tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC December 16, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST
>> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. >> i am done with the lying. i'm done being loyal to president trump. >> cohen targets trump. >> he knows the truth. i know the truth. many people know the truth. >> accusing the president of orchestrating the campaign finance felonies sending cohen to prison. in the first interview since his sentencing, trump's former lawyer adds that the prosecutors have evidence to corroborate his charges. he states the president is lying about russia as multiple investigations confront trump. here to respond, rudy giuliani. and -- >> if don't have border security, we'll shut down the government. >> bracing for a shut down after
that oval office meltdown. >> we shouldn't shut down the government over a dispute. you want to shut it down. >> the last time chuck you shut it down. >> no. >> will the president make good on his threat? will his party back him up? is this a preview of what's to come? plus -- >> it was a big ruling, a great ruling. >> the latest blow to obamacare. a federal judge strikes down the law hours before the deadline to sign up. staggering uncertainty with higher courts yet to weigh in. what will it mean for millions who rely on obamacare? how will congress and the white house respond? we talk to senators from both parties, democrat dick durbin and republican susan collins. plus our powerhouse round table. we'll break down the politics, smoke out the spin. the facts that matter "this week." >> announcer: from abc news it's "this week." here now chief anchor george stephanopoulos. >> good morning and welcome to "this week." when donald trump accepted the gop nomination in 2016 he famously declared i alone can fix it.
as he closes out the second year of his presidency trump is increasingly alone in the white house acting on his own instincts. the system he promised to fixed is closing in on him. the "washington post" notes this morning nearly every organization the president has led sd -- is now under investigation. his business, his foundation, his campaign, his inaugural, his white house face lawsuits, criminal investigations and intense congressional oversights. so many of his closest friends and associates cooperating. none more than michael cohen. fresh off his sentencing, cohen told me the campaign finance felonies he committed were at the direction and ordered by donald trump. >> he's saying he didn't direct you to do anything wrong. is that true? >> i don't think there's anybody that belief -- believes that. nothing was done unless it was
run by mr. trump. he directed me as i said in the all all all allowcution and the plea. he directed me to make the payments, including the one with mcdougal which was between him and david pecker and david pecker's counsel. i reviewed the documents in order to protect him. i gave loyalty to someone who does not deserve loyalty. >> he was trying to hide what you were doing, correct? >> correct. >> he knew it was wrong? >> of course. >> 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. >> we are joined by president trump's current attorney rudy giuliani.
mayor, thank you for joining us this morning. you saw michael cohen. he said the president directed the payments and he knew it was wrong. your response? >> he's pathetic. the man is pathetic. that's a lawyer you were interviewing. he said he directed me to do it. he's a lawyer. he's the guy you depend on to determine whether or not you should do it this way or that way. whether you're donald trump or you're me or you. i have a lawyer. >> he's saying the president knew it was wrong and directed him to do it anyway. >> the president said it was false. he said it was false under oath. he said it was false in his tape recorded conversation with chris cuomo. he said it was false on five tape recorded conversations. he said on those tape recorded conversations he did it on his own and then he brought it to the president. then the president reimbursed him. clear as a bell under oath. he must have said it ten times. now he says the opposite. which is the truth? i think i know what the truth is. unless you're god, this man you'll never know what the truth is.
he lies to fit situation he's in. >> the southern district seems to be backing him up. i want to put a sentencing memo. they wrote cohen acted with and at the direction of individual one. that's in their own words. individual one, the president. >> there would be no way to know that other than taking cohen's word for it. the conversations they had, even the tape recorded conversation, is just the two of them. so the -- >> they wouldn't write that without corroborating evidence, would they? >> they don't have corroborating evidence. they don't have corroborating evidence. plus, they didn't let cohen tha guilty to a copicy. i ey do. if i'm going to use a cooperator, i make them plead guilty. if he pleads guilty to an individual crime, that isn't a crime, he's going to be ripped apart on the witness stand.
