tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN November 28, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PST
very good wednesday morning to you. i'm jim sciutto in new york. >> i'm poppy harlow. there is no shortage of news this morning. we get rare peeks behind the scenes behind the back of the mueller investigation. cnn has seen a draft before filing that spells out in great detail alleged attempts by roger stone to get his hands on stolen democratic e-mails that wikileaks came from russian hackers. stone is a long-time confidant of the president and adviser to his campaign. >> separately, we have learned that while the former chairman of the campaign was supposedly cooperating with but allegedly lying to the special counsel, his lawyer was in touch with the president's lawyers. that is not itself a crime, but it did not make the special counsel robert mueller happy. we are in washington. so, alealex, help us understandw a defended briefing, another person involved in the
investigation, that is the president himself, how is that acceptable? >> right, jim. as you know, it is not a crime. it is legal. it is not customary. particularly since paul manafort has struck a deal with the special counsel's office. so this has certainly annoyed the special counsel's office. the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani has confirmed to our colleague dana bash that the two sides are in touch, that paul manafort's lawyer has been in touch with the president's legal team as he put it regarding issues relating to the president and team trump. so manafort's lawyer briefing the president's lawyers about the shape and the direction that the special counsel prosecutors are taking in their questioning, particularly as it pertains to the president. now, as we understand it, this is an informal cooperation. it is not -- it falls short of what we understand a joint defense agreement to be because it is less formal. but jim and poppy, this is
essentially paul manafort and his team trying to have their cake and eat it, too. on the one hand, they struck this plea deal two months ago. paul manafort is supposed to be the star witness helping the mueller probe along as they look into possible collusion between russia and the trump campaign. but then at the same time, they are feeding this information to the president's team about the direction that the mueller probe is going in. and what that does is it helps the president's team shape their legal and public relations strategy. so is this paul manafort possibly fishing for a presidential pardon? maybe. he's not looking in good shape. we saw just this week the special counsel's office say that over the last two months that manafort has repeatedly lied to them and as a result mueller and his team have asked for a date for sentencing for paul manafort. >> it is a remarkable reality,
too. alex, thanks very much. new insight into what robert muell mueller's team new. cnn obtained documents showing how stone allegedly sought damning information and e-mails from the wikileaks founder julian assange in an effort to influence the campaign. >> sara murray is with us and had a rare sit-down with him. walk us through these key revelations. >> this is interesting because these new e-mails that are in this filing. they show, you know, corsi seeming to alert roger stone that dirt was going to be coming. corsi shared these documents with me, spoke to me about them and said he got the documents as part of his plea discussions with mueller's team. he says he's not going to take
their plea deal, but they offered us an extraordinary window into part of the mueller investigation. >> draft court filings offering significant new insights into what special counsel robert mueller may know about trump associate roger stone's efforts to seek out damaging documents about hillary clinton from mi wikileaks. the draft filing says stone e-mailed conservative author jerome corsi to get the pending wikileaks e-mail, coming three days after wikileaks released e-mails from the democratic national committee in july of 2016, e-mails the u.s. government said were hacked. >> roger stone writes in july, when i'm in italy, and says get to assange. and so i copy that e-mail. i forward it to ted malak, an associate in london. >> two days later, president trump said this at a campaign
rally. >> russia, if you are listening, i hope you are able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> a week later, the draft filing says corsi e-mailed stone writing word is friend in embassy plans two more dumps. impact planned to be very damaging. before referencing clinton campaign chairman john podesta and the campaign manager. two days later, he discussed it. >> julian assange has that proof, and i think he's going to furnish it to the american people. >> mentioning he had recently been in contact with then candidate donald trump. >> i spoke to donald trump yesterday. he's in good spirits. >> later that month stone tweeted this cryptic message. trust me. it will soon be podesta's time in the barrel. stone asked him to develop a cover story for that tweet, an
allegation stone denied. >> roger was saying, i want you to help me figure out, you know, a way to make it sound like i didn't know these were podesta's e-mails that assange had. that wasn't what i was referring to. >> stone insisting that the interactions laid out in the court filing do not prove i had advance notice that anyone had stolen podesta's e-mails or i knew the source or content of the wikileaks disclosures. in an interview, he was pressed for dirt the morning the access hollywood tape was released. >> my recollection is that roger is saying, you know, it is going to be dropped. and assange better get going. you know, why don't you get to your buddy assange and tell him to start. >> stone denies the claims as pure, unadubs.
