tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN January 25, 2019 5:00am-6:01am PST
brought up on charges by special counsel robert mueller. our cameras were there for the fbi raid at 6:00 or so this morning. they knocked on the door. they went in and took him into custody. listen to it all take place. [ banging ] >> fbi, open the door. fbi. >> roger stone was then taken into custody. the indictment said stone sought stolen e-mails from wikileaks to damage donald trump's opponents at the direction of, quote, a senior trump campaign official. let's get to sarah murray with the breaking details. what's the big headline from that very dramatic rude awakening roger stone got before dawn this morning. >> roger stone has been arrested
and is expected to appear in court in ft. lauderdale this morning. i can tell you he and his lawyers were convinced as of last night this was not coming today. they did not believe if roger stone were arrested that he would be taken into custody in this manner. we have not seen this from other people who have been targets of this investigation. this is stunning the way it was done. in the indictment he's facing seven counts at this point. one for obstruction of justice, five for making false statements and also witness tampering. this has to do with the house intelligence committee. that's where the making false statements charge comes from. the witness tampering has to do with roger stone's interactions with a guy named randy credico, a new york radio host who he insisted was his back channel to
julian assange. roger stone tried to intimidate him to change testimony, to change his version of events to match what roger stone told the house intelligence committee. roger stone's lawyers haven't commented so far this morning. they are shocked that he was taken into custody. but roger and his attorneys previously said there was no collusion, that roger didn't try to obstruct justice. they'll point to the indictment and say these aren't charges of collusion. it is also worth noticing as you read through, it talks about his contacts with the trump campaign about what was about to come from wikileaks. back to you. >> sara, thank you very much for all of the breaking news reporting. this cnn team was on the ground for this dramatic raid on roger stone's ft. lauderdale home or the dramatic arrest. we don't know what happened after he was taken into custody. joining us is cnn crime and justice producer david shirtell. you were there before sun rise. it came as a surprise to you and clearly as a surprise to roger
stone. tell us what happened. >> reporter: yeah, alisyn. it was just after 6:00 a.m. when a half dozen police vehicles, black cars with silent sirens came down this ft. lauderdale street. nice neighborhood. cars came down silently and a dozen fbi officers, tactical vests, heavy weapons, fanned out across the front lawn of roger stone. they were rapping loudly, fbi open the door. we saw a light go on on the second floor, presumably roger stone being awakened by loud knocks on the door. moments later, fbi, warrant. roger stone then appeared in the doorway. he was not wearing his usual attire. he's a nice dresser. he was in p.j.s. the fbi agent confirmed it was him. the communication we were able to overhear was minimal. roger stone did say, yeah, i'm roger stone. then he was taken into custody
and charged. >> what happened? could you see roger stone's demeanor? could you see any sort of negotiations happening between the agents and roger stone as to if they were going to let him get dressed, if he was going in handcuffs, anything like that? >> reporter: it was a wild scene. it happened quickly. when the agents fanned across the lawn they were moving slowly, but urgently. when stone came down, within moments it was cordial almost. they had a discussion. then, in fact, we were moved down the street. the agents came across the street while it was happening and moved us. we were unable to see the whole interaction. we know roger stone is no longer here on this street in ft. lauderdale where he lives with his wife. he was gone within maybe 30 minutes. so depending on if that was a discussion or him getting dressed, we are unclear at this moment. roger stone was discussing
apparently what was happening to him this morning which was he was being arrested. they were having a friendly discussion. now he's in custody. >> very quickly, david, you were there just because of a good reporter's instinct. you knew the grand jury met yesterday and you just on a hunch thought maybe it would be good to go see what roger stone was up to this morning. you happened to be there and our cnn cameras captured this. last question, behind you did any agents stay behind? are they executing a search warrant on the house or did they all leave with roger stone? >> reporter: we're about a hundred yards up the street so we are not seeing any activity down the street from here. a lot of cars did peel out this morning when roger stone was taken. not much activity left here. there is yellow tape blocking access to the street in ft. lauderdale. something is going on down there. whether or not it's something of interest to the investigation, it's unclear.
