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tv   CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar  CNN  February 26, 2019 10:00am-11:01am PST

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members ask him questions. i think that will be interesting. thanks for joining us on "inside politics." have a great afternoon. brianna keilar starts right now. i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's national headquarters underway right now. he once said he would take a bullet for the president. today michael cohen is taking a seat in front of congress to reveal all. we're worrying about the one-nighter the president will pull with kim jong-un. plus, as the vote comes for the senate in the emergency declaratio declaration,. >> we begin with the michael cohen triple header on capitol
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hill. right now president trump's former attorney and fixer is testifying behind closed doors before the senate intelligence committee. cohen's appearance today kicks off three days of testimony, and today's hearing will be followed by public testimony tomorrow before the house oversight committee and another closed door hearing before the house intelligence committee on thursday. sources say that cohen is expected to testify about trump's role in some of the crimes that cohen pleaded guilty to last year. we have reporter cara skinell here. what more are you expecting, cara? >> we're going to have michael cohen tell his inside story of what it's like working at the trump organization. he's been donald trump's personal attorney for ten years. a source who is familiar with the preparation of michael cohen's testimony has told our gloria borger he's going to talk about trump's role that cohen admitted he committed to, and that includes the hush money that he says he paid at the direction of donald trump.
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so what does michael cohen tell us about that? we could learn some new information there, and i think that's going to be something that the democrats will be pressing him for because they'll want to look for efrvidence, an it will also be something that the republicans will really hit him hard on as to how does he back this up? we also know michael cohen is expected to talk about donald trump's business matters during the campaign, and one of them is trump tower moscow. michael cohen already admitted he lied to the senate about him conducting business on trump tower moscow during the campaign. we're also told cohen will bring documents with him. what are these documents? what do they prove or not prove? it's an issue we'll see play out tomorrow. michael cohen's credibility will be on the line as well as kind of the first opportunity we'll hear from him to not only tell his version of the story but be quizzed about it. what additional information and
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details that come out of this is something i think we'll all be looking for. >> and the documents that back him up will certainly be interesting. thank you for that. congresswoman jackie speier is one of the lawmakers that will get to question michael cohen. she's with us from capitol hill. you'll actually get two chances with two of the committees, one public, one behind closed doors. what are the pressing questions? what are the most pressing questions since you will have some limited time that you want to ask michael cohen? >> well, at the first hearing that will be public, i'm going to ask about the kinds of business dealings that michael cohen was engaged in with donald trump, the entrepreneur. because i think what we're going to find out, it waesn't just th hush payments to two women that would have impacted his campaign. i think we're going to find out that there were many dealings that the then-entrepreneur was engaged in that will have violated the law, and that's what i'm going to focus on. >> so sources tell cnn that
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cohen is expected to discuss president trump's role in some of the crimes that cohen pleaded guilty to. that's something you just said is of interest to you, but is there anything specifically that you are looking for there? >> i'm very concerned about the engagement that michael cohen had with felix seder as it related to the trump tower moscow. that becomes pivotal in what donald trump was so interested in the bromance with vladimir putin. we have to remember for donald trump it's all about money, making money and about his ego. in both those situations, making money in trump tower moscow and having the largest building in all of europe plays to both of those interests. >> are you going to be asking him questions about other people inside of the trump organization? are you expecting that he's going to be naming names and answering those questions? >> you know, he's a reform alcoholic, almost. i think he's going to be pretty
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pure in terms of his responses, and i think there will be people that may be implicated as a result of his testimony. and, frankly, that's what this is all about. if there's criminal conduct going on in the trump organization, then the american people and certainly congress has a right to know, and we have a right to evaluate that and see whether it's an impeachable offense. >> it's interesting to hear you say that. you say you feel like he's going to be pretty pure, like he's a reformed alcoholic? republicans are going to say this is someone who has lied to congress before they're already saying that. the white house is saying this is a liar. why would you put such stock in michael cohen? just explain to us why. >> first of all, let's point out he lied to congress because he was lying on behalf of donald trump. if you look at trump's inner circle, it's almost a prerequisite to go to work with him that you be a liar, willing to put your name on the line to protect donald trump. so that is part of who he is and
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how he runs his operation, so i think what we're going to find out is that michael cohen is not the only one who has lied. >> some democrats, not yourself, but they've said they don't expect any blockbuster revelations from cohen. you told axios that cohen, quote, unquote, could be the john dean of lying. why do you think that? >> i think he'll have information he'll be willing to share, much like john dean did during the watergate hearings. there are tapes of these incidents. i think listening to these tapes will be very edifying moving forward as well. >> listening to the recordings he may have? >> yes, michael cohen taped many conversations with donald trump. we only heard about the ones associated with the hush payments for stormy daniels and karen mcdoougal.
