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Obama Stumps; White House Hunts for "The New York Times" Op-Ed Writer; Trump Inauguration Crowd Photos Were Doctored; Nike Sales Soar after Colin Kaepernick Ad; Elon Musk Smoke Weed, Rattles Investors; The Case of the Stolen Ruby Slippers. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired September 8, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Where there's a vacuum in our democracy, when we're not participating, we're not paying attention, when we're not stepping up, other voices fill the void.
I want to reach out to some Republicans who kind of harken back to the values of a guy named Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, and who say to themselves, this is -- I don't recognize what's going on in Washington right now. That's not what I believe. That's not who we are as a people and as a country.
The biggest threat to our democracy, I said yesterday, is not -- it's not one individual. It's not one big super PAC, billionaires, it's apathy, it's indifference. It's us not doing what we're supposed to do.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Dan Merica is at that Obama event in Orange County, California.
We heard some cheering. Obviously people are there because they want to see the former president.
What is the reaction to the words?
DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is certainly a fired-up audience. And it's kind of a built audience. This is 750 Democratic activists, invite only, standing room event. These are the folks who are the most motivated, largely volunteers to each campaign. I have to say I was struck by this event as someone who was in Illinois with the president yesterday.
This was a dramatically different event. Yesterday's speech, a 65- minute, point-by-point takedown of the Trump administration in a really historic way. Today's speech was more muted, I thought. President Obama looked a little more comfortable up there, he looked a little more relaxed.
But he didn't look as though he was coming out swinging, much like he did yesterday. Of course, he doesn't have to say President Trump's name to take a shot at President Trump. There are multiple times throughout the speech, where he clearly mentioned the administration, at one point, as you played.
He urged these Democrats here to get out and vote because this isn't rock bottom, he argued. He argued all of the activism doesn't mean anything if they're not getting out and turning out voters because then it's just activism.
Of course he was taking on President Trump through this speech but it was a different kind of event. All the candidates who were here, six candidates here, he endorsed seven candidates in total. One was unable to make it.
They'll use this event either in an ad or in digital spots. It was a different kind of event, where the president really was more muted and not as direct in his attacks on Donald Trump.
E. HILL: Dan Merica, appreciate it. Thank you.
Joining me, CNN political commentator Jason Miller, who was a senior communications adviser for the 2016 Trump campaign. And CNN political commentator, Patti Solis Doyle, who served as campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.
Patti, as we look at this, Dan makes a great point, you should always know your audience, a safe place for President Obama here. At the same time, he knows all too well, his audience is much broader than those people who were in the room there, that this is going to get a lot more play.
Was it a missed opportunity for the president to maybe hammer home a little bit more of the fire he showed on Friday?
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think yesterday's speech, he really did lay down the predicate for the argument, which is, although politicians say it every election, this truly is the most important election of our lifetime. He gave a point-by-point rebuke to the president.
More importantly, it was an indictment of the Republicans party writ large. Here we have a president who sides with Putin over America, who lies to the American people, who defends Nazis. Yet we have a Congress who is neglecting their job by providing a check on that behavior.
I think yesterday he really did lay down the predicate. Today was much more fired up and ready to go and getting people out there to knock on doors. He pulled out his clipboard and take your clipboards and really get the vote out. So I thought the one-two punch was quite effective.
E. HILL: Jason, I'm guessing you don't find that one-two punch effective but that's just a guess.
JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Actually I love seeing former President Obama on the campaign trail. I hope he keeps it up all the way through November. Just when I thought most hope was lost for Republicans to hang on to the House, now we're seeing Republicans and President Trump really have a foil to go up against in former President Obama.
Let me explain what I mean. So to many of my friends on the political Left or even some in the media, when they see former President Obama, he, in many ways, is the second coming. He's the most brilliant, gifted, Democratic politician --
MILLER: -- we have seen in our lifetimes. He's someone who brought a lot of people into the political space to begin with.
But to an entire different group of Americans, he represents ObamaCare, he represents the stimulus, he represents caving to the global elites. You have to keep in mind to the earlier part of the decade, when we saw this renaissance on the conservative end of the Republican Party, where we fought back and took back the House in 2010 and took back the Senate in 2014.
And so I love seeing former President Obama out on the campaign trail. I'd say there's one bit of caution that I throw to my Democratic friends with seeing former President Obama out on the campaign trail.