can you imagine what would happen on the witness stand? this is a guy that says i was fiercely loyal to him. no he wasn't. he was taping him, his client. that's outrageous. can you imagine how a jury would react to that? >> that's not the only evidence they have. they cut a deal with david pecker and ami. from the statement of facts on that deal they talk about in august 2015 meeting between david pecker, michael cohen and an individual from the campaign believed to be president trump. here's what they said. at the meeting pecker offered to help deal with negative stories about that presidential candidate relationships with women by among other things assisting the campaign so they could be purchased and their publication avoided. pecker agreed to this. it's not just michael cohen. it's david pecker and ami. >> that's why david pecker got immunity. he won't get immunity because he won't say what they want him to
say. i don't know. i don't know how true that is. you've got a serial liar who taped his own client and lied about it and deceived him and taped about ten reporters and lied to them and deceived them. an you've got a guy who has been given complete immunity. >> you just said you ran that office. you know how the southern district is run. >> i don't know how the southern district is run. i'm disgusted with the southern district. >> they wouldn't -- >> see what we're talking about. it's not a crime. it's not a crime, george. paying $130,000 to stormy whatever and the other one is not a crime. the edwards case determined that -- she was paid $1.1 million to be a no show in that campaign. >> you know the edwards case is quite different. the judge said -- >> it's not the judge. it's the f.e.c. the f.e.c. ruled no violation of the campaign finance law. the justice department prosecuted anyway. they were embarrassed. >> the judge said if it was to help the campaign it was illegal. you're right the jury did not convict john edwards.
>> no. >> the evidence in this case is different. >> wrong, wrong, wrong. it has to be for the sole purpose. if there's another purpose it's not a campaign contribution. if there's a personal purpose -- suppose he tried to use campaign funds to pay stormy daniels. it wouldn't be illegal. if it's not a campaign expense, it can't be a campaign contribution. >> the corporation contribution from ami would be clearly illegal. >> no, it would not be. it's not a contribution. if it's intended for a purpose in addition to the campaign purpose -- in the case of hunter, the payment of $1.1 million was intended to shut her up and avoid embarrassment with his wife and children. which is worse? the campaign problem or the wife and children? >> that's that case. let's talk about the president's came. >> same thing. >> no it's not. you have witnesses saying it was for the exam pain. you have a statement of fact
saying donald trump met with david pecker -- >> i can produce an enormous number of witnesses that say the president was concerned about how it would affect his children, his marriage. all those women came forward at that time, that tape with billy bush and all that. it's all part of the same thing. i know what he was concerned about. i can produce 20 witnesses to tell you what he was concerned about. >> two weeks before the campaign? >> damn right. he was concerned about all it. >> he never made payments like that in the past? >> in the past i can't speak to. i wasn't his lawyer in the past. at that point, these are the only two asking for money. the amount of money is consistent with harassment, not truth. i've been involved in cases like this. when it's true and you have the kind of money the president has, it's a $1 million settlement. when it's not true, you give them $130,000. they went away with so little, it indicates their case was
weak. now stormy daniels has to pay the president's legal fees. it'sry kick -- it's ridiculous. they're going to look for the president's unpaid parking tickets. >> the southern district said this strikes at the heart of our democratic system. >> oh, right. give me a break. obama paid $2 million in fines for campaign finance. this is a $300 payment. how come obama was -- >> those are reporting violations as you know. >> they were not reporting violations. he has people who donated to him that don't exist. they do not exist. they're not human beings. >> why do you have so much trouble with the southern district? the case is being run by a republican appointed by a trump administration and -- >> his interpretation of the law is erroneous. if you want to make some argument that there's validity to it, you don't pursue a president of the united states
for interpretation of the statute. it's completely wrong. it's harassment. this is -- this special prosecutor was there for collusion. then he went to obstruction. campaign finance -- >> this isn't the special prosecutor. it's the southern district. >> i know, but where did it come from. who is on top? rosenstein is on top of both. why were they both in court? they're passing the guy back and forth. cohen is trying to figure out -- now he got three years where he got slammed by the southern district -- >> he did. -- for not cooperating. that means he's lying. they believe him on this and he's lying about that. it doesn't work that way. i guarantee you this man never gets in front of the jury. that'sad conspac>> the special e him. >> he believesing about the president.
they told corsi -- they wrote out his statement implicating the president. they said if you recite this you get probation. go free. this is your get out of jail free card. corsi said go to hell. >> jerome corsi is your best witness? he's a guy that questioned who 9/11 was an inside job. >> he's not my witness. i don't know jerome corsi. i'm telling you what they did to him. they set up flynn. look what they did to flynn. at the direction of comey who wouldn't have got away with his unethical behavior, they tell him he shouldn't have a lawyer. they put flynn through questioning. he says something wrong. they got a document there that contradicts it. if they were searching for the truth, they would show him the document and say does this refresh your recollection. tell us the rest of it. they weren't. they hid it so they could jam him for perjury. then they have the fbi saying he's telling the truth.
