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tv   NEWSHOUR  Al Jazeera  February 28, 2019 12:00am-1:01am +03

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we are in search of the truth the president has made many statements of his own and now the american people have a right to hear the other side they can watch mr co-existed money and make their own judgment we receive a copy of mystical and reduce a bit late last night it includes not only personal eyewitness accounts of meetings of dollars from as friends inside the oval office but it also includes documents and other corroborating evidence but some of mr cohen statements for example mr cohen has provided a copy of a check sent while president trump was in office with donald trump signature on it to reimburse mr cohen for the hush money pavement
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to tsunami daniels this is new this new evidence raises. a host of troubling legal and ethical concerns about the president's actions in the white house and before with your closet door place thank you this check is dated august first twenty seventeen six months later in april of twenty eighteen to present the nine eight anything about it and people are twenty eighteen president trump was flying on air force one when a reporter asked him the question did you know about one hundred thirty
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thousand dollars payment to stormy daniels the answer was quote no a month after that the president admitted to making payments to mr calling but claimed they were part of a quote. a monthly retainer quote for legal services this claim fell apart in august when federal prosecutors concluded and i quote in truth that in fact there was no such retainer agreement and the quote today we will also hear from mr cohen's account i would be doing in twenty sixteen and down from office during which roger stone said over speaker phone that he had just spoken with julian a son who said there would be a quote massive dump of e-mails that would damage hillary clinton's campaign and
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the quote according to calling mr trump replied quote wouldn't that be great end of quote the testimony that michael cohen will provide today ladies and gentlemen is deeply disturbing starving and it should be troubling to all americans we all have to make our own evaluation of the evidence and mystical ends credibility as he admits he has repeatedly lied in the pass i agree with ranking member jordan that this is an important factor we need to weigh but we must weigh it and we must hear from him but where i disagree fundamentally with the ranking member involved his efforts to prevent the american people from hearing
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from mr calling mr cohen testimony raises way portions about the legality of donald trump's president down fronts kind and the truthfulness of statements while he was president. we need to a sas and investigate this you evidence as we have hold our constitutional rights additional. oversight responsibilities and we will continue after today to gather more documents and testimony in our search for the truth i've made it abundantly clear to mr cohen that if he comes here today and he does not tell him the truth tell us the truth i will be the first one to refer that on those untruthful statements to d.o.j.
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so when people say he doesn't have anything to lose he does have a lot to lose if you guys and the american people by the way voted for accountability in november and they have a right to hear mr cole and public so they can make their own judgments mr cohen sets boni is the beginning of the process not the end ladies and gentlemen the days of this committee protecting the president at all costs over there are over before i close i want to comment about the scope of today's hearing and the requests of the house intelligence committee and i very good friend adam schiff congressman adam schiff the chairman i intended over the objections of the ranking member of our committing to limit the scope of today's hearing to avoid questions about russia however
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mr cohen written testimony in his such written dozens of money he's made statements relating to russia and these are topics that we understand did not raise concern from to the foreman of justice so in fairness. to the ranking member and all committee members we were not restrict questions relating to the witness's testimony or related questions he is willing to answer finally i remind members that we will need to remain mindful of those areas where there are ongoing department of justice investigations those scoping limitations and not changed finally and to miss a calling martin luther king mr cohen said some words that i leave with you today
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before you testified he said faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase there comes a time when silence becomes betrayal i live began to end the day we become silent about things that truly matter anyway and he says we were remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends and with that you know it's a distinguished gentleman the ranking member of our committee mr jordan mr chairman when important part of mentoring inquiry yes to the to the point it's a joint news recognize it's a joint is recognized there's nobody mr chairman here we go here we go your first
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big hearing your first announce witness michael cohen i want everyone in this room to think about this the first announce witness for the hundred sixteenth congress is a guy who is going to prison in two months for lying to congress mr chairman your chairmanship will always be identified with this hearing and we all need to understand what this is this is the michael cohen hearing presented by lanny davis that's right lanny davis choreographed the whole darn thing. the clinton's best friend loyalist operative lanny davis put this all together you know how we know he told our staff he told the committee staff he said the hearing was his idea he selected this committee he had to talk michael cohen into common and most importantly he had to persuade the chairman to actually have it he told us took two months to get that job done but here we are. he talked him into it this might be the first time someone picked it up like you're watching al jazeera live pictures from capitol
