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tv   Headliners  MSNBC  December 9, 2018 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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>> bob mueller revealing michael cohen's crimes as well as new details about his ties to russia. >> michael cohen potentially facing substantial prison time after pleading guilty -- twice. >> michael cohen has clearly made the decision that he is going all in in terms of his cooperation. >> donald trump seemed blind-sided by the latest michael cohen plea. he stood up on the south lawn and called michael co-an liar. >> he's a weak person and he's trying to get a reduced sentence. so he's lying about a project that everybody knew about. >> before cohen cooperated with the mueller investigation, he was the president's loyal fixer. >> if anybody else was in his mind going after his boss, he
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was going to fight back. >> he vowed to protect donald trump at all costs. >> he told me that he would take a bullet for the president. >> could the man who was the president's go-to problem solver now be his greatest problem? >> he is such a wild card in terms of the danger he poses to president trump. >> if i were donald trump i would be very worried about what else is out there. >> good or bad. michael cohen will be part of american history. president trump's former long-time personal attorney, michael cohen admitting he made false statements to congress about the russia investigation. >> it was totally unexpected. because cohen had already pleaded guilty and we believed he was meeting with robert mueller's prosecutors, but we weren't sure what was going on
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with that. >> in a detailed nine-page court tournament delivered on november 29, 2018 cohen stated he made false and misleading statements to congress in 2017 about the so-called moscow project. >> a 100-story hotel to be built in the heart of the russian capital. >> by all accounts donald trump has long been interested in developing a trump tower in moscow as kind of the european crown jewel of the trump real estate development. >> in his plea, cohen acknowledged giving false testimony about the timeline of the proposed deal. he had told congress that negotiations ended before the presidential primaries. >> cohen said he lied about the timing because they wanted to make it seem like this deal was dead before the iowa caucuses. so it really wasn't going on during the heart of the presidential campaign. and in fact it was going on all through the republican primaries. >> he said that the deal stopped
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in january 2016. it extended to may and that's important. because may was on the cusp of the republican national convention where donald trump became the republican nominee. >> cohen admitted he gave regular briefings on the moscow project to individual 1. identified in open court as the president. >> donald trump is not accused of a crime in hess documents, but they point the finger, they get the investigation closer to donald trump. >> during the campaign and then after the election the president and his inner circle repeatedly denied any contact with russia. >> i have nothing to do with russia, folks, okay? i give you a written statement. nothing to do. >> president trump's response to his former fixer's latest bombshell? a series of increasingly inflammatory tweets and public statements. >> he's a weak person and what he's trying to do is get a reduced sentence. so he's lying about a project that everybody knew about. even if he was right it doesn't matter. because i was allowed to do
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whatever i wanted during the campaign. i was running my business, a lot of different things during the campaign. >> the so-called moscow project got under way in september 2015. with a meeting in manhattan between michael cohen and his old friend, feel felix seder, a long-time associate of donald trump. >> felix seder is one of the most colorful characters in whole russia investigation. he's a convicted felon twice, he was convicted of stabbing a man in a bar fight with a broken margarita glass. >> cohen's guilty plea revealed another trump organization secret. the kremlin was directly involved in the wheeling and dealing with felix seder acting as a go-between. in 2015, felix seder wrote an email to michael cohen saying that we can get our boy, meaning donald trump, elected president, and that felix seder would handle things from the russian side of things, because he had a lot of connections in russia. >> essentially he promised that
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he could enlist the support of the putin government to get this project done. and after all nothing of this scope and size would get built in the capital of russia without the approval of vladimir putin. >> seder proposed to cohen that they finance the deal to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars through a state-owned russian bank sanctioned by the united states. >> american companies cannot work with a bank can not receive money from a bank that is subject to sanctions. >> cohen's revelations put then-candidate trump's june 2016 conciliatory stance towards russia in a new light. >> i don't think you would need the sanctions. i think that we would get along very, very well. >> the deal could never go through unless the sanctions were lifted. so that explains a lot as to why donald trump and the campaign may have had an interest in lifting the sanctions. >> while donald trump was putting himself before voters, campaigning to become president of the united states, his aides
