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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 4, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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cheered on by the nra, president trump finds new ammunition to attack mueller. facts before rudy. rudy giuliani tries to defus the bombshell he dropped about mr. trump's reimbursement of the stormy daniels payoff off he was undercut by his client the commander in chief. this the confusion by the clarification. his lawyers don't want him to sit down with the special counsel but he won't hesitate to overrule them if he wants. odds on whether he will answer mr. mueller's questions. lava flow, a volcano erupts on hiawaii's big island. i'm jim acosta, and you're in "the situation room," wolf blitzer is on assignment.
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this is cnn breaking news. breaking tonight a source tells me the president's legal team is still in talks about an interview with special counsel robert mueller despite what's being described as rudy giuliani's, quote, s show. the president undermined -- rud undermined after the president said he didn't have his facts straight. after two days of shifting stories we don't have the facts. i'll get reaction today. first the cnn senior white house correspondent pamela brown. a lot of backtracking by the president and, of course, rudy giuliani. >> reporter: that's right. this as we learn that rudy giuliani was given, quote, very little information prior to going on television to discuss the stormy daniels matter according to a source familiar
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with the matter who said he was not fully red in on the details. a source saying he caused a fire storm, now rudy giuliani said that he coordinated with the president before going on, but then the president came out today publically undermining his new attorney. president trump on cleanup duty. >> rudy is a great guy but he just started a day ago. >> reporter: walking back comments from his new attorney, rudy giuliani that comes after giuliani appeared on fox news and said trump had repaid michael cohen for the 1$130,000 in hush money to stormy daniels. >> rudy knows it's a witch hunt, he started yesterday. he'll get his facts straight. there's been a lot of misinformation, people wanting to say. i say learn before you speak it's easier. >> giuliani telling cnn thursday
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you won't see daylight between me and the president. after suggesting on television the hush money payment to stormy daniels was made to help protect the campaign. >> imagine if that came out on october 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with hillary clinton. >> reporter: today giuliani tried to walk it back, issuing a new statement saying my references to timing were not describing my understanding of the president's knowledge but init had my understanding of the matters. >> we're not changing any stories. i'm telling you this country is right now running so smooth and to be bringing up that kind of crap and witch hunts all the time, that's all you want to talk about -- >> you said on air force that you did not know anything about the payment. >> excuse me, you look at what i said. you go back and take a look. >> reporter: here's what he said. >> did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. >> reporter: the president today
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also talking about a potential interview with special counsel robert mueller against the advice of his lawyers. >> i would love to speak, i would love to. nobody wants to speak more than me against my lawyers because most lawyers say never speak on anything. i would love to speak because we've done nothing wrong. there was no collusion with the russians, there was nothing. there was no obstruction, everybody sees it now and it is a pure witch hunt. right now it's a pure witch hunt. >> reporter: saying an interview with mueller's team would only be possible if he was treated fairly. >> bottom line is, i want to talk to the people in charge, if they can prove that it's a fair situation. the problem we have is that you have 13 people, they're all democrats and they're real democrats, they're angry democrats and that's not a fair situation. >> reporter: however mueller himself is a registered republican. and members on the special counsel's team have made
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campaign donations to both parties. >> all we hear about is this phony russia witch hunt, that's all we hear about. >> reporter: trump calling the investigation a witch hunt once again speaking before the national rifle association. >> we're all fighting battles but i love fighting these battles. >> reporter: and the president also reiterating that he would love to sit down and do an interview with robert mueller if he was fair. unclear what it would take for the president to think he's fair, considering he calls the investigation a witch hunt. it was clear even though he was at an nra event that he wanted to talk about a lot of other things, including the 2016 election, the president spokes several times to the media on his own initiative today. he wanted to get a lot off his chest and be his own messenger it seems. the president's anti-mueller
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rant, mr. trump now is quoting a federal judge who says he believes the special counsel is prosecuting paul manafort with the hope he believes it will lead to if ouster of the president from office. shimon prokupecz, you're covering the case, the president cited a cnn story about some of this today. what did the judge say? it was interesting. >> interesting remarks from the judge. perhaps somewhat surprising but not entirely to those people that covered this. this is judge ellis in the eastern district of virginia. questioning the scope of the special counsel, taking issue with what the motives are as it relates to paul manafort, saying in the end what they want is for paul manafort to cooperate and turn and sort of try and bring charges or perhaps impeachment the president. here's what the judge said. this was arguing with the prosecution there, it says, quote, you don't really care about mr. manafort's bank fraud, the judge said.
