tv Inside Politics CNN February 21, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PST
it's a now there's one store that connects your life like never before store. the xfinity store is here. and it's simple, easy, awesome. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. long-time friend and confidant roger stone is due in court soon. he accused his trial judge of political bias. plus, the new attorney general is preparing to get a report from the russian probe counsel soon. what you get to see remains to
be seen. chicago police say actor jussie smollett fabricated a hate crime. >> i'm left hanging my head and asking why. why would anyone, especially an african-american man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? to make things worse, the accusations within this phony attack received national attention for weeks. celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor. up first for us, though, the russian special counsel investigation and its continuing fallout. one close confidant of president trump, roger stone, due in court this afternoon. another long-time trump confidant, michael cohen, now on the calendar to testify before three congressional committees, that before mr. cohen begins a prison sentence. and we have reporting today that the new attorney general is
preparing to receive a report from special counsel robert mueller. a lot to discuss, including how much of mueller's work will be shared with the public. and a list of congressional testimony that is sure to infuriate the president. let's talk about roger stone. his charges of lying and social injustice is still on the line. he is back in court after a controversial instagram post. it included a photograph as well of a gjudge. the judge must be angry. >> reporter: yes, she's not happy. she called him in after he made a formal apology for the quote and then he took it down. she has a number of options. she basically said she wanted to see roger stone in person here
so he could explain for himself why she should not change his requirements right now, he's out on bail, or change the requirements around his gag order. she put a pretty lenient gag order on roger stone. his attorneys are not allowed to talk about the case, but the only restriction he's been under is he cannot talk about the case in or around the courthouse. that could change in court. she could decide she wants a harsher gag order for roger stone, she could decide she wants to place a fine on him, or, john, depending on what she sees in this courtroom today, she could decide roger stone should wait out his time in jail. it's the same thing a judge did to paul man afort when he was caught witness tampering. she has a lot of choices of what to do today. >> we appreciate the live reporting. keep us posted. cnn's abby phillip, kathy lucy with the associated press, evan
and lisa leer with the "washington post." if you're in charge of this, you want to say witch hunt, you want to say corroborated witness. >> he says, obama appointed a judge who dismissed the benghazi charges against hillary clinton. fix is in. you just don't do that, period. for all the name busting we talk about by donald trump, you don't do that. >> no, you don't do that. this is actually a threat on the judge. the u.s. marshals take this very, very seriously. they probably have to increase her security to make sure she is protected. but he's also off base. the idea that somehow the mueller prosecutors were able to pick a judge is just not true. and the fact that she's an obama
appoi appointee is irrelevant in this case. i think roger stone is trying to use these type of things to raise money for his defense. i think that's his main goal here. he really went way over the line. he understood that, it seems, very quickly because he took it down and apologized, but he's not withdrawing the accusation, essentially, that this is some kind of a fixed situation. >> do we know -- it's an odd one, but because the judge has to call him in, can roger stone now credibly make the case that i deserve a new judge for my trial because this has become personal? >> no, you don't get to do that. you don't get to try to conflict the judge by attacking the judge. that is definitely not the way you do it. >> and it's interesting because roger stone has been complaining about his treatment, basically, from the very beginning of this process, which is extraordinary considering that he's really been given a lot of, you know, leeway and the judge has been trying to get him to protect himself, and he's sort of proven in this instance that he can't really be trusted to do what he wants to do, to say what he
wants to say because he can get himself in real trouble, not just with the jury but potentially with the judge as well. and, evan, you said that he realized what he did, but i would suspect that his lawyers realized what he did much more quickly than he did, and they said to him, look, this is not optional. you must take this down because you're putting yourself in some real -- in a really difficult stuff in an already difficult case for you. >> we'll watch this one play out this afternoon. we'll see if roger stone gets any restrictions. i suspect a more strict gag order mar order, maybe he goes to jail. that trial will be something to watch for months. let's move on to michael cohen. michael cohen now has a date with three congressional committees before he goes to prison. this is the scope of the testimony to one. the house oversight committee, which is working with the house intelligence committee. trump's debts related to the 2016 election, trump's
