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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  September 4, 2018 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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okay. no. no. you don't have to come on the show if you don't want to, but you can't get away with, are you going to believe your lying eyes bs. he wasn't pushed away by security. he made a decision. i'm not indicting the judge. i get he is a car pool dad and people say he's a good man. i get it. but how we disagree matters. we cannot turn away from each other just because we don't like what the other is saying. the right to believe something includes the right to say it, be heard and be judged by larger soept. yes, it does work both ways. it is not always equal but it works both ways. you can't silence opinions because you don't like them. look, some day here is why. if you allow what you don't like to be silenced today, you will never know for sure that what you believe won't be silenced tomorrow. that's not what america is. it can never be us. let's see what the judge is asked tomorrow. we will be covering it here. thank you very much. i'm late getting to don.
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"cnn tonight with don lemon" starts right now. >> that's okay because i was looking for the transcript in the woodward phone call where the president talks about, well, i don't even talk to raj. so you should be speaking to my secretary, whatever, when we were saying, hey, i've been trying to get you on this book. i don't know how much credible rog has but i think you're right, he should answer for it. >> i want to know why. you can't say, i have no idea who he is. senator dianne feinstein introduced him and others at the hearing, guttenberg, about who he was and how he lost his kid. i don't mean to indict the judge. i don't know him, i haven't learned much about him from his own mouth, we will get to that tomorrow. but how we disagree matters and we have to have decency. >> you have to have credibility. when you're caught in so many lies on tape and in person, it is hard to have credibility and i'm talking about the white house. thank you. got a lot to get to because you know we have to talk about what happens in massachusetts moments
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ago and what happened as you were displaying the hearings. chris, i will see you tomorrow. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. here is breaking news tonight on election night, a major upset. this time it is massachusetts, boston city council person ayanna pressley defeating michael capuano in the primary for his u.s. house seat. this is a very big deal. we will talk to ayanna pressley as soon as she can get to a camera, so stick around. as soon as she gets there, she will be here. we will discuss everything and ask her about everything. we also have breaking news on the mueller investigation to tell you about. here is what a source is telling cnn. that mueller and his team and team trump team -- tum trump, they're continuing to discuss a possible interview with the president of the united states. sources say those discussions are now focusing more on written questions for the president, written questions. "the new york times" is reporting tonight that mueller will accept written answers from president trump on russia's
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election interference, but did not ask for written answers on obstruction. okay. so we're going to have more on that in a moment. as i said, it is a busy night. all of this is coming. in the wake of this blockbuster, these blockbuster revelations from the new book "fear, trump in the white house" by one of the most respected journalists in the business, bob woodward. these are some of the things that current and former members of the trump administration are reportedly saying about the president of the united states, current and former members of the administration. people, this president picked himself. the man he chose, he chose them for the job. he picked them. it is coming from them. well, the chief of staff john kelly, and it is a quote, he says, he's an idiot, it is pointless to try to convince him of anything, he's gone off the rails, we're in "crazytown", going on to say, and again i'm quoting from bob woodward's book here, i don't even know why any of us are here, this is the
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worst job i have ever had. that's the chief of staff john kelly. now the defense secretary, james mattis, describing trump as having the understanding of, quote, a fifth or sixth grader. trump's former personal lawyer, john dowd, according to woodward described the president as a f'ing liar. those are his words. in an effort to convince trump not to talk to mueller said, quote, don't testify. it is either that or an orange jump suit. former chief economic adviser gary cohen, who woodward reports was appalled president trump might have signed later withdrawing the u.s. from a trailed agreement with sergey kislyak south carolina. here is a quote from him. i stole it, that is the letter off his office desk. i wouldn't let him see it. he's never going to see that
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document. got to protect the country. former staff secretary rob porter, quote, a third of my job was trying to react to some of the really dangerous ideas that he had and try to give him reasons to believe that maybe they weren't such good ideas. of course, there's the previously-reported comment from the former secretary of state rex tillerson saying this about the president. quote, he's an f'ing moron, idiot, crazytown, liar, dangerous, having the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader. what they're saying there is, i mean, really ominous. again, current and former administration. these are republicans. i mean that is really ominous. presumably the people who know the president better than anyone, talking about trump in a way that has -- has got to raise questions about his fitness for office. denials of portions the quotes, those quotes coming out of the