they are not letting typical people go down the street. they are not letting the media down there either. >> david shortell, thank you for the exclusive cnn video of what happened at roger stone's house when he was taken into custody. >> what a morning, what a panel we have for you to discuss this. joining us is maggie haberman from the "new york times," david gregory, cnn political analyst and jeffrey toobin. this is p-207 what i believe to be the two key graphs in the indictment. new information. by in or around june and jewel 2016 stone informed senior trump campaign officials he had information indicating organization one had documents whose release would be damaging to the clinton campaign. after the july 22, 2016 release of stolen dnc e-mails by organization one, a senior trump campaign official was directed to contact stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information organization one -- wikileaks --
had regarding the clinton campaign. stone thereafter told the campaign about future releases of damaging material by wikileaks. jeffrey toobin, to you. you have had a chance to read through the indictment. this is the first direct link the special counsel has made be, in my mind, between the trump campaign and the wikileaks information. >> that might be an extremely important use of the passive voice in that indictment. was directed. who directed trump campaign officials? it sounds to me, and again i only want to say it just sounds to me like it could be donald trump himself. who else would direct campaign officials to be in touch with stone? it is highly suggestive that candidate trump himself told his
officials to get in touch with stone and find out what's going on. remember, of course, this is while he was campaigning saying, i love wikileaks. it's not like he thought wikileaks is the outlaw organization that his cia director later described it to be. >> right. >> this, i think, the use of the passive voice in that sentence is extremely interesting and potentially important. >> go ahead, david gregory. >> what does it add up to is a critical question. i obviously agree with jeffrey if the president is directing this contact, you know, we know a few things at this point as the indictment spells out. the dnc gets hacked. the russians are behind it. mueller has already indicted russian security personnel for hacking. now you have someone close to trump who was in contact indirectly according to the indictment with wikileaks. the candidate says wikileaks is great. he's calling on the russians to
find missing e-mails. and he's clearly open for any kind of opposition research wherever it comes from. stone is acting like a gadfly is his defense here. he's just b.s.ing and pumping things up. is the extent of it that, hey, roger, find out what they've got and what else they are coming up with, or does it go beyond that to actual criminal interference? i think that's suggestive here but we don't know the answer. >> maggie, you have covered roger stone for years. talk to me about the significance of this remarkable morning. >> roger stone has been indicted. that's remarkable in and of itself. this has been a discussion for months of people waiting for the indictment to come through. in terms of what it means for people around donald trump, donald trump and roger stone have a complicated relationship. i think jeffrey toobin knows it, too. it spans many decades.
roger is trump's oldest and longest serving off and on political adviser. trump and roger have at times had a falling out. according to trump roger said he quit at the time. they have had lots of back and forth. i do think this gets a little closer to the president and i agree with jeffrey. i think the key question is the "was directed" sentence here. roger told me and other reporters this was puffery, his discussions about wikileaks during that time. one of roger's calling cards is that he tends to sometimes write himself into scenes that he isn't a part of. i think mueller has evidence beyond just texts and e-mails or i don't think you would see the indictment based on other things we have seen from mueller. i think there is a reference in the indictment to an october conversation involving someone on the trump campaign.
i believe that's steve bannon. in an e-mail exchange my colleagues and i wrote about. the july reference could be only a small number of people. steve bannon wasn't there yet. i agree that "was directed" is a precise way of phrasing it. >> it says a senior trump campaign official was directed. >> right. >> that means that the pyramid gets smaller for who could make that direction. >> in the previous paragraph it says that stone informed senior trump campaign officials, plural. this is again in the june, july time frame. more than one senior trump campaign official was somehow connected to this pursuit of the wikileaks information. if i'm a senior trump campaign official in the june, july time frame now, i imagine maybe you are a little bit nervous, jeffrey? >> absolutely. i tell you one person who may be breathing a sigh of relief this morning is steve bannon, of all people. there is a passage in here where stone says to someone else, i
keep trying to call steve bannon and he won't call me back. i'm sure bannon is glad for that reference. if i could just talk about one thing about roger stone that i think all of us who -- maggie and all of us who covered him for a long time know. he talks with this tremendous bravado and likes to talk like a gangster even though he's not a gangster. there are references to the godfather in here, frank petrangeli. and the exchanges with randy creditco where they are having a dispute through the texts and he says i'm going to kill your dog effectively. that sounds funny when talking with roger stone. in black and white it's ugly and he has to defend it in front of a jury and say, well, when i
said i was going to kill his dog i didn't mean i was really going to kill his dog. it looks different in an indictment than it does reciting roger stone stories a bar. >> maggie, how is president trump going to react to this? >> i think you will see a version of roger stone and i don't speak, you know, he left my campaign. it will be something along those lines. again, i think what jeffrey said is important. anybody who has had communications with roger stone in writing over the years is familiar with a certain style including some things that look stark and strange. as i remember from some of the exchanges he had with randy credico who i believe is someone mentioned here though not by name there is this i will kill your dog and it ends with let's get dinner. i don't know how it all ends up.
