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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  October 16, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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good evening. we begin with breaking news. a new account of the disappearance of the u.s.-based saudi journalist, one involving his killing inside the saudi consulate in istanbul at the hands of a team organized by a high-ranking saudi intelligence officer with close ties to the inner circle of the kingdom's crown prince, mohammed bin salman. one of our sources describes what he or she says may have been an accidentally lethal injection followed by what is described as an amateur cover-up which included according to another source efforts to keep
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the saudi government in the dark. yet even as chilling and damning as that sounds, the question remains is that just a cover story forring? far worse and potentially more damaging on the world stage? was jamal khashoggi murdered by a hit team and then as a turkish official told us today, was his body cut into pieces to be disposed of in ways as yet unknown or unrevealed? there is certainly a lot to raise suspicion. remember, yesterday cnn saw a cleaning crew enter the consulate before turkish investigators went in. remember also that turkish investigators once they got inside said they found evidence of some kind of cleanup, including painted-over surfaces and toxic materials, unquote. the turks also say they have audio and video evidence of what went down, including khashoggi's death. also today, they released passport scans of seven saudis they suspect of being part of an alleged 15-member saudi hit team which is reported to have included an autopsy specialist with a bone saw.
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any or all of those things argue against this new botched abduction and amateur cover-up story. whatever the truth, though, and we don't know at this hour, president trump appears to be ready to cut the saudis plenty of slack, ready to go all in with it. speaking with the associated press today, the president compared the situation to allegations of sexual assault leveled against supreme court justice brett kavanaugh. he said, and i'm quoting, "here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent. i don't like that. we went through that with justice kavanaugh, and he was innocent all the way as far as i'm concerned." he also told the a.p. his belief that rogue killers may have been responsible was informed by what he called his feeling when speaking with the saudi monarch. and here's what he told fox business news earlier today. >> turkey's looking at it very strongly. we're all looking at it together, but turkey and saudi arabia are looking at it very strongly. and it depends whether or not the king or the crown prince knew about it, in my opinion. number one, what happened, but whether or not they knew about it.
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if they knew about it, that will be bad. >> if they knew, he says. this new account of khashoggi's disappearance leaves open the possibility they did not. and make of that what you will. but as you do, remember, it dovetails neatly to what the president this morning signaled was a willingness to believe. and remember just yesterday, the president said something very similar. >> i just spoke with the king of saudi arabia, who denies any knowledge of what took place with regard to as he said his saudi arabian citizen. i have asked, and he firmly denied that. >> did you believe his denial? >> excuse me. mike pompeo is leaving literally within an hour or so. he's heading to saudi arabia. we are going to leave nothing uncovered. with that being said, the king firmly denied any knowledge of it.
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he didn't really know. maybe -- i don't want to get into his mind, but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. who knows? >> who knows, he says. rogue killers. keeping them honest, he probably does know. either through turkish intelligence assets, through other allies or by way of our own capabilities. we the public may not know, but the commander in chief likely does at this point. yet, even based on our own limited knowledge, the notion of rogue killers or some kind of accidental murder doesn't really add up. for starters, the two are contradictory. rogue killers and overzealous interrogators. if they were interrogators, they would be there with the kingdom's blessing on the kingdom's orders presumably as former cia director michael hayden told us last night with the knowledge of crown prince mbs, as he's known. he's after all the de facto head of an absolute monarchy who's already known to take a direct and personal interest in security matters and this would have been a high-profile target. if on the other hand if as the
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president speculates khashoggi was murdered by what he described as rogue killers, were they let into the consulate by rogue members of the security team? were they given rooms to do the deed by other rogue officials? did rogue intelligence officers posted to the consulate look the other way while a murder was committed on the premises, while a human being was screaming and perhaps being dismembered, being butchered? did a rogue cleaning crew then come in followed by rogue painters? were these rogue cleaning crews? this latest account we're now being given doesn't answer those questions. frankly, it only adds more questions. more now on that from cnn's clarissa ward who helped break this new development and who joins us from ankara with the very latest. what more have you learned about this operation, clarissa? >> reporter: well, the most crucial component that we're learning about is the idea of who allegedly directed it. three sources telling us this was a former military officer.