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white house tonight notably from john kelly, james mattis, rudy guilliani and john dowd, but this is an important point. there are tapes. in a note to readers in his book bob woodward says the book is drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews with first-hand participants and witnesses to the events. nearly all allowed me to tape-record our interviews so the story could be told with more precision. cnn has confirmed woodward spoke to at least a dozen former and current white house officials, and the president himself said in a phone call he knew it was being recorded. he said, quote, i think you've always been fair. but then i want you to listen to this, because the president changing his tune in that same call on whether any republican senators talked to him about woodward, okay. >> and i certainly don't mind talking to you and i wish i could have spoken to you. >> well -- >> but, you know, nobody called my office. i mean you went through i guess different people. >> mr. president, how can i
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spend all of this time talking to people and -- like kellyanne and rog and republican senators. >> who were the senators? they never called me. >> senator graham said he talked to you about talking to me. now, is that not true? >> senator graham actually mentioned it quickly on one meeting. >> we'll see nothing -- >> that is true. >> okay. you heard that. so he said no and then he said that is true. the president saying, quote, i certainly don't mind talking to you and i wish i could have spoken to you, but nobody called my office. i mean you went through, i guess, different people. woodward replying here, well, mr. president, how can i spend all of this time talking to people like kellyanne and raj and republican senators? the president asks, who were the senators? no, they never called me about it. woodward, senator graham said he had talked to you about talking to me. now, is that not true? the president, senator graham actually mentioned it quickly in
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one meeting. woodward's reply, yes. well, see. and then nothing happened. so do you believe woodward or do you believe the man who told you this. >> just remember what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. >> so let's discuss this. a lot to get to in the coming hours here on cnn. i'm going to bring in jamie gingell, cnn political commentator alice stewart and republican strategist rick stewart the author of "everything trump tubes dies." good evening on this busy tuesday. i hope you got lots of rest over the labor day weekend because we're back at it again. jamie, you were the first to obtain the book outside of "the washington post" and read it cover to cover several times i heard. >> right. >> these devastating pouring out
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and it seems so many close associates of the president question his fitness for office. >> i think real reporting on the highlights, let me just tell you, it is the tip of the iceberg. the fact that people -- this is his inner circle. these are not critics. these are the people who are in the room with him day in and day out, went to what are extraordinary measures to do what they felt was protecting the country because they felt that he was a danger to national security. i've never heard anything quite like this before. the book opens with the dramatic story that you told about gary cohn coming in, got to protect the country, but he wasn't alone. this was not -- this was a group that was doing it. gary cohn, rob porter, it was done with the knowledge of chief of staff reince priebus, and in addition to the documents they
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also would just slow-roll things or distract him or change the subject. there is just extraordinary detail over a long period of time, incident after incident, that is scary. you know, we want a president to be able to manage a crisis. maybe the most important thing they do. when you hear his closest aides saying, as you quoted, that he doesn't have the knowledge, he doesn't understand substance, all of which is reported in the book, you have to worry. >> yeah. and we want them, you said, to be able to handle crisis. but, rick, we want them to be confident because this idea that top aides to the president swipe papers off his desk because they didn't want him to see or sign them, gary cohn is in this because he felt the need to protect the country. that is stunning. why don't they just say, okay, look, this isn't right, america,
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i can no longer do this? why can't they be honest with america and come clean instead of protecting this president and possibly harming the american people? >> they have made a decision to execute the 25th amendment option of removing donald trump from the presidency, they just haven't told him or us. they have decided they're going to sideline donald trump because he is a dangerous man with a degree of mental and personal instability that puts the country at risk. and every day these examples of donald trump's impulse and ego getting the best of him, you know, play out. these guys have to say, you know, am i going to stay here inside the belly of the beast and hope that i can -- that i can, you know, move a few things off of his radar screen so he doesn't start world war iii or destroy our alliances forever. but the truth of the matter is they're morally culpable in the end. if they really were concerned about the fate of the country, they would stand up and speak
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out. you notice that these guys are going to deny that they spoke to woodward. they're going to pretend it wasn't them. they're all going to deny it. this happens with every woodward book, republican administrations an democratic administrations. but bob woodward has the juice here. he has the facts. i think that this is going to be a very hard time for these folks because, you know, you heard the conversation with trump and kellyanne today. he's not going to trust anybody. he's not going to trust any of these people. he is going to think they're all screwing him and they're all out to get him. president is going to be very paranoid going forward, more so than he has been to date. >> alison, i want to bring you in. but i want to say this to you quickly, rick, this reminds me of what i have experienced and i'm sure you have experienced that people behind the camera, people in the green room or you see them in the public, they go, oh, i cannot believe this, blah, blah, blah, and then you get in front of the camera and you're like, who are you? you didn't say that on saturday night when i bumped into you in a restaurant.