>> this response from trump three days later. >> wikileaks, i love wikileaks. >> a source tells cnn that president trump's lawyers learned he was referenced in the documents before thanksgiving, and they were ir ritated by a line in the filing that notes he was in regular contact with members of the trump campaign, including then candidate donald j. trump. >> this revelation that donald trump was actually named in the filing a source says delayed the trump team's responses to special counsel robert mueller. they were going over those questions, of course. as we know in the days since then, donald trump has continued to hammer the special counsel's investigation. >> wow. it is fascinating the way you lay it out there piece by piece by piece. >> yeah. raising the volume. we see it again this morning. let's bring in in addition to sara, cnn national security
adviser. drawing on your legal background here, it is not illegal for one defendant here to brief legal counsel for the other. but i wonder, in the special counsel's broader investigation of obstruction of justice, possible obstruction of justice by the president, would this be evidence relevant to that line of inquiry? >> it is not unusual for there to be a joint defense agreement in this circumstance. what isn't unusual is that ordinarily prosecutors, whenever they start allowing someone to cooperate actually require that person to withdraw. the one big question is whether or not prosecutors in this case impose those type of conditions. then i think the question does become based on the manafort's behavior and decision to lie is whether or not in the course of those communications with trump attorneys, either a pardon was dangled or information was exchanged to impede the investigation. one significant thing regarding the timing here is reportedly donald trump has submitted those
written answers. he submitted those written answers before he was aware that mueller's team knew that manafort was lying. so whatever information manafort was sharing with trump potentially the circumstances have dramatically changed in the intervening weeks. >> remember, sara, to you, this cooperation only came after manafort was found guilty on a number of counts and then the president praised him as a good man, et cetera, after he was found guilty. so the suggest that some have made that perhaps there could have been, you know, a move by manafort to essentially fake cooperation with mueller's team, inform the president, hope for a pardon and in the interview with the washington post last night the president would not go on the record when asked about a potential pardon for manafort. >> that's as good a theory as any because why, if you are paul manafort, and you had vowed you were going to fight this investigation, you were going to fight this investigation would you then say, never mind, i'm going to take the plea deal and cooperate, lie allegedly
throughout this cooperation agreement. it doesn't make any sense unless, one, you are very stupid. we know paul manafort is not an extremely stupid individual. or you are angling for a broader strategy here, a pardon. we have seen how forgiving donald trump has been to paul manafort. he feels awful he has been put in this position. >> the president also said at times, well, paul manafort only worked for me for a little bit of time. you wonder if his personal interests are more important than paul manafort's alleged suffering. but if i could ask you this question, so the second half of sara's piece here which gets at this possibility of communication between trump world and assange and i also remind viewers wikileaks was seen as a middleman between e-mails stolen by russia to influence the campaign, wikileaks the way to get that out into the public eye here. early on in this investigation
an intelligence source of mine said look at public commentary here. roger stone had a lot of public comments in advance of these releases which sara referred to. the president talked about this as it was happening. as you look at the evidence as it is trickling out here, are you seeing evidence of these releases. is that a legal issue by itself for the president and his advisers? >> yes. i think this is a case where they might be brought down by their own ability to keep this stuff secret. their claim is that they guessed all of this, they were making predictions and they turned out to be right. what we're seeing in this plea agreement and other mueller findings is the level of specificity and communication that was occurring between stone and wikileaks. i recall that there was also communications revealed between stone.
i think this becomes legally problematic because we have them talking about specifics, talking about coordination regarding timing, more knowledge of the release of stolen information. that raises lots of questions, not just about this vague was there collusion, but campaign finance violations, computer fraud allegations. we don't know enough specifics to say all the legal elements are met. but every new piece of information we hear does move people like roger stone more into sort of legal peril, not less. >> thank you. great reporting, great guests. thank you. still to come, the entire senate gets a major briefing on everything from the crisis in yemen to the murder of the journalist. who will they not hear from? the head of the cia who heard that tape. we will ask the ranking member if that is okay. plus, the final senate race of 2018 as mississippi makes history by sending another woman to the upper chamber.