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someone high up in intelligence. someone close to the inner circle of mohammed bin salman, the crown prince. and i think that's really the crucial point here, anderson. the person who ordered this operation is close to the inner circle of the crown prince. therefore, it becomes much more difficult to believe that this kind of an operation, which is bold and brazen even by saudi arabian standards, could be carried out without at least a sort of tacit nod of approval from the top. now, we're also hearing from these sources that the operation went wrong. one source saying that apparently, the operatives tried to tranquilize mr. khashoggi. they gave him an injection with a tranquilizer. the presumption being there was some kind of a reaction or it went wrong. mr. khashoggi died. they then made the determination the best course of action was to carve his body into pieces, though we do not yet know what
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happened to those pieces. and we're also hearing from our sources that the leader of the operation then made the determination that the best course of action was to try to cover it up. we heard that substantiated by president erdogan himself today, saying there appeared to be areas that had been newly painted inside the saudi consulate. you, of course, mentioned the infamous cleaners who arrived before investigators even got on the scene. and there's just a broadening sense of skepticism about the saudi narrative, which although is not official yet, seems to be based on the idea that this was some kind of botched operation, rogue operation. and that just doesn't dovetail with the reality of the way the saudi power structure works. the reality is that in order to pull off an operation of this brazenness, you would ideally need to have some approval from the very top, anderson. >> yeah, the idea that some rogue killers would be able to just waltz into the saudi
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consulate, you know, get a couple rooms, and torture somebody, ultimately dismembering them, and then leave and then they would clean it up, others would clean it, the whole thing, that doesn't seem to make much sense. and even the idea of just being an interrogation, i can understand why a doctor, you know, doctors are often present during interrogations, but a surgeon, a forensic surgeon with a bone saw, that just seems like an odd detail or an odd piece of equipment to bring to something if you're not planning on sawing something or somebody up. >> indeed. and why would the operation be taking place in the first place? why would they be interrogating and potentially trying to abduct jamal khashoggi from turkey to saudi arabia if this wasn't something of vital national security importance? if they didn't see this or if they didn't see khashoggi as a dissident who posed some kind of existential threat, why wouldn't they have gone to the top? also another important detail
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coming out from turkish authorities today, anderson, they shared with cnn passport scans of seven of the men who were part of this operation. lo and behold, one of them has been seen on state television alongside crown prince mohammed bin salman. everything seems to be pointing to the idea that the men who were involved with this operation, indeed, the men who organized it or the man, i should say, who organized it, had a close relationship, were often in close proximity with the man who is the de facto leader already of this country. >> clarissa ward, appreciate the details. now, to that point, more new reporting on just how closely connected the alleged killers are to mbs, mohammed bin salman, by extension, the level of deniability he has. it comes in the pages of "the new york times." david kirkpatrick is on the byline. he's also the author of "into the hands of the soldiers: freedom and chaos in egypt and the middle east."
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david, what can you tell us about these four suspects and their connections to crown prince mohammed bin salman? >> well, there's really five suspects of interest here. four of them, we have identified as security men, essentially. they travel with crown prince mohammed. so basically, these are members of his security detail who turkish officials have also said flew in to istanbul and participated in what they say is the killing of jamal khashoggi. in addition, the fifth one, the now famous forensics doctor, who brought his bone saw to the events in the consulate with mr. khashoggi. >> the notion the president put forward yesterday that this was done by, quote, rogue killers, does that make any sense given what you're learning? if the close security personnel of the crown prince are there,
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and you know, the top forensic surgeon is showing up with a bone saw, flying in on a private jet, that doesn't sound like a rogue operation. >> it becomes harder and harder to believe, because when you realize that these guys, at least one of these guys we have photographic evidence that he is with the crown prince again and again in city after city. you know, looking on like a goon, really. and so you have to picture these guys saying, hey boss, i'm going to be gone for a few days. i'm going to go to istanbul to take care of that thing with khashoggi. how does he not know? it's very hard to believe, yet that's what we're told the saudis are going to try to suggest. >> this forensics doctor, i mean, typically, i don't think one brings a forensics doctor to an interrogation. yes, sometimes people want to have a doctor present at an interrogation, but not one with a bone saw. >> yeah. yes, you might think, well, you would bring along a doctor in case the person you're questioning needs medical care. but this doctor's specialty is
