tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN June 15, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
and rudy giuliani and indicating he is willing to cooperate with federal prosecutors. now a federal judge has denied his request for a restraining order against stormy daniels' lawyer. he joins me live this hour. pardon cleanup. trump attorney rudy giuliani says there may be presidential pardons when the russia investigation is over. is he sending a signal to michael cohen, paul manafort and others? unscripted, president trump caps his wild media week with an impi unscript unscripted question and answer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer.
you are in "the situation room." >> hours after a federal judge ordered paul manafort jailed, the president's lawyer rudy giuliani told the new york daily news that robert mueller's russia investigation -- i'm quoting -- might get cleaned up with presidential pardons. a source is telling cnn michael cohen is indicating he is willing to cooperate with federal investigators. a judge denies his request for a restraining order against stormy daniels' lawyer. he will join us live in a few minutes. first, sara murray has more on the breaking news. the president is downplaying his connection to paul manafort. >> reporter: that's right. he also made it clear that he did not want to talk about presidential pardons earlier today. that was not the case though for president trump's lawyer rudy giuliani. he told the new york daily news in an on the record statement, when the whole thing is over,
things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons. this as a judge makes clear to paul manafort today he will be awaiting his trial behind bars. tonight, paul manafort is headed to jail. he will await his september trial on foreign lobbying and obstruction charges. the judge saying, i have no appetite for this and revoking manafort's bail after he spent more than seven months under house arrest. special counsel robert mueller's team argued manafort is a danger to the community and carried out a sustained campaign over five weeks using different phones and apps to try to mold witness testimony, including using a system called foldering, where multiple people have access to an account and write messages to one another and draft e-mails that are never sent. as manafort pleaded not guilty to to new charges for witness tampering and conspiracy to obstruct justice, his lawyers argues he was unaware of who the
witnesses were. the judge was unmoved saying this is not middle school. i can't take his cell phone. manafort faces charges in d.c. and virginia, related to foreign lobbying and financial crimes. prosecutors haven't tied his alleged wrongdoing to work on the trump campaign, the core of mueller's investigation. in court filings, prosecutors have said they are probing manafort's contacts with russians and ukrainians and potential coordination with them while he oversaw trump's presidential bid. >> i think a lot of it is unfair. i tell you, i feel badly about it. they went back 12 years to get things he did 12 years ago. paul manafort worked for me for a very short period of time. >> reporter: later tweeting, what a tough sentence for paul manafort. didn't know manafort was the head of the mob. what about comey and crooked hillary and all of the others? very unfair. to be clear, manafort was not sentenced. he hasn't even had a trial yet.
while the president spent the morning railing against the russia investigation -- >> there was no collusion. there was no obstruction. >> reporter: the judge in the manafort case making it clear, this hearing is not about politics, is not about the conduct of the office of the special counsel. soon after, manafort was led out of the courtroom. minutes later, they handed manafort's wallet and tie to his wife. i'm told leading up to this, paul manafort and his team were optimistic he would be able to avoid going to jail awaiting trial. i'm told that manafort's allies are shell dshocked by the decision. >> what does this develop have a about the mueller investigation? >> there are witnesses that are continuing to come forward and provide information. this is how they found out about this situation regarding
possible witness tampering. it tells us that there's a lot of pressure, continuing pressure on paul manafort by the special counsel team, by the fbi agents continuing to probe the russian interference, possible campaign -- any financial investigation here. that's just continuing. really, i think, wolf, this tells us that there is going to be a continued amount of pressure on paul manafort. perhaps the government, there's every indication they need him and they want him to cooperate. >> how would you react if your client was engaged in this type of behavior? if you were representing manafort, for example, what would you tell him? >> well, manafort's lawyers are honorable people and honorable lawyers. there's no suggestion that they had any involvement in this. this was absolutely insane for manafort to do. he had to know this was wrong.
