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tv   Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs  CNN  February 27, 2019 1:00am-2:00am PST

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what they've been doing with this testimony that we're going to hear tomorrow for the first time is going out and finding other things. they're looking for phone records. when he talks about a conversation, he talks about who else was in the room to give corroborate brace. >> stand by. ♪ i'm going to let the american people decide exactly who's telling the truth. michael cohen's jaw-dropping prepared testimony is out just hours before he'll be under oath in public. president trump in vietnam right now about to meet with north korean's kim jong-un, two pivotal events, the president set to play out in realtime over the coming hours. folks, it will be a stunning split screen today. good morning, welcome to "early start." i'm dave briggs. >> i'm christine romans. it's wednesday, february 27th,
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4:00 a.m. in the east. we welcome all of the viewers here in the u.s. and around the world. in just hours, president trump's former lawyer and fixer michael cohen goes before congress to deliver bombshell testimony. cnn has obtained a copy of his prepared public testimony. and it is stunning. within the first few minutes, cohen will say, i am ashamed because i know what mr. trump is, he is a racist, he is a con man, he is a cheat. >> his 20-page testimony includes a series and at times astonishing claims. cohen will testify that president trump was aware that longtime adviser roger stone was in direct contact with wikileaks founder julian assange about hillary clinton's hacked e-mailed. so just days before the democratic convention, cohen was in trump's office, when on the speaker phone, roger stone told mr. trup that he had just gotten
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off the phone with julian assange. and he told mr. trump that within a few days there would be a massive dump of e-mails that would damage hillary clinton's campaign. mr. trump responded to the effect of "wouldn't that be great." >> it features heavily in his prepared remarks. cohen claims that trump pushed hard for the moscow project all during the presidential campaign, while saying publicly, he had no business in russia. cohen offers his explanation pour why. >> he will say, to be clear, mr. trump knew of and directed the moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. he lied about it because he never expected to win the election. he also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the moscow real estate project. >> cohen is also set to testify extensively about hush payments to stormy daniels when the
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president was asked on air force one, he denied knowing anything about its source. >> mr. tread, did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels. >> no, no, what else? >> you have to ask michael cohen, michael's my attorney and you'll have to ask michael cohen. >> but cohen will tell the house committee on oversight he paid, and that trump wrote him a series of illegal reimbursement checks. quote, he asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair and to lie to the first lady which i did. lying to the first lady is one of my biggest regrets. she is a kind first lady and she did not deserve that. >> and according to his testimony, cohen will inform lawmakers mr. trump once told him that black people would never vote for him because they were, quote, too stupid.
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he's going to testify trump once asked him if he could name a country run by a black person that wasn't a quote, shithole. trump posed that question when barack obama was president. >> president trump finally making it to vietnam. he never thought receiving a medical deferment. and michael cohen plans to share a conversation about that deferment when he testifies. he's set to tell lawmakers will trump claimed it was because of a bone spur. when i asked for records, he told me there was no surgery. but simple with the fact he received a medical deferment. he finished with saying, do you think i'm stupid. i wasn't going to vietnam. and he responded you are in vietnam right now. >> and with the senate
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intelligence committee for nine hours, he apologized for lying during his 2017 testimony. here's what cohen told reporters as he left that meeting. >> i really appreciate the opportunity that was given to me to clear the record and to tell the truth. and i look forward to tomorrow to being able to, in my voice, to tell the american people, my story, and i'm going to let the american people decide exactly who is telling the truth. >> the committee's ranking democrat virginia's senator mark warner would not discuss details of cohen's testimony but did suggest the stakes of sky high. >> two years ago, when this investigation started, i said it may be the most important thing i'm involved in my public life in the senate. and nothing i've heard today dissuades me from that view. >> and then there's some apparently threatening michael cohen on the eve of his
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testimony. matt gaets tweeting hey, michael cohen, do your wife and father-in-law know about your girlfriends. maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. house speaker going to reprimand g gaet z. he finished and posted a new one. while it's important to post testimony about liars around michael cohen it was not my intent to threaten as some believe i did. >> michael cohen's testimony before the house begins at 10:00 a.m. join cnn for live complete coverage and analysis all morning. a new round of high-stakes gr diplomacy begins today when president trump meeting north korean leader kim jong-un. it begins in just hours in hanoi. in the meantime, the president has been meeting with vietnamese officials and highlighting vietnam as a thriving nation
