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tv   Wolf  CNN  August 20, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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than the democrat. >> one of the many fascinating races to watch. we'll do more trying to get you out there on the campaign trail in the days ahead. 11 weeks now. thanks for joining us on "inside politics" today. see you back here this time tomorrow. wolf is back from a little break. he starts right now. have a great day. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington, 8:00 p.m. in syria, 9:00 p.m. in tehran. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. fury and paranoia as the president erupts over reports that the white house counsel has cooperated extensively with the mueller team. question is, what has don mcgahn revealed? plus, as president trump threatens to revoke more security clearances, he's now daring the former cia director john brennan to sue. this as dozens and dozens of former intelligence officials unite against the president's moves.
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and george orwell's "1984" was fiction, but rudy giuliani with a new assault on facts by saying, quote, truth isn't truth. but up first, fury and fear over at the white house. the fear stems from uncertainty over what the white house counsel don mcgahn told special counsel robert mueller's investigators. "the new york times" reports that mcgahn spent 30 hours in interviews with the mueller team. the fury is evident in the prthprt president's increasingly angry attacks on mueller and his investigators. in a tweet today, the president referred to the, quote, disgraced and discredited bob mueller and his whole group of angry democrat thugs. he went on to say, quote, mueller's angry dems are looking to impact the election. they are a national disgrace. let's go to our chief white house correspondent jim acosta. how concerned is the president and his legal team about what don mcgahn may have said to
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mueller? >> reporter: well, wolf, i think you can tell by what rudy giuliani said on "meet the press" yesterday, that whopper he said, that the truth isn't truth, that they're trying mightily to do some verbal and mental gymnastics to explain their way out of this. but i did talk to a source who is familiar with the president's legal team's thinking and was a part of the process when they gave don mcgahn the permission to speak to mueller's team. this person was telling me, and we're just reporting this now, that the thinking inside the president's legal team at that time is they were not exactly waiving don mcgahn in terms of executive privilege. they wanted to allow him to cooperate, but according to the source, wolf, the president's legal team at the time was thinking that they were still going to maintain executive privilege over the information that don mcgahn provided to the
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special counsel's office. the thinking being that at some point in time if mueller's team wanted to use that information, there could be some kind of battle over how that information is used, that obviously they wanted to cooperate with the mueller investigation, they wanted to provide don mcgahn in terms of his talking to the mueller team, but according to this source familiar with the president's legal team's thinking, they still believe that there's executive privilege over what don mcgahn said at that time. so wolf, there could be a question down the road when robert mueller's team presents their information in their report to rod rosenstein at the justice department in terms of what don mcgahn said during that 30 hours of questioning. the source that i spoke with earlier today, wolf, was saying that they still maintain executive privilege over what don mcgahn said. so this narrative, according to this source, that the sky is falling and the house is on fire
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because of what don mcgahn told mueller's team is not exactly accurate because they still believe there's executive privilege that's been asserted over that information. >> amidst all of this, jim, there's a lot more fallout emerging right now over the president's decision to revoke the former cia director john brennan's security clearance. 175 former u.s. officials spanning several agencies, administrations going back to the reagan administration have added their names to a list of intelligence officials denouncing the president's decision. brennan is considering now, what, going to court to fight all this. what's the latest you're hearing from the president? >> reporter: well, wolf, we can point out the president, in addition to going after robert mueller, has been escalating his attacks on the former cia director john brennan. he put out a tweet earlier this morning saying that he hopes john brennan will sue in this case. it's interesting. here's the tweet. i hope john brennan, the worst cia director in our country's history, brings a lawsuit.