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go on quickly. >> i write about it in my book a lot. these people are terrified of donald trump's twitter. they're terrified of "fox news" turning on them and so they're willing to put the country at risk. they're willing to lie constantly to their own constituents, their own friends, their own families and yet they know what donald trump is. they know he is a guy without any impulse control and they know he is a danger to this country. >> alison, not to be redundant because again i think it is stunning, some of the allegations in this book according to woodward. the die fenefense secretary desg him as having the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader. it is not coming, as jamie said, this is not coming from trump-hating democrats. this is coming from his aides and cabinet officials. >> sure. and the reality is, look, we all knew that the president himself had a potty mouth when he ran for president, but hearing these stories of the president and his senior team calling each other
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idiots and retarded and a dumb southerner and f'ing this and that and the fact it is "crazytown", the white house, this makes for a great book. the reality is speaking with some at the white house, i talked to kellyanne just a short time ago, a lot of this comes from former employees who are disgruntled and want to make sure that they have a story that is salacious out there in order to make their time in the white house look a little better. that being said, i do believe robert -- this book's reporting. i do believe he is going to get the facts straight. even ari fleischer said you may not like some of the things he reports but he gets the facts straight. >> alison, this goes beyond patti mouth. it goes to competence and credibility. i don't hear a lot of happy white house staffers speaking out except for people like kellyanne who keep spinning and spinning like a top. >> these are -- you know, like i said, even if half of these stories are true and this
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document was taken off the president's desk because gary cohn and others may have felt the president's knee jerk reaction was going to be harmful to this country, people across america -- i have traveled this country over the last month or so. they're not concerned about the palace intrigue. they're concerned about the other big news story of the day, which is the main reason i voted for this president, knowing all of this other stuff was out there, was that he was going to appoint scalia, like justice to the supreme court. they're not concerned about this. frankly, they're watching another network that down plays this story and up-plays the economic numbers and job numbers and the kavanaugh hearing, which is important. trump's base, the people he is most directing his message to, they are not sidelined by a book of palace intrigue. they are focused on the economics and jobs numbers we are getting out of this white house. >> don, can i just jump in a minute? i have read the book. i don't believe that kellyanne
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conway has read the book. so this excuse that these are former disgruntled officials, i just don't think it is going to wash when the book comes out next week and people read it. yes, there are some former people, but there are also current administration officials. what i have said about this is, you know, in watergate there was the famous deep throat that was a source for bob woodward. he interviewed dozens of firsthand officials. there are dozens of deep throats here, and most of them allowed their interviews to be recorded. >> okay. stick around, everyone. you guys will get another chance on the other side of this break, because when we come back we will have more on bob woodward's explosive reporting on dysfunction in the trump west wing. plus, why the president didn't speak to woodward about the book though he claims he wanted to. we'll be right back. ♪ "cnn tonight" is brought to
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this is banking reimagined. what's in your wallet? tonight the white house hitting back at bob woodward after his explosive new book portrays the white house as complete chaos, calling the president an idiot and with the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader. back with me now, this is
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fascinating we are actually saying this about a president. jamie, i want to read a quote from the president's first chief of staff, reince priebus. when you put a snake, a rabbit, a shark and a seal in a zoo without walls things get nasty and bloody. that paints, you know, quite a picture of a chaotic white house, doesn't it? >> it does. i think that we've all known about chaos and dysfunction, and there's been quite a bit of reporting, of course, since he took office about that. but i think what's shocking here is the level of detail. you go inside the oval office, inside the white house residence. there is a scene at the pentagon that is best scribbled,describe say from woodward's reporting, as an intervention, where they bring the president to the pentagon to try to explain to him diplomacy, defense, the