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james mattis and mike pompeo will meet with senators behind closed doors. this is a critical briefing. it is about saudi arabia's role about the crisis in yems, ma'ay. but attention will turn to the kills of the journalist. and our next guest has referred to today's briefing as, quote, the ultimate cover-up. the ranking member on the senate foreign relations committee, thank you for taking the time to be with us this morning. >> let me begin with the absence of the director of the cia. you had said this is a problem for the briefing because she has listened to that audiotape, which is the key evidence of not only the nature of this murder, but who is behind this murder. what is your reaction to her not being there today?
>> to me, the fact that the director of the cia who has made, as i understand from all published reports, a determination that the crown prince of saudi arabia was involved in the assassination of jamal khashoggi is a critical element and a cover up not to have her there. i don't want to hear a kra characterization by the secretary of state. i want to hear evidence by the person that went to turkey and heard the audio versions of what happened and other evidence that the cia has deduced. it is an affront to the senate who has important decisions to make on foreign policy not to have her there. >> you would think she would want to be there. a u.s. official told us she is not going because it is a policy oriented meeting on yemen and wouldn't be something the cia would typically be involved in.
okay. let's get your reaction to what the secretary of state will be in the room today, mike pompeo writes this morning, quote, is it any coincidence the people using the khasohoggi against trump are the same people. where was this echo chamber? where were these human rights? perhaps he needs to talk to senator lindsey graham. what will you ask him today, mike pompeo, about the killing of jamal khashoggi? >> how are we willing to turn a blind eye to a vicious attack and ultimately the killing of a united states permanent
resident, a journalist in the world in order to say that our relationship with saudi arabia is more important. yes, saudi arabia is an important relationship. but at the end of the day, if we allow our allies with impunity to kill others simply because we have an interest, then we forego everything about what the united states is important in the world, and we understand that those allies who observe democratic and human rights values are more long-standing and more valuable to us than an instantaneous need with the saudis who have their own interests in continuing to fight extremism in the region, as well as iran. so we don't have to forego the very essence of what america is all about in terms of democracy and human rights as a beacon to the world in order to continue saudi arabia's part of a
coalition against global terrorism. >> the difference between iran and saudi arabia is saudi arabia is a close u.s. ally. perhaps there is a relationship there that the u.s. can speak to them about issues like this. by not holding saudi leaders to account for this, that not only saudi arabia but other policed states take this as a signal it's okay to do the same in the future, to murder their critics even abroad? >> absolutely. this is a global message that if you have some interest with the united states that you can bargain on, you can do anything that you want with impunity. that's the message we sent to putin, that the president doesn't seem to have a spine to face putin and his violation of the international order. that's the message that we send in the philippines. that's the message that we are sending to the crown prince of
saudi arabia. it is a global message and a dangerous message for the interest and security of the united states. it is unconscionable in my mind. >> your fellow democrat, senator jack reed, will support his resolution to end u.s. support, to end it for the saudi coalition in yemen. it could come to a vote in the floor. will you vote in favor of it? >> i didn't support this resolution or a version of this resolution before because i wanted to give the administration the chance to show us that they were actually changing the course of events in yemen. tens of thousands have died. our assistance has not produced less kcivilian casualties. bombing a school bus is not my idea of a better targeting process. i will vote for the resolution, and i will insist that the global magnitsky innovation that i, as the ranking democrat on
the senator floor have asked to give us a determination on the crown prince of saudi arabia. i want to see what that results in. >> so when secretary pompey wrote this morning again in that opinion piece without u.s. efforts the death toll in yemen would be far higher, is he right? >> no. you know, i gave him the benefit of the doubt, and i regret that i gave them the benefit of the doubt. it has not produced less killing. and that's why the saudi arabia accountability in yemen act that i have with senator graham and a whole host of democratic and republican senators is so critical because we need to stop the refuelling and suspend armed sales to saudi arabia and sanction those engaged in creating the humanitarian catastrophe in yemen, as well as those supplying supplies and to find the ultimate assassination.