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hill where you can see the hearing with michael cohen there he is just started a few moments ago that's after some republicans try to delay the hearing and we are hearing from our representative mr jordan right now and right before him we heard from the committee chairman. cummings in his in his opening statements he said to the american people and to the committee members that we are in search of the truth let's bring in see how town see joining us from washington so just for any of us catching up shihab talk us through what we've seen and what we expect to see in the next couple minutes. well as expected there was an attempt by the republicans on the committee to prevent the test being taken place at all they say they haven't had enough time to look at the testimony because it was about to present and this was part of the attempt by cohen to mislead the committee which the republicans say
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is what he will be doing all day or attempting to do all day because he is a known and admitted drug he's lied to congress before and you can see just a drop in there representative jordan making that point right now why we're listening to him who is a convicted felon and someone who's lied to congress before and we can see we're going to see a lot of votes i think over the over the coming hours from the republicans meanwhile the larger companies however said no we must hear this information very troubling what cohen has said in his written testimony but the big surprise was we had the broad outlines of what cohen was going to say we kind of knew what he was going to say he was going to tell you donald trump to his crimes to the campaign finance violations the the hush money that was paid to two women who had claimed to have an affair with donald trump he was told her it was already named in the prosecutor's legal filings as individuals that he had directed cohen to make those payments so we knew it was going that was going to be a big part of cohen's testimony. what we didn't know was russia was going to be
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part of this this testimony elijah cummings and said he didn't want russia to come up because it was going to it might prejudice other investigations underway but because cohen references issues that are involved in the special counsel robert miller's rush for investigation that will now be fair game for the committee so that was the big news over the last few hours but we do expect cohen to suggest that as far as the donald trump knew that wiki leaks was going to have a dump of e-mails which were going to damage to hillary clinton's campaign which of it is something donald trump has always denied that he knew about the current suspects trump knew about the meeting at trump tower between donald trump jr and various russian nationals ostensibly about getting dirt on hillary clinton but michael cohen is going to make it clear he has no direct evidence of any russia collusion which will be disappointing to those who are desperately still trying to
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find that remember robert mueller has yet to indict anyone for russia collusion in the trunk campaign ordered from him so he has but there's no there are no indictments about that but he will certainly say that there are there is circumstantial evidence that the trunk at least was aware of issues involving russia and that donald trump's lawyers certainly knew that michael cohen was going to lie to congress about the negotiations that are been underway in twenty six you know over developing a trump tower in moscow so those are causing a great stir here in washington because we didn't expect to hear anything about russia or tool in addition to. a first donald trump is concerned what is concerning is his his timing is being tied to those campaign finance violations but also tax fraud by going to allege tax fraud and food within the trunk foundation so those are the things that have some legal implications for donald trump as far as we can tell from what michael cohen is going to say and see how even though trump is thousands of miles away right now in hanoi meeting with there are three and
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a leader kim jong il and he did tweet just a couple of hours ago saying that michael cohen is lying in order to reduce his present time but how potentially explosive can all of this before. well i mean that's that is a big question because i mean so many of these we kind of knew the stuff about the campaign finance violations of the troubles already was already indicated as the person instigating the campaign finance violations and in the documents filed. i think the tax the tax records and the trump foundation fraud that could have significance for prosecutions down the line but remember the department of justice has guidelines that prevents a sitting president from being indicted so at least for the moment we think there are no plans to indict donald trump i don't think i mean the southern district of new york could go its own way but the guidelines are clear a sitting president cannot be indicted now whether michael cohen says anything either today or he said anything on monday or he will say anything on wednesday that makes people in congress say you know what we've got to go for impeachment now this is just shocking well that's another matter but even that looks pretty
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unlikely as well so still however explosive the allegations might be or the of the rhetoric might be or however juicy some of the details might be would still it was sort of the stage would all trump isn't in they need to direct jeopardy at least for the moment but i think michael cohen is swearing his oath which is particularly important given all the questions about his credibility. you see that the microphones a sense it's so we speak directly to them without objection a written statement will be made a part of the record and with that mr coin recognize to give an oral presentation of your testimony are recognized. as. you're my corn yes chairman cummings ranking member jordan and members of the