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reason why it is dangerous to pull troops out of south korea. it is extraordinary. he basically dismisses what they said. the profanity is the profanity. i don't think that's what the big concern is with the book. it is this underlying lack of understanding. the words that are used are erratic, unhinged, alarmed, exasperated. those are the things that i think will be most shocking about the book when people read it. >> rick, i want you to take a look at this. this is just some of the insults the president lobs towards associates. this is according to woodward. he calls his attorney general jeff sessions mentally retarded and a dumb sugt earner. he calls reince priebus a little rat, he says h.r. mcmaster wears suits like a beer salesman. he says wilbur ross is past his
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prime. i mean, you know, there's a point to what alice said about potty mouth, but should it be a surprise considering the president's affinity to insult people publicly? i would think that i am actually reading something from maybe elementary school or -- it is not even junior high. i know you are, but what am i, kind of thing. >> sure. september aside the president's whole mouth for a moment. the real thing here comes down to the fact that donald trump doesn't ever build anyone on his team up. it is all about aggrandizing his ego, all about humiliating people, it is all about insults. it is all about this pathetic man-child who can't stand anyone else's accomplishments being in the sun against his. >> but, rick, who says mentally retarded anymore, a dumb southerner? what is this, 1950? come on. >> look, this is a guy who is really showing that he's an
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old-school white dude from queens in all of the bad ways that that possibly can represent, from a time where -- look, i'm not one for, like, political correctness or any of that, you know, soft-edge stuff. i have said a few words on tv now and again that made people blush, but this is a guy whose insults are so petty and projecting and so miserable, it really demeans the presidency. you have a guy in there who can't control himself and who looks around the room and says, how can i drag everyone in here down. i mean i guarantee you, kellyanne conway had a bad day today after that tape came out. he is now ripping her to shreds. this is a guy who destroys everything in his path. everything he touches dies, as i like to say. it shouldn't surprise people he does this. this is his character. it was obvious. he went after a gold star family. he insulted john mccain's military service. this is a disgusting human being. it is not a surprise, and no one
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who wants to support trump can cover the fact that this has the absolute ring of utter truth in the way truth speaks to and about people. >> alice, i mean, again, git your point about a potty mouth. i think america knows -- maybe they did. i mean some people did, how donald trump conducted himself. well, of course, they did from what he said on the campaign trail. i don't know if they knew about his business. people who were new yorkers who had to do business with him knew about that. but it seems there's a nastiness and meanness to the president, and it goes beyond how he describes his aides. you can argue it is in some of his policies, too. if you look at separating the kids at the border. >> yeah, i think the language is one thing, and the fact that we're hearing from this book -- like i said, i trust bob woodward's reporting and the information that i was given. you know, even if half of this is true, the mutual lack of respect and normal decorum we hear about in the white house is
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concerning. but more than the name-calling and the insults we are hearing, i think the details of the book are troubling. but bigger than that is the larger picture i'm sure will come out as the book comes out and jamie is able to talk more about what she has read, is the picture that this president does take knee-jerk reaction. he does have rash impulses that could potentially be dangerous to this country. and if he was, you know, brought in to the pentagon and had a type of intervention and he's not able to really take advice from his senior advisers, that is more of a concern in my view to the country and certainly the national security. if that picture is painted, that could certainly have an impact. but at this stage, this is, once again, those who approve of this president are not going to be believing this story and this narrative that is painted out there. but those who do not like this president and disapprove of him, they're going to use this to exploit his weak nesses and use
quote
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that, in my view, as we move further into the midterm election. >> well, what are you going to do? i mean it is just beyond belief to me that some people can just read this and say, oh, that's okay. so, jamie. >> yeah. >> this is the -- a tweet from the president and i think it deserves to be talked about quickly here. the woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by secretary of defense, james mattis, and general chief of staff john kelly. their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. likewise, other stories and quotes. woodward is a dem operative. notice timing? woodward is a democratic operative? i mean that's beyond ridiculous. >> first of all, the president will have a little trouble here because he has been very complimentary of bob woodward in the past. i think if we want to go back to that audio tape, he says that bob has been fair to him. do we want to play that tape
