tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN August 20, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. good evening. after a weekend of bruising headlines, president trump is ramping up attacks on the russia investigation, while one of his current attorneys tries to explain why he says truth isn't truth. so there's a lot to cover tonight. breaking news, the president telling reuters he's stayed out of the mueller probe so far, but could run it if he wants to. there's reporting that federal prosecutors are prepping charges against michael cohen. there's reporting that don
mcgahn, the current white house council has been meeting and talking with robert mueller's team. there's also the president's former campaign chairman, still waiting for a verdict in his tax evasion and bank fraud trial. and dozens more intelligence professionals weighing in against the president removing john brennan's security clearance. his anger at least on twitter appears to be growing. bob mueller and his whole group of democrat thugs spent over 30 hours with the white house counsel, only with my approval for purposes of transparency. he then went on talking about mueller. anyone needing that much time is just someone looking for trouble. they are enjoying ruining people's lives and refuse to look at the real corruption on the democrats' side. the lies, the firings, the deleted e-mails and so much more. mueller's angry dems are a national disgrace. the president railed against bruce ohr's security clearance
which he is threatening to yank, and also john brennan. studied the late joseph mccarthy, we are now in period with mueller and his gang that makes mccarthy look like a baby. mccarthy was a demagogue who routinely twisted the truth. trump's former attorney and close friend was the lawyer roy cohn who helped mccarthy be that demagogue who routinely twisted the truth. robert mueller, until the president began taking shots at him, has always been known and praised for being the opposite of mccarthy. but the president would have you believe that mccarthy and mueller are on equal footing. that's the place we're in right now. the place where the gaslight is always on. and where the president and people speaking for him believe truth isn't truth. just listen to what the president's lawyer had to say about whether the president should talk to robert mueller. >> what i have to tell you is, i'm not going to be rushed in
to having him testify so he gets trapped into perjury. when you tell me that he should testify because he's going to tell the truth, and he shouldn't worry. that's silly, because it's someone's version of the truth, not the truth. he didn't have a conversation about -- >> truth is truth. i don't mean to go, like -- >> no, it isn't truth. truth isn't truth. the president of the united states says i didn't -- >> truth is the truth, mr. mayor, do you realize -- this is going to become a bad meme. >> today, giuliani tried to clean things up. tweeting, my statement was not meant as a pontification on moral theology. but one referring to the people making contradictory statements. the classic he said, she said puzzle. sometimes further inquiry can reveal the truth, other times it doesn't. whatever you think he was trying to say, there is history here. orwellian language is nothing new from the president's people and the president himself. it began just after inauguration day with ridiculous lies about
crowd size. and kellyanne conway's defense of the lies. >> you're saying it's a falsehood, and they're giving sean spicer gave alternative facts. >> alternative facts. doesn't that seem so long ago? the craziness of it is still crisp, there's no expiration date on that phrase. the president less than a month ago, in a speech in kansas city, uttered something which orwell himself could have written. >> just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news. and just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. >> it's okay, everyone, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. actually, none of it is. none of it is real, sleep well. there's no more threat from north korea, these aren't the droids you're looking for, move along. before we move along, i have to show you one other amazing
display of truth twisting that rudy giuliani tried this weekend on chuck todd's program. about the june, 2016, meeting in trump tower that donald trump jr, paul manafort and jared kushner had with the russians on information on hillary clinton. put that all aside, there are some basic actual facts about the meeting that are known, that are clear, not alternative facts, not untruthful truths. the main facts of the meeting are not in dispute. but listen to the man just totally making stuff up. >> i don't even know if they knew if she was russian at the time. >> i think they knew she was russian. >> they knew it when they met with her. not when they set up the meeting. you asked me, did they show an intention to do anything with russians. all they knew is that a woman with a russian name wanted to meet with them. they didn't know she was a representative of the russian government, and indeed she's not.
>> they didn't know she was russian. they didn't know she was a representative of the russian government. in the immortal words of mike wallace, come on. come on! there are e-mails. let's put them up. emmen asked that i schedule a meeting with you. and the russian government attorney flying over from moscow for this thursday. i believe you're aware of the meeting, wondered if 3:00 p.m. or later on thursday works for you. in case you missed it, that is a russian government attorney flying over from moscow. it was all about a promise of dirt on hillary clinton. here's don jr., how about 3:00 at our office. thanks for your help setting it up. the meeting with the russian government attorney. those aren't alternative facts those are just facts, those were the droids they were looking for. more now on the breaking news, the president's interview with reuters. jim acosta joins us now. there certainly seems to be a dramatic ramping up of the rhetoric of the president when it comes to mueller, his team and the probe overall.