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were secretly back-channelling to vladimir putin's government trying to get their help to build a trump tower in moscow. which would have enriched them and would have enriched donald trump. >> after months of negotiation the moscow deal fell through on june 14, 2016. on that same day, news was breaking nationwide about hackers infiltrating the democratic national committee in washington, d.c. >> the "washington post" today broke the news that russian intelligence agencies have hacked a computer network of the democratic national committee here in washington. >> it became completely untenable for donald trump as the candidate to do any business in russia, if russia was taking an adversarial position in trying to get involved in our election. >> russia was going to be a scandal. russia was an adversary. everyone could see that. they were tay beinging the democrats, they were helping trump and donald trump could not be seen to be in business with russia. >> few people who knew michael cohen as a young man would have
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predicted he would one day be embroiled in a presidential crisis. by all accounts cohen had an upper middle class childhood in long island, new york. he attended american university in the 1980s as a brash real estateviller from new york was becoming a nationally known celebrity. donald trump's first book "the art of the deal" was a best seller and inspired cohen to strive for an equally glamorous future. >> michael cohen has said that as a teenager he admired donald trump, not only for his real estate acumen and also seemed to admire his personality, his brashness, his approach to life. michael was drawn to him. >> after graduating in 1988 cohen dabbled in politics, volunteering on the presidential campaign of democrat michael dukakis. >> we're coming on strong all across this country. >> and attended law school at thomas cooley in michigan where classmates noted his big ambitions. >> michael could handle stress.
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he was a bright guy. and he had a good sense of humor and i liked that. >> he talked to a lot of people. he was very personable. >> i would say he was very motivated. he had his eye on the ball. >> he was a talker and he was going to be a lawyer, he with a was going to go back and do big deals and be successful in new york city. >> cohen's legal career began in new york city, working for a personal injury lawyer. in 1994, he married his childhood sweetheart, laura schusterman at the swanky pierre hotel. the marriage opened doors for cohen. >> michael got involved in business and personal dealings with people who his wife's family associated with. >> but some business associates skirted and even broke the law, including his own father in law, schuster. >> he was convicted of tax fraud in the early '90s and he got probation. >> following in his father in law's foot dp steps, cohen got involved with the taxi industry.
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>> michael was affiliated with a fleet of about 200 cabs in new york city, he also owned some medallions in chicago. in about 2012, he was reporting about $90,000 a month in income from his taxi business. >> but two of his business associates in taxi medallions, psychen gasher and the taxi king evgeni friedman were convicted of multiple crimes. >> these were some of the vulnerabilities that michael cohen created for himself by being in business with someone who got on the wrong side of the law. gene friedman like simon gasher has a checkered and unusual history this year he pleaded guilty to tax fraud. >> all of these charges are unrelated to michael cohen. but the company he keeps is noticeable. >> after running for new york city council in 2003, and losing in a landslide, cohen turned his attention to real estate. he used his earliest deals to
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attract the attention of a man whose brash persona and glamorous lifestyle had made him a reality tv star. >> you're fired. >> donald j. trump then enjoying fame on his hit show, "the apprentice." >> he bought a $1 million condo in a trump building and later a $5 million property in another trump building on park avenue. >> after cohen became treasurer of the board for trump world tower he proved his value to donald trump for the first time. >> when donald trump is impressed by the effort that michael cohen helped lead to oppose a tenants' movement in one of the trump buildings to reorganize the building. >> he took trump's side against the other owners in the building and trump was grateful. >> cohen's ambition was rewarded in 2006, when he became a lawyer for donald trump and shortly after, executive vice president of the trump organization. michael cohen had found a seat at the table with the mogul he had long admired.
