tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN May 5, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
ber chceoi... the smart choice. you're live in the condition krng newsroom. thank you for being here. our breaking news in the russia probe. it involves the man who is perhaps the single closest person to the president. trump's long time friend tom barrack was interviewed back in december. i want to get right to cnn's boris sanchez at the white house with more details. put this news into context for us? >> this is certainly notable. this coming from gloria boehringer, she spoke to a close source who indicates that tom barrack was interviewed last year. this is notable because of his proximity to president trump.
he's known him for 40 years, he served as the chairman of the inaugural council. he was considered for a senior role within the administration he did not take. he introduced donald trump to paul manafort, a central figure in the russia investigation. someone who has been accused of a lit thing of fraud charges, financial crimes by the special council. manafort has denied all of them. he's also close with rick gates. a source indicating the two of them have become close during the campaign. from this source, we understand that that was the focus of his interview with the special council, the relationship between tom barrack, paul manafort and rick gates. he was not asked about his relationship with the president or his role on the inaugural committee. we were told he is not a target of the investigation many. >> all this is happening as there is a new report in the new york times about the president and when he knew about that hush
money payment to stormy daniels. >> the president has long known about the deal struck between michael cohen and stormy scannials, something the president has denied 37 sarah sanders having to walk back some of her previous comments this week, saying she gave the best information she knew when it came to that, rudy giuliani contradicted the president on fox news this week. saying michael cohen was reimbursed, now it leads to a series of questions about when the president was told about this hush. >> man: agreement, whether he knew that that money was going toward that agreement with stormy daniels, and i bring up michael cohen in part because of other news from the wall street journal. detailing some of his activity during the campaign. others reporting in the journal, that cites public records that indicate michael cohen took out extra lines of credit as
president trump's political career was taking off. he was trying to protect him from these issues. >> rudy giuliani was cited, acknowledging payments were made to michael cohen. for some necessary expenditures that he made. we're digging to find out what those expenditures were, let's point out the hush money payment made was $130,000. what was the rest of that money for. >> more questions, more pieces of the puzzle. boris sanchez at the white house for us, i want to bring in our legal experts now, a federal and white color criminal defense attorney. a former federal prosecutor. first on this news about tom
barrack. what does it say that he's interviewing one of his closest friends? >> that's how prosecutors work. they start with their cooperators. mueller you can assume at this point knows everything that gates knows. now he's working outward from gates. he's taking the knowledge he has from gates and talking to people who were connections between gates and some of the other people he's investigating. what it tells me, mueller is trying to build a case he believe there's some informat n information. >> does that suggest otherwise, when he didn't ask about the
president specifically. >> it suggests to me that he's asking questions about financial transactions, it doesn't necessarily mean anything at that point. i think it suggests that he's honed in on very specific crimes, and we don't have enough information based on what you said, to know exactly what those are. >> caroline on this issue of the stormy daniels payment, and this new new york times reporting, that president trump new about that payment months before he denied publicly knowing about that payment. does the timing of when he knew and what he said matter? >> it really does matter, i think that's why you saw julian fle come out with this extraordinary walk back statement. refuting what he had set previously on hannity, giuliani's statement about the president's knowledge of the timing didn't go to -- i mean, it was kind of a muddled statement, but wasn't an accurate representation of the president's state of mind and knowledge. when you talk about state of mind that goes to an idea in
prosecutions you have to have a guilty conscience. if you knew about the payment when it was made, that goes to the campaign finance law violations, what giuliani was doing was trying to ex-cull pate michael cohen by saying he was repaid for this loan. but also at the same time, exculpate trump by staying he knew about the loan, but he didn't really know about it, there was a $35,000 a month retainer fee, to use to pay off the -- >> you know, he's the fixer. he knew it was reimbursed in one sense, he didn't know the specifics of it. >> did giuliani clean it up a little bit? >> no, he muddied 9 waters further and further. it's never a good look when a client and an attorney aren't on the same page. >> let's play that walk back for us, we have rudy giuliani
