tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN December 14, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
down 500 points right now. we're going to continue to watch this as we continue our coverage here on cnn. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. robert mueller, just told general flynn and his attorneys to cut the crap about being coaxed into lying by the fbi. "the lead" starts right now. breaking news. the special counsel slams general michael flynn for criticizing the way his fbi interview went down, saying, hey, general, you lied. live with it. what might this mean for how long general flynn could go away? parting shots. donald trump's former fixer before he heads to prison unloading on the president of the united states and promising, he will not go down as the villain in this story. and heartbreak on the border. a 7-year-old girl dies after the torturous journey north.
what the trump administration is saying today about this devastating tragedy. this is cnn breaking news. and welcome to "the lead" i'm jake tapper. we begin with breaking news. a brand-new court filing. robert mueller's team slamming former trump national security adviser, michael flynn for lying about his conversations with the russian ambassador and the suggestion from flynn's lawyers that flynn only lied because he was caught off guard when two fbi agents approached him. the special counsel laying out in the sentencing memo response, quote, a sitting national security adviser, former head of an intelligence agency knows he should not lie to federal agents. he does not need to be warned it is a crime to lie to federal agents that know the importance of telling them the truth. the special counsel team also emphasizing before meeting with the fbi agents, flynn had already been lying about his conversations with the russian
ambassador for weeks. lying to the "washington post," lying to vice president pence, lying to chief of staff priebus, lying to press secretary spicer. he was, quote, committed to his false story. cnn's pamela brown joins me now. pamela, mueller's team taking a dig back at flynn here. >> that's right, jake. the special counsel punching back at michael flynn's lawyer's assertion that the former national security adviser wasn't appropriately warned about the repercussions of lying to the fbi. in this new filing just released, mueller's team says flynn chose to lie weeks before the fbi interviewed him by claiming he did not discuss sanctions with russian ambassador kislyak. saying his statements were, quote, voluntary and intentional and noted the fbi gave multiple opportunities in their interview with him to correct his false statements, and he only did so once the fbi used the exact language flynn had used in his conversation with kislyak from that phone call. now, while the filing notes the
fbi didn't think flynn was being intentionally deceptive, it does say he should know better than to lie to the fbi, and that that is a crime, and that he shouldn't have to be warned about it. what stuck out to me, jake, is that the documents also say flynn told then deputy director andy mccabe over the phone just before the fbi interview that mccabe probably knew what he said in the conversation with kislyak, so it's unclear why flynn would then proceed to make false statements in his fbi interview if he thought they knew the truth and what he actually said. >> yeah. very bizarre. so much bizarre about this lie from flynn. and familipamela, stunning deta about the interactions involved, including an appearance by president trump. >> that's right. the filings provide colorful details, jake, from the day flynn was interviewed by the fbi in his office. the white house didn't seem to take notice that the fbi was there to interview him, and at
one point even walked by president trump together as he was discussing art placement and the white house. but flynn chose to not introduce the agents to him or anyone else. so no one in the white house seemed to take notice this was happening. now, the interviewing agents' impression of flynn in these documents is he was relaxed and jocular, as well as bright but not profoundly sophisticated. that's a direct quote. and the agent even noted that flynn was so talkative, the agents wondered whether he didn't have more important things to do as the national security adviser. and at one point, jake, the documents say when the fbi told acting attorney general sally yates that flynn would be interviewed, she was pissed, but didn't explain why that was. so while these filings certainly provide many new insights in a rare inside look behind the scenes, there are still many redactions and many unanswered questions, jake. >> number one unanswered question, of course, and we still don't know, why? why did he lie about this incoming national security
adviser is, of course, allowed to talk to the russian ambassador. >> right. and i just -- on that note, what is sort of peculiar here and raises questions, why did he lie? but that the fbi initially, jake, didn't seem to think that he was being intentionally deceptive. it said he didn't parse his words, didn't hesitate. they didn't think that he was being intentionally deceptive. so then what happened after that, why did the feds decide to go after him after that, and as we know, he did plead guilty to lying to the fbi. so that's also sort of a strange piece of this story. >> all right. very interesting. pamela brown, thank you so much. let's talk about this with my experts. i guess one of the biggest questions i have is, mueller had already said they want to give him the lowest end of the scale when it comes to punishment. which means potentially no jail time at all. then his lawyers do this. and mueller still in this document and the response is still saying, we still recommend on the lowest end of the scale,