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i am confident we'll hear at some point how donald trump the businessman skirted the law. >> have you been informed of that by chance, that there will be tapes at this point or at some point moving forward, or is that just your expectation? >> it's my expectation, because the department of justice made available all the data and information they had on hillary clinton, and the e-mail fiasco that we went through for so many months, i think they ever set a precedent, so they're going to have to reveal to us, certainly in the intelligence committee, all of the data they have and documents they have relative to their investigation, which would include more tapes from michael cohen. >> and we will see. i know that's your expectation. i just want to make it clear that that's certainly your point of view and that could be a battle that we see opening up. >> that's right. >> so you're going to have, during this testimony from michael cohen, kind of a split
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screen effect. he's going to be testifying. the president is at the summit in vietnam where he's meeting kim jong-un, so high profile. listen to what his son, don jr., said about this on fox news. >> you have a president trying to deal with a major world issue, and to try to distract or whatever it is by bringing in a convicted felon and known liar? it's pretty pathetic. of. >> what do you say to that? what do you say to an argument from folks in donald trump's corner or even just from the republican side who say that this hearing undermines u.s. foreign policy objectives? >> i think that's laughable. i think if anything, what we have found from president trump is that he has created national security crises over and over again. i've just returned from nato and from the security conference,
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and i can tell you our allies are very troubled by the relationship that has been created in the last two years. so the fact that he is going off to meet in vietnam with chairman kim has, i think, much more to do with him trying to enhance his chances of the nobel peace prize. again, it's all about ego or money with donald trump. we have a political analyst along with gloria borger. what do you think the president will reveal? >> he's going to lead a narrative that's going to be very personal. not surprisingly, it's going to be an unflattering portrait of donald trump that my source says will detail the lies and the cheating of donald trump.
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my source says that michael cohen does have some financial documents. i do not know what they are. i was told he does not have donald trump's tax returns, so it's very hard to kind of know whether these financial documents are actually worth anything or not worth anything. but he's going to talk about the president of the united states as a candidate and how, according to my source, he was deceitful to the american people. he's going to explain his own change of heart towards donald trump which came july 2nd on 2018. he's going to describe in detail that hush money payment for the mistresses and how that worked. i could not verify anything about whether, in lying to congress, he's going to detail whether the president was very involved in michael cohen's
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decision to lie to congress. but i do believe he will shed some light on who he was talking to about his testimony to congress. >> he could talk about that. presumably will he go that far? >> i don't want to give away their whole story. >> would you expect, joe -- i would expect that he will be asked about whether or not he has discussed with the president or with anyone around the president the possibility of a pardon, and what would that mean if he talks about that? >> that's a good question. this is an issue on everyone's mind, and i think again it was one of the shining moments of bill barr's confirmation hearing when he conceded very emphatically without any caveats, dangling a pardon to change someone's testimony would be illegal. that would be front and center, i would think. it would be unbelievable if congress does not ask that
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question. >> some folks from joe 's spher would say, oh, why wasn't that asked? >> michael cohen did expect a pardon from the president. and there is a point, maybe we'll learn this tomorrow, where it became very clear to cohen that was not going to happen. and that may have a lot to do with his change of heart. he said i'm not going to be the villain in all of this, and we'll learn why he said that. >> we know what republicans who are in donald trump's corner, we know what the white house is going to say here. they'll say, look, this is a liar. this is a statement that has come from sarah sanders of the disgraceful michael cohen is going to prison for lying to congress and making other false statements. sadly he will go before congress this week and we can expect more of the same. it's laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread higs lies.
