tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN May 22, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
negotiating the terms for a special counsel talk. on the table, breaking efforts by team trump narrowing the questions mueller can ask him. later the president raising the spectrum of spies in his campaign and how the claims match up to the facts. another big question about the summit with north korea. will it even happen? we begin with talks of the special couns president talking to robert mueller. what have you learned about this? >> gloria borger and i have learned that the president's legal team is trying to narrow the scope of any special interview with the special counsel and narrow it to russia-related matters that occurred before trump was elected president. now, our sources are telling us that in order to try to avoid a
standoff, one possibility they're thinking about is limited trump interview plus written answers to questions that special counsel clearly wants to ask about things happening during the president's time in the white house, like obstruction of justice. we know that is something the special counsel has been asking people about. >> is there any indication this will actually work, that mueller is willing to cut a deal, or is this just stuff that the legal team is kind of floating out into the public as a way of, i don't know, influencing something? >> that's a great question. first of all, the answer to that question is obviously this is something that the legal team is trying to get out into the public, or at least entertaining in the public as a way to try to push robert mueller and his team along in this negotiation. and our sources have cautioned us that when both sides are talking, they are just inching toward some agreement. and that's actually the way it
was described to us. but mueller has clearly suggested that he's not interested, for example, in the written answers to questions that trump's legal team is suggesting. so, look, there could be a standoff on that, and this case may very well go straight to the supreme court if they can't resolve these issues about whether and when and how the president talks to robert mueller's team. >> what type of interview are president trump's attorneys pushing for? >> well, i mentioned the in-person or oral interview would be about pre-presidency, and they're trying to get the written questions. but another really interesting thing that we were told about is that the president's team is demanding, really, that there will be and should be an audio recording if there is any, you know, in-person question and answer with the president, because as one source said to me, they want to make sure that everything that is said is -- by
everybody is recorded and they have it, transcript of every t, every i that is dotted, so they have it for legal history and legal purposes. joining us now is kirsten power powers. is there any way you think robert mueller would go for this idea, or is it nothing? >> this is more spaghetti they're throwing on the wall and hoping it will stick. i think what they're playing is a game of congressional chicken. mueller is going to want to do it one on one and in person. and if he can't get that, i think he will issue a subpoena. and i think rudy giuliani's team needs to be real careful. because if this goes to court, the issue of whether the president can be subpoenaed is,
in many ways, inextricably tied up with whether the president can be indicted. that is a legal question that's not been settled, ever. that could be something that's an unintended consequence of something that gets challenged in court that may not go in the president's favor. and if that happens, that opens up a whole new can of worms. >> ryan, do you ever see mueller not agreeing to asking questions about obstruction of justice? >> i would think mueller would want to ask questions about obstruction of justice. he's basically asking him to shut down the part he's most interested in. he's saying obstruction, you can't ask about that. i think anything on trump's side is for public consumption, right? if there's something they would
be privately telling mr. mueller, i don't think they would leak it to us or anyone else. so i think what he's doing here, trump's legal team is trying to put arguments on the table for his defenders to say, huh, look at this. the white house made a reasonable deal, and if mueller objects it and appeals him, they'll be able to see mueller wants to go to the extreme, the president made him a reasonable offer. >> the problem is this will be handled by robert mueller, and you have to hand it to them by trying to limit the size, the scope, the timing, the duration. because of president trump's disregard for the truth, it makes sense they do this because it puts him in legal jeopardy. i think they're doing the right thing to try to limit the size and scope of this. they'll have difficulty doing that. this is all in robert mueller's hand. he can tell him to go pound sand
if he wants to. >> do you think it's smart to play this out publicly like they did? >> sure. can the president be subpoenaed? of course, he can. i was the worst law student in the world and i know. he turned over the tapes that he knew incriminated him. president clinton testified twice in front of ken starr, once about monica lewinsky, once about his personal life. this is an incredibly easy case for mueller to win. i think trump has a track record of bending people to his will. he got that white house doctor, who is an admiral, to embarrass himself. get out there and say trump is 230 pounds. trump's left leg is 230 pounds. please, doc. but he's not going to be able to bend mueller to his will.