i don't think the president is going to claim roger as somebody who he's close to. he hasn't for some time. the president's m.o. with the indictments is to try to minimize interactions he or the campaign had with someone. >> actually, there is a recent tweet. we should look it up. in the past couple of months. the president draws a contrast between michael cohen who flipped and roger stone, a stand-up guy. we should track it down. he was supporting roger stone in his defiance of mueller. >> great point. >> david? >> i have a couple of questions to put on the table. is this the beginning of something? if he was a stand-up guy, does he continue to stand up as he has to answer for some of these things and multiple counts of lying to investigators, lying to congress, obstructing justice, witness tampering. i could see the president saying, there is still no
collusion here. he was checking out if there was more coming from wikileaks. that's his standard defense. that's still a question for me. what's potentially incendiary is say the president or candidate was talking to roger stone and they were working at some level indirectly with the russians to get the information out. or was he simply saying go find out if they've got more stuff coming. isn't that a different -- that's a different matter altogether and not necessarily a crime. >> terrific questions. david, maggie, jeffrey, thank you very much for helping us understand what's happened so far. this is just the beginning of what could be a very eventful day. >> it's only 8:15 on the east coast. >> coming up, white house press secretary sarah sanders. what is the white house response to the dramatic developments? >> breaking news, the fbi has arrested long-time trump associate roger stone. a senate democrat reacts next. what if numbers tell only half the story? at t. rowe price, hundreds of our experts go beyond the
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of roger stone's arrest before sun rise with fbi agents pounding on his door. how do you think this moves the needle on the investigation? >> i can't talk about anything on the intelligence committee. but i can talk about your footage. my first thought when i saw those fbi guys on roger stone's door is thank god we live in a country that subscribes to the rule of law. we are a country of laws, not a country of men. that's evidenced by what you showed today. that's still true. there is so much i'm frustrated about with the way the government is working. but law enforcement is doing its job. this investigation has resulted in the indictment of over 30 people. eight people have pled guilty. it is not a witch hunt. it is a professionally run investigation by robert mueller who is respected by law enforcement all over the country. it's incumbent on democrats and republicans to make sure this
investigation is protected and he's able to take it to its conclusion, wherever it leads. >> by the way, many law enforcement, many fbi agents are doing their jobs today without being paid. maybe those agents we just saw arresting roger stone aren't being paid because of the government shutdown. you had this emotional scolding of the whole idea of the shutdown and the president's border wall yesterday on the senate floor. i want to flplay a moment of it >> this idea that he was going to build a medieval wall across the southern border of texas, take it from the farmers and ranchers that were there and have the mexicans pay for it isn't true. >> seems like you reached a breaking point yesterday. what happened? >> what happened was my colleague from texas, senator cruz, was on the floor claiming that he felt sympathy for the coast guard guys that aren't being paid. i have huge sympathy for that.
