tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN April 12, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
former fbi director james comey on "the lead" definitely tune in to cnn. it's on his show next thursday at 4:00 eastern right here on cnn. and speaking of, let's send it to jake, "the lead" starts right now. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. a barrage of news this afternoon as president trump is trying to make a decision about whether or not to launch a military strike against the assad sere jeregimee russia investigation and breaking news that some allies of president trump preparing for him to fire the man who super vise it is mueller investigation. all while we're also learning more about president trump's friend the tabloid media king and his alleged efforts to keep potentially damaging information
about donald trump out of the newspaper. we have a team of reporters to bring you the latest information right now but i'm going to begin with cnn's pamela brown at the white house. pamela, secretary of defense mattis is there right now at the white house along with other members of president trump's national security team. when do you think we're going to know the president's decision about potential use of force in syria? >> reporter: it's tough to say when a decision will be made. the president giving conflicted messages. he said today a decision would happen soon, the beginning of the weekend he said a major decision within 48 hours. this time frame passed an enthen on twitter backtracked from previous tweets saying attack on syria could be soon or not soon at all. as you recall, he tweeted yesterday missiles will be coming. the president appeared to get ahead of the administration with that tweet yesterday. the defense secretary mattis told members of congress no decision was made and while he
believes the chemical attack occurred they're still seeking evidence. by contrast, british prime minister may said just moments ago, jake, that it's highly likely the assad regime carried out the attack in syria and the french president said there's proof that chemical weapons or chlorine was used. the syrian airbase continued to operate in the wake of the missile attack and chemical attacks continued to happen. as the president meets with the national team, jake, today he appears to be focused on the special counsel investigation with the president tweeting today if i wanted the fire robert mueller in december as reported by the failing "the new york times" i would have fired him. now, sources tell us, jake, that the president often vented about firing mueller over the last few months only to be talked down by his own advisers.
the president also tweeted today i have agreed with the historically cooperative disciplined approach with robert mueller unlike the clintons. i have full confidence in ty cobb my special counsel and fully advised throughout each phase of this process. the president standing by his lawyer after the former adviser steve bannon said he was received poor advice of his lawyers and ty cobb should be fired. jake? >> pam will brown at the white house for us. president trump's pick to be america's top diplomat cia director mike pompeo asked about controversial decisions and nothing as surprising as the admission he was interviewed by chief counsel robert mueller. jim, this illustrates if nothing else just how many people in the president's inner circle are part of this probe. >> no question. mike pompeo, his position as director of cia meant that he was often briefing the president
on intelligence and that relationship, the president enjoyed those briefings, he liked the way mike pompeo delivered that intelligence and added to the relationship and then, of course, now he's been chosen as the secretary of state. now we know that one of those closest, most senior advisers is -- has been interviewed as part of the broader russia investigation. >> i spoke with special counsel mueller who requested an investigation. i cooperated. >> what was the subject? >> i won't speak to that. >> did the special counsel tell you not to speak about these things? >> knorr, i have cooperated with multiple investigations while the investigation continues, i think that's the appropriate way to approach it. >> he clearly did not have a lot of appetite there, jake, to talk about that hiding behind you might say the secrecy of the investigation and clear that one subject likely for the special counsel interest in is meeting in the oval office where the president spoke to both pompeo and the dni dan coats about
influencing james comey on the michael flynn investigation. >> and, jim, while this hearing's going on, there's a lot of speculation and concern amongst both democrats and republicans that any day president trump might fire special counsel mueller and/or his supervisor deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. director pompeo address that today? >> he did, clearly did not want to talk about the subject on the mueller investigation and the possibility of rosenstein's firing but he did give a straight and clear answer on this. have a listen. >> my instincts tell me, no. my instincts tell me that my obligation to continue to serve as america's senior diplomat will be more important at increased times of political domestic turmoil. >> i should be clear. the no he was talking about there was whether he would resign if the president were to fire mueller or rosenstein and said as you heard, jake, no, he would stay in the administration. >> all right, jim, thanks so