The more that he's out there and the more he reminds Democrats and even independents how gifted and brilliant of a politician he is, it casts really -- it really puts into perspective how weak the field is going into 2020. So a little bit of caution for my Democratic friends there.
E. HILL: I'll pick up on that point in a minute. But one thing I want to touch on that you pointed out there, Jason, what was interesting, what we were discussing in the last hour about the speeches, this president was not limiting it to his audience there in the room in the respect that he was saying, listen, I'm talking to independents, I'm talking to Republicans.
Jason, we're not hearing that from the president, from a lot of top Republican candidates.
Is that a missed message for Republicans?
MILLER: Actually I think that's a really good point that you bring up. I think taking on the swamp, trying to change Washington, I thought that was one of the great points that President Trump ran on in 2016.
E. HILL: But it hasn't really panned out that way.
MILLER: And that's where I'm agreeing with you. I think that's been a big missed opportunity for the administration. Remember the speech he gave in Gettysburg prior to the election in 2016, where he talked about pushing for term limits on Capitol Hill, a whole host of other reforms to do, things with the administration on Capitol Hill.
I think when he's fighting the swamp and when he's trying to change Washington, I think that's a winning space for him. I think that's something previous administrations, both Democrats and Republicans, have completely struck out on.
I would like to see President Trump and congressional Republicans hit that much harder and I think that is the way that he's going to have a chance, President Trump, of winning independents again going into 2020 and making sure these Trump voters -- keep in mind in 2016, the reason why they called these folks Trump voters is because they showed up to vote for President Trump.
The key for Republicans is how do you get them to show back up in 2018 for people not named Donald Trump?
That's going to be the key. You've got to take on Washington, you've got to come up with these efforts reform and leading the fight in term limits and issues like that and I think you make a great point.
E. HILL: We have seen as much of it.
Patti, when we look at this, in terms of what Jason has brought up -- and he's not the first person to bring this up -- is Barack Obama the best messenger for this party as we're moving into the midterms?
Should it be Barack Obama?
DOYLE: Look, first I just have to respond to Jason, who I respect very much. But the idea that President Trump would be talking about draining the swamp going into the midterm elections because that will appeal to independents, to me, is just ridiculous, since the last two years of his presidency, his cabinet and he and his family sort of personified the swamp. Let me just say that.
On the best messenger, look, the Democrats are the opposition party right now. We don't have a leader of our party. We are going to nominate one starting November 7th, 2018, when the 2020 Democratic primary goes into high gear.
Until then, I think it's wonderful we have our last great leader, our standard bearer, basically coming out saying, I'm with you in this fight. I'm going to rise up with you. I'm part of this resistance. I'm part of this fight.
I think he will really energize a Democratic Party that's already wildly energized. I think they were waiting for him and he's arrived. They're very welcoming to having him join the fight.
E. HILL: here's an issue of the midterm elections in general and whether or not there's sort of a ceiling as to how many Americans are going to come out to vote.
Jason, you do it first and then, Patti, I want you to wrap it up.
Do we think there's going to be a difference in terms of turnout this time around?
We hear the messaging from both sides. We hear there is fire in bellies. Yet we have a whole lot of history that tells us it may not turn out that way -- Jason.
MILLER: Well, we won't know until the first week in November. But what I can tell you in chatting with Republican pollsters and folks on my side of the aisle is that, right now, Democrats are at maximum fired-up capacity. They're ready to go. They're going to be turning their people out. Right now, Republicans are not matching that with --
MILLER: -- the same intensity. The reason why is because Republican voters feel like they're winning. They see what's happening with wage growth. They see what's happening with tax cuts, they see what's happening with the economy. They feel like we're winning on the world stage.
So I think a lot of Republican voters, just to be blunt with you, are feeling actually lazy. That's why I'm glad to see former President Obama on the campaign trail. I hope he's out every single day, reminding Republican voters and even the Republican voters who might be too lazy, reminding them about ObamaCare and the stimulus and all the things that a Democratic Congress will do if they get back in control.
So if we can get Republicans, maybe not at quite the same intensity level as Democrats, but if we can get close to the same, then Republicans have a chance to hold on to the House. But I think in the Senate, I think Republicans, even today, are still probably in good shape, probably net plus one or net plus two.
