tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN April 12, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
a president who is unethical and untethered to truth. the words of fbi director james comey by way of "new york times" tonight. on the table his new book leak leaking out and he has much to say about the presidency. and nuts about robert mueller. what could be the last word. breaking news about the stormy daniels case way the president's attorney is seeking a delay. michael avenatti joins us with that. we begin with the comey memoir and the window into what makes the president tick and what keeps him up at night. jim sciutto has been going over the excerpts joins with us more. what does he say about how the president runs the white house. >> he says he runs it like a mob
family. s in based on the "washington post" excerpts. he describes a cocoon of alternative reality that he was busily wrapping around all of us. he describes him in blun terms as a conjentle liar and unethical leader, devoid of human emotion. driven by personal ooeg. according to the excerpts comey likens interaction was the president, as i said to flash backs to earlier career as a prosecutor against the mob. the silent circle of ascent, the boss in complete control, the loyalty oaths, the uses versus them world view, the lying about all things large and small. really remarkable words there. and the result the post-says comey writes in the books is the forest fire that is the trump presidency. the line, anderson, about likening it to a mob family or mob boss is one of the most striking i saw in there. >> there are a lot of personal
observations of president trump in the book as well. >> that's right. comey making very particular observations about his appearance. he writes that when he met trump at a preinauguration intelligence briefing, the 6'3" president elect looked shorter comey said than he did on television. his face appeared slightly orange with bright white half moons we where he placed tanning goggles. and his hair appeared to be all his. the post-also observed the president's hands often a topic of discussion. he writes quote as he extended his hand i check the size. it was smaller than mine but did not seem unusually so. i mean, kind of unusual there you have the former fbi director look looking at all the things that something have been water cooler talk size of tans, tan, is it his hair, comey making his own interrogations in person
there. >> yeah you can't help but feel it's a personal poke at the president there. >> yes. >> comey writs about speaking to president obama about how he handled the investigation to hillary clinton's emails before the election. >> yeah, and this is clearly something that sits with him. he wrote that he met with president obama in late november 2016 of course after the election. and that obama said to him, quote i picked you to be fbi director because of your integrity and ability. i want you to know that nothing -- nothing has happened in the last year to change my view. remember, comey was widely criticized for how he handle the investigation. hillary clinton herself and many of her supporters blame him almost outright for her loss. and he describes it in the book that he got tearful when president obama in effect you might say let him off for that saying there was nothing he did to disappoint him. >> comey writes about the president's reaction to the dossier conspired by former
british intelligence officers. >> that's right, of course the dossier the president has and continues to dismiss as made up. according to the "washington post" excerpts comey writes that trump wanted him to investigate the more salacious allegations in the dossier. comey writes, quote, he brought up what he called the golden showers thing adding it bothered him if there was a one% chance his wife malennia thought it was true. the paper goes on to say that comey wrote in an apparent play for sympathy trump said that he has a beautiful wife and the whole thing has been very painful for her. he asked what we could do to lift the cloud? of course the larger issue of the president in effect using the fbi to investigate a claim he claims is false to please his wife, just shows you the way he looks at law enforcement, the president. >> come did write about john kelly's alleged reaction to comey's firing. >> yes and this you can certain is sparking a storm particularly
if the president is watching now or reads this he says at the time of comey's firing john kelly who of course then the secretary for homeland security, the "washington post" says comey wrote quote he said he was sick about my firing and that he intended to quit in protest he said he didn't want to work for dishonorable people who would treat someone like me in such a manner. and end quote. comey reportedly went on to say that he urged kelly not to quit because quote the country needed principled people around the president. that's many months aigt. john kelly did not quit he went on to be chief of staff. remarkable use of terms there. dishonorable people which seemed to include the president. >> obviously more to come in the days ahead. jim, thank you very much. reaction from someone who like james comey spent years daerkds in the former cia director. michael hayden he is a cnn national security analyst. i'm not sure where to begin. but according to comey the president wanted the fisher to investigate the salacious