>> that's not what the fbi said. the fbi said he didn't have characteristics of someone deceiving. >> just the opposite. peter strzok wrote he didn't seem like he was living. >> they didn't show the characteristics of somebody that was lying, but they believed he was lying. >> and comey reported at the time he didn't believe he was lying. >> he disagrees with that. >> we have not lying, prosecution lying, no explanation in the middle. we have a guy deprived of counsel, a guy not shown a document that could have refreshed his recollection because they had it hidden under the table so they could come back and jam him. that's what i talk about when i say perjury trap. you have to be careful. >> i want to show what michael cohen said about russia and the special counsel. >> the special counsel said you were doing your best to tell the truth about everything related to russia. do you think president trump is telling the truth about that? >> no. >> now the special counsel's
office said they found cohen credible and provided valuable information about russia related matters, also about his contacts with persons connected to the white house in 2017 and 2018. they seem to be getting at there collusion and obstruction. >> isn't that prosecution by innuendo? i have no idea what they're talking about. let me ask you a f-- >> let me ask you a few specific questions. >> i know that collusion is not a crime. it was over with by the time of the election. i don't know what evidence he has of that. >> let me ask you a few specific questions. >> if it didn't happen -- >> did donald trump know that michael cohen was pursuing the president trump tower in moscow into the summer of 2016? >> according to the answer he gave it covered up to november of 2016. he said he had conversations with them about it. the president didn't hide this. they know -- >> earlier they said the conversations stopped in january of 2016.
the date -- look -- >> >> until you sit down and answer questions and you look at the papers, you don't know what happened. that's why lawyers prepare for those answers. >> let me ask a second question. did the president know about don jr.'s meeting with russians at trump tower? >> no. that is definitely -- he didn't know about it. i think it's consistent. at one time lenny davis went out saying cohen had evidence to contradict that. they had to withdraw that. >> did roger stone ever give the president a heads up on wikileaks leaks concerning hillary clinton and the dnc? >> no. >> not at all? >> i don't believe so. again, if roger stone gave anybody heads up about wikileaks leaks, that's not a crime. it's like a heads up "the times" is going to print something.hi weird, strange. the crime is conspiracy to hack. collusion is not a crime. doesn't exist.
>> conspiracy to hack is the crime. >> did donald trump engage in a conspiracy to hack with the russians? they've been going at it with counter intelligence investigations. they came to no evidence. they're grasping for straws. >> they're also looking at obstruction. did anyone suggest to michael cohen he would get a pardon if he stayed on the team. >> i had conversations with his lawyers. the liar can say whatever he wants. i told his lawyers there will be no discussion of a pardon. that doesn't mean the president doesn't have the power. i said do not consider it in your thinking now. it has nothing to do with what you should decide. i think that's one of the reasons he double crossed. >> the cnn and "new york times" reporting you're in discussions with robert mueller about an interview with the president. are those discussions still going on? >> i'm not allowed to say that. the agreement we had contemplated there would be a period of time after the questions we would have a
discussion about any further questions. i'm not saying we are or we aren't. that's in the agreement. >> president trump isn't that secret person who is discussed in court on friday? >> absolutely not. >> he hasn't received a subpoena? >> if he is, we have outrageous violations of legal ethics. we have to be served with papers. we have might be under seal, but we're not. >> is it possible the president talks to robert mueller? >> all i can tell you is the agreement contemplates our having discussions if there are any further follow ups or questions. there's been no discussion. i have to say watching some of the things they're doing like letting cohen get up and say he was fiercely loyal to donald trump, even though he was taping him and lying to him, something a lawyer never does. he was never fiercely loyal to donald trump. he's fiercely loyal to him, to himself. >> he was in the past. >> i have a client and i tape him.
i hide it and don't tell him. that's not loyal. that's disloyal. that's the opposite. it shows i'm thinking about me and my own skin. the southern district said he has three years. there's a lot of motivation to do some singing. he will say whatever he has to say. he's changed his story four or five times. >> so has the president. >> the president is not under oath. he's trying the best he can to remember what happened during the time he was the busiest man in the world. i was with him most of the time. i can't remember a lot of the stuff. >> final question -- >> i go under oath and really think about it and say i can't remember that. i was wrong about who was with me on september 11th. i thought the fire commissioner wawi turns out later, he told me i met him after. that happens in the middle of difficult events. you know that from your experience.