as long as flynn remains repentant for what he did. why would the lawyers even do this then? i mean -- >> flynn's lawyers -- you know, they probably overplayed their hand a bit here. i think they were trying to compare him to papadopoulos and others who had counsel there, the idea being he's kind of, you know, an innocent lamb, in some way. and with this particular judge, judge emmett sullivan, i don't think that would fly, no matter what. let alone under these circumstances. so i think the idea was, listen, be lenient with him, because he isn't as bad as the others. and then there was this paragraph in 302, the fbi's memorialization that maybe they thought about warning him but didn't and buzz about entrapment. we're not close to entrapment. that requires not only inducement by the government to commit a crime, but also a lack of predisposition to commit a crime. here we have not only mr. flynn making misrepresentations
publicly, but we also know he made misrepresentations on his filing forms with respect to his communications and contact with turkey. this is not a guy who for whatever reason after three decades of service has a problem with not telling a lie. >> and senator turner, one of the things i thought was interesting reading this, they talk about then deputy director of the fbi andrew mccabe, about how they really did everything they could to have it so he wasn't lying. so that when he said he didn't remember something that he said, he and mccabe and other fbi guys would use the exact language that flynn had used in his conversation with the russian ambassador. so as to refresh his memory, get him to say what was truthful. and flynn still didn't correct his false statements. and i thought to myself, i don't think the fbi does that for most people. >> right. they don't. his positioning gave him that, you know. his career of having had credibility really i think gave them in this investigation to try to get him to tell the truth. but if you're lying in the beginning, you'll be lying in the end.
and this is very indicative of all of the president's men so far that have been flushed out in terms of this, that they are absolutely -- they lie. and it's really unfortunate that he would go down this path. but mueller made it very clear that you were not set up, that you knew exactly what you were doing, that you lied to the media. you lied to the transition team. you lied to the president -- vice president-elect. you were lying, and you knew exactly what you were doing. so all of the president's men so far have been caught in lies. >> but remains the big mystery, why? what is he hiding? >> it's clear he thought he could have gotten away with it or he wouldn't have done it. but why is the million-dollar question. right now. but i thought it was interesting to the extent that mueller went into the fact, like not only should you know better, because of x, y, z, he also said there's a line in there that said he was asked. flynn was asked, do you want -- the white house counsel to sit in. he's like, no, we're good.
so just the level of detail that's in this document is really illuminating, you know, for those of us playing at home. >> let's think about the broader context in which this is all happening, which is as more and more information is coming out regarding the mueller investigation, as well as the side investigations with the southern district of new york and michael cohen, there's more and more doubt being placed out there for perhaps folks maybe a year-and-a-half ago, you know, that fox news polling a year-and-a-half ago showed a majority of voters didn't really think that the trump campaign colluded with russia. but that majority has now shrunk over time. as more and more people now respond to the same poll question and go, i don't know. there hasn't been a dramatic increase in people saying, yeah, i think collusion definitely happened. but out in the public, there is more and more, yeah, i don't know. it's kind of what we're saying about why would flynn have lied. there's just still these big question marks floating in the air and this just adds to that. >> and -- the president hesitated firing him. it was only when mike pence --
it was very clear that he had lied to mike pence, the president felt compelled to let him go. >> and when it was public. >> when it was public, exactly. >> when it was public he had lied to pence. >> right. and made pence look foolish. >> arrogance. in thinking you're above the law. his positioning in some ways throughout the years in government, i think, gave him that false sense that he is above it all. >> this is a man who said "lock her up." >> the conversations around sanctions gets to potential motive around all of the lies we're seeing across so many people in connection with this investigation. why was so much covered up if it was okay? if there was a quid pro quo, some kind of deal between the trump team and the russians. listen, we'll do something for you if you do something for us. that might be a reason to not be honest about the sanctions piece. i also want to make one other point about a number of these filings. not just this one, but also what was filed in the southern district of new york with respect to mr. cohen, which is it seems like the justice department is using these filings as a speaking point to
the american public. like, listen, we've been under assault as somehow, you know, corrupt and not with the president and that these aren't real crimes. and it's really amazing to see them use this almost like their own bully pulpit to explain, listen, no, this is the facts and law -- >> mueller says, this was a serious crime that flynn committed. everyone stick around. michael cohen refusing to go quietly when it comes to what he knows about president trump's involvement in the hush money payments and who knows what else. stay with us. daddy diaper duty...
