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Multiple People Shot Outside Restaurant In Toronto; Trump Flip- Flops On Russian Election Interference; Trump Questions Evidence Of Russian Interference; Trump Slams FBI Over Release Of Page Evidence; Trump To Iranian President: Never Threaten The U.S.; Floods, Landslides In Vietnam Kill Twenty One People; Gowdy: No way to Conclude Russia Didn't Attack Election; Schiff: Trump Acts like Someone Compromised by Putin; Tokyo 2020 Mascots Unveiled as Futuristic Superheroes. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired July 23, 2018 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: We are following breaking news out of Toronto where several people have been shot outside a restaurant on a major thoroughfare. We don't have any details on what led to the shooting yet.
But as of now, we know nine people have been shot and taken to hospitals. Their condition is not known yet. The shooter is dead. We are expecting more details from police in the coming hours. Here is what a witness had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, what did you hear tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Several gunshots, lots of gunshots. That's about all I heard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many shots would you say?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say at least 20 shots in intervals. You know, clip being spent, reloading, clip being spent, reloading, clip being spent, that's what I heard. Then I saw the carnage as they ran down the street to follow the gunfire I guess. Pretty crazy. I saw at least four people shot here by the fountain. Someone came out of the restaurant here, so I missed that.
Another person which I assume was shot because there was a lot of action going on there. (Inaudible) trying to help people out, I guess, is what they're doing. That's all I saw and then obviously the police arrived and now I'm standing here watching this. Not cool. Not cool at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VANIER: And there's more breaking news now, the leaders of Iran and the U.S. are escalating their war of words. Less than an hour ago, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted this in all caps, "To Iranian President Rouhani never ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences, the likes o4 which few throughout history have ever suffered before.
We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. Be cautious!" President Trump appears to have been responding to this quote from Iranian state media.
Speaking to diplomates on Sunday, Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, reportedly said, "Mr. Trump, we are the honest men and guarantor of the safety of the water way of the region throughout history. Do not play with the lion's tail, it is regrettable. Peace with Iran is the mother of peace and war with Iran is the mother of wars."
President Trump's top diplomat also took aim at Iran. Here's what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in California on Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: The bitter irony of the economic situation in Iran is that the regime uses the same time to line its own pockets while its people cry out for jobs and reform and for opportunity. The Iran economy is going great but only if you're a politically connected member of the elite. The level of corruption of wealth among Iranian leaders shows that Iran is ran by something that resembles the mafia more than a government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: All right. CNN team are working on these two developing breaking news stories right now, the shooting in Toronto as well as the war of words between the U.S. president and the Iranian president.
For now, though, I'd like to take you to this other story, U.S. President Donald Trump flipflopping on Russia's election interference. Days after he said he accepted his own intelligence community's finding that Russia did interfere.
He tweeted Sunday that it is a big hoax and he slammed his predecessor, Barack Obama. This is the latest in a dizzying string of walk backs by Mr. Trump since his summit barely one week ago with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: My people came to me. Dan Coats came to me and some others said they think it is Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be.
A key sentence in my remarks, I said the word would instead of wouldn't. The sentence should have been I don't see any reason why I wouldn't or why it wouldn't be Russia. I accept our intelligence community's conclusion in Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. It could be other people also. It's a lot of people out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say you agree with U.S. intelligence that Russia meddled in the election in 2016?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes. And I've said before. I have said that numerous times before. I would say that that is true, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Here is more on all of this from Ryan Nobles.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have not seen President Donald Trump at all this weekend. He was at his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, and had no public appearances. The only way for us to get an idea as to what the president was thinking was through his Twitter feed as always.
He had a lot to say including once again contradicting his own intelligence community. The president tweeting, quote, "So, President Obama knew about Russia before the election. Why didn't he know something about it? Why didn't he tell our campaign? Because it was all a big hoax, that's why, and he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win."
[00:05:10] There was a couple of problems with the president's tweet here. First once again, even though, he has gone to great pains to say that he trusts the intelligence community, he's accusing this assessment that Russia was attempting to intervene in the election as a big hoax.