that's what the legislation does. i hope we can get it passed. >> russia making what appears to be another territorial grab in ukraine, international territory, attacking ukrainian ships on the way to a port. they have condemned russian aggression. the president has not. who does vladimir putin listen to? trump or his advisers? and if he's listening to trump, is he taking this as a signal it's okay? >> listen, vladimir putin listens to trump, and he's convinced that the best bet he ever made was in the last presidential election when he got involved in our national elections as determined by a whole host of u.s. intelligence agencies. president trump cannot find a spine to stand up to vladimir putin in the national interest and security of the united states. the aggression that is going on in international waters against ukraine is just another step of the aggression that russia has
shown, not only in the region but in the world. and i hope that when he goes to the g-20 summit this week, he'll find a spine to stand up to putin because we cannot have another helsinki adventure. >> on that point, then, this is not the first time that the president has held his fire on russia. of course, repeatedly on russia's interference in the 2016 election. do you have an explanation for why the president, why this president habitually refuses to unequivocally condemn russian aggression and the russian president? >> there is no plausible explanation. there is no explanation that's in the national interest and security of the united states. maybe robert mueller will ultimately give us that explanation. >> it sounds from your previous answer like you actually want the president to meet with president putin on friday and meet with him while he's at the g-20. is that right? >> i want him to meet with him if he's going to stand up to him. if he's going to give us another helsinki performance, forget
about it. i want him to say this violation of the international order cannot continue. you cannot continue to interfere in our elections. by the way, here's what i'm going to do right now. and those consequences in terms of sanctions. if you want to change the course of events, we can have a better relationship, but not as long as you continue to have the aggression against ukraine, the constant cyber attacks. putin only understands strength. and what he has is a weak president responding to him. >> appreciate you being here. we know you have a big day and important meeting ahead. thank you. >> thanks very much. we were moments away from the opening bell on wall street. the dow should rise based on futures. but they will be watching a speech later this morning. this hours after the president went after him and the feds passed rate hikes. let's begin.
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i believe the best technology should feel effortless. like magic. at comcast, it's my job to develop, apps and tools that simplify your experience. my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. happening overnight republican hyde-smith has won. she won in a race that become much closer in the final weeks. that mainly due to a comment she made where she said she would be willing to join a supporter on the front row of a public hanging. she did later apologize to
anyone who might have been offended. >> last night, great news for republicans in the senate. totaling out at 53 seats to democrats 47 when the new congress meets in january. you have an eight point spread here. it seems her controversial gaffe, not enough to derail here. >> no, you're right. good morning, poppy. good morning, jim. clearly her words were taken in different ways, depending on where we're hearing them. despite all the controversy and the focus that came up on what she said and how it revived the whole history of hate in this state, people might have overlooked something. this is still a deeply red state. at best, her opponent was considered an underdog and did
pretty well considering all of that. but really the problem it was her own words, as jim pointed out there. and the reality is it may have energized african-american voters who really detested what she said. but as far as her conservative supporters, they will say she didn't mean it and she apologized. she addressed it somewhat last night. she said she's going back to washington to represent all of mississip mississippi. afterwards she was asked about could she put this controversy behind her, and here's what she said. >> you can get brutalized. you can get beat up. that's part of this business. we're putting it behind us. we can go forward and we're not looking back. >> the reality is that as more and more people, democrats and the media focussed on her past, it also energized a lot of her supporters who felt she was now
being unfairly persecuted and they were bringing up anything and everything to make her look bad. >> mark, thanks very much. let's discuss all this now with the senior political writer and analyst. it is interesting. you look at this race and you wonder, did the democrats lose -- grant it, mississippi is a tough state for democrats. arguably, they beat the spread, right, on that. but did the democrats lose an opportunity in not running a more moderate candidate here? >> i think that was a fairly moderate candidate, compared to other candidates that have run nation-wide here. maybe you could have gotten someone better from espy. but this is a small bench. i think he was the best candidate. and more than that, if you look at the political history of mississippi, the last time a democratic candidate received a