offering the two explanations as to why the payment was made. >> imagine if that came out on october 15th 2016, in the middle of the last debate with hillary clinton. >> here's a statement. he said, there is no campaign violation, the payment was made to resolve a personal and false accusation. it would have been done if he was a candidate or not. it would have been horrible news had this news or allegation gotten out during the campaign, but then he said, it didn't really matter the timing, do you have any more clarity on what happened and why this payment was made? >> well, what giuliani's trying to do is actually trying to rebuild what would have been a good defense, frankly, a good defense here is very much the defense that john edwards had when he was facing the same sort of charge, there are lots of reasons why you want to keep an
affair silent. you don't want your wife to know, the public embarrassment. that was a fairly good defense that trump had. giuliani's off hand remark about the state of the election, and the timing of that payment really helped the government tie that into the campaign finance violation and what giuliani was trying to do elsewhere. he said he was only speaking for himself, those were his observations not the presidents. he wants to make sure his statements don't harm the president. typically his statements can be used against the president, he's acting on the president's behalf. and so that statement would be very damaging if it could be used against the president it suggests the payment was done in order to help the campaign. >> many are seeing the statements by a federal judge out of virginia, the judge went after the prosecution cushion,
he thinks this is really all about getting manafort to flip on president trump. a comment the president seized upon. >> the judge who is really something very special i hear. he's a respected person suggested the charges before the u.s. district court for the eastern district of virginia were in part to gitman in a for the to give up information on president donald trump. how does this have anything to do with the campaign the judge asked zm let me tell you, folks. we're all fighting battles. but i love fighting these battles, it's really -- >> as i read some of the other quotes no, one has unfetterred power or impeachment.
that's what you're interested in. >> this is huge, quite frankly, this is the first time we've ever seen in a court of law, a questioning of robert mueller, the scope of this russia investigation. it took a lot of us by surprise, judges aren't usually that candid in open court. it calls into question the entirety of the sincerity of the prosecution. this specific manafort prosecution, it has nothing to do with the bigger russia issue, i think the vernacular the judge used was, you're trying to get him to sing, which is something we call when you get people to flip. they're trying to get leverage over manafort, because ultimately, this judge who by the way is notoriously conservative. >> appointed by ronald reagan. >> the idea being that this is all part of a larger scheme to gitman in a for the to flip. he pointed out that manafort. that mueller referred the
prosecution of michael cohen because it didn't have to do with the investigation. we've seen drofrts of this come out in the manafort cases previously. this is the first time the judge said, i will have to read the entirety of this memo in camera, which means he can see it privately. if i had to guess, i'd say we'll get a leaked version at some point. >> i'll give you the final thought on this judge's comment. >> he's known for making all sorts of remarks. i don't think it means he's going to rule against mueller, i think it's ill-advised in this case, judges are typically careful about what you say. the things you're speculating on have absolutely nothing to do with the legal ruling he's going to make. it's irrelevant what a prosec e prosecut
prosecutor's motives are. i think it is it here, and realistical realistically, even if he found this wasn't within the scope of mueller's authority, owl he would do is dismiss it without prejudice. >> thank you both for your expertise and your opinions. >> coming up, the president's new attorney rudy giuliani and his 4i69 history of pushing conspiracy theorys. from claims of voter flawed, from hillary clinton hiding a serious illness. >> i've seen her lifted on to airplanes, i don't know what's wrong with her. >> plus, a river of lava, toxic gas, and hundreds of earthquakes, we go live to hawaii's big island after a volcanic eruption. >> a survivor of the park lant shooting, slamming the president as a professional liar after trump's speech to the nra. as you can clearly see,
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you know, you're really beautiful. a woman that looks like that has to have her own special scent. >> thank you. >> so get this, that was donald trump, you knew that and rudy giuliani performing a fwund raising exit together in 2007. there's no daylight between him and the president now that he works as his attorney. still, giuliani's caught many in the white house off guard. maybe they shouldn't have. >> it's time to make america one again wealth america.
