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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  November 29, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PST

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unethical or illegal or not in the interest of victims, serious questions for someone currently in a position of power as labor secretary. jake? >> thank you so much. our coverage on cnn continues right now. happening now. breaking news. trump's fixer flips. in a stunning development, president's longtime personal lawyer shows up in federal court pleading guilty to lying to congress about a project to build a trump tower in moscow, all as part of a plea agreement with the special counsel robert mueller. someone is lying. mueller says he believes cohen's story even as president trump refutes cohen's claims calling him a liar and a weak person, trying to lessen the sentence, but tonight trump lawyer rudy giuliani says the president's recollection is the same as cohen's. so who is telling the truth?
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>> reporter: mueller's timing, the president waited until or he had the president's written responses and his questions in hand and the president was leaving for the g-20 summit to drop his bombshell, why? >> and putin meeting off. just an hour after saying it was a great time to meet with the russia president, president trump tweets that the meeting at the g-20 summit is off citing rising tension between russia and ukraine. is that the real reason? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> we're following breaking news. the bombshell revelation that despite his denials that donald trump did have significant business dealings with russia during the 2016 presidential campaign even after he secured the republican nomination. that will news springing from the guilty plea by the president's former personal toern an fixer michae-- persona
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fixer michael cohen. he's now telling what he knew about the trump moscow tower project. eel speak with mike turner of the house intelligence and armed services committee and our analysts and specialists are also standing bit. first, let's get details on the breaking news. joining us right now, our cnn justice correspondent jessica schneider. we now know that cohen spoke to the mueller time for 70 hours, 70 hours, and a well-placed source tells me now that mueller knows everything. >> reporter: >> that's right, wolf, and all of the interviews coming over the course of seven meetings dating from september to just last week. cohen says he initially gave false statements to protect the president from any fallout in this ongoing probe, but tonight we now know cohen has been cooperating extensively with the
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special counsel. tonight the president's former fixer michael cohen once again flipping on the president in federal court, revealing trump while campaigning to become president of the united states knew more about a deal to build a trump tower in moscow than cohen has previously acknowledged. >> mr. cohen has cooperated. mr. cohen will continue to cooperate. >> cohen pled guilty in federal court today admitting to misleading congressional investigators saying he lied to be consistent with the president's political messaging and out of loyalty to the president. cohen has already met with investigators seven times since august, the most recent meeting just last week. one source saying the details about trump tower moscow were just one of the many topics involving the president that cohen divulged in more than 70 hours of questioning. >> there's no relationship. >> cohen told the house and senate intelligence committees last year that all talks around the deal were done by january to 16, but he now admits discussions about the moscow project continued as late as june 2016 after donald trump
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became the presumptive republican nominee and just one month before the convention. cohen saying he told congress the deal, dubbed the moscow project, ended before the iowa caucus and the very first primary in hopes of limiting the ongoing russia investigations. cohen's revelations in court showed he discussed the status of the moscow project with donald trump on mohr than three occasions and briefed trump's family members, plus, despite previously denying any contact with moscow related to the project, cohen now admits he talked directly with somebody in vladimir putin's press secretary's office for 20 minutes in january 2016. >> i don't know putin. i've never met him, but if this deal was going forward, i certainly would have started working the phones. >> reporter: cohen also worked with felix sater, a russian american businessman to discuss the deal and cohen even contemplated that cohen would
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visit russia saying it was his trip before cleveland. sater was in close contact with cohen during the campaign and boasted about his ties. our boy can become the president of the united states and the we can engineer it. i'll get all of putin's team to buy in on this and i'll manage the process. the trump tower moscow deal never came to fruition, but the changing story for michael cohen has them calling for more investigations. >> this only underscores the importance of bringing mr. cohen back before our committee and also looking into this issue of whether the russians possess financial leverage over the president of the united states. we believe other witnesses were untruthful before our committee. we want to share those transcripts with mr. mueller. >> reporter: so while additional congressional probes of cohen could pop up, it looks like his sentencing could come fairly soon. his attorneys have asked to merge this guilty plea with the other eight counts he pled guilty to and keep the
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sentencing date very soon of december 12th. michael cohen has not made any additional statements outside of court but the president sent went out calling cohen a proven liar. >> all of this comes as the president heads to buenos aires for the g-20 summit. our chief white house correspondent jim acosta is in buenos aires already on the ground. the president responded to cohen's plea by calling him a weak person and a liar. >> reporter: he certainly did, wolf, and the president, as you said, is on his way to the g-20 summit in argentina. he'll arrive on the ground at this summit facing new questions about his business dealings in russia during the 2016 campaign. that's, of course, after the bombshell that his former attorney michael cohen dropped in federal court pleading guilty to lying in congress about the business dealings the president has with russia. president trump's former lawyer and fixer michael cohen has left his old boss in a fix leaving.
