tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN August 22, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
my ci can worry about it,ine. or do something about it. garlique® helps maintain healthy cholesterol naturally. and it's odor free. and pharmacist recommended. garlique.® good evening. a from the people that brought you the notion that truth isn't truth, here's something new. crime that isn't crime, noncrime, by the way that president trump says he never committed even though at least some of his argument is undermined by his own voice on tape, and the surreal little nugget is part of the picture as the president and his people spin the reality that two more of the former associates are felons and one of them attorney michael cohen tied him under oath to pair of crime. his attorney joins us momentarily. as for the president, he responded today by slamming mr. cohen on twitter, saying, "if anyone is looking for a good lawyer, i would strongly suggest you don't retain the services of michael cohen." lat later, the president turned to the fact and law twisting
portion of his morning, quote, "michael cohen pled guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime. president obama had a big campaign violation an easily settled." on the second point, first, the president appears to be referring to a 2008 obama campaign which was fined $375,000 by the federal election commission for missing certain reporting deadlines. the matter didn't rise to the criminal level because there is no evidence that the misreporting was deliberate. by contrast, mr. cohen pleaded guilty to a pair of violations that not only were deliberate but also according to cohen's statement were done and i quote, "in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office." he bought the silence of stormy daniels and karen mcdougal right before the election and he pleaded guilty to it. as for it not being a crime, perhaps mr. cohen should tell that to the judge at his sentencing. beyond this legal claim which we'll discuss shortly with jeff toobin and allen dershowitz, he the president also says that he did not have advance knowledge of the hush payments, also that those payments were lawful.
here's what he said to fox. >> did you know about the payment? >> later on i knew. later on. but you have to understand, what he did -- and they weren't taken out of campaign finance. that's a big thing. that's a much bigger thing. did they come out of the campaign? they didn't come out of the campaign. they came from me, and i tweeted about it, you know, i don't know if you know, but i tweeted about the payments. but they didn't come out of campaign. in fact, my first question when i heard about it was, did they come out of the campaign? because that could be a little dicey. and they didn't come out of the campaign. and that's big. but they weren't -- that's not a -- that's not even a campaign violation. if you look at president obama, he had a massive campaign violation. but he had a different attorney general and they viewed it a lot different. >> well, again, the obama campaign violation certainly drew a hefty fine but was a misdemeanor not a felony. as for the claim the payments he
made were personal and therefore kosher, that's not how career professionals in the district of new york saw it. as for not knowing about the daniels payment and mcdougal deal until later on as the president told fox, it's not like he's on tape or anything about talking about the arrangements before the fact, the ones to silence karen mcdougal, because if he were on tape, he would know it would undermine his whole argument, right? apparently not. cue the tape. >> i need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info reforwarding our friend david, you know, so, i'm going to do that right away. i've come up on -- i spoke to allen weissle berg about how to set the whole thing up. >> so what are we going to do? >> with funding. yes. and it's all the stuff -- all the stuff. because, you know, you never know that company, you never know where he's going to be. so i'm all over that. and i spoke to allen about it. when it comes time for the
financing, which will be -- >> listen. >> well, i have to pay you. >> no, no. no, no, no. >> how are you? >> i guess in a world where truth is not truth and crime isn't crime, your own voice on tape isn't your voice on tape. the president is trying to absorb a body blow. he doesn't seem to have any good answer, because there may simply be none, which might explain why his press secretary could only offer a string of nonanswers when asked about the cohen case. >> as the president said, we've stated many times, he did nothing wrong. there are no charges against him. and we've commented on this extensively. as the president has stated on numerous occasions, did he nothing wrong. i'm not going to get into the back and forth of the legal part of this. i would refer you to the president's outside counsel on that. the president has expressed his views on that. i don't have anything further to add. once again, i commented on this pretty extensively. for anything beyond that, i would refer you to the president's outside counsel. once again, i have addressed
this a number of times. just because you continue to ask the same questions over and over, i'm not going to give you a different answer. if you want something further, i would refer you to the president's outside counsel. we have addressed this a number of times. the president's addressed this a number of times. i addressed all i'm going to say on the cohen issue. once again, the president has expressed his views on this matter and i have nothing else to add. >> saying you addressed something, that's not saying you answered it, that just means you responded to it. you didn't actually answer the question. well, the only correspondent who managed to press sarah sanders today, or really press, was cnn's kaitlan collins. i want to play the interchange she had with sarah sanders so you get a better sense of the moment. >> in his interview, the president said he found out about those payments that michael cohen made later on. but he's on tape discussing how to make one of the payments with michael cohen. so before the payment was made. so, how do you explain that? >> once again, i've commented on this pretty extensively. what i can tell you about this