he can try, but he's going to have to lose, he's going to testify or take the fifth. >> it seems earlier michael zelden was on, kristin, and he kept referring to oert lawyers on the president's team and giuliani is sort of the public face of the legal team. do you think there's truth in that? >> i mean, that seems to be the role giuliani was playing. it seemed from the very beginning he chose giuliani not for his legal insight, but more toward the fact that he'll go out and be pugulistic. he acts like president trump, in fact. he says things that are on his mind, he says things that aren't necessarily true, he makes crazy accusations. >> and he's a star, i guess, to conservatives. it's not something you would
attribute to them. >> do you see mueller agreeing to these ideas? >> there is some benefit to mueller not having a long, drawn-out legal fight and these associations with typical. in my view, president trump should do everything to avoid testifying, because even if he's determined to tell the truth, the chance that he'll spoken to, there are a lot of people that we know and trust, ari fleisher, the late tim rushert. the russians always have koefrl lies. i think he should fight this in court, if it comes to that. it wouldn't set up where he would have to talk about rurk during the campaign, but he
would have a second privilege that he doesn't ordinarily not cooperating with a duly. >> i think in this case, since the president of the united states won, he's not just some low-level bureaucrat. if mueller can demonstrate there's some serious crime that the president of the united states to. then it's a lockdown case. otherwise, it's going to be. i don't think trump should cooperate, not in any case. >> would he be the --
>> that's what the prosecution entailed. it's a lawful act for a president to fire an fbi director. if it's corruptly motivated, that's an abuse of power. that's not an indictable crime, it's an impeachable offense. it's a high crime misdemeanor. >> where are you getting this from? >> you think it's illegal -- so when gerald ford pardoned richard nixon explicitly to stop any criminal indictment of him, he was obstructing justice and that was a crime? >> we're actually investigating potential acts, and there is a provision of the constitution which requires that the president take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
to fire the fbi director precisely so that he can quash an investigation into himself or his associates is not faithful execution of the law. unconstitutional is almost bu t built. he can't commit a crime just by carrying out his lawful duties. it's an abuse of power. it's not indictable. >> i want to believe he's innocent. i want to believe there is no coordination. i want to believe the president has done nothing wrong. ma if your argument is correct and there is no legal team, why would they ask mueller to take justice off the table, and why would they request before he was nominated to be taken off the table. >> because the great possibility of a crime here is to lie under
oath. you want to limit his criminal exposure. most of indictment's have nothing to do. if you're in any way a target. >>, he is completely wrong. he's making this argument which i actually agree with, that's a sitting president is, thereforefor -- >> they don't have a coherent legal strategy. they make these arguments that are actually self-contradictory. if. >> because there is no indictable crime, therefore, there's no need for him or there's no requirement for him.
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michael cohen's partner in the taxi business pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges, cooperating with state and federal prosecutors in other cases. cohen is under federal investigation. he is, of course, the president's long-time personal attorney and self-ascribed fixer. in order to get the deal the taxi king got -- he faced several charges and serious jail time. >> four counts. >> how much information would you have to have in order to get the deal he got? >> we are seeing the pattern again and again where people who are on the hook for pretty serious crimes end up with a sweet deal, almost no jail time. this guy actually owed $5 million in back taxes.
i think it was reduced to 3 million. the idea here is to get cohen to start cooperating because he's the big kahuna that's going to have information they really want. >> and the taxi king is going to be the canary king. he's going to start singing like a canary. the judge said to him specifically, do you understand the nature of the benefit your attorneys have provided for you? he said, yes, i do. because for him to be able to get away from such a long term to now basic probation, he's going to say anything and everything they know about cohen, they know exactly what he knows and that's going to put pressure on cohen to say anything he knows about trump. i'm afraid this will be really harmful. >> we don't know, kirsten, that this could lead anywhere to the president. yes, it could very easily lead to cohen but it could actually
lead to cohen and some shadey business practices. >> if he's that close to cohen, maybe cohen has told him things, maybe he knows things. i don't think that's necessarily what will happen. i think this is more concerning to michael cohen, frankly. anybody in the position to have somebody like that that's that close to them and knows that much, being ready to talk would be pretty scary. >> do you think this could just stay in the cohen order. >> we don't know what cohen is guilty of. if it's just tax evasion, and because mueller handed this off, it doesn't necessarily affect his case.
