tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN April 11, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
you're watching cnn on a wednesday afternoon. first the breaking news we were discussing involving the fbi raid involving michael cohen and that whole "access hollywood" tape and what they were looking for and potentially his role in that taping a month before the presidential election or perhaps as they would have liked it not to have been. on top of that, the other piece of breaking news that's just been turned around, this involves a federal judge in the whole stormy daniels case. this federal judge in california, judge james otero ordered attorneys for stormy daniels, michael cohen, donald trump and the company that paid off the $130,000, they're to meet and figure this out by friday 13th. m.j. lee has just sat down. paul cowen with me and jennifer
rodgers. tell me what this judge has asked of these lawyers. >> well, this is basically you summed it up pretty well that he would like the real representatirepresen -- legal reputations of both sides to get together and hash things out. there's been a flurry of filings in court and both sides want difference things. the lawyers involved in representing donald trump, michael cohen, they want things to go to private arbitration. they do not want all of this playing out in the open. already a lot of this has been discussed in public but they would like to keep everything behind closed doors as much as possible. what stormy daniels and her lawyers are arguing for is they want as open a process as possible and asking for things like an expedited trial and expedited discovery process. a lot of the paperwork going back and forth, it's very complicated. but this is sort of the big disagreement right now.
>> but this whole notion, paul, have you watched ac360 lately with these lawyers screaming at each other and calling each other thugs? how are they supposed to hash this out? >> i'm surprised they all haven't been held in contempt of court by the federal judge handling this investigation. i've never seen attorneys fighting on television with jeffrey toobin acting as referee. this meet and confer requirement is whenever you do something major in a federal case, you're supposed to sit down with your adversary, have a conference and try to work it out so you don't have to go to the judge. but obviously the temperature has gotten so hot, these guys are fighting with each other so much, the judge now has said sit down, hammer this stuff out before you come to me with motion practice. i think you have an angry federal judge saying figure it out yourself before you come to
me. >> this is avenatti reacting to done lemon, reacting to his conversation with michael cohen last evening. watch. >> it's moronic under the circumstances -- any attorney would tell a client not to be speaking to the press the day after the fbi executes three search warrants on your home and office. this is crazy, ludicrous. when i heard he spoke to don lemon, i didn't believe it until i saw done's report and lo and behold i believed don that it happened. it's beyond stupid. >> so, jennifer, the fact that michael cohen was on the phone with our friend here don lemon, saying he was respectful, frightened him, frightened him pore his family but avenatti calls him moronic for having this conversation with don. was it moronic? >> i think any lawyer would
counsel his client and in this position michael cohen is a client, not a lawyer, would say don't talk to the press, don't talk to anyone, let's go to ground for a little bit and see what we're facing. yes, i think moronic is strong but i think any lawyer would counsel that michael not speak to the press. >> the other piece of news we've been discussing and jeff zeleny can help us piece this together a news that dropped from the "new york times" the fact that all and part of this raid involving michael co kren earhe this week was also looking for evidence and related to -- and how it's related to we don't know yet, but that "access hollywood" tape that dropped before the month before the presidential election. >> this is very interesting. what it says to me is that the authorities, the prosecutors, are trying to get a better sense into what the exact role that michael cohen was playing in the trump campaign in the final days leading up to the election. it clearly -- that of course was a bombshell that came out in
october in 2016. seals li seems like a long time ago, of course. it seems like they were trying to piece together a bit of what was going on in those days leading up to the election. we didn't know at the time that michael cohen was the person leading the effort here for the hush money. he was writing the check of $130,000 through that illegal entity he set up. it seems to me they're trying to create more of a better sense of what was going on in those days, what michael cohen exactly was involved in. it certainly speaks to why the president may have been angry earlier this week when he found out about that. this was a dark period of his campaign. many people thought it would end his campaign. it didn't of course. michael cohen was working for the president -- mr. trump, before he became president. but it certainly signals to me they're isolating that period of time. we'll have to find out exactly what else they were looking for.
