guy. He was the kind of a guy who may have -- I'm not sure -- called Donald which is what we called him, may have called him Mr. Trump. He was a quiet guy and he was unassuming.
BERMAN: But the money goes through him. The money goes through him, which is so key here and the big question, does the immunity extend beyond the Cohen case? And is Weisselberg providing information to prosecutors on the president's business dealings? The president's business dealings and finances beyond Cohen?
JASON FORGE, DEPOSED ALLEN WEISSELBERG: Well, there's no way of knowing exactly how far the immunity extends, but I do think, John, that the key here is the timing of it. This is either great news for the president or terrible news for the president. If -- and this is what it appears to be the case, if Mr. Weisselberg was already immunized and has already testified and then Mr. Cohen pled guilty, it would seem that the investigators have already gotten all of the testimony from him that they wanted and they haven't charged or attempted to charge Mr. Trump, in which case that would be great news for him.
If on the other hand, this immunity is a more recent development and they are continuing to investigate these same transactions, that's terrible news for the president.
BERMAN: Well, we do know that the Justice Department, the Southern District and the Mueller investigation separately are operating under the assumption that you can't indict a sitting president. So, that might limit them in how far they go in terms of chasing down the president's role in this.
John Dean, to you. Prosecutors don't just hand out immunity to people for nothing, they really only give it to someone if that person has something of value to offer, correct?
JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: That's generally true. There are different types of immunity. Generally, there is something called equitable immunity which involves no statute, the judge isn't involved, the prosecutors just assure the person they won't be prosecuted. There's also statutory immunity and it can be transactional which covers everything, or use immunity which is very limited.
Now, you don't necessarily have to be a cooperator to get immunity. If you've take -- and invoke your Fifth Amendment privilege and refuse to testify, the prosecutor can force you to testify by immunizing you and that may be what's happened in several of these cases, that they have not been volunteer, but rather they have been forced to testify.
BERMAN: That's interesting. So they use immunity to push to get the information that they want.
BERMAN: So, Barbara, we've been talking about how much the president values loyalty, or says that he values loyalty. We now know that Michael Cohen has flipped to a large extent David Pecker testifying with immunity, Weisselberg testifying with immunity.
How does he react to what he perceives as disloyalty?
RES: He gets very angry, he's very volatile and he must be seething about all of this because his perception of loyalty is different from the rest of us. We look at loyalty as keeping somebody's secrets and being fair and working hard and doing all the things you need to do for your employer.
He sees it as being -- doing exactly what you're told regardless of what that is, whether it's legal or not legal, and keeping your mouth shut. So, that kind of loyalty, I don't know how far it will go. I don't think it goes to a jail cell for anyone, not for anyone.
BERMAN: So, Jason, to that point you've actually had the charge to depose Allen Weisselberg when you were prosecuting the Trump University lawsuit. What was he like during that deposition?
[20:15:00] How far did his loyalty to the president extend?
And we also have some hints and some other recent cases as well, don't we?
FORGE: We do, John. And the reality is he was a fairly cooperative witness. He is definitely loyal to Mr. Trump. He is one of the few people who refer to him as Donald. He has been with the family for the better part of the half century and as a witness he was somewhat reluctant, but I would not say that he was not -- that he was dishonest in any way.
I think he did provide testimony that could be interpreted as potentially damaging to Mr. Trump. He mentioned the frequency with which those two interact. They are on the same floor and there was certainly information that Mr. Weisselberg learned that could be impugned to President Trump, now President Trump, through Mr. Weisselberg. And given the nature of the relationship as he described it, it could have been damaging to Mr. Trump.
BERMAN: It didn't seem like he would protect the president at his own expense to you?
FORGE: To go so far as to be dishonest, no, I don't think so. I certainly think he would be reluctant. He is the prototypical Trump insider. I do think he is very loyal to the president, but I don't think he would go so far as to lie.
BERMAN: So, John Dean, knowing the facts of the Cohen plea and what he is accused of doing, do you think prosecutors would have needed to grant Weisselberg immunity to secure Cohen's guilty plea? Would it make sense that he would be used in an expanded role beyond just the Cohen investigation?
DEAN: You know, there may well, John, have been a race, a quiet race, to the courthouse after that raid on Cohen's hotel, apartment, office, what-have-you, and Pecker might have been in there before Cohen got in and given them enough information to solve their issues that they were looking.