it's ridiculous that they are not being paid. what i pointed out was that in 2013 ted cruz shut down the government while colorado was beset by floods. we had people dying, people's homes destroyed, communities trying to recover. people trying to rebuild. the best of america. the best of america. here we were shut down for politics so he could read dr. seuss on the floor of the senate. this is absurd that the government is shut down. we should never shut the government down. beyond that, we should focus on a set of priorities that are important to the people of colorado and the rest of the country like whether we are going to furnish a decent education to people, create a system of higher education that people can afford, invest in infrastructure. when was the last time you guys talked about any of that on cnn? >> well, listen, senator cruz's point yesterday was there was a clean bill that senator kennedy
introduced that democrats didn't support that could have supported the coast guard. >> it was a political trick. it was an excuse for not opening the rest of the government. it was an excuse not to pay those fbi guys or those doj guys having worked at the department of justice myself i know what amazing civil servants they are. not to pay the people at homeland security but to claim to the american people that somehow just paying the coast guard was adequate or sufficient. it was a political trick is what it was. we should open the government up. the idea that we are holding hostage the american people's government over a campaign promise that the president simply can't fulfill because it was a lie is ridiculous in the greatest democracy ever known on the planet. we've got to come to our senses here and say we expect a different standard out of our elected officials than we are getting. >> yeah. >> i think we've all got a job
to do as citizens to make sure people are held accountable. >> well, yesterday, as you know, there was an opportunity with the two bills in the senate, either of which passed. so today, are we any closer to ending the shutdown? >> look, they didn't pass, but ironically the democratic bill got more votes in the senate than the republican bill. i think mitch mcconnell demonstrated to the president that there are not the votes in a republican senate -- remember, the republicans have the majority in the senate. there are not the votes there to support the president and his wall. mcconnell showed it clearly yesterday by holding those votes. my hope is that somebody at the white house is paying attention to this. unfortunately, i'm not sure they are sympathetic to the catastrophic result of the shutdown for federal workers living all over the country including in colorado. but maybe -- and i don't think
they have a lot of sympathy for them. but maybe they've got the sense now that they are on the losing end of the stick here politically. and they will allow the government to re-open and we can begin to do the american people's work again. >> senator, one of the president's ideas, in fact, cnn has gotten a draft proposal of what it would look like is an emergency declaration which would seize some private property along the border in an eminent domain clash to build the wall. it's just striking because i remember not long ago when republicans, particularly conservatives, would have gone ballistic at the idea of a president seizing private property. you talked about what would happen in colorado. what's going on? >> let me say this. republicans in colorado -- i don't want to be presumptuous, but my state is the third republican, third democratic and a third independent. republicans in colorado would go ballistic if any president
suggested he was going to seize farmland or ranchland by eminent domain. every elected official in the state would protect our state and our property owners against that kind of activity. i do not for the life of me understand how republican senators in washington, d.c. could defend it or see it differently. it doesn't make any sense. it is a great example actually. in fact, a perfect example of how the republican party nationally has become donald trump's party and how the republican party nationally is no longer conservative. there is nothing conservative about declaring an unconstitutional emergency and seizing the property of private citizens by eminent domain. that is a radical act by an autocrat. that's something we expect in countries that are all over the world that don't subscribe to
the rule of law. the idea it is being talked about by an american president and endorsed by members of his party in washington, d.c. is a sign of how close we are to the edge. when we stand up against that kind of stuff from my point of view anyway, this is not about standing up for democrats. it is standing up for everybody in this country who believes in the rule of law and believes this democracy has a set of precepts it needs to function. >> quickly, senator, we are out of time, but you have found a passion. pundits pointed out you found your voice with this. as we approach 2020 are you considering something bigger than just your senate seat? >> well, i don't know. i said last night like everybody in this building i'm thinking about it. i think we need a huge change. i view donald trump not as the cause of our problems. i think he has accelerated a lot of problems, but he is a symptom
of the political breakdown that we have had in this country over the last ten years. much of it caused by the right wing of the republican party. we have to come together and begin to resolve these differences in order to leave our children and grandchildren the country that we were left. >> senator michael bennet, we appreciate you being on "new day." >> thank you for having me. >> thank you very much for your perspective. >> thank you. >> the breaking news this morning, the president's long-time political adviser roger stone under arrest, charged in the mueller investigation. what does the white house make of this? the president's press secretary sarah sanders next. hey!