compliance with financial disclosure requirements, trump's compliance with campaign finance laws, trump's compliance with tax laws, trump's potential and actual conflicts of interest, trump's business positively practices, trump's washington, d.c. hotel, trump's public statements and their accuracy. trump's foundations and potentially fraudulent practices. it goes on. >> we talked about how this is political and we'll see how this political process is playing out as democrats try to get answers and essentially make the president look bad, look corrupt in some way. and as the republicans try to cut down cohen's liability, what the president has done to take seriously a witness of the president's potential misdoings. >> i also think with cohen it's important to remember, as we see potentially a resolution or at least moving toward the mueller
case, we have the other probe in new york, and that's the one the white house has been more worried about. so this material are things that really make the president nervous. >> even as mueller prepares to shut down, as we believe, there is still so much we don't know. we don't know what the southern district of new york has. we don't know the entirety of what mueller has handed over to other prosecutors. but we do know this, that they did seize -- the southern district of new york seized from r michael cohen tapes. one thing his campaign denies is he knew these were campaign violations when he did it. one of the things that michael cohen has, and i wouldn't be surprised if it's used at the own voice. is the president's - >> i need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend david so that -- i'm going to do that
right away. i've spoken to allen allen weisg about funding. i spoke to allen about it when it comes time for the financing. >> listewait a sec, what financ? >> david, the publisher of the "national enquirer" and david, assistant at the trump organization. it's just a snippet of what we don't know investigators are looking at. >> can i just note one small thing. this is going to be happening while the president is conducting foreign relations in vietnam, right? it's almost like the democrats took a look at the calendar and saw the perfect day to do this. >> it's going to be extremely
embarrassing to the president. that's one thing we know. because michael cohen, whether or not these things are necessarily illegal or putting the president in any kind of legal jeopardy, they're going to be embarrassing to him, and michael cohen has absolutely no reason to protect president trump anymore, unlike a lot of people who have been dragged before these committees and congress. he's not going to be saying, well, i'm not going to talk about my conversations with the president, he's going to talk about his conversations with the president and talk about everything that's been going on in the trump organization that he might have been a part of. so i don't know whether it's going to amount to anything, but certainly at a time when president trump is traveling overseas, he's already spoken about how embarrassing these kinds of probes are to him, how he believes they diminish him on the world stage, and this is going to be yet another example of something like that. that's going to be right there for the world to see. >> that time he met kim jong-un in singapore, he was pleased with the coverage. for days it blocked out
everything else. certainly the second time is not the same as the first, but if this breaks through when he's trying to conduct high stakes -- >> a reminder, february 2019, this is a cloud to remind the president it's getting closer to 2020 as well. from an attorney general near you, the long awaited special counsel report. why you may never read a word of it. where every purchase enters you for a chance to win a nitro z21 elite boat at the classic you can earn up to $100 in club points when you pay using your club master card. and save big on select minn kota bow mount trolling motors, now under $500. bass pro shops and cabelas. your adventure starts here. ♪ they're all going in the same direction but in very different ways and pampers gives all of them our driest best fitting diaper.
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the new attorney general, bill barr, is preparing for a giant test. barr is making preparations to receive a report from smeespeci counsel robert mueller as early as next week. that would be a crossroads point for the country politically and legally. mueller is required to provide the attorney general with, quote, closing documentation. that means mueller submits a confidential report to the attorney general explaining the case as he investigated, and why he decided not to pursue others.
