tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN May 30, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
president's fixer recorded conversations with clients that now are being protected under lock and key. is mr. trump on the tapes? mpblt a mpb the president weighs in on the roseanne drama making it about him. the white house trying to explain mr. trump's failure to condemn roseanne barr's racist tweets. dining with a spy. here in the united states tonight they meet. could their meal lock in a deal for a trump-kim summit? we want the welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're following breaking news on the fate of cabinet member president trump loves to
hate, his attorney general, jeff sessions. rudy giuliani is suggesting the president might fire sessions after he learns how robert mueller's investigation turns out. mr. trump has been unloading on sessions once again today for his decision to recuse himself from the russia probe saying he wishes he had hired someone else for the job. this hour i'll talk with congressman eric swalwell. our correspondents and analysts are standing by. let's go to our chief white house correspondent jim acosta. the president has been very busy venting grudges. >> reporter: that's right. grudges that don't seem to have the ability to heal at this hour. the president's outside attorney was inside the white house today telling reporters today what the president meant when he said the special counsel will be meddling in the upcoming midterm elections. rudy giuliani said if robert mueller does not wrap up his
probe before the fall elections he will be meddling. that ams to meddling in the eyes of the president. the white house had few answers to justify the president's unproven conspiracy theory that his campaign was spied on in 2016 as a key republican went wrong and said investigators were just doing their jobs. >> the country chief law enforcement officer. >> reporter: when south carolina trey gowdy was offering his take on president trump's frustration to recuse himself in the russia investigation, a certain viewer down pennsylvania was watching. >> i don't think so. i think what the president is doing is expressing frustration that attorney general sessions should have shared these reasons for recusal who took the job. >> reporter: i would be frustrated too and that's how i read it. senator sessions why didn't you tell me before i picked you. there's lot of really good lawyers in the country. he could have picked somebody else. the president added, and i wish i did.
the president's outside lawyer, rudy giuliani, told reporters he didn't think mr. trump will fire sessions before the special counsel's office concludes its investigation. >> there's no doubt he has some grievances. he's not going to fire him before this is over. nor do i think he should. >> reporter: the president unleashed his fury one day after the new york times asked him to reverse his rescusal last year. the president who has mocked e sessions behind the scenes can't let go of his announcement he's staying out of russia probe. >> the attorney general made a terrible mistake when he did this and when he recused himself or if he should have let us know and we would have used -- put a different attorney general in. he made what i consider to be a
very terrible mistake for the country. gowdy threw cold water on the conspiracy theory that the obama administration was spying on his campaign. federal investigators were just doing their jobs. >> based on what i have seen, i don't know what the fbi could have done or should have done other than run out a lead that someone loosely connected with the campaign was making assertions about russia. >> reporter: white house response. >> clearly there's still cause for concern that needs to be looked at. let's not forget the deputy director of the fbi was fired for misconduct. the president is concerned about the matter and we'll continue to follow the issue. >> reporter: the president tweeted his frustrations with abc over his decision to cancel roseanne barr sitcom. abc does not tolerate comments like those made by roseann barr.
he never called president trump to apologize for the horrible statements made about me on abc. maybe i just didn't get the call. the president didn't condemn barr and neither did sarah sanders who demanded apologies to the president. >> where was the apology to the white house staff for jamele hill calling him and anyone associated him a white supremacist. where was the apology for kathy griffin going on a profane rant for the president against the view after a photo showed her holding president trump's decapitated head. >> reporter: he did make an insensitive comment falsely stating african-american voters have been casting ballots for democrat frs a century. african-americans did not fully have the right to vote until the voting rights act of 1965. >> african-americans vote for democrats for the most part.