is that the president did nothing wrong. there are no charges against him. there is no collusion for anything beyond that. i would refer you to the president's outside counsel. >> rudy giuliani is not a taxpayer funded spokesperson for the president. you are. so -- >> i'm aware of that. >> so, how do you explain something the president said today on the grounds of the white house that seems to contradict an audio that has been confirmed that it is the president saying that. >> once again, i have addressed this a number of times. just because you continue to ask the same questions over and over, i'm not going to give you a different answer. the president has done nothing wrong. there are no charges against him. there is no collusion. that's what i can tell you about this. if you want something further, i would refer you to the president's outside counsel. >> does the white house maintain the president did not have affairs with karen mcdougal or stephanie clifford? >> we addressed this a number of times. >> kaitlan collins joins us now. it was incredible, the briefing today, sanders refusing to give one straight answer about anything having to do with michael cohen and the president. >> she was unable to mount any defense in light of the claims
michael cohen made. it was a bit like reading the back of a shampoo bottle. the president did nothing wrong. there are no charges. repeat. every single question she was asked, no matter which way it was asked, about what michael cohen had said implicating the president in a crime. but anderson, you can see why sarah sanders would say something like that. you can remember back in march when she came out and definitively stated that the president didn't know anything about those payments made to stormy daniels, citing a conversation she had with the president where he denied it, she could have easily had one of those today where the president denied he directed michael cohen to make the payments only later to be contradicted by the president. >> in terms of the sort of the mood in the white house and people working there, what do you hear? what are you learning? >> well, it's a little dark, because the president himself is in a very bad mood. he did not see what happened with michael cohen coming. his top lawyer is out of the country. and those that know the president best and work with him every day say it seems like he's backed into a corner and they
don't know what the president is going to do next in response to all of this. >> all right, kaitlan collins, thank you very much. now my conversation with the public face for the moment of michael cohen, lanny davis is a crisis management expert and attorney. tonight, his expertise is being used to address a question of his client's credibility, because regardless of whether you put any credence in mr. cohen's critics or not, he doesn't have a reputation in the past as a truth teller. i asked lanny davis about it just before air time. the central push-back from the president's allies is that michael cohen lied about these payments, that he's a liar. he told "the new york times" back in february that neither the trump organization or the trump campaign was a party with the transaction for miss clifford and reimbursed me directly or indirect. that was a lie. he said payments to miss clifford was lawful and not a campaign expenditure. that was a lie. why should the public believe him now? >> well, first of all, he's admitted to lying and he has
taken a course he hopes shows he's taking responsibility. secondly, the prosecutors did a thorough job of investigating the facts. and what he said in what is called the allocution where he is talking to the judge about what he is admitting to, on the key issues involving president trump. he said that he was, according to the words of what's called the allocution, that he specifically was directed and coordinated through president trump's direction the payment of this money to miss daniels and he took responsibility under oath and said that that was a -- an illegal act, because it had a primary political purpose, which is the criminal violation of the campaign finance law. >> you can understand why some people are skeptical. >> sure. >> he's doing this under oath. i know you said you only started working with him because he
convinced you he really wanted to start telling the truth. he did, though, have his own friend and attorney, david schwartz, go out on television time and time again, i interviewed him multiple times, repeating the lies that cohen was telling back at that time. i don't know if he lied to david schwartz. i mean, did -- did he lie to david schwartz? if he lied to schwartz, couldn't he be lying to you? >> of course. it took me a while to talk and get to know michael and his decision to change his life and as he said to me, hit the reset button and recognize you can't get a redo in life when you make mistakes and some of the things that he did for mr. trump he talked to me about and not being particularly proud of or things that he said that weren't true on camera. he is not particularly proud of that. >> isn't that a change of heart only after his offices are raided and he realizes he is facing possible serious jail time? >> sure.