>> we seem to be through the looking glass here tonight. one thing you can say about their view of the truth here, it seems to be pretty important to the president when he said to reuters that he views sitting down with special counsel robert mueller is a perjury trap. if truth isn't truth, the president should not be concerned with sitting down with robert mueller. if he's worried about purjoring himself, they must have some concept of what the truth is. while they're ramping up the rhetoric on robert mueller, the president was softening the rhetoric on russia. there's a scenario where he can envision lifting sanctions on the russians in exchange for their cooperation perhaps in the ukraine or syria, it begs the question what exactly would that involve. i can't imagine vladimir putin
pulling russian backed forces out of crimea or the ukraine. it's a striking contrast. while the president is ramping up the rhetoric on robert mueller, he's offering these exit lanes to vladimir putin. >> in terms of news about don mcgahn, how has the white house been reacting to that? >> so far, from what we understand, the president is unnerved, he is uneasy about what don mcgahn may have said to the special counsel's team. it's not exactly clear that the white house or the president's legal team fully understands what don mcgahn told robert mueller's team, but i can tell you i along with some of our justice department colleagues here at cnn have been talking to sources all day long about this, and a source told me about this decision to allow don mcgahn to cooperate with robert mueller, sit down with robert mueller, and what they viewed at that
time was, this was not a waiving of executive privilege, it was allowing don mcgahn to speak with the special counsel, but at a later date they could exert privilege over any information or material that don mcgahn gave to the special counsel. we have a lot of critics out there that say this isn't going to hold up. that's an interesting thinking they had at the time, at the same time, down the road they were thinking, they could block mueller from using any or all of that information from the special counsel's office. jim, thanks. i want to talk more about the breaking news. joining us now, colonel ralph peters. thanks for being with us. the notion from the president that he could run the mueller probe if he wanted to, what does that say to you? >> it says that he does not understand the law, for one thing. also, when i heard that, for
whatever reason, i flashed on an incident from the 1990s, when boris yeltsin grabbed the baton from the band leader and tried to lead the band. everything fell apart. trump thinks he's able to do anything. and it's a result of having yes men and yes women around him for so long. it's a preposterous claim. >> you have the president today saying even if i am telling the truth, that makes me a liar. you have giuliani saying, truth isn't truth. i mean, it seems like we're operating in some alternate universe sometimes. i used the term orwellian, but these are literally things he would have written. >> i'm starting to see giuliani as a left bank intellectual. in philosophy, there's something called coherence theory. especially postmodern philosophy, the idea that if everybody agrees on something, then it's true.
i'm simplifying. if you take coherence theory, and all trump's followers believe that something's true, then it's reality. to be very serious -- >> you're imagining giuliani as a left bank -- >> in a beret, with a glass of wine, cigarette. rapping with sartre and camus. obviously, you know, but seriously, about giuliani, i cannot help feeling somewhat sorry for him. and there's a lesson in giuliani's behavior for all of us. for you, me, for anyone ever associated with the media. you need to know when to get offstage. giuliani is clearly seduced by the bright lights, big city. he was a star. everybody respected him. people loved him. he wants that again, instead he's turned into a pathetic travesty of himself, and frankly, he may be a diversion but he's doing great harm to the president by running off his mouth.
>> kenny rogers, the song< know when to hold 'em, know when to run. giuliani not telling the truth about them not knowing the lawyer was russian. at least claiming to represent the russian government. giuliani, do you think he's doing more harm here than good? or is he doing exactly what the president wants him to do, which is to throw as much spaghetti against the refrigerator door, see what sticks and what confuses people. >> first of all, anderson, i've never pictured you as a kenny rogers fan. as for giuliani, it's not just giuliani. all the people trotted out by the white house, they need to do their homework. even if he wanted to do propaganda, lie outright to the american people, you have to be on the same sheet of music, you have to get your lies straight. it's not a question of not getting the facts straight, they can't get the lies straight. it just makes it worse and worse for the president. >> do you think we're at an
inflection point? we have the manafort verdict coming. possible charges against michael cohen. whatever mueller is going to decide. or frankly, i mean, i feel like i've asked that question a million times over this presidency. >> i think that's right, every day's an inflection point of some sort for this presidency. as i've always maintained, i have great faith in robert mueller, we don't know what he has up his sleeve. when i look at it, the context of the don mcgahn testimony everyone's making comparisons to watergate, i think that's wrong. if you read the externals of what mueller's doing, it looks much more like a classic justice department investigation of a mob boss. you can't get the mob boss, because he didn't pull the trigger, so you go after the money, you go after the tax evasion, money laundering, you go after bank fraud.