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sentenced to three years in prison, michael cohen spoke extensively about the hush money payments, about president trump's involvement and president trump, for whom he worked for more than a decade, being a liar. cohen reaffirmed that then candidate donald trump directed him to make the payments to silence two women about alleged affairs, and critically, that trump knew it was wrong and that he did it to protect his presidential campaign prospects. >> he was trying to hide what you were doing, correct? >> correct. >> and he knew it was wrong? >> of course. >> and he was doing that to help his election? >> -- you have to remember, at what point in time that this matter came about. two weeks or so before the election. post the billy bush comments. so, yes. he was very concerned about how this would affect the election. >> to help his campaign. >> to help him and the campaign. >> cohen also addressing criticism, notably were the president, that he's a liar, claiming that special counsel mueller has a, quote,
substantial amount of information that proves he is telling the truth. cnn's mj lee joins me. do we have any idea what corroborating evidence mueller has that proves cohen is telling the truth? >> what we do know, jake, michael cohen has been helpful to robert mueller, the special counsel's office has said that cohen has provided credible information for their russia investigation. and we also know, of course, that he's been assisting the southern district of new york, as well, about the secret payments to women. this, of course, is such a drastically different michael cohen from the guy who used to be one of trump's most loyal confidantes. >> i am done being loyal to president trump. >> he spilled his secrets to prosecutors. he begged for mercy from a judge. and now michael cohen speaking to the american people. >> and i will not be the villain, as i told you once before. i will not be the villain of his
sto story. >> president trump's former lawyer opening up for the first time since he was sentenced to three years in prison on wednesday. in an interview with abc, the 52-year-old convicted villain still agonizing over what he says was the toughest day of his life. >> i have to be honest, it's been very rough. >> cohen pleaded go illustrate to numerous crimes, including tax evasion and making false statements to a bank. but it was his crimes involving the now infamous hush payments to two women that have directly implicated the president of the united states. trump lashing out on twitter this week, saying he never directed cohen to break the law. but cohen, now telling a different story. >> he directed me to make the payments. >> and he knew it was wrong? >> of course. >> saying the order to pay off former playboy model karen mcdougal and silence her before the 2016 election came directly from his boss. >> nothing at the trump organization was ever done unless it was run through mr. trump. >> the president's former fixer also addressing trump's biggest
headache, the russia investigation. cohen has already met with special counsel robert mueller's office for more than 70 hours, offering them information about his contacts with russians and conversations with people close to the white house. >> the special counsel did say that you were doing your best to tell the truth about everything related to their investigation, everything related to russia. do you think president trump is telling the truth about that? >> no. >> that's a big statement. >> and he says he's not done talking. >> if they want me, i'm here. and i'm willing to answer whatever additional questions that they may have for me. >> cohen says the person in the white house now is not the trump he once admired. >> i think the pressure of the job is much more than what he thought it was going to be. >> cohen reports to prison in march, and will pay more than $1 million in restitution. stunning fall from grace for a man who says he was loyal to trump for too long. >> the man doesn't tell the truth. and it's sad that i should take
responsibility for his dirty deeds. >> now, trump's lawyer, rudy guiliani, spoke to cnn. he says that trump never lied about the russia investigation and that michael cohen is not someone who can be trusted. jake? >> okay. well, michael cohen, perhaps, isn't somebody who can be trusted, but everybody has seen trump has lied about the russia investigation, and stormy daniels and everything else. thank you so much, mj lee. let's talk about this. so michael cohen said it's sad president trump doesn't tell the truth. and the truth of the matter is that michael cohen knows a lot. he knows a lot about what's going on. so take a listen to this exchange, which gives a little bit of a tease of where this cooperation agreement he has with the special counsel and potentially with the southern district, although not yet, might lead. >> how does this end for donald trump? >> you know, that sort of gets into the whole investigation right now between special
counsel's office, the attorney general's office, you also have the southern district of new york. i don't want to jeopardize any of their investigation. >> so no answer specifically, but i guess the idea is, he is really open for business, michael cohen, in terms of his cooperation and who he's willing to talk to. >> yeah. it's unusual for him to get a sentence before he's fully cooperated. so my expectation is that mueller and the southern district have a lot more information besides just this particular witness. he is a gangster, right, and he is, as you mentioned -- he's a liar. he's a criminal. and so he is contrite at this point. he does know where the bodies are buried. he knows a lot -- >> figuratively, we should say. >> yeah, figuratively, so to speak. yeah. and so -- and the other thing i think is pretty significant, he said he's going to tell the story to the american public once the mueller probe is over. so that's a significant move we're going to hear, at least from him, what he knows and when he knew it. >> so kristen -- go ahead.