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people who are already dead and in fact, their dismemberment. it is strange. as you say, he's a high-ranking figure in the saudi medical establishment. he may have been the foremost forensic specialist in all of saudi arabia. so not just any old person in the security services could recruit him for a mission like this. >> can you just explain what exactly the connections are between these suspects and the crown prince? you said that several of them you have identified as close -- like a close protection security detail that travels with the crown prince? >> yeah, that's right. and we have done that in different ways. the most interesting one is mr. mutreb, who we have found in photographs with the crown prince. he's getting off planes with him in paris and madrid. and he's in houston and boston
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and at the united nations when the crown prince is also there. interestingly enough, a few years ago, he was listed as a diplomat at the saudi embassy in london, probably providing cover for an intelligence operative of some kind. others we have corroborated in other ways. one through an individual human source, a professional in france who knew him as a member of the security detail. another one from news reports in saudi arabia that described his promotion in the royal guard. and a third through a combination of things, including a kind of a database of phone numbers and phone identifications in saudi arabia. >> it's fascinating. david kirkpatrick, i appreciate it. thank you, david. >> thanks a lot. well, now, how all this new reporting and all these new developments are being received at the white house, cnn's jim acosta is there for us tonight. jim, the president tweeting and
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talking about jamal khashoggi a lot today. what's the latest? >> that's right, anderson. perhaps the most profound thing that happened today in terms of how the white house was responding to all of this is when the president spoke with the a.p. earlier this afternoon. and the president was asked about what he thinks in terms of how the saudis have handled all this, and the president is essentially leaping to the defense of the saudi kingdom, saying here we go again. in his words to the associated press, with you're guilty until proven innocence. the president went on to say, anderson, during that interview with the a.p. that he sees the saudis as sort of the same way he sees his supreme court nominee, now justice brett kavanaugh who faced allegations of sexual assault. the president essentially saying that the saudis can relate to brett kavanaugh, however you're supposed to make sense of that. i suppose that's up to the viewer, but that's how the president made the comparison. he also said he spoke with the saudis earlier today. the saudi crown prince, and
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tweeted that the saudis are totally denying all this. once again accepting their denials. >> the president spoke to the crown prince of saudi arabia today. do we know much more about that conversation? because also, secretary of state mike pompeo was in riyadh today, and then was heading to ankara tomorrow. >> that's right, the president tweeted he spoke with the saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman while he was with the secretary of state mike pompeo there in riya riyadh. and that essentially what mohammed bin salman reiterated to mike pompeo he reiterated to the president. the president says mohammed bin salman told him that he had no knowledge of these events that took place at the saudi consulate in turkey. anderson, what's more is we should point out, mike pompeo told reporters, according to a read-out of the secretary of state's comments, i think this is interesting. he said during each of today's meetings they saudi leadership
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strongly denied any knowledge of what took place in their consulate. and anderson, the secretary of state said "my assessment from these meetings is there is a serious commitment to determine all of the facts and ensure accountability, including accountability for saudi arabia's senior leaders." it is rather breathtaking that the secretary of state would make that kind of comment, anderson, given the fact the saudis have been lying about all of this for the past week and a half to two weeks. keep in mind, they were putting out statements as we talked about, denying any responsibility whatsoever, having any knowledge or any ties to what happened whatsoever. that is starting to fall apart as a story for the saudi government. and the secretary of state when he was down there appeared to be taking their word for it. it is starting to sound like no matter what the saudi government says, this white house, this administration is sort of taking their word for it. we should point out, we don't go back to the comparison of brett kavanaugh. that's not where a lot of republicans are on capitol hill. lindsey graham, senator from south carolina, who was on board with the president on brett
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kavanaugh, is not when it comes to the saudi government. he wants to see the saudis give more answers than what they're giving right now, anderson. >> jim acosta, appreciate it, from the white house. >> breaking news raises the question of whether this new account of khashoggi's disappearance is a true one or a cover story. and the president's handling of this is of course a subject unto itself. here to talk about all of it is mike duran, senior director of the national security council under president george w. bush, former cia officer bob baer, and "washington post" columnist max boot, recent author of the new book "the corrosion of conservatism: why i left the right." max, it seems like there's two separate issues here. there's what the u.s. should do about this, which maybe we'll get to a little bit in a moment, but just in terms of what occurred and trying to ascertain what occurred, the saudis, their initial story clearly was not true. they were saying this man left the consulate and they had no knowledge of what happened to him after that. it seems like that has changed. do you buy this notion, if their story is going to be this was an