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>> it was a pretty alluring universe to be in trump tower. this is a man who idolized him for many years before he ended up working there. there was a dream come true. >> coming up -- >> anyone who considers himself to be almost a trump family member, should really take a reality check. because they tend not to stay around very long. o, but not in time. hey, no big deal. you've got a good record and liberty mutual won't hold a grudge by raising your rates over one mistake. you hear that, karen? liberty mutual doesn't hold grudges. how mature of them! for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise their rates because of their first accident. liberty mutual insurance. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ discover.o. i like your card, but i'm absolutely not paying an annual fee. discover has no annual fees. really? yeah. we just don't believe in them. oh nice. you would not believe how long i've been
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country great again. >> the donald had flirted with presidential runs before. >> welcome to new hampshire. >> welcome. >> in 2011 he tested waters with the full support an encouragement of the trump organization's most loyal aides. chief among them, attorney michael cohen. >> i watch you every night on tv. >> well you better. >> for cohen, it was the perfect way to merge his political ambitions with his business affairs. >> i think before the election michael cohen was perhaps more political than donald trump was. this is someone who encouraged donald trump to run for president had been involved in campaigns before. >> cohen flew to iowa in trump's private plane to meet republican operatives. >> michael cohen was the one who set up this website should trump run. >> trump mentioned the site in a campaign video that ran on aol. >> recently a group formed, a very independent group formed, should trump run.com.
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>> perhaps foreshadowing events to come that website triggered an investigation by the federal elections commission. >> the complaint alleged that michael cohen couldn't be independent of donald trump because he worked for donald trump even though he said should trump run was independent of donald trump. >> but in 2011, the fec ruled in cohen's favor. for michael cohen, the win was another way of proving his loyalty. >> the way he initially described it to me was a father/son relationship and when i asked him why he has blind loyalty, he also threw the question back to me as, would you do this for your father? >> the end of the day, the only people donald trump really considers as family are his own family. anyone who considers himself to be almost a trump family member, should really take a reality check. because they tend not to stay around very long. >> but michael cohen did stay
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and proved his willingness to fight for his boss by aggressively attacking donald trump's enemies, real or perceived. >> now to a war of words between a beauty queen and organizers of the miss usa pageant. pennsylvania's representative claims that competition is rigged. >> just after the 2012 miss usa pageant, which was co-owned by donald trump contestant sheena mown claimed the pageant's finalists were predetermined. >> my message is very simple. i would like the truth to be made known. >> when the contestant spoke to cohen said the father was belligerent. >> terrifying for someone who works for donald trump to get you on the phone and intimidate you. part of what a lawyer in that position is supposed to be doing is is intimidate people. keep them away with a from the king. >> her allegations were not proven and donald trump won a judgment against mown for defamation. >> cohen acted as an attack dog against one of donald trump's
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most hated adversaries, the press. the news website the "daily beast" felt cohen's wrath. >> the "daily beast" wrote a story about a deposition that trump's first wife had given in a case and in that case she said she had been raped by trump. >> she later withdrew the claim saying she didn't mean it in a literal or criminal sense. but in 2015, when a "daily beast" reporter contacted the trump campaign for comment michael cohen increasingly assertive in his role as fixer, responded viciously. and npr released the audio. >> i'm warning you, tread very [ bleep ] lightly because what i'm going to do is going to be [ bleep ] disgusting. do you understand me? >> i'm going to after you, i'm going to take you down. that's what people do in business. there's a huge line between if somebody is trying to hurt you or your client saying you better not go there or we're going to use all of our resources, you're messing with the wrong people. >> this is not the way that most
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attorneys operate but this is why he became a valued member of the trump organization. >> over the next few years cohen would take his loyalty to a whole new level. >> he is someone who is a pit bull this is someone who never shies away from a fight. someone who never hesitates to defend donald trump and the trump family. >> and we will make america great again. >> as donald trump's 2016 presidential campaign gained momentum, michael cohen pursued the moscow trump tower project. after it fell through, cohen continued to fight hard for his boss showing his teeth after the first republican debate on fox news in 2016. during which megyn kelly challenged candidate trump? >> you call women you don't like fat pigs. dogs. slobs. and disgusting animals. your twitter account -- >> only rosie o'donnell. >> cohen struck back on twitter. >> he retweeted, let's gut her