E. HILL: Patti, you get a quick last word.
DOYLE: I think we've already seen incredible turnout in all of these special elections and in these primaries. Democrats have outperformed in ruby red districts. I think you'll continue to see that trend in November, on November 6th. And I think Barack Obama only helps with the energy on the Democratic side.
E. HILL: Patti, Jason, appreciate it. Thank you both.
Just ahead, from fear to fist pumping. As the president hunts for the writer of that scathing op-ed, there's new reporting about the mood inside the White House and also at the Justice Department -- just after those words were published. That's next.
(MUSIC PLAYING) E. HILL: People close to President Trump claim to be zeroing in on the person who wrote that harsh opinion piece published in "The New York Times." They say actually the list of people who are likely responsible now down to just a few.
These people are already on the record, seen on the screen, as saying it wasn't me, cabinet members, advisers, ambassadors, the vice president. President Trump, though, thinks he knows where the person works.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would say Jeff should be investigating who the author of that piece was because I really believe it's national security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
E. HILL: Let me bring in Lachlan Markay, the White House reporter for "The Daily Beast."
He spoke to a number of different sources. Some of them cheering on the release of the op-ed with a fist bump even. But not everyone was in a celebratory mood here. Some of them were concerned.
LACHLAN MARKEY, "THE DAILY BEAST": Even folks who might agree with some of what was said in this op-ed have what I think is a pretty legitimate concern that the president and folks close to him sort of overreact to this op-ed and see it as emblematic of a deep state cabal that is inherently antagonistic to his agenda and decide to use the president's pretty wide latitude to make personnel decisions in the federal government, to engage in essentially a purge of the bureaucracy, to try to get a lot of these perceived enemies within the government itself to push them out.
That's really the concern here, is an overreaction. Certainly President Trump has demonstrated that he's willing to use things like the revoking of security clearances to root out perceived political enemies.
E. HILL: We should point out that my colleague, Christiane Amanpour, actually spoke with Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, who expressed other concerns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: I'm not interested in an investigation. I guess those who are investigating, great. I really hope they find the person. I believe the person will put himself or herself out though.
People brag to the wrong person. They brag that they did this or they did that because I assume part of this isn't the goal here, not what the op-ed pretends the goal here, isn't the goal to try to sow chaos and get us all suspicious of each other?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Is that what's happening, are you getting suspicious of each other?
CONWAY: No, that's not happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
E. HILL: That's not what's happening, she says. Yet in some ways, we've heard and you know, being there at the White House, this is how Donald Trump in many ways does business. He does like people to be pitted against one another and fight it out for their spot to still be there.
Is the effort that's being made to root this person out, is it any different, in that respect?
MARKAY: Look, the president is -- like him or hate him, the president is a very disruptive force in American politics. He was sort of swept in on this populist wave of a determination to upend the status quo in Washington.
When you do that, naturally, you're going to be forced to take on some entrenched interest in Washington. Say what you will about his agenda or the merits or the points that were made against him in this op-ed but you're inevitably going to have that tension in a bureaucracy as large as the federal government, when you come in and try to shake things up for better or worse.
So I think it's fanciful to dismiss this as there is no tension. I think Trump supporters would be the first to say there is tension and there should be.
E. HILL: We also have reporting that Kellyanne Conway and others are trying to get the president to just back away from this, to put his efforts elsewhere.
Any sense that that's actually working?
MARKAY: No. And I think the more attention that's given to this op- ed, the more the news media pays attention to it, tries to figure out who is behind it and keeps paying attention to complaints like this from inside the administration, the more upset he'll get and the more likely he will be to try something very drastic to rid himself of perceived enemies all around him.
E. HILL: And the more the president himself talks about it as well. Lachlan Markay, great to have you with us, thank you.
MARKAY: Thank you.
E. HILL: Remember that whole dispute -- feels like a lifetime ago -- about the size of the crowds for President Trump's inauguration?
There's some new information about the photos, how they were edited after the president -- [16:20:00]
E. HILL: -- put in a call to the National Park Service.
E. HILL: Remember those rather controversial photos of President Trump's inaugural crowd?
We're now learning that some pictures were altered to, you know, take out some of the spaces that looked a little bit more void. This happened after calls from the White House.