but when we talked, it was mostly about his feelings about mr. trump, his positions on issues, his conduct of the presidency and what i found after quite a long period of time talking to him, a sincere conviction that mr. trump represented a danger to the country. and would i help him tell his story, which, i guess i'm known as a crisis manager to get facts out and to, no matter what you've done up to a point, to take responsibility for your mistakes. >> but i mean, that's such -- it's such a huge change of heart for this guy. he was the guy that said he would take a bullet for him. he was on cnn during the campaign -- >> take the bullet. >> yeah. saying things which were, you know, probably demonstratively false, but he would -- he was an
attack dog for the president, to now suddenly say he believes the president's a danger to the country. that's more than a 180. i don't even know what that is. >> well, there are people in life that have transformative experiences and they're sincere and there are people that continue to lie and are opportunists, and you have to judge which is which when you use your instincts when you get to know someone. i took awhile in making the judgment that he was ready to talk about mr. trump and his knowledge about mr. trump and the disadvantages that he now saw that as a businessman were very dangerous as president. now, whether he's telling the truth or not is anybody's judgment, and your skepticism is certainly not only entitled, but founded on what he did in the past. i made the judgement that i believed him. and i would believe him based on his words and his deeds. >> on -- sorry. go ahead. >> i mean, so far i still believe he's telling the truth. >> on "good morning america"
today, you said that michael cohen, and i quote, "can now speak completely the truth without the shadow of the potential prosecution hanging over him." you said you thought he'd be willing to speak without any guarantee of immunity. if that's true, why doesn't michael cohen hold a press conference tonight or tomorrow morning and just speak the truth? if he has no shadow hanging over him, doesn't care about immunity, why doesn't he just stand up in public and say everything he knows right now? >> well, several reasons. first of all, the criminal case in the southern district is not over. there is still a question of sentencing and assessing under the guidelines. >> but wouldn't that speak in his favor if, i mean, if he's told the prosecutors everything he already knows, why can't he just now tell the public everything he already knows? >> i can only tell you, anderson, to complete the thought, that he hasn't fini finished -- that his lawyer has not finished the discussions with the prosecutors, who he's been very respectful of, and
until those discussions on all the details, including, he has a wife and two kids, period of incarceration that he's facing, his lawyers have given him advice that he's got to wait. he also has the special counsel, who he's either going to be talking to or has talked to, i won't be able to tell you which -- >> right. >> -- but there are a lot of moving parts in a very tragic situation that there will come a time, as i said on "good morning america" when the shadow of uncertainty becomes certainty, he's going to be incarcerated and he's going to leave his family behind quite traumatized, that he wants to turn his life and tell the truth. >> you were just on with wolf blitzer. you said that michael cohen was present for a meeting with then-candidate trump and don jr. about the trump tower meeting. this is important. you also said that michael cohen testified truthfully to the senate intelligence committee and according to the chair and
vice chair of the committee, he told them he had no knowledge of the meeting until he saw it in the press. how can both of those things be true? either he knew about the meeting or he didn't know about the meeting. >> well, i think the reporting of the story got mixed up in the course of a criminal investigation. we were not the source of the story. and the question of a criminal investigation, the advice we were given, those of us dealing with the bee ya, is that we could not do anything other than stay silent. >> so can you say now whether in fact michael cohen has information that president trump was aware either before the trump tower meeting that don jr. was part of with russian attorney from the kremlin with dirt on hillary clinton, either that michael cohen has information that president knew about it in advance or knew about it immediately after? >> senator burr and senator warner read the answer to the question about his testimony