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that could be a model for pyongyang. michelle kosinski joins us live in hanoi, with a look at the day ahead. good afternoon, michelle. >> reporter: hi, christine, we know trump and kim are going to sit down one-on-one with just their translators. they'll talk maybe 20 minutes or so, then there's this social dinner as the white house put it. three people on each side. it's president trump, his chief of staff and secretary of state mike pompeo. leading up to this, this is a classic trumpian cliff-hanger. the white house has given out very little detail as to what has been prepared ahead of time, what are all of the possibilities, what is on the table. so, it's extremely unclear. nobody knows, the sources we've talked to, nobody knows from the administration what could come out of this. here's what trump said about it
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this morning. >> we have a very big dinner tonight, as you know, and meetings with north korea and chairman kim. and we both talk very good about having this very important summit in vietnam because you really are an example as to what can happen with good thinking. >> reporter: very little detail there, but the president has been tweeting. first criticizing democrats, saying, you know, they shouldn't talk about what he should do in north korea. why didn't they do in eight years of the obama administration? saying what could happen here could be, quote, awesome in all capital letters, referring to his friend kim jong-un, and saying we'll know pretty soon, very interesting. but he's also criticizing senator richard blumenthal. trump saying he's now spent more time in vietnam than he did. saying that the senator's time in vietnam was all a freud. and we know that trump's own avoid answer of serving in
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vietnam could come up during the michael cohen testimony today. one sign that the president could already be rattled by what we're about to hear in this strange surreal split screen of a day. >> it sure is. thank you so much for that. we'll talk to you very soon. big day ahead. big evening ahead for you. michelle kosinski in hanoi. donald trump is on board tweeting about michael cohen. we'll get to that, ahead. there's a lot riding on the meeting between president trump and north korean leader kim jong-un. can the president turn physical chemistry into successful nuclear diplomacy. we have live coverage from hanoi, next.
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all right. so, we're just hours away in one of the most pivotal meetings of president trump's presidency. that meeting with kim jong-un, and yet the president is on twitter, on the board, firing
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back at his former fixer and attorney michael cohen, quote, cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me unfortunately. he had other clients also. he was just disbarred by the state supreme court for lying and fraud. he did bad things unrelated to trump. he is lying in order to reduce his prison time. using crooked's lawyer. referring to lanny davis. he also tweeted some nasty remarks about connecticut senator richard blumenthal, we'll discuss those shortly. president trump right now is in vietnam where he's tweeting. preparing for his second nuclear summit with kim jong-un. the two coming together in just hours from now. the two hoping that mr. trump can turn personal chemistry into real progress. >> let's go live to hanoi and bring in cnn diplomatic analyst general john kirby.
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what do you think is the worst case scenario of what unfolds over the next several days? >> that's a great question. i think the best case and the most realistic case, we'll get some sort of a framework for future negotiations and discussions. some sort of plan by which both teams can actually move the ball forward over the next couple of years. you know, sort of a sequencing, i guess, of negotiations going forward. i think the worst case is, you know, we end up with sort of nothing and we end up just as vague as we were after singapore. i think for donald trump, he knows he has to deliver something coming out of the summit. i think for him, it's real about detail and specifics, at least for his team as well. to get common definitions of denuclearization and what is possible. >> john, let me go back before the first summit when i spoke
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with gordon chang and others on that region. saying the best thing that could have been laid out is before the first summit is planned. are we at a point that we should be meeting, without a full definition of denuclearization, without a full accounting of their nukes and their sites? >> you know, i honestly think to some degree, president trump had no choice but to do a second summit because the first did not produce results. nobody can speak to it other than kim jong-un. it's a very top-down society. i don't fault him for that. i'm actually in favor of the second summit. i hope what comes out of it, a plan of specificity that they can execute going forward which we haven't had yesterdat. >> the president saying the nuclear capabilities are gone. they're no longer a nuclear threat. now, he's saying, they not testing.
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i don't want them to be testing. what have the north koreans given up in exchange for all of this air time on the international stage with the leader of the free world? >> essentially, they've given up nothing, to be honest with you. i mean, the testing freeze, while i won't dien deny that tes are much de-escalated. they haven't done any tests. but the intelligence said they're 90% to 95% where they needed to be in order to mount a nuclear weapon on to an icbm. and testing is not the same for kim jong-un. and they've also said they continue to enrich uranium and continue to enrich their capabilities so even though he's not testing, doesn't mean he's not trying. that's something that president trump needs to understand. while a freeze, while useful to get us to this point is not productive long term.
