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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  December 18, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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some enjoyment. thanks so much to all of you for joining us. "ac 360" starts now. the president wished him well. the question is, why? that's not the only one. john berman in for anderson. this was supposed to be sentencing day for michael flynn, who pleaded guilty to several felonies, including lying to the fbi about contact with russians during the transition. almost everyone thought this would be simple, in, out, no jail time. a small numb of the president's most ardent supporters did hope this would be the moment that flynn would take a stand, play the victim to unfair prosecution and back out of his plea deal. none of that happened. not even close. before all the surprises, the president tweeted this -- good luck today in court to general michael flynn. it would be interesting to see
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what he has to say despite tremendous pressure being put on him about russian collusion in our great and obviously highly successful political campaign. now we'll try to divine what he meant there and contrast his good luck andendle treatment of flynn with that of michael cohen, but before we do, keeping them honest. in all the noise you've been hearing today, i want to put up a i wantial tweet -- i had to fire to general flynn, because he lied to the vice president and the fbi. he's pled guilty to those lies. president trump himself a year ago saying he fired general flynn for lying to the fbi, acknowledging his guilty plea. today flynn reaffirmed it. he did not complain, as the administration has about fbi entrapment, as argument that generalfully rejected. he said arguably you sold your
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country out. now, he later walked that back, and he put off sentencing until march. so quite a day. not a good one for claiming anyone claiming, as the white house did, that flynn was ambushed by the fbi. this is what sarah sanders said this afternoon. >> those are facts, and certainly there may be other issues there, but that we don't have any reason to want to walk that back. >> wait, what? was that some sort of attempted jedi mind trick? general flynn himself today blew a hole through the claims that sanders and those around her were making. he wasn't trapped. he said so himself today. sarah sanders, the sarah sanders who last week said she wanted her legacy to be honesty and transparency, said she didn't see any reason to walk back her claims. those are not the droids you're looking for. as you know, michael flynn has
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been offering, in robert mueller's words, substantial cooperation, but the president has kind words for him. michael cohen is cooperating as well, yet as you also know the president is lobbing tweets like this at him. remember michael cohen only became a rat after the fbi did something that was unthinkable and unheard of. now you might be wonder why does one cooperator get good luck and the other gets good riddance. >> reporter: is he concerned that one of his top aides lied to the fbi and was working for a foreign government? >> not when it comes to things that have anything to do with the president. the activities that he has said to -- and we'll let the court make that determination -- to have engaged in don't have anything to do with the president. >> is he concerned he was working for another government during the campaign. does that concern him or not?
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>> there's certainly concern, but that's something for the court to make that deformation. >> reporter: he made positive comments when he pleaded to this. >> we'll let the cord play that out and he'they will make a determination. >> first off, the court has made a determination. flynn pleaded guilty. the judge accepted his plea. when sarah sanders was asked today again and again and again about what makes michael flynn different from michael cohen to her boss, she had no good answer, which did not go unnoticed in the briefing room on her way out the door. >> thanks, guys. >> ten-minute briefing, sarah. >> do your job, sarah. . more on the white house's inable to say why, joining us is retired army lieutenant general ralph peters. i appreciate you being here. >> thank you, gentleman.