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> the breaking news this morning. the president's long-time political adviser, roger stone arrested by the fbi at dawn. our cameras on the scene exclusively as it happened. this is part of robert mueller's investigation. just two days ago roger stone talked about this. the potential issue of
cooperation. >> no matter how much pressure they put on me, no matter what they say, i will not bear false witness against donald trump. i will not do what michael cohen has done and make up lies to relieve pressure on myself. my god and a great wife and my great family see me through this. >> we'll see about that. now there is a detailed 24-page indictment of roger stone. what we have learned, what questions remain, let's discuss with john avlon. what stands out? >> this is a document that moves way beyond it's not the crime, it's the cover-up. the key sentence is on july 22 of 2016 a senior trump official was directed to contact stone about any additional releases and what damaging information wikileaks might have regarding the clinton campaign. the question is by whom? directed by whom? what is that universe? could it contain manafort, trump? hard to imagine anybody else
would be in a position to direct. let's look at the timeline. july 22 is significant. that's the day wikileaks releases the first group of hacked dnc e-mails the democrats said were hacked by russians. july 27 is when donald trump gives the now infamous speech, russia, if you're listening. inviting russia to hack hillary clinton's e-mails for more information. we know 137 times donald trump mentioned, invoked wikileaks during the last month of the campaign. these guys go, become very central to the psyche of the campaign. we know from the indictment roger stone is the one channelling between the trump campaign and his own contacts, particularly randy credico and jerome corsi to get specific information from assange. >> another key date, it was june where it became public information the dnc announced it was hacked and e-mails stolen by
russian actors. >> exactly. >> it was common knowledge in the political ether that russia was connected to the e-mails. >> exactly. >> also in the political ether said later by mike pompeo when he was cia director is what kind of organization wikileaks is. this is mike pompeo saying it is time to call out wikileaks as a nonstate hostile intelligence service often embedded by state actors like russia. >> he said it as cia director. this is not undiscovered country. the trump campaign must have known who it was playing footsie with via wikileaks. this goes beyond anything that could be called opposition research. this is breaking the law and national security. >> let's bring in joe lockhart who's been watching the breaking news unfold all morning. roger stone indictmented on seven counts, five counts of making false statements to investigators. one count of obstruction of justice. one count of witness tampering. you heard him perhaps there in
the intro say i will never turn on donald trump. i will never bear false witness. i will never do what michael cohen is doing. as i think david gregory made the point earlier, nothing focuses the mind like an early morning raid from the fbi. sometimes you change. but donald trump last month tweeted this. quote, i will never testify against trump. this statement was made by roger stone essentially stated he won't be made by a rogue prosecutor to make up lies and stories about president trump. not sure why that's in quotes. >> we spent a lot of time talking about witness tampering in a different context on michael cohen's father-in-law. this is just another version of witness tampering. they are sending each other signals which is i'll hold out and you have to pardon me. what's amazing about this whole
story is all of the criminal activity is happening in plain sight. >> much of it. >> you have trump saying, you know, please hack, please hack, russians. you have all of this intimidation going on. one other point on wikileaks, it wasn't mike pompeo coming to the conclusion. he was reiterating the conclusion of the federal government before. >> right. >> it was very damaging to u.s. diplomatic relationships when wikileaks dumped in the obama administration all of the cables going back and forth. so they knew this. they knew wikileaks was a bad actor and they still worked with them. >> one other really important point about obstruction we have learned from the 24-page indictment today. not only did roger stone lie to the house intelligence committee. just flat out said he didn't discuss his outreach to wikileaks with the trump
campaign, but the text messages between himself and in particular randy credico are stunning. he quotes nixon saying stonewall it, plead the 5th, anything to stay the plan. he invokes frank pantangeli from "the godfather 2" in an extraordinary way. then when credico starts speaking to lawyers and the investigation, this blistering turn on a former friend and source. you're a rat, a stoolie. you backstab your friends. he threatens to take his dog away from him which implies, you know, i think probably more than theft. this is a stunning revelation not only revealing his character but absolute attempts to obstruct justice. >> yesterday you made fun of me for quoting the godfather. >> now it's relevant. you were ahead of your time. >> joe, for better or worse you have been inside a white house at times of extraordinary
crisis. take us inside the west wing this morning. >> it's very difficult for people in the west wing to do their jobs because they have no information. i think donald trump has allowed his people to go out and say, you know, absolutely this didn't happen. deny, deny, deny. they find out through filings and indictments that these things did happen. >> then they are in legal jeopardy. >> sarah sanders stood at the podium and said absolutely for sure no money was paid to stormy daniels. no money was paid to stormy daniels. absolutely for sure there was no collusion or conspiracy to help the campaign. we are finding piece by piece there is. the best approach would be to say nothing. to say there is an ongoing investigation. they haven't done it and they have done it at the behest of the president. >> over and over again. >> we are hoping to hear from sarah sanders.