vast majority. they've been doing it for over a hundred years. >> reporter: a source familiar with discussions says it's mr. trump who is directing the pi political strategy of going after the special counsel's office. the source described it as bad for the country and likely to get worse. the white house did not respond to that and referred us to rudy giuliani. as for the white house demand for an apology, it's important to know the president rarely ever apologize for his behavior whether it's calling mexican immigrants relationshipi immigrant rapist or peddling the lie that barack obama was not born in the u.s. when he was. >> now to the criminal investigation of the president's long time personal lawyer and fixer michael cohen. cohen's team confirming in open court that mr. trump's fixer recorded conversations with clients, tapes now being held under lock and key. stormy daniels attorney is claiming without proof that the president is on those tapes. let's go to our national correspondent. she's covering all the
developments in new york city for us. what do we know about these recordings? >> reporter: michael avenatti made those claims outside the courtroom based on what happened inside the courtroom. he called them trump tapes. he's claims there's records that haven't been released. he's really ke mandsing that all those tapes be released. take a listen. >> our understanding is there's many, many audio recordings that for whatever reason michael cohen created and then kept and ultimately they would be his downfall and the downfall of this president. >> reporter: he's making these claims outside the courtroom based on what happened inside the courtroom. cohen's attorney said they might have recordings out there.
is this was a side show to what really happened in court. that was an update on the documents in that fbi raid. michael choen's attorney said they received more than three million items and only been able to process about a million as of now to determine if attorney-client impressive lepr compromised. the judge gave them a deadline of june 15th. truth is they haven't received all the documents. we learned there's two cell phones that investigators haven't been able to access and also some materials from a sm shredders. it's going be a while before they receive all the documents they need to review. >> the judge scolded stormy
daniels attorney. tell us what happened. he wanted his hands on the document. he thinks there might be attorney-client impressive lenl issues with his own client. today in court the judge scolded him and saying you're going on a publicity tour and he needs to stop. we saw the comments about the trump tape and soon after that he filed a motion saying he doesn't want to be a part of this process as november now. a drama filled day in court. >> thank you. republicans and democrats at odds over was there collusion between the russia and trump
campaign. tell us more about what you're learning. >> he's operating on a bipartisan basis for much of the last year. the u.s. intelligence community asserted back in january of 2 6 2017. if there were trump associates working to collude, that's an issue that's still dividing this committee along party lines despite more than a year of investigation. right now we're hearing a division along party lines. republicans say they do not see the evidence yet to support the evidence of russia collusion.
there's a lot of questions about problematic contacts. one thing that is prompting concerns from members of both sides of the aisle is they believe they're not getting as much information as the mueller probe is getting. mueller may be the one to decide whether or not there was collusion between trump campaign associates and the russians because of the feeling that perhaps they're not able to simply get the amount of details and information that special counsel is doing. >> the president warning in a tweet about the mueller probe meddling with the midterm elections in november. can the senate release their final report without interfering with this fall's election? >> this is basic question internally. right now a debate is going on whether or not to release any
sort of findings before the 2016 midterms because of concerns it will not be viewed credibly from the public or concerns it would impact what would happen in the 2016 campaign. some republicans like susan collins of maine saying it's not a good idea to release this in the run up to the elections. joe mansion is concerned how lit be looked politically. it will be a question for the chairman of committee. both would say whether that report could come out before november. on this key issue of collusion, appears a sticking point. it may not be resolved before november. >> thank you. joining us now, congress eric swallwell. thanks so much for joining us. let me get to that issue of
collusion. legally, all the legal experts suggest it isn't necessarily a crime. how do you reach a definition that members of both parties can agree on? >> great question. the way i see it is you have to separate this from what you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that's bob mueller's job and just general collusion which is offensive and concerning. i've seen plenty evidence of collusion. you don't need to be a lawyer and have access to classified information. when the russians offered hacking and offered to preview the family memb to trump family members, campaign, and the candidate goes on stage and says russia, please do more. they were eager to work with the russians. what all that amounted to, that's bob mueller's job. i hope we allow him to do that
job. >> yesterday the president accused the mueller investigation of meddling. would robert mueller risk unduly influencing the midterm elections if he were to release his report after september. the time line the president and his defenders are pushing. >> no. she should do all he can to just follow the evidence and tell the american people what he's found as soon as he's found it. does this sound familiar with the president suggesting the election will be rigged. it got in the head of the obama administration officials. i think they were gun shy about telling the american people what the russians were doing and the russians were able to do more. i hope if there is meddling this time that our intelligence leaders identify it and not to
