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Taliban Claim Insider Attack That Killed 3 U.S. Troops; Jeff Sessions Plans to Testify Before Senate Committee; Breaking Down the Trump-Comey Meeting; Adam West Dies in Los Angeles; The Two Sides of the Comey Testimony; Exploring Difficult Realty About Family and Country; Prosecution Rests in Bill Cosby Trial; Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 10, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
[20:00:24] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: It is 8:00 on the East Coast. 5:00 in the evening out West. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm Boris Sanchez in New York, in for Ana Cabrera and you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
And we're following breaking news right now on CNN. A claim of responsibility for the deaths of three American soldiers in Afghanistan. It's being described as an insider attack, an Afghan soldier turning his gun on U.S. forces.
We go straight to Washington and CNN correspondent Dianne Gallagher now.
Dianne, tell us what happened in Afghanistan and who is claiming responsibility for this?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Boris, the Afghan Taliban is claiming responsibility. We've obtained a statement from that group saying that one of its infiltrators in the Afghan Forces was killed after he opened fire on U.S. troops in Nangarhar Province near the Pakistan border.
Now the group says that it killed four Americans and injured others. Those numbers, of course, do not match with what the Pentagon is reporting tonight. Three U.S. soldiers killed, one injured. That injured soldier has been evacuated for medical care.
This is what we call a green-on-blue attack, when a member of the Afghan Security Forces may turn on U.S. or NATO soldiers. Vice President Mike Pence speaking in Wisconsin today asked people to pray for the families of those soldiers who were killed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On my way here I was informed that U.S. service members were killed and wounded in an attack in Afghanistan. The president and I have been briefed. The details of this attack will be forthcoming.
When heroes fall, Americans grieve. And our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these American heroes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: So let's talk about where this happened. It's the Achin District, again in Nangarhar Province. It's an ISIS stronghold, again near the border of Pakistan. This is where U.S. and Afghan troops have been carrying out a month long offensive against the ISIS' local affiliate ISISK. In late April two Army Rangers were killed during a U.S.-Afghan joint raid. Earlier that month an Army Special Forces soldier was killed there fighting ISISK.
Now U.S. officials, Boris, think that ISIS had somewhere between 600 and 800 fighters in Afghanistan. Of course there are about 8400 U.S. troops there now.
SANCHEZ: All of this as the Taliban also continues making gains in that country.
Dianne Gallagher, thank you.
Turning now to politics. We've learned that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will no longer testify before the Senate and House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. Instead Sessions said he'd rather go before the Senate Intelligence panel.
This is the same panel that's investigating ties between Russia and the Trump campaign and that question fired former FBI director James Comey earlier this week. Many of the focus of this hearing will be squarely on Russia and the details of Comey's firing. One issue still very much in the air, though, will President Trump testify himself? It's something that he offered to do yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: Would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of those events?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 100 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Meanwhile, something the president doesn't seem so certain of, whether or not there are actually tapes of conversations that he had in it private with James Comey. The president hinted that there were recordings just a few weeks ago, but now he's only giving up this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do tapes exist of your conversations with him?
TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you about that maybe some time in the very near future.
KARL: And you seem to be hinting that there are recordings of those conversations. TRUMP: I'm not hinting anything. I'll tell you about it over a very
short period of time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: In any case we should have a definitive answer on those recordings within the next two weeks. That's how long the House Intel Committee has given the White House to turn the tapes over if they even exist.
I want to bring in our panel to help flesh out all of this. Joining me now, CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley and CNN law enforcement contributor and retired supervisory special agent with the FBI, Steve Moore.
Steve, to you first. Sessions had a role in Comey's firing. We read his recommendation. Comey also testified last week that he told Sessions to never let him be alone in the same room with Trump again. So how big of a development is this that he's going to go instead of before a budget panel, before the actual Senate Intelligence Committee that's investigating this whole Russia scandal?
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the fact that he's going before the Intelligence Committee is an indicator of how this has taken on a new life of its own. I don't know how explosive his testimony is going to be but it certainly begs a lot of questions here. I mean, his job as -- in Justice Department is to shield the FBI from political interference.