The second part of that is that the president was told about this problem in August of 2016. He receives a briefing where he was specifically told that the intelligence community thought that Russia was actively trying to interfere.
Now this wasn't the only topic that the president was hot on this weekend, he also had a lot to say about the newly released FISA warrant application that allowed for the surveillance of his foreign policy aide, Carter Page.
Now the president believes that this is further evidence that there was a conspiracy against him and that the FISA warrants should have never been issued. Not all Republicans feel that way. Listen to what Senator Marco Rubio had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I don't think they did anything wrong. I think they went to the court. They got the judges to approve it. They laid out all the information. There was a lot of reasons unrelated to the dossier for why they wanted to look at Carter Page. Carter Page was not a key member of the Trump campaign and the Trump campaign has said that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: And of course, it is also important to point out that that FISA law has -- there's been an opportunity for the Congress to reign it in on multiple occasions. The turned down that opportunity every single time.
In fact, just as late as January of this year, they took a look at it and the Congress despites some negotiations decide just to reauthorize the law in its current form. It was President Donald Trump who signed that reauthorization into law, the same law that he is now being so very critical of. Ryan Nobles, CNN, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.
VANIER: We'll get to the FISA application and the surveillance document in just a moment. But first I need your reaction to Donald Trump calling Russian meddling a big hoax once again.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So, the president has now sort of flip-flopped again from what he said after Helsinki, during Helsinki. It is impossible to keep track of. But what we do know is once again he has thrown the intelligence community under the bus.
He questions the validity of all of the evidence that shows that Russia had meddled in our election and it undermines any efforts in the United States to stop Russia from doing it again in 2018. So, with one tweet everything he tried to clean up last week is over.
VANIER: Now we know what he really thinks because there were multiple versions during the week. Now we know what he really thinks.
KAYYEM: It's always the truth. When he is alone with a tweet and he didn't get to play golf because it was raining, the honest, his true self comes out, which he views this entire investigation even the question of Russia meddling as all a hoax.
Now, it could be also that the president is well aware of some really, you know, difficult news going on around him right now. Not simply the reaction on Helsinki and real concerns by legitimate commentators, who are utilizing the word treason now.
But also, you know, the release of the FISA warrant and the fact that Carter Page is now back sort of undermining what the Trump campaign wants people to believe. It's difficult.
VANIER: And just before we get to that, listening, if you take the body of commentary over the past week following Mr. Trump's meeting with Putin and why he said what he said, I see two main theories taking hold.
One of them is the catastrophic one, the dark one that the Russian president somehow has compromising information on Donald Trump. The other is much more innocent and political in nature.
It is that Donald Trump simply refuses to knowledge meddling because he thinks it delegitimizes his election. I supposed there's also theory number three, which is that of Mr. Trump and his allies, which all of these is a hoax. Which of these seems more credible to you?
KAYYEM: I am now after last week much closer to the collusion explanation. I wasn't there. I mean, I thought, look, there could be any number of explanations. None of them good, but nonetheless, one could understand the president's behavior.
If he was concerned that it undermined him, but I think the behavior the last week in particular wasn't just Helsinki. It was Helsinki combined with NATO combined with the visit to Britain.
That sense that it wasn't just enough to sort of kiss Putin's ring, but you also had to undermine the sort of liberal democratic order that had sustained all of us for many decades that got me concerned.
Look, I don't know, and we don't know maybe Mueller knows whether it is a tape or financial dealings, but it may be that Trump is aware that Putin helped him with the election. That maybe enough and doesn't want that back to get out, but it's --
[00:10:08] VANIER: Let's get --
VANIER: Let's get to the FISA surveillance. This is the tweet by Donald Trump on that topic, "Looking more and more like the Trump campaign for president was illegally being spied upon surveillance for the political gain of Crooke Hillary Clinton."
Is there anything in the document now that we have it in and that we don't have to rely on Republican interpretation of it or Democrats interpretation of it, is there anything in that application to spy on Carter Page that suggests to you, a security expert, that the FBI did indeed abuse its powers or was somehow biased?