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. >> what do you make of the president tweeting, good luck? >> i think he's dangling a pardon, but if you look at the disparity of the treatment of cohen and flynn, it suggests to me, as a former intelligence officer, that flynn knows things that are even more damaging than cohen does. reading the externals, as it with, it would appear that flynn was the messenger boy. he was the conduit between igor, evan-x and the president. we'll see with the mueller investigation, but there's clearly more to this, john, than we know and mueller is sitting on a volcano. >> your analysis, based on what you see and your experience, the president is treating michael
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flynn differently because he has to? >> he feels he has to. you see the decision about hi charities in new york today, he doesn't give freebies to anybody, and in the past he called general flynn out for lying. suddenly flynn's not so bad, flynn's okay. i they he may have had second thoughts, may have realized that there are probably conversations between flynn and trump, with nobody else there, and quite possibly conversations involves the russians. so, again, all this is speculation, john. we need to see where it goes, but i will tell you this. that today, a judge in washington, d.c., stood up for our country. he spanked everybody in washington. he was telling everybody with those angry remarks -- yes, he had to walk some back. he was angry, and it was
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refreshing to see someone in genuine anger, not calculated, someone who cares about this country, and who reap minded even robert mueller, who i admire enormously, reminded mueller of the seriousness, of the gravity of flynn's offenses. a former three-star general who, in the judge's worked appears to have sold the country out. it certainly appears that way to me, but i have a very high standard when it comes to military officers. so i felt we should all be proud of our judicial system today, and also what happened in new york. but you know, the good news in all of this, though it can be frustratingly slow to mom, or system of justice works and those who need to be held accountable, will be held accountable. and this judge is a d.c. guy, he went to howard university. he's seen the great disparities in d.c. i wonder if it didn't rub him
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the wrong way, a young punk steals a car, wrecks it, goes to jail. a three-star general sells out his country and walks. first, to be clear, we do not know what michael flynn has testified he talked to the president about. >> yes, of course. >> we may learn more about that. the judge may know more, because maybe there's something in the large redacted sections of the legal documents that have been submitted. again, we simply don't know. to the issue of selling out the country, the judge, judge sullivan, he had to so sort of back off that a bit, because it turned out that michael flynn wasn't doing -- when he was national security adviser. he still said he was disgusted, but backed off a bit, and used the word "treason." there are some people who thought it went too far. do you think he went too far when he raised the question?
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>> no, i don't think he went too far. we have gotten too blase about this. whether it's giving away your country or lying about your country, defrauding the country, choose your words. there's a dictionary full of adjectives we can use. mike flynn betrayed his trust as an army officer, a high government official, who was national security adviser, and everybody is focusing on the turks right now. that's a sideshow. the whole trump affair, at the bottom of all this, despite all the other evidences of corruption, it all comes back to russia, russia, russia. mike flynn, for me as a former officer, who believes military officers must subscribe to a much higher level of ethics than you see in washington, d.c. on a
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daily basis, for him to have taken money essential from vladimir putin, from russian television, which is vladimir putin, for him to have collaborated as he appears to have done with the russians, that for me is the grave concern. by the way, clearly as you observed, john, the judge today saw things we haven't seen, and it made him angry, and i trust the judiciary. >> quickly, one answer from today -- why michael flynn lied about his conversations with ambassador kisliyak. do you have any thoughts? >> because he thought he could get away with it. because it was an easy way. mike was a brilliant soldier. he did terrific work in afghanistan and iraq. there's no taking that away from him. he can be proud of that, but he needs to be ashamed of what he did afterward, and he needs to be punished for it. there's a saying in the military, which i will clean up for the division audience -- one
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aw shucks cancels 100 attaboys. >> thank you, sir, and thank you for cleaning it up. judge sol van has appointed to several benches, and joining us is chief legal analyst jeffrey toobin, also columnist kiersten powers. plus former senator and former presidential candidate rick santorum. jeffrey toobin, this was not the day we were expecting. really. we were expecting it to be basic. rob mueller's team called for basically no jail time. we thought this would be short. what did happen? >> those of us who have been following these stories, we perhaps have become too cynical. we have become used to the fact that, rover people around donald trump lie, of course they get rewarded for cooperating,
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and judge sullivan said, wait a second, this guy should not get away with lying to the fbi, given who he is, given the stakes here, and robert mueller shouldn't be so quick to reward him for cooperating, given the magnitude of his crimes. now, it sounds to me like at the end of the day he's not going to get jail time, but everybody minimizing his crime, both mueller and his own lawyers, who made a terrible mistake by saying, well, you know, he wasn't really prepared and, you know, making excuses about the surrounding circumstances. none of them understood the basic moral outrage that judge sullivan was going to bring to the proceedings. >> he may ultimately get no jail time, but judge sullivan said if he were to sentence him today, he might have. >> he didn't do it, about you he