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it will then be easy to get all of his records, texts, e-mails, and documents to show not only the poor job he did but how he was involved with the mueller rigged witch hunt. he won't sue. interesting to note about that tweet, wolf, that's exactly what's been said by critics of the president when he threatens to sue people, when he's threatened to sue news organizations and all sorts of things in the past. people have said, well, if the president does that, that would of course subject him to the discovery process of the legal system where all of his texts and e-mails and so on and so forth could be made part of the process. it's interesting that the president would use that exact same rationale to say he hopes john brennan brings a lawsuit against the administration. but wolf, this only underlines this battle that exists between the president and john brennan and some of these intelligence officials who are coming out very publicly. you can't really emphasize this
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enough, how extraordinary it is to see so many intelligence professionals from the intelligence community going back decades now, coming out and supporting john brennan and saying that this use of revoking security privileges by the white house, by the president is just flat wrong. you have the intelligence community pushing back against the executive branch, which it's a part of, in ways that we haven't seen before in many, many years, wolf. >> all right. good point. thanks very much, jim acosta, at the white house. let's discuss this and more. joining us, cnn political analyst april ryan. april, let's get to don mcgahn, the white house counsel. he's the lawyer not for the president. he's the lawyer for the white house. he's a government lawyer. he went and spent 30 hours talking to mueller and his team. >> and the president doesn't like it. the bottom line is don mcgahn understands the severity of this. he understands that if you are asked to come, and even if the
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president says there's executive privilege, this is a very serious investigation. i've been told by those lawyers for some parties involved in this that, you know, this deals with -- a lot of this is focusing in on that june 9th meeting. it deals with the lecelections issues. this is very serious. this is not about the court of public opinion. this is about the rule of law. and that's what don mcgahn understands. even though the president doesn't like it. he gave those 30-plus hours, from what we're hearing, for a reason. >> the reason, presumably being, among other things, that he was concerned about his own legal stance in all of this. he wanted to show that he had nothing to hide and was willing to cooperate. >> that's actually quite stunning, the conflict he felt. there's really a question there as to whether that should have been something that would give rise to his own resignation or disclosure of what was happening. what's important to keep in mind here is that government lawyers aren't like private lawyers. private lawyers have a duty to
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represent their client. there's an attorney/client privilege. for government lawyers, there's a broader objective of serving the public interest. the court has been -- various courts have been really clear, even when it comes to privilege claims. if there is no government interest in withholding information that's relevant to a criminal investigation. so mcgahn is in a difficult situation that's made even more complicated by this particular president, who tends to, as was mentioned, take the rule of law and just shred it, throw it up in the air and see where things land. we're a bit flummoxed across the board as to how to sort these legal issues out because the president doesn't respect the law. >> seth is going to sort it out for us now. how do you see it? >> piece of cake. well, listen, i think this is a legal team that has a strict duty to throw strikes. they have just many unforced errors here. just looking -- >> are you talking about the white house legal team or the private trump legal team? >> the private trump legal team led, among others, by rudy
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giuliani. i think mr. giuliani is putting his client in significant legal peril. if you look at what's going on right now, there are significant unforced errors. the situation with don mcgahn, there could be arguments either way as to whether or not the president wanted to waive privilege or whether he could or should. at the end of the day, that's not necessarily a bad strategy. what's utterly shocking is when you waive privilege and you find out that don mcgahn has been speaking with the special counsel's office for 30 hours and you're learning about it when you're reading it in "the new york times," that's absolutely shocking. now we're hearing that they think they can still claim executive privilege when i can tell you they absolutely cannot. the case law on this is clear. once waived, it's waived permanently. you know that don mcgahn did not speak for 30 hours. it had to be broken out in days. every single day the president's lawyers needed to be sitting down with either mcgahn or at least his attorney trying to figure out what in the world is going on. there's a lot of misdirection going on, and the president is in significant legal peril. >> and wolf, part of this
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problem is that rudy giuliani, the president's personal attorney now, is doing a lot of these things without the white house knowing what's happening. and don mcgahn is trying to save himself. rudy giuliani is the wild card. you don't know what to expect. i've said this before. sarah huckabee sanders got upset. they're just not knowing what's going on with what rudy giuliani is doing. >> she's saying rudy giuliani is saying he's worried the president is going to make inconsistent statements. that's exactly what rudy giuliani is doing. he's changing his story about trump tower. he's changing his story about whether there was collusion. even if there is, it's not incapsulated in the federal code, which is technically incorrect. a lot of misdirection, a lot of unforced errors here. >> giuliani goes on television and doesn't even know a lot of the facts involving that trump tower meeting in june of 2016 when the russians were pitching an idea to help the president get dirt on hillary clinton, and they made it clear in the e-mail
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exchange, the text messages they were sending with donald trump jr. this was coming from the russian government. >> yeah, i mean, rudy giuliani is shooting from the hip like his client. i don't think he's actually functioning as an attorney, as was mentioned in the traditional sense. mcgahn is at least trying to adhere to his ethical obligations. i think this misinformation, this notion that facts aren't facts, that we can shift our story and it all depends on whoever is speaking undermines our entire civil and criminal justice system. rules of evidence, both at the federal level and state level, are designed for decades, if not centuries, to make sure that the information that goes before the juries is accurate and supported by facts. so what giuliani is doing is not just undermining the interest of his client, but it undermines the interest of the american people and the rule of law and the criminal and civil justice system. >> let me play a clip from giuliani yesterday talking about the trump tower meeting. listen to this.