So, it's not clear. We just don't have enough facts yet as to who needed what to, either be immunized or prosecuted. But it was resolved when, of course, Cohen decided himself he would plead.
BERMAN: John, just to ask you in your experience here, and you have unique experience in this, when you start to see people testifying with immunity, when you start to see in the case of Michael Cohen flipping overtly, what does that signify in an investigation?
DEAN: Well, it's a standard procedure in most investigations, both in high level white collar as well as mafia cases where they go to the lower levels and they grant immunity, they build their case step by step and figure out what they need and how to get it and who to get it from, and that's what we're watching. We are about -- I'd say we are about midway through all of this right now.
BERMAN: Midway, a long way to go, then.
Barbara, you told "Politico" earlier this week that you believe the president is, quote, unraveling. What exactly have you seen that led you to that conclusion?
RES: I spoke to Michael Cruz (ph) who wrote that article today to try to put in context what I was saying. I think I really meant that the story of Trump, the persona of Trump was unraveling, the lie, if you will have it, that he was falling apart in the sense that we were now seeing all the different elements of what he had put together as this one persona and I think that's what's coming apart. That people are realizing now that he's doing different things and he's lying about different things and he's losing certain support and stuff like that.
And I do think it's falling apart. I think that the myth is what I call it, the myth of Trump is now going away.
BERMAN: And, Jason, finally to you. What does your gut tell you about where these immunity deals fit into the larger investigation? Do you think that the prosecutors of the Southern District would have given immunity to David Pecker and to Weisselberg just to get this guilty plea on one part of their case against Michael Cohen? Do you think that's it?
FORGE: You know, John, my gut tells me that is it vis-a-vis the president. There may be other individuals within the Trump Organization, but I don't think they're planning on doing anything more significant vis-a-vis the president and here is why, it seems that they had enough information that they could have at least charge Michael Cohen with a conspiracy and it could have been a conspiracy with individual three, and that individual three could have been President Trump.
FORGE: Cohen said enough at his guilty plea hearing and even the assistant U.S. attorney said enough at that plea hearing. And yet they didn't include a conspiracy charge even if they are not actually charging the president. That to me indicates that they are not planning on moving higher up the chain.
BERMAN: Very interesting perspective. Jason Forge, John Dean, Barbara Res, thanks so much.
Next, the president's latest attacks on his attorney general.
[20:20:02] His unprecedented demand that Jeff Sessions investigate his enemies and Sessions' life expectancy on the job.
Also one of the 11 jurors who voted to convict Paul Manafort on all 18 counts and she is a Trump supporter. Anderson asked her what convinced her, ahead on 360.
BERMAN: Festivus came early for Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the airing of greens is coming right from the top. You remember, this week, we've seen the president slam him on Fox and we've seen the attorney general hit back saying, while I'm the attorney general, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.
And today, the president tweeted by all appearances mockingly: Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations?
[20:25:02] Jeff, this is great. What everyone wants. So look into all of the corruption on the other side, including deleted emails, Comey lies and leaks, Mueller conflicts, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, FISA abuse, Christopher Steele and his phony and corrupt dossier, the Clinton Foundation, the illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign, this entire list that the president likes to go on and on and on with. Come on, Jeff, the president says, you can do it, the country is waiting.
That long to-do list is kind of the president's greatest hits, they are all scandals as he sees it, but it's hard to know what to make of any of it because the president shorthanded them all to cram into a pair of tweets. What we can say is they all involve the president's political or legal adversaries and what those two tweets represent is a sitting president lobbying his attorney general to go after them, go after his enemies. This is something that presidents simply do not do, then again they also don't spend so much time or even any time trash talking their attorneys general or letting them twist slowly in the wind -- which might not go on much longer.
Several key lawmakers, most notably Lindsey Graham, have signaled it would be OK for the president to let Jeff Sessions go, but only after the midterms. However, another Republican is sending the opposite message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BEN SASSE (R), NEBRASKA: Bizarrely, there are people in this body now talking like the attorney general will be fired, should be fired. I'm not sure how to interpret the comments of the last couple of hours, but I guess I would just like to say as a member of the judiciary committee and as a member of this body, I find it really difficult to envision any circumstance where I would vote to confirm a successor to Jeff Sessions if he is fired because he's executing his job rather than choosing to act as a partisan hack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: As you might imagine, that leaves plenty talk about.