majority of the vote was in '87. so mike espy was really facing an uphill battle, and he put fort the best effort in 30 years. >> if you are not a roy moore type candidate, it is going to be hard for you to lose the republicansy. >> she won that race by 25 points. roy moore was someone heading into that race who won his last race by only four points. so even if she was handicapped by this, she had a lot more room to give. >> let's look at the house side. on the senate side, democrats lost two seats, but they were defending more seats. on the house side, now we are moving up towards really what can only be described as a blue wave. at the higher end of the predictions prior to this election as to what the democrats pick up. >> remember, of course, the democrats gain the senate, but
they were depending 26 seats. and they were in all sorts of areas. so, you know, democrats are able to take advantage of a very blue national environment and a net gain of 40 seats is the most since watergate. >> i would note you lost in all of this in the mississippi run-off. >> 24 and the other ever in arizona elected. the first ever in tennessee and the first ever in mississippi elected. >> we're getting there. it is not equal yet, but we're getting there. >> you can see right there. >> progress. >> thank you very much, as always. president trump wants $5 million for his border wall and willing to shut down the government to get it. he also says there may be a plan b. ♪ toyland, toyland
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build his border wall, telling "politico" that he would, quote, totally be willing to shut down the government if he does not get the $5 billion he is asking for. democrats have committed to a third of that. will there be a compromise? what about the president's promise that mexico will pay for the wall? joining us now, janet. thanks for joining us this morning. >> you're welcome. >> i want to begin on the true state of the threat at the border. as you know, the president has portrayed this from before the election until now as a national crisis. he has deployed thousands of troops along the border, used tear gas against folks rushing the border in the last couple of days. in your view, is this a national security threat to the u.s.? >> i don't think it's a national security threat. i do think it's an immigration
management issue, and i think that with respect to the caravans and those in the caravans who want to seek asylum in the united states, the response should be to flood the zone with the rule of law, bring down more officers and immigration judges so that they could process more than 100 or so political asylum claims a day so that the migrants in the caravans aren't there and sitting in mexico for months on end waiting for a credible fear here. >> a new study shows the number of undocumented immigrants in the u.s. is actually down from 2007 to 2016, a marked drop of 1.5 million. yet, the president in these interviews he's done in the last 24 hours believes that he has the politics right here, that this is a winning issue for him, that those images serves his
political interest. could he be right on that? >> you know, i think it's part and parcel of the president's use of immigration generally as a wedge issue to divide people. and point of fact, under the obama administration, we drove illegal immigration to 40 year lows. we did that with a combination of manpower and technology, things like sensors and air cover over the entire border and a true strategy on how you manage what should be a 21st century border where in point of fact we have millions of lawful travelers and billions in commerce. >> let me turn, if i can, before i let you go to a different issue, i know you covered very closely during your time at dhs. that is the issue of domestic
terrori terrorism, resulting in white nationalism, et cetera. this even in the face of statistics that would seem to show this is, if not an equivalent threat, a greater one. of the incidents after 2016, far right extremist groups are responsible for more than 70%. by de-emphasizing that issue, is it your view that this administration is ignoring a threat, in effect making americans less safe? >> well, it is a threat that should not be ignored. it is a threat that required greater study and understanding by all of us. we don't really have good predictive analytics about who amongst the population who is on some of these very right wing websites and so forth is going to translate that into actual violence. so that there can be an intervention and a prevention. there needs to be a true
national effort in this regard because it is a growing threat. >> thanks very much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. all right. president trump is lashing out at the man he chose to lead the fed. we will ask the president's former economic adviser if there is anything okay about that next. ( ♪ ) ready to juvéderm it? correct age-related volume loss in cheeks with juvéderm voluma xc, add fullness to lips with juvéderm ultra xc and smooth moderate to severe lines around the nose and mouth with juvéderm xc. tell your doctor if you have a history of scarring or are taking medicines that decrease the body's immune response or that can prolong bleeding. common side effects include injection-site redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, firmness, lumps, bumps, bruising, discoloration or itching. as with all fillers, there is a rare risk of unintentional injection into a blood vessel,