KAYYEM: None whatsoever. In fact, the opposite, I was sort of impressed with the rigorousness and cautiousness that the FBI started to unfold some of this information in the FISA application. You know, in that single tweet, there's almost like nothing factually accurate in Donald Trump's tweet about the FISA.
First of all, Carter Page was not part of this campaign when the FISA surveillance began. Secondly, it was as we all now know despite representations it began not because of the dossier but because of a combination of factors which the FBI said, my goodness, the Russians seemed to have at least turned or trying to get Carter Page to speak.
And there is a little noted part of the FISA -- what came out publicly, which is it is clear that there are other people that the FBI was concerned about. They mentioned four -- what they called subinvestigatees, that if you think you may be one of them, you may be a little bit nervous right now.
So, this is yet again the president creating a narrative because the system is working and that working is making him look very, very suspect. VANIER: Let's go ahead and listen to Carter Page because our colleague, Jake Tapper had Carter on, on Sunday morning. He asked him whether he had indeed been an agent of foreign power.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARTER PAGE, FORMER TRUMP ADVISER: No. I have never been an agent of foreign power by any stretch of the imagination. I was set in on some meetings. To call me an adviser is way over the top.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And Juliette, you know, I have to say something about Carter Page. He's made many tv appearances and I supposed that's a good thing for journalists, but there is one thing about his manner, the way he speaks, carries himself that makes it a little difficult to take him 100 percent seriously.
Last thing, do you see anything in the FISA application that can be at least seized up, right, to give the impression, if you want to make Mr. Trump's case of bias or wrong doing or abuse of power by the FBI?
I see nothing now. I mean, they're going to comment about the fact the dossier is part of the FISA application. It doesn't mention that, you know, the DNC, the Democratic National Committee paid for it.
It does mention in a footnote that a political, sort of, antagonist to the Trump campaign did. I think what the Trump people are doing now is trying to claim that because so much of the FISA application is redacted, a redaction that was done by their FBI that it's just conclusory.
That's what I'm starting to hear them say. That's the nature of a classified document, right, is that it's -- you're just going to able to see the conclusions. But in the end, the surveillance happened, it was approved by a court. It was approved multiple times by very rigorous judicial review.
VANIER: It was approved once and then they got three extensions.
KAYYEM: Yes. Those extensions have to be able to prove -- the investigators have to be able to prove that the evidence is -- that the surveillance is resulting in additional evidence. In other words, the court does not like these -- this wiretap so to speak.
They don't like these FISA warrants to last indefinitely. So, it's up to the investigators to prove that they are getting something legitimate out of it and to get it we knew that many times suggests Carter Page was giving them unwittingly a lot of good intelligence.
VANIER: All right. CNN security analyst, Juliette Kayyem, thank you so much for your insights today. Thanks.
KAYYEM: Thank you. Have a good one.
VANIER: And let's go back to that recent tweet from President Trump lashing out at Iran's president. This is what Mr. Trump sent out a very short while ago in all caps, "To Iranian President Rouhani, never ever, ever threatened the United States again or you will suffer consequences, the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. Be cautious."
Let's get some perspective on this with our CNN military analyst, Retired Lt. Colonel Rick Francona. Rick, your reaction as a military man to this.
[00:15:03] LT. COLONEL RICK FRANCONA (RETIRED), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes. You know, initially when I saw this, Cyril, I was really shocked. I mean, we have seen a lot of very bellicose words from Mr. Trump in the past, but you know this tweet really, I think it takes it to a new level.
I understand that the president is frustrated. I mean, we have moved from one level to another in our relationship. We have cancelled our participation in the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal.
We are increasing the maximum pressure that we can on Iran, but something triggered this response. I don't know exactly what he is responding to. I mean, we see bellicose statements from the Iranians all the time.
This seems to be a little out of character and really a little alarming for many people because whether Mr. Trump is, you know, setting this stage for some sort of --
VANIER: Does it really seem out of character?