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>> all they knew is 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's not a representative of the russian government. >> well, she was a representative of the russian government. in the e-mail exchange that donald trump jr. had with rob goldstone, who was setting up this meeting with the russian, the intermediary, it says clearly, this is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of russia and its government's support of mr. trump. clearly this was a meeting that was designed to provide information. they didn't get it necessarily from the russian government to the trump team. >> what the problem is that rudy giuliani is doing, he's out here giving what he wants to give, and he understands -- he's trying to play this in the court of public opinion. he clearly understands that whatever he puts out there, the trump base is listening.
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they're trying to play this in the court of public opinion. the president's approval rating on russia when it comes to his base is so high. and he's giving wrong information. again, this is about the rule of law. with that june 9th meeting, you could have president trump -- you could have -- and this is what i'm hearing -- possibly as an unindicted co-conspirator. you could have other trump names come out. you could also have issues of conspiracy, election issues. there's so much that comes just out of the june 9th meeting. this is serious. i cannot stress how serious this meeting it. >> he doesn't know the facts of his own case. he doesn't know the law of his own case. he's completely silent as to the security clearance revocation issues, which i know is really kind of on a different strand. but i think that's relevant because it is illegal to attack people who are participating in the conducting of a lawful federal investigation.
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in order to do that, if he's going to be interfering in that, there is -- it's not a good look as far as obstruction is concerned. >> all right, seth, kim, and april. thank you, guys, very much. up next, new signs prosecutors may be closing in to charge president trump's former fixer and lawyer, michael cohen. what this means potentially for the president. plus, former president jimmy carter with a blistering rebuke of the current president, calling him, quote, a disaster. and a jury is deciding the fate of former trump campaign chairman paul manafort. looking at live pictures coming from outside the courthouse. are there any signs they may be close to a verdict? we'll go live to the courthouse. that's coming up. unlimited ways to be you. unlimited ways share with others. unlimited ways to live for the moment. all for as low as 30 bucks a line. unlimited for you. for them. for all. get unlimited for as low at 30 bucks per line
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for former cia director john brennan as president trump goes on the attack once again. 175 former u.s. officials have added their names to a letter denouncing president trump for revoking brennan's security clearance. they join more than a dozen former intelligence officials and 60 former cia officials who put out similar statements last week. brennan is promising a court fight if necessary. >> i have been contacted by a number of lawyers. 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 it's 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. >> president trump shot back on twitter today, daring him to
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file a lawsuit, calling him a, quote, political hack, and saying intelligence community critics are only concerned with losing the money and prestige they have that a security clearance brings. let's bring in democratic congressman ted liu from california. congressman, thanks so much for joining us. so is the president going through what his critics are describing as an enemy's list, trying to inflict whatever damage he can? >> thank you, wolf, for your question. that's absolutely correct, and i think it's important to understand that just because a president has the power to take an action doesn't mean it's legitimate. so for example, if someone were to bribe the president, say i'm going to give you $10,000 in exchange to get a security clearance and the president agreed, that would not be legitimate. so similarly, if the president's revoking john brennan's security clearance because of free speech issues, that is also not legitimate, and i think john brennan would have a very reasonable and probably victorious first amendment case
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if he were to bring it. >> did brennan go too far describing the president's behavior as -- and he threw out the word treasonous. >> i think different people can look at what the president did in helsinki, the way he ckowtowd to president putin. i'm not sure i would have gone to that length. but i think john brennan is within reason to have made that conclusion. people can also look at the trump tower meeting and reasonably conclude that was collusion. >> collusion is different than treason. >> yes, it absolutely is. and by the way, donald trump today tweeted that there's no crime as collusion. that's true. it's just called conspiracy in legal terms. but yes, treason is a strong word. i agree with that. >> all right. as you know, the weekend reporting that the white house counsel don mcgahn has been cooperating extensively with robert mueller's russia probe.
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the president says he encouraged that kind of cooperation, but it's unclear what mcgahn said. is this mcgahn trying to protect himself legally down the road? he's the white house counsel. he's not the president's personal attorney. >> there was one thing don mcgahn had to do before he could take office. he had to take an oath. that was not an oath to donald trump or to any political party. it was an oath to the u.s. constitution. ultimately, don mcgahn's client is the constitution and the rule of law. that's what he was doing when he was cooperating with the special counsel's office. i think don mcgahn absolutely did the right thing. >> as you know, the president was doing some spin control on mcgahn's 30 hours of q&a with the mueller team, refuting any suggestion that mcgahn is, in the president's words, a john dean style rat. john dean, of course, was the nixon administration's counsel, a whistleblower.
