tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN January 10, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
him. he knows it's not a cure-all. how do i know he knows it? he's been told that. don't question his intelligence. question his motivations. question his ability to tell you the truth about why he's doing things. thank you for watching. "cnn tonight" with d. lemon starts right now. >> did you watch the photo-op today? >> i did. >> and what'd you think? >> i thought that was a nice white hat he had on. i also thought that, look, i don't like him putting the men and women who are doing that job of keeping us safe in this position. >> right. >> putting all those bags of drugs, they're all now forced to support a farce. the drugs don't come across the border on foot in any major way. the tunnels that i had to walk in that el chapo documentary, those are real, but most come through the ports of entry in vehicles. he doesn't talk about the x-ray equipment the way he talks about the wall because he doesn't give a damn about the drugs.
he's using them as motivation to get what he wants. it's irresponsible. >> did you -- did you hear about the -- they're starting that wall on the northern border? the canadian border? did you hear about that? >> i heard a little about it. >> yeah. no. of course, not. of course, not. and there's -- and that is -- >> you have many more terrorists that came through in. >> there you go. why aren't we talking about that? >> because he didn't talk about it in the campaign. >> it's obvious why year nou're talking about it. >> what are you asking? is. >> listen, someone, i have been thinking about this and one of the folks here raised a very similar question as we were talking about covering the st y story. there are so many people, officials, who where on the southern border, right, who are opposed to the wall, but yet because of the rhetoric, people in the middle of the country who aren't directly affected by it have a completely different idea and opinion about it, number one, they're not there, but number two, they're hearing all the rhetoric from conservative
media, from people who have their facts wrong and from this administration about it. when they are hundreds of miles away from the border, and they are not directly affected by it. >> listen, i don't have any problem with physical barriers. i believe the men and women who are working down there who say they need more of them. >> i don't, either. >> i argueexactly. >> the amount. i argue with the lies that are used to motivate the false priority and saying we're a wall away from being safe, we're a wall away from the drug problem being better, we're a wall away from anything. what i hope is after all of this, i hope the people who support this wall, because one death is too many, i hope they remember that rationale so the next time that we have a use of force case, where it seems like it was done the wrong way in that instance, that one is too many. >> you're talking about with police officers, right -- >> when they hear about someone dying, who shouldn't have diededied , and it's a situation where it was a function of a social disadvantage that one is too many, i hope they remember that as a rationale that they're using right now. i doubt they will. >> i always say the pendulum
swings, right, and that karma is a you know what. so let's think about when there's a democratic administration and someone wants to get something accomplished, and they say, well, you don't want to do it, then i'm going to say it a national emergency, and i'm going to do it. >> right. >> i think that this -- >> i will jump all over them like ugly on a -- >> no, i'm just saying, if this administration, if this president does that, if he sets a precedent, dire consequences and it sets a really bad precedent. yeah. >> you know what his people will say? what about daca. it's not apples to apples. that was executi this is litigated. it's different. i think legally he may or may not get away with it. he's lied so much about the ral realities -- >> he doesn't remember. >> it's a little tricky to justify it in court. the bar is low under the 1976 act. it's about how's he going to pay for it? i got to tell you, don, if he
reaches into those pockets, if he dares to mess with puerto rico, again, if he dares to mess with communities that have already been savaged by real emergencies -- >> yep. florida. >> how dare he do that. i think that even he would have to feel that shame. >> hmm. you know, this whole thing, i think i talked to you about this last night, this whole thing about how some people are framing it as this is, you know, both sides and a pox on both houses. i don't think that that's fair because i think that there was an agreement, both sides had negotiated, right, they had come up, both republicans and democrats, they gave a little and -- >> right. >> democrats gave a little, republicans gave a little. they came to an agreement, said this is what you're going to do, this is what we're going to sign on to. the president said, okay, fine. at the last second, again, he heard from conservative media -- >> he got scared. >> then he got scared. i think if i were in in the position of the democrat, or if