Joining us, "AXE FILES" host and former Obama White House senior advisor David Axelrod, also Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general in the last administration.
So, David, the president is at it again for the second day, this time going as far as to call Attorney General Jeff Sessions "Jeff", goading him to investigate, quote, the corruption on the other side within 24 hours of Jeff Sessions warning he won't make political use of the Justice Department.
What do you make of it all?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, if this goes to the core of the president's campaign here, which is to say nothing is on the legit, that the Justice Department is infested with Democrats who won't go after their own and are going after him for political reasons, and it is -- it is grossly unfair and unjust and wrong and destructive.
But I think he is trying to lay the predicate for the time when he will remove the attorney general to try to get ahold of all these investigations. I think that time is coming and I think that's what this is all about.
BERMAN: And, Neal, it really does seem that the president is trying to press the buttons of the attorney general. The attorney general put out this statement and says, I will not make decisions based on the politics and it seems like the president is trying to order him to do so.
NEAL KATYAL, FORMER U.S. ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL: Yes, but I don't think this is just about the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, I think this is about Donald Trump and his views about law enforcement. Put simply, Donald J. Trump does not believe in law enforcement. He doesn't believe in the law part of it, you know, he tramples on the Constitution willy-nilly and he doesn't believe in the enforcement part of it, either.
And you saw that most predominantly this week when he said, you know -- he attacked the practice of flipping which is what prosecutors do every day in this country, day in and day out, in exchange, give someone a lenient sentence, in exchange for information. That is like bread and butter of what prosecutors do all the time and Trump went and condemned that practice.
You know, if that were the law, you know, thousands of criminals would be on the streets today. It can't possibly be the law. It's so dangerous and that's why we have never had a president say anything like this mishmash of horrible stuff about law enforcement that's been coming out of this person's Twitter feed.
BERMAN: Well, let me ask you because I spoke to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales today and he had something very much along those lines to say. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALBERTO GONZALES, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: What I also worry about is the fact that constant attacks upon the attorney general I think weakens the authority of the attorney general, I think it damages morale within the Department of Justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: And he went on to tell the "Washington Post" if we ever got to a place where it was routine or common for the president to question the judgment of attorney general, that would not be a good place. Aren't we already there on all those fronts?
KATYAL: I mean, really applaud Attorney General Gonzales for saying this. I mean, those of us who spent time at the Justice Department know how damaging and how corrosive the things that President Trump has said about the Justice Department, about our prosecutors and about our attorney general, how much that corrodes confidence in the rule of law and what prosecutors have to do every day. So I'm really glad he said it.
BERMAN: And, David, there is an irony here which is that the attorney general may be more than any other cabinet member is actually implementing the policies of the president of the United States.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's true in almost every other way. He is following through on the Trump platform whether its immigration or law enforcement or, you know, the whole range of things that Trump campaigned on, I disagree with many of them, but he's been faithful to the President in that regard.
But let's be clear what this is all about. Donald Trump does not feel like he should be accountable. He doesn't want to be accountable to the law. He doesn't want to be accountable to the news media, and he's trying to destroy and create, you know, profound cynicism and doubt about -- about these institutions that our founding fathers created or empowered for this express purpose, to hold people in office accountable.
I mean, you know, I always bridal (ph) when people say it's fundamentally un-American, but this is really un-American. This goes right to the core of our constitutional republic.
BERMAN: David Axelrod, (INAUDIBLE), thank you so much for your time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
BERMAN: Up next, inside the Paul Manafort trial, a juror tells Anderson that even though she is a Trump supporter she does not want him to pardon Manafort. And later, we'll take you to Hawaii where Hurricane Lane is already causing flooding and land slides as it approaches Oahu and Maui.
[20:35:08] BERMAN: Tonight, we have an inside look at the Paul Manafort trial from someone who was right in the thick of it. As you know earlier this week the President's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, was convicted on eight felony counts. Paula Duncan was on that jury.
Earlier today she told Anderson what prevented Manafort from being convicted on all 18 counts, why he doesn't think the President should pardon him, and what as a Trump supporter she thinks about the Mueller investigation as a whole. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Paula, thanks very much for joining us. You obviously have a very interesting up close view of this case. You've probably know it better than anybody else out there. I know you said that you would have convicted Paul Manafort on all counts. Can you explain why that wasn't the outcome?