this was, as the grand jury found probable cause -- it was a crime to try to reach out to these witnesses immediately after he was indicted and line up this false story. in court today, his lawyers made the pitch, we will tell him not to contact anyone who is a possible witness. we will take his cell phone away, his internet away. it was too late for that. the judge said, this was a crime. i have every reason to believe he might do it again. she locked him up. that's a big deal. it's a very big difference between waiting in your apartment awaiting trial and waiting in jail. jail stinks. >> yeah. even if you are in an apartment with an ankle bracelet, it's different if you are in a federal prison. >> in your report, you mention what rudy giuliani told the new york daily news on the record. quote, when the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential
pardons. with a a what are you hearing? >> i think what rudy giuliani said is so interesting because it's different than what president trump himself said earlier today. he did not want to talk about the idea of presidential pardons. recently, he said he didn't want to talk about the notion of pardons becausevicted of anythi. the fact that you have rudy giuliani out there today sort of floating this notion that pardons could clean this up, i mean, this could be a signal that trump and his allies are worried about this pressure on manafort, worried he might ultimately decide to cave or that someone like cohen might decide to flip on the president and cooperate. this does send a signal that the president and his team are thinking about pardons and who to offer those to even as president trump says he doesn't want to talk about it. >> what concerns does it raise when the president's lawyer, in this case rudy giuliani, says something like that? >> it's so corrupt and unethical what giuliani said. we are in an area here that is
literally unprecedented, because not that many people in american life have the power to give a pardon. the idea that you could dangle a pardon with the apparent intention of shortening an investigation or getting people not to cooperate -- i think there are definitely people out there who believe that alone is obstruction of justice. perhaps even an impeachment offense. if you were to -- if the president were to be involved in this. we are so far out of normal ethical behavior that it's just worth preserving our sense of outrage about it. because so much of this stuff happens every day. it really is appalling. >> what message does this send to michael cohen and to some others? >> certainly, witnesses that could be contacted by anyone whosywho
is a subject -- there's an investigation coming out, that they will come forward. if there's anything inappropriate that witnesses see or experience or maybe there's a reach out from someone, i think it tells us certainly when it comes to the special counsel investigation, they are going to reach out to the special counsel, to the fbi because this is how -- we have heard about this. witnesses who have been before the special counsel and come out of there, their experience there. the fear that they have. it's clear that that's probably what happened in the manafort case. one witness came forward to the special counsel thinking there was something inappropriate with the contact. they came forward. i think that's what everyone needs to realize here. this is a very serious investigation and that folks are going to come forward if anything inappropriate occurs. >> good point. the president is trying to distance himself from these men. at the same time, he expresses some sympathy for them. doesn't he? >> that's right. that's been true of michael cohen. that's been true of paul
manafort. it's also been true of michael flynn, the president's former national security adviser, who pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi and is now cooperating. the president has said, some of this publically, but also more privately, that he feels like the only reason these people are in this mess is because they came to work for his campaign or they have served for president trump in the case of michael cohen over the long-term and they now feel like this is anam people can dig into the past decade and that it's all part of this vendetta against the president. these are the president's personal feelings here. obviously, law enforcement has a different view of this. it's not a personal vendetta. they're doing their job, investigating what comes up in the course of the mueller investigation. >> the president's pardon power, according to the constitution, is very, very powerful. you are suggesting if he dangles a pardon, there could be obstruction of justice?