butch we but we do know it was a variety of things they were looking for, not simply this, the payment to stormy daniels and the other person as well there. so certainly one more piece of detail here, perhaps explaining why the president was so unglued the other day. >> paul, i haven't heard from you on this. reminding people when we talk about michael cohen, he's not just a lawyer. he's, like kaitlin was saying earlier, he's like the president's pit bull. the key line in this the "new york times" piece, it's not clear what role if any mr. cohen played, but the fact that they were seeking documents related to the tape is new information. >> he's been his right-hand man fixing problems that the president had, negotiating nondisclosure agreements with women who allege intimate relationships with the
president. how could he tie into the "access hollywood" tape, the billy on the bush tape -- >> billy on the bus. >> yes. the president was saying that's not his voice on the tape, that the tape was tampered with. >> even though he apologized. >> he did subsequently apologize. i'm wondering did michael cohen get involved with some negotiations relating to that tape. there's got to be something there. if that tape is specifically mentioned in the federal search warrant, that means a federal judge heard evidence and had probable cause that something related to that tape was criminal in nature. now, it's totally speculative at this point but obviously it has something to do with cohen's role as a possible fixer for the
trump administration. >> you're nodding. >> well, i agree to some extent. i also think, though, that it meets a pattern. he has a pattern of these -- what ultimately are campaign finance violations, giving benefits to the campaign, with the stormy daniels silence, the karen mcdougal silence. it didn't succeed here because the tape came out but maybe this is a plan for evidence of a similar pattern of activity or conspiracy to violate campaign laws or something like that. >> stand by. the white house will certainly be asked about these developments. also ahead, russia responding to president trump's taunt over twitter. trump saying "get ready," his words, "missiles are coming." the president catching enemies and allies off guard with that comment. did trump just break his own rule by telegraphing next military moves? and is a u.s. attack on syria
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we are back as we wait for the start of today's white house press briefing, the president taunting russia and syria today, telling them to get ready for missiles. more specifically, quote, nice, new and smart missiles" after the alleged chemical attack in syria. the defense secretary meeting with the president oaf at tver white
house. here what's james mattis said earlier today.
>> have you seen evidence of a chemical attack? >> we're still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and allies, we're still working on this. >> reporter: is the u.s. military ready for a retaliatory strike if ordered? >> we stand ready to provide military options if they're appropriate as the president determines. but thanks you very much, ladies and gentlemen. >> let
go straight to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr there and just hearing from the defense secretary. weep know the pentagon doesn't comment on future military action, but what are they all thinking? what are they all sharing with you on the way the president dropped all of this on twitter? >> that was our own ryan brown getting that information out of the defense secretary earlier today and really honing in on the fact that apparently when this tweet came from the president early this morning, it caught everyone, including the pentagon, by a bit of surprise because a decision hasn't been made. that's what mattis is telling us, final decision not made. we do know that they are working on it. we know that they are working on
fine tuning options and being able to present them to the white house to president trump for decision. so the president saying that smart missiles are going to be used, that's pretty interesting. and that shows a lot of his hand to vladimir putin. these would be tomahawk cruise missiles most likely being fired out of the mediterranean and it gives the russians an idea where to focus their anti-air, their radars and their own missiles and syrian missiles that could shoot down any incoming missiles. what's most fascinating, of course, is the political statement that the president is making because this is the guy who for years has said he doesn't telegraph his moves to the enemy and there he is bright and early this morning tweeting out that smart missiles are going to be used. the russians took it all in. they know exactly what the president is referring to, brook. >> barbara starr, thank you, at the pentagon.