>> i know that from my time in the white house. final question, mueller almost done? >> he is done. i told you the only thing left are parking tickets and jay walking. >> mayor giuliani, thanks for your time. up next a federal judge strikes down obamacare. will the health care bill survive? what it means for the millions who rely on it. dick durbin weighs in when we come back. >> announcer: catch "this week" online all week at abcnews.com, on facebook and twitter. , to ta. and serve with confidence that it's safe. this is a diamond you can follow from mine to finger, and trust it never fell into the wrong hands. ♪ ♪ this is a shipment transferred two hundred times, transparently tracked from port to port. this is the ibm blockchain, built for smarter business. built to run on the ibm cloud.
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the supreme court passed the most important vote in a generation on health care affecting every single american. george, it is -- >> it is president obama's signature legislation and the supreme court upheld the requirement that every american buy health care. all through this fight for health care, the white house was insisting the mandate was not a tax. then they went into the courts and argued it was. now it's been upheld. because the court decided it is a tax. >> that was june 2012 when the supreme court upheld the individual mandate for obamacare. now a federal judge in texas ruled that mandate is unconstitutional striking down the whole law. it's created a lot of condemnation by democrats, including by senator dick durbin. senator durbin, thank you for joining us this morning. i want to get your opinion on that ruling.
first, your reaction to mayor giuliani. you heard him saying if the president authorized these payments to karen mcdougal, your response? >> park yourselves on the sidelines and let mueller complete this investigation. don't interfere in any way, shape or form. there's a bipartisan bill pending that would guarantee that, that senator mcconnell doesn't want to call. at the end of the day when mueller's investigation is complete, it should be disclosed to the american public. they ought to see it in detail. they ought to understand everything that's transpired. >> let's talk about the obamacare ruling. what did the judge get wrong here in your view? >> i think the judge, the republican attorneys general who brought this lawsuit didn't do the republican party any favor. the largest issue in the november 6th election that moved 40 seats from the republican column to the democratic column, the biggest single issue was the affordable care act and whether it would cover people with pre-existing conditions.
these republican attorneys general have set out to abolish this law and to end protectionnd for people with a medical history. now the issue is alive and well again. the republicans have no alternative to the affordable care act. >> the president says he wants to sit down with you and talk about it. >> well, of course, we would be happy to do that. look at the history of this president. for two years he's done everything in his power to put an end to the protections included. now he found a judge in texas who agrees with him. it has to be appealed for sure. in the meantime, the republicans once again face the question do you believe we should have healthcare accessible, affordable and cover those with pre-existing conditions.
that's the issue. >> do you think the higher courts will up hold the ruling of the federal judge? >> i don't know. it's hard to say. chief justice roberts found an argument which was salient to him the last time it came before the supreme court, if it reaches that level. it goes up to the circuit level and whether they agree with this judge or not remains to be seen. keep in mind, during this entire period of time, this issue puts the republicans in washington on the spot. if you're going to take away the affordable care act, how will you protect the millions of people using it for health insurance for their family. >> let's talk about the oval office showdown between senator schumer and leader pelosi and the president. it seemed after that meeting we were headed for a shut down over the issue of the wall. do you agree? >> it's entirely in the hands of president donald trump. he bragged it's his decision. i'll shut it down if i don't get
my wall, my $5 billion sea to shining sea wall. you can see this president has really fixated on this issue. if we're talking about border security we ought to pay attention to the center of disease control. they said the most deadly narcotic in the u.s. today is fentanyl. >> president says that's why we need a wall. >> pardon me? >> the president says that's why we need a wall. >> 80% of the narcotics coming into the united states are coming through ports of entry. what we could do is be scanning the vehicles coming into the united states to see if they contain contraband, narcotics, firearms, even victims of human trafficking. fewer than 1-5 vehicles are being scanned now.
i asked the people in border protection, what would it cost to scan all the vehicles coming in. they said $300 million. that's a far cry from $5 billion and a much more effective way to have a secure border. >> would it be worth it to give the president some sort of downpayment on the wall to keep the government open? >> we're trying to give the administration and the experts at the department of homeland security the resources they need. they tell us they need technology and personnel. we put $1.3 billion on the table for barriers if they're necessary and we define them in the way so we're not building a medieval wall, but using them in a way that makes sense. it's up to the president to accept this. i don't think he will. for the good of the country i hope he does. >> there's the possibility of passing the bipartisan justice reform bill. i know leader mcconnell has been res resistant to that.
do you think it will be done? >> it depends on leader mcconnell. if he sets up a floor process fair to both sides, it can be achieved in a few days. we're going to start the debate on it monday night. he can't turn to the republican senators who oppose it and there are about four or five who do, and say you get amendments and no one else can. we have to be able to respond to amendments to the other side and i hope senator mcconnell will be even handed in his reproach. >> thank you senator durbin. >> thanks, george. >> we'll be back with senator susan collins and our powerhouse round table. senator susan collins and our powerhouse round table.