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committee thank you for inviting me here today. i have asked this committee to ensure that my family be protected from presidential threats and that the committee be sensitive to the questions pertaining to ongoing investigations i thank you for your help and for your understanding. i am here under oath to correct the record to answer the committee's questions truthfully and to offer the american people what i know about president trump i recognize that some of you may doubt and attacked me on my credibility it is for this reason that i have incorporated into this opening statement documents that are irrefutable and demonstrate that the information you will hear is accurate and truthful and never in a million years did i imagine when i accepted
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a job in two thousand and seven to work for donald trump that he would one day run for the presidency to launch a campaign on a platform of hate and intolerance and actively when i regret the day i said yes to mr trump i regret all the help and support i gave him along the way i am ashamed of my own failings and publicly accepted responsibility for them by pleading guilty in the southern district of new york i am ashamed of my weakness and my misplaced loyalty of the things i did for mr trump in an effort to protect and promote him i am ashamed that i chose to take part in concealing mr trump's illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience. i am ashamed
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because i know what mr trump is he is a racist he is a con man and he is a cheat he was a presidential candidate who knew that roger stone was talking with julian assange about who we kill each drop on democratic national committee e-mails and i will explain each in a few moments i am providing the committee today with several documents and these include a copy of a check mr trump wrote from his personal bank account after he became president to reimburse me for the hush money payments i made to cover up his affair with an adult film star and to prevent damage to his campaign copies of financial statements from two thousand and eleven two thousand and twelve and twenty thirteen
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that he gave to such institutions such as deutsche bank a copy of an article with mr trump's handwriting on it that reported on the auction of a portrait of himself that he arranged for the better ahead of time and then reimburse the better from the account of his nonprofit charitable foundation but the picture now hanging in one of his country clubs and copies of letters i wrote at mr trump's direction that threatened his high school colleges and the college board not to release his grades or s.a.t.s. course i hope my appearance here today my guilty plea and my work with law enforcement agencies are steps along a path of retention that will restore faith in me and help this country
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understand our president better and before going further i want to apologize to each member to use congress as a whole. the last time i appeared before congress i came to protect mr trump today i am here to tell the truth about mr trump i lied to congress when mr trump stop negotiating the moscow tower project in russia i stated that we stopped to go shooting in january of two thousand and sixteen that was false our negotiations continued for months later during the campaign mr trump did not directly tell me to lie to congress that's not how he operates in conversations we had during the campaign at the same time i was actively negotiating in russia for him he would look me in the eye and tell me there is no
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russian business and then go on to lie to the american people by saying the same thing in his way he was telling me to lie through at least a half a dozen times between the iowa caucus in january of two thousand and sixteen and the end of june when he would ask me how's it going russia referring to the moscow tower project you need to know that mr trump personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to congress about the timing of the moscow tower negotiations before i gave it so to be clear mr trump knew of and directed the trump moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it he lied about it because he never expected to win he also lied about it
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because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the moscow real estate project and so i lied about it too. because mr trump made clear to me through his personal statements to me that we both knew to be false and through his lies to the country that he wanted me to lie and he made it clear to me because his personal attorneys reviewed my statement before i gave it to congress over the best two years i have been smeared as a rat by the president of the united states the truth is much different and let me take a brief moment to introduce myself my name is michael cohen and i am a blessed husband of twenty four years and a father to an incredible daughter and son when i married my wife i promised her
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that i would love her i would cherish her and i would protect her as my father said countless times throughout my childhood you my wife and you my children are the air that i breathe so that my laura and my sammy and to my jake there's nothing i wouldn't do to protect you i have always tried to live a life of loyalty friendship generosity and compassion it's qualities my parents ingrained in my siblings and me since childhood my father survived the holocaust thanks to the compassion and selfless acts of others he was helped by many who put themselves in harm's way to do what they knew was right and that is why my first instinct has always been to help those in need and mom and dad i am sorry i let you
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down as the many people that know me best would say i am the person that they call at three am if they needed help. i proudly remember being the emergency contact for many of my children's friends when they were growing up because their parents knew that i would drop everything and care for them as if they were my own yet last fall i pled guilty in federal court to felonies for the benefit of at the direction of and in coordination with individual number one and for the record individual number one is president donald j. trump it is painful to admit that i was motivated by ambition times it is even more painful to admit that many times i