>> it was a speech that cemented giuliani's place in the trump campaign. stoking fears about isis terrorism. >> platives who are terrorists, who are going to come from western europe and come here and kill us. >> one installment of a year's long series of downright false statements. a month later in a speech in which he talked about the terror attacks on 9/11, he said this. >> by the way. under those eight years, before obama came along, we didn't have any successful radical islamic terrorist attack in the united states. >> a month after that. fueling the conspiracy theory that hillary clinton was hiding
a serious illness. >> i have eight times online since january, in which she's had massive coughing felts, she couldn't complete her speech. i've seen her lifted on to airplanes, i don't know what was wrong with her. >> she was a frequent target during the 2016 campaign. >> hillary clinton didn't want uniformed police officers on the convention floor. >> a claim the philadelphia police department shot down. >> giuliani has never been known to shy away from sensitive issues like race. >> when you say black lives matter, that's inherently racist. black lives matter, asian lives matter, white lives matter, it's ant anti-american and racist. >> giuliani ramped up accusations of voight rigging opinion. >> you want me to tell you the election in philadelphia and chicago are going to be fair? i would be a moron to say that.
>> this is talk, and he who hasn't sinned throw the first stone here. >> joining us now andrew kurtz man. he's the author of the book rudy giuliani. do you see a shift from the man who rose to prominence during 9/11. >> sure. he led a charmed life in from the beginning of his career until his disastrous run for president. ever since then he's been casting about for an identity. it wasn't until he found donald trump, that he kind of found his -- i wouldn't say found his
voice, which has become somewhat shrill, but found his place. and once he kind of lined up with donald trump, he went full out in. in a way that i think has damaged his credibility. i mean, giuliani was a hero of 9/11 an american hero. and i think that he's tarnished his legacy in recent years. >> he went from being a bipartisan figure to a more polarizing figure in the process. here's giuliani talking about negotiating conditions for a sitdown interview with the special council robert mueller. >> never be on two or three hours. it won't happen. i think jay and i will insist they're going to have to treat him the same way as clinton, 2 1/2 hours, we end, we walk out. give us your questions in advance. he's ready to -- >> is this how giuliani the lawyer fights or is this
giuliani the politician at work? >> right, i think it's giuliani the politician at work, i mean, he was always kind of bombastic and confrontational as a mayor, as a prosecutor, but there was always a method to his madness, always a strategy. he was a brilliant strategist, even though he rubbed people the wrong way. i can't make sense of the strategy behind that interview. i think he embarrassed the president. and weakens the hand of mueller. it was a set back for trump. you have to wonder now how trump is feeling about giuliani. and whether he's the savior who's going to march in and end the interview with mueller.
i think the reason for his coming in which was his gravitas has been dimmenered. >> they seem to speak a similar language. >> there's a witch hunt against the president of the united states going on. >> this has become a witch hunt like the president said. >> our justice department should be looking at that kind of stuff. >> this is a justice department completely unhinged and out of control. >> russian collusion is a total fake news. >> comey's a liar and a leaker. >> a liker in chief. >> with the exception of the late, great abraham lincoln. i can be more presidential than any president that's ever held this office. >> i believe he's one of the best presidents we've ever had. >> what do you think is at the core of this bond between giuliani and trump? their backgrounds as new yorkers
or something else? >> well, you know, they do both have a similar background. as you said, they're both kind of outer borrow, hard scrabble, take no prisoners kind of people, they're simpatico and one of the major reasons trump hired giuliani was not just to be his lawyer, but his confidant. giuliani's going way too far, crossing the line and damaging his credibility. it's unfortunate, i've been wondering from the beginning of this whole thing how things were going to go between giuliani and trump. and, juligiuliani wanted trump' job, he ran for president, i wonder whether sometimes giuliani wonders, well, whether he should be giving orders to trump as opposed to the other way around. these are two kind of alpha males who, i don't know what the long term prospects are for this relationship. for now, they seem to be kind of
ginning each other up. one last question i have, is whether giuliani is going to wind trump up and advice he fire mueller, which is what the rest of the people around trump have been trying eagerly to prevent trump from doing. >> it will be so interesting. you posed so many more questions about giuliani's end game for one, could he upstage trump, if that happens, what is his fate. andrew, i'm sure we'll have you back and we can continue the discussion, thank you so much. coming up. curtain of fire. a hawaii volcano erupts, spewing lava and toxic gas, the threat isn't over. about the acceleration... horsepower... and all-around performance... of a lexus hybrid, this should clear the air.