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interrogation that just went bad, that a guy died while being interrogated, does that make much sense to you given what we know thus far about who some of these people involved were? >> no, i mean, this cover-up doesn't make any sense, anderson. it's clear that the saudis have been lying like crazy. and they're trying to figure out how to get out of it, and they're floating these lame cover stories claiming it was an interrogation that got out of control, as if it's okay to kidnap and torture a journalist and that somehow makes it just fine or claiming it was rogue killers when we know that the people who were involved as was just being reported are actually very close to the crown prince, mbs. the only thing more incredible than the saudi cover stories is the fact that donald trump and mike pompeo are pretending to believe what the saudis are saying. i mean, this is the most embarrassing appeasement of a dictator since the helsinki summit in july. >> mike, in your opinion, is it possible that the crown prince, mohammed bin salman, who is the
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power, who had detained people in the ritz-carlton, you know, saudi officials, even some members of the royal family, for some time, would not have had knowledge if in fact some people involved in his close protection detail, one of the top forensic surgeons in the country, who is affiliated with the government, was involved in this? >> i would find it unlikely. but i would also like to introduce a note of skepticism about everything that we have heard, because most of our information about what happened there is coming from the turkish security services. and turkey has very bad relations with saudi arabia, and is clearly using this to gain some advantage over them. i think the saudis probably played into their hands in this regard. but i don't think we know exactly what happened inside the consulate. >> i think that's absolutely true. and you know, some of the stuff
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is published in a pro-turkish government newspaper, reporting about the, you know, the apple watch. bob, you discounted that early on as being probably some sort of cover story for perhaps turkish intelligence bugging the consulate. bob, the reporting from "the new york times" that at least several of the suspects were part of the crown prince's entourage, is there any scenario in your opinion under which the crown prince wouldn't know what happened? >> anderson, no. he runs the country, he runs the police, the ministry of interior, the security services. anybody who is not loyal to him has been removed. there are no separate power centers, including in the national guard. he clearly, i mean, it's almost certain that he ordered this, whether it went wrong or not, we still don't know. i agree with mike. but what we do know is the evidence so far that they have produced, the pictures of the planes arriving, the painting of the consulate, the 15 that come
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in. the saudis have provided no exculpatory evidence to suggest these people were tourists, as they're claiming. that's just silly. seriously, you don't get better evidence than this, and for the president to say it's a rogue operation, frankly, he's covering up a murder and so is pompeo. and we should worry about that. because if this goes without any, you know, punishment of saudi arabia we're going to see other dictators doing the same thing, whether it's russia or any other country. >> mike, do you think this is covering up a murder? >> i think that other countries are doing things like this. we know what the russians did in britain. and the most important thing for us is to think about what our strategic interests are and where we want this thing to come out in the end. and i would hate if we rushed in a fit of righteousness and took action against saudi arabia that endangered our larger strategic interests in the region.
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the number one interest is, in my view, containing iran. we have the sanctions on iran coming due on november 4th. we need the saudis to help us substitute their oil for iranian oil around the globe. there are massive interests involved here, and to rush on the basis of this horrible event, and i don't mean to suggest it isn't horrible, and destabilize saudi arabia or imperil our relations with them, i think would be a mistake. >> max, what about that? devil's bargains are made all the time in the world of real politics around the world. is this one of those cases where the larger interests of our country and saudi arabia mandate turning a blind eye to this? >> no, we should not sacrifice jamal khashoggi on the altar of u.s./saudi relations. the trump administration has already made a grave error by giving mbs, a young man with
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very little knowledge and very little judgment in how he conducts affairs, basically a blank check to do whatever he wants, including kidnapping the prime minister of lebanon, including bombing yemen, including blockading qatar. the crown prince has made a lot of mistakes. we need to hold him accountable because it's pretty clear he was responsible for this operation. it doesn't mean we're going to break with saudi arabia, but mbs has only been crown prince since last year. there are a lot of other princes who could easily take his place who are not implicated in this murder. and if donald trump doesn't there is some accountability for this murder of an american resident, an american journalist, that will send a very grave message to the world. it sends, a, a message that the united states is abdicating its moral authority. and b, it actually sends a message of weakness on the part of donald trump because he is reinforcing the message that he bullies the weak, people like stormy daniels or christine blasey ford, but at the same time he simpers and cowers
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before the strong whether it's kim jong un or vladimir putin or mbs. that is not a message the president of the united states should be send, anderson. >> i want to pick up this conversation. i want to take a quick break. we'll also get reaction informs breaking news in khashoggi's editors. what colleagues at the "washington post" think of this reporting. and a ar of some pretty ugly words between stormy daniels and president trump, what max just referenced. what each is calling the other. ahead on "360."