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ignored my conscience and acted loyal to a man when i should not have sitting here today it seems unbelievable that i was so mesmerized by donald trump that i was willing to do things for him that i knew were absolutely wrong for that reason i have come here to apologize to my family to my government and to the american people accordingly let me now tell you about mr trump i got to know him very well working very closely with him for more than ten years as his executive vice president and special counsel and then as personal attorney when he became president when i first met mr trump he was a successful entrepreneur a real estate giant and an icon being around mr trump was intoxicating
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when you were in his presence you felt like you were involved in something greater than yourself that you were somehow changing the world. i wound up touting the trump narrative for over a decade that was my job always stay on message always defend it monopolized my life at first i worked mostly on real estate developments and other business transactions shortly thereafter mr trump brought me into his personal life and private dealings over time i saw his true character revealed. mr trump is an enigma he is complicated as m.r.i. he is both good in bed as do we all but the bad far outweighs the good and since taking office he has become the worst version of himself he is
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capable of behaving kindly but he's not kind he's capable of committing acts of generosity but he's not generous he's capable of being loyal but he's fundamentally disloyal donald trump is a man who ran for office to make his brain great not to make our country great he had no desire or intention to leave this nation only to market himself and to build his wealth and power mr trump would often say this campaign was going to be the greatest in from our show in political history he never expected to win the primary he never expected to win the general election the campaign for him was always a marketing opportunity. i knew early on in my work for mr trump
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that he would direct me to lie to further his business interests and i am ashamed to say that when i was for real estate mogul in the private sector i considered a trivial as the president i consider it significant and dangerous but in the mix line for mr trump is normalized and no one around him questioned it in fairness no one around him today questions if either lot of people have asked me about whether mr trump knew about the release of the hacked documents democratic national committee e-mail ahead of time and the answer is yes as i earlier stated mr trump knew from roger stone in advance about the wiki leaks drop of e-mails in july of two thousand and sixteen days before the
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democratic convention i was in mr trump's office when his secretary announced that roger stone was on the phone mr trump mr stone on the speakerphone stone told mr trump that he had just gotten off the phone with julian assange which and that mr stange told mr stone that within a couple of days there would be a massive dump of e-mails that would damage hillary clinton's campaign mr trump responded by stating to the effect would that be great mr trump is a racist the country has seen mr trump court white supremacists and bigots you have heard him called poor countries shitholes his private in private he is even worse he once asked me if i could name a country run by a black person that wasn't
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a shithole this was one pericope bamma was president of the united states. and while we one striving through a struggling neighborhood in chicago he commented that only black people could live that way and he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid and yet i continued to work for him mr trump is a cheat as previously stated i am giving to the committee today three years of mr trump's personal financial statements from two thousand and eleven two thousand and twelve and twenty thirteen which he gave to deutsche bank to inquire about a loan to buy the buffalo bills and to forms these are exhibits one a one b. and one c. to my testimony it was my experience that mr trump inflated his total
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assets when it served his purposes such as trying to be listed amongst the wealthiest people in forbes and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes i'm sharing with you two newspaper articles side by side that are examples of mr trump inflating and deflating his assets as i said to suit his financial interests these are exhibit two to my testimony as i noted i'm giving the committee today an article he wrote on and sent to me that reported on an auction of a portrait of mr trump this is exhibit three a to my testimony mr trump directed me to find destroyed better to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned off at an art hamptons event the
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objective was to ensure that this portrait which was going to be auction last would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon. the portrait was purchased by the fake better for sixty thousand dollars mr trump directed the trump foundation which is supposed to be a charitable organization to repay the faith better despite keeping the art for himself and please see exhibit three be to my testimony and it should come as no surprise that one of my more common responsibilities was that mr trump directed me to call business owners many of whom are small businesses that owed money for their services and told them that no payment or a reduced payment would be coming when i asked mr trump or when i told mr trump of my success he actually reveled in it and yet i continue to work
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for him. trump is a con man he asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair and to lie about it to his wife which i did and lying to the first lady is one of my biggest regrets because she is a kind good person and i respect her greatly and she did not deserve that and i am giving the committee today a copy of the one hundred thirty thousand dollar wire transfer from me to miss clifford's attorney during the closing days of the presidential campaign that was demanded by miss clifford to maintain her silence about her affair with mr truong and this is exhibit four to my testimony mr trump directed need to