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is his decision to drag john dean into this a warning to mcgahn? >> i thought it was very telling that donald trump used the word rat in his tweet. an innocent person would not view a cooperating witness as a rat. but a criminal mind would. as a former prosecutor, i've dealt with lots of different criminals. this is how criminals think. they think anyone who cooperates with law enforcement is a rat and is somehow going to rat them out. again, this is another statement that is inconsistent with actions of an actually innocent person. >> since don mcgahn is a white house counsel, not the president's personal attorney like rudy giuliani, did he have any choice in testifying and agreeing to q&a with the mueller team? >> i think ultimately if robert mueller had subpoenaed him, he would have had to do so. according to donald trump himself, he gave don mcgahn permission to go do these interviews. now the president appears to regret it.
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again, if you're actually innocent, you wouldn't regret don mcgahn doing this. you would have nothing to hide, but it looks very much that donald trump has a lot to hide from the american people. >> congressman ted lieu, as usual, thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. just in, there's some eye-opening new polls showing the majority of americans have little confidence in the white house staff and don't believe the president hires, quote, all the best people. for just $59... ancestrydna can open you to a world of new cultures to explore. with two times more detail than any other dna test... you can get a new taste of your heritage. only $59- our site's lowest price ever.
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this just in to cnn. a new monmouth university poll shows pru shows president trump's approval rating stands at 43%. that number remaining fairly consistent this year in that poll despite the russia probe, the summit controversy, the former associates facing legal issues, but this new poll shows many people do lack confidence in the people surrounding the president of the united states. the director of the monmouth university polling institute, patrick mauer r patrick murray, is joining us now. give us the upshot on the president's approval rating. >> you just mentioned 43% to 50% disapprove. the disapproval is a few points up from the last time we measured it, but that was right after his meeting with kim jong-un where he got a slight bump in that meeting. it's been really consistent. there has not been anything that's moved his numbers significantly. >> looking at your polls in june
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after helsinki, his disapproval was 46%. his approval number was 43%. it's 43% now. there's another number that always jumps out at me as a political nerd. right track, wrong track. is the country moving in the right track or wrong track? right now, 35% of the american public believes the country is moving in the right direction. 57% think the country is moving in the wrong direction. that's a number political analysts look at closely, especially in advance of the midterm elections. >> right. and i think it's going to have an impact on the midterm elections and who's in power. but we've seen this number to be negative for ten years now. this goes back through the obama administration. and that is really why we keep seeing this constant changeover in who controls congress and the presidency and so forth. the public is not happy with the direction of the country. when they're not happy, they take it out on whoever is in charge. this year, the republicans in congress have to be worried about that. >> but you would think, you know, that with the economy in
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pretty good shape, the stock market in pretty good shape, unemployment numbers, job creation, if it's the economy stupid, as james carvell once said, you'd think more people would think it was moving in the right direction. >> it's not just the economic numbers but how people feel it's affecting them. this is one of those economies where people don't feel all that benefitted by that. in fact, we're going to have numbers coming out later in the week of a question that we asked about is this economic recovery really giving you something at your kitchen table. a lot of people say no. >> so basically these numbers, right track/wrong track, approval number, disapproval number suggest the republicans could be in trouble in november? >> absolutely, yes. >> what about confidence in the staff that the president has surrounded himself with? >> you know, after what happened last week, the manafort trial, omarosa's book came out, so we asked this question, does donald trump hire the best people? 58% say no. 30% say yes.
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there's a big partisan divide. we've always seen this partisan divide. nearly all democrats say no, he does not. what's interesting is only two-thirds of republicans say he does. 29% say either he doesn't or give a mixed response. they just -- you know, even though they're going to stand by the president, a good number of republicans say they don't think he's surrounding himself with the best people. >> patrick murray, thanks for coming in. >> my pleasure. >> a brand new monmouth university poll. >> there's more news we're following, including rudy giuliani goes full orwell, saying truth is not truth. he's now explaining that comment. we'll explain what he's saying. plus, as melania trump spoke out against cyber bullying today, her husband was actually intensifying feuds on twitter, calling the special counsel, quote, a thug. his entire team, a bunch of thugs. we'll have details.