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leaving for the g-20 summit the president lashed out about the decision. >> he's a weak person, and had a he's trying to do is get a reduced sentence so he's lying very simple police to get a reduced sentence, hock. >> reporter: cohen admitted to the special counsel's office that his discussions with mr. trump about a possible real estate project in moscow lasted until about june 2016, well into the campaign and five months longer than what he told congress. the president's outside lawyer rudy giuliani blasted cohen in a statement saying michael cohen is a liar. it's no surprise that cohen lied to congress. it is hardly coincidental that the special counsel once again files a charge just as the president is leaving for a meeting with world leaders at the g-20 summit in argentina. with regard to the hotel proposal in moscow, the president has been completely open and transparent. giuliani, it should be not, has praised cohen in the past.
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>> he doesn't have any incriminating evidence about the president or himself. the man is an honest, honorable lawyer. >> the president insisted to reporters he's been very open about the moscow trump tower project. >> so he's lying about a project that everybody knew about. i mean, we were very open with it. we were thinking about building a building. i guess we had in a form, an option, i don't know what you would call it. we decided -- i decided ultimately not to do it. there would have been nothing wrong if i did do it. >> reporter: but that's not quite true. the trump moscow project only became public knowledge in february of last year when it appeared in a story in the "new york times." the new revelations from cohen also run counter to what the president said about his doelgs with russia just days before he was sworn into office. >> i have no dealings with russia. i have no deals in russia. i have no deals that could happen in russia because we've stayed away. >> reporter: still, the president maintains he's not worried about what else cohen
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may share with prosecutors. >> not at all. i'm not worried at all about him. >> reporter: democrats disagree. >> i guess we shouldn't be totally surprised at this. this is one more example of a close ally or an affiliate of donald trump lying about their ties or conversations with russia or russians of. >> reporter: the president left for the g-20 with plans to sit down with russian president vladimir putin, but mr. trump scrap the the meeting after speaking with advisers about russia's recent aggression against ukraine tweeting i've decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in argentina with president vladimir putin. the tweet came less than an hour after the president indicated that the meeting was still on. >> i think it's a very good time to have the meeting. i'm getting a full report on the plane as to what happened with respect to that, and that will determine what i'm going to be doing. >> reporter: as for the russia investigation, the president said there was one former aide facing legal jeopardy on his
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mind, paul manafort. mr. trump said he hasn't ruled out a pardon. >> i've never seen anybody treated so poorly. the question was asked by "the new york post" and i said no, i've not asked any pardons and they said would you, and i said i'm not taking anything off the table. >> loyalty counts. >> if cohen was such a bum and have him on your payroll and have him do so muchch your dirty work? >> because a long time ago he did me a favor. a long time ago he did me a favor. >> reporter: the president's decision to cancel this meeting with vladimir putin here at the summit doesn't mean they won't actual little meet. they could push pass each other and getting back to the president's comments about michael cohen and calling him a liar, we should also note that the president's outside attorney
