tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN April 30, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
replanting a sapling. official from macron's office is saying the oak tree is doing very well. just under going some good old fashion extreme vetting. >> maybe it needs a little love. >> jeanne moos cnn, new york. >> what is the point of all of that. you know, put it in quarantine. thanks for joining us, anderson starts now. good evening, we begin tonight with breaking news from the white house. chief of staff john kelly denying the report that he used the word idiot to describe the president. pamela brown joins us with details. >> reporter: senior administration official tells my colleague that john kelly said he believed the president was
becoming unhinged. a sign that kelly has grown increasingly frustrated with president trump. officials say he made the comment in a moment of frustration at a meeting with secretary of defense jim mattis, joseph dunford. but kelly's comment came as the officials deliberated on the future of the u.s. efforts and serious. and following trump's off the cuff comments saying he was determined to get u.s. troops out of the country. a report that he called the president an idiot in a recent meeting. john kelly releasing the statement saying i spend more time with the president more than anybody else. i am committed to the president, his agenda and our country.
this is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to the president trump. and i spoke to zachary fuentes. he says that is not a word that kelly would use. and that kelly wouldn't tolerate that kind of criticizing of the president of the united states, as someone who has served in the military as a marine. he did acknowledge that kelly and the president do have disagreements from time to time as any chief of staff and the president would. often times the disagreements come out of mutual respect. kelly will carry out whatever decision the president makes. and they should be allowed to have a conversation and let their hair down behind closed
doors. here is what the president said, the fake news is going crazy making up false stories and using only unnamed sources who don't exist. totally unhinged. even they can't believe they are saying truly bad people. this is a consistent theme, as you know, with the president calling the media fake news saying the sources don't exist which is simply not true. and of course this is his chief of staff so it is no surprise that he would want to weigh in especially when the nbc report broke. and at that point john kelly denied he said anything like that about the president. >> just another tension between kelly and president trump. what is the bigger picture here in terms of their relationship. >> reporter: big picture here is that there has been some
deterioration of the relationship and kelly standing in the west wing. publicly evident at times with what kelly has said and done. if you remember his remarks on fox news that trump's views have evolved in immigration. and then held those off the record meetings with reporters and some of that leaked out. the elevation of kudlow and bolton. and as we reported last week the president using his cell phone to get around kelly. short of pushed back at that notion saying look, these are two men who have a great relationship. they have mutual respect for each other. yes, they disagree. but that doesn't mean, that the president wants kelly out or kelly wants to leave. so it sort of depends on who you talk to in terms of
understanding the dynamic between the two men and kelly standing in the west wing. >> thanks. i want to bring in gloria borger and mark hertling. >> the sources i talk to who are friends of the president saying he is unhappy and complaining about kelly privately. question of immigration. also, he kind of rankled it a way that he felt kelly had botched the rob porter security clearance issue and that he really didn't like the way that kelly had isolated him from his friends. you know, he used to call his friends all the time. i'm told that now sometimes he
retreats actually to the situation room to call his friends so he can have privacy even though as pamela reports, that he did get his cell phone back. but he, you know, he had to retreat there to get some access to the people he is used to talking to every day. >> wait a minute, i want to make sure i heard you right, you said the president of the united states goes into the situation to get away from the chief of staff and call his friends. >> i am told by one friend of the president on more than one situation that he has been called by the president in the situation room. >> does this ring true to you? >> well, chief of staff kelly, i won't call him general because he is out of that position now has been brought up in a military organization where demeanor and professionalism and character are important to leadership because it helps
establish trust. the other thing that is important here is that personalities matter and context is important whenever you are talking about how you deal with other people and under what situations. when i was working with general kelly in northern iraq and he was in western iraq, i always saw him to be professional, calm, cool demeanor. and i can imagine that the stressors of the white house are much greater than any of us have might experienced in combat. so i am sure there is time for venting of anger, venter of frustrations. and sometimes when people are around you, maybe these sources that you are hearing from, when they hear that venting they take it a lot more seriously, or on the other hand, there is somebody in the white house, or many people in the white house that are out to get general kelly. >> pamela, the fact that taking to twitter, how rattled does he get?