FRANCONA: -- terrible confrontation, this is really dangerous.
VANIER: Does it really seemed out of character, though? I mean, I am reminded of the fire and fury a few months ago, and the threats against North Korea a few months ago.
FRANCONA: Yes. But that wasn't -- I don't think at this level. You know, I think those were measured statements that were following a ramp up. This seemed to have come out of nowhere. I think I'm concerned about how fast this is developing, and you know, how fast we're going to have to handle this.
VANIER: Well, that's why I wanted your perspective. How much does this escalate things?
FRANCONA: I think it escalates this a lot. I mean, the tone of this -- you know, we are dealing with the Iranians on a variety of fronts. You know, Syria being kind of the caldron of what's going on right now, and of course, the recent dealings with the Russians.
And part of those conversations with the Russians and you know, we know that in those private conversations, they were talking about Syria, Iran and Israel. You have to wonder what set the president off tonight to make this kind of a statement. So, something must he really triggered this. I think we are entering into a really dangerous area right now and I hope that in my opinion I think he is probably ratcheting this up for some sort of a -- he is a negotiator.
He is trying to set some talking points or set some initial negotiating point, but this is really dangerous. On international diplomacy, this is really over the top.
VANIER: You're saying there's a possibility this could be to gain leverage?
FRANCONA: I think so. I'm hoping that that's all it is, but we don't know. This is, you know, a very tense situation. You look at what's going on in Syria right as we come to the end game there. And everybody is concerned about what is Iran going to do in the future?
We are now ramping up pressure on Iran. So, something obviously has set the president on edge. This is leading us to a very tense environment with the Iranians. Something we really don't read right now.
VANIER: Rick, we need to remind our viewers that for the moment these are just words. You have a huge U.S. military presence just off the coast of Iran, not far.
FRANCONA: You got a huge military presence that is now currently focused on fighting ISIS. They are focused on Iraq, Syria. It is only a 90-degree pivot to Iran. So, we've got substantial military forces in the area. They are on a razor's edge.
The Iranians have substantial forces. This just apps the ante. This brings us closer to that trip wire that really could trigger, you know, unintended consequences.
VANIER: General Rick Francona, appreciate your early analysis of this recent tweet by the U.S. president. We'll be talking more about this in the coming hours.
FRANCONA: Thank you.
VANIER: We'll see you on the back of this. Thank you.
VANIER: Extreme weather is pummeling parts of East Asia with tropical storms, heavy floods and strong winds. We started telling you about this yesterday. There's Vietnam where at least 21 people were killed by a tropical depression that cause flash flooding and landslides burying entire villages.
There's also China where Tropical Storm Ampil is battering the eastern part of the country. Nearly 200,000 people, have been relocated from coastal areas there. Hundreds of flights in Shanghai have been canceled.
And in the Philippines, hundreds of villages are dealing with monsoon rains and flooding from several storms.
Our meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri, joins us now. You're really pulling together the threads of all our coverage on this, Pedram.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you know, what's fascinating about this, too, Cyril, is that often we have one big storm, high end, as we did a couple of years where it comes very fatal.
Now this particular set up, five tropical systems at the same time. None of which are a menacing storm by themselves altogether producing an incredible amount of water. Let me show exactly how it's playing out in recent days.
Take a look at images like this, this coming out of Vietnam, and I often say, it only takes 15 centimeters of briskly moving water to cause you to fall off your feet. You bump that up to 30 centimeters, that is enough to have enough lateral force equivalent to 200 kilograms.
It's really remarkable to think of the force of water. You have tropical storms and depressions 13, 14 and 15. We have 17 across the region as well. So, again, five systems strewing about these regions.
One of the storms that really threw people for a loop across the Gulf of Tankin (ph) as it moved in towards Vietnam because produced a lot of rainfall. The storm system put it on in reverse, went back where it originated from, and produced additional heavy rainfall.
This is where we've had the fatalities getting close to 20 fatalities now and we've had thousands of people impacted by this. In fact, some 20,000 livestock have lost their lives across this region.