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use my own personal funds from a home equity line of credit. to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign and i did that too without bothering to consider whether that was improper or much less whether it was the right thing to do or how would it impact me my family or the public and i'm going to jail in part because of my decision to help mr trump hide that payment from the american people before they voted a few days later as exhibit five aid to my testimony shows i am providing a copy of a thirty five thousand dollars check that president trump personally signed from his personal bank account on august first of two thousand and seventeen when he was president of the united states pursuant to the cover up which was the basis of my
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guilty plea to reimburse me the word used by mr trump's t.v. lawyer for the illegal hush money i paid on his behalf this thirty five thousand dollars check was one of eleven check installments that was paid throughout the year while he was president other checks to reimburse me for the hush money payments were signed by donald trump jr and alan weisel burke and see for exact that example five be the president of the united states thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to file a campaign finance laws and you can find the details of that scheme directed by mr trump in the pleadings in the u.s.
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district court for the southern district of new york. so picture this scene in february of two thousand and seventeen one month into his presidency i'm visiting president trump in the oval office for the first time and it's truly inspiring he's showing me all around and pointing to different paintings and he says to me something to the effect of don't worry michael your january and february reimbursement checks are coming they were fed ex from new york and it takes a while for that to get through the white house system as he promised i received the first check for the reimbursement of seventy thousand dollars not long thereafter when i say con man i'm talking about a man who declares himself brilliant but directed me to threaten his high school
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his colleges and the college board to never release his grades or s.a.t. scores as i mentioned i'm giving the committee today copies of a letter i sent mr trump's direction threatening these schools with civil and criminal actions if mr trump's grades or s.a.t.'s scores were ever disclosed without his permission and these are under exhibits six the irony wasn't lost on me at the time that mr trump in twenty eleven had strongly criticized president obama for not releasing his grades as you can see in exhibit seven mr trump declared let him show his records after calling president obama a terrible student the sad fact is that i never heard mr trump say anything in private that led me to believe he loved our nation or wanted to make it better
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in fact he did the opposite. when telling me in two thousand and eight or two thousand and nine that he was cutting employee salaries in half including mine he showed me what he claims a ten million dollar i.r.s. tax refund and he said that he could not believe how stupid the government was for giving someone like him that much money back during the campaign mr trump that that he did not consider vietnam veteran and prisoner of war senator john mccain to be a hero because he likes people who were captured at the same time mr trump tasked me to handle the negative press surrounding his medical deferment from the vietnam draft mr truong claimed it was because of
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a bone spur but when i asked for better call records he gave me none and said that there was no surgery he told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment he finished the conversation the following comment you think i'm stupid not going to vietnam and i find it ironic still president that you are in vietnam right now and yet i continue to work for him but questions have been raised about whether i know of direct evidence that mr trump or his campaign colluded with russia i do not and i want to be clear but i have my suspicions some time in the summer of two thousand and seventeen i read all over the media that there had been
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a meeting in trump tower in june of two thousand and sixteen involving don jr and others from the campaign with russians. including a representative of the russian government and in e-mail setting up the meeting with the subject line dirt on hillary clinton something clicked in my mind i remember being in a room with mr trump probably in early june of two thousand and sixteen when something you your happened don trying junior came into the room and walked behind his father's desk which in and of itself was unusual people didn't just walk behind mr trump's desk to talk to him and i recall don jr leave leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice which i could clearly hear and saying the meeting is all set and i remember mr trump saying ok good let me know what struck me
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as i looked back and thought about the exchange between don jr and his father was first that mr trump had frequently told me and others that his son don jr had the worst judgment of anyone in the world and also that don jr would never set up any meeting of significance alone and certainly not without checking with his father i also knew that nothing went on in trump world especially the campaign without mr trump's knowledge and approval so i concluded that don jr was referring to that june twenty sixth team trump tower meeting about dirt on hillary with the russian representatives when he walked behind his dad's desk that day and that mr trump knew that was the meeting john jr was talking about when he said that's good let me know
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over the past year or so. i have done some real soul searching and i see now that my ambition and the intoxication of trump power had much to do with the bad decisions in part that i made and to you chairman cummings ranking member jordan and the other members of this committee and the members of the house and senate i am sorry for my lies and for lying to congress and to our nation i am sorry for actively working to hide from you the truth about mr trump when you needed it most for those who question my motives for being here today i understand i have lied but i am not a liar and i have done bad things i am not a bad man i have fixed things but i am no longer your fixer mr trump.