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fiber choice... the smart choice. just look at that molten hot lava shooting up from the ground on hawaii's big island. these random fissures are feet from our cameras. the biggest fear for our residents. take a look at this astounding time lapse video. capturing the scale and spread of this lava. one resident described it as a curtain of fire. eruptions have been as high as 100 feet. making matters worse, more than 450 earthquakes in the last 24 hours, opening up more cracks in the road for the lava to fill. joining us now, stephanie elam. you and your crew were right there, so close to some of those fissures, what was that like? >>. >> i have to say it's one of the
most amazing experiences i have had. the fact of the matter is, i wasn't prepared for the sound of it, the sound it's making while you have the gases escaping from that molten lava, also the color of it, that deep orange, it almost looks like it's infused with color, because it looks so fake many you have that and the splatter, and how far it's flying, and the ash coming off of it, and the lava rock that comes off of if as well, that's being spewed from it, there's nothing that can prepare you for something like that when you're that close. imagine this happening in your neighborhood, imagine this happening four doors down from where you're living. and that's what happened to one man that we just spoke to. steve told me he built the house he's living in on his own, he's a carpenter by trade, just finished the house, he said, unlike lava flow that takes a long time. this happened quickly, and he knew his house was a threat.
>> life has been completely turned upside down. i think it's just starting to set in. yesterday everybody looked like beverly hillbillies, everybody had everything in their trucks and on the run. now, this is the first morning after evacuation, and -- now trying to figure out what the future brings. >> you're starting to feel it today? >> yes. i kind of said farewell to my house yesterday. now i'm starting to think about my future, my work, my job. am i going to have to move to somewhere else on the island? the area play forever be changed. >> he's evacuated now to a friend's home, he doesn't know if his house is still standing. last count we heard thigh homes had been destroyed. he doesn't know whether that's his home or not. and that's the issue here too because of the sulfur die oxide escaping from these fissures, the air quality is bad, when you
get near it, it takes your breath away, you can't breathe it at all. they have a hard time getting first responders in. there have been many earthquakes, one was 6.9 yesterday. it knocked out power to thousands of residents. all of that is playing into the hazards happening here on the island. >> you mentioned the gas, the earthquakes, there are still ecorruptions that have been happening. what are the expectations in terms of when all of this activity might stop. >> that is the billion dollar question, here's the thing, when you talk to the people here, the officials are saying, if anyone says they know how this volcano is going to erupt and how it's going to react, they're lying, they don't know. even people studying volcanos don't know. it's a fluid situation at this point. >> thank you, keep us updated and stay safe. coming up, trump and the truth. the misstatements that have
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convince people they were never misled to begin with. >> when did you -- >> your story on stormy daniels. >> we're not changing any story. >> when did -- >> excuse me, excuse me. >> -- for payments. >> you take a look at what i said, you take a look. you'll see what i said. you. >> said no. >> excuse me, excuse me. you take a look at what we said. >> we did go back and take a look, here's what he said on air force one exactly one month ago. >> did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no, no. >> why did michael cohen make it? >> well, you have to ask michael cohen. michael's my attorney, and you'll have to ask michael cohen. >> do you flow where he got the money to make that payment? >> no, i don't know. >> for the president to claim that his story never changed is just not true. when asked about the correct of this white house. this was the only way sarah
sanders would respond. >> we give the very best information that we have at the time. again, we give the best information possible at the time, and again i've given the best information i've had at the time. again, i gave you the best information that i had, i gave you the best information that i had. again, i'm giving the best information i have. some information i'm aware of and some i'm not. >> that was the response over and over and over again as you just saw. let's discuss with tiffany cross and conservative commentator and national editor in media, kerry sheffield. >> should the white house be worried that people may stop believing them? >> i agree with her, she's giving the best information she has at the time. things are happening in realtime in politics, as you know, it can be the wild west, i agree with that, and in terms of funding and payments and things like that. we saw from the tax returns
issued by the trump -- we don't know the source, but tax returns that had trump's name or affiliation you're talking hundreds of millions of dollars in money that's flowing in and out for him to be able to pinpoint one specific payment, i understand where they're coming from, the source of this, how it was paid for, what it was going through -- there are lots of things that are up in the air. any reasonable could see that. >> do you see it that way, tiffany? >> absolutely not. i love my friend carrie, but i have to strongly disagree. she's not giving the best information she has at the time. she's lying to the american people. i could go through innumerable lies that she's told, i'm afraid we don't have enough time in the segment or the hour. she's doubled down on many of the president's lies. remember when he said the president of mexico called to thank him for the immigration policies. the boy scouts called so kiss
his ring. none of those things happened. all of these things -- that's not the best information she has at the time. those are mistruths. it's the outrage that people say, sarah huckabee sanders is lying? >> we've known that for a long time. >> tiffany, i respect you as well. the fact that we're talking about a porn actress is that -- >> what does her occupation have to do with anything? >> tiffany -- >> it has to do with the -- called a liar. >> can i respond? >> sure. >> it has to do with the fact that for example, we had the most historic developments in north korea, that is amazing news, we had this week job reports for african-americans for women at historic lows, never seen for african-americans. and for women 3.5%.