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might have. >> you heard kernel peters earlier, who sound equally disgusted as judge sullivan told the world, that he was today. are you disgusted by michael flynn's behavior lying to the fbi? >> you know, if you take michael flynn at his word in front of the judge, that he knew he was lying and deliberately lied -- again, i don't understand why he would have, it doesn't make sense, but if you take the face value of what michael flynn said, i think the judge had every right to be upset. well, i don't think it was treason, but i do believe it's a serious offense. if you did that knowingly, you obviously should know better, so i can understand the way the judge reacted. >> can you understand, then, if the judge reacted that way, and you say you shared that feeling, not the treason part, do you think the white house is taking the right attitude here, which
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is to wish general flynn luck? >> i don't know. i mean, this is one of these things -- i listened to ralph. i like ralph, but the conspiracy theories are continuing to fly around here. we don't know. i wish i knew the context of why general flynn did what he did. on the face it just doesn't make sense that a man who probably knew that they listened to the conversation and probably knew he said what head said, would lie about something like that when the other side knew the information. maybe there's more context, the white house knows that and is trying to influence somehow. i just can't wait for the mueller -- this mueller report to come out so some of the pieces start to fit together. >> one of the mysteries that senator santorum was bringing up is why did michael flynn lie? the other odd question is, why the president is treating
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michael flynn like his long-lost friend? good luck, pal, you're going to plead guilty to lying to the fbi, wish you luck. why he's treating him like that and why he calls michael cohen a rat. why the discrepancy? >> the president is always self-motivated, so he must believe he's getting something out of it. so perhaps he's dangling the idea there could be a pardon. it's unspoken, but that's the only reason he would do something. there's nothing else that motivates him, that i can think of. when we say why would he lie? people lie usually for one reasons, and that's to cover up what something they don't want people to know about. i would assume there's probably some pretty damning information, and he thought he would get away
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with it. then you add in they were attacking the fbi. they walked that back, but that's clearly sending a message to the president who loves to attack the fbi and claim misconduct on behalf of the fbi. no matter how absurd it seems, when with we're supposed to believe this general wouldn't know you're not supposed to lie to the fbi, nonetheless they made that accusation. >> senator santorum, do you disagree? >> it's inconceivable to me that general flynn, as an intelligence officer sitting down with the fbi as you read the 302, the report that the fbi did, i mean, they were sort of coaching him, you remember this, sort of prompts his recollection, because they knew what the conversation was. he had to know. i think he even made a comment, you probably have heard this or something. that's why this doesn't make any sense. why would you like when they know you're lying?
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again, the only thing that makes sense is, maybe he forgot, but now he stood in front of a judge and said, no, i lied, and i intended to. none of it makes sense. >> i share rick's mistification, and why jeff sessions can't remember who he dealt with. jared kushner can't remember. there's this constant failure to acknowledge the relationship between the trump campaign and russia. is that because something improper went on there? that's certainly the implication. that is the best explanation i can come up with, but certainly michael flynn's behavior when he was talking to the fbi is deeply
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inexplicab inexplicable. >> but jeffrey, i'm just wondering, isn't it possible they're lying in the hopes that they're going to get pardoned by donald trump? that by doing -- trying to cover up for him? >> i don't think in january of 2017, last year sitting in the white house, a newly appointed national security adviser michael flynn is thinking, i'm going to lie, plead guilty and then get a pardon. i don't think people think that far in advance. today he may want a pardon. today i would say he's a pretty good bet to get a pardon, but i don't think that was the original motivation to lie. >> the other thing, kirsten, he's lying about something they already know. they said, did you say this to kisliyak? hi's not withholding information. that's why this doesn't make any
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sense. one last quick to kirsten, given all of this, and you read the 302, it's clear that he wasn't ambushed. his lawyers said he was not ambushed, i'm surprised that sarah sanders continued that line of attack today. >> really? >> i guess i'm not. >> i love that you can still be surprised. i think that's amazing. this is kind of what she does, isn't it? i'm not even remotely surprised. >> at a certainly point will we see the intelligence committee rise up and say, mr. president, michael flynn told us he wasn't ambushed, and mr. president, you shouldn't be saying it and sarah sanders, you shouldn't be saying it from the pressroom. >> i think it's clear that republicans aren't particularly
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interested in challenging this white house. i think that's why sarah sanders can keep doubling down on these things, because there's no accountability. i'm totally serious when i say i'm glad you can still be surprised. it is important to still hold people to standards, but this is just the way it is with her. >> you may not be surprised, kirsten may not be surprised, but judge sylvan was surprised. that's what different. he doesn't have the cynicism of dealing with this every day. he was uncynical enough to be appalled by general flynn's behavior. >> he was looking at it much different than people have. thank you all very much. on this very note, next stop the white house. more on how this is playing out there. later, the end of president trump's charity and some of the truly disgusting allegations surrounding it.