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breaking news, the new account of jamal khashoggi's disappearance and presumed killing. three sources familiar with the case say it was intended to be a saudi mission to interrogate and possibly abduct him, that something went wrong, he died and it was poorly covered up. earlier today cbs news's errol barnett found himself on a flight with jared kushner who reportedly has a close relationship with the saudi crown prince, tried to ask him about saudi royal family's denial of involvement in khashoggi's disappearance and that didn't go well. >> cbs. any comment on --
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>> those were secret service agents blocking barnett's phone. people at "the washington post" want answers as well, where jamal khashoggi worked. joining us for a reaction to the breaking news is his editor, post global opinions editor karen attiah. karen, does it make any sense to you given all this new information why the united states isn't taking any real action on this yet or why the administration seems to be at least publicly buying saudi arabia's version of events here? >> you know, all we can at least hope for and push for here at the post is that the administration take this seriously and that the administration push their saudi counterparts, advise their saudi counterparts to give us the truth and give us the truth as quickly as possible.
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>> in terms of the reporting that the saudis suspected khashoggi as having ties to qatar, and that may have been why they wanted to interrogate him or at least in part, to your knowledge, did he have any ties with qatar? >> i mean, to my knowledge, i don't know about that. i think that ultimately still this is a case of a journalist who all he wanted to do is write the truth as he saw it, who was -- who went into a saudi consulate and never came back. regardless of views, regardless of ties, anything that he wrote, ate least with me at "the washington post," was patriotic to saudi arabia. was -- evoked a sense of wanting saudi arabia to be better. was a man who wanted to advise the young saudi crown prince. he loved his country. so, you know, reports of smearing him as some sort of
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traitor, i think, is grossly unfair and distracts from the question of what happened to him and what we're demanding from the saudis as far as answers and truth. >> and certainly, just in terms of what the saudis have said and may say, i mean, we have this reporting from several sources that they may say that this was an interrogation gone bad. i mean, even if that becomes a story, that they were trying to interrogate him and bring him back to saudi arabia, that in itself is just -- i mean, even if it's true, it's just startling that they would be grabbing somebody who enters their consulate, interrogating that person with this plan, and then trying to bring them back to saudi arabia. >> right. i find this notion that that is somehow more acceptable, i find it ridiculous and still frankly a bit disgusting. it's still kidnapping, and if we
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say interrogation, if the interrogation was so violent that it causes death, i mean, that sound like torture, and that's still a flagrant violation of international law. and you know, for an interrogation to have a team, to have a bone saw present during interrogation or to fly in a team with an autopsy forensics expert, you know, to me doesn't sound like a team that expects to bring back somebody alive. but regardless, i think a horrific crime happened to jamal khashoggi. and we need answers. we're fighting like hell here for answers. >> karen, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you, anderson. >> i want to go back to mike doran, bob baer, and max boot. bob, mike made a valid point, which is there are strategic
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concerns. there are national security concerns. there's a larger relationship with saudi arabia. max was saying, you know, something has to be done. where do you stand on this? if we do essentially -- if the u.s. essentially turns aside and accepts whatever the saudis come up with, is that acceptable? >> well, first of all, i agree with mike. saudi stability should be foremost in our national security interests. if that country went under, it would be a complete disaster for us and the world and the gulf and everybody else. the royal family, there is no substitute. no one else can govern that country. what worries me is you have a king who is clearly incompetent. if he let his son go ahead with this, he either has alzheimer's or he's got some sort of dementia. and a son who doesn't know what he's doing, arresting the lebanese prime minister, head of state, holding him for two weeks and seizing his property is a flagrant violation of international law. it's saudis, it's way out of