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he lied for donald trump. so now that he is no longer linked to donald trump like that, looking for that allegiance to donald trump, you can take him at his word. i wonder what you think about that or if you had a client or witness who had these credibility issues. >> he is a convicted liar, but that being said, the motive to lie is gone. in fact, he has every reason to be completely truthful because he can get in more trouble if he's caught in more lies. i see no reason why he would obfisca obfiscate, hold back or otherwise lie about anything he is asked. so no, i think that for what it's worth, what we hear from him is probably the best we're going to get from him. >> can i add bun thione thing. this is the pot calling the kettle black here. this is a little known fact about telling the truth. sarah sanders said you can't
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believe michael cohen because he's a liar, but how many times have we documented the president of the united states hasn't told the truth? >> put very lightly. >> over a thousand, according to the "washington post." gloria borger, jo marino, thanks to both of you. we have new reporting on the president and kim jong-un's relationship. plus just a little over an hour from now, the house votes on the emergency declaration as some republicans say they'll vote against the president. and jorge sent his news crew in the middle of the an embattled venezuela when suddenly their equipment is confiscated and they are detained. hear what happened next. liberty mutual accident forgiveness
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well, the stage is set for act two of the u.s.-north korea summit, a big entrance for both president trump and north korean leader kim jong-un as the leaders arrived in vietnam to flashing cameras and red carpets. the two won't actually see each other until tomorrow. michael allen was a former senior director on the national security council in the george w. bush white house. he's currently managing director of beacon global strategies. what is your expectation for this summit? >> well, this is a big moment. of course, the president is betting that a young north korean leader who sees 40 to 50 years of rule may -- may -- be in a position to accept some denuclearization in exchange for economic aid. so that's the big issue here. it's kind of like a business deal. we want to buy something that
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they have. we want to get a good price for it and they do, too, so it's all about who can get the best deal. >> if you look at what happened from the last summit, you have their nuclear and ballistic missile sites that remain active. some appear to have actually expanded. that's what the intel is showing since the last summit. what's the reality of being able to achieve something when the north koreans have really rebuffed president trump at his last requests? >> so i think all of us are very skeptical and very pessimistic that the north koreans will actually go down a path of denuclearization. but the thing is we've got to try because the other options are even less palatable to us. we don't want them to be or become a nuclear power. so we're going to try. i know steve regan and mike pompeo are going to try to
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change the incentives so he doesn't try to be a vietnam instead of where they are now which is a rogue regime with a poor economy. >> at the last meeting, kim jong-un asked president trump if he trusted him. president trump said that he did, but he also said that he needed to trust him if they were going to forge a deal together. what do you think of that? >> it's a little odd. they don't know each other that well, and the north koreans are not known for being trustworthy or reliable, but i guess there %-p. but look, when it comes down to it, as everybody says with regard to north korea, we are going to have to verify whatever commitments they make. we've got to get good inspectors on the ground and to check everything out because chances are they're going to lie and cheat, and we've got to hold them to account. >> what do you think the possibility of getting inspectors on the ground is? how far away is the u.s. from
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that kind of agreement, do you think? >> well, it's possible to get it. i remember in the late bush administration we got some iaea inspectors back in there on the ground, but the question was, what could they do? could they sample the ground? could they sample the air? could they do sort of unannounced inspections? in many cases, they were constrained considerably back then, and so if we got to that point again this year, i would expect that the north koreans would rank fence them. >> i want to know what you think as someone who has been involved in -- you're very familiar with negotiations and what they entail, especially for a principal like the president. and the president, according to our reporting, is planning, because the michael cohen testimony does take place sort of in the middle of this summit, to watch it. it's in the middle of the night if you're looking at local time in vietnam. what is that going to mean?