>> i was going to say, the other thing that we've heard, some of the recordings that michael cohen has made. so we don't even really have to take his word for it in some of these cases, because you hear the president on some of these recordings. and apparently there are more. so he has information that corroborates the story he's telling now, or at least parts of it. some of which is public. >> and david pecker is cooperating, too. from the national enquirer. >> and kristen, rudy guiliani, his response to some of this, was that all of the hush money payments are overblown, et cetera. he told the daily beast, quote, nobody got killed. nobody got robbed. this is just not a big crime. i think in two weeks they'll start with parking tickets that haven't been paid. that's -- i mean, i'm old enough to remember when rudy guiliani was part of the broken windows theory, small crimes lead to big crimes and everything needs to be not tolerated. but this is quite a shocking statements. >> what i think is underlying a little bit of this is that one, what's being alleged is a violation of campaign finance
law in part. that there were funds used to do something to influence the campaign. any time you spend money to influence a campaign, if you are a campaign, you have to disclose that you've spent it, et cetera. but conservatives have always been, like -- been a little more skeptical of campaign finance law generally. and so maybe he thinks that from a political perspective, sort of making the case that, look, our campaign finance system is screwed up, on those grounds, this isn't a big deal. but when it comes to something like the national enquirer, these catch and kill stories may not be the only thing going on there. the cover of the national enquirer for the entire time trump was running for president was covered in headlines that were helpful to his campaign. is there more there? so -- >> oh, yeah. hillary basically was on death's door. >> and an awful lot of things the national enquirer did that were very helpful to donald trump. i expect we'll learn more about that. >> and the coverup is always worse than the crime here. they did not have to cover this up. but they -- >> stormy daniels and karen mcdougal. >> right. they didn't have to do it, but they did it anyway. and the fact that michael cohen
has had an epiphany, nothing like federal charges to make you see the light. he said he feels freer, so the truth shall set you free. and in this case, he benefited from the lies, years and years o -- for decades working for the president, but for now he is free because he's telling the truth. but, again, he worked for the lion king. the chief of lies is the president, and cohen, flynn, manafort, you name it, all of them are tangled up in these wednesday of lies. so cohen benefited. >> and kristen, rudy guiliani has since tweeted, correction. i didn't say payments were not a big crime. i have consistently said that the daniels and mcdougle payments are not crimes. by the way, an acknowledgment that there were daniels and karen mcdougal payments. >> and i stand by that quote. >> and other republicans, chris christie, orrin hatch, retracted his claim this wasn't a problem. i think other parts of the republican party are acknowledging this is serious.
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trump inauguration committee paid the trump organization for rooms and meals and event space at the trump international hotel. it also raised internal questions about whether the rates, which ivanka trump was involved in negotiating, were fair. pro publica reports, quote, a top inaugural planner e-mailed ivanka and others at the company to, quote, express my concern that the hotel was overcharging the inaugural committee for its event spaces, worrying what would happen, quote, when this is audited. let's bring in cnn's kaitlan collins at the white house. this new report comes just hours after we learned of a new investigation by the u.s. attorney in manhattan into the president's inaugural committee. >> yeah, jake, that raid of michael cohen's home office and hotel is creating another headache for the white house. and now there are questions about how the president's inaugural committee spent or misspent its funds. now, the white house is trying to distance itself from yet another investigation, saying this time that the president had nothing to do with his own inauguration. >> thank you all very much.