At the time, press secretary Sean Spicer famously claimed this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. Well, newly released documents obtained by "The Guardian" reveal a government photographer intentionally --
E. HILL: -- cropped the images to remove spaces and in turn make the crowd look larger.
So here are pictures showing President Trump's 2016 crowd versus the crowd for former President Obama in 2009. The unnamed photographer says he tampered with the photos from the president's inauguration in 2017 after receiving multiple calls from the White House, including one from the president on his first full day in office.
Let's bring in CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval.
Polo, just to be clear here, there were calls that came in from the White House.
Did those calls say I want you to edit this?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's a very important distinction here. Let me try to explain this reporting in "The Guardian" that has this story in the news cycle again.
"The Guardian" reporting they have obtained exclusively some of these documents through a Freedom of Information request that show that the former head of the National Park Service received a call from President Trump immediately after his inauguration back in January of 2017.
The president here reportedly asking for additional pictures of the inauguration. He was obviously concerned about the crowd size of the inauguration. The requests appear to have trickled down to other members, other staffers at the park service. One unnamed official telling investigators, with the inspector general's office, that she got the impression that the president wanted to see pictures that appeared to depict more spectators in the crowd.
And that's where that important distinction that you point out, Erica, is here. An assumption was made at some point, according to the reporting from "The Guardian," according to the report, the photos were cropped but that was because the staffers felt that that is what the White House, that is what the president wanted.
The official that spoke to investigators acknowledged and made very clear that at no point did the White House or President Trump specifically request that the photos be cropped.
It certainly gives you an inside look at what was happening behind the scenes for us and the rest of the American public. Well, they saw that very bizarre press conference with former press secretary, Sean Spicer. We can play a small portion of it.
E. HILL: Yes, just to remind everyone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON: Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way in one particular tweet to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall. This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: Two points that were obviously false. Two quick things to wrap up with here that the article points also to, it's still unclear what photographs would have been altered and also whether they were released publicly. Finally, we have reached out to the White House, waiting for them to comment.
E. HILL: Interesting where the focus was for the president and the White House just hours after. Oh, there's a lot to chew on there. Polo, thank you, good to see you.
SANDOVAL: Thanks, Erica.
E. HILL: Professor, litigator, role model, dissenter; Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has earned countless titles and accolades during her groundbreaking career on both sides of the bench. Now the new CNN original film, "RBG," takes an intimate look at the professional and personal life of Justice Ginsburg, who's developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. Here is a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just the thought that I might catch a glimpse of her is overwhelming. I have a mug of her in my room. It says "Herstory in the making."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I (INAUDIBLE) march.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's easy to take for granted the position that young women can have in today's society. That's a lot thanks to Justice Ginsburg's work.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is more disdained or told to go away than an older woman?
But here is an older woman who people really want to hear everything that she has to say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
E. HILL: Be sure to tune in for the CNN film, "RBG," tomorrow night, 8:00 pm Eastern on CNN.
He hasn't played in a game since 2016. Colin Kaepernick, though, looming large over the NFL. Ahead, a closer look at the Nike commercial putting him front and center once again and what it really means. Stay right there.
E. HILL: President Trump calling his shot in the culture war when it comes to the national anthem and football. He said he's going to win this one. Listen to how he stoked the crowd in Montana just before the kickoff for NFL.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: From Colin Kaepernick to the NFL to now Nike, who is going to win this cultural showdown of standing for the anthem?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
E. HILL: That new ad campaign from Nike featuring Colin Kaepernick throwing fuel on the fire there, triggering some fiery responses. Folks protesting Nike's decision on social media, ripping the swooshes from their socks, some burning their own Nike shoes and clothing.
As for what happened on Thursday, no players took a knee during the season opener. Two Eagles players did decide to sit down toward the end of the anthem.
Joining me former NFL wide receiver, Donte Stallworth, and CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill, who's also a professor at Temple University.
This is what the Nike vice president had to say this week.
"We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power --
E. HILL: " -- of sport to help move the world forward."
Colin Kaepernick's position hasn't changed since day one.
What do you think changed for Nike?
DONTE STALLWORTH, FORMER NFL WIDE RECEIVER: I think they obviously saw this as a good business opportunity for them. That's what all mega businesses do. They look at what's best for their bottom line.
But I also believe that they felt that there was something that they -- that this was something they could get behind. They obviously had done the research. Nike is a huge brand. It's a global marketing titan.