we had her booked on "new day." we'd like to hear from her on primarily the shutdown and everything happening in washington. it is probably busy in the west wing now. we are still hoping she can give us insight into what's going on there this morning. >> john, any connection between the two? i'm not suggesting the president is doing one thing because of another but does increasing pressure from the mueller investigation make him more likely to deal with democrats or does he have to hang on to his base more than ever? >> that's a fascinating question. it involves a strategy that trump isn't generally known for strategy as much as impulse. the walls are closing in. his ability to with stand and extend a shutdown and pull out a win was diminished yesterday when more republicans, you know, the democratic bill got more votes than the republican. this is much more than a distraction. this is an existential issue the administration is confronting. to perpetuate a shutdown on one
month now without pay for federal workers when the pain is being felt and starting to get through to senators finally that they can't win, either they need to step up and the president needs to relent because his ability to fight two fronts at the same time will be severely diminished. >> you know, the shutdown has knocked much of the mueller investigation out of the news, off the front pages. i'm sure the president probably welcomed. but mueller is still apparently doing his work since this morning before sunrise roger stone was arrested. >> i think the shutdown was a calculation for changing the subject from mueller. i think trump thought the wall is what saves him. it is the signature issue that saves him. it's a terrible miscalculation now looking back in hindsight. you see his numbers leaking. you see people looking at the services they depend on no longer being there. you look at people actually feeling real empathy for those
who are out of work and having trouble making ends meet. my guess is there is very little mueller can do short of indicting the president that would get at the base. the base has made up their mind on mueller that it's a witch hunt. the shutdown is having an impact and it was a gross miscalculation by trump and his political team. >> joe, john, thank you very much. we're going to break but we want to leave you with pictures of the arrest this morning. the fbi showing up at roger stone's house in ft. lauderdale in force. you can hear them banging on the door. just to tie the shutdown and the mueller investigation together, these fbi agents presumably working without pay. we'll be right back.
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adviser roger stone and placing him under arrest. he will be charged on seven counts including witness tampering, lying to investigators and obstruction of justice. a dramatic scene this morning in ft. lauderdale, florida. >> this was a surprise we are told by roger stone's attorneys to them and roger stone. he was dressed in his bed cloth clothes when the fbi knocked on his door and even to our cnn crew who happened to be waiting outside of roger stone's home in the event something happened with an indictment and, sure enough, it did. >> joining us now, sarah sanders, white house press secretary. full disclosure, we invited you on and you were eager to talk about the shutdown. then i think we were all surprised by the activity in ft. lauderdale. roger stone, the president's longtime little bpolitical advir
arrest. what's your reaction? >> simple, this has nothing to do with the president and certainly nothing to do with the white house. this is something that has to do solely with that individual, not something that affects us in this building. >> nothing to do with the president. on this show a couple months ago cory lewandoski campaign manager to donald trump said it would make him crazy when candidate trump would talk to roger stone on the phone and it would happen a lot. so there is a connection between roger stone and the now president of the united states. you would concede that? >> look, roger stone is somebody who has been a consultant for dozens of republican presidents and candidates and members of congress. conversations between those individuals have nothing to do with the fact of what the charges are about. that's about whether or not he made false statements. we'll let the courts make the decision. a bigger question is if this is the standard, will the same
standard apply to people like hillary clinton, james comey, clapper? will we see the same people we know also made false statements, will that same standard apply? that's a question we'll see what happens on that front. >> let me read you a paragraph from the 24-page indictment. it says after the release of stolen dnc e-mails by organization one, wikileaks, a senior trump campaign official was directed to contact stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information organization one had regarding the clinton campaign. the question is a senior trump campaign official was directed by whom to contact roger stone? did the president direct someone to contact roger stone? >> i'm not an attorney. i haven't read through that. even if i had i can't provide you some type of insight or legal analysis. i can tell you the specific