PAULA DUNCAN, MANAFORT TRIAL JURIOR: We had one juror who held out her vote. We had two , one that could flip-flop from one day to the next, would say she was pressured and change her vote. We had some of that, but in the end, it was one person who even though we could put the paperwork in front of them again and again they said they had reasonable doubt, and therefore, that's their right as a juror.
We tried very hard to make sure that we weren't a hung jury, 11 of us. Ten for sure were positive from almost day two. And the rest of us, the other two, were not sure. And we spent a lot of time deliberating and doing due diligence like we were supposed to as a jury. And in the end even though we could tell her that the defendant met the criteria to charge him as guilty, she would in the end say she had reasonable doubt.
COOPER: I read that you said I wanted Paul Manafort to be innocent, but he wasn't. I know you're a supporter of President Trump and you're skeptical of the special counsel investigation as a whole. To those who may hear that and wonder, well, why did you vote to convict, what would you say?
DUNCAN: Because your civic duty as a juror, as Judge Ellis said, was to -- the defendant has the presumption of innocence, and you accept the witnesses, you accept the evidence, and you make your judgment based on those things. And there are those that said I shouldn't have been a juror because they say I was biased, according to social media. At least that's what my daughters are telling me. And that's not true. If I were biased, I would have said I would have been the hold out vote and I was not the hold out vote.
COOPER: Well, number one, I would recommend your daughters not read social media because I can tell you from personal experience no good will come of that. But I've got to say, I mean, you give me faith in the system, the fact that you're exactly the kind of juror somebody would want, that you can put aside whatever your political beliefs might be and just look at the evidence and make a decision based on that.
DUNCAN: I think coming out in the Trump hat thing, wasn't going to be part of my -- what I had to say until the last bit. But I thought, you know what, if it shows people that can we can have differences of opinions and still work together to get justice done, I thought it was an inspiring thing to hear about.
COOPER: The Trump hat thing for people to know, you have the make America great hat -- make American great again hat but you kept it in your car.
DUNCAN: I did. And it's actually my husband's hat, just for clarification. We don't need too.
DUNCAN: But I mean we're both Trump supporters and we feel that President Trump deserves a chance to try to do the job without all the other stuff going on around him. Unless of course, it's illegal. The law is the law, and my job as a juror and the rest of my fellow jurors was to make sure that the law was upheld. And I feel we did. I wish we could have convicted him on all 18 counts. I feel there was enough information to do that. And that's -- I thought America needed to know it was 11 to 1.
COOPER: I know you said that you believed the Mueller investigation is a witch hunt. If the Mueller investigation hadn't happened, there's no guarantee that Paul Manafort wouldn't have ever been brought to justice for these financial crimes. Does that justify the Mueller investigation at all to you?
DUNCAN: No, he should be punished for his crimes. It just shouldn't have come about in the way that it did, in my opinion.
COOPER: Do you think the President should pardon Paul Manafort, or how would you feel if the President pardoned Paul Manafort?
DUNCAN: I feel it would be a grave mistake for President Trump to pardon Paul Manafort. COOPER: Why?
DUNCAN: Justice was done. The evidence was there, and that's where it should stop.
[20:40:05] COOPER: One of the things that the president campaigned on was draining the swamp, and that's obviously something the people on many sides -- all sides of political aisle, you know, don't like the way Washington works. To you, is Paul Manafort part of the swamp? Is he sort of the epitome of the swamp?
DUNCAN: Well, there is the irony, maybe he is. I think my favorite thing Trump said, of course, is making America great again. And I've gotten a lot of flack over this, and I've had people calling worried about my safety. And I like to think that I am braver than that. When peaceful Americans' views are silenced from fear, then America is certainly not a great country. So, maybe what we need are caps that say make America kind again.
COOPER: Do you think that's a hat the president would wear, make America kind again?
DUNCAN: I challenge President Trump to wear a hat that says make America kind again. Because I think once we're kind, then we will be great. Tolerance is important. I want people to get out and vote. No matter who you vote for, get out and vote. That's your duty. Voting and serving on a jury, that's so important to who we are. So many people have fought for that right, and I don't care what side you're on, just vote.