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again? i'm not sure. >> we can't. we cannot. >> we cannot? okay. >> legally we cannot. we only have a certain amount of time. >> okay. so he says that bob has been very fair to him. he has tweeted in the past about how bob's reporting was great. to all of a sudden do what i now call a trump 180, which was as he did with saying, oh, nobody ever told me you wanted to interview me. then he says, oh, yeah, lindsey graham did, that's true, that's true. i think that trump is going to punch back because that's what he does. i think as he learns more about the book, it may get more heated. we'll see what those tweets look like at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. but bob woodward has a lot of credibility. he has written major books on eight different presidents, won two pulitzer prizes. he is known for his
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investigative reporting and his accuracy. >> thank you all. i appreciate it. it was a great conversation. >> thank you. >> i'll see you next time. when we come back, another stunning primary upset tonight. boston's first woman of color to serve on the city council, ayanna pressley. tonight, defeating a ten-term democratic congressman, michael capuano in the race for his own seat. ♪ celebrate good times ♪ come on ♪ (gasps) l'oréal's magic root cover up. 3 seconds to flawless roots. 3, 2, 1. roots gone! magic root cover up by l'oréal paris. look for the turquoise one. but allstate actually helps you drive safely... with drivewise.
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nfl sunday ticket .tv. more for your thing. that's our thing. visit nflsundayticket.tv j so here is the breaking news. another stunning primary upset, this time in massachusetts. ayanna pressley, the first woman of color to serve on the boston city council, tonight defeating
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ten-term democratic congressman michael capuano in the race for his house seat. there's no republican challenging pressley in november so looks like she is heading to washington. as we said earlier, we thought she would be able to join us tonight from her headquarters but she is speaking with supporters and enjoying her victory. we will update you if we are able to talk with her tonight. i want to bring in cnn politics senior writer and analyst mr. harry yinton and miguel marquez live at pressley headquarters. harry ran in and told us this was going to happen. he predicted it, sort of, not early, but fairly early. miguel, we will start with you because you're there. what happened in boston tonight? >> reporter: she got voters out that don't typically vote. it is a district that was tested twice, in february and a few weeks ago in august. michael capuano was up by 12 points in february, up by 13 points in the masking poll in
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august, and she won. an hour and a half after the polls closed, he conceded the race, clearly seeing that voters in dorchester, in jamaica plain, in boston, the area where she is very strong, turned out in massive numbers. he couldn't make it up in the areas where he had support. just a massive, massive win. it clearly sends the message that that insurgent energy in the democratic party is alive and well here in massachusetts, the blue wave took out a very blue member of congress tonight for a bluer one. she says she did this for people in prison, african-american men in prison, for women and their rights, for immigrants. one quote she had that i thought was really great, i knew i would be demonized as entitled and what no woman could ever be, ambitious. the crowd here just ee ruchteru. she ran as an outsider despite being participate of the
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democratic establishment here in boston. >> let's bring in harry now. harry, with no republican on the ballot tonight, she is poised to be first african-american to be elected to the state house of representatives. what does it mean for the bigger picture in november? >> i think it means that women are coming out in huge numbers this primary season and minorities are coming out in huge numbers. we just saw last week andrew gillum in florida coming from behind. this is another example of a minority candidate surprising people because the polls didn't seem to capture their strength. >> she told "the new york times" she knew that she and capuano would vote the same way regardless of who went to washington, but she did it because she thought someone needed to stand up to the bigotry or hatred coming from the white house. >> capuano is one of the most liberal members of congress. she tried to get to his left but it is very difficult to do, and in very few ways could she do so. this is about a change of the guard showing trump, hey, we're not going to take it anymore, we're fed up, we want someone to stand up to him. >> thank you, harry.
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thank you, miguel. i appreciate it. when we come back bob woodward reports that the president as attorney told him not to testify in mueller's investigation or he will end up in an orange jump suit. will the president testify anyway? ♪ let's fly, let's fly away ♪ ♪ just say the words ♪ and we'll beat the birds down to acapulco bay ♪ ♪ it's perfect for a flying honeymoon they say ♪ ♪ come fly with me ♪ let's fly, let's fly away ♪ ♪ come fly with me ♪ let's fly, let's fly away ♪ what i just introduced you worto my parents.g? psst! craig and sheila broke up. what, really? craig and shelia broke up!?