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gets trapped into perjury. when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he's going to tell the truth and he shouldn't worry, well, that's so silly because it's somebody's version of the truth, not the truth. he didn't have a conversation -- >> truth is truth. i don't mean to go, like -- >> no, it isn't truth. truth isn't truth. >> truth isn't truth. but it's not the first time we've heard a message like this from the president and his team. listen to this. >> you're saying it's a falsehood, and they're giving sean spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts. >> in a situation like this, you have, over time, facts develop. >> what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. >> if tact counting is anything, we've never had anybody with the level of audacity he has. >> it's in the eye of the beholder. >> no, facts are not in the eye of the beholder. >> all right. let's discuss this and more. republican congressman francis rooney of florida is joining us. thanks so much for joining us. let me get your reaction to that
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alternative facts, truth isn't truth. what's your reaction? >> well, as a former ambassador to the holy sea, i'm a big believer in the objective truth. if you don't have objective truth, you have relativism. i'm sure that the mayor meant something about the advantage a prosecutor has over a testifying person in a deposition, but what he said is a little hard to understand. >> it was hard to understand. let me get your reaction to the president revoking the former cia director john brennan's security clearance. as you now know, 175 former u.s. officials are adding their names to a growing list of intelligence officials spanning multiple administrations going back to the reagan administration, denouncing the president's decision. where to you stand on this? >> well, i think criticism of our intelligence agencies was not necessarily the best thing.
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these people risked their lives to do a very difficult job around the world. i've had the honor and pleasure to be associated with a lot of them. on the other hand, however, mr. brennan's personalization and politicization of intel is a little disturbing too. it's kind of like the business at the fbi of strzok and mccabe. we need to have respect for our institutions, and we need to respect the people that do the hard work of protecting our country. >> so you think the president was right in stripping brennan of his security clearance? >> i don't know what the legalities are, but he does make one point that i thought was kind of interesting. why did all these people need a security clearance after they finished doing their jobs? >> well, sometimes they're brought back to consult with current intelligence officials. the current cia director, the current director of national intelligence may have a perplexing problem they're dealing with and want the recommendation, they want the advice of somebody who may have actually dealt with that
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individual, that problem years earlier. that's why they maintain security clearances. >> oh, i'm sure of that. and that happens all the time. also, people go back into the government. but during those times, there's probably a way to have a limited clearance to do certain things without having a bloroad one. >> if you're going to have security clearances, you're going to have security clearances. if you're going to be called back for advice, if the director of national intelligence wants to call back the former director of national intelligence for advice and share sensitive information, that individual has to still maintain a security clearance. >> well, that's true. i mean, i've had one for many, many years. occasionally it's used. a lot of times it's not. you do make a good point. but i think the big thing here is this politicization of these different government agencies and the hardness of the rhetoric on all sides can't be doing good for our institutions and for the feeling of the country at large. >> what did you think of the
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president's description this morning of robert mueller and his team as a bunch of thugs? >> well, that's kind of what i mean about the harsh language on all sides. i don't know how that really serves the president's interests when it just makes people maybe feel sorry for prosecutor mueller when they don't need to. or maybe it's going to influence people that will be called to pass judgment on what the prosecutor comes up with. >> yeah, it's pretty shocking to hear that kind of description of robert mueller. they've been working on this now for more than a year. a bunch of thugs, that's pretty, you know, disgusting when you think about what these individuals are doing. thugs, that's a pretty strong word. >> especially a man with the reputation of prosecutor mueller. he's got a stellar reputation in the military and fbi, et cetera >> he served in the fbi, the fbi director for a dozen years or so. we're also learning now -- and i quickly want to get your reaction, congressman -- that the current white house counsel
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don mcgahn sat down were some 30 hours of q&a with the special counsel's team. mcgahn's attorney said that the president was authorizing this kind of q&a and didn't really have anything to worry about. what does it say to you that 30 hours of testimony occurred? >> well, i'm sure that he had the president's blessing to go do it. otherwise, i would wonder if he would still be white house counsel. but 30 hours is a long time. i would think you better be really on your game if you're going to spend 30 hours with prosecutors of the caliber of mueller. >> do you think the president should sit down for an interview? >> i don't know. that's really up to the president. he has to weigh the pros and cons. you know, that's what the fifth amendment and all that is all about. he'll have to decide what works in his favor to either be called, if that's possible for a president. i've seen arguments on both sides of that. or if it puts him in a better light to volunteer.