>> reporter: he does not like it to say the least. officials i speak with say often times the president will be more focused on the negative public li ty more than what the report is about. he doesn't like it when negative stories are around him he views it as a distraction. you can see that reflected not only with the president taking to twitter, also on the record statement from the chief of staff himself which is pretty unusual. not something you get every day from john kelly despite the numerous stories that are out there. >> gloria, how much has kelly's influence waned, we heard the stories about the president feeling more capable to do stuff on his own or the issue with the phone. if kelly were to leave by choice or otherwise, any indication the
president believes he needs another chief of staff? >> i think the president probably believes that he can run the white house by himself the way he ran the trump organization. however, there is no doubt that if kelly were to leave, he would need another chief of staff. but that person would have to understand that this is a different donald trump they are dealing with. this is someone who now believes he's got it. figured out how to run the white house. bringing in people he wants, he is comfortable with. that's why for example, he wanted, you know, he wanted his personal doctor to run the va for example. and that he thinks he can do it alone. and he is the one, make no mistake about it, any new chief of staff would have to realize he is the one who would be making all of the decisions. and would be running the white house the way he wants to run the white house with an open door policy, inviting people to
come in and chat all the time. and so it would be a very, very different kind of chief of staff. and a very different role from the one that we are used to seeing in any white house. >> and could i jump in quickly anderson if that is okay. i do think it is important to get kelly's side on this. even his office is coming forward and being on the record. they are saying, they are claiming kelly's influence isn't waning here. when kelly came in, people would walk into the oval office willy-nilly. so while it may appear that his influence is diminishing, it is more of the structure that kelly has put into place there. >> general -- sorry, go ahead. >> what i would say too to add to that and pamela brings up a good point. we are now post first year of
mr. trump and getting into some intense situations more so than things, domestic issues. and after a year of experience, i think the president believes he can do these things. chief kelly, chief of staff kelly spent 40 years with intergovernmental affairs, knowing the inner workings of government. i am sure he feels extremely frustrated dealing with gut feels. so i am sure that is contributing a lot to the frustrations as well. >> i think the problem generally is the unpredictability of the president. you wake up in the morning, you see what is he has tweeted. it may not be the thing you talked about the night before. it may set the day in a totally
different direction from the one you wanted or you had planned on and the unpredictability of the president's views are also something that i think probably rankles anybody who tries to work with him on particular issues. and i am sure kelly is one of those people who has had that kind of a problem. >> and as the chief of staff too, i would suggest john kelly's main purpose in life is to control and establish process and make things go smoothly. he is working for a guy where he has no control. the processes are askew and things never go smoothly. as gloria said, you wake up and is a new dynamics. >> thanks very much. gloria borger, pamela brown as well. another lawsuit filed by stormy daniels. i will speak to her attorney
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tweets. stormy daniels is suing him for defamation. the new lawsuit is over a sketch of a man who she says threatened her. the president tweeted a sketch years later about a nonexistence man. a total con job. michael, explain to me, why file this defamation suit and how the president defamed stormy daniels with that tweet? >> we made it known in the day after the president sending this tweet that we are going to bring this case. considering whether to bring it in los angeles in connection with the lawsuit or another lawsuit. and decided to file it here. we believe the president called my client a liar by saying it is a con job and accused her of
committing a crime. she maintains that she was assaulted at the side of her car and she identified this individual by way of this sketch which took a considerable am of time to prepare and publish. and we want to hold the president accountable for his statement. >> is this a provable case of defamation? >> yes, and you know, defamation cases even good defamation cases are hard to win in court. and because they are of the discovery involved and proving actual damages in the case. this case i think is going to be extraordinarily difficult. an opinion by the president which he is allowed to express and that is considered nondefamatory. also because stormy daniels has voluntarily been a public figure
herself. you now have the additional burden that michael will have to prove that the president acted with actual malice in making the statements that he did. there is a strong likelihood that this case will be tossed. >> do you think malice -- >> i have proven hard cases my entire career and i am confident of this one. and if the president continues to do what he has done over the last seven weeks he is going to take a lot of steps taken along the way. i am confident he is going to help us. >> i have heard legal analyst say because of your actual lawsuit against michael cohen there is a 90-day stay on it, this is some sort of maneuver either to keep the case going in some case going in a different avenue.
