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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 11, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. it is 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast. we're live with breaking news. sources telling cnn president trump is now considering firing deputy attorney general rod rosen at the scene. that's the only man that stands between the president and robert mueller. firing rosenstein is something that could put trump in saturday night territory.
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but officials say even that may not deter this president. sources have said the president and his aides have discussed firing rosenstein for months. colleagues have warned him it would be a disaster. i want to bring in now cnn political correspondent sara murray. thanks for joining us. fill us in on what more you're learning. >> our team is learning once again the president is considering firing the deputy attorney general. we know he's long been unhappy with many of the top officials at the justice department as well as the ongoing russia probes. but there's a new urgency in this after we saw the raids on the president's long time lawyer michael cohen. he has a strong case to make if he does go forward to dismiss rosenstein.
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they believe rosenstein crossed a line in what he should or should not pursue and what they're allowed to pursue. there are certainly people in the president's ear saying absolutely do not do this, it will cause a crisis. but there are other people saying, look, if you're going to fire anyone, it makes more sense for you to go after rosenstein than special counsel robert mueller. you saw people on television today saying that would be suicide. now, it's also possible the president could decide to dismiss more than one person at the justice department. we know he's still angry with attorney general jeff sessions. this is a person he has vented about firing a number of times. so it's possible he could become part of the president'sire. but the president's primary target does seem to be rosenstein, and this is an a discussion going on with the president and his advisers. >> we also know tonight the president is not going on his trip to south america because of this. >> sources are also telling my
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colleagues deciding whether he wants to make changes -- they've been both said essentially if you want to scrap the trip, go ahead. we encourage that. it's also worth noting this was not a trip president trump was particularly excited to make in the first place. you knew he wasn't necessarily going to get a warm reception in the first place. so with the president weighing whether or not he wants to make changes at the justice department, there were a lot of reasons for him to decide to stay behind. >> sara, thank you. i appreciate your reporting. i want to bring in now robert bennett and also jack quinn who
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was clinton white house counsel. bob, let's start with cnn's breaking news. that the president may fire rod rosenstein. that would be a bombshell. what would the reaction be? >> well, i think the biggest reaction would be a political one. i'm not convinced that the republicans who spoke what a disaster it would be would really stand up and not support him. you know, i'd have to see them actually do that. i think that could just be -- that could be talk. but i think it would be very harmful to the president's
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situation. he's not going to make the case go away. he may delay it. he may fracture some of it, but what he should do -- and i have no doubt about this -- is let it play out. and if there is an impeachment, which remember is only a charge. >> right. >> then try the case in front of a republican senate, which it'll probably stay republican with the chief justice roberts as the judge, win it there and declare a victory. and that's what he should do. >> well, we have to remember bill clinton was impeached but stayed in office. so it doesn't necessarily mean it would be the end of his precedency. >> takes a two thirds vote, remember. >> so, jack, would firing him get the president his ability to control the special counsel investigation. >> that would be the only reason of getting rid of rosenstein. i think it'll be exceedingly difficult.