allegation to prove it was a lie, give the information to his wife. is that a proper use of law enforcement resources? >> no. of course not. and it indicates something which director comey and i think a lot of folks like me have troubles with regard to the current president in that he does not seem to be governed by the norms that have routinely governed the office. it's hard for me to imagine other presidents making that kind of request to the director of the fbi. i mean, that's the nation's law enforcement agency over here. it's not designed to do what it was the president asked him to do. >> in comey's book, according to the "washington post" he writes then president-elect trump were briefed on the russian meddling and had no question about the future russian threat. rather brain stormed immediately how to spin what we just told them for the public. >> yeah. that's one of the truths that i think jim points out in the book. and again anderson i have not read it but i have seen
excerpts. and this obsession with self, in tendency to look at the world through the singular lens how it affects the personality, the person, the individual of the president, i think we have seen throughout the administration -- and i think that's something that jim points out that i think is of great value that something we have to reflect on. so he gets -- he gets what is essentially a threat briefing with regard to the russians and what they have done to the american electoral process. and the result -- based not just on jim's book. about you i've talked to others in the room -- is a conversation about how to spin this politically so that it doesn't do damage to the trump campaign, to the trump presidency. and then even latches on to an untruth, asking jim crapper to say -- and you need to tell folks this didn't have an impact on the election. and of course jim says, we can't say that because we don't know that. >> and that's of course an
argument they have continued with to this day. >> exactly. >> rightly or wrongly. the idea that kelly called comey after he was fired to say he he want he want the to quit and protest and didn't want to work for dishonorable people. i can't imagine how that's going down in the white house with john kelly as the chief of staff. does that sound like something kelly would say you know him. >> let me make it worse for john right now by saying that's exactly the person i believe john kelly to be. that sounds exactly like the john kelly that i know. >> comey writes about -- doesn't reveal classified information in regards to then attorney general lorta lynch. comey writes that in early 2016 the government obtained information regarding lynch that he fears critics would use to raise doubts about the investigation into hillary clinton quote the source and content of the material remain classified as i write that. does it surprise that you comey writing about classified information in in a way -- he is not revealing it. but he is talking about something that nobody really knows about but basically paints
a -- kind of a lorta lynch in a bad light clearly. >> so i pointed out in one of the issues people like jim and i and jim clapper and phil mud and others have. the president doesn't seem to be constrained by norms anderson. one of the great dangers we have in pointing that out and arguing against it we are tempted to break the norms of our own profession as well. and here is an example where i think jim overreached he put it out there. it's not a question of classification. it's a question of he put the dark cloud over the former attorney general and since it remains classified she has no ability to identify or push back against this -- this apparent accusation. i just think that's an unforced error and that should should not have been in the book. >> director hayden thank you so much. >> thank you. >> i want bring in our panel. alice stewart and frank bruni. molly what stands out to you in this. >> so much. but i mean to me it's the
overall portrait that comey paints and the thing the general was talking about. the salaciousness is getting attention. trump's objection fuels that. he is the one always obsessed with what seems like the personal aspect of this. but it's -- so much of in is stuff we heard from comey before in the testimony or that we heard from others about the russia threat and the degree to which trump seems uninterested in the threat to actual national security versus the threat to his image from all of this. but the basic respect for the rule of law, the basic respect for institutions, the basic understanding of the inli independence of law enforcement, that i think is the larger take away in terms of the come comey seems to paint. >> also and sticking to the substance of it, i mean, describing the white house essentially as kind of a mob family, or that's how it it's set up or that's how the president -- that's stunning for the former director of the fbi
to say. >> it certainly -- that's a bold and big comment. to compare the current president in the kwhous white house to a mob family. i'm egoer to read it to see the comparisons. with you he is talking about loyalty and the idea that everybody is part of one family. i worked a number of mob cases had interesting experience was them. i have never thought in in high mind the white house is similar to them. i'll be interested to read the details. >> steven do you find it rich for comey to talk about loyalty in which he writes a book where he reveals all the conversations and things with the president. >> what we learned is hell has no fury like a fbi director storm. this is his way to stab at trump after being fired. from the excerpts you read it sounds creepy actually. i mean -- it sounds like comey doesn't come out too well. he had smaller hands than i did and so on. >> those are the kind of things