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prosecution or impeachment, that's what you're really interested in. and quite honestly, these remarks from the judge are not entirely shocking because it's a lot about what many of us have been reporting in perhaps the feeling that this pressure building on paul manafort is to get him to cooperate and certainly the judge not hiding from that sentiment, that feeling that most of us have reported on. the other thing, this judge had a lot to say today, one of the other things, just taking an overall position and feeling towards the investigation by the special counsel, really trying to say you just can't do whatever you want. and then the judge went on to say, quote, we don't want anyone in this country with unfettered power. it's unlikely you're going to pu persuade me the special prosecutor has power to do anything he or she wants. this goes to the arguments that paul manafort's counsel has been
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making, the special counsel went beyond the scope. and these have nothing to do with russia and has to do with bank fraud. no surprise there, of course. the president seized on these comments at the nra when he spoke, even citing a report from cnn. here's what he said about that. >> a highly respected judge in virginia made statements, it says -- wall street journal, judge questions mueller's authority to prosecute manafort. now paul manafort's a nice guy but you know he worked for me for a very short period of time, like a couple months. on cnn they have a headline, judge in manafort case says mueller's aim is to hurt trump. do you believe that? it's called the witch hunt. >> and so there you go there
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quoting the cnn story which we posted on line shortly after the judge made these remarks. really a lot of people expected this, jim, that this was going to help the president seizing on those comments and a lot of people were caught by surprise with these comments by the judge. >> what should we read into the judge's comments? he strongly criticized the special counsel's office, not something we hear all the time, is he saying, listen, you can't do what you want? >> yes. legally there doesn't appear to be any issues with what the special counsel office is doing. but the judge had opinions, editorializing what the special counsel was doing here, but beyond that there doesn't appear to be any legal issues with what the special counsel was doing. >> the issue of the memo that rod rosenstein wrote in all of this to describe the criminal allegations that mueller's team could investigate, that also came up today, we're seeing some of it on screen. what happened with that? >> the judge has ordered the
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special prosecutor here, the special counsel, to turn over that document. it's redacted -- publically it's been redacted, it's a classified document and itgoesthrough some of the case, some of the investigation, some of the stuff they're looking into. so the judge ordered the special counsel to hand that document in to him, he wants to review it. paul manafort will not have access to the document. this is also a document that members of congress have been asking for and the department of justice have denied them permission to look at it. the judge will look at it, not sure why, but he will look at it. >> interesting. he's getting that. you're getting new information about the michael cohen case. what can you tell us? >> this came out a short time ago. the special master who has been assigned with reviewing some of these privileged documents or potential privileged documents filed her first report and in it she basically says that a lot of the documents that the fbi, some
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eight boxes that were seized and a lot of the documents have now been handed over to michael cohen's attorneys, to her, some of the electronic media, phones, ipads, some of that information has now been handed over. so it tells us things are moving forward. and it tells us, michael cohen's attorneys have what was seized in the raids so they now know and should have a good idea what the fbi is looking at in this investigation. >> very interesting. shimon prokupecz, thank you. joining me now adam schiff, the ranking member on the committee. what do you think of the last 48 hours and the credibility of the united states and the white house after everything we've seen from rudy giuliani in the last two days? >> that's the thing that stands out is the fundamental dishonesty of the president of the united states. that goes to the credibility of our country, we are in the middle of complicated issues,
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but in the country and internationally, the summit coming up with kim jong-un, we have an important trade discussion going on with the eu and china right now. we have the continuing situation in syria and iran. and who can trust anything that the president says? he lies every other day. the thing is you know he lies because he is contradicting himself. it's not a matter of him saying something we then have to prove is untrue. he said the exact opposite thing a mere matter of sometimes hours or days before. so i think the credibility of the presidency has never been at a lower point and that undermines everything we're trying to accomplish as a country. >> he said today, go back and look at the videotape, and we did and he contradicted himself. >> some people say this alleged affair fits with their view of the president's character before he won the white house and you hear this often from trump people privately and sometimes publically this has been litigated during the election.