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i can't imagine someone will come in and sit in rosenstein's place and try to baby-sit him and redirect of the course of the investigation. that's just not going to happen. i totally agree with everything bob said, by the way. and i think if he tries to replace rosenstein, if he tries to replace sessions, it would be seen for what it is. it would be seen as the act of a man with a guilty mind. innocent people don't behave this way. they don't threaten to fire anyone who's taken a hard line look at what they've done. they don't try to interfere in investigations. they profess to be innocent. they should act innocence. >> i brought up bill clinton and talked about him being impeached and staying in office. as you see the raid against the president's lawyer, the connection to women and the alleged sexual affairs are there parallels to these investigations that maybe the president can learn from and his
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team? >> well, the one lesson is -- and you put your finger on it, don, in one of your questions -- is our whole strategy in president clinton's case was to keep him in office. and we did not gets sidetracked by all this personal attacks and so forth. president clinton did not like ken starr but he kept his towel dry and our question was how do we keep him in office, and we were successful. >> the whole idea that a president's lawyer could be raided and documents seized, i mean that's shocking. documents related to private communication with his client. talk to me about how precedented it is and what this means. >> well, in the case of precedential lawyers i believe it's unprecedented. and it is very, very unusual for the justice department or any u.s. attorney actually to conduct a search of an
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attorney's office. >> so is it odd then that the attorney would think it's a fishing expedition? >> it's not a fishing expedition. they have to go before a magistrate judge. they had to determine -- i'm sorry, they had to demonstrate they had probable cause not only that a crime was committed but the evidence of that crime would be found in the locations they specified. you can't just willy-nilly go in and say i'd like to fish around in attorney so-and-so's office. this was run up through the highest levels of the department of justice. >> let me ask you this. when stormy daniels was on, he brought up the whole line of equity of credit and didn't talk
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with the bank. also a source is saying that, you know, with this home equity line of credit that's what -- i think that's what cohen is worried about. that's where he sees the bank fraud or whatever fraud, he doesn't see it there. what do you make of that? >> number one, there's no way that the department of justice and the southern district of new york acted this aggressively because of, you know, false information on a loan application or because of the stormy daniels or any of the other women -- >> so you think something else, something bigger? >> i think they have discovered evidence of a significant crime. i think it was unrelated to directly to what mueller is already investigating, and
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that's why rosenstein directed it be handed off to the southern district of new york. but i think that the crimes in question, which may be fraud of a different kind, you alluded to some of them. we know they were interested in materials related to i think it was "the national inquirer." and it may be that they're looking for fraud in connection with cohen's dealings with them. but whatever the case may be i think they're looking at something very serious. i think that mr. cohen probably is in significant legal jeopardy. and i think that the president is probably very, very concerned about the fact that michael cohen is not just a lawyer but he is somebody who has worked for him in nonlegal capacities. and those capacities, there is no privilege. >> as i said knows where the bodies are buried. >> and there are documents indicating where the bodies are. >> i agree with jack's analysis. and, you know, i know mr. cohen's a lawyer, but i'm not entirely clear when he's acting as a lawyer, when he's acting as a fixer.
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when he's acting as a friend, and that can affect the attorney/client privilege. >> hey, bob, can i ask you something because a law professor, allan dershowitz was at the white house tonight. what do you make of this? >> well, allan likes to be the rebel, and i don't make much of it. i mean, i'll be honest with you, don, i don't have high regard for him. and i think he should stay in the classroom and let real lawyers help the president. >> jack? >> far be it for me to contradict bob. i think that -- i'm quite sure that there's no way mr.
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dershowitz is going to join the president's legal team and actually start practicing in connection with this case. now, i think the unfortunate thing is that he might encourage the president to do something like relieve one of these people, mueller or sessions or rosenstein. and i think the consequences of that would be catastrophic for the president, for the remainder of his presidency, for the republican party. and i think it would be really unfortunate for the country. >> i could talk to you guys all night. >> i agree with you, jack, on that. i'm worried that allan would -- you know, he's a wonderful law professor. i mean there's just no question about it, but this is not his thing. and he could encourage the president to do something that would be disastrous. >> so next time we have you on, bob, why don't you say how you really feel, okay? >> well, i haven't really told
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you how i really feel. i was rather subdued and -- >> you should have heard him in the greenroom. >> thank you, bob. thank you, jack. always a pleasure. when we come back we're learning more about the fbi raid on the home of the president trump's attorney. a source telling cnn one was accused before the raid. why is that? i'm going to talk to one who worked in that office.