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rudy giuliani saying the president's comments to the special counsel about the project in moscow, that they are consistent with what michael cohen has said to the special prosecutor in this case. the president and rudy giuliani have had very harsh words for michael cohen, but they are not alone. i smoke with a source close to the white house earlier today who described michael cohen as, quote, a rat, adding that inmates hate rats. bomb? >> wow. jim acosta in buenos aires at the g-20 summit. let's dig deeper into the breaking news. joining suscnn justice correspondent evan prz and political correspondent sara mir and crime and justice reporter simon prokupecz. >> how does this change the time line of trump's dealing with russia during the 2016 campaign and what trump knew all about
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that? >> it tells us he was involved in a potentially significant business deal with russia long after he let the american people know pubically, certainly long after the iowa caucuses were over and if you believe what was said in court today these are discussions they were having up until the convention, that donald trump will go and deliver his speech and accept the republican nomination in cleveland and if things went michael cohen's way or the president at that point or candidate trump was going to get on a plane and visit moscow. it also moans that the things that trump said, no deals in russia, no potential deals, that was just a lie. >> evan, do we know if mr. trump was asked about this deal by the special counsel, robert mueller, and do his written answers square with what kone now says that he believes him extensively
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and that he worked with the president since june of 2016. >> wolf, we noemp the trump tower moscow deal was part of the questions asked to the president. we know according to the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani who told pamela brown, that the question was very, very broad, and that their answer was very broad, that they did not get into any specific dates in their answer to the mueller team about what they knew about it, when he spoke to -- to michael soen. if that is accurate then perhaps the answers won't really be in conflict. we don't know exactly what they said or the exact wording that they used and we also know from the documents released today that they have a lot for information. shimon, the trump team is dismissing michael cohen as a
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liar. is that because they are worried about a perjury trap. >> i think the bigger issue is you have michael cohen who for so many years was so close to the president and knew all of his business dealings, his real estate dealings, knew some of the family's dealings and has known so much about this family and so much about the president, that that is really what their concern is. what else is he telling the special counsel? the other thing, wolf, think about this, that michael cohen has now twice come into court, taken an oath and has said basically that he was doing things on behalf of the president to try and cover up some of the president's actions, to try and make the president look better. to try to protect the president. that's why he was doing this. keep in mind, a lot of people are worried about where this
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investigation is going too, especially here in new york, wolf. >> good point as well. sara, michael cohen said he misled the federal investigators, the fbi and the special counsel's office to try to limit the probe, and he said this, and let me read the quote. he shade i made these misstatements to be consistent with trump's political messaging and out of loyalty to trump. the is there any indication, sara, that any one specifically asked him to lie. >> there's no smoking gun that has emerged, for example, dump saying this is our story and we're sticking to it. is it possible? sure. but we don't have proof of them but it's also that president trump didn't believe he had to have the conversation with michael cohen. this is a guy out there saying he'd be willing to take a bullet for donald trump, that he's more loyal to donald trump than anyone else, but obviously that has changed.