then it's the attorney general's turn. barr will notify the house and senate judiciary committees about mueller's conclusions. then he has some discretion about what to include. he can also determine if publicly releasing the report or parts of it is in the public interest. among the factors the attorney general will consider, grand jury secrecy rules, the desire to protect classified sources and methods and the reputations of people interviewed and perhaps investigated but not charged. how much do you get to know and see is a hot topic at his confirmation hearing. >> i also believe it is very important that the public and congress be informed of the results of the special counsel's work. i'm in favor of as much transparency as there can be consistent with the rules and the law. it's really important to let the chips fall where they may and get the information out. my goal is to get as much information out as i can consistent with the regulations. >> it's consistent with the rules and the law, consistent
with the regulations. he sounded like he wanted to be transparent, but if you're skeptical of that, you can say, no, he's going to hide behind the rules and regulations. what do we know about his mindset? is he for as much as i can or the least i can? >> i think in the conversations that i've heard about going on in the justice department, one of the things i think he is very mindful of is the idea that probably someday all of this report might come out. we don't know whether the democrats and people in the congress might file a lawsuit, whether a court will side with them, but he has to sort of make the assumption that it's going to come out. so he's mindful of that because he's going to get massacred if he's seen as hiding something to protect the president. but at the same time, you know, if the special counsel, if the fbi investigated someone and decided they couldn't bring charges, it didn't reach the standard to bring charges, then it's unfair to air all the
things you think they might have done wrong but which doesn't reach the level of criminal behavior. i think that's where he's sort of caught in between. >> let me give you the flip side of that. i don't know if this should apply, logic and washington should not be in the same sentence. here's jim hahn to your point. well, comey screwed up when it came to hillary clinton, so why should we be protective now? >> they crossed that bridge a long time ago when fbi director jim comey decided to tell the american public not once, but twice, that then-candidate hillary clinton was under investigation, and then remember the very public announcement, tha that, well, gosh, we didn't find anything. that was an unusual finding of a statement and investigation that had the final impact on the election of 2016.
>> however, everyone was mad about what comey did in 2016 except for maybe the trump campaign in hindsight at the end, but we should apply that standard now? >> that's a hard argument to make. one of the things barr, i think, probably wants to do is to fix some of those perception problems over at the justice department, that this is a place where people just go out and have press conferences and say all kinds of things about people who are not being charged with any kind of crime. and, you know, to sort of apply the comey standard to this is a little hypocritical on the democrat side, but it would also be, i think, compounding and an already damaging problem for the department that is really in bad shape in terms of public perception and in terms of their ability to really do what they are supposed to be doing, which is carrying out investigations without it all being out for the world to see. that being said, this is an extraordinary investigation.
i do think something is going to have to come out, and to evan's point, more than barr wants to come out is probably going to end upcoming o kocoming out. >> it's hard to see how anything he puts out will be sufficient for the democrats. they're going to want more. this is a major piece of why they took control of the house. there are, what, 10,000 democrats running for president right now. they know that the number one thing all democratic voters want is the person who can beat president trump. they are fired up about impeachment, they are fired up about the russia investigation. there is no way -- there may be a handful of voices talking about the integrity of the justice department, but no one is going to be hearing them because the din from the rest of them will be overwhelming. >> let's flip the coin. here's mueller's correspond card so far, three people sent to prison, one person convicted at
trial, seven guilty pleas, 37 people charged with crimes, 199 overall criminal counts. politico had fun with this headline, if trump butters up barr at signs of mueller conclusion. we watched the president attack jeff sessions, attack rosenstein, attack the fbi, undermine every institution in the country. bill barr came to the white house yesterday and -- >> that will be totally up to the new attorney general. he's a tremendous man, a tremendous person who really respects this country and respects the justice department, so that will be totally up to him. >> that's dangerous territory to be in if you're bill barr, i would say. >> bill barr is in a very difficult position. the president is watching this very closely, and i'm sure he'll