That's very impactful for the folks that makes their livelihood using the livestock. You notice the rainfall amounts anywhere from 100 to almost 300
millimeters in a matter of just a couple of days across this region just because of that little shift it did in the track when it moved back.
Again, additional heavy rainfall before the system rains itself out. Go north towards Shanghai, again, not a menacing feature on satellite imagery, but it's there. It's a tropical system and it's produced a lot of rainfall.
[00:25:03] And of course, we know tens of millions are in the path of it as it moves in north and rains itself out just east of Beijing. So, the forecast models put a tremendous amount of rainfall over this region, which again had been hit very hard in recent days with a lot of rainfall.
This is not just related to the seasonal rains. This is all tropical systems that have produced heavy rainfall and scenes playing out as such across portions of northern and eastern China. And then there's tropical depression 13 sitting near Taiwan, of course, one of the most mountainous regions on our planet. In fact, one of the most mountainous islands has some 300 mountains rise over 3,000 meters in height across Taiwan.
All of that rainfall will be squeezed out across some of these (inaudible) communities and mountain communities. Notice the area of interest right near Luzon, almost every single one of these storms has originated near Luzon as it made its track weather to the west or to the north.
As it has it has produced an incredible amount of rainfall over that region as well, 100, 400, 500 millimeters in a couple of days. That's a half meter of rainfall. That's what London would see in an entire year they have seen in a couple days.
That region has been a very hard hit as you'd expect it. In fact, in the Philippines, scenes playing out as such. They're used to the heavy rains, but certainly, no fun to be riding your bike or walking around at least in conditions like this and that is going to be continuing over the next several days again -- Cyril.
So again, we talk about the incredible force of water and when it comes to weather fatalities, it is often the water elements that takes the most lives. And this has unfortunately been the case even with storms that are not one major storm by themselves.
VANIER: Yes, absolutely, 21 lives in Vietnam, several countries affected. Pedram Javaheri, thank you very much. The CNN Weather Center is working really hard on this. It has been since yesterday. We'll keep covering this. Thanks a lot, Pedram.
One week ago, he said he had no reason to doubt President Putin's assurances that Russia didn't attack the U.S. presidential election. Then President Trump reversed course and said he accepted his own intelligence officials' findings about Russia. Now he is again saying something else. We'll have the details on the back of this.
[00:30:00] VANIER: Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Cyril Vanier, your headlines, at least nine people including a young girl, have been shot in Toronto. And police say the shooter is dead. They're now working multiple scenes including outside the restaurant.
All of the victims had been taken to hospitals. We do not know their conditions as of yet. There are number of witnesses were now speaking with investigators.
Rescue volunteers from the White Helmets are among 422 civilians evacuated from southern Syria. They were able to enter the building height with Israeli assistance and then moved into Jordan. Israel said it conducted the mission at the request of the United States, Canada, and E.U. countries. Earlier reports said 800 civilians were evacuated. Iranian and U.S. leaders were escalating a war of words. U.S.
President Donald Trump tweeted this about an hour ago. To Iranian President Rouhani, never ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences, the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. Be cautious.
This appears to be a response to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was quoted warning the U.S. that a war with Iran is the mother of wars.
President Trump is also reversing himself on Russian election interference. He tweeted Sunday that it's a big hoax and that President Obama knew about Russia and failed to tell the Trump campaign about it. Mr. Trump also tweeted this weekend that a foreign surveillance warrant application released by the FBI, shows U.S. intelligence officials mislead course.
Joining us now, Ellis Henican, a columnist from Metro Papers, and CNN Political Commentator Ben Ferguson, Ellis, Ben, the same question to both of you, does this make any sense to you? Ellis, you first.
ELLIS HENICAN, COLUMNIST, METRO PAPERS: My head is still spinning, I'm sorry, from the walk back to the walk back to the walk backs. No, it didn't make any sense to me.
I don't think it makes any sense to Donald Trump. It certainly doesn't make any sense to people in Congress and to our allies around the world or probably even our enemies. It is a one big train wreck of a mess. That's what you have.