which is that he said he was not aware ahead of time. and did not hear anything to the contrary and that was the testimony before the senate as well as the house intelligence committees and he said that testimony was accurate. >> so michael cohen does not have information that president trump knew about the trump tower meeting with the russians beforehand or even after? >> no. there's not. >> i know you won't say if you spoke to mueller's team. i'm obviously not going to press you on that. you said last night that you believe michael cohen, quote, has knowledge about whether or not then-candidate trump knew about the computer crime of hacking and whether or not mr. trump knew ahead of time about that crime and even cheered it on. do you stand by that tonight? >> i think i was a little bit more tentative on that. i think what i said was that at some point, mr. cohen might be able to be useful to the special
counsel about whether president trump knew ahead of time about the hacking of the hillary clinton e-mails. and it's not a certainty the way he recalls it. may or may not be useful to mr. mueller and i don't want to go beyond my intuition. >> right. i know you have to be careful. >> i used the expression i think what he can say would be useful. and that's the way i have to leave it. >> there are two fascinating details in the charging document that haven't gotten a lot of attention. one is on page 16 of the criminal information document. i should call it. it says that cohen "coordinated with one or more members of the campaign including through meetings and phone calls about the fact, nature and timing of the payments." talking about the payments to stormy daniels and mcdougal.
we know one person was the president. if, in, there was another person involved in the campaign who he was talking about this with, e-mailing, discussing, do you know who that other person was? >> no, i don't. and they're unidentified in -- you're reading from the information document. >> correct. >> underlying the plea. and i do not know that. and if i did, i would not be able to discuss that because he's still in the process of dealing with the prosecutors on all of the issues that still remain. >> can you say if there is another person from the campaign or even who is now in the white house? >> i can't say. >> okay. >> i can't say. >> did you ever ask michael cohen that question? >> i've talked to michael cohen about a lot of things, but the specifics until the information came out, i was not aware of the details of what the government was saying and who was involved
in the campaign of command on the decision to pay what looks like an illegal campaign contribution that he has owned up to under oath, which mr. trump has not, but no, the answer is i don't know the identity of a number of individuals that are not identified in that information. >> because obviously, the reason i'm pushing on it, if there is another individual that knows about the payments and part of the campaign and maybe is still part of the white house, that would obviously be extremely important and a new detail an a fascinating one. the other detail in the documents is that michael cohen charged the trump organization $50,000 for what he listed as text services, which according to the court document, which was, "related to work that cohen solicited from a tech company during and in connection with the campaign." previously michael cohen supposedly had no role in the campaign. can you say what company that was and what services were rendered or was that another payment to protect then candidate trump?
or can you even say if michael cohen was involved in the campaign? >> i just learned all this in the last several days. because, as you know, the final plea agreement and the final statement in court was just a couple of days ago. so, i haven't gotten the ability to find out the answer to that question, either. i believe that mr. cohen referenced that contract as something that he was doing to assist the campaign. but i don't know too much about that, either. i'm sorry. >> but officially michael cohen was not part of the campaign. isn't that -- >> correct. >> so if, in fact, he was -- if he was telling the truth in what that billing was, he was claiming to the trump organization that he was actually doing work for the campaign, which here to for had not been known. >> well, i think just reading it without knowing the details, i just read what you read, it appears that he had a contract to provide technology support
and he supplied that vendor to the campaign and passed through the expense. but i'm just reading something that i don't know much about. i have not talked to mr. cohen about so i'm just speculating. >> lanny davis, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. just ahead, we're going to break this down with our own legal analysts, jeffrey toobin and alan dershowitz. and later, stormy daniels' attorney michael avenatti on all that's transpired in the last 24 hours, some of which he predicted and where things may go from here for his client and as well as his one-time adversary, michael cohen.