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>> real must-see tv. i think it's going to be a little strange. it occurred to me that we wanted to keep the north koreans overnight, sort of a two-day summit, because i bet they want to use that night to negotiate a communique. i think it will be a little strange if the president is up, tweeting down the hall, and the staff is working on a document about commitments, but, you know, maybe that's the formula that needs to work here, because we've tried bottom-up negotiations for a long time and it hasn't worked. the theory of the case here is let's go leader to leader, let's get a meeting of the minds, and then our underl ingi nrk irkundt to paper. >> you don't seem concerned that it will distract him too much? >> i think it is a distracting thing, it is huge television. but at the same time he's got experts, steve regan who has
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experience on these matters, i know him from a previous life, and a huge cadre of experts. i'm not as worried about that. i think the president has to work on his personal rapport with the leader. he has to know his goals going in. if you want a deal bad enough, you're going to get a bad deal. we need to be tough on the right things. >> michael allen, thank you very much. we appreciate you being here with us. i want to get to kylie atwood. she is live at this summit. you have some interesting reporting about this incident. we just heard michael allen say how important the rapport is. this should be the main objective for the president in this summit. what can you tell us, kylie? >> reporter: brianna, before trump left for his first summit with kim jong-un last year, he told reporters it would take
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about a minute to assess what he thought of the chemistry between he and kim jong-un during their first meeting. and he was asked about that when he met with kim jong-un in singapore. kim jong-un had heard, and he said, listen, i know it only takes you a minute to decide how you feel about someone. what's your assessment of me? trump said back that actually it only takes him a few seconds, and he added that he thinks kim jong-un is a little bit sneaky but not too sneaky. kim jong-un then followed up with the key question, which is, do you trust me? that's the key question here, because as you know, brianna, the u.s. has been in negotiations with north korea in the past, but there has been no formal final agreement on denuclearization because north korea hasn't lifved up to commitments. but kim jong-un said, yes, he does trust him. despite some quick wit, kim jong-un turned to national
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security adviser john bolton who is known for not being fully in support of this diplomatic approach to denuclearization of north korea. he asked him the same question, saying, do you trust me? john bolton told the north korean later, if trump trusts you, then i do as well. we're also hearing some more details about the compliments that trump offered to kim jong-un during that singapore summit. trump told kim jong-un, listen, i know people that have been raised with wealth, have been raised with power and they've turned out a little bit messed up. but he told kim he did not think he was one of those people, essentially saying he is a powerful and successful leader, a really interesting element there given that kim jong-un is known to have been someone who demanded the killing of his half-brother. north korea is also egregious when it comes to human rights. they have hundreds of thousands of prisoners in labor camps. so it's going to be interesting to see if trump carries along
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this same path here in hanoi when he meets with kim jong-un. their first meeting will be tomorrow evening. they'll meet for 20 minutes one on one. what's he going to say? is it going to be more support and more flowery praises, or are they really going to get down to the details of denuclearization? >> flattery will get you everywhere, but will it get you to denuclearization? amazing reporting there, kylie. we thank you so much for those details. just a short time from now, the house will vote on the president's national emergency declaration, but some senate republicans are set to follow democrats, which means the white house suddenly has a math problem. plus jurst a week after bernie sanders launched his 2020 campaign, several top aides are now splitting with sanders.
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and editor at large chris cilliza with us. you have to look at what we can expect after this vote. tell us. >> so the math does not look great right now for donald trump. yes, he tried to warn republicans but it looks like they're not listening. let's look at who on the republican side will vote for the resolution of disapproval. disapproval of using emergency funds for the border. we ever tom tillis in north carolina, susan collins of maine. tillis told us in an op-ed last night. this is a new one, lisa murkowski. she said last week she probably will be opposed, but it was confirmed she will oppose it. you have three republicans. you need one more republican out of this group for this resolution of disapproval to go forward to donald trump's desk. there is a lot here. i'm just going to highlight a few. obviously mitt romney was the nominein 2012. he's trying to buy himself time. he says, i haven't totally read through it. it's about 60 words long, this
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resolution of disapproval. but keep in mind joni ernst popular in iowa right now. democrats are targeting her. and then corresponey gardner. he may be the most troubled incumbent in the country. hillary clinton won by about five points against him in 2016. congress passes a resolution to block the emergency funding. this seems to me likely to happen. we know it will pass in the house, i think it will probably pass in the senate. trump vetoed it. he already said he's going to do it. trump needs two-thirds in the house and senate to be able to veto. there are majorities to approve of this disapproval resolution. i don't think he gets over it. this is a symbolic vote because it's on the thing that trump campaigned on the most, building
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a border wall being necessary. >> this ain't going to happen. >> this ain't happening. >> i got what you're saying, chris cilliza. thank you, sir. a group of journalists briefly detained while interviewing venezuela's president nicolas maduro all because he didn't like jorge's questions. plus the pope is now considered to be hiding az -- adviser convicted of child abuse. 300 miles an hour, that's where i feel normal. having an annuity tells me my retirement is protected. learn more at retire your risk dot org.