let's talk to fareed zakaria. does this not take it to a different level? barbara was talking about the specific level to smart missiles and the fact that he's taunting war on twitter. >> it does take it to a new level and does suggest a kind of lack of discipline even on something as serious as war and peace. but it obscures the kind of larger issue, which is that we still don't have a syria policy. we still don't know what we are doing in that country. our policy seems to be a kind of series of reflexes, and trump in a way exacerbates that problem because all he has are reflexes. he might want to sit down and ask himself what exactly is the goal, what is the strategy here? what will even 50 missiles do? how will it change the balance of power? none of these questions are being asked. we're going to have presumably
this show of force that will make us feel good -- i'm not saying i'm opposed to it. if it were part of a larger strategy, it would make sense. assad is clearly in control. we don't have a force that can topple him so what are we doing there. >> a year ago, syrian missiles -- do you think any of this bellicose rhetoric via twitter is scaring assad or putin at all? >> no. assad has now won. he has consolidated power, the possibility of regime change is very small, they are entrenched now. what is the strategy? is there a strategy for a diplomatic settlement that will bring peace and stability and maybe provide some aid and
assistance to some people outside of assad's area? is it to try to topple assad? maybe you have to do something to demonstrate that this violation of this international norm is unacceptable, but it sure feels like it's a reflex in search of a policy. >> it's not like the u.s. is acting unilaterally over there. it a u.s.-led coalition. the fact that the president not on surprised some of his own aides with these tweets but surprised u.s. allies as well. from the allies' perspective, why should they trust the u.s.? >> it not even about trusting. it hard for them to understand what the american strategy is? what are they signing themselves up for? they would all be happy to do a one-shot punitive deal that is frankly not very costly for the
united states either. it's always struck me, this goes beyond trump, this was true for president obama as well. the russians have a strategy in syria. their strategy was to support assad, to ensure he is not toppled, to widen his area of control. they put their resources behind that, that's what they achieved. we don't have a strategy. we're against assad, we're against isis, we're against al qaeda. we're against everybody. what are we trying to achieve? until we can answer that question, it not ju tst the allies, nobody knows what we're doing. >> we just learned that benjamin netanyahu told putin it will not allow iran to have military presence in syria. iran was at t-4, which is where the strikes -- >> iran already has a military presence in syria, probably has the most entrenched land presence there. it's iranian militias that have won many of the battles, consolidated power for assad.
the israelis are nervous are there and trying to demonstrate they don't like it. here's the problem. israel and the united states are trying to intervene in syria from the air. there's only so much cuff do from t -- you can do from the air. you can punish, use missiles. the iranians are on the ground. they have political allies in shiite forces. they're playing the long game. we're sitting there 30,000 miles -- feet in the sky dropping a few bombs here and there and then waiting for when the dust settles, the iranians are still on the ground. >> thank you very much. breaking news on two front regarding trump's attorney here, michael cohen. a judge ordering him to work out his differences with stormy
more breaking news involving the fbi raid on president trump's personal lawyer michael cohen earlier this week, all appare apparently involving that "access hollywood" tape. they're seeking records to see what if any role he played in that. the other breaking news involves a federal judge in california and the whole stormy daniels case. judge otero has ordered attorneys on both sides to meet to work out their differences, in legal talk it's referred to as a meet and confer.
so sarah sidner has been following this story. the notion of getting all these attorneys together in the same room, we've seen it on national television and the judge is saying work it out! >> he's saying i am ordering you to come together. you haven't done the one thing i've asked to you do. now i'm ordering you to come together, figure out what all the substantive and procedural issues are that you want us to tackle, that you want the court to tackle. he said, look, before you file another motion, you better have both signed on. so this is to all the attorneys involved, stormy daniels' attorney, michael cohen's attorneys, donald trump's attorney, stop filing all these motions, come together as what normally happens in the normal process of the court and work out the substantive details that you want us to tackle instead of
doing all these filings. it seems like and according to some of the attorneys i've spoke to who have been before judge t otero in california, it seems as if he's throwing the gauntlet down and saying i need to you do your legal due diligence so we can get this done and the court tonight have to deal with all this back and forth, seemingly talking about all the motions sent to him that were not agreed upon by either party. >> we'll get into the raids in just a second. on this note, we know that team trump want to keep it quiet through arbitration. avenatti has been out there nonstop and wants to drag this thing out publicly. how do you see this whole thing going down? >> avenatti has been playing his hand to advice advantahis advan brilliantly at every move. this is working.