charges brought against mr. stone don't have anything to do with the president. >> we don't know that yet. it's not the weeds. we only know if it had something to do with the president if it was then candidate donald trump who directed a senior campaign official to contact roger stone. do you know whether that individual was the president? >> i know the charges are about whether or not he gave false statements. that's on that individual. that has nothing to do with the president. those are the charges that they have brought against this individual. when you want to get to specific questions you have to talk to the president's outside counsel on that. >> you were a member of the trump campaign during this time frame. were you aware of the effort to get in touch with wikileaks through roger stone during this time period, june and july of 2016. >> i was a member of the campaign which is why i know there was -- as i have said, a dozen times as the president said probably hundreds of times
there was no collusion, there was no wrongdoing by the president. what i also know is that outlets like yours, cnn spent a significant time looking for information on wikileaks and also reporting on it. does that mean cnn is guilty of collusion? the charges brought against mr. stone have nothing to do with the president. that's what i'm clear on and that's what i can tell you today. >> you say you're clear on it but you will not answer whether it was the president who directed a senior trump campaign official to contact roger stone and you may not know. >> i actually have answered the question several times. you just don't like the answer. >> no, no, you haven't. did the president know or not? did the president make the direction or not? >> once again, i haven't read the document. i'm not an attorney. i can't get into the weeds on specifics. i can tell you the charges brought against mr. stone have nothing to do with the president, with the white house. >> right. >> again, i think the same questions you are asking you could ask the people you work with. cnn reached out looking for
information. >> you said it's nothing to do with the president. >> cnn reported on this. >> at the same time you say it has nothing to do with the president you won't or can't tell me whether or not the president directed this action. let me ask you this. did the white house get a heads up from the justice department this arrest would take place this morning? >> not that i'm aware of. >> this is the sixth individual connected to the president either through the trump organization or the trump campaign that's now been charged in the mueller investigation. that's a lot of people, sarah. >> yeah. all on things that again have nothing to do with the president. just because they had some association with the president at some point doesn't mean things they did in their private lives and personal lives that may or may not have been right or wrong, that doesn't have anything to do with the president. the question and the big thing the mueller investigation is supposed to center on is whether or not the president -- >> that's not true. >> -- colluded with russia and the answer is no.
>> that's not true. the special counsel was directed to find out whether the trump campaign had any contact or collusion with the russians. the trump campaign. now you have the campaign chair who will appear in court today. you have michael cohen who was a political adviser and someone who worked at the trump organization under indictment. you have gates as well and roger stone. >> under indictment on businesses that had nothing to do with the president. let me make one thing clear, john. the president did nothing wrong. there was no collusion on his part. the president has actually, unlike his predecessor, been tough on russia. he's the only person that pushed to increase funding for nato whose primary purpose when it was created was to help protect against russia. the president has made the united states the biggest energy producer in the country. not good for russia. >> we won't know anything until we know whether it was the president who directed the contact with roger stone. i want to move on to the shutdown. there are 800,000 federal workers including those fbi
agents who arrested roger stone this morning in florida who are starting to miss their second paychecks this week. how long should they be prepared to work without pay, sarah? >> frankly, if it was up to us and certainly if it was up to the president they wouldn't be working without pay which is why the president has put something on the table that helps re-open the government, gets those 800,000 workers paid. it also does something that's fundamental to the survival of the country and that's protecting our borders, protecting the american citizens. that's something that democrats have frankly tried to ignore. they are not fulfilling their obligations. instead of helping and negotiating with the president they are taking vacations to puerto rico, hitting hawaii. they need to come back from the beach, sit down at the table with the president and fix real problems. >> you said if it was up to you they would be working. the shutdown was up to the president. he said he would be proud to shut down the government for border security.