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a surprise fbi raid on a home of president trump's attorney michael cohen. joining me now two attorneys who know it as well as anyone knows it, and that's daniel goldman, former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. so you guys know your stuff. good evening, gentlemen. john, to you first. a source is telling cnn jeffrey berman who is top prosecutor in manhattan reaccused himself before the search warrant was issued. why might that be? >> i understood that he was not only with the rudy guiliani storm, but he made a contribution in excess of $5,000 i think he maxed out during the campaign. but there's a long history in that office of being partisan
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blind, if you will. in fact, one of the reasons i went there and wanted to prosecutor official corruption cases is a a u.s. attorney whitney seamore appointed by nixon whose boss was mitchell, he actually indicted his own boss when he was the u.s. attorney. that kind of independence doesn't happen in a a lot of places. and at the time when i was looking into becoming a prosecutor and i talked with stern there, and he was famous for following the money. so that's the office you go to if you want to prosecutor official corruption cases with the best. >> your camera has a mind of its own. >> i noticed. >> that was me. you're stealing my thunder so -- >> wait, i should put on my glasses so i look more like you. >> daniel, i got to ask you because berman was appointed on an interim basis and needs to be nominate bide may 5th or his
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appointment expires. do you think that has anything to do with his recusal? >> i do. he's not been nominated nor has he been permanently placed in that position. so he is sort of in there on an interim basis pending nomination. and given that nomination comes from the president and how close and sensitive this issue is from cohen to the president i think that is the most likely reason why he recused himself. the other potential reason i think of is in an unusual action the president himself interviewed mr. berman. and that is not the normal course because you want to keep the political divide between the presidency and the department of justice. and so the fact that the president interviewed him gives
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him the potential appearance of a potential conflict of interest. >> got you. there's a lot of things i meant to get to in the short time we have left. is there any significance in that? what's the significance of that? >> well, the significance may be who the taxi cab folk are associated with. there's a history in new york. i hate to even say that because i don't have any evidence of that. and i understand they seized medallions, and if you understand how taxicabs exist in new york they're very expensive because there are limited
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numbers. i don't know if there are bogus medallions or they hope to find something. and i don't know which plane you search believe them, what they thought they were looking for. i can imagine they saw the medallions and thought there was anything suspect about them, they made a plain view acquisition. they believe it is some evidence of crime, they'll take it away. if they find it's nothing they'll return them. >> i had michael avenatti, stormy daniels' attorney on earlier. you can use the money for whatever you want in a home equity line of credit. and if they're seeing the fraud there, would they have been able to get a search warrant to do a no knock warrant on someone for that? >> it's hard to speculate, don, because we haven't seen the affidavit. and most likely michael cohen hasn't seen it the search warrant or likely his lawyers.
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>> so do you think he may be in more trouble or he doesn't know what's going on? >> i think his lawyers had conversations with prosecutors today to understand. that's a normal course of conversation. but i don't think he would have seen the affidavit, which lays out all the probable cause, and i don't think it's based on a home equity line of credit. if it's not dirty money that the lean of credit is, then it's not money laundering to give it to stormy daniels. so i do not think that is the basis for the warrant. i think it's something more serious that gives prosecutors reason to take this somewhat extraordinary action and search the lawyer's office. >> john, i have to go. do you agree with that? >> i agree in part.
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i think it's true we can know from the confident. but the question is what statement did he make that can be false? we don't know what he said. and we're presuming he didn't say anything about equity and why he chose to do that and put himself in the trip bag remains to be seen when we see the affidavit. when we come back the raid on michael cohen has the president angrier than before and has people wondering what he's going to do next. helped put a roof over the heads of hundreds of families, he's most proud of the one he's kept over his own. brand vo: get paid twice as fast with quickbooks smart invoicing.