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not have information that candidate trump had prior knowledge of the 2016 trump tower meeting with russians, but he continued to maintain that michael cohen does have information that might be useful to robert mueller's investigation. in any event, what mr. cohen has already said has set off an eruption for the president from a man he thought was a standup guy. the president did tweet, "michael is a businessman for his own account, lawyer i liked and respected. most people flip in the government lets them out of trouble even if it means lying or making up stories. i don't see michael doing that despite the horrible witch hunt and dishonest media." that was a long, long time ago. joining us is alan dershowitz and cnn's chief legal analyst jeffrey toobin. i want to go back to this thing which is, i mean, if lanny davis is saying that michael cohen is unburdened. he doesn't care about immunity.
he wants to speak the truth. can he just speak the truth? >> sure. >> i mean he's raising money for people to pay him to speak the truth and fund him. can he just hold a press conference? >> he could. i mean, he is also under the thumb of the prosecutors at this point, and they may not want him to go public at this point. i mean, they may want -- they may be continuing their investigation, they don't want his story out there. >> mueller prosecutors -- >> mueller prosecutors -- particularly the southern district, because that's where his case is. i don't though what thefully has been between cohen and the prosecutors, but certainly, as a legal matter, there's nothing stopping him from telling his story right now. >> professor dershowitz, you said that the white house, that the assertion that the white house made today that the president committed to crime here today, do you think michael cohen committed a crime here? >> well, it all depends. these campaign finance laws are so confusing that even justice scalia with the help of four brilliant law clerks said he
couldn't figure them out. for example, a president or a candidate is entitled to make millions of dollars for contributions to his own campaign. and if he himself, if president trump paid the hush money, hush money is not illegal -- >> if he did it through the corporation. >> no, no, put aside the corporation for a moment. >> but that's how the money was paid back to cohen. >> well, you know, the question is, what was his state of mind at the time, if he directed the person to do it? if he directed the lawyer to do it and if it came from his own money, that would be lawful. >> right, but he didn't -- >> but if cohen himself made the contribution -- we'll wait and see. cohen himself made the contribution, that would be a crime but cohen. but that wouldn't make trump an unindicted coconspirator. you can have a crime committed by cohen but even if he's directed to do it by trump, if trump had the authority to do it and it depends on where the money came from, it depends on a
variety of issues. >> okay, so, but i'm asking you, if you kacame from the trump organization. you seem to be avoiding what was said by cohen himself, that he charged -- >> can i answer your question in one word? >> what we know, there are contributions that are made by corporations and we know that the supreme court has had a terrible time figuring all of this out. and you don't use complex, subtle, confusing criminal law as the basis either for charging or impeaching a president. that's why people are mostly fined violating the laws. >> okay. >> alan, you know, it's very -- it's helpful to donald trump to think this is all that complicated. it's not that complicated. did michael cohen commit a crime? you bet he did. let's think about why campaign finance laws exist at all. right? the reason they exist is so that we know who finances campaigns and we know what they spend the money on. the trump campaign and donald
trump lied about both of those things on an incredibly important subject. because they didn't -- they wanted to spend the money to help donald trump get elected president and they wanted to keep secret how they were spending the money, because the public might not have liked $280,000 spent in hush money for women that donald trump apparently slept with. that's what happened here. >> that's absolutely right. >> and that's a crime. >> but tell me -- no, let's stop there. it's a crime under certain circumstances. it's not a crime under other circumstances. a president would have the right to do the following. he'd have the right to pay the hush money, keep it secret until the next reporting time, which may be after the election, direct his lawyer to pay the money, none of that would be a crime. >> but he didn't do that. i mean -- it's very interesting, but that's not what happened. >> we don't know what he did. you say that cohen committed a crime. >> yeah, so does cohen.