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large, diverse, getting too big to fit all on one magazine cover. take a look here. the new time covers the crowd of some but not all. those on the outside are jockeying for their chance to replace the man on the other side of the glass. that man, the president, calls those looking in socialists. he already has a lot of talk about race, diversity, fundraising. on the trail what voters want to talk about is often different than the cable chatter. >> gun violation regulation. >> universal pre-k, medicare for all. how do we pay for it all? >> i have a 14-year-old son who has a life-threatening disability. i wonder if you would consider co-sponsoring senate bill 102, the drug company pricing bill. >> how can we get away from pharmaceutical companies being such an influence on doctors? >> i'm the mother of a combat
veteran. he's self-employed. he has no other health insurance other than the va. what can we do about this? we can't treat our veterans this way. >> we're joined in our conversation. they put a lot of dents in the aircraft carrier. donald trump, republican nominee? come on, that's never going to happen. >> it's going to be a very unpredictable cycle. look at the fundraising numbers. bernie sanders raised $6 million in 24 hours. how does that square with elizabeth warren and her economic message? are they going to take votes for each other? the people that show up to ask
candidates on questions are less idealogical than the people on twitter driving the conversation. they're talking about health care and prescription drug prices. less so the green new deal coming up on the town hall. this is going to be an unpredictable cycle. >> i think what seems to be very, very clear, and it is so early. i cannot stress how extremely early. we had a chart this week that showed how much earlier this is with people getting in than any other race, really, even that crowded republican primary last time around. but the one thing we do here is that democratic voters are deeply concerned with electability. they want to know who can beat donald trump. that is the overwhelming concern. the problem is they all have different views on what that person looks like. some people think it's more moderate, some people think it's a pragmatist, some people think it's a woman, all over the map. they don't agree on what electability looks like, but they know they want it. >> they have time to think about
it. they can define it and redefine it and define it again. one of the great things about the campaign so far is the historically diverse decmocrati field. it's nice to see the diversity out there running, including a handful of women who did a photo spreaded and one of the questions they were asked is, what do you get asked as a woman candidate that the men don't get asked? >> one question i've heard is with a woman win? but i've never heard anyone ask a guy, can a man win? >> can you handle the heat? >> speaking about women's issues, my response is i'm so glad you'd like to talk about women's issues, so let's talk about the economy. >> how do you balance your family life and your work life? >> it is interesting to watch after -- you know, there is a lot of criticism of the media, a lot of questions last time when you had hillary clinton running. one woman candidate against
donald trump. in this field, this is going to be fascinating to watch it play out. >> yeah, and i think it's different for that exact reason. last time around, it was hillary clinton. and she became the repository for all of these various concerns about female candidates, some of which are actually very real, that if you talk to pollsters, there is something out there why some voters don't want to vote for women candidates. this time there is so many of them, and they can all talk about these issues so it doesn't get focused on any one of them. in some ways it can diminish their importance, which i think many of them would actually appreciate, that what you're hearing from these candidates is, let's not talk about necessarily the fact that i'm a woman. let's talk about what i'm running on, which is the economy or health care or whatever, and some of those issues like paid family leave for kirsten gillibrand and sexual assault in the military are issues they
championed themselves, but that's not the entirety of their candidacy. i think in some ways hillary clinton may have helped them with that by being that person who took all the arrows the last time around, and now they can kind of share it, and they don't all get to be weighed down by it. >> you're also seeing -- there are so many women, and it isn't the first time around. you're seeing women make different choices about how they run, which i think is interesting. there is a range of issues, obviously, that they're talking about, but even some of the tactics. one of our reporters went to dinner at kristen gillibrand's house and she talked to her about her family agenda and paid leave. that's not something you see from a candidate. they're maybe trying to experiment, use different tactics. >> this is very good for the country to have so many women running, because what you're showing the country is women can run in all different ways. as you pointed out, we haven't seen that in a very long time. hillary clinton was the one and
only woman that made it to the level of, really, a serious presidential candidate. and she had one way of doing things. so by showing that diversity of styles and of campaigning, you are sort of getting the country, getting voters more and more accustomed to this idea that women can break the highest class of president. >> maybe we will see some different things this time. i think hillary clinton struggled with people saying, oh, your hobbies are yoga and you like talking about your grandkids. we need to move past that being unusual. >> men never get asked this question. women do. it's often sexist. it has to do with the fact that ambitious women make a lot of men uncomfortable. and if you're in politics, you're probably very ambitious. >> and there is research backing that up, too.