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>> what about the timing of this dramatic development? did he wait until trump send his answers? >> the timing, wolf, is very serious, and i can tell you i inside the trump day they were very worried about this, that the president and his team delayed when they responded to mueller. they waited a few days because they were concerned that robert mueller and his heam had up his sleeve and we known the know whether they specifically waiting until today and they have had the president's answers for a few days, and now we know what is up their sleeve. >> very intriguing. michael cohen had seven meetings and more than 70 hours of questioning. what else could cohen have talked to mueller's team about,
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and what threat could all of that pose to president trump? >> it's an ultimate threat, perhaps right now the biggest threat to the president, to the trump organization and to members of the president's inner circle and family, the now, the fact that he's spent same time and development in this entire investigation because for some time, we weren't even show if the special counsel was going to find any cred nablt what michael cohen is saying. clearly now we have a very different story, and it's clear that the special counsel is taking what michael cohen is saying seriously and is going to continue to take what he's saying seriously because according to michael cohen's lawyer he's continuing to cooperate. he said as much when he left court. a lot of people should be worried about what michael cohen knows, the trump organization
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and real estate dealings and other deals we don't know about. michael cohen knows a lot and we don't know everything and the special counsel now has it all. >> shimon prokupecz, sara murray, evan perez, excellent reporting. let's get more on all of these developments with mike turner of ohio, a key member of both intelligence and armed services committee. congressman, thanks so much for joining us. let me get your reaction to michael cohen's surprise plea agreement that was announced today. how significant is this development, do you believe, for the overall russia probe? >> well, first, wolf, as you and i have discussed before, wolf, i support the special counsel's investigation. it's very important for us to get to the bottom of russian meddling in the election. i think today's events certainly underscore to everyone the -- the importance of being truthful to congress on a bipartisan basis. i think everyone is very pleased to find people being prosecuted for lying to congress. i think there are many instances that need to be reviewed through all of these testimonies that
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we've had in this investigation for that, but one thing that i think is interesting when you look at interesting. the investigation is about russia meddling but guilty plea is not about meddling in the election. the statement that cohen made to congress, that he pled guilty included a statement by him he was not involved with collusion with the russian federation by anyone. that was not in his guilty plea, certainly notable because the mueller investigation is not about a failed real estate deal. it's about russian meddling in the election fanned there was collusion and collaboration and still today we have no american who has been charged with that as the mueller investigation moves forward. we'll have to wait and see whether or not that does come forward. >> well, the investigation also includes russian meddling, russian influence in the election. that's what is mueller, among other things, is investigating as well -- to see if any u.s.
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laws were violated. do you believe, congressman, that michael cohen, when he testified before your committee last year, the house intelligence committee, did you have any reason to believe at that time that he was lying to you and your colleagues? >> well, i think that there were a number of times throughout all the testimonies whether it be clapper and comey and himself, inconsistencies and statements, and i think that's one of the reasons why the committees involved have all of the skranz crypts made public because congress doesn't prosecute and lying to congress is a crime. they should be reviewed by the special counsel and people should be held accountable. having looked at the transcript again, the 70 hours that he spent before the mueller investigation, he's a guys who winds around a lot for answers so i wouldn't exact all 70 hours were truthful. >> if michael cohen is telling the truth now and abs-of-as you know mueller and his team they said in court that they believe he's telling the truth now and
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the president lied to the american people about various deals that were on going with the russians, would that be a problem with you? >> i think we have to look at -- comparing notes, too, but everybody looks to the president of the united states to be truthful to the american people. >> the president says cohen is lying right now. do you have any reason to doubt the special counsel's claim that cohen is now finally telling the truth? >> well, i don't know that cohen is telling the truth about everything, and i think certainly we'll have to wait to see how this evolves. what is notable is the guilty plea today did not involve collusion or collaboration with russia with respect to the investigation. we don't know if that's coming. here we are two years into this investigation not one american has been alleged by the mueller investigation to have been part of collusion or collaboration with russia in its meddling with the election. >> rudy giuliani says the president's written responses do mueller are consistent with what
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president trump said about the moscow dealings and the president said cohen is lying about all of this. how can both be true? >> welling i'm not going to respond to what the president said. you'll have to ask him those questions, but can i say this. i think this underscores the importance of the mueller investigation and why the intelligence committee and the house handed this -- their portions of the investigation over and we've concluded all that we can do and with the tools that they have it's important for them to get answers for the american people. >> because, as you know, michael cohen, he said in federal court today that he lied before your committee, before the senate committee, specifically to protect the president and to be consistent with what the president was saying, and so that's a pretty significant charge. >> well, again, you know, it's down to michael cohen's statements and i'm not going to take his statements as -- the