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about megyn kelly who trump of course was critical of during the campaign. megyn kelly was upset about this, understandably so. >> it's very simple. if megyn kelly or anybody else was in his mind going after his boss, he was going to, he was going to fight back. it's the kind of lawyer that trump would want. >> during the campaign, cohen continually took on the media and one target in particular, cnn. >> you guys are down. and it makes -- >> says who? >> polls. most of the polls. all of them. >> says who? >> while cohen's aggressive stance may have surprised some -- >> nothing was as surprising as election night. >> here is the first projection in the trump column of decision 2016. >> trump had a lot more support and a lot more states among a lot more people than the polls detected. >> i just received a call from
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secretary clinton. >> as trump filled out the roles in his new administration michael cohen had reportedly hoped to become his chief of staff. but the loyal attorney was overlooked. >> there are people around the president who were not big fans of michael's, and so they encouraged him to keep his distance. but at the same time, the russia investigation was heating up and michael cohen was testifying in front of the house and congress so at the advice of counsel on both sides, they weren't doing a lot of talking. >> michael cohen got a very rude awakening. i think before trump even got to the white house. he felt shunted aside. he wasn't given a position in the white house. that he wanted and he was making his disappointment known about that and i don't think trump or his family particularly cared to a certain extent he disappeared off of their radar screen when trump went to washington. >> but woe soon reemerge, and play a pivotal role in trump's
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presidency. >> he had material information about the president's financial dealings prior to the 2016 election. and that made him a potentially dangerous person to the president. 2] proof of less joint pain... [woman 3] ...and clearer skin. [man 3] proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis... [woman 4] ...with humira. [woman 5] humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain, stop further irreversible joint damage, and clear skin in many adults. humira is the number one prescribed biologic for psoriatic arthritis. [avo] humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection.
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michael cohen's role as a fixer for donald trump meant doing just that -- fixing trump's problems. >> of all the individuals in trump's orbit. that knew where the bodies were buried, if you will, michael cohen was at the top of the list. >> just days before the election. "the wall street journal" reported that ami, the parent company of the "national enquirer" entered into an agreement with a former "playboy" model. karen mcdougal. she tweeted photos of her and trump together. ami purchased rights to mcdougal's story. >> they paid karen mcdougal $150,000 for her life rights to the story and the story was not published before the election. >> mcdougal said she was silenced with a well-known tabloid tactic. >> it's a process called catch and kill. pay you for the rights to the
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story. and then they kill it. if she had told her story publicly, this would have been something that shoeters would have considered when they went to the polls. voters would have considered. >> the same "wall street journal" article also acknowledged another affair with a porn star named tiffany clifford, aka stormy daniels. she said she met trump at lake tahoe as shown in this photograph. >> trump has repeat lid denied these relationships. >> when the article was published, there was a lot of other news dominating the headlines. from the clinton email scandal to the now infamous "access hollywood" tape. >> can you do anything. gra grab them by the [ bleep ]. >> with daniels and mcdougal refusing to comment, the article got buried. in january 2018 the same "journal" reporters broke another story about the alleged affairs.
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this time they revealed stormy daniels had also been silenced just before the election, by michael cohen. she signed a nondisclosure agreement about the exact same time that the trump campaign was dealing with the fallout from that "access hollywood" tape. >> so michael cohen sets up a shell company, central consultants llc and only purpose is to pay stormy daniels so she will not tell her story, not go public. >> he cohen said without telling donald trump he paid $130,000 to stormy daniels so she would not speak about this story. >> daniels alleged that the parent company of "in touch" magazine offered her $15,000 for her story in 2011. >> i understand that they then reached out to mr. cohen for comment in advance of running the story. mr. cohen was able to convince them or threaten them that if they ran the story, there would be serious consequences. they decided not to proceed with publishing the story.