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mandate and kept the rest of the law intact. i believe that it will be overturned. >> you say it's going to be overturned. he based his rulings on last year's tax bill which brought the tax penalty. he said that invalidated the whole law. any second thoughts on your vote on this? >> not at all. it's important to keep in mind what the impact of the individual mandate was. 80% of those who paid the penalty under the individual mandate earned less than $50,000 a year. this disproportionately affected lower and middle income families. in addition, not one democratic senator offered an amendment to strike the repeal of the individual mandate, although they had the opportunity to do so.
that's because it was probably the most unpopular and unfair provision of the affordable care act. there are many good provisions of the law. those should be retained. >> you voted for this after being promised lower premiums. that never happened. what needs to happen with obamacare now? >> we did bring a bill to the floor that would have reduced premiums by as much as 40%. that came to the floor in early march. regrettably it was blocked much to my surprise by a member of the democratic leadership. it's something we should still pursue. affordability is a real problem for so many americans who did not receive the subsidies under the affordable care act because they make just a little more than 400% of the poverty rate. >> it seems we're five days away from a partial government shutdown.
we heard the president say he needs wall funding. he wants that $5 billion for the wall. we heard senator durbin say the democrats are not going to provide that. is there anyway to thread the needle and keep the government open? >> there is and we should. there's no excuse to shut down government on this issue or any other issue. i suggested we revisit a compromise proposal we brought forth earlier this year. i helped craft it and it provided $2.5 billion this year and over the next ten years to fully fund border security. that includes physical barriers like fences and walls, also technology, more border patrol agents, more roads to get into these remote areas. it was a comprehensive package that was put together by the experts at the department of homeland security. 46-49 democrats voted for this
package and i think that's a possible avenue for a compromise. >> is it good enough for the president? he wants that concrete wall. >> i hope it will be good enough for the president. keep in mind the president's budget this year had $1.6 billion for the wall. the broader security package was $2.5 billion that we worked out with homeland security to meet the other parts of border security which are at least equally important. there's a compromise and people will come to the table in good faith on both sides. we have to prevent a government shutdown. >> let me ask you about your work on the senate intelligence committee. adam schiff who will be the chairman of the house
intelligence committee told "the new yorker" this week he wants to investigate whether president trump shaped policy to expand his fortune, look at russia, saudi arabia business interests and he went on to say the american people have the right to know that the president is working on their behalf, not his family's financial interest. right now i don't think any of us can have the confidence that's the case. do you have that confident? >> that's why the special counsel's report and investigation is so important. the special counsel must be allowed to complete his work unimpeded with no interference. we on the senate intelligence committee are pursuing the counter intelligence investigation. it's been a very bipartisan investigation. more than 200 witnesses have been interviewed. i think that will wrap up early next year. we too will produce a report on the counter intelligence aspects. that's different obviously from the criminal prosecutions and the investigations that the special counsel is undertaking. >> senator collins, thanks for
do i like donald trump? no. was he a role model for my son? absolutely not. yes, i'm supporting donald trump as enthusiastly though i think he's a horrible human being. >> that's mick mulvaney back in november 2016. now the president's acting chief of staff. he was weighing in on candidate trump in november of 2016. let's talk about this with our round table, matt schlapp, roland martin, molly ball and peter baker. peter, let me begin with you.