much. more breaking news at the white house now and the president's ongoing battle with his own justice department. we are learning that the white house is preparing talking points to discredit deputy attorney general rod risen stein. this comes just howevers after rosenstein met with president trump earlier today, talking -- told about routine business. i want to bring in sarah murray breaking the story. tell us about the talking points. >> reporter: jake, we haven't seen a completed version because according to the sources we spoke to familiar with it it sounds like they might be in the preliminary phases. it seems like the white house appears to be laying the groundwork that if the president decides to fire his deputy attorney general rod rosenstein and we know is something he's been considering in recent days they could have made the case or have had their surrogates make that the case that the president has good reason to do so and officials in the white house spoke on the allies saying that they believe rosenstein is conflicted coming to overseeing the russia investigation, he was
a witness to the comey firing because he helped prepare a memo that president trump said he relied on in deciding to fire james comey and some inside the white house believe that rod rosenstein and james comey were good friends and that the reason that rod rosenstein approved sort of an expansion of this investigation as a rebuke for comey's firing. now, it's worth noting plenty of president's allies out there publicly not at the behest of the white house encouraging president trump to fire rod rosenstein. he's not taken that step to do so. as for the white house they declined to comment. >> thank you so much. let's talk about this with the panel. cnn legal analyst sarah coats and official phil muds. phil, it seems like the white house is doing everything it can to avoid president trump firing rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general but they are also laying the groundwork in case he does it. >> i mean, we haven't considered -- people think it's
a one-shot deal. what's the attorney general do under that circumstance? the congress under that circumstance? i think one of the issues here is not whether you take him out and the same thing happened firing comey. the second-order consequence is chess pieces start to move. a final point, as the attorney general and your deputy fired without your consideration, you've got to figure out how to stay here if i can't run my department and the questions the white house would have to answer. >> if i'm rosenstein and heard the news that the white house is preparing talking points, because they have been told to get ready because it's going to happen, i'd be concerned. >> he should be but of course everyone in the president's cabinet should be concerned that their days are numbered. the white house is disturbed by the smear campaign to prepare talking points of a smear campaign about somebody who leads a charge in the court of law. sounds ironic and odd to me. as phil was talking about, you have a notion it is not going to
stop if you suddenly derail or take out rod rosenstein. mueller's team is farming out -- >> southern district of new york. >> or the new york attorney general's office, they have been able to farm out enough to function almost autonomously even if his oversight is somehow compromised so it really is putting a grill cover in a hurricane on the grill. doesn't make sense and sure reflexively it makes them feel good. >> you talk about the secondary effects. the secondary effect of president trump firing james comey who we're interviewing in a week is bob mueller and i don't think it's tough to argue that he's -- that's a tougher person to be doing this. comey as the fbi director was subjected to more political pressure and perhaps more control at the justice department is one argument. than mueller is. do you buy that argument? >> i buy that. i take it one step further.
we are in a different place. the cia documents investigations. the investigation's been around for a long time before a year and mueller. every interview, every financial record, every phone record is documented. every interview with, for example, the cia director saying he's interviewed on a piece of paper. that's a 302. even if they try to move now, that electronic documentation is going nowhere and that investigation will continue. i guarantee it. >> be clear. when you talk about whether or not rosenstein is compromised because he wrote a letter saying why you think james comey should be fired and that may play a part in the obstruction case, the end game of a prosecutor is not the speeding ticket on the way from the scene of the crime. that's obstruction. it is the underlying offense you were trying to impede progress about uncovering. if that's the only basis for mueller's investigation all this time we would be surprised so the idea that he would be fatally compromised based on the letter is odd. >> this came up during pompeo's
confirmation hearings today. i want to begin with the testimony as relates to a march 2017 conversation in which president trump reportedly asked dni director of national intelligence coats to get james comey to back off investigating flynn. take a listen. >> did he ask you to do anything as it relates to that investigation? >> senator, i don't recall. i don't recall what he asked me that day. precisely. but i have to tell you, i'm -- with the president an awful lot and never asked me to do anything that i considered remotely improper. >> what do you think? you buy it? >> i'm -- i do. i think he's an honorable man. i don't know how you say he's never asked me to do anything improper but i don't remember anything that day. >> contradiction. >> little bit. there's another piece of this you're not seeing. special counsel looking at that particular meeting there's a lot of people with ears on that meeting. they all have a story from that meeting. maybe some of them took notes.