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>> then things took a darker turn. >> stormy daniels has alleged she was in a parking lot going to a fitness class and that someone approached her in her car with her daughter in the back seat. saying -- stop talking about donald trump, it would be a shame for your young daughter to grow up without her mother this is something that terrified her. >> cohen denies he played any role in the alleged threat. >> he unekwifly denied it. he said i've never threatened to her. i've never spoken to her. i've never emailed her, i've never texted her, i've never seen her in person. i don't have knowledge of any threats being made to her. certainly i was not the one to make those threats. >> stormy daniels kept quiet before the election. helping trump avoid a huge scandal in the home stretch of the campaign. but after the election, the story was making headlines and not just about an affair. but about the cover-up. >> let me be very clear about
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what we know and what is in this article. it does not allege nonconsensual behavior. what it alleges is an effort to hide the behavior that allegedly occurred. >> armed with a new attorney, daniels wanted to take control of her own story. and she started talking and suing. they filed a lawsuit saying the nda she signed was invalid because donald trump never signed it. >> so for years mr. cohen has played by a different set of rules or shall we say, no rules at all. >> suddenly the actions of candidate trump were catching up with president trump. >> did you know about the $130,000 to stormy daniels? >> no. >> why did michael cohen made that payment. >> you have to ask michael cohen. michael is my attorney and you'll have to ask michael. >> do you know where he got the money to make that payment? >> no, i don't know. >> just four days later, cohen would face a crisis of his own.
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>> we have this new report in. the fbi has reportedly raiding the office of president trump's long-time personal lawyer. >> investigators seized emails, tax documents and business reports. >> bombs are dropping. >> april 9th michael cohen woke up in the hotel where he has been living at about 7:30, about a dozen fbi agents knocked on the door, they did not break it down. and snatched the cell phone out of his hand and began a raid into his hotel room. >> simultaneously the fbi searched cohen's apartment and his office at rockefeller center. >> the goal is to execute the search warrants simultaneously for surprise and to make sure that nobody gets tipped off and the evidence doesn't disappear. >> fbi agents seized a massive haul of information, including documents, computer hard drives, phones and other devices. they also seized some other
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crucial evidence. over 100 audio recordings. >> the president then addressed the media about it. and in very stark terms really went after the justice department. >> president trump interrupted a critical national security meeting about looming military action against syria to denounce robert mueller, the fbi and the raid on his lawyer's office. >> so i just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys, a good man. and it's a disgrace. it's frankly a real disgrace. it's an attack on our country in a sense. it's an attack on what we all stand for. >> hours later, at 4:00 a.m., the president was clearly still enra enraged. firing off tweets about the cohen raid including attorney/client privilege is dead. >> attorney/client privilege is not a magic wand, it's a carefully defined privilege. anything you say to an attorney is not by definition privileged.
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and certainly not privileged, if the attorney is helping you commit a a crime or conceal a crime. >> cohen was not charged with anything at the time. but the fbi seizures had sparked a firestorm that's still burning for michael cohen and for the president. >> fake news and the russian witch hunt. ♪ lean on me, when you're not strong ♪ ♪ and i'll be your friend. ♪ i'll help you carry on.
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hi, richard liu with the hour's top stories. a major winter storm continues to cause problems in the south tonight. two feet of snow expected in parts of north carolina and virginia alone. and the man many expect to become president trump's new white house chief of staff is instead leaving the administration completely. vice presidential chief of staff nick ayers tweeting that he's no longer in the race to replace john kelly. opting to head a pro trump pac next year. back to "headliners: michael cohen."