>> that is bogus. two weeks ago when the tweet was made, i made it known publicly at that time that we were going to be bringing a lawsuit or a claim over this tweet. i announced it publicly and we were going to bring that claim in los angeles or bring it in a separate matter separate venue. >> why here in new york? the tweet was sent from washington, d.c. by the president. however, there are an awful lot of television stations in new york. which a lot of people say that is the reason why you came to new york with the litigation. >> i have no problem getting on tv. i can be on tv any where in the world. >> you are sitting here next to anderson. >> let's be clear about
something. i live in l.a. and my client lives in dallas. >> dallas would have been another excellent venue for you to view. >> before you opine on my case, you should have done the home work. trump is a resident of new york. he spends a lot of time in florida but not at the white house. no question -- >> only been to new york once since elected president. >> does the filing of a separate case, this can move forward even if there is a stay in the actual lawsuit. >> absolutely. this case has nothing to do with the case in los angeles. >> even though, i mean, they are, i mean aren't they connected in some way because this sketch would not have been put out if this lawsuit hadn't been filed. >> not exactly. the case in los angeles, results
from the nda and our attempts to invalidate the nda and the defamation that associations with claim that there was no affair by michael cohen. this issue is separate in part it relates to the tweet relating to this sketch in which he claims is nonexistent man. how does the president knows the man is nonexistent. if he knew nothing about this, knew nothing about the alleged threat. >> in something like a defamation case, if there is a judgment in stormy daniels' favor, is that monetary judgment? >> it is a monetary judgment that could be collected against the individual, in this case, mr. trump. >> why not include -- has michael cohen said anything that you think is defamation against stormy daniels. could you see a day where you
see michael cohen in this sense. >> he hasn't commented on the sketch or the alleged assault. >> on the issue of damages, she, your client has made anywhere from 200 to 500 pornographic movies from where i have read. >> from what i have read or seen? >> from what i have read. some of the titles are great, but children may be watching so i will avoid that. you have to prove damage to her reputation. do you think you have a realistic possibility of having a jury of ordinary people saying her rep at that i utation is da >> we will be prepared to prove special damages anybody tin the required to do so. >> what would they be?