worry that you're playing into the hands of this president's obstructive objective which is to just stop the mueller investigation. >> how relevant are these tapes of understanding president trump's actions and the actions of the people around him. >> very relevant. i think it shows what we've all known which is the president and michael cohen are shadowy operators. i don't think most americans give a rip about what the president did in his personal life but if he did act this way with respect to his business deals or has acted this way in the past with russians that he's worked with especially while interfering in our elections, that's something we would want to know. the house republicans wouldn't use our subpoena power to look
into this. it's all knowable. if you're interesting in knowing, we can tell the american people and will better product nus in the future. >> michael avenatti is draug wi up a lot of drama around this. do you worry that makes it difficult for americans to understand the facts. >> i don't think that michael avenatti should be able to reach into an ongoing criminal investigation just as i don't think devin nunes should be able to reach into an ongoing investigation. we should let the police examine the evidence they obtain and when do time comes they can use that. i don't think anyone should try to obstruct or reach into any ongoing criminal investigation. >> the new york times reporting that last year president trump actually asked his attorney
general jeff sessions to reverse his decision to recuse himself from the russia investigation. do you believe that potentially could be obstruction of justice? >> i do, wolf. many people who defend the president will say how could he be so stupid to do this over and over. how could he be so stupid to admit he obstructed by firing james comey and firing lester holt. i go back and forth on whether he's so kafr careless and reckless or whether he's so bold and he believes that nobody is going to stop him. he has republicans in congress who has given him nothing but green lights and figures he'll keep pushing the boundaries. we're not helpless. whether he's careless or bold, we have a instituticonstitution protect and it's time for republicans and democrats to unit as he continues to obstruct justice in broad daylight. >> the president had some ugly
words about his attorney general. he announced he wishes he had picked another attorney general. why do you think he hasn't fired jeff session ss why do you think he hasn't fired jeff session sessions? >> it's the people who have spoken up who are writing their congressman and senators and asking them to protect the mueller investigation. he knows if he were to fire jeff session, i don't think he would be able to get an attorney general through the senate, at least not one that he would like. he wants somebody who is going to be a loyalist to him. not somebody who is a loyalist to our constitution. i think his efforts to try to shame attorney general sessions does amount to obstruction. he does this at public press conferences and public rallies and on twitter. he's trying to make jeff sessions do something he knows he can't which is to resign. >> thanks as usual for joining
us. >> of course. just ahead, is the president waiting to see what robert mueller does before he fires jeff sessions? we're going to talk about that. also about the president's response to the roseanne fire storm. why is the man who refuses to apologize now expecting an apology. you get another day in paradise. get a sunset on a sunday. get more stories to share. get more from your summer getaway with exclusive hilton offers. book yours, only at hilton.com just another day on the farm. or is it? this farmer's morning starts in outer space. where satellites feed infrared images of his land into a system built with ai. he uses watson to analyze his data with millions of weather forecasts from the cloud, and iot sensors down here, for precise monitoring of irrigation. it's a smart way to help increase yields, all before the rest of us get out of bed.
midterm elections. trump's lawyer, rudy giuliani, talking to reporters outside the white house just a little while ago. let's bring in our political and legal analysts. i want to play what he said. >> how is robert mueller meddling in the midterms? the president said he was going to meddle. >> if he doesn't file his report by september 1st, mid-september. >> will he fire him if he doesn't fire the report? >> i don't think he's going to fire mueller. >> he says september 1st is the deadline for mueller to react with his report. if he waits that would be meddling in the midterm elections. what do you think? >> i think he's stirring the pot here. he's raising the issue of meddling again. the trump team and mueller team have been talking for how many months about presidential testimony. what he's doing is putting pressure on mueller now to say
don't pull a comey, meaning don't release any report or do anything close to the election because then you'll be as bad as comey. they are the one who is have been stretching this out about the question of presidential testimony. he's trying to apply pressure to mueller on the one hand and also to raise this issue for the base which is mueller is bad guy. he's like comey. he's going to try and hurt trump by doing something close to the election which anyone who knows the way robert mueller operates, knows that he would not have done what comey did during the election he would have handled it differently. >> i assume you agree that mueller will do what he's dot to do but he's sensitive to the fact there's midterm elections comie ining up? >> rudy giuliani is trying to create an external expectation so if anything happens after this date they can claim it's
ill illlegitimate. one thing to keep in mind is that might hold related to a report that mueller might issue there's lot of things in terms of timing that mueller is not in control here. there's ongoing cases where judges and defendants get a say as well. even if he was inclined to not release major report, there might be information close to the midterm. >> rudy giuliani also didn't rule out the possibility the president eventually firing his attorney general, jeff sessions. to try to get sessions to unrecuse himself, if that's a word, from the russia investigation.