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their character. we have two people on the throne who are very, very dangerous, and if i were sitting in the white house, i would find a way to talk to saudis into getting rid of him. this has happened before in the '60s when a king had lost his mind. and king faisal came in and took over and removed him. and i think frankly, that's what needs to happen now. >> mike, what do you think about that? essentially separating, you know, relationship with saudi arabia from relationship with mbs? >> no, i think that history has taught us that it's dangerous for the united states to think that it can micromanage the states of the middle east. and if we start reaching into other countries and saying who can rule and who can't rule, we're going to get a lot of consequences that we don't intend. so i would counsel caution first. i would want to find out what exactly happened and then i would want to try to work with
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mbs and the saudi government to get a more stable policy process and to get a more reliable partner. part of the reason that they have become somewhat erratic is that they're in a completely new environment with the rise of iran all across the region. which was, we have to be honest, facilitated by the policy of the united states. so we have kind of created this unstable environment around them, and we're not there giving them the guiding hand we have in the past. i think we have to understand the broader strategic context here. >> max -- go ahead. >> go ahead, anderson. >> no, i was just going to ask you, there's understanding of broader strategic context, as mike was talking about. there's other concerns that if there are no ramifications for this, then it gives other autocratic rulers kind of encouragement to, you know, kidnap reporters in their consulates and torture people and the u.s. isn't going to do anything about it.
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>> that's exactly right, anderson. donald trump has basically given every tyrant on the planet a license to kill. just on sunday in the "60 minutes" interview, he was asked about what vladimir putin does, which includes trying to kill dissidents in great britain, and donald trump basically said it's not in our country so he doesn't care. this basically gives a license to the worst elements in the world. i think it's contrary to american interests. and i would cite to you the example of ronald reagan, who did not look the other way when american allies in the philippines or el salvador or south korea were committing human rights abuses. when there was a people's rights revolution, he sided with the people. and that's something i think we need to keep in mind in our alliance with saudi arabia. we can keep our alliance with saudi arabia, but i agree with bob. i don't see how mbs stays as crown prince after this erratic, reckless, and inhumane behavior. >> max boot, mike doran, bob baer, appreciate it. good discussion. president trump did not have anything on his public schedule today, and one of the first
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tweets of the day was an attack against stormy daniels after a judge's decision yesterday to dismiss her defamation lawsuit against him. we'll tell you what the president said, what she said, and the fallout just ahead. ♪ when the moon hits your eye ♪ like a big pizza pie ♪ that's amore ♪when the world seems to shine ♪like you've had too much wine ♪ that's amore ♪ bells will ring ♪ ting a ling a ling ♪ ting a ling a ling more to love. applebee's new neighborhood pastas. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. this is actually under your budget. it's great. mm-hmm. yeah, and when you move in, geico could help you save on renters' insurance! man 1: (behind wall) yep, geico helped me with renters insurance, too! um... the walls seem a bit thin... man 2: (behind wall) they are! and craig practices the accordion every night! says the guy who sings karaoke by himself. i'm a very shy singer. you're tone deaf!