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>> admiral john kirby, thank you for being there. 18 minutes past the hour, federal chairman jerome powell had a message for the banking community. patience, when it comes to interest rates. >> with our policy rate in the range of neutral with muted inflation pressures and with some of the downside risks that we've talked about, this is a good time to be patient and watch and wait and see how the situation evolves. >> central bankers agreed to keep rates on hold after four rate hiebkes last year. during the testimony, the fed chief was asked about his relationship with the white house. president trump has repeatedly attacked the fed and called it the biggest threat on the economy. here's how powell responded. >> it's probably not appropriate to discuss my private conversations with other government officials. >> also called into question was
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the fed's bank merger review process. senator elizabeth warren accused the fed of working for big rich banks. >> you and the banks get together in the back room and grease the wheels before the merger is announced. your approval process itself appears to be a rubber stamp. that everything is happening behind closed doors. >> those comments come as the fed awaits the biggest bank merger in years. earlier bbt and sun trust announced a 66 billions measure that would cost the nation's biggest bank. it's so interesting because, you know, it was the fed chief basically getting hit by elizabeth warren from the left and from the president of the united states in recent months as well. if you're just waking up, michael cohen's prepared testimony is out. he does not plan to hold back under oath. full coverage, ahead.
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simple. easy. awesome. xfinity, the future of awesome. all right. president trump finally making it to vietnam. he never fought in the war there, receiving a medical deferment. and michael cohen plans to share a conversation he had with mr. trump about that deferment when he testifies. he is set to tell lawmakers, quote, mr. trump claimed it was because of a bone spur. but when i asked him for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery. he told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment. he finished the conversation with the following comment, you think i'm stupid, i wasn't going to vietnam. i find it ironic, president trump, that you are in vietnam right now.
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a lot from these 20 pages of prepared testimony that's been released. he begins his testimony to the public at 10:00 a.m. when you talk about vietnam, you have to talk about the latest tweet from the president which was just over an hour ago that the president said i have not spent more time in da nang dick blumenthal. how is connecticut doing? his war stories was a total bro fraud. he was not even there. we talked about today with the vietnamese leaders. here is the president of the united states who did lie about his service in vietnam. contrast tammy duck a leader. >> from illinois. >> and then the bone spurs. >> for his deferrals. >> this will all be brought up in a split screen with michael cohen's testimony at 10:00 a.m. this morning. he's going to hit the president from all angles but how much
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will he be believed, christine? >> you know, it's unclear. he has a credibility problem. >> a massive credibility problem. >> a lot of people in that room in that room yesterday when he gave his private testimony said he's a different person today. >> you bring up a good point. yesterday was behind closed doors. so the american people get to decide. they get to see this man and feel whether he's being honest or trustworthy. or whether they're seeing a liar on television. that's why public testimony is helpful here. and documents, what documents, what evidence, what proof does michael cohen bring to the hill today? >> he's bringing bank records, deutsche bank records. so there will be some props. >> happening in the coming hours, michael cohen under oath testifying about the president. this will be in public. we already know some of those details. we're going to give you more of that, right after this. i'm alex trebek here to tell you about the colonial penn program.
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i'm going to let the american people decide exactly who's telling the truth. >> michael cohen's jaw-dropping prepared testimony is out, just hours before he'll be under oath in public. today on capitol hill, all eyes on your television today at 10:00 a.m. >> 20 pages of fascinating testimony, everybody. welcome back to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm dave briggs. 4:30 eastern time. in just hours, michael cohen goes before congress delivering bombshell testimony. cnn has obtained a copy of his prepared testimony and it's stunning. within the first few minutes cohen will say, quote, i am ashamed because i know what mr. trump is. he is a racist. he is a con man. he is a cheat.