and you go after perjury, so we shall see what emerges from all of this. but i think president trump is extremely worried, extremely worried, and that was even manifested in his interview with reuters today. where he made this off the wall remark about -- well, he would like to lift sanctions on russia, if a few conditions prevailed. well, he knows at this point that he can't arbitrarily lift sanctions in russia. putin knows it, but i believe that our president, our president was signaling vladimir putin, that, hey, i'm still trying, i'm still trying. >> really, you don't think that's what that was? >> there's no other explanation for it. he knows he can't lift the sanctions. i think, as i've maintained all along, putin has a grip on this man, tragic for everybody. putin may be losing patience and i would love to have heard what was said behind closed doors at that helsinki meeting.
if i was betting on one thing that was said, putin was telling him to lift the economic sanctions. russia is hurting economically. we shall see what mueller comes up with. i cannot help but feel that while trump is a buffoon and many other things besides, what we often miss in the hubbub and the tomfoolery, this is a tragic time for our nation, for our image in the world. for our constitutional order. and so, ultimately, all those goofy remarks by giuliani and kellyanne conway, they're not really funny, they're deadly serious. >> ralph, the folks in the control room would like me to make those kenny rogers lyrics clear. you got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run. >> i'll treasure this moment. >> i'm still thinking of giuliani in a red beret sipping wine. thanks very much.
for more perspective, we bring more commentators. the president telling reuters he could run this, the mueller investigation, does that make any sense to you? >> it makes no sense. and it's wrong. if you think about it, the one thing we know for sure, the president is not above the law. if he was above the law, it would say that in the united states constitution. so there's no question that the president cannot take over an investigation in which he is the subject and say, it goes away. if he was the king in a country maybe he could do that. but in a constitutional country like we live, in that's not possible. >> how rattled does the president appear to be when it comes to mueller? >> he seems to be extremely nervous, and getting more so by the day and getting more irrational by the day. we have -- i'm not reminded of
kenny rogers. but there's another way to look at this, dante in the divine comedy, he wrote, in the middle of our lives, i came across a dark wood, and the straight way was lost. i think we're in that very dark wood right now. because the president is not making sense, he continually attacks people, i saw an account today. over the course of his presidency, he's issued a tax on 484 individuals or institutions, on top of his 5,000 falsehoods, this is quite a show. >> does any of it matter? i mean, this could have been pretty much any night in which the news, this kind of stuff is being reported for the people who believe in him, for his base. is it just about sowing enough doubt that people kind of throw up their hands? >> that's certainly part of his intent. all of this is intended for his
base, whcih is his even protection at this point, because he is in a panic, and let's build on what david was speculating. i talk to people in the white house in the last few days, and they say he's unhinged. only he knows the facts if he's capable of parsing the facts, he's not making sense in terms of a coherent defense. rather, he's trying to do everything he can to affect the midterm elections, to reach his base, to put fear into other republicans who may not be part of that base enough to win the midterms. if he does not win the midterms, there is a cumulative effect of everything we are seeing including the mcgahn story is very important. because what the mcgahn story is, as his lawyer said it's not that mcgahn incriminated the
president, but he contributed to the matrix of showing the president's obstruction of justice in a very, very definitive way as well as showing the collusion -- >> well, we -- >> actually, i think we do know some of it, and some of it has been reported. part of that is indeed about what happened. i'll give you one example. and i think we can reliably say that mcgahn talked about attempts to fire attorney general sessions, by reince priebus, was asked by the president to fire attorney general sessions. or obtain his resignation. and priebus refused. a few days later, priebus was out. now, in a skeletal form, that
was reported by "vanity fair," it's of huge importance in the whole pattern of what trump has done to obstruct goes to what mcgahn talked about. it's part of a matrix, it's part of a damning matrix, it's not incriminating by itself, as his lawyer said tonight, perhaps. because his lawyer said tonight, to clarify things, he did not incriminate the president but did he contribute to that matrix? he absolutely did. >> we have to take a break. we'll continue the discussion shortly. later, paul manafort waiting for a verdict. and michael cohen waiting for perhaps federal charges. more ahead.