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and i'm going to prison and have shattered the safety and security that i tried so hard to provide for my family my testimony certainly does not diminish the pain that i have caused my family and my friends nothing can do that and i have never asked for nor would i accept a pardon from president trump and by coming today i have caused my family to be the target of personal scurrilous attacks by the president and his lawyer trying to intimidate me from appearing before this. mr trump called me a rat for choosing to tell the truth much like a mobster would do when one of his men decides to cooperate with the government and as exhibit eight shows i have provided the committee with copies of tweets that mr
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trump posted attacking me and my family. only someone burning his head in the sand would not recognize them for what they are and the courage meant to someone to do harm to me and my family and i never imagined that he would engage in vicious force attacks on my family and unleashed his t.v. lawyer to do the same and i hope this committee and all members of congress on both sides of the aisle make it clear that as a nation we should not tolerate attempts to intimidate witnesses before congress and attacks on family are out of bounds and not acceptable and i wish to especially thank speaker pelosi for her statements and exhibit nine to protect this institution and meet and the chairman of the house or men select committee on
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intelligence adam schiff and you chairman cummings for likewise defending the institution and my family against the attacks by mr trump and also the many republicans who have admonished the president as well i am not a perfect man i have done things i am not proud of and i will live with the consequences of my actions for the rest of my life but today i get to decide the example that i set for my children and how i attempt to change how history will remember me. i may not be able to change that. but i can do right by view american people here today and i thank you for your attention to the committee's questions thank you very much going on our record. myself.
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president donald trump is a racist and a cheat those words according to michael cohen he is his former personal lawyer testifying as you can see right now having just finished his testimony in fact on capitol hill he also did say that president trump knew about the weekend leaks release of hacked e-mails from the democratic national committee before they dropped in twenty sixteen that is something that the president has denied that michael cohen went on to say that trump has lied about his business with russia and he's asked him to personally lie at least half a dozen times and he accused president trump of wanting to make millions and didn't really want to or expect to win the presidency so those are just a few things michael cohen just said in his testimony on capitol hill he's being questioned right now by members of the committee will move away from it for just
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a moment and bring in elizabeth anchor for some of the analysis she's an associate professor of american studies and political science at george washington university joining us from washington you were listening in elizabeth ankara to all of this what did you make of of cohen's testimony how would you describe it. well i think right off the bat there are three really interesting factors with this testimony the first is that cohen seems to be providing evidence with his payment that trump gave him illegal payments for the hush money payments that cohen had initially provided to stormy daniels while trump was in office so if that's correct it seems that trump was committing crimes while he was in office the second is that trump knew about the wiki leaks dump previously. the committee today the public committee was not going to discuss russia and possible collusion with russia during the two thousand and sixteen presidential campaign but right now collusion is back on the
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table and i think that will mean that what's going to happen today will be even more interesting than we might have presumed and last is the portrait of trump that cohen is painting you know he is painting a picture of somebody who while you know it seems to be very petty and vindictive and all some of that might not be particularly new in broad strokes some of the specifics about him paying somebody to make his picture a picture of him look desirable at an auction his. different ways of seeming to to fleece small businesses his racist remarks a lot of these comments are giving us insight into trump that we might not have known before if only because most of the people who are close to trump are bound by non-disclosure agreements that they sign with trump or they actually can't reveal their personal interactions with that him cohen is now not bound by that nondisclosure agreement and so he can give a lot richer picture than we might otherwise but have a kohen himself come across to you because we know that he's been accused by
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republicans off lying in the fact he's convicted of lying to congress on a previous occasion so how did he come across during this testimony. i mean he seemed to want to present himself as somebody who was humble who was contrite who is not lying anymore that his line was previously under the influence and direction of donald trump even though he does a lot of presidential nominee in particular then say in a sense the money that mr trump did not directly tell me to lie to congress that's not how we operates yes yes so it was it was but i think we could still see what he's asking us to to believe whether or not we want to believe it is that trump might not operate through that kind of direction but in that direction with still a claim cohen also says that he was intoxicated by trump you know so it's calling himself who was intoxicated by trump's power we know that cohen had read the art of the deal twice before he even met trump you know trump was
