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tv   Killing Whales  Al Jazeera  February 28, 2019 1:32am-2:01am +03

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why would it to provide perpetuate and protecting this giant con game on the american people now mr cohen i drive to talk to you about the president's assets since by law these must be reported accurately on his federal financial disclosure and when he submitted them for a bank loan i'm just calling you serve a nearly a decade as then businessmen drops personal attack attorney and so-called fixer did you had did you also have an understanding of the president's assets and how he valued those items yes and november twenty seventh a crain's new york business reported that the drop on is ation provide a quote flagrantly untrue revenue figures going back to at least twenty.
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to influence grains ranking of the largest private companies in new york according to the report wow to tromp argument is ation reported nearly nine four point five billion in revenues and twenty six taking public filings suggested revenues were actually last in one tenth of that to your knowledge did the president or his company ever inflate assets our revenues. yes and was that done with the president's knowledge our direction everything was done with the knowledge and at the direction of mr trump tell us why he would do that what purpose did it it depends upon the situation there were times that i was asked again with alan weisenberg the c.f.o. . to go back in to speak with an individual from forbes because mr trump wanted
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each year to have his net worth rise on the forbes wealthiest individuals list and so what you do is you look at the assets and you try to find and i said that has to say for example forty wall street which is about one point two million square feet find an asset that is comparable find the highest price per square foot that's achieved in the area and apply it to that building or if you're going off of your rent roll and go by the gross rent roll times of multiple and you make up the multiple which is something that he had talked about it's based upon what he wanted to value the asset at you know you you have provided to come this committee with copies of the president's financial statements are parts of them from twenty eight lab and twenty twelve and thirteen and mr
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chairman i would like to submit those photo req as jim and i like to submit the statement so the record is order thank you can you explain why you had these financial statements and what you use them for so these financial statements were used by me for two purposes one was discussing with media whether it was forbes or other magazines. to demonstrate mr trump's significant net worth. that was one function another was when we were dealing later on with insurance companies we would provide them with these copies so that they would understand that the premium which is based sometimes upon the individual's capabilities to pay would be reduced and all of this was done at the presence there rex and then with his knowledge yes because whatever the
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numbers would come back to be we would immediately reported back and did this information provided to inflate the president's assets i believe these numbers are inflated and of course inviting and frightening nasa when a newspaper poll to boost your ego is not a crime but to your knowledge did the president ever provide inflated assets to a bank in order to help him up obtain a. but you may answer that question. these documents and others were provided to do each a bank and one occasion where i was with then you know attempt to obtain money so that we can put a bid on the buffalo bills thank you for your side to george and i to hold a second to the gentleman from north carolina i thank the gentleman for yielding i
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want to ask unanimous consent to put into the record an article from stat which indicates that mr cohen's promise to access not just trial but also the circle around it was almost as if we were hiring a lobbyist close quote ask unanimous consent without without objection i ask unanimous consent that we put into the record a criminal referral for violating section twenty two u.s.c. . of the statute number six six eleven i ask unanimous consent that by letter referring mr cohen for violating far for illegal lobbying activity be entered into the record without objection so i ask unanimous consent that the first order of business for this committee is for us to look at a bipartisan way a criminal referrals at the next business meet that these are not documents
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their objections their objections so so when objecting to an animist consent request is that what is your chairman i think you know i don't work yes how he'll go back now let me let me be clear mr heise i'm going to give you you know if i'm in the right i thank you mr chairman it's the you all right thank you thank you mr chairman and i mr mr meadows i the chairman made me a ranking member. made me aware that i had given a little more time to this watching shows i was going to let you do that anyway but but i just want the committee to know because there's no me going to be doing this five minutes all right thank you very much it's nice you have five minutes thank you mr chairman mr cohen you claim that you've lied but you're not a liar just set the record straight if you lied you are a liar by definition you also said a moment ago that the facts are inaccurate if they are facts they are accurate and
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that would make you an accurate but i like to take a moment to like to know who you consulted with to prepare for today's hearing lanny davis and who else i consulted with my counsel lanny davis as well as michael monaco all right did you or michael or lanny davis or anyone else cooperate with the democrat majority to prepare for this hearing. i'm sorry say that again please did anyone did you or anyone else on your team cooperate with the democrat party in preparing for this we've we've spoken to the party ok did you prepare with chairman cummings or anyone on your team i'm so it's what you mean by prepare prepare for this hearing prepare i prepared with my counsel did you prepare what did within it the democrat majority or chairman cummings we spoke with chairman cummings and the party with chairman schiff spoke with chairmanship and his party