that's news. so people -- >> what does that have to do with donald trump lying. >> a porn star actress suggests that sarah huckabee sand irs is doing the best she can, when the national media is not doing its job to report on actual news. >> the national media is -- are we blaming the media for reporting on his lies, because that seems like a very strong case of what aboutism. i think americans -- >> we covered all of -- we covered the economy, north korea, we're not ignoring any of that, the bottom line is, this is what the president is talking about this is what his lawyer in the russia probe is talking about, that's why we're talking about it, and now we even have conservative media, traditional allies of this president taking issue with some of the mistruths. >> let me be clear, mr. president, how can you drain the swamp, if you're the one that's
muddying the liars. i'm having a devil of a time figuring out which news is fake. let's say your own words on lots of stuff give me, shall i say, lots of pause. >> and the wall street journal had this to say. trump is compiling a record that increases the likelihood that few will believe him during a genuine crisis. trump should worry americans will stop believing anything he says. >> i love the wall street journey. i love neil cavuto, i go on his show often. i'm a big fan. i think sometimes the president let's the national media dictate what he's -- the reason he's going to talk about it is because he's asked about it incessantly. we just this week issued a new scorecard where we're going to be rating news stories that are coming out, whether they're misleading or not misleading. trump supporters know that the national media is ignoring or
choosing to focus on things that are not relevant the reporting is really bad. >> should the president get a pass for telling lies? >> no, a degree, i agree with the wall street journal, i agree with neil, but the president needs to be focused on substance, he needs to not get distracted. the national media is a huge distraction, and sadly, the president does the best he can. sarah huckabee sanders -- >> he's not doing the best he can if he's not telling the truth many. >> that's ridiculous, carrie, come on, and to say that trump supporters know the media is not focused. no, i think they have a very myopic view. we watched this week, a man who has never once asked for god's forgiveness lead a national prayer service. how many mulligans can this guy get. a president who has declared the media an enemy of the 125state,d for us to sit on this panel and suggest the media are misleading the public.