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a scary incident for a u.s. news teamworking in venezuela. six staffers from univision were detained, held against their will, at the presidential palace and the crew were there to interview the president, nicolas maduro, who were embattled. but when they took offense to some of their questions, they were told the interview was over. the phone was snatched from jorge's hands and the team was detained for several hours. jose, you were with the venezuela president when jorge called? tell us about that phone call. >> brianna, thank you for having us. yes, i was there when jorge phoned, and it was a very brief call. we weren't expecting it, we actually were expecting to have the interview, and jorge called
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and told us very briefly the interview has been stopped. maduro became very upset 15 minutes into the interview. he didn't like the line of questioning and they stopped the interview, they confiscated the equipment and interview material, and jorge immediately called us and that's where they also con physicifis called us and that's where they also con physicificates his pho the phones of everyone who was there for the interview. >> did the phone call go dead -- did they confiscate his phone in the middle of the phone call? >> yes. that's exactly right. >> so what was the line of questioning? as i understand it, they were actually showing some video of something they had seen in venezuela to the president? tell us about that. >> we had scheduled an interview for yesterday at 2:30 p.m. jorge and his news team got there on sunday.
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jorge always, when he gets on the ground, he goes and walks around, he sees what's happening, he is reporting on the ground. when he did that, he took video of some venezuelan citizens in the streets looking for food in the garbage truck. and so he took that video, and during the interview, he showed that video to maduro and asked him what was his explanation for these citizens having to look for food in a garbage truck. and that was the beginning of a couple of questions that made him really upset and that's what led to the conkconfiscation of
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equipment and the detention. they were detained for 2 hours and 20 minutes and when they were finally liberated, the equipment stayed there. the interview of maduro stayed there, and they were the only ones that were allowed to come out, but they left everything there, including their mobile phones. >> wow. and so we know that all of this equipment was taken. luckily they're out, we know that they're safe, which is very important, but i wonder what you think, in a way, about the irony of this. that nicolas maduro was upset by this questioning, but by doing this, by taking the equipment and the phones and interview materials, this is now getting a lot more publicity than it ever would have if he had just let the interview play out, right?
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>> absolutely. and what's terrible is that we think that this is a terrible attack on freedom of the press. the interview -- of course we want our equipment back, but what we want most is the interview material. the interviewee nor the interviewer owned the interview, it's for the public. the public needs to be informed of what's happening and the information is really important. that's why we think this is an attack on freedom of the press. and we also think it's incredible that we are privileged, that we are able to do journalism for a major news organization that is u.s.-based,
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that jorge ramos is a worldwide known journalist. if this happens to him and to univision news, can you imagine what happens to local journalists, local reporters, and what has been happening for a very long time now. >> that's such a good point. jose zamora, thank you so much for coming on and bringing light to this. we really appreciate it and we're so happy this crew is safe and that they're on their way back. >> thank you, brianna. thank you for having us and thank you for your interest. thank you. >> thank you, jose. now some 2020 democrats are now backing the idea of paying reparations to descendants of slaves. but what exactly are they proposing? what are the details. plus cnn's chief international correspondent christina ward goes behind enemy lines f lines to see what it's like to live with the taliban.