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and his people is well aware there are any other individuals acting as a liaison for you with the majority party. what do you say did you have a liaison other than these that you've mentioned who were working with the majority to prepare for this hearing. yes and we spoke with the various individuals that you just raised yes tom styler. regarding him or any of his representatives anyone associated with you are there is he or any of them paying lanny davis to represent you not that i'm aware of who is paying lanny davis at the present moment and no one so he's doing all this work for nothing yes or ok and i hope so. i kind of doubt it but. how did lanny davis come to represent you did he approach you or did you approach
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him i reached out to lanny davis at the recommendation of my former counsel over at. mcdermott will and emory who knew mr davis and who's to say you reached out to mr davis and i did yes initially ok so did did you want to testify before congress or did he urged you to testify or i was asked to come here and i am here sir voluntarily because it's my you are asking i who my question of did did he ask you to come here no sir ok because he is. you're watching al-jazeera michael cohen trump's former personal lawyer testifying before congress right now he's been answering questions from committee members both democrats as well as republicans for the past thirty minutes or so and he has been questions on the president's debts and
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payments relating to efforts to influence the twenty six thousand election that's russia's influence on the election he's also been questioned on the president's business practices as well as the accuracy of some of the president's public statements as well as some of his private statements that he's made before he faced the questions from committee members michael cohen did brown trump a racist as well as a con man and a let's bring in our town see he's joining us from washington d.c. there's a lot to sort of unpack and get through shihab but i suppose it's not really a surprise that cohen is facing a grilling from the republican committee members. right so their main argument is look you're a liar you're you've admitted to drinking in front of congress to lying in front of congress in the past you're a convicted felon why should we believe you know nothing about you have a long history of dodgy of dodgy business dealings in fact saddam some of the
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congressman were suggesting that he's just in this for the money maybe he wants a book deal at the end of this so he wants to make things a salacious as possible that he's bitter because he didn't get a job in the trumpet ministration actually that was something was an avanti fair expose there about michael cohen a few months back that cohen had always thought that he would get into the administration once donald trump became president but it became pretty clear that donald trump wasn't going to bring him into the administration in fact i think it was a quote one of the rudy giuliani donald trump's lawyer once said look you can have michael cohen speaking on your behalf it's like having a mobster speaking on your behalf so donald trump did leave about in the cold but anyway that these are the sort of arguments that we're hearing from republicans we should not believe you but the testimony continues apace the questioning and answering a lot of pace and yes other than that all the main the main headlines came from the prepared testimony donald trump was directly implicated in the campaign finance violations for which michael cohen is going to jail new bit of information from
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junior gone from sun may be connected to the criminal conspiracy that he's going to that he's pled guilty for the big surprise was that russia was now going to be spoken about so donald trump knew according to michael cohen that wiki leaks was going to dump e-mails about hillary clinton would be damaging to hillary clinton during the presidential campaign before they before that dump took place because he got a phone call from roger stone a lobbyist you know we should out wiki leaks denies any conversation with roger stone and wiki leaks that actually there was no need for any conversation because we could have had actually announced in the public that they were going to release those e-mails to hillary clinton so the whole the whole thing is a bit of a red herring however either way donald trump has always denied any for knowledge off that wiki leaks the. and see email don't. always lie throughout the campaign about the negotiations he was having during the campaign about developing a trump tower moscow and most of the reasons why he was lying was because he never wanted to be president ever thought he was going to be president anyway but he was
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continuing those negotiations because he wanted to make a lot of money out of this after his presidential campaign was over presumably he thought you know i mean the implication being that after a presidential run the cache of a trump tower would be even better in moscow so he's saying that trump lied about that not only that trump's lawyers looked at michael kearns false testimony to congress another reason he's going to jail and gave the green light to that false testimony so that's potentially a legal issue. however current says no no direct evidence of russia collusion that he's aware of he just has his suspicions in the final part about that russia the russia thread of all of this is he has his suspicion the donald trump jr in front of him in fact told donald trump about a forthcoming meeting with russian nationals. that was a bid to get. dirt on hillary clinton so that is the main headlines but also tax fraud stuff about the trump foundation and about all of trump just generally not being a terribly nice person but those are the main headlines that we're getting from the michael cohen testimony and that congressional hearing continues she has for the
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time being thank you we'll speak to you once again in a couple of minutes so you're looking at live pictures right now from capitol hill washington d.c. that is michael cohen he's been testifying to the house committee house oversight and reform can maybe we'll be back in just a moments right here on al-jazeera with all the latest news coming out from washington in just a moment do stay with us. when they cast arrive at a country club and the playground. and. troops. share the week with good. source cubans so far in this magnificent. a chronicle of the revolution and its aspirations through the prism of its architecture cuba's unfinished space on al-jazeera.