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why do you think it's important to get to the truth on this? >> two things about that. even if it was litigated before the election, if the president has the history -- keep in mind i think there's close to a dozen different women who have accused him of not just an affair but of sexual harassment, sexual harassment he bragged about doing. so that's a fundamental character flaw, whether it was present before the election or not, it is still a fundamental character flaw. let's shift topics because with president trump the hard thing is he distracts you with everything. you do not want a president who has had multiple affairs, paid hush money to people he had affairs with, and lied about it repeatedly. again the credibility of the office matters. getting back to the russia issue, there is a mountain of evidence of some kind of conspiracy between people very, very close to president trump and the russians. the meeting between donald trump jr. and the russian agent at
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trump tower being one of them. michael flynn was fired for lying to the fbi about his interactions with the russians. even attorney general sessions, let's be generous and say he forgot about meetings he had with the russians. the connections between cambridge analytica, the connections with them seeming to know the trump people, seeming to know when these e-mails were going to be released by wikileaks, the notion that this is a witch hunt, and as the president keeps saying as a mantra -- i swear it's what he says to himself before he goes to bed at night, no evidence of collusion. the issue is conspiracy. the president is right there's no crime of collusion, but there is a crime of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. >> let me ask you about obstruction of justice because on the mueller investigation the president keeps saying he fights back and i think he said it recently, if you fight back they say that's obstruction of justice. as you heard him today he likes to fight these battles.
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he doesn't see it as violating the law. how do you see that comment? >> it's ignorant of the law. up until a couple days ago, the president was unaware of the fact that you can obstruct justice even if there was no underlying crime. so the president's knowledge of the law is apparently really rather limited here. but he's not just fighting back. he said on nbc tv he fired comey because he didn't like where he was going with the russia investigation. he clearly put pressure on comey to take it easy on michael flynn. he has put pressure on a number of different people to steer away from the russia investigation. and there's two pieces to this. one, of course, is whether or not the trump campaign was involved in it. but the second one that is important beyond that, russia interfered in our election. the president continues to deny that and continues to do nothing to prevent it from happening
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again. and that's a threat to all of us, independent of whether or not there's any criminal charges proven against the president. >> let me ask you about this looming show down that i guess we're starting to see on the horizon here, whether the president will or won't sit down with the special counsel, robert mueller, the president saying he would love to speak to the special counsel. what happens if the president refuses -- i talked to a source close to this earlier today who said it's 50/50 as to whether it happens, what happens at that point? what would you like to see happen if the president says no, i'm not going to do this? >> i'm not sure of the legalities here. i'm not sure what rights the president has to resist the subpoena, i think the law is a little unsettled there. i think it's possible he does have the right to say he's not going to talk to robert mueller. if i was his lawyer -- >> even if the face of a subpoena he can say he's not going to do it and you think legally he might get away with
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that? >> my understanding it's that's unsettled because it's a separation of powers issue. you have the judicial branch going after the chief executive of the country or in this case the justice department. how does that balance of power play out? i'm not sure. if he is compelled to testify, given the fact that the president is so incapable of telling the truth -- take us back to the clinton days and the fact that the republicans impeached president clinton for lying about an affair in a deposition -- keep in mind the starr investigation was supposed to be about again things totally unrelated and ultimately what they impeached him for was lying to something totally unrelated to whitewater and everything else. that was one lie. donald trump lies like most people breathe. if you get him in front of robert mueller, under oath, every lie he tells is a crime. how on earth does anyone think that president trump is going to be capable of sitting through an
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interview like that without saying something that's clearly not true? so -- but i would say it would be idiotic for him to testify in front of mueller but then again it would be idiotic to hire rudy giuliani and put him on fox news and have him contradict everything you're saying. >> it sounds like a tv cliff-hanger. congressman smith some interesting comments. thank you. a disaster erupting as a volcano spews on hawaii. we're tracking rudy giuliani's claims about the stormy daniels payoff and the backtracking after the president said his new lawyer got it wrong. >> when rudy made the statements -- rude dy is great but he just started and wasn't totally familiar with everything. it can take more than 10 years to develop a single medication. and only 1 in 10,000 ever make it to market.