And so it understands that they may have taken an initial hit. But as we saw today and yesterday, that stock has risen even more now, jumping 31 percent just over the Labor Day weekend when they first announced this.
So Nike understood what they were doing. They knew they were going to continue to alienate and some people wouldn't be happy with it. But I think overall, from a global standpoint, this thing is bigger than just the United States. They're taking this global brand on a global message.
And I think it resonates throughout the world, not just here in the United States.
E. HILL: Which is an important perspective, to point that out. But we are talking about a global company obviously.
Marc, when we look at this, there's so much talk in this country about how polarized everything is and that for many companies perhaps it should be a sign that they shouldn't step us and weigh in.
We've seen it recently with airlines saying we're not going to fly separated children. More companies are starting to take a stand.
Why do you think that is, that the tides are changing and they're saying, here's where we are, you don't like it? All right, fine; don't like it.
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN COMMENTATOR: First, to Donte's point, I think we never want to romanticize companies and corporations. They don't have feelings. Corporations have interests.
If they thought they lose money, if they thought that they would minimize shareholder wealth rather than maximize it, they wouldn't do it. What they're also learning is that people do want companies to take strong stances, in the same way that we learned the presidential election in 2016, that populism works and people want someone who takes a strong stance, even if it's on one end or the other.
So the idea that a company won't fly separated children or they'll stand behind someone like Colin Kaepernick, who is a hero and a freedom fighter, shouldn't be surprising to us because despite the fact that there are people burning their Nikes or people who want to build a wall, most Americans want justice.
Most Americans can rationalize the idea of saying that getting down on one knee during the anthem to protest police terrorism is not a bad thing. And so ultimately, I think Nike realizes that the American people are behind that Colin Kaepernick. They're behind not separating families, et cetera, et cetera.
And so for me, it's Nike using good logic and good judgment. And Nike has a long history of being problematic in terms of labor, but also being receptive to ideas that black people can lead campaigns, all the way back to Jordan in the '80s. So Nike is very sophisticated here.
E. HILL: Donte, is there a message here for athletes?
STALLWORTH: Yes, I think the message here is simple. It's the same -- and I'm not comparing Colin Kaepernick to Muhammad Ali, obviously here, to get that clear. But I think the message is clear, is to stand up for what you believe in.
There are a lot of players who want to do this and maybe don't have the financial backing to be able to do this or, unfortunately, the moral courage. But there are a lot of reasons why players decide to stand or why players decide to kneel.
But I will say Nike has understood this from a historical perspective. They want to be on the right side of history. The NFL so far has not really done that. This thing will always -- I always say, you look at all the players who were chastised and criticized for taking a stand against wars, taking a stand against poverty, against whatever they believed in, they were always criticized at the time.
But history always vindicated these players. They always vindicated these players. They said the players who threw up a black fist down in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, they said that was a Nazi-like salute. Those players have been vindicated.
It was months after Martin Luther King was assassinated and the Vietnam War was underway and it was a bad war. And those guys were protesting all those things. So I think at the end of the day, history will vindicate Colin Kaepernick, if not already.
M. HILL: I want to add real quick, I agree with everything that was just said. But we also want to make sure that history doesn't vindicate Colin Kaepernick and say we were wrong to take away his career.
Colin Kaepernick is still unemployed. We want to make sure that he gets a job. We want to make sure that the league doesn't continue to blackball him because he's not just a freedom fighter and a hero, he's also a very capable quarterback, who deserves to be working.
E. HILL: Marc, the president has really tried to push this as a culture war.
Do you think with what we're seeing from Nike and, yes, it is a business decision but, at the end of the day, Marc, do you think this could start to change the conversation in the country on a broader -- in a broader way?
M. HILL: Absolutely. Throughout history, we've always had these cultural interventions, these moments --
M. HILL: -- where a shift in the public sphere can lead to a shift in the political dimension of the public sphere. So yes, I absolutely think by seeing Colin Kaepernick on that screen, next to Serena Williams, next to the French soccer team, next to these other heroes --
STALLWORTH: LeBron James.
M. HILL: -- if we're able maybe to have a different conversation -- LeBron James -- if we can have that happening at one time, the American people can sway. Remember, in the same way that Nike is a corporation, so is the NFL.