there are conservatives, conservatives who are listening right now, please, if you're listening, if someone moves the goalpost, continues to move the goalpost, why would you want to continue to negotiate with them? i don't understand that. there was an agreement already. right? to keep the government open. to make sure that federal workers got paid. >> walked away from it. >> and he walked away from it. >> then mcconnell walked away from his constitutional duties and says, my job is to be a patsy. so, you know, if mcconnell's able to get his boldness back and do his job, and they put things to a vote, well, then you're seeing how the process works on something like this. i have a simple rule. whoever shuts down the government sucks. there's never a good reason to do it. because you wind up putting your inadequacy on the backs of people who don't deserve it. >> agreed. but just quickly, again, if we were negotiating, chris, say we're trying to do a deal or something, and i kept, i said,
okay, this is it, this is what i want, chris, if you give it to me, we can sign this deal, we can do it. >> right. >> then i turn around and said, you know what, nah, i want this. then i continued to do that. what would you say? >> >> i'd say it sounds like a lot of our conversations. listen, you can't trust somebody like that. there's always some gamesmanship and brinksmanship and a lot of other ships when it comes to political deckering and that's okay. when you shut down the government, you suck. you wind up transferring your inadequacy, your inability onto the backs of men and women who don't deserve it. >> yeah, this is desperation time. you can certainly see it. we see it playing out right now. okay, my friend. see you tomorrow. >> always a pleasure. >> yep. see ya. thanks, chris. >> bye-bye. this is -- nice. nice job. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. so you could call this a tale of two crises. at least two. while the president travelled to
the border today for what was basically a giant foe photo-op, he admitted, these are his words, not going to change a damn thing, upped his threats to use an emergency declaration to solve his own manufactured crisis. >> it thf this doesn't work out probably will do it. i would almost say definitely. this a national emergency. >> back in washington, a very real crisis for this president was unfolding, one new development after the other in the russia investigation. sources telling cnn tonight a battle is brewing between robert mueller and the white house over obstruction of justice. the special counsel looking at false or misleading statements that president trump and his team have made in public. statements that could be seen as efforts to influence witnesses. we also learned today that the man you could call president trump's nemesis, michael cohen, his former fixer and keeper of secrets, will answer questions
from congress next month in public. that will be must-see tv. which means we could all learn a lot more about what cohen now a convicted felon has told mueller. but the president, his attitude seems to be, what, me? worry? >> i'm not worried about it at all, no. >> and then there's paul manafo manafort, the former trump campaign chairman and another convicted felon. president says he knows nothing about manafort's sharing of polling data with a russian intelligence-linked operative. >> no, i didn't know anything about it. nothing about it. >> that wasn't air force one, right? we learned today that mueller has talked to the trump pollster who may have been unwitting, the unwitting source to that polling data. it's a lot we still don't know, but what is clear from all of this is that robert mueller knows a lot he is not telling.
not yet, anyway. that as the president is all about the wall. his manufactured crisis. yes, i said, manufactured crisis, meant to distract you from anything else. like russia. and a pretty stunning about-face, even for him, the president today actually tried to claim he never said mexico would directly pay for the wall. >> when during the campaign, i would say mexico's going to pay for it, obviously, i never said this and i never meant they're going to write out a check. >> he never said it, was going to write out a check. when he does this thing, you know something is about to happen. this thing. like, thinking, thinking. so he said he never said it. oh, yeah? roll this. >> and who's going to pay for the wall? is. >> mexico! >> who's going to pay for the wall? >> mexico! >> who?