that when they leak stuff out those are the things grabbed on this is how many houn hundreds of pages. >> just the point that he is out to get trump has a vendetta i don't think anybody denies that. the other point i make is look, i remember during the scandal when he said that they were going to reinvestigate, i mean every liberal was saying he is the biggest jerk in the world. and and now all the sudden we hold him up as a liberal icon. which is it. >> at the end of the day this is a prominent republican who is making these statements who was appointed by george w. bush who is making the statements about a republican president. i mean that's the reality and that's where we are. and he is saying that this president does not respect law, the law. he is abusing power. that's pretty powerful stuff. >> you don't think there is any -- there is a vendetta here. >> by james comey. >> yeah i was fired by trump. he was humiliated by trump and he uses the press. >> i can't get into his comey's
brain and mind buts in a lot of the stuff we heard already, he is just going into more detail. he was during the hearing. >> and by ka calling him a mobster that's pretty low. >> i'm focusing on the substance who it's coming from. the other thing too, the mob family that's not all that surprising if you look at the trump organization. he has- loyalty is big for donald trump. that is not surprising. the only crazy thing about that is he wants to run the white house like the trump organization, like people said around him who work for him. but this is an. >> it does seem like -- i mean it always fast natures me loyalty to donald trump is a oneway street. >> it is. and the people not loyal they find out how -- how trump feels about them very quickly. >> really what this is to stevens point this is a man fired by the president and this is his way of settling the score and getting back. he has always view the president as someone in some way he has as a brazen undermining for law enforcement institutions and clearly comey has a problem with that and this is his way of
pointing out, look, here is the problem with the president forcing people to be more loyal to him as opposed to the truth. and forcing people to take loyalty pledges. and the audacity for him to have me dr. platz the case against michael flynn. he has a problem with that. he is settlesing a lot of scores. it's interesting he did go for the extreme to point out that president obama said what you did was announcing the clinton investigation was okay. when there is a litany of democrats who don't agree with that nancy pelosi, harry reid, bernie sanders all of them. he don't mention those. but he clearly makes the case for himself to settle the sker for being fired by the president. >> this doesn't have to be either or. he can be settling scores and also telling an important truth. this can be a ven vendetta but a book of great import to molly's point. is he a flawed message sner he is flawed. we're talking about that every oh the course of the next week. it doesn't mean the message that he brings us is wrong and it doesn't mean we don't need to pay careful attention to it.
>> do you think -- i mean as more comes out -- i mean, do you think liberals will react in the way to steven's point that sort of embracing him now? because he writes about hillary clinton, that he actually -- he was sort of wrestling with the idea of was his judgment based on the the fact that he thought hillary clinton was going to win the presidency and that actually impacted his -- his judgment about announcing that they were reopening the investigation? >> well there is -- there is apparently in this book quite of o a bit of him with wreft wrefltling with self-doubt about the questions and examining what he might have been thinking at the time. and quite self-serving moment where osh sits him down and fofrpgs him for whatever he may have done. talking to exactic sources listening to the conversation on twitter there is a lot of democrats who haven't forgiven him for what they see as a double standard he applied. it is interesting to see partisan on both side attacking comey for actions. the democrats who believe that
he is responsible for hillary losing the and the republicans who are mad. >> i never answered your question about this was this an appropriate book should be era should the fisher director look i haven't read it just seen the excerpts. it sounds like the kind of kiss and tell book which is not really appropriate for someone one of our chief lawmakers and you know supposed to be adjudicating the law at the fisher. i hope this isn't the direction we are going with. >> the other question is how does the president respond to in? we have heard it's going to be the rnc responding point by point opinion the idea that the president is not responding to this. >> i won't have to respond really because he does as you say the rnc many members of congress on the republican side have his back. they are going to excoreiate james comey. criticize him for a lot of what he has done with regard to contradictory statements with regard to violating some doj norms, with regard to what he has done leading up to the -- the election. so president trump doesn't need to respond.
i don't see how he will get through without doing it. process but he would be best served not tweeting about this, ignoring questions on this which will not happen. >> it's not going to happen. >> it's not going to happen we're seeing some epic tweets and he will will help comey sell some books. >> i would agree. >> the deadline looms in the stormy daniels case one offing vofgt michael cohen's -- stormy daniels attorney michael avenatti. and the "national enquirer" pay to brur a story about a house keerp that had an affair with trump at one of the building that's ahead. claritin-d relieves 8, including sinus congestion and pressure. claritin-d relieves more. at a comfort inn with a glow taround them, so people watching will be like, "wow, maybe i'll glow too if i book direct at choicehotels.com." who glows? just say, badda book. badda boom.