>> actually cohen said he committed a crime and the judge said he committed a crime. but what you seem to be avoiding -- you don't believe the trump organization was billed by michael cohen and that the trump organization paid back michael cohen? >> there's a dispute about the facts. the president said today that he paid the money out of his own pocket. >> well, he just said he paid. >> if it was a corporate contribution, that's very different. >> okay, if it was a corporate contribution, you're saying that is a problem? >> of course. it's all a problem. i'm not here to defend trump. it's a problem. it's a problem because -- >> the president's saying it's not a problem. >> lying is a problem. >> it's a problem. i'm not here to defend the president. i'm here to say that it's a complicated issue and that if a candidate makes a contribution on his own to pay hush money, that sounds terrible, it's a political sin. i'm here to say, you have to
distinguish between political sin and federal felonies, and a lot of the commentary so far has failed to do that. >> you said that all candidates for president violate campaign election laws. >> let me tell you -- don't tell me what i said. >> i have the quote right here. >> i said failing to report -- >> well, yeah. failing to report a lawful contribution is the political equivalent of jaywalking. >> candidates violate election laws all the time. >> how many -- and how many of those -- alan, let me talk for a second, for god sakes. >> it's a crime for the campaign to do it. >> okay. oh, everybody does it -- how many campaigns do it with $130,000 to one woman and $150,000 to another woman in hush money -- >> nothing illegal about that. nothing illegal about that. >> it comes from a campaign. >> it's perfectly okay.
>> well, that's the issue. that was the issue in the edwards case. the jury refused to convict in the edwards case. that was the issue in other cases. this is the most complex -- >> it's not that complicated. >> and rules. and the simple and most important part of it is a candidate -- >> you're saying out of his own pocket, but there's no evidence the president paid out of his own pocket. >> but even -- >> may do it to prevent embarrassment to his own family, if that's the case, that's not a crime. >> even if he does it out of his own pocket, he has to report that he did it out of his own pocket, and that was not done here. >> that's exactly right. and that is a violation. that is a violation. >> okay. so? >> it is a regarded as a minor violation. certainly not an impeachable offense. failure to report a lawful contribution, you find me any case -- >> willful. alan. >> it has to be willful, first
of all, but second of all, failure to report is a crime against the campaign, not against the candidate. you show me any case where a person was actually charged criminally and sentenced to prison for failure to report and entirely lawful campaign contribution. >> alan, i don't have a lot of -- >> this is taking existing laws and targeting somebody who none of us likes and who none of us voted for, and that's the most dangerous thing you can do in the criminal law, stretch it to target somebody who is unpopular with those who are doing the stretching. that's what -- >> it's a heartbreaking treatment of donald trump, who is so sympathetic -- >> it's not heartbreaking to him -- >> jeff, nobody has forced the president of the united states to repeatedly lie about this time and time again, to lie -- >> but it's not a crime. >> i'm not saying it's a crime. i'm just saying -- >> i'm only saying -- >> i'm talking now, and i'm saying it's really sleazy. it's sleazy that michael cohen
lied repeatedly about it, publicly, he got his own attorney to come on television and either lie about it knowingly or accidentally and it's sleazy that sarah sanders -- he seems to have lied to sarah sanders about it -- >> alan, let me talk. >> you don't have to talk all the time. let jeff talk for a second. >> it is undoubtedly true that sleaziness is not a violation of federal criminal law. sleaziness is in the eye of the beholder and i don't think there's any doubt that there was sleazy behavior here. but it is misleading to say that federal campaign laws are so complicated that you can't know what they are. the whole reason why they paid this money in the convoluted way was to avoid -- was to break the law, because they knew how bad it would look. so, it is not a terribly complicated story. it is a willful violation of the law. >> i got to wrap it there.
jeff tube been, professor dershowitz, thank you. coming up, republican action that can only be described as hands off, i'll talk with the ranking democrat on the senate intelligence committee, virginia's mark warner. we have a question about your brokerage fees. fees? what did you have in mind? i don't know. $4.95 per trade? uhhh and i was wondering if your brokerage offers some sort of guarantee? guarantee? where we can get our fees and commissions back if we're not happy. so can you offer me what schwab is offering? what's with all the questions? ask your broker if they're offering $4.95 online equity trades and a satisfaction guarantee. if you don't like their answer, ask again at schwab.