>> they just gave him a really nice deal, and if i was the president, he might say i hope that case is settled which then allows him to testify in the mueller investigation. for the president this is just a taxi business. >> is this a typical deal they would give somebody just to michael cohen, or does it seem like they're trying to get somebody bigger than him? >> bigger than michael cohen, that is a possibility, but he was the one talking to cohen every day. he probably knows about those dealings, but who knows what else he knows about. mueller isn't the only person in the world that can open a case on the president. he has a mandate where he has to demand a certain scope of topics. and we already heard about the red line about trump's businesses. those might be out of the scope
of mueller's investigation. i don't know necessarily that they are, but let's say they are. if the southern district starts uncovering things about the president's shady business past, they can open a case there. i don't think that's off the table. it doesn't mean he has to come and help mueller, it could spawn more cases just in the southern district. >> although it's part of his plea, he has to basically help the state and federal prosecutors. >> it seems to be a very sweet deal. to me it says a lot about mueller. by my count this is the fifth guilty plea mueller has gotten in one year. >> technically this is mueller. >> it's not real a spinoff of mueller, depending how you count it. that's just one year. iran contra they've gotten two by now by one year. whitewater had one in its first year. so mueller, for all the complaining -- and look, i did the same thing. starr was eight-years plus, so i
think i got it right. he's moving very rapidly on a whole host of fronts and that's very impressive. >> trump rallied against the possibility that the fbi had inserted spies in his 2016 campaign. and mt. kilauea, lava is spewing mountain rocks. we'll take you there. any added nitrates or nitrites, and by waving bye to by-products. so you can get back to loving them. for the love of hot dogs. (car horn) at t-mobile, we don't just see uniforms. we see the people behind them. so we're committed to helping veterans through job training when their service ends... and to hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses to be part of our workforce in the next 5 years. because no matter where you serve... or when you serve...
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2016 presidential campaign. >> a lot of people say they had spies in my campaign. if they had spies in my campaign, that would be a disgrace to this country. it would be one of the biggest insults i've ever seen and it would be illegal, besides anything else. if they had spies in my campaign, during my campaign for political purposes, that would be unprecedented in the history of our country. >> just moments ago the president fired off a pair of new tweets, using the word spies capitalized a total of three times. joining me, senator klobuchar, a member of the judicial committee. senator, thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> if there is no "there" there, what's wrong with having the department of justice look into this and settle it once and for all? >> well, i think you've already seen the fbi director, the intelligence director go meet over at the white house. they are looking into this. what concerns me here is even if you look at the nunes report out of the house, it's very clear
that this investigation began when an aide to then-candidate trump, papadopoulos, was meeting with an australian diplomat and said there was dirt on hillary clinton that the russians had. even in the nunes report, he says that is what started that information flowing to the fbi. even senator warner, who is a ranking member of the senate intelligence committee, said on the shows this weekend that he had not heard of anything about this. and there are always sources in intelligence, but the president appears to be alleging that there was actually a spy embedded in his campaign that in his words has infiltrated the campaign, and that is very different. again, i think the most important thing right now is there is an ongoing investigation being conducted by the former fbi director who was first appointed by a republican president who has great credibility from both sides of the aisle.
and everyone from chairman chuck grassley, an ardent republican, on down in the senate, is to allow that investigation to be completed. that is the conclusion of senator warner and senator burr and we have a lot of bipartisan support for allowing this investigation to be completed in the senate. >> do you disagree with the president, using his own words, that if there were spies in his campaign for political purposes, that would certainly be unprecedented and certainly alarming. >> no, that would be, but that is not what we heard. what we know is the how, and again, i'm fighting the nunes report. what actually began was an outside other country that got intelligence and, in fact, the russians, a foreign power, was getting involved in this. they themselves have said russia is getting bolder and that's why
there is an investigation about russia enfolding the campaign. that's why that is the investigation that has credibility to move forward. >> if the confidential source would be moovlg over to the clinton campaign. >> could you repeat that? >> if a confidential source had been, you know, sent to talk to somebody who was working even on the periphery for the trump campaign and it was discovered, would you reject it? >> not if there had been this fact scenario where you have the russians trying to get involved in the cam. the chairman of the clinton campaign actually had its one time. it's one time, one candidate, one political party. the hamly into hillary clinton's
campaign and doing something that was favorable to donald trump's campaign. >> are you concerned the. sarah sanders told me you never are drowned especially when it has to do with intelligence. my bigger concern is not who is at the meeting, but the possibility that of course, those issues and many, first of all, that's a crime to put. you go back to 9/11. we didn't have enough sources about what was going on in the world. there has been a major overhaul to try to get that information.