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mueller investigation knows and they will give us an understanding of what has happened and that's what i'm looking forward to and the american people are looking forward to. >> should your committee, the house intelligence committee, brick michael cohen back for more testimony? >> i think there's an opportunity to do that. there's an opportunity to ask about did he lie and what he said to us before? that's important to know. his testimony was -- he's being prosecuted for his guilty pleau and lying to cook. the testimony that he gave are perhaps under oat and if other statements are untree they should be brought forward and he should be held accountable. >> do you believe the leadership of the house intelligence committee, shut down your commit
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einvestigation prematurely. absolutely not. i was involved in the hearings and reviewing theians scripts where we had gotten to the point where we would be interfering with the special counsel's he is, and the special counsel is where this particular investigation should be. they have tools that will provide the truth. it had gotten about the intelligence committee who can run to the cameras first and make statements about donald trump's interference in the russian investigation or donald trump's interference with the election with russians, all of which were not shown has having any basis in the testimony we're receiving, and we thought it was best that the mueller investigation get to the facts and to the american public hand that's what needs to happen here. >> the is democrats on august 3rd, adam schiff will be the
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chairman. you'll be in the minority and there will be a bunch of subpoenas as well. >> the president is heading to buenos aires, and he was schedule to -- scheduled to meet with putin but he's cancelled that for now. >> i think the president should not pete with vladimir putin. the president has held the sanctions against russia for their invasion of ukraine and their annexation of crimea. he's increased sanctions as a result of the chemical agent in london. he has armed ukraine which was not done under the previous administration to aid them in their defense. vladimir putin has continued to increase the aggression here. interfering with ukrainian access to the black sea cannot be permitted. this is obviously an escalation, and i think the president's
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response was appropriate. >> and as you know, the president is accusing all of these individuals who have been investigated by mueller and his team of being liars. do you believe the president when he says all these individuals are now lying? >> you know, the president has used that term for a lot of people so i wouldn't use that with a broad brush saying the president of the united states said that. i will say this. i have and everyone on both sides of the aisle have been displeased from the obama administration and the trump gang and associates in this investigation feeling that we were not receiving full disclosure or the correct information that people were, you know, misleading congress and lying to congress. we certainly see that today. certainly there are inconsistencies, even in comey and clapper's testimony that needs to be pursued. there's a ton of displeasure to go around. >> do you think the president is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, you know? >> that's really not for me to
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say. i think what we're here to talk about is this investigation, and i think the special counsel will get to what is the truth and then we'll have -- we'll be able to have that discussion, wolf. >> he's the president of the united states and the leader of the republican party, and you're telling me you're unable to say whether you believe the president is telling the truth? >> this is what i believe, wolf and this is what i've said. i believe the special counsel investigation is incredibly important because we'll get an understanding of what happened. we'll get an understanding of the facts and from that we'll understand what actions occurred, whether or not there when is collusion or collaborate and that's very important to us and the american people and preserving our democracy. >> congressman turner, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> lots of news happening. we're going to continue to follow the breaking news. michael cohen now cooperating with the special counsel robert mueller. what is he telling him? and is mueller now closing in on collusion between the trump campaign and russia? we're taking a closer look at all the late-breaking developments. ♪
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e the breaking news tonight. former trump personal attorney and fixer michael cohen pleading guilty to lying to congress about the trump tower moscow project and what mr. trump knew about it during the 2016 presidential campaign. let's get more with our contributors and our analysts. laura coates, walk us through your analysis of michael cohebb's guilty plea today and what it means for the overall russia investigation. >> well, the underlying question everyone has had about they could lose probe is essentially why would there be some thought on behalf of russia or a foreign nation if there was some reception or receptivity on behalf of the trump campaign? why would they think for some second they would have a safe
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haven or inroad in any what i? what this has told you in the actual guilty plea you have a motive, some reason to understand why perhaps the president of the united states has been reluctant to condemn russia hand not willing to speak out in favor of our inintelligence community about the ties and the collusive activities or perhaps the interference and why there may be financial dealings at play. all of these things that we've been talking about and not wanting to provide financial forms or tax returns, all of this hints at to what michael cohen said. he's not the most sympathetic of witnesses. he's pled guilty to six felonies a few months ago. has a credibility issue there, and you also have somebody who is in a very unique position to tell what he knows about the timing of the trump tower moscow, and for that reason you do have the sense that mueller has chosen through crab rating evidence. he's not going to take cohen's word for it wholeheartedly. he must have corroboration.