>> reporter: the investigation surrounding president trump starting to pile up tonight. with the revelation of the investigation into trump's inaugural committee, there are now inquiries into almost every aspect of the president's political and personal life. based on cnn's reporting, the special counsel and other u.s. attorneys are looking into aspects of his campaign, transition, inauguration, time in office and his company. >> i, donald john trump -- >> reporter: the latest, an investigation into the president's inaugural committee and whether it misspent funds and dave top donors access in exchange for money. the "new york times" adding that prosecutors are also looking into whether the committee and a pro trump super pac received illegal foreign donations from some middle eastern countries, including saudi arabia. the white house responding today by claiming trump's inauguration had nothing to do with him. >> this charge has nothing to do with the president of the united
states. >> reporter: as the president is bombarded by new investigations, he is still dealing with the fallout from michael cohen. his former attorney, who was sentenced to three years in prison this week, and claims trump knew about the payments to women. >> nothing at the trump organization was ever done unless it was run through mr. trump. >> reporter: adding, he's limited in what he can say because of all of the investigations. >> how does this end for donald trump? >> you know, that sort of gets into the whole investigation right now between, you know, the special counsel's office, the attorney general's office, you also have the southern district of new york. i don't want to jeopardize any of their investigations. >> reporter: those investigations a problem the next white house chief of staff will have to deal with. >> i want somebody that thinks like i do. >> reporter: after trump said he had five candidates in mind, former new jersey governor chris
christie dropped out of the running today, telling cnn, i've told the president now is not the right time for me. meanwhile, the president's first and second chiefs of staff posing for a photo, while waiting to find out who will become number three. now, jake, chris christie is the latest person to say he doesn't want to be considered for the chief of staff job any longer. that's in addition to the vice president, mike pence's chief of staff, several cabinet members and even the president of the yankees. now it's an open question inside this west wing who is going to be the chief of staff next. but one candidate was seen at the white house two days in a row, that's david bossie, who served as the president's deputy campaign manager during his presidential campaign. you can see him there, getting into his car on west exec. it's an open question, though, when the president is going to announce who he's going to pick next. >> kaitlan collins at the white house for us, thank you so much. and jeremy diamond joins the panel now. we'll talk about chief of staff in a sec. but i do want to ask this accumulation of investigations and people going to jail and
plea agreements and the like. you're the pollster at the table. is there any indication that trump's base will ever abandon him? will they always be with him, no matter how many people go to jail and no matter how much corruption is raised or proven? >> not necessarily -- not yet. and part of why is at the end of the last segment when you were setting this up and saying, you know, his companies, the white house -- all of these things are under investigation. >> i didn't even mention his bedroom. >> correct. you can actually envision, say, a conservative media outlet running with the same headlines. saying, look, they're coming after this man from every angle. they're going -- they're trying to go after everything they can, because they don't want him to drain the swamp or insert x, y, z. the idea that he is being investigated on so many different fronts, you can see how if you're a big trump advocate, you go, that's not because he did a bunch of things wrong. it's because from all corners, people are trying to thwart this president's agenda. >> the deep state.
>> that's exactly what lindsey graham said on another network. that that -- that he doesn't care, that the president is under siege and all he cares about is what the president does. now, not -- unless it's corruption, i guess. >> what he does is lie. >> right. what he does is lie. but what he's talking about is, you know, the supreme court. the litany of other things that the president has done to really forward the conservative agenda. and that's what i think you have a lot of republicans, whether they're people who like trump or people who don't like trump, they're hanging on to that by their fingernails at this point as these other things come down. >> which reminds me, if that's what lindsey graham said, and i assume your paraphrase is accurate, orrin hatch said something similar to manu raju, in light of the hush money payments, i don't care, all i can say is he's doing a good job as president. now hatch is trying to clean that up. he released a statement saying in an unplanned hallway interview with cnn, i made comments against the president that are irresponsible. while i don't believe michael cohen is any kind of reliable
voice in this process, i have expressed confidence in bob mueller and his investigation countless times. a little cleanup in aisle three. >> it was remarkable to see cor orrin hatch walk that back. but republicans have become so encapsulated by this knee-jerk response that the president has brought to this investigation, to say it's not me, it's the democrats. it's the democrats, it's the democrats. and that was what orrin hatch was saying, even though it was coming from the southern district of new york. and i also think we can't underestimate the president's ability to make himself a vick. i've never seen a person so powerful, so wealthy, who has been able to make a career out of making themselves a victim. we saw it on the 2016 campaign trail and we're seeing it continue now. so i think to that point of all of these investigations happening, the president is able to make this case. that, look, they're coming at me from all angles. woe is me. you guys need to have my back. >> he's the illusion master, to your point.