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a hero to him and he seems to be intoxicated and certainly you know somewhat of a puppet for some of trump's desires which doesn't let him off the hook you know allies are coming said to him that if he lied before the committee today that they would refer him for further prosecution so coleman does not seem to have an incentive to lie anymore and certainly his incentive to tell the truth is both to try to clear his name and perhaps a small chance of getting a reduced prison time though i think that also seems to be a long shot or right to elizabeth thank you we thank you for joining us from washington d.c. and we'll go back to capitol hill now and listen in to what michael cohen has to say that would be provided for the year of twenty seventeen was irritated and there is no retainer agreement with john jr. what information about that. for sure about the entire discussions and negotiations prior to the election and john jr would have. cursory information now here's another one
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this is a this one appears to be. donald trump himself that is. that is donald trump signature so let me make sure i understand donald trump wrote you a check out of his personal account while he was serving as president of the united states of america to reimburse you for hush money payments to miss clifford is that what you are telling the american people today yes mr chairman one final question the president claimed he knew nothing about the spade mintz is ethics following said he owed nothing to you based on your conversations with him is there any doubt in your mind the president from knew exactly what he was paying
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for there is no doubt in my mind and i truly believe there is no doubt in the minds of the people of the united states of america and these view documents are to be robbery what you just told us with that i yield to. i will make sure that you and i meet one day while we are in the courthouse and i will take your every penny you still don't have and i will come after your daily beast and everybody else that you possibly know so i'm warning you tread very effen lightly because what i'm going to do to you is going to be up and disgusting you understand me mr cohen who said that i did and did you say that mr cohen in your testimony on page two you said you did things for mr trump in an effort to protect him was that statement that i just read that you had made it to saying did you do that to protect donald trump i did it to protect mr trump donald trump jr
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even could trump and eric trump. and in your sentencing statement back in december in front of the judge you said this mr cohen my weakness can be characterized as a blind loyalty to donald trump a blind loyalty that led me to choose a path of darkness is that accurate mr cohen i wrote that you wrote that and said that and from the judge that right that's correct and you read a few other things here and let me ask you why you did some of these things when you filed a false tax return in two thousand and twelve two thousand and thirteen two thousand and fourteen two thousand and fifteen and two thousand and sixteen was all that out of blind loyalty to the president no it was not when you fail to report four million in income to the internal revenue service did you do that to protect donald trump no i did not and when you failed to pay one point four million in
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taxes i got constituents you don't make that in a lifetime when you fail to pay one point four million in taxes to the u.s. treasury was that out of some blind loyalty to president united states it was not but the number one point three eight in change and i have that money back to the i.r.s. i think this is i think the american people appreciate that one point three and i would also just like to say it was over the course of five years approximately two hundred sixty thousand a year and that's what i said two thousand and twelve two thousand and thirteen two thousand and fourteen two thousand and fifteen two thousand and five years yes got it when you made false statements to financial institutions concerning a home equity line of credit taxi medallions and your park avenue apartment in two thousand and thirteen two thousand and fourteen in two thousand and fifteen and you pled guilty to making those false statements to those banks was that all done to protect the president no it was not about this one. when you created the fake
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twitter account women for cohen and paid a firm to post tweets like this one in a world of lies deception and fraud we appreciate this honest guy at michael cohen has tagged t. g.i.f. hash tag handsome has tags sexy has that done to protect the president mr chairman i didn't actually set that up it was done by a young lady that worked for red finch and during the course of the campaign which you would know it's somewhat crazy and wild we were having fun that's what it was are you having fun was it done to protect the president that was not done to protect the president fake twitter account that was no there was a real twitter account it exists a affirm to create this i didn't need the firm intimate knowledge it was done by a young lady that works for the firm and again sir you having fun during a stressful time the point is mr cohen did you lie to protect the president or july
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to help yourself i'm not sure how that helped me sir i'm not sure how did either right and i would like to also note that more than half the people on that site are men here's the point let me just gave you a thirty minute opening statement and you have a history of lying over and over and over again and frankly don't take my word for it take what the court said take what the southern district new york said cohen did crimes that were marked by a pattern of deception and that permeated his professional life these crimes were distinct in their harms but very common set of circumstances they each involve deception and were each each motivated by personal greed and ambition a pattern of deception for personal greed and ambition and you just got thirty minutes of an opening statement where you trashed the president of the united states of america mr cohen how long did how long did you work for donald trump.