VANIER: Look, it has got to make some sense to Donald Trump. It's going to at least serve some, kind of, purpose. Ben, you have a radio show, you explain the news, you talk to your viewers, how are you going to explain this?
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I thought the President didn't do a very good job with that meeting with Vladimir Putin. I was glad that he came back, at least, clarified that he did believe that Russia was involved in trying to influence our elections.
And look, Russia's been trying to influence this country and our politics, our elections for as long as I've been alive or anyone of us who's been alive. That's just a fact.
VANIER: So what's going on with his tweet and this big hoax allegation?
FERGUSON: Well, I think he is referencing the big hoax of the issue of collusion, here. And I also think that there is --
VANIER: You know, it's very hard to read the --
FERGUSON: Hold on. Let me finish. His first part of the tweet, he's talking about Barack Obama. And the fact that Barack Obama did not do enough to stop Russia when he knew they were actively trying to influence our elections and the question is, why did he not try to stop it?
Why didn't they get involve with the DNC and the server there? Why was it that the FBI was trying to hurry up and get everything with Hillary Clinton over with and then attacked the President?
VANIER: That's inaccurate. His campaign was told in August of 2016.
FERGUSON: And I would say it was very limited information that the campaign was given and same thing with the DNC and the same thing with Hillary Clinton. The bottom line is, the president of the United States of America at that time was Barack Obama. And so, I think, his point is --
VANIER: And today, the U.S. President is Donald Trump, and he's calling it a big hoax. That's the issue today.
FERGUSON: No, I think -- I think he's talking about --
HENICAN: Hold on. Hold on, guys.
FERGUSON: If this were such a big issue, where was -- why isn't anyone critical about Barack Obama or his presidency when they were actively trying to do this and they were in-charge of the country?
VANIER: Maybe because in the first 2018 -- Ellis.
HENICAN: Here's the reality. Right, here's the reality. I mean, knowledge --
HENICAN: Ben, hold on a second. It doesn't happen at once. So, back then, we had some gains, we had some trouble inside, but you have got to judge the President by what we know today. Here we are, right, 18 months after the election.
The evidence is so crystal clear that no human being on earth other than Donald Trump seems to doubt it, and maybe two or three of his supporters, and still, the man cannot say, in a straight declarative sentence, that the Russians messed around with our elections.
He cannot get those words out of his mouth without qualifying them, contradicting them, turning them outside down. And that is a problem. Come on, that's a real problem.
FERGUSON: And I --
VANIER: Hold on, gentlemen. Listen, both of you, I'd like you to listen to Republican Congressman, Trey Gowdy from South Carolina, he had this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[00:35: 16] REP. TREY GOWDY (R-SC), CONGRESSMAN, UNITED STATES: There is no way you can listen to the evidence and not conclude, not that the Democrats were the victims, but the United States of America were the victim. We were the victims of what Russia did in 2016.
And it ought to be a source of unity and rallying around the fact that we are never going to allow this to happen again and we're going to punish those who tried to do it. And there was this equivocation during the press conference that I'm glad he corrected it.
But when you're the leader of the free world, every syllable matters. And you really shouldn't be having to correct it, when you're the leader of the free world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: This is being said by a Republican who has often backed Donald Trump, who has not been shy of going after Democrats. This is being said on a Trump-friendly network, Fox News. Ellis, is Donald Trump not hearing this from any of his advisers?
HENICAN: Listen, when he losses Trey Gowdy, that's a big problem. There are not a lot of other people after that. No, he doesn't -- he doesn't hear it. And frankly, trying to apply this, doesn't make set standard, doesn't make any sense, because that's not what's judging you.
This is a -- this is a cultural attitudinal thing that is -- that is really not confined by facts. And frankly, I think we make a mistake if we find it -- can find ourselves to an actual factual discussion here. It's just isn't about that.
VANIER: All right. There's one quick thing. I really -- Ben --
FERGUSON: Let me say it. I have to -- let me get it here with Trey Gowdy. This is an important point.
