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President's Team Have Become Caught Up in Russian Probe; White House in Crisis; Portland Attacker in Court Today Defiant and Angry; Kathy Griffin Apologizes. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired May 30, 2017 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:22] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Well, heads roll at the White House.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
The investigations spreading Russian government officials intercept the talking about potentially derogatory information described as financial during the campaign. The FBI asking questions about Jared Kushner's meeting with a Russian banker. Will an angry president take out his frustration on his staff?
Plus, true American heroes. Three men who stepped up to stop an anti- Muslim tirade against the pair of teenage girls in Portland. Two of those men paid with their lives. Is hate on the rise? And what should you do to stop it?
Let's get right now to CNN senior political analyst Mark Preston, General Wesley Clark, former NATO supreme ally commander, Kimberly Dozier, CNN global affairs analyst, national security analyst Steve Hall, retired chief of CIA ration operations and Jack Barsky, a former KGB spy and author of "Deep Undercover."
So good to have you all on.
We are going to start with our Mark Preston tonight.
Mark, I want to talk about the number of people on the President's team who have become are caught up in this Russian probe. Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Carter Page, (INAUDIBLE), tonight we learn the president's personal attorney Michael Cohn will cooperate with Congress if subpoenaed. And we also learned that the House intelligence committee is asking for information from former White House press official Boris Epstien. All of this report, you even get to Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law. So put this in perspective for us.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Sure. Let's look at President Trump's orbit right now back from the campaign to where we are right now. You're talking about Michael Flynn who was a big surrogate for him on the campaign trail, a trusted ally. Somebody he put into a very key position in the federal government, that as national security advisor. However, he had to resign only weeks after taking it, Don, because of his discussions, contacts with the Russians.
Then you have Paul Manafort who was the campaign chairman, somebody who is actually responsible for setting up his convention in Cleveland, again, has to resign does he have to resigned, does he have to be a distraction because of his contacts. Then you have Roger Stone who is an outsider advisor, a longtime friend who is always meddling in some kind of political trickery. He is siding for this Carter Paige, somebody Don who is probably weigh on the (INAUDIBLE), but somebody the Russians staff they could cultivate and try to infiltrate the campaign.
And again, as you said this is even before we get to Jared Kushner. But that is what has caused a lot of smoke to be rising right now and why people focusing in on Donald Trump and his connections if all, if any to Russia.
LEMON: So more on Jared Kushner now. He met with both the foreign ambassador Serge Kislyak and Russian banker Sergey Gorkov. So explain the different explanations that are being given for those meetings, Mark.
PRESTON: Well, first of all, you know, we thought they were you going to be a business meeting, of course, when we first learned about this. These are meeting that were not initially disclosed. And we have come to find out he has met with them. Reuters has also mentioned there has been additional phone calls as well that occurred that in and around the time of the campaign and thereafter.
But this is where the problem really comes home for President Trump. President Trump may not know what was going on with some of these outside advisors or some of these people who are close to him. But you got to wonder what did he know about Mr. Kushner's discussions and you know, as far as asking him as amensory to open up a back channel with Russia. And if that back channel was to stay open, was it in fact to stay open for a long period of time or was it for short period of time as they talked about perhaps using it as a way to discuss this situation in Syria.
Either way though, Don, this is before they actually were in office where President Trump became President Trump. The Obama administration was still in office. That in itself is troubling.
LEMON: Jack Barsky, I have to ask you. You say, and I wonder you said that Jared Kushner is completely out of his league, what's that say about the President who put him in as a senior advisor?