why is the president so obse obsessed, so angry at sessions for having done the right thing and recusing himself? >> his view of what the attorney general should be is a protector of the president. i don't think he's correct but he viewed eric holder and lo receipt retta lynch as protecting barack obama. that's what he went into the residency with very limited knowledge of how washington works. that's how he viewed this guy sessions. this was his right hand man. believed in donald trump way before any other republican politicians did. i think he was the first republican senator to endorse trump. believed that sessions was going to play this role of insulating him from any legal jeopardy and right in the begins of his white house tenure he takes himself out of investigation that's a mortal threat.
>> joey jackson could this be seen as obstruction of justice. the president trying to convince sessions to unrecuse himself? >> it depends upon who you ask. if you ask any democrat, they'll say absolutely. a republican will say nonsense. if we're talking about corrupt intent, willfully impairing, impeding and stamping upon an investigati investigation, you can make a credible argument if you're a democrat, that's what he was doing. you want a person in control so you can drive the narrative. to the extent you're controlling that person and to the extent they're going to do your bidding, you are obstructing federal process. you're ob strucking
investigation. now turn to be a republican. the fact of the matter is the president has already two powers. those powers say you serve at my pleasure and i have a right to appoint people with whom i'm comfortable. with whom i can believe can do a job effectively. that's why i appointed you in the first place. as long as the republicans control the votes in the house to not convict the president, that's what it's based upon. >> the president's lawyers will point out this meeting with sessions took place before mueller was even appointed. the president wasn't just -- this was pre-special counsel. their argument is you want to talk about obstruction. how can you do that. this is before there was a special counsel. that he just felt betrayed by his good friend and was letting
him -- >> he could have taken actions pre-mueller that would obstructed the initial investigati investigation. >> i'm saying this is their argument. >> ben rhoades has a new book coming out. new york times has excerpts from the book. let me do a couple of quotes what he writes about president obama ruminating about the trump win and election. maybe this is what people want. i've got the economy set up well for him. no faks, no consequences. they can just have a cartoon and president obama adds we're about to find out how resilient or constitutio institutions are and around the world. >> i'm expecting a tweet from donald trump on this at my moment. the quote about the resilience si of the institution seems to
very -- what we saw in donald trump was a candidate who ran against institutions and he remains a candidate who attacks institutions. the fbi, the justice department, congress, you name it. he remains that way, and the press. he remains that way. i think what obama was saying there really makes a lot of sense. >> look forward to having him on the show when the book comes out. just ahead, is the trump white house trying to distract from the roseanne controversy after the president failed to condemn her racist tweets? what is on the agenda as the secretary of state gets ready to meet with a north korean spy master and power player who is here in the united states tonight. kyle: mom! mom!
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tweeted. bob called roseanne. he never called president president trump to apologize for the horrible statements made and said about me at abc. maybe i just didn't get the call. can the president really expect any apologies when he refuses to give apologies himself. >> he can't expect an apology. he could but it's not realistic. what is realistic about much of what this president does. it just shows you it's all about him. instead of addressing this situation and trying to raise a level of conversation instead of uniting people, he's making it all about him. what about me. what about me? why didn't you do it for me? you would think the person in the highest office of the land would be bigger than that and know the grandness of this office but instead i don't think it helped him it all. i think it just shows the selfishness of his nature. >> what are the dynamics here
with abc parent company disney and bob eiger? >> this part is interesting because he seriously thought about running for president last year. he talked to his friends about mounting a campaign against trump in 2020. now, he decided not to go ahead with that. he renewed his contract at disney. that's one of the sub texts of this tweet today that president trump is take aim at him directly saying that eiger is a bad guy. now what trump is doing and what barr, they're both doing the same thing on twitter today. they are playing into the idea of grievance politics. they are saying to their supporters, there are these powerful forces out to get me. i'm the real victim here. trump's doing it by saying that abc apologized to jarrett but not to me. barr is tweeting to her victims by saying she's the victim of a liberal media double standard.