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stockpiled guns, ammunition and steroids. jessica joins me live with the details. jessica, explain this case and where it's headed. >> reporter: john, you know, prosecutors say this suspect, this coast guard lieutenant, had a hit list and he was targeting some prominent politicians, house speaker nancy pelosi, senate minority leader chuck schumer as well as some democratic candidates for the 2020 race like kamala harris, cory booker and kirsten gillibrand. he was also targeting chris cuomo, don lemon and van jones. they say the most disturbing part of this is that he seemed potentially ready to strike. they say he did google searches looking for these people's addresses. he also searched in google asking where members of congress live in washington, d.c., and the suspect also invoked the president's name. he did several searches involving the president's name
and also said, civil war if impeached? the prosecutors don't mince any words. they are currently charging him with gun and drug possession, but they say those charges are just the tip of iceberg, and they put this right at the top of the sentencing memo to show you how stark these terms are. they say the defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country. and that's exactly the argument the prosecutors will make inside this federal courthouse in just minutes here. they are asking this judge to detain this suspect, saying he is a real threat, john, because of they say what he's plotted, potentially mass murder here. john? >> jessica schneider, appreciate it. jessica, thank you. topping our political radar today, police acting out about jussie smollett. he is charged with falsifying a
report. it is said he made this report because he's dissatisfied with his salary. he denies the accusation. >> i'm offended by what's happened and i'm also angry. to make things worse, the accusations within this phony attack received national attention for weeks. celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was correspond yo grabbed by an actor. >> every journalist in congress throwing in their support. all new jersey democrats in the house, there's 11 of them, and also the state senator. the trump organization at odds with california today. california wants to set its own stricter standards over fuel.
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mishchael cohen up on capit hill today, the president's long-time lawyer there. cohen met with committee staff behind closed doors for several hours. he did not answer shouted questions as he left. we do know cohen is set to testify before the full committee next week. some news today about a big 2020 fight that is not about the white house. control of the house and senate is also up for grabs in the presidential year. today the man many republicans think would be their strongest candidate in an open kansas
senate race says no thanks. that would be secretary of state mike pompeo in kansas. >> i love being secretary of state. it gives me the chance to serve america's diplomat. i love what i'm doing and i have 75,000 great warriors around the world trying to deliver for the american people. >> it sounds like you're not ruling it out. z >> it's ruled out. i'm here and i'm loving it. >> if that answer doesn't change, that would be a loss for mitch mcconnell who has lobbied pompeo to run. candidates who lost in 2018 are making runs of it in 2020, beto o'rourke, stacey abrams and amy mcgrath.