>> so on the raids, the piece from the "new york times" is they were reporting that they were looking for any sort of records pertaining to that now infamous grab them by the you know what tape. you make this fascinating point, which is this was all the new york district attorney, right? >> southern district of new york, the united states attorney for the southern district of new york. >> but it's possible whatever they find on cohen could be used against him, could help mueller as leverage. explain why. >> i've been saying for a while now that as salacious as the details of the stormy daniels alleged affair are, the really interesting legal aspect is the way that it could intersect in the mueller probe in really interesting ways. you mentioned correctly, this was a referral from special counsel's office robert mueller to the sdny.
they executed the search warrant. but that doesn't mean they can't share the information that they receive with mueller. and the issue here is that mueller can then use that as leverage. michael cohen knows where the proverbial bodies are buried in world trump for the past decade. he has a lot of very valuable information for the special counsel and they're going to be very interested in that. if robert mueller can use the threat of a criminal indictment, hang that over the head of michael cohen, he's going to have a lot of pressure on him, he may flip. this is a tried and true aspect of criminal prosecutions. prosecutors do this all the time and it works, it works. >> even someone who has been in trump orbit forever and has been loyal, loyal, loyal. >> he's been loyal to a "t" but as avenatti says, it's one thing saying you'll take a bullet for someone but it's another thing
when the gun is locked and loaded. he flipped gates, flynn and it's exactly what he's trying to do with manafort and i think it's going to work. >> so interesting. we're waiting for the white house briefing to begin any moment now. has president trump made a decision on whether the u.s. will be striking syria in the wake of the chemical attack, what we learned behind the scenes at the white house and all this growing speculation that trump is looking to fire the special counsel or the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. stay right here. my car smells good.
what more are you warning? >> as i said, the president was speaking in general terms about the idea that he's made some kind of decision that he wants to retaliate. although he's received many braefi briefings from his top commander and the pentagon has supplied him with options, officials tell us he has not made up his mind what kind of action he would do when he made that tweet this morning. defense secretary jim mattis said as much earlier this morning saying they haven't fully assessed the intelligence that would conclusively prove that the assad regime was responsible. they're working on that, but that the pentagon stand ready to supply the president with options as he asked for. the state department spokesman for her part, though, just really called out the syrian regime on twitter, although she said that the attack in do you mean -- douma, will be
investigated. she's pointed to the assad regi regime's history of use of chemical weapon and their bar r barberism. >> and your reaction on this whole notion of taunting, teasing war, the president's tweet today, anna navarro. >> i'm reminded way back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, one. things that donald trump honed in on was barack obama telegraphing what we were going to do in syria and telegraphing our enemies and our foes what we were going to do. that's precisely what we are doing right now harkes he , wha
doing right now. it's one more inconsistency of what trump says and what trump does. and it's not something we should look at in a vacuum. in the midst of everything that's going on in washington, all the firings and hirings, the revolving door that is this administration, it just adds to this narrative and this feeling of chaos and unruliness and disorganization and not single from the same hymnal. the entire thing seems like a hot mess. >> she says hot mess. doug, how do you see it? >> there is a lot of hot mess there. i almost hope that donald trump is telegraphing. a lot of republicans like myself were very critical of president obama for making a red line, drawing it in the sand and then ignoring it. when i worked in the house of representatives, we backed the president on an authorization of
military force with statements from then speaking boehner and majority leader kanter that the president walked away from. if there is a red line out there at all, it's bombs are coming. now that he said that, this has to now be the red line. i'd support such an action. if he says bombs are coming and they do not, it means no one in the world, in the diplomacy stage is going to listen to anything the president says. he has to follow through now. >> stay with me. breaking news involving president trump's personal attorney, michael cohen, when they raided his home and office earlier in the week. more on that next. ♪ let's fly, let's fly away ♪ ♪ just say the words ♪ and we'll beat the birds down to acapulco bay ♪
the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein in an effort to actually rein in mueller and the scope of his probe. now we heard from republican congressman mark meadows who said this -- >> it's members of congress who have a bigger problem with rod rosenstein, myself included, that he's not giving us the documents and he's not doing his job. and if he's not going to do the job, he needs to go and find one that he will do. and so the frustration with the a.g. and the deputy a.g. is probably more a focus of congress and it probably makes the president's dissatisfaction pale -- >> should you hold them in contempt? >> absolutely. they have not complied with the subpoena. they should be held in contempt. >> so you heard him, doug heye.