i think it's bull but it's a powerful, emotional idea. they are both portraying themselves as the victim. >> i want you to listen to how the white house spun the president's tweet today. listen to this. >> the president calling out the media bias. no one is defending what she said. the president is the president of all americans and he's focused on doing what is best for our country. >> what do you think? you buy that? >> short answer, no. with some context i think that as we've seen a pattern kind of form over the past 18 months of the trump administration, when they don't really have a defense, they go to the easy target which is the media. they go to this is the leftist media or the elitist hollywood people and biassed against us. that's kind of default so i almost expected something like that. i don't buy it at all.
it's interesting tactic by sarah sanders. she doesn't have to address this issue. she says this president is trying to be good for the entire country but i didn't see a tweet that addressed something that would be good for the entire country, calling it racism, denouncing it, debunking it and bringing people together. >> there you go. we're talk about this instead of what this should be about and o that's how to dole with racism in this country. >> the irony of roseanne's barr of disrespect on the national anthem. we're getting how the president influenced the policy against the anthem. the dallas cowboys owner jerry jones described this phone call with the president and i'll read it. "this is a very winning strong issue for me. tell everybody you can't win this one. this one lifts me up." the owner of the miami dolphins
said the president's conversations with different owners were brought up in a league meeting and he thought the president changed the whole dialogue. what do you make of that? >> that it's all about a game for this president. it's all about the win for him instead of what's best for the country. it shows he's trying to shift the conversation away from exactly what it is and it's what those nfl players were taking a knee for. their right as americans to take a knee for that. we don't have to stand and have some pretend patriotism. heath tu he's turning the conversation back to him. back to what is a win for him and it just shois you that he doesn't really have, when it comes to this issue, the best interest of the heart of the country at heart or people in general at heart. it's all about him. i think his supporters and even the nfl owners and the salespeople who support him on
this issue should see through that. why doesn't he see it as a bigger issue than something all about him. >> he knows they don't. >> why is he involving himself in a business and hurting the nfl, which is a business? which contributes to the economy, which are jobs and on and own. >> go ahead. >> i'm sorry sorry for jumping in. the reason they don't -- he knows his supporters don't see through it. that's why this continues. bryan was talk about them playing the game of grievance politics but in this case i feel like they are playing the game of identity politics and it's an issue that's very deviivisive f the country. he saw the majority felt like they were disrespecting the national anthem or the flag and that wasn't what this began as at all. everyone has flipped it and he's flipped it and played the jedi
mind trick on so many people and they bought it. he knows he can play this game and continue to win it. >> back to wolf's original point. i brought up the issue of roseanne and the national anthem. if that wasn't disrespect then what was? the same supporter who look down on the nfl players or think the nfl players are disrespecting the flag and the anthem, they are on roseanne's side and wanting to agree with her and want to lift her up. why the hypicrosy and the president is doing the same thing as well. >> why don't you weigh in bryan on what when he heard in don, the president so involved in pressuring these private companies. have you ever seen something like that? >> it's definitely a very unusual situation. we talked a lot about starbucks yesterday. not an example of a president responding to a president but starbucks was trying to be on
the right side of history. disney doing the siame thing by cancelling roseanne. the nfl may be taking a step backwards by changing the policy. we don't see everything move ng the same direction. with regards to the president pressuring companies. look what happened with abc. bob is one of the most powerful ceos in world. the president targeted him on twitter and he want said a word. sometimes these companies believe they can just lay low and let it pass and wait for the president to find another target. >> good conversation. thanks very much for that. don lemon's 10:00 p.m. show. important viewing for all of our viewers. breaking news, a top north korean official is about to meet with the secretary of pompeo in new york city. is, little things can be a big deal.