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finally the timing of it is so important for me as a prosecutor because, remember, a few days ago donald trump handed in his written answers, and now it's blocked in stone and the opportunity for backpedaling and walking away from the media is all gone. >> you have the comparison in words in stone. >> gloria, you've been working your sources and they are good ones, i know, that and what are you hearing about cohen's other discussions about robert mueller? >> my colleague pamela brown and i have been doing some reporting on this and a source with knowledge tells us that there were over 70, that's 7-0, hours of discussions with michael cohen, so that clearly means there are a lot of other topics that were discussed. i spoke with one source who is very close to michael cohen today, and this source put it to me this way. the source says the michael has the goods and has extremely valuable information. what does that mean, wolf?
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well, we know the kinds of questions that mueller has been asking, in the only to donald trump but to others who have testified. we know that they have asked about wikileaks and collusion and the question of whether the trump campaign knew anything about that, about whether the issue of a pardon for anyone was -- was ever discussed, about whether the president knew about the trump tower meeting that donald jr. arranged, so when you -- when you put this all together and you try and step back and take a look at the big picture here, you have the man who once said that he would take a bullet for donald trump turning into his very own brutus. it's very shakesperean, and i think as this all unravels, we'll see just how much michael cohen knows, in the only about donald trump but also about the family business and -- and i think we're just going to have to see this play out because it's very clear that bob mueller
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knows a lot more than he's telling us right now and that he would not accept michael cohen's word for anything unless he had an awful lot of corroboration. >> a well-placed source tells me that mueller knows everything. it's very interesting that t michelle kosinski is reporting, getting it from a source familiar with a -- a source familiar with what's going on, that white house officials prepping the president for the g-20 summit in argentina, the president's on his way there right now, they say that president trump is, quote, in a terrible mood, spooked and completely distracted. that's pretty extraordinary going into a high level series of meet >> and pretty understandable and what i've been focusing on is russia's reaction, and i can tell you that as of this morning russia media had been reporting
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that president putin had been planning to sit down with president trump on saturday at 9:30 a.m. east coast time for what they said was at least two hours. they named the hotel, and given the -- given the detail in this confirmation it's something we didn't even see leading up to the helsinki meeting. there was a lot of vague detail going into that meeting, what time it would take place, if it would take play, so the significance here being that vladimir putin would not have confirmed, the kremlin would not have confirmed that a meeting would be taking place if they didn't anticipate there would be one. it looks like vladimir putin was stood up, and the kremlin responded that he heel have to find something else to do with the two hours, but that shows the quick change in the president's mood and the quick change in the president's thought process going into this summit given that just an hour before the michael cohen news came out he acknowledged he
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would sit down with vladimir putin. why would this attributed to hostilities between russia and ukraine, that's the white house's answer to that, but, of course, a lot of people are skeptical about the timing. >> that's a good point. chris cillizza, do you think the president was wary of the optics of sitting down with putin so soon after this bombshell? >> yes, and i think context matters. let's remember back in helsinki, donald trump and vladimir putin side by side. donald trump says, well, you know, i know our intelligence community says it was russia that interfered in the election and helped me and hurt hillary clinton but vladimir putin said it wasn't. we are both to blame. there was a huge uproar stateside. if he's not in a great place mentally dealing with cohen and what looks like bob mueller's investigation picking up momentum and the vice tightening, it might not be the
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best idea for him to sit down with donald trump or any other hostile world leader. i don't think the ukrainian issue is the reason for that, wolf. i think it can be cited for a reason but put me in bianna's camp in that it would shine even more light on what he would not do and if donald trump sat down with vladimir putin, he's not going to all of a sudden confront vladimir putin over russian interference. he hasn't done it before. it won't do it now. >> optics didn't have much of an effect going into the helsinki meeting as well. there was a lot of anticipation from both republicans and democrats and the worlds to really address russian interference in the u.s. election and to be firm with put puel. he seemed to go into this
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meeting knowing all of this and at the same time he's still sitting down in a one-on-one private meeting with vladimir putin and coming out and seemingly taking his side so optics isn't something that the president puts at the forefront of his decision meeting and here we are. >> we'll see what happens in argentina in bristol-myers at the g-20 summit. everybody stand by. much more on the breaking news. michael cohen's plea agreement and special counsel robert mueller's investigation and we'll get reaction to donald trump's abrupt decision to cancel his meeting with vladimir putin.