>> you have to stop interrupting me. >> i am curious. >> all i am asking is if you stop interrupting me. we are going to prove special damages. >> what is special -- >> you are not a judge. >> if you are in court a judge is going to say what sir, special damages are you proving here and what is your answer here. >> if i have a judge ask me -- >> you don't know anything about the case. >> are you arguing just because somebody is -- >> is an adult star. >> they cannot be defamed. >> that is exactly. >> i have tried a lot of cases through the years and as a matter of principal, you are probably right, somebody who has made 500 pornographic fills can be defamed. but you put 12 ordinary people on a jury and say to them award
her money because somebody called her a liar, you might have a hard time getting a substantial damage award. now sometimes symbolic award. actual damages justifying all of the effort that has gone into this lawsuit i don't see it. which means the lawsuit is a publicity lawsuit and publicity stunt. >> it is not a publicity stunt. if i had a dollar for every time a guy that wasn't prepared -- i wouldn't be sitting here. >> thanks very much. breaking news from the "washington post," the president delayed his promised tariffs. tariffs are delayed until june 1st. new allegations against dr. ronny jackson who withdrew
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new allegations tonight against dr. ronny jackson who withdrew from the president's pick. president trump is attacking the ranking democrat on the senate veteran's affair committee. crashing a government vehicle and excessive drinking on the job. the president fired off tweets. here is one of them. were no such findings a horrible
thing that we in d.c. must live with. tester very dishonest and sick. it was on this program when senator tester shared one of the most serious allegations guest jackson. >> i understand he had a nickname. >> it was the candy man. he handed out prescription drugs like they were candy. that's correct. that is what we were told. >> that is not a nickname you want in a doctor. >> well that was last week. the controversy is not over. new allegations. manu raju joins us with the details. i understand these allegations are from this past fall. >> reporter: we are learning these serious concerns about ronny jackson's conduct did stretch back into last fall when the vice president's conditions
-- we have obtained that highly what the physician said was quote intimidating, an aggressive behavior that made the physician feel uncomfortable because of multiple confrontations they had involving the second lady of the united states karen pence. last september that jackson may have violated the hipaa law which protects patient's rights involving mrs. pence with senior white house officials and medical advicers. mrs. pence did express her own concerns and ask that the vice president's chief of staff inform the white house chief of staff about what happened. afterwards, pence's physician wrote in multiple memos. including one which jackson allegedly told the physician to
let things go to help physician's career. i will read one thing the physician wrote about a meeting that they had. a meeting that was summoneds by dr. jackson that appears to be retribution. and his inappropriate involvement in the decision process of her care which is consistent with behavior that i have received from him in the past and anderson, this is consistent with allegations raised by these unnamed individuals who raises concern. >> let me be clear about something you said previously before reading that letter. that the vice president's attorney is saying that jackson told him to let this go in order to help the vice president's
doctor's career? >> reporter: that's right. >> so he was saying jackson threatened him. >> reporter: the physician saying that jackson said let things go in order to help your career. this is what the physician wrote in one of those memos. >> how is the vice president's office responding? >> confirmed that the chief of staff was informed by this episode. and he referred the matter to the quote proper channels. the same spokesperson said mrs. pence was briefed of the facts. and the white house also declined to comment on jackson's half. kelly got a copy of these memos and they referred the pence doctor to the appropriate chain
of command. >> the president has been attacking senator tester. these concerns came from both sides of the aisle. >> no question about it. the republicans were aware of who some of these sources were who came forward. and several told me incredible voices that need to be investigated. and a lot of them military personnel. not join in in the presence of tax. he told our colleague that every senator has a right to -- perhaps it is in part because veteran's group too was uneasy about the nomination. >> thanks. the vice president visits border towns. keeping them honest next.
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tonight, keeping them honest at the border, the border between united states and mexico. after traveling by bus, train and on foot for a month, 100 migrants have arrived at u.s. mexico border trying to seek asylum. today vice president pence was in calexico and in another town nearby. he said this about the migrants. >> as president trump said on
saturday night, this situation is a direct result of our weak immigration laws and our poorest border. this caravan like those who have gone before is also rightly understood as a deliberate
attempt to undermine the laws of this
country and the sovereignty of the united states. >> keeping them honest, there is no attempt to undermine the laws of the country. these migrants are seeking asylum. now you can disagree whether or not they should be granted that asylum, there is nothing unlawful about asking. international laws requires countries to hear their request. these migrants from from honduras guatemala and el salvador. still, the law is clear they have a right to try. pence also said this today. >> thanks to the leadership of president donald trump, we are protecting the american people by securing our southern border. and we are building a wall on the southern border of the united states of america. and let me make you a promise. when it co when it comes to the border