often times the media gets caught up in chasing his tweets, there's something missed in the cycle. i've done communication strategy, this administration is terrible at it. they can't do any strategy, because they're too busy getting caught up in the latest news cycle. he's too busy throwing a temper tantrum 280 dharkters at a time. don't you want to hold this president to a higher standard. don't you want to put the responsibility on him to drive home his message? the press secretary's message used to be sure, you want to drive the narrative. she's given hbo west world writers a run for their money. she tries to invent a narrative that is simply false. >> ladies, we're going to have to -- in doing so, leave it right there. thank you so much, i appreciate it. >> coming up, gun control
activists protest the nra's first big meeting since parkland. we'll talk to the father of a student lost in that shooting. what he wants to say to the gun rights group and president trump. -oh! -very nice. now i'm turning into my dad. i text in full sentences. i refer to every child as chief. this hat was free. what am i supposed to do, not wear it? next thing you know, i'm telling strangers defense wins championships. -well, it does. -right? why is the door open? are we trying to air condition the whole neighborhood? at least i bundled home and auto on an internet website, progressive.com. progressive can't save you from becoming your parents, but we can save you money when you bundle home and auto. i mean, why would i replace this? it's not broken. but how do i know if i'm i'm getting a good deal?? i tell truecar my zip and which car i want
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because antonio villaraigosa millions got it done.healthcare he defended women's healthcare, banned military-style assault weapons, banned workplace discrimination, and more. antonio for governor. your second amendment rights are under siege. but they will never, ever be under siege as long as i'm your president. >> president trump playing to his base at the nra convention, but he hasn't always been so gung ho about gun heights. after the parkland massacre,
remember, he was encouraging broader gun control measures, expanding gun control measures, increasing the age for people to buy certain rifles. he then backed off those ideas. earlier today, a student highlighted the president's inconsistency. >> he's a professional liar who will say anything to appease whatever crowd he's at. if he's in front of families, he might say something in support of common sense gun reform but when he's at the nra, he'll say something to get a big cheer. >> the nra convention continues today along with protests outside the event. ed is joining us from dallas now. what are you hearing about why protesters feel it's so important to be there today? >> reporter: well, hi. what's striking here in dallas today is you really see on the streets of downtown dallas just the wide divide between what is taking place inside of the dallas convention center and that nra annual meeting where you hear from tens of thousands of gun owners and nra members
who just kind of are -- say they're taken aback by the amount of criticism the nra has received in the wake of mass shooting across the country, a very defiant tone and people talking about how they do not believe that the nra is responsible in any way for these mass shooting and then outside today here in downtown dallas, there have been a number of protests, people coming out here in the streets to protest the nra. we caught up with one of those demonstrators today. might be a familiar face to many people around the country now, fr fred, whose daughter was killed in the parkland shooting back in february. he spoke to a crowd here in downtown dallas and this is what he told us afterwards about what his message is for the nra today. >> they need to hear that their words, their attempts to push an agenda are safrpimply not going be accepted. they need to know that we have a message. they need to know we are here and we are not going away.
and they need to know that we think they're not telling the truth. they need to know that when they say they're all about good guys with guns, if they believed that, their highlight item this weekend would not be that gun that folds up into a cell phone-looking device. >> so, there you have it, kind of in a nutshell, this incredibly wide divide which is emblematic of what's been going on in this country. >> ed lavandera for us. thank you for that report. last year, we shared the story of a top ten cnn hero from detroit. he uses boxing to put kids on a path to academic success. his story has inspired many but it really struck a chord with a social studies student from new hampshire who wrote a letter as part of an assignment. >> come up here for a second. remember when he said that he wanted to skype with us. >> yes. >> he decided to do a little more than that. can i introduce mr. sweeney from
downtown boxing gym youth program from detroit, michigan. >> i'm so honored to meet him, meet somebody like him who changes lives every single day. >> for the full story, or to nominate someone you think should be a cnn hero, go to cnnheroes.com. we'll be right back. (vo) i was born during the winter of '77. i first met james in 5th grade. we got married after college. and had twin boys. but then one night, a truck didn't stop. but thanks to our forester, neither did our story. and that's why we'll always drive a subaru.
everyone else, no way. we let calls from any of your devices come from your business number. them, not so much. we let you keep an eye on your business from anywhere. the others? nope! get internet on our gig-speed network and add voice and tv for $34.90 more per month. call or go on line today. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> you are live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm ana cabrera in new york. we begin with breaking news in the russia investigation.
one of president trump's closest friends and confidants, a real estate tycoon who earned the president's trust decades ago was questioned by robert mueller's team of investigators. cnn has learned he spoke to mueller's team back in december. the president's friendship with him date back more than 40 years and trump tapped him to chair his 2016 inaugural committee. barrack spoke to cnn back in october. watch. >> it's a president who has managed his whole life for the 40 years that i have known him, he's been successful at everything, but he manages by conflict. >> let's get right to cnn's boris sanchez at the white house. boris, tom barrack has enjoyed rare access to trump for years so what types of questions did he face from mueller's team? >> reporter: according to my colleague, gloria borger, the questions centered around tom barrack's relatio