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breaking news, a source now sells cnn that white house officials are preparing for the president's g-20 summit tomorrow and saturday in argentina saying the president is now, quote in, a terrible mood, spooked and completely distracted, close quote, after michael cohen's guilty plea today in the special counsel robert mueller's probe. the president abruptly cancelled his one-on-one meeting with the russian president vladimir putin during the summit. let's go live to our senior international correspondent fred pleitgen joining us from russia. how did the russians take the cancellation? >> reporter: well, they didn't take it very well, and there are certainly people in russia media
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and politics that believe this is some sort of false pretext, wolf, but this has more to do with the case of michael cohen than it does what it those do here and the sandoff in the sea of azov. a russian lawmaker said exactly that. what i managed to do tonight is to get into contact with dmitry peskov as he was on the presidential plane. he said the folks, and i quote. we're flying. so far we've only seen trump's tweets and media reports. we don't have official confirmation yet, and if this is the case we'll have an extra couple of hours for other useful meetings. by the way, wolf, this was the same conversation wipeskov wher he had gotten in touch with trump's office and had responded as well. things continue to esclalt between the russians and ukranian. president poroshenko calling for nato to send warships to the sea
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of azov. that obviously would be a big escalation here of things going on. the russians, meanwhile, firing back saying they believe that foreign powers may have had to do with the standoff that took place here a couple of days ago. as you can see, wolf, things ratcheting up, and certainly the president cancelling that meeting not going down well at all. wolf? >> did they say what they would like to do if there's no two-hour formal sit-down. do they want a little side meeting along the sidelines, as they say? >> reporter: i do believe the russians still hope that there will be at least some sort of interaction between vladimir putin and president trump, even if it's on the side, maybe before or after some photo opportunity, but all we have right now from demetri peskov saying that he'll find some other meeting for vladimir putin to take place. this is important for putin as well. he's meeting with mohammed bin
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salman, something that the world will be looking and the russians have prepared for a long time and the summit not taking place with president trump is really a big problem. >> we'll see if president trump has a side meeting with the saudi crown prince in buenos aires and argentina right now. fred, thanks very much. fred pleitgen reporting from russia. coming up, we'll have more on the breaking news. president trump's former attorney and fixer michael cohen fixing and add hitting to lying to congress about his boss' business project in russia out of loyalty, and in just a minute we'll take a closer look at trump's attempts to do business in russia. why did so much of his projects come to nothing? but why go back. when you can stay home with neulasta onpro? strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection. in a key study neulasta reduced the risk of infection from 17% to 1%, a 94% decrease. neulasta onpro is designed to deliver neulasta
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we're digging deeper on today's breaking news. president trump's former attorney and fixer michael cohen pleading guilty in special counsel robert mueller's russia investigation. cohen now admits he lied to the u.s. congress about a failed project to build a trump tower in moscow. cnn's brian todd has been looking into the trump administration's many attempts to do business in russia over the years. brian, what are you finding out? >> we've learned that there were at least two attempts by donald trump to build trump towers in moscow in recent years, but his dreams of scoring big real estate deals in russia go back decades. the swagger, the sheer capitalist ambition were impressive. but success in real estate in russia eluded donald trump. the potential trump tower deal