he chose this path. he chose this. the house passed a measure that would have kept the government open, the senate at one point agreed to the very same thing. it was the president who intervened and said, no. so he chose this. 35 days later. yesterday, the senate, the republican senate, more senators voted for the democratic way out of this than the president's own way out of this. what's the president's next proposal? >> john, unlike democrats in congress, the president has chosen to fulfill his constitutional duty, his number one priority as commander in chief which is to protect the american people. we have human trafficking. we have a crisis at the border of drugs pouring into our country. >> mostly coming through ports of entry. mostly coming through legal ports of entry. >> that's where we catch them, john. that's not all that's coming in. 300 americans a week are dying due to heroin overdoses. >> that's a terrible thing and most of it comes through legal
ports of entry that has no direct bearing on the wall. sarah, the argument over the wall has gone on for some time. at this point there is an argument -- >> democrats have supported it time and time again. >> they voted for fencing in the past. this is a shutdown about fencing, not just border security. >> no, it is -- >> the democrats offered $1.3 billion on border security in december. today they may offer more on border security. if they say $4 billion, $5 billion on border security, no wall, but we'll enhance the ports of entry, repair existing fencing, would the president sign that? >> look, john, let me say it to you like this. i never want to get on an airplane with only one wing. the president wants to make sure we are actually securing the border in a totality, not just with one wing. you need two wings. you have to have a wall. you have to have technology. you have to have all of the things that the president has put forward in his proposal.
all things that democrats support. there is no reason that they should be fighting the president when they know they agree with him. the only reason they don't want to support this is simply because they care more about politics than they do about this country. at some point they've got to make a decision if they are going to put our country first and the people in the country ahead of their own political games. >> i'm glad you brought up the airplane analogy. of course the majority of illegal immigrants, undocumented, come in on overstayed visas. many come in the body of the airplane, not one of the wings. the wall doesn't do anything to help them. we are talking about the shutdown now. you say the democrats are playing politics and the democrats say the president is playing politics. all he's hung up on is the wall. >> no, that's where you missed the entire purpose of this. the president isn't hung up on the wall. the president is committed to protecting our country. the wall is part of the process.
>> the only reason the government is shut down -- >> you can't just fix one piece of the problem. >> the reason the government is shut down is because of the wall. otherwise you are talking about funds for border security which the democrats offered in december and more today. the only thing they are not giving the president what he wants is the barrier. >> i don't know how many times i can explain you can't fix part of the problem. you have to fix the entire problem or it doesn't make a difference. if even one illegal immigrant comes across the border with human trafficking, carrying the most vulnerable people -- women and children that democrats constantly talk about how they care so much about, they are not doing what they can to help protect the most vulnerable people in the world. that's women and children. we have seen a massive spike in women and children trafficked across the border. >> sure. a massive spike? a massive spike in women, children and families who are
coming and seeking asylum, not at the wall. again, at the legal points of entry. sarah, i want to ask again about the 800,000 workers who start to miss their second paycheck today. wilbur ross made comments. the president clearly said he would not have stated it like wilbur ross did. but people are hurting. really hurting. randi kaye spoke to a couple in kentucky yesterday. they have a child on a ventilator at home. he works for the irs. they are afraid they will not be able to pay for the electricity to keep it running anymore if the shutdown continues. i want you to listen. >> i 100% regret voting for trump. >> do you blame the president? >> 100%. >> 100%? >> 100%. >> i don't think he's ever had to worry about where food is coming from or have to worry about how you'll pay a bill. i think it shows. >> what's your message to people like that who say they don't
believe the president feels the pain that they are feeling now. >> the idea that this president doesn't care deeply about every single american misses the very essence of who he is. this is a president who loves our country, is committed to doing everything he can to help every single american have the best life possible. that's why he wants to protect them in every component and in every way possible. that's why he wants to see a border wall. that's why he fights so hard to make sure the economic opportunities in this country are limitless, that people get to reach for the next rung on the ladder. this is a person who loves america. never let anybody question that. this president loves our country. he's made it clear in every single action he's taken. he's a person who fought for life whether it's in the very beginning stages of life in the womb or at the end. this is a person who wants to