>> certainly, there would be members of congress who would view dangling a pardon as a high crime and misdemeanor. i don't think it's an obstruction of justice. only the president can pardon. if he uses the pardon power to help his own political and legal interests, not for the usual purpose that pardons are used for, i could definitely see that members of congress could see that -- could see that as an impeachable offense. this is a power that only the president has. just because he has it doesn't mean that he can use it for absolutely any purpose, even if there is corrupt intent behind it. >> thank you very much. more breaking news we're following right now. president trump's longtime lawyer and fixer michael cohen said to be getting closer to cooperating with federal
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be there for you, and them. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, control is possible. more breaking news tonight. president trump's longtime personal lawyer said to be angry at his treatment and signaling an openness to cooperate with federal investigators. athena jones is working the
story for us. cohen is under tremendous pressure tonight. >> reporter: he is. look, this is the main reason we have been focused on michael cohen the last couple of months. it's less about the specifics of his legal troubles and more about what it could mean if the president's longtime lawyer who knows about him and his business dealings decides to share what he knows with the feds. >> good luck, mr. cohen. >> thank you. >> reporter: president trump's longtime personal lawyer michael cohen has indicated to family and friends he is willing to cooperate with the feds to alleviate pressure on himself and his family. he is under criminal investigation by the u.s. attorney's office in the southern district of new york for his personal financial dealings, including the $130,000 payment he made to stormy daniels days before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with trump. cohen has expressed anger with the treatment he has gotten from
the president who has minimized his relationship with cohen, according to the source. >> i did nothing wrong. you have to understand, this stuff would have come out a long time ago. i did nothing wrong. >> is michael cohen your friend? >> it's nice -- i haven't spoken to michael in a long time. >> is he still your lawyer? >> he's not my lawyer. >> your personal lawyer. >> i always liked michael. >> reporter: trump suggesting he is not concerned about cohen potentially flipping. in recent months, he seemed to be trying to inoculate himself in case his former lawyer does decide to cooperate with investigators. tweeting in april, most people will flip if the government lets them out of trouble. even if it means lying or making up stories. cohen is also unhappy with comments made by rudy giuliani, one of the newest members of the president's legal time, all of which left him feeling isolated and more open to cooperating. he has not met with prosecutors to discuss any potential deal the source said.
the latest development coming on the heels of cohen losing his request made thursday for an immediate restraining order against daniels' lawyer. >> i'm not deterred. i'm not going to be gagged. this is a search for the truth. >> reporter: cohen arguing avenat avenatti's tour and tweets is likely to result in mr. cohen being deprived of his right to a fair trial. the judge declined to grant an immediate restraining order. he set a meeting for a briefing late they are month. cohen is in the midst of changing his legal team, seeking lawyers with empeerxperience appearing before the southern district in new york. the feds are still working on getting into one of cohen's two blackberries. they have been able to reconstruct 16 pages of documents that have been found in a shredding machine.
the special master in charge of the process has extended the deadline to review the documents and other material to june 25th. that deadline had been today. >> good point, athena, thank you very much. athena jones reporting for us. joining us now is stormy daniels' lawyer, michael aft avenat avenatti. what would it mean for your case if michael cohen were to decide to cooperate with federal prosecutors? >> well, wolf, i think it would be a positive development for our case. the more information that we have, the better off we are. i've been saying for some time that it was only a matter of months before he ultimately would be forced to cooperate as opposed to potentially serve a significant jail sentence. i think that what happened today with mr. manafort is also going to further tighten the noose as it relates to michael cohen.