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in moscow that michael cohen admitted to working on as late as june of 2016 would have been sweet for donald trump. 250 luxury condo units, 15 floors of hotel rooms. the chance to name a spa after his daughter, ivanka. but as president trump stressed today, that deal never went through. >> that was a project that wasn't done for a lot of reasons. number one is that i was really not -- not that i had to do it, but i was focused on running for president. >> reporter: before and since taking office, the president has repeatedly denied sealing any real estate deals in russia. >> i own nothing in russia. i have no loans in russia. i don't have any deals in russia. i have no deals. i have no loans. and i have no dealings. >> reporter: but it wasn't for a lack of trying. cnn and other news outlets have reported that while no trump real estate deals inside russia were ever finalized, there were attempts dating back at least 30 years. >> he was invited there by the russians in 1987. and he made a famous trip there
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and fell in love with russia. >> he tried very hard several times to do deals in moscow. he said, we'll be in moscow, it's inevitable, but in the end he wasn't able to do the real estate deals. >> reporter: biographers and journalists who investigated trump's business deals say trump tried at least twice to build a trump tower in moscow. along the way, the trump organization enlisted interesting characters to help. one is felix sader, a mob-linked felon-turned-fbi informant involved in the cohen plea who tried to facilitate the deal in 2016. >> sader is one of the most enigmatic figures in the trump saga. he and his father both allegedly had ties to the russia mafia going way back. felix grew up mostly in brake, in the brighton -- in brooklyn, in the brighton beach area, sort of the headquarters for the russian mafia. >> reporter: why did none of the
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heavily hyped trump deals never go through? >> one problem trump had was getting the approval of the russian government. he was always concerned that the bureaucracy and the kremlin was too -- time consuming, that there was too much. that's one of the reasons he was so interested in cultivating putin himself. >> reporter: but trump has made money from russians. he sold this mansion in palm beach to a russian billionaire for $95 million. and there was one business deal in moscow that did succeed. >> russia is our partner. >> reporter: in 2013 he made millions when he partnered with a russian billionaire to hold the "miss universe pageant" in the shadow of the kremlin. could there be other trump business deals in russia that we haven't heard about? analysts say probably not. but if there are, those deals could at least be politically harmful to the president if he does not disclose them. wolf? >> all right, brian, good reporting. brian todd reporting for us. the breaking news, it continues. former trump fixer and personal
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attorney michael cohen drops a bombshell in his plea agreement revealing that he lied to the u.s. congress to protect the president and to limit the russia investigation. ♪ [upbeat music] you wouldn't feel good not knowing the price here. don't let it happen when you buy your diabetes test strips. with the accu-chek® guide simplepay program, you pay the same low price. all without having to go through insurance. plus, they come in a spill-resistant vial along with a free meter. skip the guessing game and focus on your health. not the cost. make saving simple today at simplepaysaves.com.
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happening now, breaking news, cohen's confession. the president's former lawyer admits he lied to congress to
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cover up the full extent of mr. trump's business dealings with russia. we're assessing the potential db damage to the president from michael cohen's stunning plea agreement with robert mueller. 70 hours. cnn has learned that cohen talked extensive with the pounds n multiple meetings on a variety of topics. and a well-placed source tells me that mueller knows everything. what else has cohen revealed? "weak person." president trump slams his former fixer for flipping saying cohen is telling lies now to reduce his prison time. but is the president's current lawyer, rudy giuliani, undermining his argument? and passing on putin. as mr. trump heads to the g20 summit in argentina, he abruptly cancels his meeting with the russian president citing the crisis in ukraine. given the timing right after the cohen guilty plea, is that explanation believable? we want to welcome our

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