to not be in silos, where you get information from the sources? sources aren't going to go to our country and give us information. that's go to our country. we'll talk about so-called lava bombs. update from the island ahead. ♪ bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens ♪ ♪ brown paper packages tied up with strings ♪ ♪ these are a few of my favorite things ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ these are a few of my favorite things ♪
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today the president said a lot of people are saying they had spies in my campaign. first it was the accusation that president obama tapped his phones in trump tower. now he says, i hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the department of justice look into whether or not the fbi/doj infiltrated or surveilled the trump campaign for political purposes. and if any such demands or requests were made by people. it seems that if you had ties to the campaign, you wouldn't spy on this one.
>> you know all the data of trying to get to the trump campaign any way you could, and they don't care about trump spies, it's russian spies. he must have thought this was better than the lottery. >> this is tainting their view of this entire process. >> you usually does this stuff, you're right, for just that reason. i operate from the premise that he knows a lot more about this case than i do, right, and mueller knows more. i have no idea, but look at the
pattern when he's firing up his bass for a reason. and i think he wants them to hold firm whenever the next big bombshell hits. >> rich, do you agree or believe that this is part of an effort by the president to undermine the mueller investigation? >> it's a casual tactic that pesticide use the. he's using only cutouts. . against russia for their meddling in our election. what isn't so clear is there is reason to under itake a -- it appears to have been on really flimsy ground and it's something i think we need to know more
about. i'm fully in favor of the most transparent accounting we can have, the way the doj and the fbi handled both of those? >> i don't know why it's on flimsy ground when they had reasons to believe that russians were trying to infail trait the sump to find out what was going on. i don't understand what they were tossed. were they just. another thing, he did this to help the campaign win. does anybody believe this? >> the fbi agreed in the trump campaign in august. >> an informant is a kind of spy. obviously there is no one entrenched and embody upset
about a bush administration und under. you don't want your sad ver saer to know what you know. you say, you may be preached by. here's your card. did anybody call snl no. the fbi don't spy, that he. russia tried to send at least four people into this campaign. at least, that we knowing of. >> russia was and is our adversary. the trump campaign was not an adversary. you have high limit officials
that they made it clear to have a domestic cam. a crossfire hurricane is kind of an umbrella name for a number of sub cases that were on. it wasn't just the trump campaign written large. this is a standard tell he. first interruption activity. >> what are the nationality. yes, russians has. >> you just said trump campaign was not taken to the. >> if the president -- this is what he does.
every autokrat he. they cleared hillary and then chashd anterior -- if they had a spy in there, then they had a chance. is the summit plan between president trump and kim jong-un in jeopardy? is it actually going to happen? the president says it might not. we'll also have a report from the big island of hawaii where lava bombs are being hurled at both property and people. we'll have a live report. around pets. for alp there's flonase sensimist. it relieves all your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. and all from a gentle mist you can barely feel. flonase sensimist. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, little things can be a big deal.
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cohen, president trump saying the meeting with north korea may not work out. >> it may or may not work out. that doesn't mean it won't work out over a period of time. it may not work out on june 12, but we may still have the meeting. >> are you surprised it's run into these obstacles? >> i think it will happen. it may not be june 12 in singapore, it might be july 12, august 12. kim jong-un, the north korean ruler, has a real incentive to talk to the united states. and of course he'll make it happen. you have two leaders wanting to be in the same room, shake hands. it will happen. >> the president was saying kim jong-un's attitude shifted after
speaking to the president of china. >> this is important because he calls out trump for senator busting. >> he said, i'm going to go easy on china because they're helping north korea. now you've got these trade talks going at the same time. i think trump did going to lower the boom and these two will start to feed off each other. >> do you think south korea oversold what they were trying to do in here. we also have to remember that we have the leverage, even short of fus, not only on the russians but on him. trump can do this. that's why he can say, the meeting won't happen but it will still work out. i think he's thinking of
sanctions down the road, especially on chinese banks. >> do you think the president has a lot riding on this? did he put too much on it? >> the date is not important, denuclearization is. i think we have to give the president credit. he has gotten north korea to the table further than any other president has in decades, so i think we have to give him credit for that. i think it is important ideally if we would have had all these concessions in place prior to announcing when we were going to have the summit, but i think it's critical for us to be very firm on what exactly do we mean on denuclearization. it has to be complete and irreversible. i think our definition is different than t-- >> has the u.s. actually gotten anything in return for agreeing to have these talks? >> at this point we haven't really made concessions.