[20:05:09] Well, obviously in this case he didn't. And so you're going to ask -- want to ask questions about that and you're going to want to ask questions about why did he leave the room when the president wanted to talk to your direct subordinate, the one that you are supposed to be protecting from political interference? So I think there's a lot of questions and especially what did the president tell you before and after the meeting, and did you ask Director Comey what the president told you?
SANCHEZ: Douglas, is it a big deal about the president's attorney general is now volunteering to testify before this committee instead of going the other route and doing it in the forum of a much smaller panel?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes. It means that we're going to be having another kind of media extravaganza week with all Americans leaning forward and listening to Attorney General Sessions. It's going to be just like this past week with James Comey.
Remember Jeff Sessions is beloved by a lot of Republican senators so I'm sure he's going to get some praise coming -- was so long in the Senate. But the questions surrounding Sessions are just swirling of how many times did he meet the Russian ambassador. As we just heard, you know, why did he leave Comey alone with Trump? It's going to be a nonstop barrage of speculation about Sessions, and we'll see whether he comes out of this unscathed or not by the end of the week.
SANCHEZ: Isn't it kind of a sign of confidence that he's doing this, though, that he's going straight to the Senate Intelligence Committee?
BRINKLEY: Yes. I think it is a sign of confidence. But as I suggested he has been in the Senate a long time before becoming attorney general. He knows how this works. He knows how to answer questions as well as anybody. We saw that during his confirmation hearings. He's wily. He's smart. So he's going to make sure he doesn't incriminate himself in any way.
I'll be curious to see what questions he refuses to answer on national security grounds, grounds of secrecy, but he probably wants to just say I have nothing to hide, let me get out there and do it and try to put this crucible behind me.
SANCHEZ: Steve, there are a lot of Republicans that are arguing that the president acted the way that he did because he's a political novice, he doesn't know any better. He's still new to this and he doesn't realize perhaps that it's inappropriate for him to be having these kind of one-on-one conversations with James Comey. At the same time they're going after James Comey for not speaking up and telling the president that those interactions are totally inappropriate.
From your perspective should he have had a stronger response to the president when they were alone together?
MOORE: Not necessarily. That's certainly one avenue that he could have taken but, again, the FBI -- unless there's a violent crime going on, the FBI tends to let people talk and -- I mean, it's an investigative technique. You let them talk. You let them get everything out of their system while you are evaluating what they're saying for its value down the road as a criminal prosecution or wherever you're going with it.
It is unlike a prosecutor to simply say, bam, what you've done is illegal. He might very well have said that's an inappropriate discussion. But I think at that point as he said he might have been stunned. I can't answer for him. But whether he answered right then or not is not -- it's not an area that concerns me. To me it doesn't move the ball left or right.
SANCHEZ: Doug, what do you make of this argument from Republicans that the president didn't know any better especially considering this is someone who viciously attacked Bill Clinton for his own questionable meeting with Loretta Lynch on that tarmac?
BRINKLEY: Well, in my mind it's just ludicrous. It's people trying to let Donald Trump off the hook. I'm noticing that Trumpians, the people that voted for him, are either not paying attention, they're very reluctant to say maybe we were wrong on choosing this man as president. So they just doubled down on whatever Donald Trump does. But he -- you know, you just did a report about three American soldiers killed in Afghanistan in such a heinous way.
We've got to pull together as a country. And last week I saw the president of the United States playing games about tapes and not tapes and mocking the mainstream media. It became so childish and ridiculous when we have soldiers fighting abroad. And we need to be -- we need more out of our president than doing that kind of charade that he's been doing, kind of obfuscating around every twist and bend.
SANCHEZ: Such an important point to remember that there are still people putting themselves at risk for our country out there as all of this is unfolding at home.
Douglas Brinkley, Steven Moore, thank you both so much for joining us this Saturday evening.