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being america's best first job. tonight the more rudy giuliani tries to explain himself and the president's actions, the more confusing things get. mr. trump new lawyer attempting to rewrite some of his most stunning remarks over the past 48 hours after the president publically urged him to, quote, get his facts straight. we're told other members of the president legal team are describing rudy giuliani's comments in vulgar terms that we can't repeat right now. it's been a whirlwind, some days more than others in trump world. are we closer to learning the truth. >> i wish we could say we are
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closer to learning the truth. the back and forth is enough to make your head spin. you have the president denying any knowledge of the hush payment to stormy daniels then you have the admission of his lawyer that he did know about it. and now we're seeing more reversals. with the story changing so fast it's difficult to figure out who and what to believe. >> how is rudy doing? >> tonight constantly shifting explanations about the president, the porn star and the payoff. first there was president trump's firm denial aboard air force one last month that he knew anything about the $130,000 payment his personal lawyer maid to stormy daniels days before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about an alleged 2006 sexual encounterer with trump. >> did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. >> then why did michael cohen make it if there was no -- >> you have to ask michael
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cohen. michael's my attorney and you have to ask michael. >> reporter: that denial contradicted wednesday night on fox news by one of trump's new lawyers, rudy giuliani. >> that campaign was not campaign money. sorry i'm giving you a fact now that you do not know. it's not campaign money. no campaign finance violation. >> they funneled it through a law firm? >> funneled it through a law firm and the president repaid it. >> again thursday morning saying of cohen. >> he was definitely reimbursed. >> while also attempting to clear up questions of what trump knew and when. >> he didn't know the detail gs of this until we knew the details of it which was a couple weeks ago, maybe not a couple weeks, maybe ten days. >> sources who talked to giuliani backed up giuliani's explanation writing he
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reintercontinental ballistic missile you ar-- reimbursed him throu. now telling nbc he doesn't think trump realized he had paid cohen back until giuliani made him aware of documents that show he did. saying when he told the president, trump responded, oh, my goodness, i guess that's what it was for. just a few hours later the president again reversing course, suggesting giuliani, who joined his legal team two weeks ago, didn't have a full grasp of all the facts. >> rudy is a great guy but he just started a day ago, but he really has his heart into it. he's working hard. he's learning the subject matter. he started yesterday. he'll get his facts straight. >> reporter: adding before boarding air force one for texas. >> when rudy made the statements, he's great, but he
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just started and he wasn't totally familiar with everything. >> reporter: while insisting. >> we're not changing stores. >> reporter: giuliani issued a statement this afternoon saying in part my references to timing were not describing my understanding of the president's knowledge but instead my understanding of these matters. >> so even that statement is a head scratcher. one would think giuliani's, quote, understanding of these matters would come from his own discussions with his client, the president. as we reported the president talked to giuliani before and after that statement. just ahead president trump says he'd love to talk to special counsel robert mueller. plus a new earthquake rocks hawaii's big island as lava and deadly gas spew from the ground. we'll get an update on the
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rudy giuliani's. let's bring in our team of legal and political experts. sara murray, i'll go to you first. rudy giuliani saying you won't see any daylight between me and the president. today the president said there was a lot of daylight, a whole bunch of daylight. let's watch. >> rudy is a great guy but he just started a day ago. he has his heart into it, he's working hard, learning the subject matter. he started yesterday. he'll get his facts straight. he's a great guy. but what he does is he feels it's a very bad thing for our country and he happens to be right. >> it sounded like a parent talking about their child, he's working very hard, putting his heart into it, we want the best for them. >> they're on the same page in the sense that neither rudy giuliani or the president seem to be concerned about the facts or what actually happened before they decide to go on television
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and talk about it. that's why we're in this mess and the rest of the president's legal team is cringing because nobody knows what's going on. they've given three versions of the story, we can't get on the same page we're not sure what it means for us legally. so rudy giuliani not helping the president. but you can see the president's affection for him anyway. >> after you and i covered the campaign, it's situation normal. >> pretty much. >> rudy giuliani tried to clear things up and he put out the statement, there's no campaign violation, giuliani says, the payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the president's family, it would have been done in any event whether he was a candidate or not. he's talking about it in the context of october of 2016 opinion but the alleged affair happened in 2006. they had ten years to make this payment or talk about a payment. what do you make about that?