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>> his testimony including a series of at times astonishing claims. he'll testify that then president trump was aware that he roger stone was in direct contact with julian assange about hillary clinton's hackel e-mail. quote, isn't july 2016, days before the democratic convention, i was in mr. trump's office when his secretary announced that roger stone was on the phone. mr. trump put mr. stone on speaker phone. mr. stone told mr. trump that he had just gotten off the season and within days there would be a massive dump of e-mails that would damage hillary clinton's campaign. mr. trump responded to the effect, wouldn't that be great. >> and here we have a spin-forward of just how important that roger stone trial will be. >> that's right. >> he will be on trial. he will be asked about these remarks. we don't know whether he will agree with this, whether he'll
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pour cold water on it. again, the line from republicans, at the white house at this hearing will be, this is a convicted felon, does not tell the truth and what lied before congress. >> this is someone who is close to the president ten years. you know, ten years, maybe not the closest person to the president, but close to the president for ten years. the president now trying to say he was one of my attorneys, unfortunately. but he was the president's fixer. he was the fly on the wall to some of these conversations so important to the investigation and to the legacy of this president. >> ten years. ten years is an awfully long time to work for someone. let's give you context and the president talking about wikileaks during the campaign. >> did you know talk to him? >> no, i didn't. >> you never told him -- >> no, never did. >> that, of course, not the campaign. that was 2019.
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but during the campaign, you remember the president talking so glowingly about wikileaks. urging them on. talking about how they're so wonderful. >> russia, if you're listening, too. >> despite his last word, michael cohen would not talk about russia. in his prepared testimony, it features heavily his remarks that the president pushed hard for that trump moscow tower all during the presidential campaign while saying publicly he had no business in russia. cohen offers his explanation for why? >> he will say, to be clear, mr. trump knew of and directed the trump moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. he lied about it because he never expected to win the election. he also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the moscow real estate project." >> cohen set to testify about hush payments to stormy daniels. when the president was asked about it on air force one last year, he denied knowing anything
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about his source. >> mr. president, did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no, no. >> then why did michael cohen make this, if there was no truth to her allegations? >> you'll have to ask michael cohen. michael is my attorney and you'll have to ask michael cohen. >> cohen will tell the house committee he paid. and he says, quote, he asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair and to lie to his wife about it which i did. lying to first lady is one of my biggest regrets. she is a kind, good person. i respect her greatly. she did not deserve that. as for the discussion of collusion with russia, cohen said he has no direct evidence but has his suspicions. cohen will say this today. i remember being in the room with mr. trump probably early in
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june 2016 which something peculiar happened. don junior came into the room and walked behind his father's desk which ask usual in itself. people didn't just walk behind mr. trump's desk to talk to him. i recalled don junior leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice which i could clearly hear. and saying, quote, the meeting is all set. i remember mr. trump saying, okay, good, let me know. >> and the testimony in 2017 refutes that. question, did you go up and talk to your father about it, trump junior, no, i wouldn't have wasted his time with it. trump junior, i never discussed with him at all. michael cohen is prepared to call president trump a racist on national television. during his testimony, cohen is going to inform lawmakers that mr. trump told him that black people would never vote for him because they were, quote, too stupid. and then asked if he could run a country named by a black person
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that wasn't a shithole, he posed that question when barack obama was president. michael cohen's testimony begins at 10:00 a.m. join cnn for live coverage and analysis all morning. we have much more coverage and analysis of these 20 pages of prepared testimony. he was behind closed doors yesterday. he has a credibility problem which he recognizes in his testimony, but that gives trump allies some ammunition here. >> look. we don't often tell you, you have to be sitting on your couch watching television at 10:00 a.m. but this, you must see or listen to on sirius in your car. >> this might be the most watched testimony ever, really. >> it will be pivotal. it will redefine this presidency if michael cohen is to be believed. more coverage straight ahead. ♪ here comes the sun
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4:41 eastern time. and president trump finally making it to vietnam. he never fought in a war there, receiving a medical deferment. and michael cohen plans to share a conversation he had with mr. trump about that deferment when he testifies. he is set to tell lawmakers, quote, mr. trump claimed it was because of a bone spur. but when i asked for medical records he gave knee none and said there was no surgery. he told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment. he finished the conversation with the following comment, do you think i'm stupid. i wasn't going to vietnam. cohen adds, i find it ironic, president trump, that you are in vietnam right now. >> it's interesting also that the president had said i think on howard stern show he said his personal vietnam was surviving in new york in his earlier years by not getting an std. he made light of the entire vietnam era. and now, he is in vietnam,