[20:10:02] You're looking live at Vice President Mike Pence. He's speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Patriots Gala in Washington. Moments ago playing to a friendly crowd he made it clear that he agrees with President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENCE: He's unleashing American energy and unburdening American businesses. He's putting America back to work and he's fighting every day to put America first, which was on full display just last week when President Donald Trump pulled the United States of America out of the Paris Climate Accord.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: We're still following his remarks to see if he says anything about Russia or about James Comey's testimony or about whether or not there are tapes or Jeff Sessions' upcoming testimony. We'll bring it to you if he does.
Still to come this hour, the Comey-Trump headlines came fast and furious this week. Next, hear an in-depth look back at the relationship between the president and the fired FBI director.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:15:07] SANCHEZ: One thing is clear in the wake of former FBI Director James Comey's appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee this week. Someone is not telling the truth. And as with his previous hearings, Democrats and Republicans each walked away with their own interpretation of what unfolded between Comey and President Trump. The two men have accused each other of lying. One of them simply has to be. What emerges from Comey's testimony is a timeline of events but some of those pieces we had before.
CNN's Tom Foreman puts them all together.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To hear James Comey tell it, he leaked his private notes of meetings with the president only after the final straw, the president tweeting, "James Comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations." JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: My judgment was I needed to get
that out into the public square. And so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter.
FOREMAN: But that's not the whole story. The president's tweet came a day after "The New York Times" had already cited key allegations that match verbatim part of Comey's notes and three days after Comey had been fired.
TRUMP: He's a showboat. He's a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that.
FOREMAN: Complicating it further, Comey says all the way back in January, around the inauguration, he suspected he had a problem when President Trump allegedly told him he expected loyalty, which the president disputes.
COMEY: And I then said, "You'll always have honesty from me." He said, "Honest loyalty." And then I exceeded to that as a way to end this awkwardness.
FOREMAN: Then two and a half weeks later another meeting, according to Comey, in which the president says he hopes Comey can let go of the investigation of dismissed national security adviser Michael Flynn.
COMEY: That's how I understood it. Yes, sir.
FOREMAN: Over the next two months, Comey says the president presses him repeatedly to get out word that he, the president, was not under investigation, to remove the cloud of suspicion hampering his new administration. Some of it is so troubling Comey says he's taking notes.
COMEY: I knew that there might come a day when I would need a record of what had happened.
FOREMAN: The president denies almost all of it.
TRUMP: I didn't say that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he lied about that?
TRUMP: Well, I didn't say that. I mean, I will tell you, I didn't say that.
FOREMAN: Monday, May 8th, it comes to a head. The president calls the Russia investigation a hoax, a taxpayer-funded charade. Comey was fired on Tuesday. Thursday, "The New York Times" publishes the first article alluding to details contained in Comey's now infamous private notes.
The president tweets about possible tapes on Friday, yet Trump's lawyer points out, "Comey said he did not leak his notes until the next Monday." Three and a half months after he said he was first alarmed over the president's behavior. (On camera): So the president and the former FBI director have now
each called the other a liar. And in this tangled time line it's hard to sort out who is telling the truth. But this seems pretty clear. They can't both be.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
SANCHEZ: All right, thanks, Tom.
They say politics make strange bedfellows. Case in point, former vice president Joe Biden is telling Mitt Romney to run for Senate. Biden made the comment at a summit that Romney held last night. And that's not the only big headline from the evening. You might remember that dinner that Romney and President Trump had last year with the awkward photo when Trump was trying to settle on a secretary of state?
Well, Romney says he talked to Hillary Clinton about the post and Clinton actually encouraged him to take the position if it was offered.
We do have some sad news from Hollywood tonight. Actor Adam West has passed away, known for his legendary role in the popular 1960s Batman TV show. Next, what the man who played his famous sidekick had to say about their years on screen together.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:23:20] SANCHEZ: An icon of early American television has passed away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM WEST, ACTOR: It was noble of that animal to hurl himself into the path of that final torpedo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Adam West. He brought Batman from the comic books to the TV screen back in 1966 saving the world from the Joker and the Riddler and the Penguin over and over again and always just in the nick of time with a wham.