really, he is the master of illusion. he's the best at it. and democrats better, you know -- can't fight him on that kind of ground. they've got to find another way to fight him. but he has tainted everything that he has touched, and he is the common denominator. and hopefully that is what the american people will see. he is the common denominator throughout all of this. but make no doubt, illusion master, he is the best at it. >> i just can't fathom the fact that we're in an era where the presidential inaugural committee rents out rooms at the trump hotel. >> yes. >> and nobody even thinks twice about it. and ivanka trump, when i first heard about the story, they said ivanka was negotiating, and i said for the inaugural committee or the hotels? and then there is this e-mail in which somebody is saying -- i think we're being overcharged. >> the appearance of impropriety, they don't care. >> but the president trutrump p care, but i don't think the base cares. >> they don't either. but the onus is on president
trump and his family. why would ivanka even do something like that, if even if it was above board. go to another hotel? why does it have to be the trump hotel? >> yeah. >> curiously, if there is anyone in the situation who might care about the appearance, it would be ivanka trump. >> right. >> because i suspect that she intends after this administration ends either in two or six years that she will have ambitions of her own. and there have been plenty of moments where she has tried to put distance between herself and the comments of her father's administration in which she serves. she has tried to place that distance at convenient moments, but it will be hard for her to one day unen tangle herself from this white house. >> so chris christie has taken himself out of contention as chief of staff. is that chris christie taking himself out of contention or is that -- i'm not going to get the job because i put jared kushner's dad in jail? >> it's interesting, because this morning you had white house officials indicating that chris christie was now the new leading candidate to be chief of staff. earlier in the week, you had
mark meadows was leading candidate. both individuals have since come out of contention for this position. certainly, there has been that bad blood between chris christie and jared kushner. chris christie, of course, as a prosecutor, put jared's dad in prison on charges of tax evasion and bank fraud, i believe it was. >> and witness tampering. when he hired a prostitute -- anyway, it's a long story. >> but beyond that, i do think the bad blood between them has been over and over and overstated. it is true to many extents, but also important to note that chris christie, jared kushner, did come together a couple of times on the issue of prison reform to work on that issue together. so who knows to the extent to which jared kushner played a role in this. we have been hearing jared kushner should be chief of staff. >> it's the current chief of staff. president donald j. trump. >> we've got more to talk about. he just lost an election, but he's climbing the ranks as a possible democratic contender to run for president in 2020. stay with us.
in our politics lead, a handful of high-profile democrats say they will make their decisions about possible presidential runs over the holidays. brand new cnn poll shows how democratic voters feel about their choices right now. former vice president joe biden dominates the field as the top choice for nearly a third of voters. behind him at 14% is independent senator, bernie sanders, of vermont. rocketing into the top three, texas congressman beto o'rourke up five points since october. corey booker of new jersey finishes in fourth. with senator kamala harris of california and former secretary of state john kerry tied for
fifth. we should point out that polls like this at this point in the presidential race are largely name recognition. we know that, and you can go back four years and eight years in '12 and '16, and that person never won. that said, i have to say, beto o'rourke rocketing to number three with a bullet, i mean, that is not insignificant. >> no, it's not. it certainly was the race he ran in texas that has given him this name, recognition. as you know, i am hopeful that stacy abrams and also andrew gillum, who both ran very hard and tough races, but did a tremendous job in setting the tone in those two states, are mentioned more often. but it is really about the race he ran in texas, no doubt about it. >> so o'rourke was asked about a 2020 run. take a listen. >> congressman, hate to see you go. but, hey, you're going to run for president, right? [ cheers and applause ] >> no decision on that, no
decision. >> right answer. probably going to wind up being yes, because for a lot of these folks, it's good to go wind up being yes. because why not? >> right. >> very glad that you started off the segment by saying this is just a name i.d. poll, because that's basically what this is. i hate being the kill joy. i know it's so fun to talk about the horse race. but i've gos to say, beto o'rourke has had so much attention over the last couple of weeks. i would be surprised if he wasn't. i wonder what an alternate universe would look like where national media organizations would fawn over amy klobuchar for doing so well in rural parts of minnesota. it is a big achievement that he lost a senate race and still remains a big piece of the national conversation. i would expect these to be very fluid polls over the next couple of months. as everyone in the democratic party decides to run. >> absolutely. but speaking of fluidity, you have beto o'rourke going up and elizabeth warren and kamala harris going down. again, doesn't necessarily mean anything.