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after the surprise raids of michael cohen's home, hotel and office by the fbi in april, president trump said the operation showed the problems with the special counsel probe. >> i have this witch hunt constantly going on for over 12 months now. >> but the search warrant depart come from robert mueller's office in the first place. it came from separate federal prosecutors in new york. >> it sounds like in mueller's investigation, he uncovered some evidence of wrongdoing by michael cohen. and referred it to the southern district of new york because it didn't seem to fall neatly within the investigation of russian interference. >> week after the raid, the federal inquiry into cohen's business practices broadened when a judge ordered cohen to disclose his roster of recent clients. besides president trump it turned out there were only two more. fox host sean hannity and a prominent trump donor and gop
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official named elliott brody. >> elliott brody is a wealthy california financier and it's been reported that michael cohen helped arrange another hush money payment in this case to a "playboy" playmate who said she got pregnant by elliott brody. >> brody agreed to pay the model $1.6 million to stay silent about their affair. >> it's very similar to the mcdougal and daniels' cases in which a payment is being made to keep embarrassing information out of the public eye. >> michael cohen struck the deal with bash rampb rd's attorney keith davidson. if that name sounds familiar it's the same davidson who represented both karen mcdougal and stormy daniels. daniels and sharon bashard had pending cases. davidson denies those claims. just weeks after the fbi raid on his home and office with the
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legal pressure on michael cohen building, he invoked his fifth amendment right in stormy daniels' other lawsuit. the one against trump and michael cohen to invalidate her nda. and in a live call-in to fox and friends on april 26 the president was still defending cohen and himself amid speculation that campaign funds were used to pay off daniels. >> he did absolutely nothing wrong. there were no campaign funds going anywhere. >> then why is he pleading the fifth? >> because he's got other things, he's got businesses. but i'm not involved. >> in that civil litigation with stormy daniels, cohen and trump would later fold. withdrawing their part of the suit and saying -- they wouldn't enforce the nda. but as michael cohen's problems multiplied, many wondered how long his self-professed loyalty to donald trump would even last. >> mr. president, could michael cohen flip? >> everybody flips. >> what is he worried that michael cohen could flip over. >> if he flips, newer trouble. >> in the following weeks
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president trump turned to rudy giuliani to defend him in the court of public opinion. but then giuliani appeared to contradict the president's own statements claiming he knew nothing about payments to stormy daniels. in a may 2 interview with sean hannity. >> funneled and the president repaid him. >> oh. i didn't -- he did? >> yup. >> intentionally or not, giuliani confirmed what many had alleged -- michael cohen did pay hush money to stormy daniels and the president was fully aware of the payment. >> the president's story and parroted by his television lawyer, rudy giuliani, has consistently been shifting and it is no coincidence that they started shifting after the fbi searched michael cohen and now all of a sudden they started to say -- yes, the president knew, and he reimbursed him. >> as the story dominated the media universe, stormy daniels made a surprise appearance on "saturday night live."
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>> stormy, this is michael cohen. are you alone? >> yes. >> and what are you wearing? >> excuse me? >> as the summer wore on, the growing sense of legal jeopardy seemed to take its toll. cohen's already-strained relationship with president trump further deteriorated. >> the relationship soured, i believe first over money. over who was going to pay for the lawyers. >> but there was another problem looming. the feds had seized more than one million pieces of potential evidence from cohen including audio tape of the president. >> once they started the document-sharing process and seeing what cohen had including those tapes, there was a sense of this guy could bring us down. >> cohen began complaining to friends he felt abandoned by the man he worked so hard to defend. >> this is a man who is increasingly angry and upset and isolated. >> on june 20th, cohen resigned
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from his post as national deputy finance chairman at the republican national committee. michael cohen said a new interview with abc news saying my wife, my daughter and my son are my first loyalty and always will. i put family and country first. >> he did not want to be seen as the guy who was going to take a bullet for the president. he wanted to be seen as the guy who would perhaps take the president down. coming up -- >> it was a moment where michael cohen was trying to reshape his image from this loyal fixer to a guy who was ready to tell the truth. what they did to you...