Adam West died last night at his home in Los Angeles. He had leukemia and was 88 years old. Surprisingly Adam West played Batman on TV for only three seasons. It was then 50 years later that he made a huge comeback in an animated show where he showed a real self-effacing side.
CNN's Paul Vercammen looks back at his career.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Adam West was --
"Batman" reruns turbo boosted West to global hero status long after his three original "Batman" seasons ended in 1968.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adam West.
VERCAMMEN: Forty years later, the self-deprecating Woody West got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
WEST: I think I have the record as the actor who has waited the longest to get his star on the sidewalk.
VERCAMMEN: Adam West was born William West Anderson in Walla Walla, Washington. Young Adam West possessed brawn and brains, a degree in literature and psychology from Whitman College. West developed that trademarked voice as a disc jockey, and his Batman spoke with an elevated vocabulary.
[20:25:01] WEST: Catwoman, I find you to be odious, abhorrent and insegrevious.
VERCAMMEN: Sure, the show was campy but Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne, offered even more substance.
WEST: All music is important. It's the universal language.
He has to be mature enough to have a ward. He's a mentor or he is adopted, a son, so to speak.
VERCAMMEN: But Batman's cape seemed to permanently hang around West's neck.
WEST: I tried to make an international call, the operator knows my voice immediately, as does everyone else.
VERCAMMEN: West got typecast.
WEST: When you wear a mask and funny tights, it gets a little frustrating from time to time. And I was. I was turned down for a number of parts over the years, I feel, because of that.
VERCAMMEN: The other acting parts West did get seemed to vanish in the TV haze.
CARTOON CHARACTER: Hey kids, Batman.
VERCAMMEN: But cartoons remind him.
WEST: Of course, I'm Batman.
VERCAMMEN: Adam West played Adam West on "The Simpsons."
CARTOON CHARACTER: Mayor West?
VERCAMMEN: Then the unrelated eccentric Mayor Adam West on "Family Guy."
WEST: I stand behind my decision. This press conference is over. I can't see you now. I can't hear you now. You're not here now. La, la, la, la, la.
SETH MACFARLANE, CREATOR OF FAMILY GUY: We get asked all the time at "Family Guy," do we have a lot of drugs lying around the office.
MACFARLANE: No, we have Adam West.
VERCAMMEN: A whacky intellectual, family man, you'd think West might dodge typecasting, but the image of him as Batman obliterated all others. And West wasn't bitter about being so linked to a man in tights.
WEST: Wherever I go in the world, there's such a wonderful rapport with our Batman, that it's neat. People come up playing scenes for me unsolicited. But I've got to laugh. How lucky can a person get to have been part of something that's a classic?
SANCHEZ: He was beloved. Among the tributes and memories of Adam West pouring in today this one from Burt Ward. He's actually the actor that played Robin. A crime fighting sidekick for the entire three season run of the first Batman series.
Burt Ward writes, quote, "We shared some of the most fun times of our lives together. Our families have deep love and respect for each other. This is a terribly unexpected loss of my lifelong friends. I will forever miss him."
A short time ago we actually spoke to Burt Ward over the phone. Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURT WARD, PLAYED "ROBIN" FROM 1966 TO 1968: Adam and I had the best time together. I mean, for me, I've spent 75 percent of my life on this planet working with this man. And I loved him dearly. And even during the times that we filmed "Batman" on weekends we would find time to go out and play tennis and people would come out and they'd say, oh, my gosh, there's Batman and Robin playing tennis. We have great fun together. He was a wonderful man, a wonderful family man. He loved his kids. He loved his wife. He couldn't have been more fun to work with.
I've worked with Adam and we'd go out at these comic conventions and there's thousands of people. We get to do these panels where hundreds or sometimes even thousands and it's always the same thing where we don't plan anything because he knows so much about me and I know so much about him, and we tease each other and taunt in a most loving way. And the audience goes crazy.
Batman will be here forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[20:32:35] SANCHEZ: Depending on who you ask James Comey's testimony before Congress this week was either really bad for the president or really good for the president.