but you're going in the wrong direction. >> also, you look back two years ago, you know who wasn't in cnn's december 2014 poll, donald trump. right? his name wasn't even there yet. so how -- >> jeb bush was going to be -- >> and chris christie was number two there. so obviously, a lot can change. and there is also the danger of being that number one person with so much expectation to carry around for the next year-and-a-half, two years of campaigning. but ultimately, what this shows us is there are so many different ways for democrats to run against donald trump. there are so many different types of candidates from the electoral offices that they hold to the kind of message that they're ultimately going to try and bring to the 2020 campaign. is it going to be to try and attract those trump voters and bring them over with a similar economic populus message to trump? or is it going to be fighting him tooth and nail and talking about the ethics scandals? you have the gamut of those options. >> but democrats do tend to like to fall in love, right? they really like -- so they're
looking at what worked in the past. they're looking at obama. and you've heard a lot of -- i mean, i agree with you. i think there's been a lot of coverage. did you know he was in a punk band with beto o'rourke. i think that mystique that has been created about him, because of this -- he hasn't had the -- he hasn't gone through the gauntlet that is a national campaign with the national media spotlight. >> this is the love phase. >> this is a love phase. and -- >> neither had obama, right? >> neither had obama. and so -- but again, as we have all said, it's early. and, you know, we'll have to see who can stay in the spotlight. >> if there is anyone who should be disappointed, it might be bernie sanders. he's someone who you can't say america doesn't know who he is. you can't say democratic voters. >> he's in second place. >> he's in second place, but being prominent and having gotten where he got last time around to still only be in the teens in this poll -- >> let's go to sanders -- >> a half glass empty view of it. >> not necessarily.
he was counted out in 2016, but he has a movement behind him. he won 22 states, 13 million votes. again, this is all about the type of influence that's being pushed on some of these other folks, and not necessarily senator bernie sanders. he had the stronger foundation than anybody that has so far been laid out in this race in terms of he really has not stopped having this conversation with the american people. >> is he running? >> and, again -- well, i don't know yet, jake. >> you worked for him. >> he has -- >> he turned down the ranking democratic role on the senate energy committee. >> because -- >> which says to me, he's going to have other plans. >> not necessarily. i mean, listen. he has said, jake, and you know this. i think he's said this to you too. that he is thinking about this. and he really is. and he has also said that if there is somebody out there more equipped to beat president donald trump, he's taking all of that into consideration. and he really is. it's not false humility with him. >> you don't think it's false humility.