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anyway, talking tonight about trump's conversation with reuters. saying he hasn't given much thought to stripping robert mueller's security clearance. but did not rule it out. as you know, this unfolded at the end of an already busy day characterized by a flood of presidential tweets. david, you see the president throwing out some of the most loaded terms in american history. attacking the mueller probe, mccarthyism, how john dean was a rat in the nixon administration, he's calling people in the mueller team thugs, the idea that paul manafort is getting it tougher than al capone. does that serve the president well? >> no, no, i don't think so. what it may serve the president is contributing to an exhaustion factor. people are tired of this torrent of insults. and doing everything except being president. even so, the clock is ticking
now. you remember rudy giuliani has said that we're not going to testify at all to mueller after labor day. it's only two weeks away. mueller doesn't have much time to act. otherwise this all could be put off until after the first of the year. i think that would drive a lot of us crazy. we want to see a resolution. >> the idea of it being put off, if there was a decision by mueller not to have anything that could influence the election for 60 days, could he still continue -- he could still continue his investigation in all this stuff. it's not as if he's releasing information. >> he would continue his investigation. but he wouldn't do anything that could be public. >> you wouldn't be serving subpoenas? >> he would be incredibly cautious about that. to make sure there is nothing that could come out that would look like he's interfering with an election.
he wouldn't do anything that might sort of raise public attention during that 60-day period. >> what do you make of the language that the president -- calling people thugs working on this. >> it's stunning, i think it is really disappointing. criminal prosecutors, their job is to follow the law and the facts. and in any case, to argue that they are criminals, going out and being politically motivated themselves, it's a sad day. and it's completely at odds with the people i know that work in the space. >> the president is faced with the looming publication of a book by bob woodward. any sense of whether he's worried about that and how much? >> that indeed, one of the people i talked to in the last three, four days say that's
something the president has expressed great worry and concern about, about what is going to be in bob's book. he's terrified about what cohen, his former counsel, his former fixer might say to authorities and what cohen is shopping around in terms of information, what he may have about many matters of interest to mueller. and then we also get back to this question of -- as evidence, by this throwing around this mccarthyite notion, there is only one mccarthyite that we are seeing in all of this, and that is the president of the united states. >> you think he's the joe mccarthy here? >> i don't think there's any question about it, i said something about it back in february on our air. if you look at what mccarthy did, he attacked the legitimate institutions of the government. he attacked the state department for having communists in it, he attacked the usia.
he attacked the voice of america. he attacked other government departments. he tried to say even as the president and those around him have been saying, he essentially said there is a deep state riddled with communists that we have to be concerned about. and he was making it all up. and, yes, the president has consistently -- he learned at the knee, as you pointed out, of roy cohen, cohen was more than his lawyer. he was his mentor. and cohen's tactics were mccarthy's tactics. throughout his business life, trump's tactics have been cohn's tactics and mccarthy's tactics and the birtherism question is a mccarthyite tactic. et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. and calling mueller a thug. >> it is interest ing if you believe joe mccarthy was a -- not a good guy and bad person.
you wouldn't hire roy cohn. who enabled and worked for joe mccarthy. if you thought joe mccarthy was abhorrent, you know, roy cohn was part and parcel of that. >> absolutely. that is john mccarthy was one of the great villains in american history. he will always be remembered not only for destroying the trustworthiness of many institutions, but destroying the lives of many of the people he attacked. and the way that donald trump goes after individuals and institutions, some 484 since he became president. you know, is a replica of what roy cohn, schooled donald trump in years ago. his whole confrontational, let's take it to the court, bullying style, that comes right out of the roy cohn playbook. >> it's a dirty playbook.
>> no president has ever used mccarthyite tactics. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. coming up, rudy giuliani is taking on john brennan. and the latest from colorado, where charges have now been filed in the murder of a pregnant woman and her two young daughters. ♪ you shouldn't be rushed into booking a hotel. with expedia's add-on advantage, booking a flight unlocks discounts on select hotels until the day you leave for your trip. add-on advantage. only when you book with expedia. plaque psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats differently. for psoriasis, 75% clearer skin is achievable, with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. and for psoriatic arthritis, otezla is proven to reduce joint swelling, tenderness, and pain.