>> mexico! >> who's going to pay for wall? >> mexico! >> who? in the end. in the end, mexico's going to pay for the wall. they're going to pay for the wall and they're going to enjo i it, okay? they're going to enjoy it. they may even write us a check by the time they see what happens. >> if that's not clear enough, there is this statement from trump's campaign website. here it is. "it's an easy decision for mexico. make a one-time payment of $5 billion to $10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year." on one-time payment. not an indirect payment. not money from a trade deal with mexico. one that has not been ratified yet and has absolutely no provision to spend money on a wall. if you want to know the truth
about where the money for the wall is coming from, it is quite simple. you. white house aide mercedes schlapp admitted that in an interview with cnn's jim sciutto. >> the fact is at the end of the day, taxpayers are going to pay for this wall. why does he continue to mislead on that issue? >> let me tell you, when you look at the trade deal, the trade deals are going to bring more jobs back to america. it's bringing more business back to america and it's also going to keep our wages up so this trade deal, in effect, does help pay for this border security. let me -- >> it doesn't pay for it. >> -- tell you something, it's -- >> taxpayers pay for it. >> yes. you know what else taxpayers are paying for? the financial burden of this illegal immigration. >> president has created this manufactured crisis. forced the government shutdown that's deprived, and is depriving 800,000 workers of their pay. over what "the new york times"
reports was nothing but a kn pneunomic devirks way ce, way t him on message during the campaign. now he's holding the government hostage and that word, crisis, it's an important one. sources tell cnn white house lawyers have advised team trump to use the word as often as they can sto they can point to it later in court to defend a national emergency declaration. and team trump seems to be listening. >> this is a crisis. >> a crisis on our southern border. >> this is a humanitarian crisis. >> humanitarian crisis at the border. >> we have a national crisis. >> undeniable crisis at our southern border. >> a crisis of the heart. >> we ishave a national crisis. >> a crisis of the soul. >> it is a crisis. >> this is a tremendous crisis at the border. >> saying crisis a whole bunch
doesn't make it one. see, let's see. chee cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger. doesn't make this a cheeseburger. but we're learning tonight that some white house aides reportedly including jared kushner and kellyanne conway are cautioning the president against declaring a national emergency. unless it creates a clear path to build a wall. that is according to "the wall street journal" which reports others are looking for alternative ways to fund the wall without approval from congress, including trying to divert funds from disaster relief. so here's the bottom line. 800,000 federal workers are going to miss a paycheck tomorrow. one that they need. and in pretty stunning bit of irony here, the shutdown, which is all about the president's demand for a border wall, is putting i.c.e. at risk of running out of money to pay for
centers to detain undocumented immigrants. that is as some border patrol agents who are also working without pay have sued the trump administration. and we are learning tonight that miami international airport will close a terminal intermittently this weekend, a spokesman says. tsa screeners are calling in sick at double the normal rate. and i want you to take a look at this, okay? it is a pay stub for $0.00 issued to william streiflstreif air traffic controller at newark liberty international airport who has been working without pay. look at your screen right now. put that back up. imagine if you'd been working all week or for however many weeks and this is the paycheck you got in the mail.
this is the thanks for doing your job. for showing up every day at work. how would you feel if that was your paycheck? well, we know what the president thinks. >> i can relate, and i'm sure that the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustment. they always do. and they'll make adjustment. people understand exactly what's going on. but many of those people that won't be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100% with what i'm doing. >> they make adjustments. he can relate. people are literally running out of money to buy food for their families. who may not be able to pay their rent. who may even lose food stamps if the shutdown continues past next
month. those people need more than adjustments. h thai ne they need money. right? but they need their government and their president to stand up for them. asked today whether the buck stops with him for this shutdown, the one you remember the president, himself, claimed he was proud of, he said this. >> the buck stops with everybody. >> "the buck stops with everybody." insulting. that's not what it said on president harry truman's desk, the 33rd president knew the buck stops here. but this president, he doesn't seem proud of his shutdown now. what happened to this? >> i, alone, can fix it. >> well, this shutdown, this
manufactured crisis, is something the president can fix. the question is, will he? president trying to keep the focus on his manufactured crisis at the border while a real crisis is brewing from the russia investigation. there's lots to discuss now. carrie cordero is here, michael d'antonio and frank bruni. we're going to dig into it right after this. and unlimited is better with a phone included. it's true. forty bucks with the other guys, doesn't include a phone. so, start the new year right. join t-mobile and get unlimited with a phone included for just forty dollars per line.