>> no. >> one thing i have heard and then we have to go, from a supporter of sherrod brown, who just won re-election, is that brown has faced difficult elections in ohio running against republicans, whereas a lot of the candidates have not really had such republican challenges, whether in california or vermont. everyone stick around. in our national lead, what's being called a republican power grab and sour grapes. and not just by democrats. today outgoing wisconsin governor, scott walker, signed legislation that strips power from the democrat who defeated him from the governor's office last month. effectively stopping him and other incoming democrats such as the attorney general, from delivering on campaign promises such as withdrawing the state's anti obamacare lawsuit. governor walker argues the goal is improve transparency. kasich strongly disagrees. >> it's outrageous. i mean, you lost the election, okay? when you lose, you say you lost! i mean, you don't -- you can't
wry try to reverse the election by manipulation. it flabbergasts me to see what people are willing to do in pure partisanship and pure power. >> again, that's a republican governor criticizing a republican governor. wisconsin's incoming democratic governor says he has not ruled out suing over this new law. new details have been released about the tragic death of a 7-year-old girl hours after she crossed the u.s./mexico border with her father. stick around. [clap, clap] ♪ hey, jen, which tie says, "trustworthy but also fun"? gold down, oil up. oil down, gold up. this is too busy. we need to make sure people can actually use this stuff. which one says, "hours of free live streaming coverage without cable or subscription fees"? aluminum, aluminum? you ready, zack? oh, we're ready. welcome to the show. let's make finance make sense. ♪
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we have some bad breaking news in today's money lead. yet another big drop for the dow, closing today down 497 points. wall street is now having its worst quarter since 2011, with no immediate signs of improvement. investors worried about global growth slowing down. also note today's slide leaves the s&p 500 at its lowest point in eight months. and even sadder story, in our national lead, a heartbreaking death. a 7-year-old migrant girl who made the long and dangerous journey to the u.s. border who died shortly after she and her father turned themselves in last week. according to customs and border protection, her dad said she hadn't had food and water in days before picked up. ed lavandera joins us. they released a time line of what they say happened to her while she was in u.s. custody. what did we learn from that?
>> reporter: well, we're learning more about the details that took place in those hours before her death. but this timeline has sparked an intense blame game. federal officials say 7-year-old jacquelyn makin would have likely died in the desert had border patrol agents not intervened with medical help. but despite that, calls for an investigation into what happened in the hours she was in custody before her death are growing. the girl had just celebrated her 7th birthday three days earlier when she and her father made the difficult journey through treacherous terrain. >> this is just a very sad example of the dangers of this journey. >> reporter: according to dhs, customs and border patrol agents apprehended the girl and her father on december 6th at the antelope wells border pot rt of entry, along with a group of migrants turning themselves into the u.s. agents. it was there that dhs says her
father at first told border agents his daughter was in good health. it was noted on an english language intake form that the father signed. but he does not speak english. the father and daughter waited for hours before boarding a bus to a nearby border station. dhs says on the way to new mexico 95 miles away, the girl ran a high fever and started vomiting. at one point, she stopped breathing. agents revised her and called ahead for emergency medical help. just over an hour after reaching the border station, she was airlifted to providence children's hospital in el paso, texas, 160 miles away. her father traveled there separately. the girl suffered cardiac arrest in the hospital, was revived, but did not recover. she died on the morning of december 8th, the coroner has not ruled on her cause of death. >> this family chose to cross illegally. what happened here was they were 90 miles away from where we could process them. we gave immediate care. we'll continue to look into the
situation, but, again, i cannot stress how dangerous this journey is when migrants choose to come here illegally. >> does the administration take responsibility for a parent taking a child on a trek through mexico to get to this country? no. >> reporter: not far from this hospital in el paso, the group border network for human rights takes issue with the trump administration blaming the girl's father. >> this is not the america that we believe -- that we used to believe. the militarization of the border, this situation is going to come and haunt the rest of our society. this is not what america is about. >> reporter: and jake, the department of homeland security inspector general says that it will launch an internal investigation into the death of this young girl and that the report will be made public. but critics are also wondering why it took dhs more than a week to talk about this case publicly, and asking why it took a news report to bring this story to light.
jake? >> ed lavandera in el paso, thank you so much. tune into "state of the union." you'll see susan collins and elijah cummings at 9:00 a.m. and noon eastern. our coverage on cnn continues right now. i will see you sunday morning. have a good weekend. breaking news. not forced to lie. special counsel robert mueller sharply rebukes michael flynn for suggesting he lied to fbi agents because he was caught off guard. cohen out on a limb. michael cohen speaks out and pushes back against president trump's denial that he ordered his former fixer to make illegal hush money payments. escape hatch. republican senator orrin hatch now says he regrets saying, quote, i don't care when asked about president trump being implicated in michael cohen's crimes. and gop power play. outgoing wisconsin governor scott walker signs a controversial bill passed by the lame duck legislature, stripping