where are republicans? they're all back up on the hill. which way are they going to go? >> i think a lot of them don't want to jump in on this. that's why we've seen the loud voices be very loud and the quiet voices not only be quiet but sometimes put on their track shoes to run away from it. >> isn't that a problem? >> sure it's a problem. it's reflected in the congressional districts they run in. if donald trump is 87% approval by primary voters, that is mark meadow's district and that's what they face when they go back home. that's who they hear from. they don't want to cross their voters as much as they don't want to cross the president. that's why you don't hear so much. >> ana, we know republican leaders are having dinner with the president tonight and the number two republican in the senate has actually said today he will not bring up any potential firings, ala
mueller/rosenstein. to that you say what? >> i think it's irresponsible. i think john cornyn is a very responsible person and he understands the laws on capitol hill. they're running away from the issue and they're going to be thrown into the issue. if donald trump fires rosenstein and aims for mueller, what we're going to see in this country is massive walkouts, we're going to see massive protests, a constitutional crisis and see republicans pay an even higher price in the polls come november. so i don't understand -- for the life of my i don't understand why instead of spending all the time they do on sunday shows and cable shows warning donald trump not to take action against mueller, they don't pass the legislation that has been drafted and in front of them for months now, the graham/booker legislation, bipartisan legislation to give an added layer of protection to mueller being fired for in real cause
because donald trump is throwing a tantrum and doesn't like the fact that he's stepping on his toes. if republicans are serious about warning donald trump, then take the next step. pass legislation. move on that. do i think donald trump would sign legislation? no. but it would send a very clear message to donald trump we are serious, we're not just, you know, doing empty talking, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. if you are donald trump right now, you think there is no cost to pay from republicans for doing anything, for firing mueller, for firing comey, for firing anybody because for the last 18 months republicans have been talking and talking and talking but really not extolling any costs from trump when he abuses his power. and that's why republicans need to be more serious about this, to prevent a constitutional crisis and to prevent an even further and greater election crisis for themselves. it is self-preservation what
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♪ most people come to la with big dreams. ♪ we came with big appetites. with expedia, you could book a flight, hotel, car, and activity all in one place. ♪ any moment now the white house briefing will begin. and as we have breaking news on several fronts here on this wednesday afternoon, let me bring in dana bash and anna navarro to hang with me as we wait for the briefing. and dana, i want to hear from you on the news from "the new york times" where they have learned -- the fbi agents who raided the hotel and home and
office of the president's personal attorney michael cohen this week, they were looking also -- who knows what they were looking for. but what we do know is that part of that was any sort of records relating to the "access hollywood" tape that dropped a month before the election. so just take a moment and remind everyone the context of that october 2016 when this thing came out. >> well, it was of course a huge bombshell right before or not long before election day for -- we all remember seeing the bus and hearing those words from the now president talking about what he would do to women and at the time many people around him and i think it is fair to say most people around him and certainly in the republican sort of world said he was done. and that he should -- even some people said he should step down and at the end of the day, not only was he not done, he won.