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and pharmacist recommended. garlique.® more breaking news tonight. phil mattingly reports that aids to republican members of congress that short of firing special counsel robert mueller, there's nothing that's going to split gop senators and house members from president trump, despite what transpired in court yesterday. it's a position highlighted by paul ryan's spokesperson who made this statement yesterday. we are aware of cohen's guilty plea to these serious charges. we will need more information than is currently available at this point. all the information was out when this statement was made. virginia senator mark warner is the ranking democrat on the senate intelligence committee. i spoke to him minutes before air. the response from your republican colleagues has been pretty deafening. mitch mcconnell hasn't said one word about what's been going on. what do you make of that? i mean, is there anything that could make them possibly speak
out? >> well, let's see how this proceeds, but what can they say if they're trying to defend the president when the president's campaign manager, guilty of eight counts and has got another trial in less than a month that will explore his ties to ukraine, pro-russian leaders and oligarchs, that could even be more damaging to the president, and the president's lawyer and fixer not only pleading guilty and accusing the president of breaking the law around campaign finances, but voluntarily saying he's got information for mueller and my understanding is his lawyer at least said he would come before our committee and give information, as well. we've got questions about what he knew about trump's knowledge of the hacked e-mails and how they were used to hurt clinton and help trump. we've got questions for mr. cohen about his involvement in the proposed trump tower and moscow, a lot of unanswered questions there. so, we would welcome his appearance. >> if democrats retake the
house, a lot of them, you know, talking about the idea of possibly impeaching the president. is that something that democrats should pursue, if, in fact, they do retake the house? >> i'm not going to get down the line. i still -- we've still got work to do before we reach our c conclusi conclusion. we're the last standing bipartisan committee that's looking into this investigation. we're still trying to follow the pacts. >> lanny davis says that michael cohen wants to tell the whole truth to the american people, that he's maybe even willing to do it, speak without any immunity guarantees and that he know longer has this cloud, this legal cloud hanging over him. what i don't understand is, if michael cohen wants to tell the truth so badly, what's preventing him right now? i mean, couldn't he just hold a press conference right now -- >> he could go on your show and -- >> right. >> i don't -- again, the -- i think it's safe to say that the cast of characters that are around this president are unusual, to say the least.
i think we shouldn't be surprised. remember, mr. trump was a business guy that no american major bank would do business with because they didn't think he'd paid his debts or honored his word. so, i guess we should not be that surprised, although i'm frankly still fairly shocked that we've got all of these guilty pleas and another 30 indictments coming out of the mueller investigation, as well as every trump security official saying russia is still an ongoing threat, yet the president still denies that threat, and doesn't even have anybody in charge of election security at the white house. >> the president claiming today that he found out about the payments only after they occurred, that's in direct contradiction to michael cohen's plea, the recording of the president talking about making the payments, or buying the life rights from a.m.i. about mcdougal's story. when sarah sanders was asked today if the president lied to the american public about it, she refused to answer, said it
was a ridiculous question. i would think that would be the easiest question of all for her to answer. >> well, i -- i think the american public, even some of the president's strongest supporters, have got to be questioning at this point. and the idea that mr. trump also tells the truth, i think that has been refuted on almost a daily basis and when you've got live video of him saying one thing and then saying another thing, again, mr. cohen has got his own credibility problems, but in this case, in terms of the payments or the timeline, the recordings, the video of trump denies even knowledge of this person, all to me is pretty compelling that in this case, at least, i would bet on the fact that mr. trump knew and was deeply involved in this inprompt payoff. >> and just lastly, sarah sanders would not rule out a pardon for paul manafort. you said that any attempt to pardon manafort would be be an abuse of power. what kind of congressional
action can you take? isn't pardon power absolute? >> well, i started putting this marker down last christmas, saying firing mueller, firing rosenstein or starting to pardon family members or close associates would push us over the line. everything since then from his performance in he sin ski, where he started to threatening members of our national security officials because of people exercising their first amendment rights, if this president might start pardoning people that might have the goods on his bad deeds, even the most ardent supporters of this president, i hope that would make them stand up and stand for rule of law and not for rule of trump. >> senator warner, thank you. >> thank you, anderson. coming up, i'm going to talk to stormy daniels' attorney michael avenatti. michael avenatti. more news ahead. op! reggaeton. edm. what about bubble trance? bubble what? bubble trance. it's a thing.