CNN's Brian Stelter has been following the wildly different media reactions that could make you wonder whether or not everyone was watching the same hearing.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a hearing seen in the eye of the beholder.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: A huge victory for Donald Trump today and a massive defeat for the Democrats and, of course, the propaganda media.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: Well, this is going to end bad.
STELTER: And, on the right, some conservatives are declaring victory and saying it's already over.
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I think Jim Comey's credibility is at about zero right now.
DONALD TRUMP JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: Now, that this has all past, he can go back to doing what he promised he was going to do. There's no clouds, there's nothing getting in his way. They can't be obstructionist.
STELTER: Trump's son says the clouds have parted but if you change the channel, it is stormier than ever.
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC: Well, today was, really was, as it was predicted to be, the worst day of the Trump presidency.
STELTER: It's like hearing about a different hearing.
O'DONNELL: Imagine right now, at this moment, the seething rage that you know the president is living with.
STELTER: This battle of ideas is not going away. It's a choose-your- own news situation.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: So let's see, where are we now? A month of shrieking hype, millions of words of ink, hundreds of hours of the shrillest television ever produced add up to pretty much nothing. STELTER: There's a split between the pro-Trump media and the
mainstream media. FOX opinion hosts are hoping for the best, while veterans of D.C. scandals know there's much more to come.
BOB WOODWARD, WASHINGTON POST: That is a big task. I think we now have about 5 percent to 10 percent --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five percent to 10 percent?
WOODWARD: Of the answers to the questions we need.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: We're sort of in the middle? Beginning of the middle of this process, certainly, not at the end of this process.
STELTER: Contradicting Trump's son, experts are saying this is far from over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My general rule is when things look pretty bad, from what we know, it's usually worse. This is extremely serious.
STELTER: Try telling that to Trump backers like Corey Lewandowski, who claim leaks are the real story.
LEWANDOWSKI: What we've seen from Jim Comey is his goal is to manipulate the media, manipulate the press. He is part of the deep state. He's everything that's wrong in Washington.
STELTER: On Twitter, the president confirms that he's watching, thanking FOX's conservative themed morning show for its great reporting and blasting what he calls false statements and lies from Comey.
[20:35:10] The two men can't agree on the facts. And in a polarized media world, neither can the country.
SANCHEZ: That was Brian Stelter reporting.
Let's talk a bit more about Thursday's hearing as Comey appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
CNN political commentator and Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord is with us via Skype from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and a former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter is with us from Minneapolis.
Jeffrey, let's start with you. You've been able to help us throughout the course of Donald Trump's ascent to determine certain things that he says that confounds us. Covfefe is one example.
When he said at the press conference yesterday at the Rose Garden that we were going to be disappointed by the answer as to whether or not there might be recordings of his conversations with James Comey, what do you think he meant? JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I have no idea. I suspect,
you know, having a few sips of my covfefe here, I just -- I honestly don't know. But I'm sure it will be very interesting.
I mean, the large -- the larger part here, Boris, is what we've got here is the Washington swamp or -- and I lived there for a long time. I have a lot of friends there. But this is a sewer to a considerable degree. I mean, the kind of thing that you saw from Director Comey, he wakes up in the middle of the night and thinks he's going to leak a memo that he wrote as FBI director to a friend at Columbia University. Who will then call "The New York Times". This is typical of what is wrong with the system. Typical of it.
We haven't even -- we haven't even gotten below, you know, an eighth of an inch of the surface here. So that's the problem and people out here in the middle of America are thinking, you know, they're going after the guy I elected him to try and depose him and they're not happy with it.
SANCHEZ: So are you saying essentially the president saying that there might be tapes that James Comey better hope there are not tapes of their conversation is a distraction the way that he kind of leads us on into saying just wait and see, wait and see. He's done this before specifically in 2012 when it came to information about --
SANCHEZ: -- President Obama's birth certificate, for example.