regardless there may be people who remember his role in that meeting and when he's interviewed by the special counsel to stick to the script and probably have the story of what happened in that room. >> were you surprised when you found that pompeo interviewed not just by the fbi as part of the mueller investigation but by special counsel muler? >> i was surprised that the head honcho did the interview in that case and not somebody in the room and that is a lead pursuing interviewed in this case but it does indicate shock to people unwilling to anything that happened at that and potentially at liberty in a way to talk about what was investigated and interviewed there and people interviewed by mueller's team at least have been forthcoming about at least the categories of information so it's odd he wouldn't have said anything and you have somebody who's interviewed and presumably not a subject or target of the investigation otherwise him in front of the senate getting a confirmation hearing would be particularly odd given he may be down the line.
it says that he is not and may be clear in that respect and why not say anything? >> russia hawks are happy about pompeo going to the state department. they think that he is more hawkish than tillerson was. and, in fact, pompeo said today he doesn't think putin's gotten the message yet about election meddling. what do you think as somebody -- i -- is it fair to call you a russia hawk? >> i think so. >> a little bit, yeah. >> this is a curious moment in american history. a quick snapshot. the way the president works, russia hacking, decides in consultation with advisers what to do and trickles down. we have a unique presidency whether it's transgender policy at the pentagon, talking to north koreans months ago and the secretary of state talking about diplomatic contacts, whether it's the issue of the russians, the cabinet seems to move out and do whatever the heck they want, the president is saying something and the cabinet setting policy without the president driving policy down.
i can't remember ever seeing this. >> it is rather unusual. stick around. we have more to talk about. a tabloid pays the doorman at a trump building $30,000 for salacious gossip and then spikes the story and the doorman just said he stands by what he said. stay with us. surpri-- hold up. hold up. we got a laggy video call here. you need verizon, the best network for streaming. trade ya. okay, people, that's a reset. let's take it back from "supri--" (avo) get up to 50% off our best phones. because unlimited is only as good as the network it's on. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian,
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tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. want more proof? ask your rheumatologist about humira. what's your body of proof? breaking news in the politics lead. the doorman reportedly paid to keep quiet about a salacious and unproven story of president trump faring a child out of wedlock. standing by the claim "the new yorker" magazine reports in late 2015 "the national enquirer" parent company paid $30,000 for the rights of the story and then spike it and catch and kill. they say they couldn't confirm the story. cnn's athena jones joins us live. he said he stands by the story. what does the statement say?
>> reporter: hi, jake. here's what he says. he says i was instructed not to criticize president trump's former housekeeper due to a prior relationship she had with president trump which produced a child. did allies of president trump engage in a pattern of payoffs to protect him? that's what several media outlets and "new york" suggest pointing to a deal that "national enquirer" parent company instructed a doorman to be paid $30,000 for a story of an unproven rumor about trump. peddling a story of an alleged affair with an employee with whom he fared a daughter. there's nothing to indicate that claim is true. "the new yorker's" reports ami bought the story in late 2015 and then buried it. >> it is about the most powerful people in the country having the ability to silence and change the news narrative at will. i think that the public should know that. >> reporter: he said 30 moneys
after they contacted ami about the deal wednesday, one of the company's other publications radar online published a story that included a memo about the arrangement and e-mail and a polygraph report which states that he took a lie detector test and passed it and concluded the story was not true and didn't publish it, the deal of $11 million penalty to share the account without permission. the personal trump attorney was in contact. >> we do report that michael cohen according to multiple individuals involved in this story was making regular calls. >> reporter: ami categorically denies cohen or trump had anything to do with the decision not to pursue the story. ami and mr. pecker deny any suggestion that there might have been any partnership created which might influence any business ties in regard to ami. the claimings are reckless, unsub stan yated and false.