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against president trump brought by daniels and her attorney, michael avenatti, was dismissed by a federal judge. so early this morning, the president went on the attack over twitter. quote, "federal judge throws out stormy daniels lawsuit versus trump. trump is entitled to full legal fees," he wrote, citing fox news. he went on. "great," he continued, "now i can go after horseface and her third rate lawyer in the great state of texas. she will confirm the letter she signed. she knows nothing about me, a total con." the president of the united states called her horseface. now, before i tell you how ms. daniels responded, she recently released a book in
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which she details quite graphically her alleged sexual encounter with mr. trump with some very personal descriptions of him. with that out of the way, here goes. she responded, quote, "ladies and gentlemen, may i present your president, in addition to his, um, shortcomings he has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women, and lack of control on twitter again. and perhaps a penchant for bestiality. game on, tiny." happy tuesday evening. so just tonight in that a.p. interview, the president was asked about the use of his word horseface. he told the a.p., "you can take it any way you want." joining me say former adviser to several presidents who didn't have twitter, david gergen, and "usa today" columnist kirsten powers. kirsten, when he says you can take the horseface comment any way you want, i'm not sure what other way there is to take it other than as an insult. >> right. it is obviously supposed to be an insult. a lot of people would say, well, he insults a lot of people, he makes up names for men, low
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energy jeb or whatever it is. but i think the attacks on women's appearances, which he has a long history of, is different. and it's different because men are not as affected by attacks on their appearance because men are not as valued for their appearances as women are in our society. and so it's a very -- it's a much more harmful personal attack for a woman to receive that kind of attack. i thing that he knows that. i think that it's particularly humiliating in a way that it isn't for a man. you can look at a stormy daniels and says she doesn't have a horse face. she's actually a beautiful woman, but so what if she did? that's the point. the point is you don't have to be a beautiful woman, but in the world that donald trump lives in, you actually do have to be a beautiful woman. if you aren't a beautiful woman, then you're not valuable and you don't matter. >> david, did you ever think you would see the president of the
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united states call a woman whom he allegedly had an affair with horseface? i mean -- >> no. i have never recalled anybody calling anybody horseface. i think it's a sad night, an embarrassing night for the country, anderson. first we've got this cover-up that's emerging with regard to the saudi situation and now this craziness of yet another insult. i don't know what the totals are, but i think that he has now publicly insulted just about as many women as have accused him of sexual misconduct. it's a close call, which bucket has more people in it. but he continues to do this. i agree with kirsten, absolutely, that he goes after looks more than anything else, but he also talks about people's low iq, and he did that against a minority woman. he talks about people bleeding and where that's coming from, sort of like, what, you're sort of gasping. you have to encourage people to leave. i don't know, this is just what -- where we are as people. i don't know that he's ever going to change.
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he is what he is. and it's embarrassing. but some people still like him because he's got a good economy. you know, it's a very, very odd trade-off these days. >> yeah, and i do just want to play some of the things that candidate trump has said, particularly about women that david referenced. let's just play this. >> you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. >> she would not be my first choice, that i can tell you. man. you don't know. that would not be my first choice. >> also said about carly fiorina, quote, "look at that face. would anyone vote for that?" retweeted a photo comparing heidi cruz to melania trump in an unfavorable way. i mean, you know, kirsten, people -- it's become normal that this happens and this is what the president of the united states does, and there are plenty of people, you know, at a rally who laugh and applaud and
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are right there with it. women included. >> yeah. yeah. it's typical. it's not normal. but yeah, it's become something that we have become used to hearing. and i think that the reason you see just it's not just men who are laughing at it, there are women laughing at it, is because of what i was saying before. i think this is very engrained in our consciousness and the way we think about things. the idea that women's highest value comes from the way that they look or the idea that they're not as smart as men, so they have a low iq or if you're a racist person, that you believe that a black person has a lower iq. he is tapping into things that people think. and unfortunately, people are going to get mad at me for saying trump supporters think this way. well, all i can say is why are you laughing at this? why are you supporting this? because people who find it totally repugnant and recognize it for what it is don't support him and don't want to be associated with him.
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>> well, a lack of manners. it's a basic lack of manners. >> yeah. david gergen, kirsten powers, appreciate it. thank you. back to our breaking news of the missing "washington post" columnist. president trump claims he has no financial interest in saudi arabia, no reasons to be sympathetic to them. we'll check out that claim when we come back. geographic detail... ...ancestrydna can pinpoint where your ancestors are from... ...and the paths they took, to a new home. could their journey inspire yours? order your kit at you don't need to go anywhere dad, this is your home. the best home to be in is your own. home instead offers personalized in-home services for your loved ones. home instead senior care. to us, it's personal. home instead senior care. but birds eye made it deliciousfrom zucchini.a. mmm... mashed potatoes...and rice! but made from cauliflower. looks like i need a fork! oh no. (giggles)
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birds eye veggie made. so veggie good. that last place was pretty nice. i don't like this whole thing. i think we can do better. change is hard. try to keep an open mind. come on, dad. this is for me, son? principal. we can help you plan for that.