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viewed as not showing the president that courtesy. so let's bring in now michael bender and national security analyst julia kayanne. what do you think of this new reporting? >> i think there's been concern about what to do about a potential interview with mueller. and it doesn't surprise me someone on the team now using the raid to push forward a message they may not go forward with an interview with mueller. it does sound a lot like trump. he would view this raid as
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discourteous and disrespectful and want to show -- reply in kind, which would be not to interview. i would caution, though, as you said no decision has been made. and i wonder how long trump can -- i imagine trump is eager to talk to mueller and would want to set the record straight right across the table from him. >> even with that would he be compelled to talk with mueller whether he want to or not? >> i think the jury is out, and it would appear that this would be a voluntary discussion and the contours of the discussion would be formed over time, and i think the challenge right now is the challenge all of us have is which trump white house is speaking. clearly people who don't want him to speak to mueller have the upper hand right now because of what happened yesterday in
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michael cohen's office. >> the breaking news just into cnn is that a white house official was telling cnn jim's acosta that president trump's team is reevaluating a meeting with special counsel robert mueller in light of the raid on his attorney's home yesterday. the raid has angered the president beyond anything they have ever seen before. do you think this is tipping point? >> yeah, it could be, don. i have two thoughts. one is it sort of sounds like the president in context, if someone does something he doesn't like, he's going to ratchet it up. china says we're going to answer with $50 billion in tariffsf our own and he answers it. if the reporting is coming from the president directly himself, then i raise you by saying maybe i won't talk to bob mueller after all. but the challenge, the political
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problem for president trump here, this is not how an innocent person acts when they're comfortable and want to clear their name. if he had no worries about what the results of this investigation, the special counsel's investigation were, then it would behoove the president just to wait, talk to them, answer the questions. but because there's so much potential jeopardy we don't know if the president has done anything that ran afoul of the law. but because there's so much jeopardy in terms of his story not matching up with other people the special counsel has interviewed, i think he's got this problem of wanting to come
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clean and at the same time not wanting to trip himself up. >> michael, also, we have seen so much from the president in recent days of him wanting to take matters into his own hands. reports that he's not really paying attention to his advisers and saying he's going to start doing what he wants to do, more of what he wants to do. hope hicks is gone, keith schiller is gone, also his bag man gone. who can keep the president calm now? >> i think the president has always pretty much done what he wanted to do, but you raised a good point here on where the sort of checks and balances are even within his own office. and i think right now we're at a real transition point in this white house. he mentioned hope hicks. keith jiller has been gone a while.who now, that is position that hasn't been replaced. tom bossert, the homeland security advisor who left today, he was well liked within the white house. he was organized. people described him as a perfectionist. there's no replacement for him. chris riddell who's in charge of
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the office of immigration, i'm just wondering if ware at a point here where kelly restructuring the white house here slowly but surely. it will be interesting to see where his next move is to fill some of the empty spots in this white house. >> but there are reports, the multiple reports that chief of staff john kelly's authority is diminished. he hasn't been included in important decisions, in executing recent staffing changes. he was considered one of the few, the so-called adults in the room. does that make it even more likely the president could make a rash decision? david, i'll give that to you. >> look, i think general kelly has in part undermined himself. there was the episode with congresswoman frederica wilson. there was the issue with rob
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porter where, you know, he was not found to be fully forthcoming by a lot of reports, and that undermined his correct publicly inside the white house. i think the pattern is celt whether general kelly or others that president trump has a hard time in all circumstances taking the counsel even of the adults in the room. he's on his second secretary of state, second press secretary, second chief of staff. so i don't know why general kelly would feel secure he could just go forward and lead the team without being -- >> and his national security counsel reportedly rattled by tom bossert being pushed out by john bolton. so you have that aspect of it as well. >> tom was well respected. he made some mistakes times is in the media. but as far as the agencies went tom was a really important figure, and that's important to note here. all of these people are being