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it is yet another night of a ton of breaking news new developments tonight now with adult film star stormy daniels rauts with the president and michael cohen. we shall learning that cohen is asking for a tla in the lawsuit because of overlambing criminal investigation complications and fifth amend rights. joining me is is michael avenatti. they want a delay. you do not want a dra. and you're -- i've heard you say that my knowledge cohen is pleading the fifth. how do you know that? why? >> so we speefd a call earlier today from michael cohen's
attorney who notified us if it's it's our case pleads to plead the fifth amendment to every question we ask in a case. >> in a dogs. >> in a deposition or otherwise. as it relates to him defending himself in the case. and asked us to agree to a stay or a delay in the case. we said we don't believe a stay or delay is appropriate. >> why would they want a stay? >> well they want a stay because they want to avoid having michael cohen answer questions and potentially plead the fifth amendment in response to questions we may pose. >> i want to be clear. you heard this directly from michael cohen's attorney. >> mr. blakely no question about it. >> okay. >> he said this is their intention. we said we oppose it. they're filing a motion tomorrow seeking to stay the case and cite the fact that if the case proceeds it is his intention to plead the fifth amendment which is a stunning development, anderson. >> one of the interesting things about that, impactful things i've been reading up on the law since i read this breaking
story -- is that in a civil case a jury can take into account a defendant pleading the fifth as -- as a negative where in a criminal case it doesn't mean that -- it's not to be taken one way or the other. but in a civil case a jury can think he is pleading the fifth because it's -- he doesn't want to answer it for because it makes him look bad. >> that's correct. in a federal civil matter if a witness pleads the fifth or invocation the fifth amendment or her fifth amendment right, the fact finder, whether judge or jury, is entitled to infer a negative inference if you will, which is they are entitled to infer from the invocation of the fifth amendment that the witness is guilty of whatever is asked, or that there is something negative that would result if the witness answered the question. it's a very powerful inference it would hold in our case. they want to delay the kwas. we don't want to. but what's stunning about this,
anderson, is seven days ago -- it feels like seven years ago. but seven days ago, the president stood on air force one and asked questions about the agreement and the payment. and he was -- he directed the media and the american people to his attorney michael cohen. basically said ask my attorney. he will answer your questions. seven days later we now learn that michael cohen will not answer the questions. it's his intent to plead the fifth amendment against self-incriminals. it's a stunning development in the history of this case and the history of the nation over the last 50 years. >> let me ask about the tapes that according -- according to the latest reporting out of the "washington post" trump allies are concerned that michael cohen who has a history apparently according to the "washington post" of recording conversations, that some of the recorded conversations may have been seized in in raid. >> anderson, i can't begin to tell you how surreal this is. if i scripted this out no one would buy it because they wouldn't believe it.