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and right-hand man. but in early july 2018, that all changed. >> i think when michael cohen starts scrubbing donald trump's personal attorney from his resumé, and from the plaque on his door and from his business cards, he's saying i'm on my own now. and buyer beware. >> it was a moment where michael cohen was trying to reshape his image from this loyal fixer to a guy who is ready to tell the truth. >> cohen hired a new attorney to defend him in court and another to defend him in the media. >> nbc tonight confirm as report from the "new york times" that cohen has hired attorney lanny davis, prominent democratic operative, a close clinton ally. >> washington insider lanny davis had previously represented harvey weinstein and african dictator and bill clinton's scandal-plagued white house. >> lanny davis is known for being friendly with the clintons, which is trump's arch nemesis. i mean trump we all know is
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obsessed with hillary clinton. so to pick someone like lanny davis to me is really a way of sticking it to trump in a very public way. >> but when he's also doing is hiring a guy who is really comfortable on tv. who is as much a press agent as he is a lawyer. he's out there doing all the shows, talking about how michael cohen really isn't such a bad guy. >> davis made his debut as cohen's lawyer with a simple pledge about his new client tweeting, michael cohen has said it's time for him to speak the trouth and put his family and country first. i am glad to help him. but just days after taking that high road, davis a attacked the president and giuliani on twitter. writing, trump julie next to the word "truth" equals oxymoron. >> there's rudy giuliani out there and a number of surrogates for president trump who were trying to shape a narrative about cohen that was damaging to his reputation and perhaps his
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credibility. >> cone tried to reset his public image by meeting twice with a dedicated opponent of president trump. the reverend al sharpton. >> he said to me, reverend al, would you pray with me? and we took hands and prayed right there at the table. and i said -- you going to be all right? he said -- yeah i'm going to be all right for my kids. i think his state of mind is somewhere between very committed to trying to find a way to repair something for his family. and very much wanting to salvage some kind of reputation to the country. and very much wants donald trump to understand he's not going to get away with just humiliating him. and belittling him. >> while cohen sought redemption in the public eye, his lawyer, lanny davis, was ready for a fight, he turned to cnn to make a stunning revelation. >> welcome to primetime. we have one of the michael cohen
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tapes. >> and donald trump heard one of the most alarming sounds a president can ever hear -- his own voice in a secretly recorded conversation. >> and i've spoken to allen weiselberg about how to set the whole thing up. with -- >> so what are we going to pay for this? >> yes. >> that recording appears to confirm that donald trump was in the loop about that september 2016 plan to use ami to pay off karen mcdougal. >> so i'm all over that. and i've spoke to allen about it. when it comes time for the financing, which will be -- >> listen what financing? >> we'll have to pay him something. >> pay with cash. >> no, no, no. >> only michael cohen and donald trump know the entire substance of what they were talking about. but it's credible to believe that this was absolutely about hush money. >> lanny davis appeared on cnn soon after the tape's release to argue that donald trump wanted to use cash to cover his tracks.
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>> everybody heard just now, donald trump say the word "cash" after michael cohen mentioned financing. mr. giuliani, who knows from being u.s. attorney, the only people who use cash are drug dealers and mobsters. >> no longer able to deny the payments in the face of that tape, rudy giuliani instead tried to claim the tape proved that the president did nothing wrong. >> giuliani was out there saying well, they paid it by check and not by cash. that doesn't matter. it doesn't matter whether it's paid directly by cohen handing a bag of money to karen mcdougal or paid through ami. but once the money is paid, the money is paid. >> many critics saw the recordings as eerily reminiscent of another presidency in crisis. >> you could say the get the money. let's say -- >> you could get $1 million and you could get it in cash.
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>> there's a lot of parallels here there are secretly recorded conversations. there is a white house that sin creasingly crushed under the weight of paranoia. what we don't know yet is is there going to be a tape as important in the trump russia probe which helps ends nixons presidency. >> looking back at statements that nixon made he tried lt same tactics trump is using now. >> i have never heard or seen such outrageous, vicious reporting. >> the dishonest press. >> when you don't have the facts or the law on your side, which nixon didn't. that's what you do. you attack the investigators and discredit the investigation so people won't believe what's being put before them. >> it raises the specker he has a lot more on trump. and more that can be easily
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proven when you have the tapes you have the tapes. coming up. >> what have donald trump is doing it screams desperation. . and you should be mad your smart fridge is unnecessarily complicated. but you're not mad, because you have e*trade which isn't complicated. their tools make trading quicker and simpler. so you can take on the markets with confidence. don't get mad. get e*trade and start trading today. discover.o.n't get mad. i like your card, but i'm absolutely not paying an annual fee. discover has no annual fees.