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rudy giuliani joined in on president trump's assault on john brennan today. he posted this tweet a day after brennan said he was challenging his security clearance last week. today president trump granted our request to handle your case, after threatening if you don't, it would be just like obama's red lines. come on, john, you're not a blowhard. giuliani's taunt comes as dozens more officials added their names to the letter denouncing the president for the revocation of his clearance. joining me now, former director clapper. should brennan in your opinion take legal action against the president? >> well, that's certainly an option. i know john is considering it, and there are several legal
activists who have approached all of us that have been threatened with this, and in john's case, where his clearance has been revoked. and i think that's a decision yet to be made. that's certainly one option. i will say, just to clarify, though, that john's interest is not in attempting to restore his clearance with a suit. his point would be to make a larger point, which is his right to speak and by extension others', which is by the way, if i may just take a moment to amplify something i said yesterday on "state of the union," the issue here is not parsing john's rhetoric. the issue is his right to speak, and by extension, others' right to speak. >> i want to read you something that the president tweeted today. he said, i hope john brennan brings a lawsuit, it will then be easy to get all of his records, texts, e-mails and documents to show the poor job he did.
and how he was involved with the mueller rigged witch hunt, he won't sue. you worked with brennan for many years, could the president get the records and cherry pick them if he wanted to? >> it's so hard to parse that tweet to begin with, it's not at all clear to me how the records at the agency would have any relevance grounds in the first amendment. he has access to the records that john brennan had access to. they're all part of the government's records in that respect, and i don't think they would reflect anything along the lines of what he's characterized. but we're forced to respond to this kind of dialogue as opposed to the kind of public discourse you hope you would engage in on these types of issues, where you're trying to understand these issues better. instead, we're getting trapped
into this name calling and immature statements. >> we're in an age where the president of the united states is calling people who work for the government thugs. rudy giuliani. caw -- calling them stormtroopers. >> blowhards, all of these things -- so much for the language of presidents, think not what you -- what your country will do for you, but what you can do for your country. the president has such an enormous responsibility and has such an incredible platform for shaping the discourse of the united states. >> director clapper, the president has said that the reason so many former intelligence officers are coming forward condemning the -- taking away brennan's security clearance, his clearance is in his words, worth great prestige and big dollars. is there a truth to that? >> it could be for some people but it doesn't really apply to me or i don't think to john.
i've been eligible for access to classified information since september, 1963, so going on 55 years. there are intervals there where i didn't have access. that's the difference here. we left the government in january of '17 still eligible, but we don't have access. so, for me it doesn't have direct impact. it could on others. depending on how this is applied. >> that's the thing, the president is not just threatening people who are out of government, but people who are still working in government. i mean, bruce ohr is currently at the department of justice. it's actually a part of his job. >> i mean, i think actually the bruce ohr piece is something that we should be focusing on. in my view, one should be raising the question of whether or not that's having a chilling action on other employees of the department of justice who are
concerned about their security clearance being pulled because of the activities they're engaged in. the investigations they're doing that the president may or may not like. i think it is particularly concerning, not only are we undermining in a sense, freedom of expression and as jim points out, we're not thinking about the john brennans and jim clappers of the world, but so many other career officers who may be formers. may be working in the defense industry for the broader defense of the united states government. but then feel chilled in terms of their speech. but as you point out, the bruce ohrs of the world, that means if they feel chilled could be undermining the institutions and their ability to protect against these types of violations on our principles. >> you're talking about the president saying people are
making big bucks, there are many, many people, former intelligence people who work for military companies or companies doing business with the u.s. government that do rely on having a clearance. and a lot of that is work which does -- and whether you like it or not, it does -- it is part of the u.s. government. it benefits the united states, whether you like the policies or not. >> yeah, part of our national security structure, without question. >> anderson, if i could just add one point here to this discussion. another one of the enemies list, is mike hayden, and i would point out that mike's been out of the government for nine years, he has nothing to do with the russia investigation, in no way has he been able to officially touch that, so that just illustrates how political really this list is. and it's particularly egregious with bruce ohr. >> jim clapper, thank you.