it's only a matter of time in my view before he is indicted and ultimately attempts to provide information relating to his dealings concerning the president. >> what's your reaction to president trump saying today that michael cohen isn't his lawyer? >> it's interesting, wolf, because with each passing week, it changes. it wasn't that long ago -- i think the president was aboard air force one standing on air force one and he was asked about the $130,000 payment to my client and he directed the press and american people to his lawyer at the time, michael cohen. at some point in time between that date and today, i guess michael cohen ceased being his lawyer. if you go on cohen's linkedin page, i think he lists himself as the president's lawyer. >> the president says he is no longer his lawyer. you point out, michael, that the government has produced the reconstructed documents seized
from michael cohen's paper shredder on his encrypted messages tweeting this. so much for encryption protection. what are you implying here? >> what i'm implying is really that's not directed to michael cohen, per se, but there's a lot of people around the country that rely on these apps for encrypted communication. when i received that letter and the government disclosed that they had been able to decrypt those communications and produce over 700 pages relating to michael cohen's communications that he thought were encrypted, i thought that was rather stunning. michael cohen is not using encrypted applications to communicate with family members about the ball game. those communications are going to prove to be incredibly damaging, i predict, to michael cohen and ultimately perhaps the president. >> how important do you believe these shreds and encrypted documents could be to your case? >> i think they could be
critically important, especially as it relates to communications that michael cohen may have been having with mr. davidson concerning my client and others. i think that the documents that were reconstructed from the shredder and these encrypted text messages could prove to be the most important documents in the entire case. that would not surprise me. >> let me turn to michael cohen and his attorneys filing this restraining order against you. what's your reaction to this? >> you know, it's pretty transparent. it's baseless. they can't beat us on the truth, the facts and the evidence. so they're trying to shut me up. they're trying to get a federal judge to basically infringe on my first amendment right and prevent me from cooperating with the press and providing information and documents to the american people. it's a hail mary. i was pleased to see that the judge literally within business hours shot down that request on an emergency basis and ultimately i think it's going to
be denied in total. >> are you still confident that you will prevail in court when all is said and done considering the judge's previous comments about your, quote, publicity tour? >> well, judge wood made that statement. then she immediately qualified it and stated that she didn't find anything wrong with it, per se. i am highly confident in our case in california. i think we are going to prevail. i think in a matter of months i'm going to have an opportunity to depose the president under oath as to a number of critical issues. i'm looking forward to it. >> it wasn't that long ago, you predicted cohen would be in jail in 90 days. is that still your prediction? >> i think we're at day 59. i'm going to hold true to the 90. >> where do you see this heading in the future? >> i think that mr. cohen is going to be indicted. i think he is going to be doing everything in his power to avoid ending up like mr. manafort. that's what i think. >> thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. more breaking news we're
following. with his former campaign manager just put -- i should say campaign chairman just put in jail, is president trump considering pardoning paul manafort. president trump expressing envy of the north korean dictator kim jong-un. >> he is the head of a country and i mean he is the strong head. don't let anyone think anything different. he speaks and his people speak up at attention. i want my people to do the same. [both scream] (burke) coupe soup. and we covered it. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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president trump caught everyone by surprise today with an impromptu question and answer session on the north lawn. pamela brown is joining us right now. you have details. the president's remarks were shocking as his unexpected appearance before reporters. >> reporter: that's right. during this impromptu gathering with reporters, the president made a series of false claims. he septembnt lawmakers on capit hill scrambling. president trump making an unusual appearance on white house north lawn today. >> i'm doing an interview over here. >> reporter: telling reporters the inspector general's report on hillary clinton's e-mail practices issued thursday absolves him from mueller's investigation.
>> the report yesterday maybe more importantly than anything it exonerates me. there was no collusion. there was no obstruction. if you read the report, you will see that. >> reporter: the report did not address anything about possible collusion or obstruction and determined the fbi's handling of the clinton e-mail probe was not politically motivated. it did chastise fbi officials who worked on the clinton and trump investigations for exchanging anti-trump text messages. it found that former fbi director james comey acted in an extraordinary and insubordinate manner at times. >> from what you have seen so far, should james comey be locked up? >> well, look, i would never want to get involved in that. certainly, they just seem like very criminal acts to me, what he did was criminal. >> reporter: the president stopped short of putting an end to the russia investigation. >> i think that whole investigation now -- look, the