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wi wise man who understands what it takes to grow our economy. in a new interview, president trump says he is not even a little bit happy with powell and attacked my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can tell me. it is not the fed's job to accommodate the president. the fed is an independent body. it has two mandates. with me now former economic adviser to the trump campaign. good morning to you. also the author of a great interesting new book "tru "trumpanomics." >> i think it's all too personal for my taste. there is no question -- you are
exactly right. donald trump appointed jerome powell a little over a year ago. he has anyone to blame it is himself if he doesn't like what jerome powell is doing. >> you said former adviser to the president on all things economy, it is the president's fault if he doesn't like jerome powell? >> he made the appointment. now powell is not pursuing the policies that he would have liked to have seen put in place. here is the issue, i think. is the president right that the fed is making a mistake? i happen to agree with donald trump on this. i do believe that the fed has been way too tight. they are raising interest rates way too quickly. one of the problems that the fed has is this dual mandate. it should not have the mandate of getting to full employment. the way to get there is by having price stability. if you look at what is happening
with the price of oil, commod y commodities, those are falling in price which is an indication of slight deflation and not inflation. >> here is the counter argument and this comes from a fellow republican economist. he was chair of the council of economic advisers under president reagan. his argument is that powell and the fed are doing the right thing by increasing rates. when we have the down turn it will come, that will give the fed more ammunition to fight it by lowering rates. if you keep rates around two percent, you have so much less power and tools to attack with when you do have a down turn. >> i have nothing but respect for him. i think he is wrong on this. if you look at the data of what is happening to prices, they are
not rising. in other words, there is this kind of view at the fed that is very prevalent. i think jerome powell shares the idea that somehow strong economic growth is going to cause inflation. that is completely wrong. when you have a strong economy you are producing more goods and services. >> inflation is not rising as rapidly as some may have expected. it is rising. i do hear your argument. more on what the president said. he continued in this "washington post" interview to say i think the fed is a much bigger problem than china. you said on november 16 we are in a cold war with china right now. is the president right that the fed is a greater risk to the american people than china stealing our intellectual property? >> i don't know if i would agree with the president on that. i think the fed is taking a lot
of steam out of the economy right now. i think the biggest issue of our time -- this is much better than climate change, bigger than the fed. it is who is going to be the global economic superpower? is it the united states or china? as we speak i think the president is flying off to argentina to try to get this deal done with china. he has to prevail here. i think this is really important in terms of making sure that china plays by the rules, doesn't steal our intellectual property. i guess i would disagree with trump. >> it seems weird to message that you think your fed is a bigger problem than his government. general motors closing five plants, cutting 15% of the staff, the president says he is looking at cutting all subsidies for general motors.
republican economic policy, is that good for a free market economy? >> it is not good that we should be giving subsidies. no corporation should get federal subsidies. i agree. i don't think we should have washington decides on where companies invest and de-invest. we have created since donald trump was elected nearly a million manufacturing and construction jobs. the idea that plants are closing down around the country and that we will have mass unemployment, for every plant closed in manufacturing we have opened ten new ones. this is a good time to be a blue collar worker. >> you and i don't know what it feels like to be one of those workers. >> my heart goes out to the people who will lose their jobs, no question about it. >> great interview, digging in
on the president going after the independent fed. you are seeing that point of view. >> it's remarkable. >> imagine if the shoes were reversed. president trump and his legal team are getting critical insight into the probe thanks to president trump's lawyers. (engine roaring) (horn honking) okay, okay, okay... (clatter) ( ♪ ) feeling unsure? oh... (nervous yelp) what if you had some help? introducing the new 2019 ford edge with the confidence of ford co-pilot360 (tm) technology. the most available driver assist technology in its class. ( ♪ ) the new 2019 ford edge.
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