he was charged with first degree murder, unlawful termination of a pregnancy. his wife was 15 weeks pregnant, and also charged with three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. one of the things the affidavit says is chris watts confessed to killing his wife. he says he did so because he had asked her for a separation, looking to end the marriage, and then he said it was an emotional conversation, but a civil conversation, he went out for a bit and came back, and he says she had strangled one of their girls already, and she was blue on the bed, and was actively strangling the second daughter. so he flew into a rage and killed his wife. that's his story. that's what he told police. the affidavit says he was having an extramarital affair with a co-worker. something he denied in earlier interviews with investigators. but they discovered that over the course of the investigation. we have been following this
since last week, and this is what we found in terms of how this case has unfolded. >> girls, mommy has a baby in her belly. >> yay! >> reporter: a moment of joy that's turned to pain and mystery. that was shanann watts telling her two daughters that she was pregnant again. bella and celeste were thrilled. >> i love you girls. >> i want to give the baby a hug. >> reporter: there's also video of her sharing the news with her husband of nearly six years, chris watts. >> that's awesome. i guess when you want to, it happens. >> reporter: but not long after that video was taken, something terrible happened. on monday last week, shanann and her daughters went missing, then came tuesday, and shanann's husband chris began a series of public pleas for their safe return.
>> just come back, if somebody has her, just please bring her back. i need to see everybody. i need to see everybody again. this house is not complete without everybody here. i just want them back. i want them to come back. and if they're not safe right now, that's what's tearing me apart. >> reporter: authorities searched the home and canvassed the neighborhood. two days later, a grisly discovery. >> we've been able to recover a body that we're quite certain is shanann watts' body. >> reporter: authorities say the woman's body was recovered on the property of a petroleum and natural gas exploration company where chris watts used to work. the bodies of two children were found nearby. then, another bizarre turn. the desperate husband and father who had pleaded for his family's safe return was now suddenly the prime suspect in their disappearance. >> in the late hours of wednesday evening, chris watts was taken into custody.
and was transported. >> no, he wouldn't do anything. and then i seen his interview, i was like, oh, my god. something's not right. >> reporter: on facebook, shanann's brother directly accused chris watts. this piece of blank. may he rot in hell. he killed my pregnant sister and two nieces. police have not suggested a motive. before his arrest, watts told reporters that he and his wife exchanged words. >> it wasn't like an argument. we had an emotional conversation but i'll leave it at that. >> still, on shanann's facebook page, a portrait of a happy family. >> i got a friend request from chris and i thought, whatever, i'm never going to meet him. one thing led to another, eight years later, we live in colorado, have two kids. and he's the best thing that has ever happened to me.
>> it's awful to see her talking about him. >> so lovingly. >> what we know about where the bodies were found. some new information on that. he loaded all three bodies into his truck. and took them to his oil company where he used to work. he was fired the same day he was arrested. he was given a map by >> shenan watts was found in a shallow grave, and the two girls nearby in oil tanks where police say their bodies had been submerged for four days. >> he's claiming he killed her to protect in a rage or whatever, why would he have have hidden the body? >> they asked for dna samples to be taken and possibly to prove to prove the mother not the father did it. >> or you hide the bodies and
then you do do all of those television interviews. that's what they're going to have figure out the prosecution side of that case. tonight we're taking on a case of it truth. can the president do what he just said, take over the mueller probe. can he, should he? and when it comes to what he fears the most, it's the internet. why is he really ducking the mueller interview? we have some great guests who understand him personally and understand the legal issues personally and they're going to test the case for us tonight. two president trump's long time associates in legal gemmerdy tonight. jurors in the trial of paul manafort are still deliberating along with some financial crimes. and sources are telling cnn the president's personal attorney, michael cohen, could be facing criminal indictment by prosecutors by the end of the month. more ahead. cultures to explore. with two times more detail than any other dna test...