problem with the mueller investigation is everybody has got massive conflicts. >> reporter: trump's personal attorney rudy giuliani went a step further, telling fox news -- >> peter strzok was running the hillary investigation. that's a total fix. that's a closed book now, total fix. comey should go to jail for that and strzok. let's investigate the investigators. let's take a halt to the mueller investigation. >> reporter: the president today also talking about his newly minted relationship with kim jong-un. >> he is the head of a country. i mean, he is the strong head. don't let anyone think anything different. he speaks and his people sit up at attention. i want my people doing the same. >> reporter: later telling reporters he was joking. >> what did you mean when you said you wished americans would sit up at attention -- >> i'm kidding. >> reporter: he was pressed on his previous statements about the north korean dictator loving his people. >> how can kim love his people if he is killing them? >> i can only speak to the fact that we signed an incredible
agreement. it's great. >> reporter: the president causing angst on capitol hill after a white house source said he misunderstood a question on immigration. saying he would not support the house's compromise immigration bill. >> i wouldn't sign -- >> what does the bill have to have -- >> i need a bill that gives that count country tremendous border security. >> reporter: blaming democrats for the policy that separates families att the border. >> that's what the democrats gave us. we're willing to change it if they want to negotiate. they don't want to negotiate. they are afraid of security for our country. >> reporter: wolf, nine hours after the president made that remark on fox news, the white house released a statement correcting the record. clarifying, saying that he did support the immigration bill. he seemed to say he opposed it on fox news. during that interview, i spoke to one white house official who said there was a gasp in the room among the officials
watching it that the president said that he opposed the bill. following that, leadership on capitol hill reached out to the white house, confused, upset about what the president had seemed to say. it took nine hours for the white house to put out that on the record statement correcting the record. wolf? >> very interesting. pamela, thank you very much. pamela brown over at the white house. let's dig deeper. our analysts are standing by right now. abby phillip is with us. you are one of our white house reporters. you were there when the president walked out on the north lawn of the white house. walk us through what happened. >> it was incredibly surreal. watching the president walk from the back way of the white house up the front lawn is something that none of us had ever seen any president really do before. frankly, several white house aides moments before the president walked out were telling us not to expect him to come out. they did not believe that he would actually come out to the front lawn to do that interview.
he was relaxed throughout the whole thing. wanted to make his points. as pamela pointed out, many of them not entirely true. he wanted to present his version of this case on a number of issues from north korea to the inspector general report to all kinds of issues. he answered questions from fox news for a half an hour. then spent another half an hour answering more questions from reporters. there were some really tense moments, wolf. particularly on the issue of north korea and human rights. i asked him several questions about why he seemed to want to praise kim jong-un. the president was getting frustrated and agitated. he chastised another reporter. it was really a free-wheeling morning, both for the press corps and for this white house. it was very clear that his ait s aides were not expecting him to do this. sometimes looking aghast when he was answering some of the
questions. he had no -- seemed to have no intention of stopping. he went on for a full half an hour. >> he has been making himself available to the news media a lot more. that's, of course, good. mark preston, what do you make of that? >> nothing surprises me anymore about this president. this is added to the list of things you wouldn't or haven't seen from our past presidents, our past commanders in chief. what i think is remarkable about what we saw today is the president just continued to lie. he continued to say things that were not truthful. he continued to take the ig report as we have seen from his surrogates and himself over the last 24 hours and he has gone out and he has twisted it in a way to make it sound as if he is being exonerated. we should put on the table here that michael cohen, his lawyer right now, is under a lot of trouble. he is in a lot of trouble in new york. paul manafort, his former campaign chairman, is now in jail waiting trial. there's a lot of bad things
going on right now. i think the president thought co- he could go out and clean them up. >> what about that? how do you think republicans -- his fellow republicans are feeling about those comments? >> that really is the key question. i think as you look at the way the president has approached the ig report, it's consistent with the way he approached every aspect of this investigation. i would argue every aspect, policy and rhetoric of the presidency. the arguments are not really intended to persuade. they are intended to mobilize. they are not about reaching independent or less partisan voters. they are about creating talking points for the base. i think you see the same kind of pattern in the governing where he positioned himself almost entirely as the president of the red america solely. i think republicans by and large, most of them from safer seats, are okay with this. they have lost over the 18 months whatever will they
started to kind of resist his approaches where they disagree, in the last week, think about what happened with the moderate rebellion for the deferred action, which they dropped. bob corker stymied at offering a different view on trade where there are substantial problems. they are basically in for this. the problem they have got is that the members at the edge of their majority in the house in the swing districts are facing places in many cases white collar suburban areas the president is underwater, where there's a great deal of anxiety about this belligerent approach to goff he weverning, the loose relationships with the truth, these members are out on the limb as the party abandons any constraint on the president. >> as you know, jeffrey toobin, the president says he was joking about praising kim jong-un and the way the north koreans show their admiration for him, suggesting he would like to see that from americans for him. says it was all a joke. do you buy it?