after paying mcdougal $150,000 for details on the alleged affair with trump in 2006. >> so we were together ten months before i chose to end it. >> reporter: white house aides deny the relationship and said the claims are completely false. >> and one more thing about that $1 million penalty. the source who's seen the contract between them tells my colleague the legal team is now looking into whether or not ami could also face having to pay the same $1 million penalty to the company breached the agreement. >> thank you. my panel with me. laura, "the new yorker" quotes a white collar defense professor saying that the story is most interesting if you add up the statements to stormy daniels and karen mcdougall now looks like a pattern developing and maybe what the fbi was trying to find
evidence of with the search warrant. we use third-party adversaries. that's a shade away of the special counsel looking for intent on the obstruction of justice investigation. do you follow that? because i don't fully understand. >> the theme is two things. not a one-off but a three-off with a now pattern of behavior to pay somebody to keep information private. the second part of it, however, is why the special counsel or why the southern district of new york interested in this. it sounds salacious, unrelated to the russia probe. however, the theme is this. what the private citizen donald trump and his team did to silence behavior that made look bad is his prerogative as a private citizen. you have different stakes at here, campaign finances issues, you have other themes that emerge. bank fraud potentially. threatening behavior coming into the coercion.
all this is problematic for the candidate so if you're the team in charge of figuring out what you need and what information you're looking for those themes, whether the same type of intimidation or nefarious behavior is used now, the timing so significant of all these things. 11 days before the general election. mcdougall before that. new information of somebody hiding it from the public perhaps. "the access hollywood" tape about whether or not the president or his team in some way tried to suppress information in a coordinated attack. >> she is a former prosecutor. you are in the investigatory. is that one of the themes to look for patterns here? >> facts first and the facts don't start with an affair. the facts start with the federal violation you're worried about. are you worried about as laura suggested, protecting your
ability to run for president. is that a campaign contribution? a payment, yes or no? when was that payment done? do you have conversations, e-mails, anything else of why that payment was done? then stepping back and asking the second order question. let's look at the other cases of the same people involved, the same kind of engainment with the person to pay them off, the same kind of money figures involved and i want to know the facts here before i put it into a pattern. >> the head of the organization that owns all these tabloids a friend of president trump, been accused of this catch and kill. you buy the rights to these stories that make his friend donald trump look bad and then just never run them. he'll argue theoretically or in the statements, look, we looked into the statement and we didn't believe it and didn't print it. how can anybody in investigator or prosecutor think this is a campaign contribution and doing something, a favor for your friend? we don't buy your story. >> i think the most difficult
thing to prove in any case is intent. why were you doing something? when you determine the facts in the case, did money change hands, i want to see things like, timing. did it come at a time of people involved in the trump circle talking about the presidency or the midst of a campaign? saying to me in that circumstance, well, we did it as a favor and never considered that the president was actually going to be the president potentially, and that we might get something in return, i'd sit back and say, you can claim that but my grandma would say i'm dumb but not stupid. >> everybody stick aroundment coming up next inside the republican plot to discredit the fired fbi director james comey just as he begins to start talking about his book. and launching his tell-all book tour. stick around. people say
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director james comey. cnn has exclusive details of the white house and republican national committee campaign to attempt to discredit comey, including a website that launched today of lying comey.com. the attempt is to undermine comey as the former fbi director kicks off the book tour sunday. let's bring in jeff zeleny. how else is the white house preparing for this? >> reporter: bracing for what potential stories james comey has to tell about private interactions he had with the president at the beginning of the mfrgs. now, for all the talk of the well-orchestrated plan they're doing on behalf of the white house, there's one thing they can't control. and that's what the president does after he sees james comey on tv. president trump's allies are mounting a campaign to fight back against james comey. hoping to brand the former fbi director of two words. lying comey. through this website and digital