wall, we are going to build it all. >> so the vice president says we are building a wall in southern border, keeping them honest, we are not building a wall in the southern border. no matter how many times the president says it or tweets it, it has not been funded. listen to what the president said to a crowd in ohio at the end of the march. >> we started building our wall. we have 1.6 billion. and we have already started. you saw the pictures yesterday. what a thing of beauty. >> so that is not accurate. that $1.6 billion that was in the spending bill the president signed. for border security. some can be used to bolster existing. he tweeted this around the same time. great briefing this afternoon on
the start of our southern border wall. that tweet came with photos trying to prove his point. the border wall has not been started there or anywhere those pictures were taken in calexico. the same calexico where the vice president was today. we sent our gary tuxman there. >> reporter: do you acknowledge it is not the beginning of the southern border wall. >> is th is the beginning. this is a replacement project, but if you will, look at the border wall, this new wall is roughly two or three times taller than the wall that was here today. it represents a kind of new border wall that we will be implementing. >> reporter: it is not adding
feet to the wall that is already here. >> this is the beginning of keeping our promise to the american people. >> acknowledging it is the beginning. it is a movie with multiple s k sequels. they had actually nothing to do with president trump. it was common knowledge in the area that the wall dated back to the bush administration and was being repaired. so far, he is not building a new wall. no matter how many times they announce it has been done. listening to the vice president he did dance around it. he says this is taller. >> reporter: well firstly, our
apologies for the desert dust storm and secondly, this observation. the vice president did not want to disrespect the president. he did acknowledge this is a replacement project. he did not say this structure behind me is the beginning of that southern border wall. unlike president trump who issued the tweet with the pictures. the security here, elaborate security. this is a no-man's land on the american side. on the mexican side, a bustling side. the opening is large opening where there are scores of protesting chanting. any one of them could have run into the united states where vice president pence was standing. it was quiet. >> we are going to hear from
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dramatic nationally televised speech netanyahu saying this intelligence service -- even as the 2015 iran. >> this is a terrible deal. it should never have been concluded. and in a few days time, president trump will decide, will make a decision on what to do with the nuclear deal. i am sure he will do the right thing. the right thing for the united states, the right thing for israel and the right thing for the peace of the world. >> president trump has until may 12 to decide on waiving
sanctions that were lifted. president trump says he is quote 100% right to criticize the deal. joining me down michael hayden. author of a brand new book. first of all, in this deal, do you think there are grounds for the president to rip up the deal as he has been threatening to do? >> not based on this. this is baked in. we knew the iranians were lying about the existence of this weapons program prior to 2003. >> this isn't new information what they are doing right now? >> no. the outline, not new. now he has new details. getting additional information. but it doesn't change the plot line. they had a weaponization program until 2003. they denied and continued to lie
about it. i complained that we should have made them face their cards up. we didn't force it and so we just >> we know they were lying. that was baked into the original deal. >> so you're saying when it's baked into the original deal, meaning the u.s. knew they were lying and, therefore, made the deal so tough, it was -- it was based on the assumption that they are lying and this is how we verify it. >> it was based on the premise that they had a program. it was based on the premise that the program had made certain advances. it was based on the reality that they lied about the program, and, therefore, that shaped what we tried to negotiate. >> so in your opinion what netanyahu was done doesn't change anything about the solidity of the dole. >> no. like i said, it was all baked in. i think we should have made them be more forthcoming but we knee they were lying at the time. >> what do you make of the movement with north korea and south korea and the meeting with kim jong-un? it's very dramatic to see him
crossing over that border. >> yeah. >> do you buy what they are selling? >> oh, the north koreans. not yet. this is the fourth time we've gotten to this place. >> right. >> we've done it with three previous administrations, and we've not had much success, so we'll see where it goes forward from here. credit to the administration for getting here. that's really important, but we've only begun the hard work now. >> i want to ask you about your new book "the assault on intelligence." >> yeah. >> is what netanyahu saying, is thattin an example of the assault on intelligence? >> more to the point, the white house after the netanyahu speech issued a statement that iran has a robust clandestine nuclear weapons program that. flies in the face of a national intelligence estimate that i was involved in in 2007, and a anderson, that remains the estimate, that one chunk, not the centrifuges which was a separate issue, not the icbms, but a separate issue but
actually constructing a weapon, that that had stopped in 2003 and i'm fond of saying that judgment then was based not on the absence of evidence but evidence of an sense, and i don't know of anything that's changed that, so it's going to be really interesting now what did the intel guys say about the press release that just came out of the white house? >> so, i mean, you're talking about the subtitle of the book is "american national security in an age of lies." >> yeah. >> how does intelligence adapt to this age that we're in? >> it's really hard. so we've seen a pattern from the white house of saying things that intelligence just can't back up, and i'm being kind here, so you try to convince the president in closed sessions with regard to what you believe objective reality is. it's not so much that you're not winning the argument in the process. it's that the decisions seem to be separated from the process.