>> i actually do. i thought that seemed like a joke to me. you know what i wish was a joke was rudy giuliani saying that james comey should be locked up. think about what that means. in this country, we have a tradition that political opponents don't threaten each other with criminal prosecution. one of the touchstones of the trump administration has been the president and his surrogates saying that hillary clinton, debby wasserman schultz, james comey -- not that they are wrong, unethical, not that they are bad people but that they should go to prison. that is unamerican. that's something that does not happen in this country. it's an absolute disgrace that rudy giuliani, who used to work in the justice department, is talking that way. >> he was once the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. at the time, he was pretty much respected. what do you think has happened?
>> that's a great question. i don't know. i mean, i think this guy is just -- he has become indoctrinated or indoctrinated himself in the trump approach. and he is just disgracing himself over and over again. putting aside the whole issue just the stuff he gets wrong. the unethical use of -- or suggested use of the criminal justice system is something that will tarnish his legacy forever. >> stick around. we will continue this conversation. more breaking news we're following. the president's former campaign chairman sent to jail. what does that mean for mr. trump? is rudy giuliani sending a signal to paul manafort and others about his reported comments about presidential pardons?
the breaking news tonight, paul manafort sent to jail after being accused of witness tampering as he awaits trial in the russia investigation. let's get back to our panel. abby, watch what president trump said earlier today about paul manafort. >> i feel badly about a lot of it. i think a lot of it is very unfair. i look at some of it where they go back 12 years. manafort has nothing to do with
our campaign. i feel a little badly about it. th they went back 12 years. paul manafort worked for me for a very short period of time. he worked for many republicans. he worked for me 49 days or something. a very short period of time. i feel badly for some people, because they have gone back 12 years to find things about somebody. i don't think it's right. >> he worked for five months for the presidential campaign of donald trump. three of those months as campaign chairman. what do you make of that ? >> it's a pattern of the president trying to diminish the role of people who have worked for him and played key roles in his campaign and in his administration when they are getting into trouble. this is what the president typically does. no one should believe it, although i suspect some will, the president is trying to distance himself from paul
manafort while defending him and suggesting that he is being unfairly prosecuted. the president has done this with other people, including michael flynn. i think it all goes back to this idea that if he gives any ground on this, implies any of the people that have gotten wrapped up in this russia investigation are being justifiably prosecuted by the law, then he opens himself up to those same kinds of criticisms. this is the president trying to protect himself and less so about paul manafort. >> wolf, for those scoring at home, that's another false statement that this was just somehow 12 years old. the criminal conspiracy charge began 12 years ago, because it took a long time. he was engaged in criminal activity, according to the grand jury, for years. that's actually worse than when you just commit a crime once. the idea that it's terrible that
the prosecutors went back 12 years, maybe paul manafort shouldn't have been committing crimes for 12 years, then the prosecutors wouldn't bother him. >> the alleged witness tampering occurred in recent weeks. mark preston, the president is spinning the inspector general's report released at the justice department in his favor. paul manafort is now in custody. michael cohen is considering cooperating with federal investigators. how worrying do you believe, mark, these developments are for the president? >> extremely worrying. there's no question it's on his mind. it has to affect every decision he makes. i don't know how as a human, wolf, as a human being that you can face that kind of pressure. one thing we should note about the ig report, they did single out some misbehavior by fbi agents or officials. peter strzok, lisa page, that's acknowledged. the attorney general said -- the
inspector general said there was no political influence. the president is trying to take the inspector general words and twist them so that as we heard others say here on this panel, to reach out to his base and rile up support. >> i'm anxious to get your thoughts. >> you know, i'm struck. obviously, as mark is saying, the conversation back and forth, the texting back and forth between the fbi agents that the president and his defenders have seized on was inappropriate and was wrong and is deserving of sanctions, some of which has been meted out. the bottom line conclusion of the ig was that it was not operationalized in any way. it was not -- it did not affect the outcome or the -- the outcome of the clinton investigation. nor, as a former fbi agent noted to one of my colleagues, if they wanted to sink trump, they might have leaked something about the