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a source telling cnn that the mueller and trump teams are continuing to discuss a possible interview with the president. a source says those discussions are now focusing more on written questions for the president. "the new york times" is reporting tonight that mueller will accept written answers from president trump on russia's election interference, but did not ask for written answers on obstruction. so let's discuss now. cnn legal analyst laura coates and jack quin are here. good evening to both of you. laura, you are first up. the special counsel will accept these written questions on possible collusion with russia. does that tell us anything about where the probe may be headed? >> well, it tells us it is not ending. ret remember the predictions of rudy guilliani was insisting it be done by labor day. now he's continuing to negotiate the parameters of his question
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with mueller and his team. the fact he is allowing him to use written answers because it is difficult to test the credibility of somebody when you have a written answer, but it does not say they won't be able to ask follow-up questions in person. they will have before them not just a script but the hard-and-fast statement of the president of the united states that they can test against. as you know, he is somebody who may be prone to falsehoods and lies, now you have a direct comparison point. it may actually inure to the benefit of mueller to say, fine, write down what you will say, we will test it verbally in person. >> so all of this is happening, jack, while we are learning more about what is happening behind the scenes thanks to bob woodward's new book. in it woodward reports, as he said, the president's then attorney, john dowd, held a mock interview with president trump to convince him not to testify in the russia investigation and that it went so badly that he was convinced trump would perjury himself. dowd allegedly told the president and this is a quote, don't testify, it is either that or an orange jump suit. i mean that is as stark as it
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gets, if you are a lawyer telling your client not to testify and you say it is that or an orange jumpsuit. >> don, i have said on your show on more than one occasion the president needs a lawyer. i will repeat that. the president needs a lawyer. john dowd and anyone else saying things like this is not giving donald trump the services of a lawyer. you know, this is unbelievable. by the way, it occurs to me that this really sort of fills in the blanks on what they mean by saying they're concerned about a perjury trap. what they're essentially saying is they can't trust their own client to get to the truth. so they're afraid that he will set a trap for himself. >> i hate to say that duh. everybody knows that, it seems, but maybe the president himself. but you got to get back the what you were saying. what do you mean that you say the president needs a lawyer? so these lawyers aren't of
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service to him? what should a lawyer be telling him? >> well, look, we don't -- i have no idea what these lawyers are telling him. i mean first of all i am skeptical about, frankly, the story that the special counsel is willing to accept some of these -- some of these answers in writing for the reasons laura outlined, and others. it just doesn't ring quite right to me. the reason why you want to interview the person is to assess their demeanor, their credibility, and also to be in a position to ask follow-up questions. if they were going to allow the initial questions to be in writing but then allow the special counsel to do follow-up, that seems to be a contradiction. i don't understand what that gets anyone. so put me in the category of skeptic, that this is really
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where this negotiation is heading. i'm still dubious all together that the president will present himself for an interview. i think if anything it is more likely that the special counsel will be confronted with the question whether or not to seek the subpoena for his testimony. >> yeah. let's talk more about the book. okay. laura, dowd went to mueller according to the book and he and his attorney, another attorney, jay sekulow, okay, they reenacted the mock interview that they held. this is what john dowd, one of trump's former attorneys told mueller. he said, i'm not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot and you publish that transcript because everything leaks in washington and the guys overseas -- the guys overseas are going to say, i told you he was an idiot, i told you he was a dumbbell. what are we dealing with this idiot for? would that kind of argument divert a prosecutor from
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pursuing criminal wrong doing? >> of course not. the fact that your only client's statements may make them look foolish is not at all a deterrent. in fact, it can oftentimes be an incentive, i'm trying to get to the bottom of the barrel here. you know, you asked jack about why he needs a lawyer. well, lawyers need to protect a client from more than the court of public opinion, which is what jay sekulow and guilliani have been fixated on it. seems as though an attorney that would be proper for this president of the united states would be focusing on the real court of law issues that would happen if he was no longer a sitting president and did not have the blanket of security from the doj policy saying you can't actually indict a sitting president. you are to have somebody that can be clear with the president and say, listen, you have to understand if you walk in and say false hoods to a seasoned prosecutor they will prosecute you for that and many more things. he needs the counsel of a sage lawyer. >> i got to run, jack. that has to be the last word. i'm sorry. we're out of time. thank you both. i appreciate it. we'll be right back. >> you bet.