COOPER: Paula Duncan, thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: What an interesting discussion. Sad news tonight, about Senator John McCain. He has discontinued his treatment for brain cancer. As tributes to his service and heroism to service pour in from Washington, we'll get the very latest next.
[20:45:50] BERMAN: Tributes are pouring in for Senator John McCain after it was announced today that he is stopping treatment for brain cancer. A statement from the McCain family reads in part, "John has surpassed expectations for his survival. But the progress of the disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict. With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment."
Senator McCain, of course, the man who has dedicated his life to serve in his country, a war hero, a long time senator, and as he and his family face this difficult time partisan lines are falling away as his colleagues in Congress send their thoughts. I want to play you so more now from his speech from last October when he accepted the liberty medal at the national constitution center.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I've had the good fortune to spend 60 years in service to this wondrous land. It's not going to be a perfect service to be sure. And there will be probably times when the country might have benefited a little less of my help.
But, I tried to deserve the privilege as best I can. And I've been repaid a thousand times over with adventures, with good company, and with the satisfaction of serving something more important than myself, of being a big player in the extraordinary story of America. And I am so grateful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Wonderful in so many ways to hear those words tonight.
Joining me now, Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and chief political analyst -- Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash. Dana, give us the latest. What are you hearing from your sources about the senator?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you mentioned his family has said that he is no longer going to have medical treatment. That it has, that it's under way, and has been at least all day. And what that means is they're trying to make him as comfortable as possible.
Look, it is no secret, and Dr. Gupta can tell you this and has since we broke the news on this very program a year ago, July, that Senator McCain has this horrible, horrible brain cancer. That this would be the thing that finally catches up to him, finally reminds us all that John McCain who survived 5 1/2 years being tortured in isolation in a North Vietnamese prison is a mere mortal. And it's hard for even those who are the closest to him to realize that.
And so, that is what people are grappling with. I've talked to some of his friends and colleagues today, who even know again like all of us have known this day is coming, are finding it kind of shocking that the end appears to be near.
BERMAN: We've been listening took his words from last fall you're reminded John McCain doesn't feel cheated.
BASH: Not at all.
BERMAN: He feels so appreciative for every single day that he's had. Sanjay, what are the factors that a patient takes into account when choosing to forego additional treatment?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well my, you know, usually almost from the beginning of the diagnosis say, you know, 13 months ago as Dana mentioned, the conversations start. Here are the treatment options. Here are the likelihood of having some benefit from these treatment options and here's the toll those treatments are going to take on your body. And, John's consent balance after that.
The decision at this point really comes down to are these treatments working, are they continuing to affect the tumor and actually shrink the tumor, and what is the toll that it's taking on my body? Does the risk benefit still play out? There are the benefits greater than the risks. And I think it's a discussion of some 13 months probably but this is an inflection point where they say that's no longer the case. The benefits are no longer greater than the risks.
BERMAN: And Dana, obviously, you mentioned that tributes are pouring in from around the country but especially from his colleagues who have served with him so many, who have served with him some for a very, very long time. What have you heard?
BASH: Well, yes. And what is remarkable about Senator McCain is that he's a throwback to an era which seems like many, many moons ago but actually wasn't that long ago where there is and was genuine respect across the aisle. He is somebody who still, you know, up until the last year has taken under his wing.
[20:50:06] Democrats, taken them on his world travels to places very far flung to talk about America's place in the world, to teach them about how important it is to be a senator, to have checks and balances, and so all of those relationships that he forged, particularly on those foreign trips, are still very real, very strong.
And you mentioned the fact that he, you know, he always said it particularly in the past six months to a year, the people shouldn't feel sorry for him. And boy, does he mean it? He has lived every single day to its fullest. He fought hard. He loved hard, and still is doing all those things. And it is one of the things that makes John McCain somebody so unique in our time and ultimately in American history.
BERMAN: Sanjay, without the treatment now that he is foregoing. How fast will the cancer progress?
GUPTA: This is one of the most aggressive cancers, you know, in the body. It's just tough to say that. I, you know, this I started my neurosurgery training 25 years ago, John, and in the last quarter of a century following this. We haven't made a lot of progress in terms of survival with this particular tumor.