ads, republicans are trying to undermine comey's credibility kicking off a media blitz for the new tell-all memoir. republicans are turning to democrats. >> made a mistake. maybe he's not in the right job. >> reporter: reminding americans there's plenty for all sides to dislike about the former top law enforcement official. the irony of republicans using democrats to discredit comey underscores the political contradictions around the former fbi director who trump fired nearly a year ago. >> why did you fire director comey? >> because he doesn't doing good job. very simply. >> reporter: a decision that changed the presidency setting into motion the appointment of special counsel robert mueller to lead the russia investigation and that cloud over the white house and weighing on his presidency. the president is already thinking about the plan to combat comey turning to an informal adviser sean hannity of fox news. minutes later, hannity launching
a monologue about comey. >> tonight, comey is already in hot water after comparing the president to a mob boss. >> reporter: that's apparently how he described the president to abc's george stephanopoulos and the interview kicks off sunday. >> appalling analogy and remind comey what a real mob boss looks like and you would think he would understand that. >> reporter: the president didn't always think so poorly of comey. from this hand shake early in the administration to the glowinging words on the campaign trail when trump thought comey was on miss side. >> it took guts for director comey to make the move he made in light of the kind of opposition he had. >> reporter: less than four months after taking office, trump fired him. and it is that firing nearly a year ago that is a key part of any potential obstruction of justice investigation. that's why this matters now, jake. that's why the white house and the republican national committee pushing back so much
to undermine james comey. certainly an open question if their work here will change the minds of americans and trying to weigh in here. no question the president watching this book release out next week. of course, you will talk to him next week, as well, jake. >> a week from today. thank you, jeff zeleny at the white house. breaking news of what john kelly reportedly told james comey after president trump fired the fbi director. that's next. ♪ hey grandpa. hey, kid. really good to see you. you too. you tell grandma you were going fishing again? maybe. (vo) the best things in life keep going. that's why i got a subaru, too. love is out there. find it in a subaru crosstrek. you might or joints.hing for your heart... but do you take something for your brain.
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security called him in an emotional state saying he was sick over the ouster and quote intended to quit because he, quote, didn't want to work for dishonorable people. according to comey's account. the story was first reported by "the daily beast." oh boy. i don't want to sit in john kelly's office right now. >> i have yet to find a person who isn't directly being paid to support trump or benefit from his support who thinks that firing comey was a good idea, even if you look to people at breitbart that lend him support, at the very least unforced error and steve bannon said it's probably the most consequence thing that trump did. and yet they're out against comey calling him a liar, a leaker, you know, in this
funhouse world of republican national committee where somehow comey is a terrible person because he told the world about the hillary investigation which the rnc and donald trump used against her on the campaign trail. >> loved it. paul begala, if we could go back in time, the end of october 2016, comey's just come out and reopened the case into hillary clinton, and i was to tell you i can't explain how but the republican national committee and donald trump are going to launch a huge campaign against james comey in april 2018, you wouldn't believe me. >> exactly. james comey -- this is not just me. 538. propeller heads over there, the nerds, they say that it's probable that it was comey at the end intervening in the election that swung it to mr. trump now president trump. donald trump should give james comey flowers or candy or something. he, comey, made president president. mr. trump made mistakes and hillary but for the first time in modern or american history