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proximately a decade ten years that's correct you said all these bad things about the president there in that last thirty minutes and yet you worked for him for ten years all those bad things i mean it's that bad i can see you working for him for ten days maybe ten weeks maybe even ten months but you worked for him for ten years. how long did you how long you work in the white house i never worked in the white house that's the point isn't mr cohen no sir yes it is no it's not you wanted to work in the white house know certain get brought to the dance certain now i was extremely proud to be a personal attorney to the president of the united states of america i do not want to go to the white house i was offered jobs i can tell you a story of mr trump reaming out running to previous because i had not taken a job where mr trump wanted me to do which is working with don mcginn at the white
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house general counsel as well and you work for start resident one second what i said at the time and i brought a lawyer in who produced a memo as to why i should not go in because there would be no attorney client privilege and in order to handle some of the matters that i talked about in my opening. that would be best suited for me not to go in and that every president had a person here tonight here's what i see i see i work for ten years and you're trashing the guy he worked for for ten years didn't get a job in the white house and now and now you're behaving just like everyone else who's got fired or didn't get the job they wanted like andy mckay like james komi same kind of selfish motivation after you don't get the thing you want that's what i see here today and i think that's what the american people mr jordan all i wanted was when i got to personal attorney to the president to enjoy the senior year of my
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son in high school and waiting for my daughter who's graduating from college to come back to new york i got exactly what i want so much that actually what you want but i want to results right i'm going to i received exactly what i wanted so i'm. just watching the show. thank you mr chairman mr cohen thank you for being here today as you likely know i served as the chair of the democratic national committee at the time of the russian hacks and when russia weaponized the messages that it had stolen but i want to be clear my questions are not about the harm done to any individual by wiki leaks and the russians it's about the possible and likely harm to the united states of america and our democracy i have a series of questions that i hope will connect more of these dots mr cohen is it your testimony that mr trump had advance knowledge of the russian wiki leaks release that the d.n.c. is emails. can't i cannot answer that
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in a yes or no he had advanced notice that there was going to be a dump of e-mails but no time did i hear the specificity of what those e-mails were going to be but you testified today that he had advance knowledge of their of their intimate imminent release that is whether you had stayed in my testimony and that he chaired that outcome. yes ma'am did mr tranquilly share this information with his daughter ivanka son john jr or jarrett questioner i'm not aware of that was ivanka jarrett or don jr still involved in the in the russian tower deal at that time the company was involved in the deal which meant that the family was involved in the deal if mr trump an order of ankara and sundown jr are involved in the run in the russian trump tower deal is it possible the whole family is can fit
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conflicted or compromised with a foreign adversary in the months before the election yes then your experience with the president the knowledge of his relationship with mr stone do you have reason to believe that the president explicitly or implicitly authorized mr stone to make contact with wiki leaks and to indicate the campaign's interest in the strategic release of these illegally hacked materials i'm not aware of that was mr stone a free agent reporting back to the president what he had done or was he an agent of the campaign acting on behalf of the president and with his apparent authority you know he was a free agent a free agent that was reporting back to the president what he had done correctly frequently reached out to mr trump and mr trump was very happy to take his calls it was a free service. roger stone says he never spoke with mr trump about wiki leaks how can we co-opt corroborate what you are saying i don't know but i suspect that the
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special counsel's office and other.

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