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fireworks on the first day of hearings to confirm brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. with senate democrats calling for the hearing to be adjourned because of missing documents from kavanaugh's time as a lawyer in the bush white house. senator booker was a major voice leading the protest today, and he offered this theory about why the president chose kavanaugh. >> we have one judge being chosen who was not on the original list. he wasn't on the outsourced federal society's original list. he wasn't on the second version of that list. he got onto that list after this special investigation got going. in other words, after the
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president was in jeopardy. he was added to the list and then the president pulled the one person from all of that list that was added late that would give him in a sense the ability to pick a judge that has already spoken vastly about a president's ability to be prosecuted, about a president's ability to dismiss or end an investigation. >> cory booker jones me now. good evening, sir. so much to talk about today and in the hearings. just about what you were saying there, do you think kavanaugh was chosen solely on his views about presidential power? >> i've already pulled a lot of the law on recusal. and one big part of that is the appearance of impropriety. a reasonable person actually says faith in the system. and i think anybody looking at
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this picking somebody who wasn't on original out sourced list as i said but adding a name on the list after the investigation started right now, and is an unindicted coconspirator by his personal lawyer, to pick the one person who said hey, i don't think a president can be prosecuted and he's spoken significantly about this. i think it raises enough suspicion for judge kavanaugh to recusing himself on this because no one is above the law including the president of the united states. and fundamental to our legal systems you should not be able to pick the judge that's going to rule on your case. >> and in some of the statements today to him that say said. but i've got to talk about mueller and what's going on. but what was behind this passion this morning on the democratic side. they wanted to adjourn, they
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wanted to go into i guess executive session. one republican senator said, hey, listen, this is coordinated. was it coordinated? take us behind the scenes. >> yeah, i think a lot of us, myself and some of the other members were saying this is not normal, there's nothing normal about this. and for days i was saying we've got to do something to create something to this process because it's patently unfair. this man has such a large body of documents including his time in the what counsel's office that we're actually getting such a small fraction we only have about 10% of the total bodyf of work. especially the section he himself called his formative period. you and i wouldn't hire interns in our office with only seeing 10% of their résumes.
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>> do you think they're hiding something, senator? >> i think there's something -- >> like what? >> i don't know what. but remember he's been the center of so many biggest controversies of the last 20 years whether it was the starr investigation of bill clinton, whether it was the debates inside the white house about the torture. so many things that are relevant to his role on the supreme court, and what are they hiding. by the way, if they're not hiding anything, this isn't about creating a delay for months. this could be a few weeks of getting the documents out, allowing us the time to read through them. because last night they dumped about 40,000 pages on them. >> and that was my next question. you' do you think this plays into the narrative that republicans say you're an obstructing this --
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the democrats are obstructing this? >> no, i think a reasonable person looking at this in an objective fashion should say, we should put a pause on the whole process independent from the document problem based upon the fact he should not be able to pick his own lawyer. it's something that really undermines the entire system we have a president who's the subject of a criminal investigation. >> this is all happening about new questions of the president sitting down with the special counsel. and sources telling cnn mueller threatened subpoena the president back in march. should that scenario be a factor you think in confirming kavanaugh? >> absolutely. the president -- again, you know from the time line that seems to pea coming out whether it's from the book that just came out or other things, the time line seems to be adding up the president is making this choice when he knows he's already in
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some kind of legal jeopardy. so he's trying to pick the person that can best protect him from these investigations, and he's clearly done that. so that is germane from this debate we're having. and again i think a reasonable person should come down to the conclusion the president is not above the law, they should not be able to pick their own judge. >> senator booker, you've got a big day. we'll let you get some sleep. >> thank you so much. when we come back, a bombshell book by bob woodward. some of the president's sources reportedly calling him unhinged, immoral and a liar. there's so much more. one of 10,000 local allstate agents knows yours. now that you know the truth, are you in good hands?
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