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where general flynn got a blistering rebuke from the judge. and at the top of the hour you saw how the administration's top spokesperson dealt with it, or failed to be. jim acosta joins us from the white house. what does it tell you we actually haven't heard from the president himself since michael flynn left the court? >> reporter: john, i think that's interesting, though he did tweet about the wall and how he wants a wall on the border, despite the fact they cements to be giving up on funding on the wall, and this showdown with congress over a possible shutdown, but i think it is notable that the president didn't weigh in, when he started off the day wishing the general good luck. obviously the luck did not turn out the way the white house hope, when they read the tweets, that michael flynn basically said he knew he was committing a crime and his legal teams said,
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no, the client was not being harassed and entrapped. that ran completely contrary to what the white house was say. john, we should point out the briefing with sarah sanders lasted only about 14 minutes. that was four minutes longer than a segment on a news outlet. they were trying to make the case it was okay for michael flynn to lie in this investigation where michael cohen is a rat. that is obviously tough sledding anything day in a white house briefing. >> it's hard to understand the distinction. when it comes to michael flynn, i believe the white house legal team, just like everyone else thought this would be over with today. they would go into the courtroom, probably get no sentence and walk out. now no sentencing for at least three more months. what kind of pressure does this
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put on this white house? >> my guess, john, is what you're going to hear over the next three months. we did not get a chance to ask this question today. but i believe this question will come over and over again for the president, and that's whether or not he's contemplating a pardon for michael flynn. what we saw today, and it was surprising coming out of the courthouse, that the white house had no plan b from a messaging standpoint. okay, we believe michael wall bullied and trapped, and when that blew up in their faces, now they're left with looking at redacted court filings from the special counsel's office. i would have to expect that would weigh down on people inside the white house, most notably the president. when i talked to a source close to the white house, there's still a strong belief that michael flynn does not hurt donald trump, that the crimes that michael flynn is pleading
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guilty to have to do with lying to federal investigates, that collusion with russia was not proven and even though there's redacted portions, at least inside trump world, panic has not set in in thinking, my goodness, michael flynn just gave up donald trump, they have proven collusion. there's some confidence at least tonight that they haven't made that link just yet. >> great to have you on, jim. thank you. kenneth starr led the investigation which led to the impeachment of president clinton, and now his comments on fox have gotten the attention of, you guessed it, the president, who treated judge ken starr just stated after two years, there's no evidence or proof of collusion, and further that there is no evidence that there was a campaign financing violation involving the president. thank you, judge.
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now, ken starr has a book out, and most importantly he joins me now. judge, thanks for being with us. >> i've had a chance to speak with you a lot. it's nice to see you without the bags under my eyes. i know that you have set that you have not seen any evidence of collusion yet. i also know, which maybe the president has missed, you also said there may be a lot you haven't seen. >> absolutely. >> you also said robert mueller is a man of high integrity and you trust him to conduct a fair investigation. >> and i haven't changed my position. i have known robert mueller i have questioned his judgment in terms of some of the people around him, but i know him to be a person of absolute integrity. he will be out to get the truth as efficiently and quickly as he can. what happened today, the dramatic moments in judge
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sullivan's courtroom -- by the way, i know judge sullivan. i know him to be a man of great honor and tremendous experience, very high integrity, and in its own way, a testament to the bob mueller investigation, even though -- even thought sentencing didn't occur today. that's a huge setback, obviously above all, for general flynn, but in a way it's a setback for bob mueller as well. you have a deal and you want it to go smoothly, but it did not today. >> why is that a setback? >> it shows the judge was not prepared to go forward, or at least there was fear he wasn't going to accept the recommendation. prosecutors look to judges to listen to their recommendation with respect, and the judge apparently may not have been ready. >> i'm trying to figure out why it's a setback for mueller. is it because he's trying to dangle a deal in front of someone else?