existence of the russia investigation when we were told the opposite in october through leaks that there was no progress on that front. there's kind of nothing in which this translates into anything like what the president is asserting. it these are not really arguments designed not for a court of law or the court of public opinion. they're designed for fox and conservative talk radio as a way of mobilizing the base and they are having success at doing that and discrediting the mueller investigation in the ice of many republicans, but in the process, they are raising the anxieties among voters who are uneasy about trump, about whether there's meaningful constraint on this behavior even commenting on an existing criminal investigation as the president involving one of your former aides who might testify against you. that you just lose sight of how
extraordinary that is. >> but let's remember about that ig report. the real victim of the fbi, the real victim of james comey, was hillary clinton. it was not, it was not donald trump. you know, there is a very good case to be made that james comey cost hillary clinton that election with his now widely reviled and harshly criticized press statement ten days before the election. so in this crazy backward world in which we live, the idea that this report shows the fbi was conspireing against donald trump is actually 180 degrees wrong. the person who was the target and the victim of the fbi was hillary clinton. >> abby, does the white house when the president makes a false statement, does the white house just remain silent or do they ever come forward and say let's
fix this. >> rarely. frankly, you pointed out this morning, i was at that press conference on the lawn and there were so many things that the president said that morning that simply weren't true. the rare exception tis when he essentially upended the compromise that republicans had been trying to work out on the hill that forced the white house over the course of nine hours to figure out how to walk that back, but frankly, wolf, the president going back to this ig report, is not basing any of his statements on what the ig report says. he's giving his ininterpretterp of what he wants empk to take away from it and that has no bearing about fbi's handling of those issues. >> thanks very much. there's more news we're following. including more information about rudy giuliani already talking about pardons in the russia
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he says peter struck should be in jail and in an on the record statement to the new york daily news, he said this, when the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons. what do you make of these comments from giuliani? >> politics, wolf. i was listening to professor brownstein on the show and he has it right. this isn't about winning in court. rudy giuliani is flexing different muscles than we see with a typical counsel. he believes that this is going to come down to publicme sentiment. to political resolve. so he is doing exactly what it seems like he is doing. trying to understood mine the legitimacy of probe, which he believes is legitimate. he does not believe it is gratuitous. he believes this probe should have never been birthed. but these are political arguments and i think you're going to see him at his best tonight. >> tell us why. why will he be at his best?
>> because this is the moment, wolf. they're coming down to crunch time in terms of f whether or not he's going to sit with mueller. if he doesn't, he's got to have a really compelling case because i don't believe they want to go the legal route. i don't believe they'll win. i don't think he wants that drama and expectation of outcome, so you're getting into a period as you get through this summer, decisions are have to be made. and when you're in rudy's position, you want time. on your side. tha and that means he needs to get things going in his way right now. otherwise, you wouldn't have heard him say these things today, wolf. i know there's a lot of smack talk about how he's functioning. the president is happy with him. he has changed the dialogue several different times and put this out today at bait and the media is chomping on it. we'll put him to the test on it tonight. >> we're always happy when these guys make themselves available. certainly rudy giuliani is making himself available.
the president has been as well. chris, thank you very, very much a. important note. cuomo prime time airs tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern. i'll be back in an hour filling in for anderson cooper. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, paul manafort behind bars as trump's legal team says he can challenge any subpoena from mueller. what's the strategy? plus rudy jewgiuliani calls joe biden a moron and mentally deficient idiot. what's this have to do with the russia investigation? and using the bible to defend acceseparating parent frs their children. a member of trump's evangelical counsel speaking out to say it's wrong. he's our guest. let's go "outfront." and good evening. breaking news, the president lobbing a new grenade at bob