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>> therein lies the issue. if you're inquiring, don't other inquiring minds want to know. here's the point. what happened with rudy giuliani is inexcusable. perfection eludes us all, i get that. but as lawyers we have one job, we spin the facts, we massage the fact, we take a good fact and bad fact and we highlight the good fact and we subvert the bad fact but present the facts. when you don't, as a base, know what the facts are, that's problematic. maybe you do know the facts but you realize the facts hurt your client. what i find more incredible. is in the clips of the president, the president is covering for his client -- >> the over way around. >> the president is covering for rudy giuliani. shouldn't it be the lawyer that covers for you? and so the bottom line is that's very troubling to say the least.
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>> he was working very hard and he had his heart into it, you could say of the president today. speaking of someone in pursuit of the facts, robert mueller would like to sit down with the president, i spoke to a source that said they're still working on this. what do you think the odds are for that? i was hearing 50/50 today. the president sounded like he wanted to do it today. of course, we don't know if that's true or not. how is this boiling down, do we think? >> we heard giuliani and the president make statements about willingness to meet with mueller but then heavily vaf yacily cav then they insulted the justice department after that. i think we see them make these public statements and negotiate publically on a mueller interview, on north korea, on iran, and the fact of the matter is these are all distractions. real work is being done not in
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front of the tv cameras, between the president's legal team and the mueller team. real negotiations don't happen in front of the cameras. >> what did you make of the federal judge going after mueller's team, saying you're out to get the president? you're using mueller to get the president. it's harsh stuff. >> it's troubling why he would say that based on the substance. also on the substance, prosecutors use evidence in other crimes for cooperation all the time. it's not clear why he's suggesting it's improper. >> or new. >> right. he does have a reputation for being tough on government lawyers, even if he rules in their favor. the president in the past made the maistake of saying any judg that ruled against him was bias.
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maybe he needed to challenge the government's position to get the information he needed. i think we should give the court the benefit of the doubt until we actually see the ruling. >> if the judge had said that to you today, what would have been your response? >> some judges are activists and they have things to say to the prosecution as well as the defense. but generally speaking judges aren't waxing poetic about what their thoughts of your intent n intentions are. if you have a legitimate case, i think a judge, yes, you have your own opinions but the courtroom is not the place to express them. the courtroom is a place you can make rulings legitimate based upon the case before you. so to question why you're doing things or who you're trying to harm, et cetera, i don't think that's proper province of what a judge should be doing in a courtroom. >> good question. stand by. even some of the president's
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biggest cheerleaders are frustrated by the president's shifting statements. and hawaii's volkcano and earthquake. we're live in the danger zone coming up. alo-ha. kayak. search one and done.
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kyle, we talked about this.
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there's no monsters. but you said they'd be watching us all the time. no, no. no, honey, we meant that progressive would be protecting us 24/7. we just bundled home and auto and saved money. that's nothing to be afraid of. -but -- -good night, kyle. [ switch clicks, door closes ] ♪ i told you i was just checking the wiring in here, kyle. he's never like this. i think something's going on at school. -[ sighs ] -he's not engaging.