And if the NFL can be convinced that the fans and the general public want something different, they maybe they will yield on this. I want the NFL to have good political. I want the NFL to have good feelings.
But more importantly, I want justice. I want people to stop dying at the hands of police, I want people to stop being incarcerated because of the color of their skin and their economic situation.
And if the NFL can have any part in that, even if it's just bringing Colin Kaepernick back into the league -- and not just Kaepernick but Reid and everyone else who's been blackballed, if they can just do that, we might be able to shift the conversation the same way Muhammad Ali was able to help shift the conversation on Vietnam, along with King and others.
So yes, I'm hopeful, I'm not optimistic but I'm full of hope that this thing might change.
E. HILL: Well, let's continue to have that conversation. We're out of time today. But that doesn't mean it's the last word. Marc Lamont Hill, Donte Stallworth, really appreciate it. Thank you.
Just ahead, the provocative CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, lighting up. His latest stunt has a lot of people asking if everything is all right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE ROGAN, COMEDIAN: It's tobacco and marijuana in there. That's all it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
E. HILL: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk under fire for lighting up during a recent interview. Take a look at radio host Joe Rogan, smoking pot. After that, Tesla stock fell 6 percent by the end of the day. It's just the latest in a string of incidents making investors question the tech mogul's leadership qualities. CNN's Dan Simon has more.
ELON MUSK, TESLA CEO: Is that a joint?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He is one of the world's most successful CEOs, with a net worth estimated at more than $20 billion. So when Elon Musk started smoking a joint on comedian Joe Rogan's podcast, people noticed.
ROGAN: Probably can't because of stockholders, right?
MUSK: I mean, it's legal, right?
ROGAN: Totally legal.
ROGAN: How does that work? Do people get upset at you if you do certain things? It's tobacco and marijuana in there. That's all it is.
SIMON: It's just the latest bizarre incident for the high profile CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. He's had a couple of turbulent months.
MUSK: Alcohol is a drug. It's been grandfathered in.
SIMON: On the same day the podcast was published, Tesla's chief accounting officer announced his resignation. He did not cite the incident.
Last month during an emotional interview with "The New York Times," Musk said that 120-hour workweeks were taking a toll on his physical health.
I've had friends come by who are really concerned, he said. Some of Tesla's board members have raised concern about his use of the prescription drug Ambien, which Musk admits he sometimes takes to help him sleep. A little red wine, vintage record, some Ambien and magic, he tweeted last year.
The 47-year-old engineer has been called the real life Tony Stark better known as Ironman. But his reputation taking serious hits.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a great tech visionary. It's not clear that he is necessarily a great business leader. And I think that's the fundamental problem that's he's running into right now.
SIMON: Musk's judgment was also questioned when he announced he want to take Tesla private. The company lost nearly $2 billion last year and has never earned a profit. Amid a chorus of criticism, he reversed course, saying Tesla will remain public.
And even his admirers had to be dumbfounded when he attacked one of the British divers who helped rescue 12 boys this summer trapped in a Thailand cave. After Musk proposed using a kid-sized submarine to rescue the boys, the diver called it a PR stunt.
Musk retaliated calling the man a pedo, short for pedophile. Musk later apologized, but then last week in an e-mail to "BuzzFeed," escalated the attack, calling him a child rapist.
"BuzzFeed" says Musk did not provide proof of the claims. The diver is reportedly planning to sue.
While announcing a slew of management changes, Elon Musk e-mailed his employees saying in part, quote, "There will be lots of fuss and noise in the media. Just ignore them."
In the meantime, Tesla shares have lost about a third of what they were since August. This latest incident is not likely to help. What will help is profitability and Musk says the future quarter looks bright. It can't come soon enough -- Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.
E. HILL: Coming up, Dorothy's ruby red slippers, they're not in Kansas anymore but they have been found after a very long hunt.
E. HILL: There is no place like home, especially when we're talking about Dorothy's ruby red slippers. This week, the FBI announcing a stolen pair of the iconic shoes were finally recovered in a sting operation after 13 long years. CNN's Jeanne Moos has the story.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From Dorothy's feet to
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Under the rainbow.
MOOS: The ruby red slippers stolen 13 years ago have been recovered. Thirteen years of police asking --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The ruby slippers?
What have you done with them?
MOOS: We still don't know who done it, broke into the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and smashed a display case, leaving one tiny thing behind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a single sequin off the shoe.