i mean, this is unbelievable that in fact you would have an attorney representing a prominent individual like donald trump recording conversations and keeping those conversations. i mean, this is like dumb and dumber but worse. >> you've obviously been critical of michael cohen and his legal judgment all along. >> what judgment? there is no judgment. >> the dumbest move yet. >> you know what, every night i come on the show and the viewers are probably thinking i'm full of it because i always say the same thing. but it's a constant drum beat of incredulous action. i just can't believe that we're here tonight talking about the fact that michael cohen may have recorded conversations. >> it would -- because it's the most inincriminating thing pblt. there are illegallities discussed on tape. >> i don't think it's better than that. it doesn't get any better than that. if that's true. if the fbi has seized recorded
conversations between michael cohen and mr. trump or michael cohen and others, i mean we foe from prior reporting about some of the threats and the language and intimidation tactics that michael cohen used in other instances. if that's on tape as it relates to countless examples. katie bar the door i can't tell you how bad that is. >> thanks very much. thank you. >> we have new reporting about the president sitting for an interview with the special counsel, gloria borjer joins me with more on that. how has the raid on michael cohen's office impacted the efforts to get the president to sit down with mueller pamela and brown are reporting this is in complete purgatory. it's an odd story. president president's attorneys were sitting down in a meeting getting ready to go over to bob mueller's office and meet with his team with a proposal with the president testifying. it may have been the first shot
across the bow. but they actually had a proposal under certain circumstances the president would testify. these are the kinds of questions he would answer, et cetera, et cetera. they were ready to do it because they felt like they were dealing in good faith. they're sitting in offices, and suddenly they get news of the raid and michael cohen's office. and all hell breaks loose. they debate whether in fact they should meet with the mueller team later that afternoon, which they did. because it was -- it was preplanned. but i can tell you from talking to my sources they believe that this was a major breach of trust. that they were fundamentally misled. so it's a question now of whether this laps of trust is is your mountable or not. >> but i mean the president could still be subpoenaed by mueller. >> sure. yes. he could absolutely be subpoenaed by mueller. and they know that very well. and that's happened in the past
with a president named bill clinton. and of course you could take it all the way to the supreme court and make it a constitutional issue. but right now i've been told nothing has been ruled out. they are not saying in no way is he. >> it's not -- you're not saying 100% the president isn't going to try to sit. >> no they refused -- they refused to say that. but they are angry. they believe that this raid takes this investigation in a whole different direction because what they were proposing was one single interview. well what if the president then has to be interviewed in regard to other things that they found in michael -- in michael cohen's office. and so they felt completely blind-sided by this. they had no heads up on it. and they are -- it's clear they have a client who is now very, very angry about it. >> gloria, thanks very much. up next a new report of a catch and kill story by the "national enquirer," the parent company, ami reportedly paying to bury a
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about the national security implications. we have seen how this company uses dirt it has on other celebrities to influence them. that may be playing out in their eyes with the president. >> they allegedly use dirt on other celebrities to get the celebrities to tell stories about other people. >> in that case it would be to tell stories about other people, to participate in exclusives and photo shoots. banal stuff some times. but obviously the stakes are different when it's a president of the united states. >> back now with the panel. frank, this is just the latest case now of payments that we have learned about -- i mean not just -- there is obviously the stormy daniels payment from michael cohen to stormy daniels allegedly. but michael cohen admits to facilitating wherever the money came from. but also the karen mcdougal which ami paid $$150,000 do you expect this to be the lass. i wonder how many files ami has on donald trump and what that gives the head of ami what power that gives. >> it seems unlikely it's just
the two incidents. ronan hit the nail on the head which are what are the national security implications. if there are the secrets out there or accusers out there, if trump and the people around him are willing to pay money to make them go away who has power over him how are they using the power? this is what we've been asking about russia all along. wove been asking if there is russia has on him financial or otherwise that gives him unfair advantage and leverage over him. we're asking that question about ami in this other sphere. >> this is where we get into this no longer about sex with a porn star or playmate. this is about hushing people up and money to hide stories and to the degree to media company like "national enquirer," david pecker his friend, what kind of influence do they have over the president now? what kind of -- what do they want in exchange for this? not only have they paid money to hush people about actual affairs, they have printed stories about fake affairs involving ted cruz. they have a lot of stories that
they have done and catch and killed to benefit donald trump. what does he do for them in return? that's a question. >> what's also interesting kore. any publicly are saying they didn't find the person credible they paid $30,000 according to ronan reporting they work aggressively on the story gave a lie detector test to the person which the person aldly passed. not admissible in court. very fallible. but if near paying the $30,000 though the publishers says they don't believe. >> it's intriguing and also complicated as well. as you just laid out, anderson. it goes back to if you think -- what's so powerful about this is that the president of the united states is now extremely vulnerable to blackmail, whether by the "national enquirer," ami, that is one of the things that this story tells me. and the other part about it too is we're talking about potential
bank fraud, wire fraud, serious campaign violations. there is so much in this that is incredibly problematic that it really does blow your mind. and it's not, again with, like you said it's not about the affair, the sex, all of the potential legal issues with it. >> steven, if the head of ami has all the information in files going back years and years and years, does that concern you? that it gives him certainly sway over power or you know if he has some business he wants done or whatever he wants. >> well, you know, gwen, i think all of this womanizing by trump was really adjudicated in the election. people knew. >> you don't think -- you don't think it gives any power of somebody over the ppt. >> i can't answer that but i can say this. we even see with the stormy case, the public is turning against the prosecutor in this. it's like why in the world. >> where do you see the public turning against the prosecutor. >> there are polls suggest attention people are tired of -- of the witch hunt against trump
with respect to one thing after another. >> what witch hunt. >> you opened the show by saying there is so much news to talk about today what about the fact the dow jonesway was up 300 points, we had the best manufacturing numbers in years and years. what about the fact that we've got the lowest number of people union on unkbt. >> the attorney for the last ten years and his fix it hatchet man has been raided may have audio recordings of the president of the united states talking about good knows what and who else know you think that's not. >> you think the incredible economic news come out about the incredible revivals deserves some attention. >> the former head of the fbi called the president a mob boss. >> what people cared about the in the election and is the economy and jobs nobody is talking about that. >> that's really selective we can talk about the news of the day, the things you're talking about, and the fact that he said he is taking out of tpp and now revisiting that. >> that's good news isn't it.