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all these judges, they're not believing you? >> i think that's remote. you work these cases so you have a deal. you want the deal to be consummated and you want it to smoothly in court. that means the other witnesses can have confidence in you, and that the judges have confident in you. you didn't have that today. i'm not saying there was a vote of no confidence. i'm saying the thing to not go today the way that bob mueller wanted it to go. that's a setback. >> back to the idea of collusion and the president referencing you in his public statements on twitter, to be clear hi's using you to claim exoneration. you don't think he's been exonerated on this. >> no, i've been consistent on this. let's gather all the evidence and assess it. there's a presumption of innocence, but the there's been russian interference, the more the data comes in, the more
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we've seen that the russians at very high levels were interfering with the american democratic process. that's unconscionable. what we have not seen, then, is the next step of collusion or conspiracies between the trump campaign and these russian operatives. >> do you they they have taken the attacks seriously enough, as a sit sine? >> no. the administration -- there's been a difference between what the administration has done. i have said publicly i wish the president would stop in in way suggesting there's a slightest doubt about what our intelligence agencies have concluded and what the evidence of the mueller investigation is pointing to, which is russian interference. >> you've been in the legal business for a long time. when the president keeps referring to mike at flynn as a rat for cooperating with federal prosecutors, how does that term strike you? >> i think it's wise and
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unfortunate. the president is there in his official capacity to uphold the law. i think uses those kinds of terms which shall i say are not typically coming out of any white house is unwise. >> unwise politically or factually? >> unwise in his duties to enforce the law and to be an example we have a rule of law country. we're not russia. we saw that today with the checks and balances of judge sullivan. i do think -- i will say this, i think judge sullivan got carried away, but he's a wise man. he brought himself back. he used the "t" word. i don't think that was called for at all. in fact i was stunned by that, but going back to chaism bers, the judge caught himself. i think he was so offended by this very high-ranking official
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doing what he did do, which is lying to the fbi and violating the law, he was deeply offended by what the general had done. >> kenneth starr, thank you for being here. >> thank you, john. breaking news with regards to president trump's tax returns. exactly. and what's the best part about getting things you do want for free? free stuff. precisely. that's why verizon decided everyone in the family should get the unlimited they want without paying for the things they don't, and why it now comes with six months of free apple music. i like music. hey, look at that. i like popcorn. (joy) oh, didn't even ask. how dare you! (vo) this holiday, get the gift you want. the music you love, on the network you deserve. now, buy the latest iphone and get iphone xr on us.
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all right. this just in. cnn's dana bash just spoke with the president's tv lawyer rudy giuliani about democratic efforts to go after the president's tax returns. he just told dana that the
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administration is ready for a court fight on it. quoting giuliani -- they have to have a reason for wanting them. i fail to see a reason. they can't just look at them. it has to be linked to some wrongdoing. he continued -- we will fight it in court and i think we would win unless they have a specific allegation. look for much more on this. i want to dig deeper with senator angus king. senator, thank you so much for being with us. dana just talked to rudy giuliani, so it's new to me, new to you. >> yes. >> what do you make of this, of his argument that the democrats don't have a reason to get the president's tax returns? >> the first thing to say is i hope you never refer to me as a tv lawyer. that was a nice note there. no, i think -- i don't think anybody's talking about going after the president's tax returns just as a fishing
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expedition. i think there will be a number of investigations in the house, and there may be some rules under which getting the tax returns are appropriate. we'll just have to see how it plays out in the house. it is curious that this president is the only even candy for president in the last 40 years not to voluntarily release their tax returns. we'll have to wait to see how the process plays out. there's a law that the chair of the house ways and means did get the tax returns if they have a reason. so i think rudy giuliani would have a hard time fighting it in court given that law. michael flynn's sentencing hearing, where there was no sentence, prior to that hearing president trump tweeted out good luck. is it appropriate for the president to be tweeting "good luck" to someone pleading guilty to lying to the fbi and admitted
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to lying? >> i've set before, i think it's inappropriate for the president to be dangling pardons in front of manafort, and calling michael cohen names and complimenting michael flynn. it's just not appropriate, particularly when these people are involved in an investigation of the president or his administrati administration. it just doesn't have the right feel. but i do think there's around pont point. there's a fueling that somehow the mueller investigation is on its own, that it's moving as a separate engine of the united states government, and what we saw today was checks and balances. for example, if there's -- to raid michael cohen's office, it required a warrants signed off on by a federal judge. that's the way our system is supposed to work. it didn't go exactly as michael flynn opened or mr. mueller, but
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the judge was an independent party who interposed his decision. he decided to delay the sentencing, as you know, and i think it could be an important development, because i think it gives michael flynn a longer period of time to cooperate. >> kenneth starr noted michael flynn didn't want it to go this way, but also for robert mueller's team. they had suggested no jail time. they had suggested it be over today. >> i wasn't in the courtroom today, but just seeing the reports of the judge's mood, it certainly would be an encouragement, if you will, to michael flynn to be entirely forth coming, so that mr. mueller will renew his proposal for no jail time when the sentencing comes up. you've got to remember, and i said last week there was all this ado about -- i think the
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filings in michael flynn's case are enormously significant. there's a lot redacted, and he's had 19 meetings with robert mueller they weren't talking about the weather or the red sox. they were talking about a significant development in relationship to this case. now there's going to be time for further cooperation. >> there was a bit of news he gave to the country today. the judge and michael flynn and michael flynn's lawyers, they all told us that claims from the president and some of the president's supporters that michael flynn was ambushed are simply not true. they all said no. >> that's right. michael flynn -- the judge explicitly gave him an opportunity to withdraw his plea, and in effect argue that he was ambushed or perjury trap, something like that. he did not do so.