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paid by us, and there's so much drama, but we forget the actual job is to guide the agency's work. you look to the white house to give guidance when there was debates between agencies to sort of, you know, be the honest broker, set communication plans, to help you elevate an issue, if you had an issue that needed to be elevated. none of that is being done. when we focus on the white house think of all these agencies and people in the agencies who are used to and actually do deserve a functioning white house. but it's always about trump, always ends up being about trump. >> thank you all very much. i appreciate it. when we come back how did the president's meeting with top security staffers turn into an attack on hillary clinton? you won't see these folks at the post office
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so the president can't get over his anger at the co-president of the united states, hillary clinton. tara, he was meeting with top military leaders about syria and then he started talking about his attorney general and then hillary clinton. watch this. >> they're not looking at the hillary clinton, horrible things that she did and all the crimes she committed. they're not looking at all the things that happened. >> why does it always go back to hillary clinton? >> because she's his foil. why not? she's the foe, the boogeyman. you know how many republicans tell me they weren't thrilled about voting for donald trump but they could never fathom hillary clinton being in the white house? that is what fueled the majority of people who voted for donald trump. besides there were always going to be the 20%, 30% that were
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just die hard. but a lot of those republicans that had trepidations about who donald trump was and the fact that he say, you know, problematic in a lot of ways said i did it because i can't stand hillary clinton. let's also not forget there's entire network, another network that dedicates three hours a night to going after freaking hillary clinton as if she was president. it's insane. you would think hillary clinton was the president. >> sometimes i wonder when i'm on the trump channel when i pass through. >> i'm not saying she doesn't warrant criticism. she's done plenty of things, and they probably have have prosecuted the clinton foundation on some stuff but she didn't win. >> while i was at the gym tonight i happened to glance up and see one of the other networks and like she said, they're still talking about hillary clinton because this is rather what the white house would be talking about, what many of the strong conservatives that are strong trump supporters would rather talk about than
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what we have here. you can sit and distract from someone who didn't win the presidency all you want, but that's not going to take away from the problems standing right in front of him. other key points others in the white house have mentioned is to continue to denigrate this process, the mueller process. and as he is saying this is witch hunt, and he's saying the raid on michael cohen was an attack on our country and criticizing the fact that the attorney-client privilege wasn't afforded to him and attacking that some members of the clinton team were afforded the attorney/client privilege. here's the thing, due process and attorney-client privilege is great thing according to the president if it applies to him. but if it's a critic or political adversary he doesn't
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think it should happen. the rules apply across the board. >> in other hillary clinton news because the guy who wants to be the secretary of state hike pompeo called hillary clinton, right, and asked for her advice. and remember cia director mike pompeo called hillary clinton's response to the 2012 benghazi attack morally reprehensible, aggressively questioned her and in one of the seven hearings in how that was handled. what is going on here? >> the trump hypocrisy, this is a classic case of that right now. what's going on, it's smart of pompeo to call everybody. michelle obama said she's the most qualified person to run in the history of our country. yes, he would want to reach out to her, but the hypocrisy is stunning because he spent a lot of time attacking her a
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secretary of state. not only do the trump and republican party and fox news think that hillary clinton is president now, but they thought she was president even when obama was president. they went after her for benghazi more than they went after barack obama for benghazi. on that issue of benghazi, they thought she was personally possible for sending in troops. she's the secretary of state, not the secretary of defense or the president of the united states. it was preposterous assumption from the beginning. but he sat through an 11-hour hearing on benghazi. >> so how do you think that phone call went? >> terrible. >> you know, the interesting thing about this when i i heard this, i thought to myself that deserves the audacity of the year award, and she warranted the scrutiny.
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i'm not going to relitigate benghazi, but the scrutiny was warranted. but anyway, but the fact he would even -- look, under normal circumstances there would be nothing wrong with that. even presidents did that. that would be normal. except this administration, donald trump has rallies where his supporters are yelling lock her up, for goodness sake. now he's okay to give advice to the secretary of state. clearly pompeo didn't clear that with trump. >> there you go. i got on that phone call i would say remember let me talk to my big brother, remember that. that's the dial tone. >> hats off to him for coming up with the idea. >> that is you know what please answer. what? thank you all. when we come back mark zuckerberg testifying on capitol hill today, but did he pretty much get a pass from senators and will anything change to protect american's privacy going forward?