>> my point is your read on the news of the day is highly selective. >> also steven -- >> i got to say i find it indisingenuous that you say okay i don't know if a guy -- a businessman having tons of files with salacious and damaging information on trump donald trump that they clearly didn't want. >> i don't know the information they have. >> well, you know what some of the allegations are. >> that's not a source when i was at the wall street. >> apparently it's somebody the president turns to because he he is close friends. but as an intellectual exercise you don't believe that gives a person power if nef files on somebody. >> i don't know enough the of the details to know how much power they have. >> do you think it gives power, ann. >> so, i feel i have the same concerns about the homeland security piece raised. and i think the way to think about this is even remember the conversations about michael flynn at the beginning when there was an understanding that he had publicly lied. and the deputy attorney general going over to the white house to basically say look he is
compromised because the russians know he is not telling the truth about the conversation. and he is at such a high level that if compromised that is particularly bad for american security. obviously the of the united states doesn't get a security clearance. but if he did and i would argue we should be worried about it the same way. >> he wouldn't get a security clearance. let's be frank. >> and these are the kinds of things that basically all the generals and all the people in the military and the intelligence community they worry greatly about. and now it's not clear yet i think why this money is being paid. but it is particularly troubling. and i would want to know more about the kind of information it seems they may have on the president. >> i do think steven has a point in that we don't see all of this scandal hurting donald trump's approval rating very much. >> not with conservatives. >> because people didn't think much of his character to begin with. everybody decided before they voted for him they didn't like the guy. >> his poll numbers. >> we didn't think he was honest or truthful. and a lot of people found
reasons to vote for him or >> because they thought he could get the job done. >> to steven point about polling quine peek's poll say this isn't a big issue for them. >> which, stormy. >> yes the stormy daniels issue isn't important and his ratings have gone up as a result of this. >> on the being blackmail issue too. >> it's not moving the needle. >> the same was sid about richard nixon. polls were saying they were sick of the tie raid they don't think it matters until it does. i'm not comparing -- you can say it's apples and oranges. >> whether people think it's material. it can be important anyway. but to the being blackmail piece how much power can you have when all the stuff is already out there? the idea someone could be compromised because a normal person who has a squeaky clean image they're going to preserve that. but what image does he have to protect when all this stuff is
i we worked with pg&eof to save energy because wenie. wanted to help the school. they would put these signs on the door to let the teacher know you didn't cut off the light. the teachers, they would call us the energy patrol. so they would be like, here they come, turn off your lights! those three young ladies were teaching the whole school about energy efficiency. we actually saved $50,000. and that's just one school, two semesters, three girls. together, we're building a better california. well tonight breaking news this one almost got lost was the cnn exclusive taking on greater significance given speculation about rod rosenstein's job security. the white house it preparing talking points targeting the attorney general. the allies will cast him as too conflicted to oversee the russian investigation. a points allen dershowitz made
earlier. the justice department declined to comment. alice, is this a wise idea to sort of you know sent send out marching orders to people? it's not all that unusual. >> no, i don't view it as wise. if the president has done nothing wrong. rosenstein and mueller will get to the bottom of it and clear his name. and they should fully captor. but even if the white house doesn't coordinate a campaign against rosenstein many republicans are trying to do so. they are saying he doesn't have the president's back and needs to rihn in the scope of the investigation more on russian meddling not the other stuff. >> they also say he is a witness in the comey firing because he wrote the letter and therefore inherently conflicted. >> it's wrong to go against rosenstein and mueller and sessions let them do the investigation and let the facts lead. if the president is innocent like he says the truth will society you free and the