First of all, I don't think the President has lost Trey Gowdy in a big set of issues. The bottom line was, there are a lot of conservatives, just like myself, that were tweeting out during the press conference. The President has to get this one right and make it clear that Russia was trying to interfere in our elections.
At the same time, someone has been very critical of Donald Trump today. Lindsey Graham also made it clear. He said, yes, Russia was trying to meddle in our elections. But there's also, in his mind, is absolutely no chance that there was any collusion, we have not seen that collusion between the Trump campaign.
So these two issues, the problem is that the President, I think, that every time. There's an issue of Russia. People are trying to use it against them on the issue of collusion. You need to separate the two issues.
Russia tried to influence our election, saying that and admitting that, does not mean that you're admitting or saying there is anything close to collusion. And that's what Lindsey Graham also was saying today. And I think it was a good point by him and he's not a big fan of the President, at all.
VANIER: OK, Ben, I want you to address the tough question now. First, listen to Adam Schiff, a ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
REP. ADAM SHIFF (D-CA), RANKING MEMBER, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, I certainly think he's acting like someone who's compromised. And it may very well be that he is compromised or may very well be that he believes that he's compromised that the Russians have information on him.
We were not permitted to look into one of the allegations that was most serious to me, and that is, were the Russians laundering money to the Trump organization? The Republicans wouldn't allow us to go near that.
I hope that Bob Mueller is investigating it because, again, if that's the leverage the Russians are using, it would not only explain the President's behavior, but it would help protect the country by knowing that in fact, our President was compromised.
VANIER: Ben, can you, in good conscious, 100 percent rule-out the possibility that perhaps the Russian President has something on the U.S. President?
FERGUSON: Look, I think --
VANIER: Can you rule it out? I'm not asking whether it's likely. I'm saying, can you rule it out based on what we know?
FERGUSON: First of all, I think it's incredibly irresponsible for a sitting member of Congress to float a conspiracy theory of this level, when there is no evidence to back it up. Second of all, it is -- I think it's insane to even imply that this is a possibility out there, when we have the actual investigation, by Mueller, going on.
And if this was true, I have no doubt with all of the people that are working on his staff that cannot stand this President including those around him that have tweeted out saying that they hate the President or they gave to Hillary Clinton's campaign, or they were at her campaign rallies the night she was supposed to be named president.
They will have no problem telling us, American people. But as far as it concerns right now, this is nothing but a pathetic, political hit job and slandering the sitting President of the United States of America by a sitting member of Congress.
And it's beneath him. It's embarrassing that Schiff would think that this appropriate behavior by someone that's supposed to be a member of Congress, have a little class and dignity, for goodness' sakes.
And this is the guy that, by the way, criticized the President all the time for things that he brings up. Well, this is a whole new level beyond even what Trump has brought up on any issue.
VANIER: All right. In fairness, you know, Adam Schiff is not the only one who brings these up. There had been more and more --
FERGUSON: Well, he's certainly the ring leader on it.
VANIER: Gentlemen, look, I really appreciate your time. Thank you both for coming on the show today. Thank you, guys. OK. Still to come, we take a little breather. The mascots of the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo, their names and what they mean.
[00:40:00] VANIER: The names of the mascots for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo have been revealed. The blue and white character is named Miraitowa, let me get it right. The name combines the Japanese words for future and eternity.
And the pink and white character, let's take a look, will be called Someity, named after a type of cherry blossom. Organizers -- actually, I might have said it wrong because organizers say the name sounds like, so mighty, in English. So that's how you pronounce it.
Japanese children from more than 16,000 schools were given a list of mascots to choose from, last year, and they were able to vote for their favorites. There you go.
All right, thank you for joining us this hour, I'm Cyril Vanier, and we'll be at the top of the hour with more news on our two breaking news stories today. We've got Toronto. We've got the latest Trump tweet with threats to Iran.
We are following both of those updates on those in 15 minutes. But first, Kate Riley has all of your "WORLD SPORTS."