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shutdown. and there is no end in sight. and so tomorrow, 800,000 federal workers will not get a paycheck. while the president tries to keep the focus on his manufactured crisis, he faces mounting new developments in the russia investigation. i want to bring in carrie cordero, frank bruni and michael d'antonio who's the author of "the truth about trump." so the president was down at the bord border. good evening, everyone, by the way. down at the border claiming a crisis, right? i know the administration, conservative media, they hate when you say manufactured crisis, right? it's all the thing, right? it is a manufactured crisis. he's been talking about the onslaught of that. the real crisis, though, is the are u russia investigation that continues reaching into, digging into this administration and its ties, whatever it is, to russia, all along. >> yeah. >> it's for you, frank. >> well, i mean, yes, that's one real crisis. i would say an even bigger crisis, we had it just right, not to toot my own paper's horn
in an editorial the other day which had ha headline on it which said the crisis is in the white house. the crisis is on the white house for the reason you just signaled by using the word, manufacture. we have a president who's playing beyond fast and loose with the facts and the truth to make a case for something that has no sound policy justification and is entirely about some ridiculous promise he made, as you said, as a memory device in his speeches. he's now wedded to it. it's a part of his manhood. it's a part of his pride. he has to show this segment of his base he won't relent and all of us are hostage to it, not just the furloughed federal workers but everyone watching the show and everyone on the stage. this nation has ground to a standstill. what are the opportunity costs of this drama? >> etlet me ask you, frank u, you said this before, if it's a crisis now, why wasn't it a crisis a day before the election in november or the two years before when republicans had complete control of the government? >> that is the question because the situation on the border, to
the extent that it's at all different from a year ago, or 18 months ago, it's different simply because of things that trump has made happen in recent weeks by kind of bringing everything to a standstill. republicans had control of both chambers of congress for two years. he made this promise before he ever got into office on the campaign trail. what happened over those two years? is he didn't get this done. i'm kind of glad he didn't get it done buecause i think it's silly policy. now he feels the clock ticking and kind of come to head now because certain members of his base, certain people in particular, ann coulter, et cetera, have decided right now to hold his feet to the fire. >> feeling pressure from the mueller investigation. which, i mean, as we learned today, is far-reaching, carrie. cnn is learning that investigators have focused on conflicting public statements by trump, and his team that could be seen as an effort to influence witnesses and obstruct justice. what does it say to you that mueller appears to view false or misleading statements to the public as obstruction of justice? >> well, first off, i'm a little curious where the information
that that's the line that mueller is investigating is coming from because so much of our information, it comes from defense attorneys or it comes from white house legal counsel. i'm always a little bit skeptical as to where that's coming from in terms of when it's characterizing what the mueller investigation is doing. but assuming that they're looking, obviously, at obstruction, and that they're looking at public statements, i think those are fair game. you know, a lot of people think, oh, if someone is witness tampering, if they're trying to obstruct justice, that's something that has to take mace in secret. i don't think there's necessarily has to be that case. the president did a lot of things in public. he tried to through his different tweets, his states, pressured the attorney general. he pressured the deputy director. the deputy attorney general. he laid on so much pressure to each of these individuals who were in charge of the investigations that i would think it's a legitimate line of inquiry for the special counsel's office to be looking at that from the obstruction perspective. >> one more question for you before i move on to michael.
president trump's attorney responded to cnn, the cnn report with this. okay? "read cnn's article that mueller's gang of angry democrats wants to use the president's public comments as part of an obstruction claim. according to this latest oppressive legal theory, you can't even defend yourself, but who says mueller's team doesn't leak? extremely unethical." carrie, does this give us a clue as to trump's legal defense here? >> well, rudy giuliani's tweets, i think, tend to be pr as opposed to legal defense. i think there are other lawyers who are really more involved in his legal defense. he seems to be the front person to make the public arguments. him characterizing the mueller investigation and trying to disparage it, i just view it as that, that he's trying to discredit it in the public eye. and so i don't give that any credibility. there has been no information publicly reported throughout the course of the special counsel's investigation indicating that
they leak in any way, and all of the analysis that i've done throughout this case, i think that most information comes from either the president's legal team or in some cases the lawyers for different witnesses who have been called before the special counsel's investigators. >> okay. michael, let me bring you in now because -- can we talk about michael cohen? how do you think the president is going to respond to him? basically mike bchael cohen who going to malign the president publicly when he testifies. >> michael cohen knows everything and this is why the president was calling him a very weak person a few months ago. he's now the most powerful person the president confronts. at least in the immediate future. of course, robert mueller and the democrats in congress are going to torment this president, but he will first be tormented by michael cohen. and how do you feel michael cohen views these proceedings? i'm sure he thinks, "a," i'm not going to be the villain in this