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million facebook users without their knowledge. >> we didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake. and it was my mistake. and i'm sorry. i started facebook, i run it, and i'm responsible for what happens here. >> so let's talk about this now with senior reporter for media and politics. and mark jacobsen at georgetown university. let's play a key moment. this is when senator durbin asked zuckerberg about his own trip to washington. >> would you be comfortable sharing the name of the hotel you stayed in last night? >> umm, no. >> if you've messaged anybody
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this week, would you share with us the names of the people you've messaged? >> senator, no, i would probably not choose to do that publicly here. >> i think that might be what this is all about. your right to privacy. >> hmm. so he wouldn't want his own privacy violated. but isn't sharing other personal information on facebook, that's how they make their money. >> yes and no. absolutely they make money off of user data, that's why facebook brought in $40 billion in revenue last year alone. the problem with durbin's line of inquiry there is, it's clever, but it doesn't really get to the part of the problem nor does it put facebook on the hook for anything. facebook's problem is not that it looks specifically at which hotel you're staying at or which specific messages you eve seen to friends in recent days. the problem is it's taking troves of data and giving that to third parties who can then
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hand it over to others outside of facebook's watch. so for me that line of questioning, it's clever, it scores a political point. it makes the highlight reel, but it gets to a larger problem that senators face today, which was sort of the inability to really ge to the heart of the big issues that face facebook. >> i thought it was a little too cute by half. i didn't know where he was going with that. you don't have to share your hoe or where you're staying.. but if you go on facebook, that's part of what you sign up for, sharing all that information. not every senator who asked questions today is part of the facebook generation. i want you to take a listen to this. this is for mark. >> how do you sustain a business model in which users dent pay for your service? >> senator, we run ads. >> are you willing to give me
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more control over my data? >> senator, as someone who uses facebook, i believe you should have complete control over your data. >> okay, are you willing to go back and work on giving me a greater right to erase my data? >> senator, you can already delete any of the data that's there. >> so again, it's similar to what i asked dylan. they kind of got their point across, but their lack of savvy when it comes to tech, don't you think it kept away from asking zuckerberg the tougher questions and more meaningful questions? >> look, one of the things that struck me was the number of republicans who are kind of pushing for regulation seemed to be against the idea of the market driving a few things. but i think there's an important point in that questing, too. to what degree to consumers have
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to be responsible, or users of facebook are v to understand, when you sign up for this free service, the price is your data that's going out there. when you pull an app down that you want to play a game on, you are giving up -- you don't read the terms of service, right? you just click yes. and that's part of our responsibility. if you don't want to be part of that, don't do it. i agree there's areas in which facebook can really. prove the way facebook handles their terms of service, much way the way the senate forced the credit card companies to make their terms of service a bit clearer. this is not going to be solved by regulation. >> you just read my mind. it used to be no one reads the small print. but do people read the terms of service? >> there was a great exchange in which the senator asked zuckerberg, could you remake the terms of service? could you make them easier? i think that's something smart folks can do. i think they can find innovative ways to let consumers know exactly what they're giving up in terms of control. i actually don't believe zuckerberg is using that term control the way we as consumers see it. he gets a lot of control over that data once we initially provide it and it is pretty hard to get it back. >> don, i should just add that is something facebook is going to have to do in europe starting next month because new regulations being introduced
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there. and something that zuckerberg said today and actually said in the past is that he is open to meeting those standards that will be applied to europe on a global scale. a clearer terms of service, a clearer understanding to users about how their data is being shared. one of the big questions being asked today, or should have been asked, why wasn't that made clearer to users before? and does facebook honestly believe that it was giving us a true understanding of just how vast their data monitoring was? how much data they were collecting on us and what they were doing with it? >> in the short time we have left, it's important to point out in the testimony, zuckerberg revealed that employees of his company are working with robert mueller's special counsel investigation. how significant is that? >> i think it's very significant. i want to know what happened with the data when it left facebook and went to cambridge analytica.
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i want to know if any to have that information got to the russians and if they used it to target voters. >> dylan and mark, thank you so much. appreciate your time that's it for us tonight. see you right back here tomorrow. searching for answers may feel overwhelming. so start your search with our teams of specialists at cancer treatment centers of america. the evolution of cancer care is here. learn more at
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sources tell cnn that president trump is considering the firing of deputy attorney general rod rosenstein after the mueller investigation. a source says the fbi raid on trump's attorney, michael cohen, could mark a tipping point for trump to take action. i started facebook. i run it, and i'm responsible for what happens here. >> and facebook boss mark zuckerberg gears up for more questioning on capitol hill just hours from now. welcome to


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