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al-jazeera. swear every single. christian priest if you are a friend of the palestinians is
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a tool. for everyone and champion of the palestinian cause. and activist who is willing to sacrifice his freedom. for his beliefs. al-jazeera world tells the extraordinary story of the archbishop and the piano. i know what mr trump is. he's a racist. views. and uses cheap. donald trump's former lawyer accuses him of wrongdoing on multiple accounts in an explosive congressional testimony. while thousands of kilometers away in vietnam
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trump's been tweeting angrily about cohen as he seeks a denuclearization deal with north korea's kim jong. il challenges or life from a headquarters and. also a heads. prime minister offers talks with india after both sides said they'd shot down each other's work planes in a confrontation over kashmir this syrian highway that's becoming the focus of president bashar al assad's forces in the last a rebel stronghold. hello donald trump's former personal lawyer michael cohen has spoken candidly to congress about what his job entailed in his testimony he called trump or racists and spoke at length about his suspicions over his former boss his connections to russia
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before and during the twenty sixteen election campaign cohen also apologized for some of his behavior while in trump's employment i am ashamed that i chose to take part in concealing mr trump. rather than listening to my own conscience i am ashamed because i know what mr trump is. he is a racist he is a con man and he used to cheat. he was the presidential candidate who knew that roger stone was talking with julia songe about a week you'll each draw on democratic national committee e-mails let's speak to steve clemons he's the washington editor of laura's for the atlantic is joining us from washington d.c. thanks for speaking to us so that congressional hearing still going on from what
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you've heard so far steve clemons what's the most damaging what's the most explosive well right now the most damaging thing in this nailbiting hearing we haven't seen a hearing like this really since watergate that implicated directly the president united states in criminal activity but the zinger of this was really getting the revelations about personal checks that the president of the united states signed while president as part of a hush money scheme to silence a woman who was going to disclose issues about their relationship just days before the last two thousand and sixteen election of all the things and there's a lot of color there's a lot of context there's a lot of tension but that alone is potentially the thing that could really undermine the president cause incredible legal problems for him what about what it what michael cohen had to say on wiki leaks he said that trump knew in advance from
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roger stone about the wiki leaks drop of e-mail to damage the hillary clinton campaign at the time in twenty sixteen what is the significance of that. well what i would say it's highly significant everything we're hearing is highly significant even the kind of color and context that the president may have been told by his son that the famed russian meeting in trump tower was there but there is that there is there's a difference i think and perhaps i'm wrong about this in being aware that wiki leaks was going to do something of being passive in acknowledging it and knowing it even though he denied any such knowledge in the past so certainly there's jeopardy for the president in that but but i sort of see a pathway that republicans can say you know he was passive in this he didn't ask wiki leaks to do this there's no evidence of necessary collusion that collusion remains different than awareness and one of things that really struck out to me is that that michael cohen resisted actually calling what the president did right
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collusion and some democrats throwing around the word impeachment right now does this hearing actually step up the possibility of opening up at least impeachment proceedings against the president. i think the democratic caucus is very divided i think there certainly is a substantial portion of the caucus this is the kind of criminality over campaign finance fraud at a level and industrial level in the kind of hush money scheme they have would be enough for many that the russia piece of this may not be necessary but the notion about wiki leaks the other kinds of things that may have been discussed yesterday in closed hearings about russia before the intelligence committee that there may be material there but i don't sense yet i spent a lot of time with members of congress and both parties i don't sense that on the house side that the appetite is fully there yet that a tipping point has been achieved knowing that they're on solid ground to pursue impeachment hearings but all of this adds to that and it could go there but but i
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think it's too early to say it will go what about cohen himself in his testimony we saw he was attacked by some republicans questioning his credibility and we know that he's convicted of lying to congress meant to start his jail sentence in may how did he come across to you. i think it came off as steady sober he was not thrown off his game by some very. derogatory statements about himself from republican members the republicans some of them really didn't ask questions they just made reminded people of the mistruths that michael cohen spoke before and you know in one case mark meadows who is part of the freedom caucus brought an african-american woman who had worked for the trump organization and said look she works there she is black she is in her in her own way evidence that donald trump must not be racist that kind of thing of trying to pick apart the credibility and the solvency as