Glioblastoma a tumor that originates in the brain as supposed to spread in from elsewhere in the body. It depends in terms of how fast it grows. But if it's not treated, it's certainly it's going to grow and eventually start to push on other areas of his brain.
BERMAN: So Dana, I don't want to spend too much time talking about that because I'd much rather talk about the tributes that are pouring in. But what have we heard from the White House? I know that President had an event in Ohio where zipped, nothing not a single word for John McCain or his family?
BASH: Nothing. And, you know, look, I think this kind of speaks volumes about where we are in our times and, of course, in this relationship or lack thereof between the President and John McCain. In the upside, he didn't trash John McCain in his speech as he has done in recent campaign speeches talking about his health care vote. Instead, maybe, I'll just talk about what John McCain wrote in his last book, whether we think each other right or wrong in our views or the issues of the day. We owe each other our respect as long as our character merits respect.
BERMAN: I know Cindy McCain and McCain family know that the entire nation is with them tonight. Dana Bash, Sanjay Gupta, thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate it.
GUPTA: No, thank you.
BASH: Thank you.
BERMAN: Let's check in with Chris Cuomo, I want to see what he's working on for "Cuomo Prime Time" in just a few minutes, Chris?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I have big news today, who would have thought that the end of such a dramatic week, we would get the biggest piece of new information. The man at the center of the money for Donald Trump, the CFO of the Trump Organization, Weisselberg. Why was he given immunity? What does it mean? And, we have as our first guest tonight, John, an ethics lawyer who fought with the White House about disclosures who says he knew this day was coming. We'll take you through it.
BERMAN: Some said it would never happen. Weisselberg would never talk. He's talking, Chris Cuomo, looking forward to that, appreciate it.
Hurricane Lane is pounding Hawaii's big island with unrelenting rain as the storm still churns the pacific. The latest on its projected path and the damage it's done so far, that's next.
[20:57:33] BERMAN: Hurricane Lane is dumping just a ton of rain on parts of Hawaii's big island, nearly three feet has fallen in one spot causing serious flooding, landslides, road closures. It is now a Category 1 storm. It is South of Honolulu, heading north slowly. Our Nick Watt he is on Oahu. He joins me now with the very latest. Nick, how are things looking?
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPNDENT: Well, John, here in Oahu, the rain is just starting within the past five or 10 minutes. We're expecting the storm to get here within the next few hours and dump a lot of rain. Now, as you mentioned Big Island got hit hard, it got hit first, catastrophic flooding down there, up to 40 inches of rain in places. That's 4-0 inches.
So now the ground is just saturated to anymore rain that falls is just a flash flood. Now, some tourists down there had to be rescued from a rental home over in Hilo further north in Maui. The airport is still open but no flights going in or out. And wildfires in Maui, we don't know how they started but we know for sure the winds generated by this hurricane have been pushing those flames. One of those fires actually jumped a highway. More than 100 homes were evacuated.
Now they say we are now just waiting for this storm to really hit Oahu. Now, it's a Category 1. It's moving slower, which is a good thing, but it's also a bad thing. And it's going to linger over places, dump a lot of water. If it dumps half as much here as it did on the Big Island, the mayor says its major problems. John?
BERMAN: Yes, but flooding is your concern. You don't want it moving slowly. How unusual is it, Nick, for Hawaii to be dealing with hurricane its where a threat?
WATT: Very unusual. I mean, the last direct hit they had was way back in 1992, more than 25 years ago. So it is rare because normally these hurricanes, yet, there are a lot of hurricanes in the pacific, but they track south of the Hawaiian Islands. The other thing is, you know, it's a big ocean and the Hawaiian Islands are just little specks here. So, they don't often get hit. They don't often get hit but this one, there was a fear that there was going to be a direct hit but now they really think that within the next 12 hours or so the storm moving north is going to weaken and is going to get pushed out to the west.
So we're not going to get a landfall of that center of the hurricane. But we are going to get wind. We are going to get rain. And here in Honolulu, they're standing by, waiting to see just how bad it gets before the storm moves out to sea and away from the islands. John?
BERMAN: Hopefully it moves off before it hits. Nick Watt, thank you very much. Don't forget, Full Circle Anderson's daily interact with news cast on Facebook. You can pick up some of the stories. You may see it weeknights at 6:25 Eastern of facebook.com/Anderson. The news continues, so I hand it over to Chris Cuomo.