LORD: I think between John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, he has -- I mean, all of whom had good television sense. He is the reality TV star, has a good sense of when to keep his audience waiting for more. And we will find out.
SANCHEZ: But, I mean, isn't that just a distraction to take away from explosive testimony? Do you think he's trying to change our point of view --
LORD: No, I don't --
SANCHEZ: -- and get us talking about something else?
LORD: I mean, the White House is out there. They want to talk about health care, they want to talk about infrastructure, tax reform. I mean, he's starting to go around the country and talk about these things. The White House is full bore on these subjects. So clearly he wants to do these things. Wants to move the agenda forward. But there is a sense out there certainly and I'm sure the White House -- I mean, he said he was vindicated. And on my side of the line, there are a lot of Americans who think that's absolutely right. Now can we please move on?
SANCHEZ: Richard, there are a lot of folks on the right hoping that we would move on, but yesterday the president said that he'd be happy to testify. What are the chances that he does?
RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ETHICS LAWYER: Well, we'll see whether he testifies. I'm a little further out, I guess, here in Minnesota in the middle of America. I served in a Republican administration as a chief ethics lawyer for President Bush. I am shocked by what's going on here, what's been going on over the past several months.
People want the facts and we don't want to rush to judgment. But what we heard at the hearing did not look good for the president.
Now the president has an opportunity to give his testimony under oath and explain what happened. But really I think we're focusing on the wrong timeframe. The most relevant timeframe is the firing of Jim Comey. Why was he fired? If he was fired because of Russia, then that is obstruction of justice.
Now the president has made some statements that suggested he was fired because of Russia. But perhaps under oath the president has another explanation but that's the key issue. The president has the right to fire the FBI director but he does not have the right to fire the FBI director in order to obstruct the Russia investigation. And if that is why he fired Jim Comey, he committed the crime of obstruction of justice.
It's that simple. All the rest of it is the discussions leading up to the firing and it turns on why he fired the FBI director and people see through all this complaining about leaks. We know that it is criminal to leak classified information. Non-classified information is released all the time to the press. It's a question of whether the boss decides when it's released or whether the subordinate does and when a subordinate does it, when his boss doesn't want him to, when it politically embarrasses his boss or his former boss because he was fired then it's called a leak, but that is not illegal. It's part of democracy.
[20:40:16] SANCHEZ: And so, Richard, what do you make of the argument from Republicans that the president is a political novice, that he doesn't -- as Paul Ryan said, he's not seeped in the position? He doesn't know the extent of his own power.
PAINTER: Only very few Republicans are making that argument. It doesn't -- it doesn't make any sense. He has people advising him. Every president who comes into the White House is a novice at the job of being president. Presidents have been governors, have been senators, but those are very different jobs, and we have not had as much confusion as we've had over the past few months.
Now whether we blame the president or the people working for the president, this is a serious problem, however. We need to confront the Russia investigation, take it seriously. A foreign power has committed a criminal act, has attacked the United States by conducting espionage here. Someone in the United States may have helped them. We should not rush to judgment but we need to find out. And members of the administration need to stop lying about their contacts with the Russians. General Flynn lied. And it would help if the president acknowledged
that General Flynn was a liar. At least recognize the facts that we already know.
SANCHEZ: Jeffrey, I imagine you have a response for Richard.
LORD: Yes, well, first of all the president fired General Flynn. Number one. And, number two, quite clearly, according to Mr. Comey, the president himself said if there are people out there who are satellites of mine, you know, go do your thing. I mean, he was quite open about this. The president has been out there and has done what is the right thing.
The problem here is there is no there-there. And we've spent months and months and months on this and the opposition has never been able to come up with a solid fact that indicates that President Trump won this election because of the Russians. It's just -- you know, it's just crazy. There is no truth to it whatsoever. They've got no facts. That's the problem. At some point they've got to come up with it and we're still waiting.
SANCHEZ: To be fair there are still several investigations open into that question.
We have to leave it there, gentlemen. Jeffrey Lord, Richard Painter, thank you so much for joining us this Saturday evening.
LORD: Thanks, Boris. Thank you, Richard.