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a witness of michael cohen has been there but it's been interesting to me that not a single republican interlocutor has actually tried to drill down into the substance of what cohen has provided about the president's payment of these checks of the president's efforts around a famous portrait that he bought using his foundation and engaged in potentially criminal activity there that none of those data points came up it's all about michael cohen's character all right steve clemons we thank you for speaking to us from washington thank you well this is what michael cohen said about the negotiations for a trump tower moscow that's a project the president has repeatedly distanced himself from the last time i appeared before congress i came to protect mr trump today i am here to tell the truth about mr i lied to congress when mr trump stop negotiating the moscow tower project in russia i stated that we stop to go shooting in
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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's no 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 live see how britain is joining us from washington and specifically on that point see how on the trump tower project not only did he. talk about what the president who had said about it but he also said that the entire family of the entire trump family could have been compromised as
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well by russia. right well i mean they're all they're all sort of involved i think that this particular thread of the testimony is interesting to several levels because there was an allegation in a buzz feed's news reports that donald trump had lent on michael cohen to lie to congress kern is saying no there wasn't any direct instruction to lie to congress that was in direct understanding of donald trump had with my cool michael cohen that you know there was no business happening in russia however on transpersonal lawyers had seen the congressional testimony that the current was about to give which did lie about the russian negotiations or that could be a legal issue eventually somewhere but it's also interesting to go to the family the second because also because of that excerpt of color we had about why donald trump was lying to conan saying that both of live throughout the campaign about his dealings with russia he kept saying that we have no business dealings with russia however he was very interested in the development of this trump tower in moscow and
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what cohen was saying there was trouble was it was lying to the american people about the owner and negotiations but the reason he was lying was he didn't really ever expect to be caught in that any kind of lie because he never expected to be president in the first place and then the other part of that the testimony turned says donald trump had no intention of ever becoming president he wanted he just thought of this is the greatest infomercial ever to build up his brand and that brand is all about putting your name on towers around the world so that the implication is he was running for president in part to increase the cache of a trump town wherever it might be in moscow so that was quite fascinating but yes throughout this there has been these questions about all right what about the rest of the family i would say even though we haven't really heard any anything we didn't already know we knew trump was directly implicated in the commie campaign finance violations perhaps we've heard some new stuff about tax in the trump foundation this idea that donald trump jr was implicated in the campaign finance
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campaign finance. is new and he must be a bit worried now. and suddenly we're hearing members members of congress they're all skiing about other members of the family what did they in there about russia do they know and they're not really getting the answers they want to be so democrats aren't getting the answers they want but they will say when it comes to the trump foundation and the campaign finance allegations members of the trump family may be a little bit uneasy right now and she have just put this into context for us especially when it comes to the robert muller investigation currently ongoing well so this was the big surprise of the testimony that russia would even come up we had been told before that russia wouldn't be coming up because the logic of things which i didn't want to step on the toes of other investigations in congress or elsewhere michael cohen is now saying various things for example about that that you mention that trump knew about what had been told by roger stone this lobbyist with a rather checkered record that he'd had a conversation with
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a solemn julian assange and had been informed personally that adult was coming wiki leaks denies that any conversation over to place they said actually we announced it publicly you can look at the guardian in that same month where they say look we're going to be coming out with this dump and roger stone is just a man who is trying to be trusted and it all depends on what poll trump told robert miller that it. was told by donald trump i didn't know anything about any wiki leaks dump when they you know whether it was because roger stone i read in the papers or you had a conversation with the stones but i could be trouble for donald trump because all trump then would have said something that someone else is saying wasn't true you know michael cohen when you heard donald trump being informed about that dump so it's all about that i'm not what donald trump told robot model whether that whether that coincides with got michael cohen is saying about his own recollections and whether robert mueller believes michael cohen or donald trump so this is where this is where the part of this comes in that it's about whether michael cohen and donald trump's accounts of what was going all about points whether they actually coincide which apparently they might not do or they might do and whether wrong.

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