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>> congressman rooney, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me on. all right. more news we're following. take a look at these live pictures from the courthouse in alexandria, virginia, where jurors in the paul manafort trial are deliberating now for the third day. what the time frame may say about those deliberations. we'll go there for a live report. and cnn goes to syria's final rebel stronghold where people say they have no escape from a potentially imminent government onslaught. we have an exclusive report. we'll be right back. little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats moderate to severe plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla . it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. otezla is associated with... increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have  a history of depression or suicidal thoughts,... ...or if these feelings develop.
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verdict in paul manafort's trial. the jury is into its nird day of deliberations on 18 charges against the former trump campaign chairman, including tax evasion and bank fraud. it's also the first big courtroom test for the special counsel robert mueller. jessica snider is outside the courthouse in alexandria, virginia. there were more private conferences with the judge today? >> reporter: there were. two mysterious bench conferences. they happened behind the closed doors of the courtroom. no one in the public was admitted. it was a meeting between the defense team, the prosecution, and the judge, all this sealed, meaning the transcripts of what happened inside those two bench conference also not be unsealed and released until after the verdict. so we out here in the press and the public have no idea what happened in those. but they were relatively short. in the meantime, the jir now going on hour five of their third day of deliberations. we have not heard a peep out of this jury today. last week, we only saw two
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notes. the first one last week asking four different questions, including what reasonable doubt meant. the next day on friday, the only note for them was that they wanted to call it a weekend early, getting out at 5:00 p.m. now. not a peep from the jury today. this jury has not been sequestered. they were allowed to go home over the weekend. they go home at night. they are not allowed to read or research anything or talk about this case overnight. driving through hell. you are going to see a father and son's heart stopping escape from a raging wildfire at a national park. >> god help us. f hope. and we don't want something like meningitis b getting in their way. meningococcal group b disease, or meningitis b, is real. bexsero is a vaccine to help prevent meningitis b
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twisting, its attempt to put pressure. i don't want to use the term bul bullying. >> don't want to use the term bullying. >> but that's what he has done. >> do they succumb to it? >> i think everybody looks at it this way. turning to another cnn exclusive, this one from the last remaining rebel stronghold in syria i had lid. the regime is closing in on nearly 3 million syrians who are languishing there. arwa damon speaks to parents who lost their children in brutal air attacks telling their stories of courage under incredible fire. >> reporter: there used to be an ice cream shop on the corner. kids playing in the streets. a sunset the violence would not strike here, at least not like this. -- a sense that the violence would not strike here, at least not like this.
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it's if i have days after multiple air strikes hit this once quiet neighborhood in i had little bit province killing dozens of people shattering whatever illusion of safety that may have existed. for years now, it has been documented. what's the point in all of your filming this man wants to know. for there is no humanity in this? in the world's response to syria's heartless destruction. >> reporter: only one of eastbound re him's five children survived. it's just memories now. the family next door displaced from elsewhere, were all killed. seven of them. also killed was a media activist. he was just 20 years old, a nurse, and first responder by training, a role he played in
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his native aleppo before the family was forcibly dispoliced to i had little bit as -- idlib he when the regime took over. when he saw first responders weren't there he threw his camera aside to help a little girl. but another strike came in, killing them both. his parents seem stoic together, proud but in pain. but later as his mother shows us his clothes, she breaks down. in the room next door his father shows us his photos. tears he can't cry in front of his wife. they did everything together. a father/son team documenting their nation's pain, now directly a part of it. the sluggish summer pace of life
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as we drive through idlib seems the belie the violence. it is the last remaining rebel stronghold. turkey and russia have been negotiating to ostensibly come to some sort of an agreement to prevent a total massacre here by the syrian regime and the russian backers. the assault on idlib has been called a red line. the border has been closed. and a turkish says his government is pouring millions of dollars into refugee camps. he was just saying he remembers when there were just a few tents here and the rest of it was just the olive groves. now you take a look, and it just has such an aura of permanence to it all. the rolling hills a stone's throw from the turkish border has been transformed into a sea of homes of lost souls.
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idlib's population has doubled in recent years as more syrians arrived. it's also where, as other parts of the country fall back into government control the regime relocated residents and rebel fighters. for those here, normal and gnome have been irreversibly redefined. we can't go become, ever, he says. he doesn't trust the assad regime. and with nowhere left to go, many feel like they are just waiting for their death sentence to be carried out. arwa damon, cnn, idlib province. >> awful situation. that's it for me. i will be back at 5:00 p.m. in the situation room. in the meantime the news continue right now. all right, wolf thank you so much. hi, everyone. i'm brooke baldwin. you are watching cnn. the president is intensifying his attacks against special counsel robert mueller. today he called mueller's team of prosecutors, quote, thugs. al