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i think that does underline the fact he was a general in the army, he was in the white house to argue that somehow he didn't know that he wasn't supposed to tell the truth to the fbi just doesn't pass the straight-face test. thank you for also mentioning the red sox. i couldn't help be smile. >> thanks, john. more on the tax story. on that legal provision, it goes back nearly a century under the 1924 provision, the chairman of the house ways and means committee or finance commit year they're thor iced to request anyone's tax returns for the i.r.s. for investigation. dana bash is on the phone. it sounds like you had quite a conversation with rudy giuliani. >> good evening, john. as you mentioned, the news of the evening comes from our colleague lauren fox, who was told by a source that the
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incoming ways and means chairman richard neil will start to move to get those tax returns, because that law allows him to do so, and he's made pretty clear he'll have at least a matter after the first of the year. well, as you can imagine, this is something the president and his team are not thrilled about. i did speak with rudy giuliani, who said his belief is they have to have reason for wanting them, and he says he fails to see a reason. he also said they will fight in court and think that they could win unless they have a specific allegation that's leading them -- and by them i mean the democrats -- to find a reason for that request. >> i think the law is pretty clear. this may be a hard fight for the president's lawyers.
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thank you, dana, and things lauren fox as well. that ordinarily tax deese deductible. the trump foundation has agreed to shut down, repeated self-dealing and on and on. let's not every forget when it used other charitable donations to buy two large portraits of donald trump and a signed helmet. we'll have more, next. ♪ the greatest wish of all... is one that brings us together. the lincoln wish list event is here. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with $0 down, $0 due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment. only at your lincoln dealer.
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the trump foundation is shutting down, which means it will actually give some money to charity for a change. that's because the new york attorney general's office will approve where the remaining money goes. as we were looking at all week, about every aspect of the president's life is under investigation -- the campaign,
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the administration, the transition, and yes the trump foundation. the so-called charitable foundation has agreed to solve, but a lawsuit is ongoing, accusing the president appeared thinks three eldest children of the foundation not operating as a foundation as all. it paid to restore a fountain, the smallest amount, to enroll when done junior was 11. the list goes on and on. randi kaye reports. >> reporter: it was originally created to donate money, but donald trump stopped contributing a decade ago, instead relying on other people's money like wwe et cetera linda mcmahon, who with her husband reportedly donated $5 million.