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for more information on how to be prepared and keep your family safe, visit pge.com/safety. the 2020 democratic presidential hopefuls are working to set themselves apart from the pack and now at least three candidates are showing support for some sort of reparations for the descendants of slaves. an official way for the government to acknowledge wrongdoing and compensate for years of oppression. senator elizabeth warren, senator kamala harris, and julian castro have all said they support some type of reparations. instead of direct payments it could be maybe in the form of tax credits or subsidies. but the details of what and how are certainly scarce, we should point out. we have cnn's senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny and we have white house correspondent
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for american urban radio networks april ryan with me now. it's not a new topic, april. that's important to point out. but it is getting a lot of attention because democratic hopefuls are talking about it. >> well, let me say this. this is a very sensitive topic. i remember when i first started out in washington 22 years ago bill clinton was dealing with the issue first of an apology for slavery. it never happened. and if you give an apology, though, if a president gives an apology for slavery, what's next? fixing, repairing the issue, which is reparation. a reparation. what is a reparation today? he did not do an apology or reparations because black leaders at that time could not figure out what it really is about. did they want to give reparations for education credits, you know, to infuse main into education in urban communities? did they want to do reparations in a different form? and also you have -- now, this is where the devil is in the details. if you give reparations, who is
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the descendant of a slave? you know, do we have to go to 23 and me to confirm that people who are saying they're descendants of slaves really are? you know, so it's really a tough issue. and then i'm going to give you one more thing. this issue is not fake. it's not something that is fanciful. after the civil war general sherman said that he would give slaves 40 acres and a mule. it never happened. general sherman said this. for those blacks specifically that fought in the war, who were agrarians. this has been on the table for a mighty long time. >> i might -- go on, jeff. >> there's been movement on it because in the '08 campaign with barack obama he was not in favor of this. but,000 it has become more of a discussed thing and it's going to become a central part of this presidential debate. >> why? why? that's the issue. >> well, because voters are -- because candidates are eager to -- >> get the black vote. >> exactly. but these aren't repations as you said in the traditional sense. that is what is going to -- tax credits, other things. so we're at the very beginning
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of discussions on this. >> you have a little interesting breaking news about spike lee and elizabeth warren. tell us. >> how about this? it all stems from the president hearing about spike lee at the oscars and his tweet talking about spike lee was racist against him. and we didn't hear anything that was racist. now, mind you, if there is a racist issue, the definition of racism is power and prejudice, the intersection of power and prejudice to oppress people or a person. we didn't hear that in the speech. so after spike lee is home he gets a message from elizabeth warren, democratic hopeful, who says spike lee, you know you're doing the right thing if donald trump comes after you. >> that's pretty amazing. lots of bernie sanders news, jeff zeleny, including the fact that these are key former aides -- i mean, when i think of the 2016 campaign of think of some of these aides who are now saying bye. >> it's really interesting. this is just happening now. three of his top aides from
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2016, as you said, who were with him as recently at last week, they helped him film that new video, are now not part of this campaign going forward. what that tells us is this. bernie sanders is going to have a new team around minimum. he said he wants to have a more diverse team around him. but i think the question is is there a possibility for a bernie 2.0 or is he going to be more of a 1.0 with different people around him? he sounded so much like the 2016 bernie sanders we covered so often just three years ago. i think it is a sign that some of the people who brought him to this point are now no longer with him. how does it work going forward with the new team of people? but it was an interesting inside baseball story today. >> just quickly before i let you go, he's been fumbling questions when it comes to sex assault did just me too issues in general. >> he was. he was asked about that last night here in the town hall. a voter asked him about it. he said he's been sick by this and hurt by this but he seemed to want to move on. so fast. so that's a question he'll be asked again and again. i detect a lot of angst are from
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bernie voters. we'll see if they vote for him again the second time around. yes, he has a lot of people signing up and donors, but out in iowa and new hampshire people are looking at other alternatives. he's not the only one there. >> there are a lot of them out there. >> jeff zeleny, april ryan. action-packed few minutes there. thanks, guys, so much. just in, we are now hearing what michael cohen is saying behind closed doors in his first hearing of the week while the president is halfway around the world. stand by. that rocking chair would look great in our new house. ahh, new house, eh? well, you should definitely see how geico could help you save on homeowners insurance. nice tip. i'll give you two bucks for the chair. two?! that's a victorian antique! all right, how much for the recliner, then? wait wait... how did that get out here? that is definitely not for sale! is this a yard sale? if it's in the yard then it's... for sale. oh, here we go. geico. it's easy to switch and save on homeowners and renters insurance. with the most lobster dishes lobsterfest of yeart red lobster like lobster lover's dream
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all right. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. michael cohen spent more than a decade defending, supporting, cheering on donald trump. but now for the very first time according to a source the president's ex-attorney is expected to publicly discuss trump's role in some of the crimes cohen pleaded guilty to this past year. >> should the president be worried? what happens if you have criminal conduct? why before? >> there he is. cohen on capitol hill arriving there this morning to kick off three days of testimony. right now as we speak michael cohen is sitting behind closed doors being questioned and grilled by the is that the intelligence committee. thursday he'll do the same, again, behind closed doors with house intel. but tomorrow

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