mick mulvaney is going to be the acting chief of staff after being rebuffed by ayers and reportedly chris christie. what do you think is going on here and why acting? >> it's a great question. mick mulvaney had the job earlier in the year. there's reluctance to move in. mulvaney makes sense. what the president is heading into is two years of pretty fierce open partisan warfare and probably could use somebody in that position that understands what that's going to be like and helps him cope with it. some of the other folks didn't have the mick mulvaney had. here's the problem, he's still head of the omb. >> he wanted to keep that. >> he wanted to keep that. not ready to give that up. the problem is, that's a senate confirmed job. that means the house and senate can pull him up to the hill to testify the way most chiefs of staff don't testify. that's because they're the president's personal aides. >> matt, i'm trying to figure out, maybe you know, you have connections to the white house,
was the acting on behalf of mulvaney or the president? is he serious about trying to get a full-time chief of staff? >> every chief of staff is acting. you don't have the job for that long. it's about 18 months. obama had five. >> three in two years is a lot. >> it is pretty quick. i'll agree with that. i think mulvaney will jump into the job enthusiastically. he's a former congressman. he's tight with the conservatives on the hill. that's important to the president. he's a lawyer. in these times that's important. as far as him being able to wear two hats, he's been good about wearing multiple hats. when you go to the hill, even in these times, the idea you have this executive privilege, the democrats will test that. bush administration officials had to go to the hill as well. i think the -- >> clinton officials did as well. >> i don't think they'll get off
easy on anything. >> chief of staff is an impossible position in any white house, especially here. >> yes, if there can be degrees of impossible. there are people who had experience with this president and knew how difficult the job was going to be. they knew how difficult the job was for reince preibus. knew how difficult the job was for john alcohol. the president, you see him over and over shuffling people around because he needs to feel that comfort level with people. he needs to feel that somebody understands him. yet a lot of the times the people that understand him the best are the people least willing to be in these positions where they're going to have to be some kind of gate keeper and organize this president's processes. that's a really hard thing to do. >> roland, that seemed to be on chris christie's mind as he put out that statement last week. saying thanks but no thanks. >> he shouldn't even be remotely
thinking about working for donald trump. mulvaney, i hope he's a praying man. he's walking into a fire storm. you look at what happens -- what's happening with the mueller investigation. now the democrats taking over the house. it's going to be nothing but drama over the next year. my suggestion be prayed up. get some healing oil. >> he is a praying man. >> he's going to need some lazarus type praying. that's what he's going to need. >> it was talked about at the top of the program, peter, this constellation of investigation. it's unprecedented. every single aspect of the president's life is under investigation. so hard for any house to be prepared for that. >> you're fighting on multiple fronts. until now he had the defense of a republican senate and house that wasn't going to make his life more difficult than he was facing with mueller and other agencies and prosecutors. now on top of that democrats have subpoena power and they
are frustrated with what they see as the failure of the past congretite propey whare eager, maybe going too far. that's the fear they have, but bombarding the administration with investigations of their own. >> senator susan collins didn't want to bite on what adam schiff was telling the new yorker and the democrats are going right after the president's businesses and whether he's shaping policy to an advantage of his business. >> the business is the family too which is more of the red line. the trump organization has been the trump family. there hasn't been any separation between him and his children. the democrats don't see any of this as off limits. as peter said, there's a fear on the part of some democrats they may go too far. and appear to be only on a partisan crusade. the democratic leadership is doing a lot to make plans to organize between the different committees to see which hearings come first, which
investigations proceed first, who handles what. they're very concerned to try to create an image that what they're doing is accountability and not as the republicans see it, presidential harassment. >> the biggest issue for mulvaney and his party is you have a liar in the office. you have a man who lies about lying. i'm laughing this week at them attacking cohen for saying he's a liar. it's like john gotti saying you can't believe sammy the bull. believe me. no, both are murders. donald trump has to deal with -- he's been a lying president. >> you heard the distinction rudy giuliani was trying to draw, saying as long as it's not under oath -- >> i know we have a big disagreement in the country. it's important to remember that
all of these -- and it came out in your interview. all these investigations are off shoots over this question about whether or not the president did something wrong with colluding. >> that's not true, matt. >> it is true. >> it's not true. i just lost my microphone. >> this is the president saying he knew nothing about the payments. >> last time i checked i was talking. >> yes, but don't lie like trump lie. >> please. >> hold on. >> all of these investigations, the root of it is a special counsel that it appears that what happened is the scope had broadened, whether or not they handed something off to the southern district of new york, whether or not there were people talking with legal officials in the state of new york, the idea that every aspect of donald trump's life is under investigation is not an accident. it's being done on purpose. it's everything they can possibly do to politically weaken the man. the american people -- if they can't prove collusion, the american people will say it's nothing but politics.