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meeting. jim is in new york covering this. he's the highest ranking north korean official to visit the united states in almost two decades. >> reporter: we're still now waiting for his arrival here. we saw secretary pompeo arrive moments ago. this is truly a >> his this is truly a remarkable face to face meeting. a south korean navy ship in 2012 that killed 46 south korean sailors. this was a man who was long time head of north korean intelligence services and now in charge of negotiations between north and south. but someone who's been at the tip of the spear as it were by some of the most aggressive actions by north korea, not just against south korea but against the u.s. as well. he's sitting across the former
director of the cia, secretary pompeo now secretary of state. and discussing a meeting never been seen before between the south korean leader kim jong-un. the hope here they can iron out enough details here in new york so that planned meeting in singapore can take place. tonight they're going to have dinner, they plan to meet twice more tomorrow morning much to discuss not just the details and logistics of a presidential summit but also the key issues of negotiation primarily denuclearization by north korea. >> we've been showing our viewers some video. kim yong-chol getting in his car and driving over to this dinner. what's at stake at this important dinner meeting tonight? >> you know, it's interesting. secretary pompeo tweeted earlier
today saying he was looking forward to meeting mr. kim, but he also had language in there which in effect lays out the u.s. position. that the u.s. is looking for complete irreversible and verifiable denuclearization by north korea. to take some wigging out of them roo, because we've heard some statements that perhaps the u.s. and north korea have different definitions of what denuclearization will be. president trump himself has even left open the possibility that denuclearization can't happen in a day, but perhaps it will be over time, that that is something the u.s. would agree to. but the goal at least laid out by secretary pompeo preparing to meet with this north korean negotiator behind me laying out illegal clear terms the u.s. expects something complete. >> jim sciutto is in new york
covering these important talks for us. thank you very much. and just ahead the parkland, florida, school shooter details his plot to kill in his own words. it's a cnn exclusive. ♪[upbeat music] ♪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 transitions™ light under control™ visit your local visionworks to ask about transitions™ brand lenses
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shooting for us. some chilling new details in this transcript. >> chilling have very distressing. cnn has obtained transcripts of three and he lays out in details what he plans to do. authorities have not understand exactly when these videos were recorded. in these videos he says, quote, hello, my name is nick and i'm going to be the next shooter of 2018. my goal is at least 20 people with an ar-15 and a couple of tracer rounds. he says, quote, it's going to be a big event and when you see me on the news you'll all know who i am and more detail. he says, quote, here's the plan. i'm going to take uber from the afternoon at 2:40. from there i'll go onto the school campus, walk up the school, get my bags, my ar and walk up and down shoot people, what is it, the main courtyard, wait, and people will die.
quote, today is the day, the day it all begins. the day of my massacre shall begin. all thids in school will run and fear and hide from the pragt of power they will all know who i am. he makes shooting sounds and says yeah, can't wait. he ends the video laughing. >> you've gotten a response from one of the fathers of one of the victims. >> that's right, wolf. our colleagues diane gallagher and meredith edwards got an exclusive interview with andrew pollack. he's read the transcript but not seen the video. here he is. >> he knew what he was doing. he planned it, who was going to take him. so a premeditated murder. so i don't see how they're going
to want to claim insanity or he didn't know what he was doing. he was taking a call there, he was going to start shooting them, and he was going to be laughing while he was doing it. he laughed in this video and he just planned how he was going to go floor to floor and shoot my daughter and shot her nine times. >> obviously emotional and just horrible, wolf. >> indeed, a terrible ending. erin burnett out front starts right now. outfront next, ignoring the facts, the white house brushes off a key republican who just debunked donald trump's conspiracy theory. plus breaking news, rudy giuliani suggesting president trump won't fire attorney general jeff sessions at least not until the russia investigation is over. and president trump is breaking his silence on roseanne barr. how he turned a racist tweet into an attack on himself. let's go out front.