moment in history. he's said that formally. and "b," i've been called weak by this man that i did so much for for 12 years. he's going to sit in and he's going to lay out a whole series of transgressions that donald trump, the businessman, and donald trump, the candidate, committed in the run-up to his election. and i think it's going to be devastating for the president. >> yeah. they're going to say, the white house will say, he's testified in front of congress before, that he's not trustworthy, he can not be trusted but why would he lie at this point? >> he has no incentive to lie and this is a happman in the president who lies 7,000 times before he's completed two years in office. the main thing about donald trump is he never takes responsibility for anything. mexico is going to pay for it so maybe now mexico will pay for the federal workers. you know, everybody else is to blame for everything and maybe
those federal workers should have been born to fred trump because fred trump bailed out donald trump to the tune of $400 million in today's money. and every mistake that he ever got into, every jam he ever created, his father bailed him out. he's an illegitimate president. he was an illegitimate claim to a billionaire when he was a businessman. and i think he's finally going to be held responsible. >> all right. everybody, stick around because we have more to talk about. "the wall street journal" is reporting that jared kushner and other white house aides are cautioning the president about declaring a national emergency at the border. but will he do it, anyway? oh!
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and we're back. well, tonight, lawmakers inside the white house working to prepare a legal defense in the event president trump declares a -- decides to declare a national emergency on the southern border. that would sure -- that sure to spark a major legal battle. back with me now, carrie cordero, frank bruni, michael danton dantonio. senator lindsey graham is calling for the president to invoke the national security powers to fund the border wall because the president rejected the republicans' compromise plan. what is wrong with lindsey graham? >> that is the $64,000 question. and it's a good one in this context because people who have any kind of memory of this stuff will remember that, what was it, five years ago, four years ago, he was part of the gang of eight, right, who drafted a truly kind of comprehensive immigration reform measure that did not ultimately succeed. it died in the house. the measure included a pathway to citizenship. that measure took into account the dreamers. none of what trump is proposing right now does that and lindsey graham is saying declare a
national emergency, anyway. he's saying exactly what trump wants him to say. and this is the way he behaves. for every one time that he contradicts the president, he comes back and tells the president exactly what he wants to hear because he cares most of all about being in the president's good graces and having the president's ear. >> you know, carrie, "the wall street journal" is reporting that some white house aides including jared kushner are lobbying for restraint when it comes to declaring a national emergency. here's the reporting right here. it says "instead, mr. kushner argued an emergency should be invoked only if it creates a clear path to build a wall. the key issue in the standoff between mr. trump and congressional democrats that has led to a 20-day partial government shutdown. let's stop doing things just to do them, mr. kushner said, according to officials familiar with the meeting." so, carrie, no doubt if the president declared an emergency, it would get caught up in the courts. what would that look like? >> well, what would happen if he declares a national emergency, he has to designate in the
designation or an accompanying executive order what other laws would be invoked. so, for example, there's been reporting throughout the day that maybe other funds that the military can use for other purposes could be repurposed and so there's some military-related department of defense related statutes that could be invoked so what would happen is a legal challenge would have to be launched against those and then that would be subject to litigation. so the activity, perhaps, wouldn't get started if a judge said, well, wait until i hear these legal challenges, and it could be drawn out in litigation. but here's a perspective from a national security law perspective which is one that i would think that senator graham and others who are so strong on national security would be concerned about which is that if the president, if we establish a precedent where the president uses a pretext to create a national security crisis, where he uses information that is not legitimately threat information, or is not a legitimate national
security problem, what that does is that weakens future presidents' ability to make legitimate national security arguments that are credible both to the congress and to the people. i mean, i was involved throughout the 2000s when i was in government of making arguments and preparing senior leaders for arguments, defending strong legal authorities to help with counterterrorism efforts and what this administration is doing and what the president's doing is weakening that ability and in the long term, it will weaken the ability of the country to protect itself and to get needed legal authorities when it needs them. >> michael, i want to know what you think about this reporting about jared kushner. the only person, essentially, saying, hey, let's think about this before we do it. but we always get the reporting that, well, jared kushner and ivanka tried to stop him, but they just wouldn't -- >> sure. >> -- listen to -- is it against the middle? >> yeah. notice he didn't say, hey, let's tell the truth. hey, let's wait until there's actually --