>> mm-hmm. >> and you saw h.r. mcmaster leave the white house a couple weeks ago. i mean, h.r. spent a year trying to connect the processes of government to the decision-making of the white house, and it just doesn't seem to have worked. >> that's a frightening statement that the decision-making is just divorced from the -- from the actual intelligence. >> so, for example, and this may be a minor issue, but it's current that. press release tonight. in my life experience would have had the white house not ever issuing that without running it by the intel guys to make sure they could live with the statement. i don't see that pattern in this administration. >> but it's interesting. we're at a point now where the folks on capitol hill almost ignore what the president is saying. it's sort of like, oh, he's just that guy, you know, who is mumbling that stuff. it doesn't actually necessarily mean that's what the new policy. >> you know, the american presidency is a powerful offices. one of its great powers is the bully pulpit and one of the great powers is what the president says. you just told me that the
american congress just tunes it out. i don't know that the rest of the world does though, and that makes life hard. >> you also write that the modern intelligence enterprise, which you obviously view as essential to the u.s. now seems at odds with important elements of american life. >> yeah. >> what do you -- we have collectively and we've talked about the administration, but the president's reflecting changes in our political culture. the oxford dictionary word of the year for 2016 was post-truth. post-truth is defind as decision-make based on feeling and emotion rather than objective data, and i think we see that broadly throughout our society. i mean, you guys comment on it every night. how could people believe that? political beliefs, political affiliations have now become articles of faith, and it's really hard to unseat a belief with facts if it wasn't based on facts to begin with. >> so what is -- i mean, how do
you get back to -- i mean, look, obviously, there's been incredible intelligence failures over the year so there's understanding why there would be skeptics of american intelligence and what the president has said has not helped the confidence in american intelligence or a lot of institutions. what needs to change? >> so that's a point related to an earlier question. i mentioned in the book, you know, obviously everyone has got to follow their own conscience with what does it say or doesn't say within or outside the stra its? but more important than the individual, anderson, is what you just suggested, preserving the institutions, and i fear what's going on now, particularly with justice and the fbi, but the intel community i think shares in this is the chiseling away at the institutions that service and on which we rely to preserve our liberty and security. that's the collateral damage to this struggle that's now going on. >> and that's not easily
revealed. >> once you begin chiseling away. what will it take, and here's the danger i see. i see folks in my tribe or in justice or fbi pushing back against what is an incredibly norm-busting administration, a norm-busting president, but in the pushing back, you have to be oh, so careful that we don't bust our own norms, and so for my folks it might be in leaking. all right. so we see this deterioration that's coming about because the broader dynamic within society. it scares me, and that's why i wrote the book. >> the book is "the assault on intelligence, american national security in an age of lies." michael haden, thanks so much. coming up, the "new york times" is reporting robert mueller has at least four dozen questions he wants to ask the question about his ties to russia and other topics. "the times" obtained a list of the questions and the latest on that next. ♪ ♪ bring all your apps to life on a cloud that runs on premises.
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there's breaking news tonight from the "new york times." the special counsel robert mueller has at least four dozen questions he wants to ask the question about his ties to russia and other subjects. "the times" got a list of those questions. i'm going to read from "the times" here. the open-ended queries appear to be in an attempt to get at