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the new york attorney general alleging the money didn't go to charity annual causes at all, but instead helped pay off trump creditors and helped the then candidate win the white house. donald trump has denied the foundation did anything wrong, yet the laws says during the campaign he allegedly used the foundation by using foundation money to settle a dispute with palm beach, florida, over a flagpole he put up at mar-a-lago. the town agreed to wave fines if the club donated $100,000 to a charity for wounded veterans. the donation was instead paid by the trump foundation. according to "the washington post," trump's foundation also allegedly paid $12,000 for a football helmet signed by then defer broncos quarterback tim tebow. trump's foundation also
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allegedly paid for a six-foot-tall portrayed of trump painted during a gala at mar-a-lago, and another $10,000 for a painting of himself at another charity gala. >> he used it to buy things he should have paid for with his own money. >> reporter: the attorney . >> reporter: the attorney general's lawsuit charge them of persistently illegal conduct. >> that includes allegedly using foundation money to hold a campaign rally disguised as a charity i vent before the all important iowa caucuses. it found so little oversight on the foundation's spending that its board of directors hadn't met until 1999 and the foundation's treasurer wasn't aware he was on the board. about that tim tebow artwork, his charity purchased, they say they will have to sell off three
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physical possessions, including tebow's signed paintings. trump reportedly paid $42,000 for them using foundation money and says they're now worth $975 combined based on an irs filing. john. >> thanks so much. joining me from the exempt division marks owen and former czar, ambassador, i want to start with you. you have been saying for a long time this foundation was abusing the rules of charitable foundation. what is your reaction it's been shut down? >> well, it's about time. i'm grateful the attorney general of new york has arrived at this agreement. you know, john, it's a persistent pattern of taking cash that is intended for a charitable public purpose and using it to benefit trump,
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himself. his political event. his business needs. his own family. it's an abuse of the public interest for private gain that is very like the pattern in the white house. so we can expect more of this accountability. i'm glad it happened to the foundation, finally. >> mark, who do you go through this, 42,000 paintings, tim tebow helmet. a $7,000 foundation gift to the boy scouts the year donald trump jr. was joining. any am by few thebiguity there? >> it's a pattern of behavior that is significant for both state charity law in the state of new york and for federal tax law as well. they tend to penalize the same sorts of activities, the same sort of misuse of money, same sort of use of money for political purposes. he, trump was even televised
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with a check from his foundation at a political rally. >> i've read -- >> it's difficult to deny that. >> i've read you said this is even more egregious than similar cases you have seen? >> that's correct. that's correct. it has an element of frequency, of continuity, a wide variety of expenditures, small and large. a use of money for any number of personal and private purposes. it's not a one-off or a few dollars here and there. it's a pattern extending over a period of years. >> so ambassador, new york attorney general barbara underwood said she found the foundation decision to shut, she thought it was an important victory for the rule of law. what do you think is next here? this lawsuit is not going away? >> no there is going to be continued proceedings there. it may be an order for reimbursement. trump and his three eldest children may be barred from
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serving on other foundations. there could be federal review of these issues here. but, john, the important point is, this is part and parcel of donald trump's m-o. abusing the public trust for his own personal gain. whether it's in monuments. whether it's the fact he spent a third of his days of his presidency at his own clubs turning the presidency into an infomercial or whether it's a shocking abuse of the rule of law that's now being investigated by robert mueller or the campaign finance abuses in new york. it's a larger pattern. we're just at the beginning of the accountability. and there will be much more like the shuddering of this foundation. >> mark, when you look at how this organization was run, they may be a euphemism, with the wild west in there, no oversight. no systems at all? >> that's correct. it's rare a state attorney general would take the steps that barbara underwood did to
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shut down the foundation. >> that only happens when a state attorney general concludes that there has been a total absence of governance, that it cannot be retrieved, that there is no public good that would be served by continuing the life of the foundation. >> morocco owens, norm eisen, thank you for being with us. let's check in with chris cuomo for cuomo prime time. >> a good conversation. it goes a step further. not only is trump settling, shuddering, he may agree to be shunned. one of the this things new york ag wants is for him and his kids to not sit on the boards of charities for different periods of time. can you imagine that? a sitting mr. president of the occupation, not allowed to sit on the board of a schacharity. major implications going forward the way this guy sullivan framed up with general michael flynn today and i have a piece of
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paper here that proves that the president of the united states is changing the facts of a big part of the russia story. the question is, why? i'll take you through it. >> we'll see that piece of paper in about four minutes, chris, thank you so much. up next, more breaking news that could result in the biggest shaking up of the criminal justice systems? generations. without raising your blood pressure. coricidin hbp. (burke) parking splat. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two.
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. more breaking news, it's practically the definition of news, when the unexpected happens. the senate taking bipartisan action on something substantial, easing sentencing for non-violent offenders. the vote was 87-12. all the votes ago ens the bill -- against the bills were republicans. those that voted against said they could let dangerous
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criminals back into society prematurely. it was negotiated with the help of jared kushner, president trump's son-in-law and senior adviser. the house is expected to take up the bill on thursday. the news continues. i will hand it over to chris cuomo. cuomo prime time starts right now. >> thank you, jb. i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." some big blows to the president's case he has done nothing wrong. first, a sitting president forced to shut down after a quote shocking pattern of illegality that involved his campaign. could the president of the united states really be banned from ever running a charity? and treason, the flynn sentencing pos sentencing. sentencing.postponed asking the attorneys if he was treasonous. the white house promoting that lie. why? and we