fbi director twice weighed in attacking one of the kabd dates. both we now know under investigation. hillary cleared. trump under going. trashing my friend and my candidate -- i have no love for comey. that's a difference. he is not a liar. i don't know that he lied but the problem is he told the truth selectively attacking hillary clinton and not revealing that trump under investigation, too. >> it is going to be an interesting week next week with comey's first interview sunday night with george stephanopoulos. we have one with him live on thursday on "the lead" one week from today and i cannot imagine what president trump is going to do. >> yeah. i mean, we can -- a parallel might be the "fury and fire" book and the white house caught flat footed around that book. didn't have a real coordinated response. of course, the white house eventually did have a response. they nicknamed steve bannon
sloppy steve for the things in that book. we'll see. they have a coordinated rnc. you mentioned they might be better spent, you know, doing other things than putting up websites about jim comey, putting out digital ads, quoting max chien waters and her feelings of james comey. we'll see how it goes. this news of john kelly, you do wonder how that's landing at the white house, somebody who's, you know, kind of stature has declined over these last months isn't in the inner circle as much as he was before and consulted on the calls around staffing. so we'll see how this lands. does he have to come out and say something? all under the ruberic. >> you talk about lying comey, the name of the website. >> come up with another name. don't recycle that. >> sloppy steve is a good one. i mean, for a guy who's actually pretty good, little marco, at
these -- low-energy jeb. i don't think lying comey -- let's point out, also, as of march 1st the president made 2,436 false or misleading claims so this is almost as if he was like insulting comey for having an unusual hairstyle. that's like really? is that really the criticism you want to do? >> not new for trump or supporters but what's new and interesting is the preview of "the post" is an idea of where james comey is going. he is going all out. he is calling out the chief of staff saying he told me the president was dishonorable. he's going into this guns blazing taking names and, you know, we'll see where that goes. >> comey's problem is not voracity. he testified under oath for many hours and i don't think it was proved false or intentionally misleading. the problem in my eyes is bias
and -- >> you think he did that to hurt her? >> yes. >> purposely lying to hurt her? >> yes. let me be honest, yes. i listened in july when he first cleared her and the mission is to refer to the justice department four charges or should not charge. no reasonable prosecutor, his phrase, to prosecute this case. he is not supposed to call a press conference and attack a candidate for president. why do you think he attacked her? not because he liked her. >> could it be he was under pressure from then attorney general lynch saying clear this, call it a matter, not an investigation and he was trying to toe the line? >> i think loretta lynch -- i don't think he sent her out to attack a candidate for president. >> james comey will sit down with me for his first cable news interview since being fired by president trump and you can see it right here live next thursday at 4:00 p.m. eastern. coming up, a republican governor
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embattled missouri governor taking a page from president trump's playbook and decrying a quote witch hunt. >> this is a political witch hunt. this is exactly like what's happening with the witch hunts in washington, d.c. smearing, lying and attacking people who want to change how things are done is wrong in washington and it's wrong in
missouri. >> a report filed last night by the republican controlled legislature says that a witness that the legislature deemed credible is accusing the governor of subjecting her to nonconsensual sexual activity and violence and said he took a photo of her and threatened to blackmail her with it. she also say that is he coarsed her into oral sex while she wept uncontrollably and said he slapped her after asking about other sexual partners and her husband. he calls it a witch hunt. back with the panel. first of all, just this is sending out shock waves in missouri politics. so far, calls for him to resign have come from the democratic senator clair mccass kill, republican congresswoman wagner. senator blunt part of leadership has not said that he said that
the legal process to play out. i don't know if it's a coincidence now, only one of people not on the ballot in november. >> yeah. that could be the reason why. josh also running against clair mccaskill said he should resign. hard to see how he survives this. he'll go on trial i think next month, invasion of privacy charge related to an incident. you talk to, you know, he was someone who had great potential, good looking guy, navy s.e.a.l., duke graduate and oxford i think. a proud father and proud husband and now all of these revelations and allegations come out. he says it's a witch hunt. if it is, it's led by members of his own party. right? i mean, missouri is controlled by republicans. in both houses. and they're the ones who put out the 24-page report detailing very salacious allegation that is you imagine to break through to the public there because they're so easy to understand.