you're absolutely right. when you have trump and kim in the same room, that is a big concession to the north koreans because that is leg legitimalization. although i'm sure that kim was cynical, those are markers that senator trump and the international community can hold the koreans to. that's really important for us. >> haven't we modified the, sort of, agreement. the u.s. military knew the olympics were coming a year ago, sh they start. the president has made
-- they're complying and yet our president says that's a bad deal. gordon, how do you get a deal better? if the iran deal is terrible how do you get a better deal? >> i think this whole issue over, can you inspect military basis which is a live controversy. it's got to be clear any deal president trump adrives at has to be first of all, we respect your military basis. >> what does kim says about that? >> they don't want that. we not only have to inspect them continually, that is going to be the big sticking point. >> in a summit like this where it's two presidents and leaders, the dictator and president trump, isn't it all the -- the detail work is done in days k weeks and maybe months javier
ward. they may caome up with a framework for something but the devil's in the details. >> yeah, sometime it's where the deal has been struck and the two meet and the thing is signed. this one's completely devin. you have the summit first, then you work it out later. that's not a criticism but it is saying this is a very unconventional way of doing things. we got to take a break. i have the latest from hawaii. thing are getting dangerous. we'll be right back.
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100 yards from the fishers, what happened? >> we're not just taking about any if i sure here, we're talking about a fizz sure that was exploding every one or two minutes sending hot lava into every direction. deal clinton was there. this was not a for fun place to be. even just walking up to the house was a life and death game of frogger and clinton was staying there virtually around the clock for almost a week. she was armed with a fire extinguisher, a garden hose and bucks to put out fires if the lava hit the house. lava bombs came through the ceilings in two different places, broke a window, took out a septic tank, none of this seems to faze clinton. >> this lava bomb came and hit right here, we put that fire out. >> the first day?
>> very first day. yeah this one here. >> did that not make you think, hey i shouldn't be here? >> no, we say it coming. you might want to step back. >> reporter: so what was amazing as you heard there anderson, he seems to know almost instancely when the the sound of the fizz sure whether we can relax or take cover. the day of recording that interview he wasn't paying attention on the phone a lo va bomb came and hit him on the leg. it was the size of a bowling ball. luckily his wife was there to take him to the hospital. the intense heat started his porch on fire, luckily a neighbor came to put that out. >> that's incredible, that's off. how is he doing? i assume he's still in the
hospital. >> reporter: yeah, we visited him today anderson and he is in surprising good spirits, especially considering the fact that he has a rod in his leg. he'll need more surgery on top of the two he's already had. bottom line is he knows he's lucky. >> i wonder if you recognize the fact that had there was hit you somewhere else you might be dead. >> yeah, i've thought about it a couple times and it just scares me to think about it. it could have also missed me and wen between my legs too. i think about that more, wouldn't that have have been nice. >> reporter: now the owners of these homes according to clintons say they are immensely grateful for what he did, of course he didn't have to be there. he says he regrets getting hurt but doesn't regret staying to protect those homes. to his credit, anderson, both of
them are still standing. >> just incredible. scott please be kaifcareful. that's all the time we have tonight, i'll see you tomorrow night. time to hand it over to don lemon. cnn tonight starts right now. this is "cnn tonight" i'm don lemon. we're live in washington. sources tell cnn, president trump's lawyer is trying to limit the question robert mueller might ask the president in an interview. they want the special counsel to agree not to question trump about -- wait for this -- anything he's done in office. which doesn't sound like a deal mueller would take, sin it would mean not asking the president about the firing of james combmy and possible obstruction of justice. more breaking news, on president trump's if i canner, michael