was that it for mike pompeo? has he ruled it out? >> if he's going to be up for that job sometime next year, you can bet the public would go to him and say, please reconsider, and he might well do that. >> that's not fair for anyone else thinking of getting in. everyone will say, it's a presidential year, kansas will be red. democrats have proved they can beat them in kansas. >> it is interesting to see pompeo basically say i'd rather be here working for donald trump than take that opportunity. it makes you wonder what his long game is for his own political ambitions. this is his second job in the trump administration, which many people would not really survive at this point. it has only been two years, but he's basically suggesting that he has some more in him. and i think he's making a calculation that many people do, that if you stick with trump just long enough, do some big
things, you might have an even bigger platform. >> let's switch to democrats. two tough states to win. that would be texas and georgia. beto o'rourke lost to ted cruz, stacey abrams lost in the government race. both have not ruled out jumping into the race for president. if you're chuck schumer, you run for senate. here's what they say. >> i'm trying to figure out how i can best serve this country, where i can do the greatest good for the united states of america. so, yeah, i'm thinking through that, and it may involve running for the presidency, it may involve something else. >> i understand the opportunity to run for senate is a critical one, and i think 2021 is going to be a key pivotal year as democrats start to take more control in d.c. my job is to decide that i'm the right person to join the fray. >> look, those are bold states
the democrats have felt they could eventually have a chance in for a long time. the obama campaign felt they could run in georgia, realized they didn't need to do it to win the presidency. hillary clinton thought running in georgia. these are states that they think the demographic is changing in such a way that they could potentially flip a seat and win in those places. also, of course, presidential years are generally better. for democrats, turnout is higher and that helps them in senate races. this should be a better year for them in the senate than the midterms, but, you know, there's still a lot of red states in play. >> one of my favorite e h-mails and my texts was, we knew beto o'rourke could run. the republican senator in texas put out an e-mail saying beto
o'rourke is talking about whether to run in 2020. this time he's collaborating with chuck schumer to paint a target on my back. we know beto can raise money himself, can the president raise money off beto? >> both of those are such big stars in some ways, but schumer has to lock them down. >> it's hard to convince big stars, though, to go into the senate. even though we have many senators running for president, a lot of people would want to skip over that particular place and go somewhere else, maybe go to the governor's mansion or run for president. >> running against cruz would be an easier furndraiser than running against senator cornyn. up next, house democrats about to make their first big move against president trump's national emergency.
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house democrats serving notice they will aggressively challenge the president's national emergency declaration and look to put republicans on the spot in the process. the first step comes together. speaker nancy pelosi will move to trigger a vote on a resolution to block the effort to move federal funds for border construction. more than 100 republicans have signed off on the proposal. phil, where does this go from here? >> reporter: john, it's going to move and it's going to move fast. sawhill on the panel is someone who has been looking through the
u.s. code and you find there is regulations that can guide a determination to block a decision. and that is within six months you'll start to see this move in the process. once it is introduced, the committee and the house must consider or move through the resolution. after they do that, there is a three-day deadline to have a house floor vote. it is widely assumed the house will pass rather quickly considering democrats run the chamber. i'm told most, if not all, democrats will sign on to this resolution before it's all said and done. the big question has long been the united states senate. republicans control the senate, 57% majority, but because this only need to move forward, it will take a majority. we've only seen five or six thed
to the president and a national emergency, so they should be able to block the resolution. the next big question is what the president does. you got a hint of it when it was said that the president will do anything he can to protect the national emergency declaration, which means he will likely veto that. what republicans hold up? how many of them will cross party lines to support democrats? among leadership aides, it's probably five to eight. what does that mean? it means they're short of a veto-proof majority, which means the president will win keeping the national emergency alive. republicans may have to take a bigger vote which means against their president. >> let
>> congress is out of session, that's why phil is here. the democrats know this is important but they probably won't get to the finish line because of the veto. >> they are worried about the legality, worried about the precedent for them to set a precedence of a national emergency. but that will not translate to the president when it comes down to it. i spoke to masome and they are t comfortable with this. >> so we have 2020 calculations there. >> part of what is happening is democrats are trying to squeeze these republicans who are up in 2020, i can itly thoparticularl border states and battleground states. >> they may have to do the first round, and if the president vetoes it, they may have to go back to the drawing board again.
he may win, but this will be a painful couple of months. >> first giving up war powers and trade powers, and the most powerful one of all. we'll see you back here tomorrow. brianna keilar starts right now. have a great afternoon. i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters underway right now. in the words of justin bieber, is it too late now to say sorry? roger stone is about to sfind ot when he says he did not mean to offend her. jussie smollett accused of staging the entire thing. plus, he's a white supremacist armed to the teeth accused of having a hit list to carry out a mass killing. and as the mueller report