>> it is not just the word witch hunt he is using that's reminiscent of what -- of how president trump deals with his scandals. he is denying everything. attacking his accusers. and just staying the course with no indication that he's going to bow out. this seems to be a kind of model, a trump precedent. roy moore attempted to do it. didn't work out so well for him and stayed in the race even after these debilitating charges against him. now we have governor graden doing it. >> as the person accused in this case, the governor and other cases donald trump does this, there's blowback on other republicans and could extend this scenario out. when republicans are confronted with wrongdoing by another republican colleague, must the bar be criminal violations, found guilty in court to speak out? i mean, why isn't senator blunt saying the same thing the republican attorney general can say in the state? i mean, republicans in the state have produced this report
signed off on it saying moving towards impeachment. so i don't understand why the bar is criminality when violations of morality are so clear. >> i mean, compare how democrats in the senate handled the accusations against al franken. >> that's what i was going to say. >> serious and nothing like this. >> not at all criminal. >> compared to roy blubt doing with graden. >> maybe he's watching senator franken who said, really, i took an inappropriate picture pretending to touch a woman who was wearing a flack jacket asleep. very sophomoric picture. this is sworn testimony of astonishing criminal and vile acts. and yet, he's just stonewalling. franken said i'm sorry. i've kind of been boorish at times. that's not how i remembered it. he was apologetic and the party threw him out. his own party tossed him out and
maybe blunt is saying if i deny everything -- not blunt. graden saying if i deny everything, admit nothing. these are serious criminals. president trump and stormy daniels accused of a consensual affair and denies it. nothing compared to this. >> he's also being accused by association and we have yet to see evidence of this but of intimidating stormy daniels, stephanie clifford. >> right. >> with remember he said a thug that approached her years ago before he was running for president or anything like that. and said, you shouldn't talk about -- you shouldn't talk about this vague threat to her regarding her daughter. let's talk about for a second if we can the scandal of american media, the parent company of "the national enquirer" and a story about the company spending money on a charge they say with no credibility that with this doorman saying that the president and again, there's no evidence of this that i know of,
the president fared a child out of wedlock and the idea once again, david pecker and american media, paying somebody for a story that never saw the light of day. >> right. that's what happened with karen mcdougall on the air talking about this, said she had an affair with donald trump while he was married to melania and american media basically stepping in offering her all sorts of things, a column. nothing ever happened. and essentially suppressing her story and the question is whether or not these represent in kind campaign contributions. i mean, that's one of the things probably the fbi is interested in. not only with the karen case and then this other case that was uncovered allegations that this doorman was paid as well. and the other question is, are there more cases? is this sort of a you teen of people in trump's orbit to hand out cash to keep secrets of
trump's personal life. >> third party beneficiary of a lot of actions. right? david pecker and american media twice accused of paying women or a guy and a woman of -- to quiet the stories. michael cohen accused of paying stormy daniels. the whole russian attack on our election. he was the beneficiary of saying i didn't participate in it in any way and things happen that benefit donald trump that other people do for him and he never knows about it. >> some people are lucky. we have lots more to talk about. who will be appointed with the president trump nickname next? stay with us. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job.
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i think consensus that lying comey isn't really up to snuff. the people are not impressed with that nickname, mr. president. get back to the drawing board on that. follow me on facebook and twitter. tweet the show. that's it for "the lead." now wolf blitzer in qult t"the situation room." thank you for watching. happening now, breaking news, undermining rosenstein. a cnn exclusive, the white house is preparing talking points for its allies to undermine the man overseeing the russia investigation, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. will trump, president trump raise the stakes dramatically and fire him? disciplined approach. corrupt as a witch hunt, president trump tweets he agrees with what he calls the legal team's cooperative approach to the special counsel. what kind of signal is he sending to robert