SANCHEZ: A quick programming note, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and Republican Senator Susan Collins, both members of the Intelligence Committee, are going to be guests on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. You can imagine they will be asked about Jeff Sessions' upcoming testimony this week.
We'll be back in just a moment.
[20:47:04] SANCHEZ: Who says you can't go home again? It might be challenging if you're like CNN's Bill Weir and you attended 17 schools in six different states. He didn't let that stop him, though. Bill faced some complicated truths about his family's past and an emotional homecoming, one that revealed some surprising discoveries about the identity of our country and the divisive age of Trump. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL WEIR, CNN ANCHOR: "Wanted, Sergeant Frank Miller, commander of the tactical squad. Crimes against the people, conspiracy to violate the civil rights of black people, minority groups, general inability to function as a feeling member of the human race."
(Voice-over): Milwaukee knew him as Sergeant Miller, I knew him as grandpa. And I loved him dearly. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was intimidating to a lot of people but anybody
who ever got to know him would realize he'd basically give the shirt off his back to you.
WEIR: This is my uncle Dan, Frank's youngest son.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He took his job very seriously. And if you broke the law or you committed a crime, he's got a job to do.
WEIR: In my grandfather's memorabilia I find a flip book of mug shots including a 19-year-old named Prentice McKinney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'd come out there with love and with our hearts open and minds open, you understand? We love everybody. They love me. I don't -- I can say I don't love everybody. But when a bigot throws a brick at me, I don't love him. You understand? And when he's sending wild dogs across the street to bite me, I'm going to cut his throat.
WEIR (on camera): Hello.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi.
WEIR: How are you this morning?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm old but I'm here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't complain.
WEIR: I feel the same way.
(Voice-over): He tells me the local paper once dubbed him Milwaukee's angriest young negro. Today the youth has passed. The anger has not.
(On camera): Recognize him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. (EXPLETIVE DELETED). This picture captures him, yes. He was a real (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
WEIR: And his men?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: TAC squad was (EXPLETIVE DELETED) incorporated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Bill Weir was nice enough now to join us now to talk about this special report.
That was incredible.
WEIR: Yes, it was something that was uncomfortable, it was enlightening.
SANCHEZ: Yes. WEIR: I think at the same time. But, you know, my grandpa, when I
was a bump in my mom's belly he was on the streets of a burning Milwaukee 1967. People marching for civil rights and fair housing. I always heard the stories from the cops' point of view.
WEIR: Fifty years later in the era of Black Lives Matter it seems like history is lining and repeating. I wanted to use that as a way to examine what's changed, what's gotten better, what hasn't, and it was really stunning revelation.
SANCHEZ: And that's kind of the gist of this series, "STATES OF CHANGE." It's hearing the other perspective, sitting down and listening to people, weaving it through your own story.
WEIR: Exactly. Yes. So I moved all around the country as a kid. It was -- I had a gipsy mom who believed that she was being ordered by God to move us all over the place. And so I have all these deep roots in all red states and blue states.
[20:50:03] And so we just went out there. I wanted to talk to evangelicals in Tulsa and Muslims in Cheboygan, Wisconsin, and white folks, and black folks. Milwaukee, my hometown, one of the most racially segregated cities in America even to this day. And so how do we break this cycle of suspicion and resentment is what I was really after, and regardless of all these different groups, what I found most Americans have in common despite their politics is everybody feels under siege and everybody just wants to be heard, right?
Whether they are Christian or Muslims or white or black. You know, everybody is -- feels like, you know, batten down the hatches because everybody is out to get us. And in the end once you say just tell me your story, you know, how are you feeling? Where does this anger come from? It's amazing how a lot of the resentment melts away.
SANCHEZ: You're right. A lot of people yearning for a voice, so to speak.
SANCHEZ: What was the hardest part about putting this series together? Was that one of them?
WEIR: That was pretty hard. Look, I mean, my grandfather I love him dearly. I don't think he was a racist. I would fight if anybody who claimed he would. He never used his weapon in 25 years but I think he was part of an institutional problem in a really divided city and -- where statistically African-Americans are stuck. And so, you know -- so you don't want to sell out your family's legacy by any stretch.