>> george, you had a former u.s. attorney sitting here. anybody knows that when the federal government is investigating you, when they walk in looking for something and then they discover something else and then something else and then something else, that's what they do. this is not new. this is what -- >> well, you don't -- >> let me bring that to peter baker. >> i'm not going to lie -- >> you don't like -- >> i'm not going to pay porn stars. >> hold on. let me bring in peter on this. every white house is subject to investigation. from nbc news 62% of the public think trump isn't telling the truth in the russia probe. >> that's a problem for him. president clinton who went through the last impeachment, he was sustained because he had popular support. people didn't think he was much of a husband. they havppves behavior. they thought he was a good president. his popularity was in the 60s.
trump doesn't have that support. if we get to an impeachment battle, the question will be can he keep republicans with him? so far he is. >> that's before new legal action. molly, you were talking about the new reality of the democrats. i want to show a little more of the meeting with nancy pelosi and chuck schumer this week. >> nancy is in a situation where it's not easy for her to talk right now. i understand that. i fully understand that. we'll have a good discussion and we'll see what happens >> mr. president, please don't characterize the strength i bring to this meeting as a leader of the house democrats who just won a big victory. >> extraordinary moment and a real window into the next two years. >> it was a perfect metaphor for what divided government is going to be like. you have a president who for the last two years has been able to hold that meeting with only republicans.
now the democrats get to be in the room. when he says something, he's used to being able to say it and not being challenged. they said no we disagree. you're wrong. mike pence is a nice metaphor for the rest of the republican party sitting there trying not to be part of the discussion. >> i wonder if this means the president will like this policy. he liked the idea that we brought the cameras in when he had everyone saying yes, sir i agree with you. not the same when you have the democratic leaders. >> republicans don't have a super majority in the senate. i hope they do criminal justice reform. it passes a funding vehicle for the government. when it gets to that, they have to have democratic votes. all awe long the way he's had to deal with the super majority in the senate. now it shifted. we have more republicans and more conservatives in the senate. his standing is better there. in the house, you're right, it's
going to be they have to do everything they can to bring him down. >> for a man who loves reality tv, i don't advise him to bring cameras in. he's going to get owned. pelosi tried to save him. she said we should talk in private. he should have listened to the woman sitting there. >> i was wondering, peter, the door seems to have closed. it seems like four or five months ago, the president could have declared victory and taken border security funding and called it the wall. apparently he's not going to be able to do that now. can he get out of this now? >> it was called border security. the democrats can say they didn't fund the wall. he could have used the money for the wall. it would have been ambiguously written. now they're up against the wall so to speak. they have to decide which side is going to cave. we're likely to have a shut down heading into the christmas season.
the president said i'm willing to do it. i'm proud to do it. that's satisfying to his base. this is the most important promise he made on the campaign trail. he repeated it again and again this fall. >> it does appear that the president seems convinced this is going to help him politically. >> well, he was convinced also that campaigning on this would help republicans in the lead up to the midterms talking about immigration. they would have preferred to talk about the economy or something else. it didn't work out so well. >> in the senate it did. >> in the senate it sure did. >> we added a net of two senators. this issue is a very tricky issue. >> would you take the trade? >> what? >> wouldn't you take the trade? >> would i come up with an agreement on the budget? absolutely. are we going to have another supreme court opening? if there's impeachment, do they have to convict in the senate? >> now you lost 40 seats in the
house and you lost 400 seats locally as well across the country. that includes governors. the loss is broader than washington, d.c. >> when republicans had both houses of congress and trump had already promised the wall way back in the campaign and they didn't give it to him because neither the republicans or democrats in the house and senate are as preoccupied as the president is with funding the wall. >> he also said mexico would pay for it. >> that was a lie. >> they were able to keep the government funded by ignoring that promise. trump has gone along with it until now. if he forced the issue, it will make his own party uncomfortable. >> if there is a shut down, democrats take the house and the first order of business will be a continuing resolution to openling up the government and the republicans are back up against the wall again. >> absolutely. i don't think it will go from
christmas to january. they'll find a way to figure out how to keep this open. it may be a political punt. democrats would love to punt this for a year. that's probably not going to happen. >> shocking, d.c. punting. >> that's the last word today. thank you very much. that's all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. i'll see you tomorrow on "gma." very much. i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."
up next, three contractors hired to clean up the camp fire are fired. the investigation is under way and possible charges that e it can face. good morning to you. a look from outside and mount tam, and we have picked up a couple of hundredthses so far. the rain is on the way, and a vigorous cold front is headed your way this afternoon. i will detail the timing next on "abc7 mo