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we're back with our legal and political team following the fallout from rudy giuliani's questionable atemperatures to defend the president in a series of interviews. we'll label the banner here when
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you've lost fox news. take a look at fox news anchor neil cavuto with a stunning unstate like tv statement about the president. here's what he said. >> how can you drain the swamp if you're the one muddying the waters. you didn't know about that $130,000 payment to a porn star until you did. said you knew nothing about how michael cohen handled this until acknowledging today you were the guy behind the retainer payment that 250k care of it. you ebb cyst money from the campaign or campaign contributions played no roll in this action. you're sure. thing is not even 24 hours ago, sir, you couldn't recall any of this. they're using your own words to bash you. your base probably might not care but you should. i guess you're too busy draining the swamp to stop and smell the stink you're creating.
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that's your doing. that's your stink. mr. president, that's your swamp. >> when you've lost fox news. >> it is stunning because, of course, this is fox. i think you're seeing a lot of the frustrations we've seen from conservatives who hoped the president would rise to the moment once he was in the white house and they wouldn't be dealing with things like questions of paying off porn stars but these were the people who were cheerleaders for this man when he was accused of unwanted advances and touching by a dozen women. this is a man who denigrated women of every ethnicity under the sun. this is the guy you elected. this is what you get. >> there's no fine print with donald trump. it's all bold caps. >> people voted for him. he won the white house, this is what you get. >> i want to show what the wall street journal had to say about
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this. it says mr. trump is compiling a record that increases the likelihood that few will believe him during a genuine crisis. say speaking with mr. mueller or a nuclear show down with kim jong-un. mr. trump should worry that americans will stop believing anything he says. how big of a crisis of credibility is this becoming? : it's a crisis of credibility for the american people but also for any negotiations we're having abroad. this notion of believe me this time isn't going to fly with kim jong-un or the i rranians. jim all of this tells me that putin is sitting back tonight thinking wow it was really smart to back donald trump as a candidate because putin's whole mission is to undermine the credibility of our institutions and at this point if no one
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believes the president of the united states, putin is having a moment. >> we've seen this today in his speech he's wearing to tear down the public discourse all the way to hold the house and senate because he knows he's in trouble if he doesn't. i think the turning point we've seen this week is only going to want to make him do it more. >> i think it's gotten to the point where you can't believe or disbelieve anything. the president appears to relish the extent to which that discome bob lates the media and his opponents. it's disorienting to his base as well and it's going to have political problems, but it's going to be a problem when he needs to draw on our foreign allies. >> joey jackson, right now donald trump is your client. go. >> you know, i have to tell you the most frustrating thing about
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it is he doesn't listen so it wouldn't matter what i'd have to say to him because he's going to do his own thing. the fact is when you say things there are consequences to what you say, and the consequence here is the lack of people believing what you say, and we are in -- i mean, these are very troubling times for him. we have this mueller investigation going on, will he speak to him, will he get subpoenaed before the grand jury, will he lie? will he testify in the stormy daniels case. you're a great businessman but leave the lawyering to your lawyers, and part of that is to stop talking. stay off twitter and stop getting yourself in these instances for which your words are just your worst enemy. >> the president tweeted about the media this morning calling us fake news, and then walked outside the white house and said
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his lawyer didn't have his facts straight. next, a dangerous volcano and an earthquake. we'll go live to hawaii. ♪[upbeat music]
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♪now i'm gonna tell my momma ♪that i'm a traveller ♪i'm gonna follow the sun♪ ♪now i'm gonna tell my momma ♪that i'm a traveller ♪i'm gonna follow the sun transitions™ light under control™ (barry murrey) when you have a really traumatic injury, we have a short amount of time to get our patient to the hospital with good results. we call that the golden hour. evaluating patients remotely is where i think we have a potential to make a difference. (barry murrey) we would save a lot of lives if we could bring the doctor to the patient. verizon is racing to build the first and most powerful 5g network that will enable things like precision robotic surgery from thousands of miles away as we get faster wireless connections, it'll be possible to be able to operate on a patient
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worked as a signal to others to invest. with citi's help we built a wonderful maternity ward and we were able to purchase an mri machine. we've made it possible for the people who live here to lead healthier lives and that's invaluable. ♪ a very dangerous situation in a vacation paradise. a series of earthquakes strikes hawaii's big island where a volcano has been shooting hazardous substances in the air.