and so that is the context and the sort of lent through which the president now sees his ability to overcome things like this. this was just talk as far as we know. what the search warrant shows and cnn has been able to confirm much of what the "times" is reporting, that it is not just the talk, it is the actions that the president had engaged in. and much more importantly, the potential cover-up and how michael cohen is involved in that and what documentsond communications and anything else that he might have to go along with that. why would that matter? well it could be campaign violations or worse. it just -- we just don't know the answer to that. that is certainly the context of "access hollywood." >> the facts, anna navarro, that
this video back in the national conversation, does that -- how does that make you feel? >> too little, too late. look, every time i think back to that october and the release of those "access hollywood" tapes and it is interesting because as dana was speaking one of the republicans came out and said it is time for him to quit and i'm not going to be part of this was precisely paul ryan who made up with him and reconcile with him and work with him once he became elected. but every time this issue comes back up, i go back to thinking, i can't believe this guy was a nominee of my party. i can't believe christian evangelicals voted for this guy and i can't believe this guy got elected president with everything that he did. and if what we're reading into this is true, and that is an if, if what we are reading into this is true there was some effort to tamp those down and cover this up, it is amazing because it
means they were probably covering up karen mcdougal and stormy daniels and the "access hollywood" tapes and the three we know so far, basically in the same time frame. that is a lot of balls to be juggling at the same time in the middle of presidential campaign. and again, i just can't believe that the republican party that went so far and so hard against people like bill clinton for his issues and infidelity and lack of moral campus could then have embraced and even more so after he won, a guy like donald trump. and this reminds us of the person we elected. >> and the irony -- >> because i didn't vote for him. >> you didn't -- >> i'm just kidding -- >> the irony here is that if the trump orbit went to such great lengths to spend $130,000 to try to silence stormy daniels and
who knows what to do with other women, that this is actually a guy who probably could have still gotten the republican nomination and maybe even elected even with those women coming out. that perhaps those payoffs and the hush money didn't even need to be spent because he was viewed through such a different prism, even and especially by the evangelical conservative base and than anybody ever thought a politician of any ilk could. >> that is a big if. i think that it is a question that we're never going to get answered. >> no, he won't. >> and i don't know if the last part of the republican primary when maybe it was just him against ted cruz who is somebody that christian evangelicals trust, if they had been faced with the evidence we're seeing now and hearing him and seeing the -- the women come out, if they had been confronted with all of that, i'm not sure that
the outcome would have been the same. we really will never know the answer. >> no, we won't. >> -- the answer to that question. and it is part of the reason they went through these macinations for this cover aup. >> what is interesting to me and i want to put a button on it and if there is potential criminality with whatever they found in the raids, then could they use that as leverage over michael cohen to then get him to fold and actually start talking to bob mueller as it all eventually could come back around to that. i digress but there is news about the california governor jerry brown who will send the national guard troops along his state's border with mexico. but he said, he will not build the wall. so will send the men, but won't build the wall. what is the calculation here. >> i have to say i'm surprised. when we talked about the
president and the administration's decision to sort of federalize and send the national guard down to the border, the open question is what jerry brown the lone democratic governor would do and the only piece of -- the only data point that we had was him criticizing the texas governor for doing that on the same issue. the fact that jerry brown is saying he will send troops down just to fight crime and not to build the wall or round up children and women, gives you a sense of how powerful the argument of boarder security is, even for somebody as liberal as jerry brown, governing a largely blue state like california. >> anna, what do you think? >> i agree with dana. i think it talks to the -- to how effective donald trump is in shaping public opinion and influencing the narrative and what we are covering and talking about. he made such a big deal about
this caravan of migrants coming up from central america and it's really more of anything a symbolic kind of p.r. move by the migrants who want to talk about and want to bring light to the lack of rule of law and the human rights violations that occur in central america, the conditions they are fleeing from. i think there is probably less people in that caravan now than there are in a basketball team and yet we made them into this geopolitical foe that we had to move everything and everyone to the border to go protect from this impending threat that was about to come down on us and i think it talks about just how effective donald trump is in shaping public opinion even to the point of influencing somebody as liberal as jerry brown. >> ladies, thank you both so much. dana and anna, good to see you. we're going to send it to
washington and jake has a big interview. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> and welcome to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. we begin with a torrent of breaking news and the new york times dropping a major development on the raids on president trump's personal lawyer michael cohen reporting that fbi agents were seeking all records related to the infamous "access hollywood" tape, which i'm sure you remember and in which private citizen donald trump made vulgar comments about women to say the least. and today paul ryan announced he will not seek re-election and will leave congress in january, the 49-year-old ryan denneying to have anything to do with the current political climate calling it a personal decision and noting he's been in congress for two decades and he no longer wants to only see his wife and three children on sundays. that is at a critical time for the gop, a party in danger of