conclusion of this investigation is the best way to do that not undermine knows overseaing it. >> what do you make of the legal argument that he is conflicted. >> right, so the u.s. attorney's manual has rules for when people have to recuse. he clearly has some information here. but that doesn't necessarily mean he has to recuse, right. and there are certain capturings you have a mandatory recusal and times when it's an ethyl decision for the individual prosecutor to decide. and so i'll tell you my bet here which i have no information on but my bet is that he would have had that conversation with one of the ethics officers and been cleared to continue to work on this. >> jeff tuben made the point in the last hour which is the potential conflict was known from the very beginning. >> exactly. >> you would think it would have been addressed if it was a concern to the republicans raise going now why wasn't it raised back then. >> completely. >> yeah. steven. >> trump wants the investigation over. right? and i think you know. >> do you think rosenstein should be fired. >> pardon. >> do you think he should be fired. >> no but trump if i were
advising trump especially after the overreach by comey with the raid which i think just was so outrageous. i think fair miernded americans fwree with that that i think comey overplayed his hand. >> mueller you mean. >> i mean mueller. mueller. i think what i would do in that case is trump should say, look, this is -- we -- not fire him but say you have two or three months to finish this up. get it done. show us what you have. and i think that's something -- he couldn't rally the american people around firing mueller. but he could say this has gone on 15 months has to come to a conclusion show us what you got. >> it blows my mind because there is one person to blame for donald trump's problem and that's donald trump. we have to remember how it started. >> sure. >> he fired james comey. that's how the mueller investigation started. that's why mueller was brought in. as special counsel to do wait a minute let me finish. >> they keech changing the investigation is about. >> first and then the other part
of my argument before you try and interrupt me here is that rosenstein is a republican. appointed by donald trump. and it's just all of in is so insane. and also donald trump all of his actions this past year has not -- has not been an action of a an innocent man. he tried to obstruct the investigation as o at every turn. he hasn't behaved as one like i'm innocent of this. no. he is behaving as someone he wants to protect himself. >> frank we don't know the investigation change that he moved from one thing to the other. we don't know what they started out looking at. i mean the team mueller assembled was pretty deep and wide in terms of their expertise on money laundering and white collar crime on a variety of things. >> alt of things we learn we learn after the fact. we talk about them as if new but they're going on. one thing consistent throughout this and the latest rod rosenstein talking points piece of news goes with it which is that donald trump zaded long away the best way to innoculate himself against whatever is found is to discredit everyone
in the process. portray all of them as monday the most biased people on earth. if he can convince the american public that whatever fruits from the tree is poisoned he needn't worry about the fruit it bears. >> it's also interesting in the argument the other day that frank was rernsing, he talks about them as all democrats when in fact they are -- whether it makes a difference or not they are pretty much all republicans. >> it's clear that when -- what biased means to trump is against him in some way, whether that is factual or not, right. it remind me of the judge on the trump university case in the election opinion and. and his argument was basically this person doesn't like me therefore he is against me and can't be fair. he seems to think that anybody who has any kind of oppositional position to his cannot possibly be right because trump must be right and therefore everyone is biased. >> we have to take a break. i'm talking with a top democrat on the house judiciary committee
and gerald nadler and get his take on impeach mts if democrats win the house in november. is that something democrats should run on? "behr" through it all. behr premium plus, a top rated interior paint at a great price. family friendly, disaster proof. find it exclusively at the home depot. non-drowsy claritin 24 hour relief when allergies occur. day after day, after day. because life should have more wishes and less worries. feel the clarity and live claritin clear. we're finally back out in our yard, but so are they. introducing scotts turf builder triple action. it kills weeds, prevents crabgrass and feeds so grass can thrive, guaranteed.