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stephanie elam has more. what's the latest? >> reporter: jim, what we're learning is that a fourth fissure has opened. this as residents are are dealing with flowing lava and a swarm of earthquakes. volcanic eruptions spewing toxic gases on to hawaii's big island. stemming from a series of cracks in the rift zone miles from the kilauea volcano. residents are fleeing as forests burn and break open. >> heat coming down. there's heat coming up out of this. >> reporter: officials warn the sulphlivan dock ide levels are dangerous. more than 700 structures and 1700 people are within the mandatory evacuation area. >> now we have about 100 people.
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the volcano and it's erupting more up on the street. at the center is of the activity, a resident there captured this la over 100 feet into the air. >> down the road. all we heard was a boom. what is up? >> all of a sudden, we smelled sullivan far. we knew something was happened. within minutes, some smoke. and now, all this lava coming across the street and it's pumping right now, so this is opening up and this is our next e rums. >> it's part of a series of e events by the crater floor. that led to hurricanes ndreds o earthquakes this week. >> the tough part about this is that it's unpredictable.
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we don't know which way the lava is going to flow and we are planning actively for every contingency we can think of. >> and of course, dealing with volcano erupting is something that they have seen here before, but at the same time, they're telling residents to not mess around, to evacuate with the air quality being bad with these earthquakes and with the deadly lava flowing toward places like leilani estates. >> stunning images in a beautiful place. stay safe. thank you very much. now let's shift gears back here to washington and what seems to be a daily scandal involving the e p epa admin straeter scott produce and still more about his spend ing and ethics are surfacing. he'll give new testimony on may 16th facing lawmakers fed up with his constant controversy. we have the latest on that. what are we learning about him tonight? >> well, tonight, jim, internal turmoil in the erepa office con
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as we learn of the departure of the associate director for public affairs. this is the man who overseed the initiatives like sensors climate change science. he's the fourth staffer to leave unexpectedly this week alone. and for those left in pruitt's inner circle, it appears the pressure is building up just as as the headlines. this is just one day of headlines for scott pruitt. and an atlantic reporter has discovered that one of his communication staffers tried to take off the heat by plant iing negative story about fellow cabinet member interior s secretary. >> a press aide at the epa was trying to pitch a story to different reporters. he alleged that a press aide in the department of the interior was trying to leak damaging stories about scott pruitt as a way to prop up his own boss. so this epa press aide in return tried to do is same thing.
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>> when the white house found out, the atlantic reports someone reports from the office of office personnel called enraged and wanted to find out if the staffer could be fired. a different aide denies this happened. an analysgealysis found that he himself nearly $65,000 in reimbursements from his two -- attorney general. in 2010 and 2014 without properly explaining the expenses on his campaign financing reports. the expenditure rs so vague that at times, there is no way to know what they are for. an epa spokesperson says these were standard reimbursements. an election watchdog says they raise serious questions about legality. cnn has learned the man responsible for pruitt's security up until just a few days ago appears to have written
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this facebook post with tips on how to sell a client security. jim, it reads like a playbook for everything that went wrong with scott pruitt. allegations against pruitt include that he abuse d his status in order to fly first klaas and used lights to avoid washington, d.c. traffic. the posting suggests this. make protection feel like a perk and eliminate the usual annoyances of travel. pruitt has also come under fire for spending almost 2 million taxpayer dollars to beef up his security team when a whistleblower provided memos showing there weren't posts to back it up and cultivate a healthy pair noy area. we reached out to the epa an former chief of security, but have not yet gotten a response. >> just doesn't stop there. i can tell you from being at the white house there are people
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inside the white house who are glad that scott pruitt is reliable on issue s like the climate change, but sick of these scandals. have a great weekend for everybody. thanks for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, trump and giuliani, insisting his new attorney doesn't have his facts g straight. plus a federal judge slamming the mueller spres vest fwags, suggesting its only goal is to take down trump. a stunning development there and the president says a date and location have been set for his meeting with kim jong-un. but we don't know what it is yet. what does this mean for the three meramerican hostages who e not yet been released. let's go "outfront." >> "outfront" tonight, president trump throwing rudy giuliani under the bus. trump now blaming his


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