>> bring it here. bring it here. >> -- an emergency. you know, this is -- nobody in this constellation of characters seems to have a conscience. nobody has any commitment to the truth. they're committed to the president's agenda, but the agenda is for tomorrow. and then the next day. it's not about what is good for the united states of america. if that were the case, he wouldn't be taking these powers and contemplating giving every president in future the same authority to declare an emergency at a whim. >> and, don, why would the -- >> hold on, carrie. hold on, carrie. hold on. i promise i'm -- that is very profound. why isn't he saying let's just tell the truth to the american public? >> because that's not the standard. it's never been the standard with donald trump. >> yeah. >> the standard for him is, what can i manufacture? you called this a manufactured crisis. donald trump manufactured himself. >> yeah. >> he is not the person that he's promoted himself to be. >> carrie, i'll ligive you the
last word. sorry. go on. >> my question is why would donald trump be taking national security advice from jared kushner? if the president is going to take national security advice it soub from the director of national intelligence, it should be from the fbi director, it should be from the secretary of homeland security if she can actually articulate why a $5 billion wall will solve the problem of children dying in immigration custody and the other humanitarian problems that legitimately exist on the border. >> yep. very good. and more than $5 billion. that's what they're asking for now. it's going to cost more than that. another very good question, why is he take bing that advice from someone who's not a national security adviser? thank you very much, all of you, i appreciate it. the president's former fixer is going to testify publicly in front of the house oversight committee. and one of the congressmen on that committee who will be asking cohen questions, there he is right there. he's going to join me next. congressman raja is with us. (clapping) every day, visionaries are creating the future.
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the president claims he's not worried that his former lawyer will testify publicly before congress next month. michael cohen's heading to prison for multiple crimes including campaign finance violations for buying the silence of two women who claim past affairs with donald trump. cohen told prosecutors he acted at trump's direction. and next month, he's set to testify before the house oversight committee. joining me now is committee member, congressman raja krishnamoorthi of illinois. an illinois democrat. thank you so much. it's good to have you on. you doing okay? >> yeah, i'm good. thanks, don. good to be on. >> you guys are awfully, awfully busy. let's talk about this. michael cohen is going to testify before the committee you sit on. he's already implicated the president in a crime. what do you want to ask him? >> gosh, first of all, thanks again for having me on. he's coming on february 7th before our committee to testify voluntarily. there's so many subjects that he's going to be asked about.
i'll be interested in hearing him talk about the campaign finance law violations, but more importantly, you know, the dealings between the trump organization and the russians in the lead-up to the 2016 elections. you know, he knows everything. he's at the nexus of the president's personal affairs, but also the trump organization and the campaign. >> uh-huh. you know the response will be, you can't trust him, he's a liar. what do you say to that? it's going to be a response, i should say, from the administration. >> well, certainly, you know, people will be trying to evaluate his credibility on february 7th, but on the other hand, who would know better than michael cohen what happens when you lie to congress? remember, he was convicted of a felony by mr. mueller for lying to congress in the past. >> uh-huh. so our manu raju, congressman,
caught up with oversight chairman elijah cummings and asked him about how the house intel chair, adam schiff, says the russia investigation won't be part of your hearing. take a look at this. >> we're going to make sure that we do absolutely nothing to interfere with the mueller investigation. that is very, very important to us, but i can tell you that as far -- if adam -- he's right, so that's fine. >> okay. so, congressman, to be clear, are questions about russia things like the trump moscow project, is that all off the table in the public hearing? >> not necessarily. obviously, certain subject matter that might be classified would not be proper subject matter for an open hearing such as this. and certainly, chairman cummings is taking pains to coordinate
with mr. mueller to make sure we don't interfere in that investigation. but on the other hand, you know, at the end of the day, the oversight committee has to learn about certain matters related to the russia investigation. if for no other reason that to, you know, put in place procedures and systems for the future to prevent anything like that from happening again. >> so mueller cleared michael cohen to testify. what does that tell you about where mueller is in the investigation? does it -- if anything at all? >> it would just be speculation on my part. i've read some commentary that, perhaps, mr. mueller is now at the stage where he doesn't necessarily need to work with mr. cohen further, and -- and, but on the other hand, we know that mr. cohen is still potentially cooperating with mr.