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returning to our breaking news on jamal khashoggi's fate and president trump's complaint the saudis are being assumed guilty until innocent, there is a complicating factor, his financial ties over the years to various saudi citizens. i have no financial tra in saudi arabia or russia and any suggestion i have is more fake news of which there is plenty. no financial interest in saudi arabia is the key line there, what he doesn't mention is the millions he's gotten from more
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than a handful of saudis. cnn business and political correspondent cristina alesci. >> saudi arabia and i get along great with all of them. they buy apartments from me and spend 40 million, 50 million, am i supposed to dislike them? >> reporter: trump's financial ties date back to the 1990s. in 1991 when one of his casino projects was faltering a saudi print purchased his yacht. he sold the 45th floor of his tower in new york to the kingdom of saudi arabia for $4.5 million. in recent years since trump took office his hotels have benefited from saudi business. between october 2016 and march 2017, a saudi lobbying firm paid trump's washington, d.c. hotel more than $270,000 for food and accommodations. >> we don't know really very
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much about his efforts to open other properties in saudi arabia, we don't know who his partners would have been or who would have financed them and don't know if he can restart them down the road. >> reporter: trump's manhattan hotel on central park west saw its revenue increase during the first quarter of 2018. in part because of a visit from saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman. according to a letter obtained by the "washington post" that is. the general manager wrote bin salman didn't say there himself but due to our close industry relationships we were able to accommodate many of the accompanying travelers. of course, the public doesn't know the full extent of trump's business ties to the kingdom because he has not released his tax returns or other financial information. >> it would certainly be very easy for foreign officials to drop a whole lot of money without us knowing about it unless or until we see the
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business records and conceivably tax returns as well. >> reporter: we do know from his 2016 financial disclosure trump had 144 registered companies with dealings in more than two dozen countries. 8 of them were saudi related companies. all of those companies have since been dissolved. >> the terrible situation -- >> reporter: as the cries for the president to take action grow louder americans are left to wonder what is driving trump's decisions? >> now of course the larger political question is is this relationship, are these business deals part of the president's consideration when he makes decisions about how to go forward? >> what is the trump organization saying? >> a trump spokesperson responded in a statement saying like many global real estate companies we have explored opportunities in many markets. that said we don't have any plans for expansion into saudi arabia but, anderson when i pressed further and asked about
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saudi purchases of trump condos or hotel stays, i did not get a response. >> all right, cristina alesci, thanks. see what chris is working on. >> we got good stuff for you tonight, my friend, even you're going to have to smile. there it is. so we're going to be talking about what's going on with saudi arabia and the president's disposition toward it that it's like kavanaugh. he's guilty until proven innocent. why would he say that? why would he call a woman horse face? what is going on and the big headline about donald trump our president saying michael cohen, his former personal attorney, lied. what an interesting position when he has to know, anderson, i'm a command away from playing a tape that proves he is lying. >> i'll be listening five minutes from now. >> heavy endorsement. >> i'm there. you had me at hello. up next more serious stuff. the death toll from hurricane
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michael, it has risen in florida. the latest from a region where more than 130,000 customers are still without power right now. ce that works fast, the choice is simple. coricidin hbp is the #1 brand that gives powerful cold symptom relief without raising your blood pressure. coricidin hbp. [baby laughing] [baby crying] [baby laughing] [baby crying]
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more grim news out of florida to tell you about. authorities say the death toll has reached 19 as pore people continue to be discovered in the wake of hurricane michael. discovered dead. a dozen of those alone were in bay county which took the brunt of the storm. across four southern states 29 people are now confirmed dead. most of the resident of hard hit mexico beach haven't been able to return to see what's left. that will change tomorrow when residents will be allowed back in. more than 138,000 customers are still without power in florida. quick reminder here's your chance to pick the stories that we cover. join us for full circle, our interactive daily newscast
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airing on facebook and see it weeknights at 6:25 at want to hand it over to chris. >> anderson, thank you very much. i am chris cuomo. welcome to prime time. president trump says his lawyer, michael cohen, lied under oath. we will show you what is true and what is not. the other, saudi arabia is being kavanaugh'd says the president. there is an avalanche of evidence the president is dead wrong. we'll see if one of his ardent defenders in congress can prove otherwise. matt gates welcomed back to prime time and horse face, the united states president calling stormy daniels that and she fired back and not in