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stay connected while you move with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. michael cohen's personal journey has many elements of a shakespeare drama. a story of questionable morality. burning ambition. loyalty and betrayal. and in the end and retribution. the same man who told fox news this about donald trump. >> i'm going to do whatever it is that i can do to ensure that they leave him alone. he's a good man. >> would say this to abc news two years later. >> i will not be a punching bag part of anyone's defense strategy. i'm not a villain in any story. and won't allow others to depict me in that way. >> rudy giuliani the president's attorney had previously described him in glowing terms.
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>> lt man is an honest, honorable lawyer. >> after the secret tape leak. giuliani began singing a different tune about cohen on cnn. >> back against the wall he'll lie like crazy. he lied all his life. >> in august 2018. he made his first appearance at the federal courthouse. admitting guilt on charges. that day he glad handed his way into the federal courthouse in manhattan. not as a lawyer. but a defendant about to admit guilt. with the conviction of another former member of the president's inn inner circle. in a an entirely different court. >> filing false income tax returns. and foreign bank fraud charge. >> the president offered support
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to paul manafort on twitter. but not michael cohen. >> he refused to break. make up stories in order to get a deal. he went further and took a sarcastic tone regarding his once loyal supporter. don't retain the services of michael cohen. >> the next day another of trumps most loyal supporters cut a deal with federal prosecutors. >> long time allies has turned against him. national enquirer chairman david pecker is granted immunity. >> it was a major development from a man close friends with trump for years and used the national enquirer to keep his secrets. >> david pecker is referenced in the information as someone who coordinated the concealment of the affair that
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donald trump allegedly had with karen mcdougal. there are different reasons the prosecutor may have decided that it was not worth prosecuting pecker and it's still to be determined what information david pecker has beyond what we can read in the michael cohen criminal information. >> cohen's revelation quick will claimed another trump associate. and this one knew more about the president's private financial world than almost anyone alive. >> allen chief financial officer for the trump organization was granted immunity to help prosecutors in the case against the president's former lawyer. >> one wonders not only what allen knows about hush money payments. related to the campaign. but what other misconduct maybe out there. related to the president, or the trump organization. and when you go testify in a grand jury under oath, you have no choice but to tell the truth. that is an avenue that could be
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disaster for the president. and his children. because there has been reporting for years about some shady dealings that the trump organization has involved itself in. we don't know the details but if anyone does know that, it's allen. >> the extent of the cooperation is unknown. his former trump associate has met with seven times for 70 hours of interviews. >> you have to believe michael cohen has given mueller a lot more information relevant to mueller's investigation. than just the trump tower moscow. >> in a tweet, president trump demanded a full and complete prison sentence for his former attorney. >> he dealt with individuals on the defensive. what trump is doing is screams of desperation.
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someone who is very scared about what is to come. who's concerned about cohens cooperation. >> on december 7, federal prosecutors in new york recommend substantial jail time for financial wrong doing. mueller punishment for lying to congress can be served concurrent. for the financial crimes. >> cohen said he would take a bullet for donald trump. in my experience very few people who wear suits to work can stand up to the idea of many years in prison. cohen didn't. he cut the best deal he could for his family. unlike paul manafort he is committed to cooperate. he's gone down the path and he's not coming back. it could be very dangerous for donald trump. >> >> he surpassed the ambitions of college years. not in the way he would have
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wanted. his name is forever tied to donald trump. >> no matter what happens. michael cohen will be part of american history. because of his association with the 45th president of the united states. >> and his words and deeds pass, present or future could change the course of an american presidency. hate is on the rise in america. it's emboldened. >> the war on whites is real. >> normalized. >> the government is nothing compared to the jewish menace. >> and destroying lives. >> there are people who will say once a nazi always a nazi. and you can't change who you are.

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