MOOS: The author of the ruby slippers of Oz, says the stolen shoes are --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The holy grail of all Hollywood memorabilia.
MOOS: OK. There are at least four pairs of slippers used in "The Wizard of Oz." These, for instance, are at the Smithsonian. The yellow brick road was a dead end for investigators, despite loads of tips.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything from --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- "They're nailed to a wall in a roadside diner in Missouri," to, "I was with my boyfriend when he threw them into a water-filled iron ore pit."
MOOS: Divers even searched in vain for the slippers. Last summer, authorities finally got a credible tip. They said someone tried to extort the shoes' owner. The slippers were finally recovered this summer, in a sting operation.
BILLIE BURKE, ACTOR, "GLINDA": Tap your heels together three times.
JUDY GARLAND, ACTOR, "DOROTHY GALE": There's no place like home.
MOOS: Yes. But where is home for the long lost, now found, ruby red slippers?
An insurance company owns the shoes worth $2 million to $5 million, but they remain in FBI custody as evidence. They're actually a mismatched pair.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The right shoe of the stolen pair actually matches the left shoe at the Smithsonian.
MOOS: And the right shoe at the Smithsonian matches the left of the stolen pair. Authorities have identified multiple suspects but are still asking for the public's help to nab the slipper thieves, who have given them the slip all these years.
MARGARET HAMILTON, ACTOR, "THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST": I'll get you, my pretty.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --
"GALE": There's no place like home.
MOOS: -- New York.
E. HILL: Joining me now is Ray Nikkel, chairman of the board for the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, where the shoes were stolen from.
Ray, when you got the news the FBI had found them as part of a sting operation, what was your reaction?
RAY NIKKEL, JUDY GARLAND MUSEUM: First of all, Erica, it was startling news early in the morning; it was all over Twitter. The first thing I did was stop into the local Grand Rapids Police Department to see this wasn't another joke.
As you can guess through the 13 years, there have been many pranksters and things like that, giving us false hope. We found out that this was, in fact, the real deal and the actual slippers.
E. HILL: As I understand it, there were a number of pairs of slippers worn during the movies. We heard from Jeanne this is a mismatched pair.
What do we know about them, either the right shoe or the left shoe?
NIKKEL: We know that they were in a movie; there were four pairs. This is the most important pair to us because it was here in Grand Rapids.
E. HILL: And they're worth anywhere from $2 million to $5 million we learned.
Why do you think it is that they're still so fascinating, called the Holy Grail of Hollywood memorabilia?
NIKKEL: I think, Erica, because all of us across the world, no matter where we're from, can connect to the ruby slippers, what they stood for, what they symbolized, which was the ruby slippers took Dorothy wherever she desired. That's the dream we all have.
E. HILL: Wouldn't it be nice if we could click our heels three times?
I know you have a replica there behind you. This particular pair is still with the FBI as far as we understand.
Do you know if you're going to get them back?
NIKKEL: Well, we're working on that. We hope to someday have the slippers back in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. As you know, Judy Garland was born here. We have her original house here at the Judy Garland Museum. So we really want to work hard and feel that this pair of slippers should end up at home in Judy Garland's hometown.
E. HILL: Have you seen an increase in calls, people calling you to say, oh, my gosh, we heard about the slippers, are they back?
What do you know?
NIKKEL: Right now the front mezzanine is completely packed with people today. It's been that way all week. And people have been calling from literally all over the world. I've gotten e-mails. And our staff, our board members, literally, from work, it's been incredible. Everyone is asking, are the slippers going to end up back at Judy's house?
E. HILL: Well, when you get that answer, let us know. Ray, pleasure to talk with you. Thank you.
NIKKEL: Thank you, Erica.
E. HILL: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM on this Saturday. I'm Erica Hill in for Ana Cabrera.
It is game on. Trump versus Obama in the run-up to the midterm elections. Less than two months to go.
Which Obama will we see on the campaign trail?
Well, it may depend on the day. It may depend a little on the audience. We just heard a very different speech from the former president this afternoon. He was speaking at his first rally for congressional candidates. Today's Obama, kinder, gentler, talking a lot more a about hope and change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We're in a challenging moment because, when you look at the arc of American history, there's always been a push and pull between those who want to go forward and those who want to look back, between --