SANCHEZ: Of course.
WEIR: And then all of my friends who I've known all my life, who opened up their hearts and explained why they voted for Trump or Clinton or Gary Johnson, regardless, you know, I didn't want to exploit that friendship. You know? For sensational television. And thankfully everybody -- so we did a full documentary which you can see on CNNGo of the whole trip and then tonight we're taking pieces of that, unfolding it into panel discussions and, you know, try to understand what it says about us as a country. But in the end I'm really glad. You know, because I got -- I think I got down to the bone with some folks that I never would have if you just meet strangers in a diner.
WEIR: You know what I mean?
SANCHEZ: Right. Bill, a fascinating, fascinating special report. Thank you so much for joining us.
WEIR: Thank you so much for having me.
SANCHEZ: Appreciate it.
And do not miss this, "The Search for Common Ground in the Age of Trump," don't forget tonight at 10:00 Eastern on CNN. Bill Weir and a panel of political experts and activists are going to sit down for a frank discussion on "STATES OF CHANGE." Don't miss that.
And coming up, the prosecution rests in the Bill Cosby trial having used the comedian's own words against him. Plus the big challenges for the defense come Monday.
We're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:56:37] SANCHEZ: Bill Cosby's lawyers will begin presenting their defense Monday in his sexual assault trial after a dramatic week of testimony. On Friday the prosecution rested its case with one last punch at the 79-year-old comedian reading from a decade-old deposition in which Cosby admits that in years past, he got powerful sedatives to give to women he wanted to have sex with.
Cosby's accuser, Andrea Constand, says that he gave her pills that left her incapacitated and then assaulted her at his Pennsylvania mansion back in 2004.
CNN's Jean Casarez has been covering the trial from the very beginning.
Jean, give us a preview of what we can expect on Monday. What is the strategy for the defense moving forward?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the strategy is going to show that Bill Cosby is truthful, that he's creditable, that you can believe him because this is a case of he said, she said. It's a 12- year-old case. There is no forensic evidence. There are no direct eyewitnesses. And so they've got to have the jury believe him. So he has a statement to police in 2005, he has a deposition testimony. Much of it is exactly what Andrea Constand says that she met him, that they became friends, that he became her mentor, helping her direct her career but the two statements diverge because she claims when she went to his home one evening in 2004 that he drugged her and then he sexually assaulted her.
He says no. We were friends. We were romantic. It was consensual. And it's all in the courthouse right behind here. And this is really legal history that's playing out because there are other cases about Bill Cosby. He is the defendant in civil cases around this country brought by accusers, defamation cases. But this is the only case that can take away Bill Cosby's liberty. He is facing up to 30 years in prison if convicted on the three counts of aggravated indecent assault, Boris.
And that makes this case different from any other case. Bill Cosby conceivably could go to prison if he is convicted and it all should be coming down next week one way or the other.
SANCHEZ: Now, Jean, you have a CNN special report that's starting in just about a minute. Tell us about the documentary that we're going to see.
CASAREZ: This is the case against Bill Cosby. It is all about Andrea Constand. You will learn about her, who she is, what she's all about, people that know her. She is the one person that came forward in 2005 and she last week took the witness stand for the first time. We heard what she said happened on that night in 2004. There are also others accusers, some have been in the courtroom.
You'll meet some of them in the next hour. Statute of limitations has run. They cannot go into a criminal court but they are here, some of them, just hoping to watch and they are hoping to seek justice. And Bill Cosby, of course, denies all of the charges -- Boris.
SANCHEZ: Jean Casarez, thank you.
As you just heard, a CNN special report, "The Case Against Cosby," a look back at the case against him with CNN's Jean Casarez.
I'm Boris Sanchez in for Ana Cabrera in New York. I'll be back tomorrow night at 5:00 Eastern. We thank you so much for joining us. "The Case Against Bill Cosby" starts right now.