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day that he violated white house laws. michael joins us now. michael, first of all, what went through your mind when you heard president trump today that he didn't know about the payments until after they occurred. >> well, it's absurd. we've heard every story from donald trump and michael cohen for that matter. welcome to the alice in wonderland presidency. here truth is not truth, a crime is not a crime and alan dershowitz is not on television to defend donald trump. someone defending michael cohen and his friend david schwartz, you were on with him multiple times. schwartz repeatedly said all the things michael cohen was saying, which we know was lying.
we reached out to david schwartz to ask him to come on but he declined. he said he was "merely repeating the public positions that were in the public domain at the time. "was michael cohen, you think, lying to his own attorney back then? >> well, i don't know, anderson s. but that statement from schwartz is absolutely false. he made numerous statements on your show and others where he stated he had discussions with cohen in detail and laying out positions we know now were absolute lies. we have spirited debates on your show. i remember them. i know you remember them. now we find out that everything that was being espoused by david schwartz was a complete fabrication. >> i've asked why michael cohen according to his attorney says
he's free from the burden of the shadow hanging over him, he's free to tell the truth, he doesn't care about immunity. why doesn't he come out and have a press conference? jeff toobin said he doesn't want to hurt another case they may have. do you believe he could come forward and just start talking? >> there's no question that he could, anderson. i've been demanding that for weeks, ever since lanny dpaifs got involved and tried to repair the reputation of michael cohen which frankly cannot be repaired. i've been stating for weeks he should come out, release the tapes, come clean with the american people. if he wanted to do it he certainly could. >> lanny davis said this mortgage on tv -- i watch to get did quote right "michael cohen needs the public's health to tell the truth."
he's hoping to fund raise and get donations to faye legal expenses for michael coen. it's a hot of chutzpah on michael cohen's part to now be asking taxpayers to fund him so that he can then actual the truth. >> it's outrageous, anderson, you're absolutely right. i am confident that if they wanted to have a press conference or come on your show or any other show they wouldn't have to be paid to do it. you don't have to be paid money to figure out how to tell the truth. >> you say it's affected your ability to depose the president. how so? >> we have an actual predicate set forth in the amended complaint. he said our case was frivolous,
had no basis. mr. trump and his lawyers have said the same thing. we know all of those were lies. they were complete fabrications. we know that the allegations are on solid footing. we're going to lay that out for the court in los angeles. i'm going to depose michael cohen and then i'll move on to the deposition of the president of the united states. he may want to lie to the american people but with we want to see if he's prepared to lie under oath. >> new questions in the murder of 20-year-old molly tibbets. the president republican leaders are focussing on the case, trying to focus on their agenda. we'll have details on the case ahead. ♪can i get a connection? ♪can i get can i get a connection?♪ ♪can i get a connection?
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remember mollie tibbets, the 23-year-old student who went missing last month and whose body was found yet. the man accused of the murder was arraigned. the co-owner of a darery form learned that he gave false identification pamplts president trump and his allies have been highlighting her murder when they say there needs on the a change in immigration policy. mollie tibbets was in college. her family put out a statement thanking the world who sent their thoughts and prayers. they say they'll hold mollie in their hearts forever. we continue to follow that circle. our newscast just started on facebook. you pick the stories we cover. see it 6:25 week nights. circle. right now the news continues. i hand it to chris cuomo.
chris? >> i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime-time" we have new information about what might be next for michael cohen. and the president's latest legal misstep. trump has twisted his story once again about the payments made by his lawyer to help his campaign. and this latest one has him tied up in knots. we have trump's former lawyer whom he called for advice about how to handle the cohen situation. what he thought then and now. you know the president is on his heels with what just happened because he whipped out his what-about defense. what about obama? he did it, too. no, he didn't. we have the facts ahead. a convicted felon gets high praise from the president. will paul manafort soon be