two of the president's former associates are in legal jeopardy tonight. on the left of course is his former campaign chairman paul manafort. jurors are still considering 18 counts of alleged financial crimes. on the right is his former personal attorney, michael cohen. michael cohen, sources are telling cnn, that federal prosecutors are preparing criminal charges against him, could announce them very soon. more on the manafort trial coming up. but first brynn gingras joins us with more on cohen. what have you learned? >> reporter: yeah, anderson. two weeks left in august, and what sources are telling my colleagues is that the sdny federal prosecutors are keenly aware of the midterm elections coming up, and they don't want any of their decisions to influence the election. so that's why we have this end of august deadline for this possible charges against michael cohen. but, listen, we've always known
the federal prosecutors have been looking into cohen's business practices, possibilities of bank fraud, tax fraud, campaign finance violations. but "the new york times" really focused that in their reporting saying that it's possible michael cohen lied to lenders in order to secure up to $20 million in loans for his taxi businesses. $20 million is a lot of money and could be very significant to this investigation. of course when we talk about the probe into whether or not he gave this hush payment to stormy daniels, if he committed any campaign finance violations, that would be something, of course, the trump administration would be interested in hearing if charges do come in the next few weeks, anderson. >> do we know anything about a possible deal with prosecutors? is that a possibility, and what if anything could that mean for the mueller investigation? >> reporter: yeah. we don't know if he has made a deal. sure, there's a possibility. we haven't heard a deal has been struck as of yet. of course we know michael cohen has been vocal that he's willing to give information in order to strike a deal. and as we understand it, if he does strike a deal, it will be
with sdny, but it also could be with other investigations like the mueller investigation. so at this point we don't know what michael cohen knows or what he can actually offer investigators. but that's certainly something we hope to find out very soon, maybe even sooner than we think. anderson. >> brynn gingras, appreciate it. fascinating turn of events for michael cohen. we'll continue to follow that. the jury in the paul manafort trial has gone home for the day, again without delivering a verdict. shimon prokupecz is at the courthouse for us. no verdict today. there was some activity at the courthouse. what happened? >> reporter: there was, anderson. we really didn't get to see the jury today except in the morning and in the afternoon. some nine hours after they started their deliberations, they went home. but there was activity in the courtroom. a lot of secret meetings between the judge and the attorneys. this has happened often at this trial, and there were two more today. the judge sealing those conferences. they're bench conferences done outside of the jury, outside of
the public, and they were sealed. so we don't know why that is. we don't know what they were discussing. clearly the jury here still working, going through a lot of the evidence that they heard and some of the 18 counts that they're looking at, but really, anderson, no word -- none -- from the jury today as to what they're thinking. >> and when do deliberations begin tomorrow? >> reporter: so they'll be back tomorrow first thing in the morning, 9:30 they get here. they're expected to just go right back into the jury room and begin their deliberations. they have already, interestingly enough, put in their lunch orders. today the judge, before the jurors left for the day, asking them if they had submitted their lunch orders. they said they did. so perhaps maybe they're expecting a long day here tomorrow as well. >> you talk about the discussions at the bench with the attorneys. are the attorneys and manafort -- are they there all day long just waiting? >> reporter: yeah, exactly. yes, they are. manafort, obviously he's been in jail since this trial started, so he stays in the courthouse.
and the attorneys for -- his attorneys have been sending a lot of their time at a hotel across the street where a lot of the media has been gathered. so we all kind of hang out together. there's a hotel directly across the street from the courthouse. what usually happens is when there's a note or perhaps there's something the judge wants to discuss, they'll get a phone call, and usually that's how we know something is going on, because the attorneys will then rush into court, and then we all kind of chase them into the courthouse. >> on friday, the president has said manafort was a good man. do we know if the judge has reacted to that at all? >> reporter: no. we don't know. we don't know if the jury has even seen some of that reaction from the president. the judge has not addressed that issue in the court. >> is the jury sequestered? >> reporter: the jury is not sequestered, anderson. some people have questioned that as to why they were not sequestered given all the publicity surrounding this case. but, no, they're free to leave in the morning. we've even seen jurors outside smoking here.
they're free to leave during the day to take small breaks. don't miss full circle on facebook. you pick some of the stories that we cover. you can see it week nights at 6:25 p.m. eastern. if you haven't checked it out, you should. it's a fun show. the news continues right now. i want to hand it over to chris. "cuomo prime time" starts now. thank you, anderson. i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." president trump is attacking the special counsel like never before, including a declaration today that he could be running the probe himself if he really wanted to. really? former a.g. michael mukasey is here. what he sees as the reality of what trump has to worry about and when the probe should end and how. we're going to zero in on why trump is so panicked about ducking the mueller interview. this notion of a perjury trap, is it real? one of his close confidants will be here with some insight into why trump is so newly panicked. and the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani, told me last week facts are in the eye of the