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talking to vietnamese officials. and actually just tweeting in the last hour or so, criticizing, you know, dick blumenthal who is a senator from connecticut. he said i've now spent more time in vietnam da nang dick blummen that, the third rate senator from connecticut. we talked about it with vietnamese leaders. of course, dick blumenthal was in the military. he exaggerated about his service. >> yeah. >> but the president got deferrals. team duckworth calls him bone spurs. this whole thing is multifaceted. >> properly understanding the vietnam war clearly not a strength of the president. this is all chatter, though, the interesting question, when cohen testifies, it political damage
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or legal damage. it appears to be bold if in fact it manages to be believed, if in fact michael cohen brings those documents brings evidence, brings signed checks, it could be both damage for the president. >> what he's going to claim today is criminal conduct by the president while in house. yesterday, cohen was grilled by members of the senate intelligence committee behind closed doors. nine hours, from multiple sources familiar to cnn said he apologize for lying during his 2017 testimony. here's what cohen told reporters as he left the building. >> i really appreciate the opportunity that was given to me to clear the record and to tell the truth. and i look forward to tomorrow to being able to, in my voice, to tell the american my story. and i'm going to let the american people decide exactly who's telling the truth. >> the committee's ranking democrat virginia senator mark
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warner wouldn't discuss details of cohen's testimony but did suggest the stakes of sky high. >> two years ago, when this investigation started, i said it may be the most important thing i'm involved in. in my public life in the senate. and nothing i've heard today dissuades me from that view. >> okay. a high-profile trump ally in congress, evidently threatening michael cohen, on the eve of his public testimony. republican matt gaetz of florida tweeting hey michael cohen do you why and father-in-law know about your girlfriends? maybe tonight that would be a good time for that chat. i wonder if she'll remain faithful when you're in prison. she's about to learn a lot. for those who say it's textbook witness tampering.
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this is a stunning sweet from the united states congressman. we sometimes forget where the bottom is because we keep going lower. >> house speaker nancy pelosi seemingly reprimands gaetz. gaetz, first he stuck to this, right? >> unapologetic, initially. >> he stuck to this and deleting the first tweet and posting another one, while it was important to create context around the testimony of liars like michael cohen it was not my intent to threaten as some believe i did. >> it was a stunning tweet. his spokesman first came out and said the tweet speaks for itself. he also gave an interview before that apology, was totally unapologetic for it. perhaps kevin mccarthy or somebody on leadership got to him and realized we have to do
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something to clean this up. >> and gloria borger made a good observation, this is a close ally of the president. and one wonders if he did this on his own or if this was some bigger discussion of a threat to michael cohen. he tried to walk it back, i guess. much more on this 20 pages of blockbuster testimony of michael cohen that begins in just hours. when we started our business we were paying an arm and a leg for postage.
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president trump's former personal attorney says he has no direct evidence, but has his suspicions. cohen will say this today, quote, i remember being in the room with mr. trump probably in early june 2016 when something peculiar happened. don jsh ca don junior came into the room and walked behind his father's desk which is itself usual. people don't just walk behind mr. trump and talk to him. i recalled don junior leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice which i could clearly hearsaying the meeting is all set. i remember mr. trump saying, let me know. >> and at that time, question, did you go up and talk to your father about it? trump junior, no, i wouldn't have wasted his time with it. trump junior, i never discussed it with him at all. this is so key, the context of that meeting and the different versions of what happened. >> yeah. >> that the president knew about it. >> and again, it's a meeting
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with russians promising dirt on hillary clinton. this one, though, will come down to who do you believe? do you believe michael cohen? do you believe donald trump jr. there will be no evidence of that. one document to prove one way or the other. as to who do you believe with donald trump you have to talk about the context that he's said more than 8,000 fall statements during his presidency according to a count by "the washington post." that's 8,000 plus. >> and a tweet attacking michael cohen from every direction tweeting michael cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me unfortunately. he had other clients also. he was disbarred by the supreme court for lying and fraud. he did bad things unrelated to trump. he's lying in order to reduce his prison time. using crooked's lawyer, referring to hillary clinton's