mueller and the southern district of new york. >> yeah. congressman, thank you for your time. >> thank you. thank you, don. the president is hiring mor potential obstruction of justice from the president and his team. the former director of national intelligence, james clapper, tells us what he thinks about all of this. that's next. decorate. whatsyamatter tanya, i thought you loved being spontaneous? i do. and if you've got the wrong home insurance coverage, i might break the bank too. so get allstate, and be better protected from mayhem, like me. the best simple salad ever?d great tasting, heart-healthy california walnuts. so simple, so good.
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sources tell cnn that robert mueller's investigators are focussing on conflicting public statements by president trump and his team that can be seen as an effort to obstruct justice as the white house is working behind the scenes to try to keep the eventual report out of the public eye. let's discuss.
mr. james clapper is here. thank you for coming on. >> thanks. >> cnn is reporting that mueller is focussing on public statements made by trump and his team that could lead to obstruction of justice. how significant is this development? >> i think it is very significant because as i understand it, i'm not an attorney, as you know, but a major ingredient or dimension of obstruction is intent. and i think the public statements that the president has made and he can't control himself -- i think a lot of that will catch up with him. i have always felt that his firing of jim comey going back that far seems like ancient history now was obstruction just given what he said publically during the nbc interview with
lester holt. if mueller is looking at that, that's not good for the white house legal team. >> we are also learning that team trump is hiring at least 17 new lawyers to try to keep mueller's report from ever going public or at least redacting it so heavily that it becomes meaningless. what is the likelihood they can bury mueller's report. >> i think there will be so much pressure to make it public. i don't know what the legal grounds might be. i think for me at least executive privilege would be pretty thin gruel particularly for so much of this is history that took place before he became president. so i don't know. i don't know what the legal arguments would by. i think the public pressure to
make it public will be pretty tough to resist. >> some exclusive cnn reporting. i want you to comment on that the team mueller interview trump campaign pollster, a former business associate of paul manafort's who we learned this week gave data to a russian operative. what does this tell you about the direction of this investigation? >> i think this is a very significant development. first, the revelation about sharing manafort sharing polling data -- all we saw is really a glimpse of what i'm sure is a much larger aspect of this case. and it's interesting to me because one of the things i wrote about was the striking parallels and similarities between what the trump campaign was doing and saying and what
the russians were doing and saying. i don't allege -- the book was almost a year ago. but i don't allege a collusion. that snippet i think is quite significant and the fact now that we understand that the mueller team is interviewing somebody who had responsibility for polling. so this too is very significant because again what's significant about the sharing is that how much detail that about the polling results that were done by the campaign were shared with this russian intelligence operative. and how much did that then guide or was used by the russians as at least part of the input that they had for managing their
information influence during the campaign during the presidential campaign. >> just to be clear here, sharing that internal polling data, does that mean collusion. >> at least that is a glimpse. i don't know that that in and of itself would meet the threshold for collusion. but just as a layman, it certainly does a number on all these denials of no collusion, no collusion. there was. and if you add that to some of the other things that had been observed, this to me is pretty significant. >> thank you. appreciate your time. >> thanks, don. >> fareed zakaria says we should all be worried. he is going to explain why next.
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garlique helps maintain healthy cholesterol naturally, and it's odor-free, and pharmacist recommended. garlique this is cnn tonight. president trump ramping up his threats to declare a national emergency if congress won't give him his wall. here is what he said to sean hannity. >> i would actually say i would. i can't imagine why not. the law is 100% on my side. >> officials telling cnn that the without counsel post office is laying out legal groundwork advising aides to use the word cris crisis. >> more citations on filing a legal defense. this is a manufactured crisis, one of the president's own making and his border trip today in