a gig-speed. a gig-speed network. it's like 20 times faster than what most people have. i'd of said... i'd of said you're dreaming. dreaming! definitely dreaming. then again, dreaming is how i got this far. now more businesses in more places can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. in case someone forgot, all the breaking news out of washington, all the wrinkles of the russia probe and the presidential reaction to it, all of it takes place against the backdrop of midterm elections and as part of the campaign, republicans are warning if democrats win control of congress in november they'll immediately move to impeach president trump. earlier today i spoke about it with congressman gerald nadler. congressman, what do you make of this reporting that the white house is preparing talking points to be used to undermine
rod rosenstein, do you think that's laying the groundwork for him to be fired? >> well, i hadn't heard that, but it certainly would sound as if that's the case. >> you introduced legislation to protect robert mueller today which is a companion bill to the senate's legislation. do you think it would be equally egregious for the president to fire rosenstein as it would be to fire mueller? >> yes, because the purpose of firing rosenstein would be to put in someone else who would either fire -- who would either fire mueller or who would constrain the investigation. as congressman jamie raskin said, at that point it could be the guillotine, fire mueller, or the straightjacket, put him in a straightjacket then constrain why he can investigate or the way he can investigate it. and that would be an improper purpose. >> you have no doubt that the only reason to fire rosenstein would be to either constrain the investigation of mueller's investigation or to fire mueller? >> i have no doubt of that, and the president has telegraphed that. he's made it very clear in his recent comments that he thinks
that the investigation is, as he calls it, a witch hunt, that he thinks it's improper and wants to stop it and he's threatened to fire rosenstein and mueller for just that purpose. by the way, if he did so for that purpose, that would be -- if he fired rosenstein or mueller at this point, i think it would be safe to say that would be very clearly a crime, it would be an obstruction of justice because he's already told us the motive. the motive waub ould be to hindn investigation of himself. >> there are supporters of the president who saying firing rosenstein would be appropriate because rosenstein was involved -- wrote the letter justifying the firing of comey and, therefore, is a witness in that sk. >> first of all, he was involved in a letter about comey but nobody thinks that's the real reason he would be fired. the president's made very clear the real reason to be fired is the president is frustrated and angry and wants to stop this investigation. >> there are --
>> and that's an improper and criminal purpose. >> there are growing concerns inside the white house among republican leadership the democrats are going to immediately seek to impeach the president if they gain control of the house this november. you likely become chairman of the house judiciary committee should that happen. are republicans' fears warranted? >> no. i don't think they're warranted. we would not automatically seek to impeach the president. i think before that would happen, we'd have to see what the report of the special counsel was, what the evidence is, and what crimes, if any, we thought were committed, what impeachable offenses, if any, we thought your commwere committed. that would be a judgment that would have to be made in light of information we don't have now. that's one of the reasons you have the investigation that's going on. >> i talked to tom stier, the other day, a democrats who funded a $20 million national ad campaign calling on congress to impeach the president. do you think democrats in the midterms should -- excuse me -- should run on the idea of impeaching the president or
could that end up backfiring? >> no, i don't think democrats should run on the idea of impeaching the president. and frankly, i don't think so from a -- it would not be the right thing to do. we have to see what the evidence is first, we have to have a lot more information before such an act would be justified. the other thing, once we are in control, if we are in control, god willing, i think the first thing that we would do, we'd want to be to get as much information as possible out to the american people what the findings, if they've been released to us of the special counsel are, and other investigations because ultimately, whether you're going to impeach the president or not, the american people are going to have to be satisfied that you've made the right judgment and that you've made it for the right patriotic reasons, not for political reasons. >> congressman adler, appreciate your time. thank you. >> you're welcome. when we come back, a late breaking development. news of a presidential parten
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plans to pardon scooter libby. connected in perjury with the connection of a cia officer's identity. the valerie plame case. that's it for us. more on that ahead. thanks for watching "360." time to hand things over to don lemon. "krvn tonight" starts now. >> this is "cnn tonight." there's a lot f o news. bombshell breaking news, news that has the trump white house under siege tonight as james comey goes to war with the president. with president trump. we have explosive details from the fired fbi director's new memoir including this quote from comey, describing what happened during a private dinner. when the president brought up the most salacious detail from that infamous russia dossier. and this is a quote. "he brought up what he called te golden shower things adding it bothered him that there was even a 1% chance his wife, melania, thought it was true.