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lawyer lanny davis he's used in the past. >> and who is america going to believe? that's why today it's public, you can sit there and judge his credibility. a lot of that will come down to the political, what democrats in the house do with this, in terms of do you believe michael cohen. now, the other element is the special skoucounsel and the sdn testimony. >> and he will be bringing evidence today. he will bring a signed check. he's got copies of financial statements. he lays out what he says is evidence of that the president has known about or criminal conduct while in office, that is the crux of his testimony. >> while we've pointed out several times that michael cohen is a convicted felon and proven liar to the senate intelligence committee. you have to point out right now, the point right now that michael cohen not only wants to clear his record and tell the truth. but to try to reduce his sentence. if he's proved again to be lying
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again to congress, there is no chance of any reduced sentence, so if he tells the truth here and provides some documentary evidence, perhaps there's a reduced sentence coming. so, he has every reason to be honest now, and every reason not to lie, given that the special counsel and sdny has proof. >> and michael cohen is prepared to call president trump a racist under oath on national television. according to his tiestimony, cohen will inform lawmakers that mr. trump once told him that black people would never vote for him because they are, quote, too stupid. and he once asked me if he could name a country run by a black person that wasn't a shithole. he proposed that question when barack obama was president. >> again, another story that will involve no proof. one man against another. how will the voters decide what
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to do with this. clearly, the president does not have great numbers with the african-american community but constantly does point to what lease done, in terms of raising that black unemployment rate to a record mark. he's tweeted about that numerous times over the last couple of years. >> the bottom line, michael cohen will say today under record, under oath there for the people to say that the president of the united states is a racist, a con man and a cheat. he will bring documents with him, financial documents, with him showing what he says are the extent of the president's misdeeds. he's going to talk about the moscow trump tower project, something that the president said when he was running for president he was uninvolved in any of this. michael cohen is going to say this is a president who was aggressively pursuing business interests for profit with russia at the time he was running for president. and he's going to detail all kinds of other malfeasance during the election. >> and we've heard that story
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from numerous sources. we've heard that in some of the books about the president that he did not intend to actually win this thing, so he thought, i'm going to get all of the business i can accomplished during this campaign. and because of this campaign, while i can, that's where you bring back the story, and i can't recall the book at the moment where when they one, there was a stunning feeling in the room and kind of an oh, no, what happened just happenedfor them. a lot of them will come down to the political side. we will have ellie hoenig. sa and the legal side of it. and today without question will redefine the trump presidency in the years ahead. >> today at 10:00 a.m., we've got more analysis of what michael cohen, president trump's
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former fixer is expected to say this morning. "early start" continues. i'm going to let the american people decide exactly who's telling the truth. >> michael cohen's jaw-dropping prepared testimony is out just hours before he'll be under oath in public. good morning, everyone. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm dave briggs. it is wednesday, february 27th. 5:00 a.m. in the east. it is an extraordinary day in the news. and in the stunning split screen, christine, with the president over in vietnam about to meet with kim jong-un to try to reduce their nuclear weapons, denuclearization on the peninsula. at the same time, a stunning testimony about to be delivered by michael cohen. >> absolutely. absolutely. the split screen is fascinating. the president clearly unnerved about it because he's been tweeting about it already this morning. he's clearly on the world stage and focused on what's happening on capitol hill. >> the question many will have,
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will the president be willing to accept less from north korea. just hours from that, trump former lawyer and fixer michael cohen goes before congress to deliver bombshell testimony. cnn's obtained a copy of his prepared public testimony. folks, it's stunning. within the first few minutes, cohen will say, quote, i am ashamed because i know what mr. trump is. he is a racist. he is a conman. he is a cheat. his 20-page testimony includes a series of new and at times astonishing times. he'll testify that president trump was aware that roger stone was in direct contact with julian assange about hillary clinton's hacked e-mails. quote, in july 2016, days before the democratic convention i was in mr. trump's office when his secretary announced that roger stone was on the phone. mr. trump put mr. stone on the
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speakerphone. mr. stone told mr. trump that he had just gotten off the phone with julian assange, and that wi mr. assange told mr. stone within a few days there would be a massive dump of e-mails that would damage hillary clinton's campaign. mr. trump responded by stating to the effect of wouldn't that be great. despite that advance word, michael cohen would not talk about today's testimony that features heavily in these prepared remarks. cohen claims that the president pushed hard for the trump tower moscow project all during the presidential campaign, while saying publicly he had no pass in russia. cohen offers his explanation for why. >> he will say, to be clear, mr. trump knew of and directed the trump moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. he lied about it because he never expected to win the election. he also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the moscow real estate project. >> cohen is also set to

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