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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  February 27, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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take part in concealing mr. trump's elicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience. i'm ashamed because i know what mr. trump is. he is a racist. he is a con man and she a chehe cheat. >> the hush money and other so called catch and kill stories. also what they may have known about the e-mail targeting democrats during the 2016 presidential election. >> a lot of people have asked me about whether mr. trump knew about the relaease of the e-mai ahead of time. the answer is yes.
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he knew in advance about the e-mails. >> cohen also apologized for lying to congress previously. he lied about how long talks lasted into the 2016 campaign. it is that the president's lawyers and the what you say may have edited cohen's untruthful testimony before he shared it with congress other oath. >> specific lawyers reviewed and edited a statement to congress on the moscow tower negotiations and did they make any changes to your statement? >> there were changes made.
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>> were there changes about the timing? >> yes, including how we would handle that message. >> go ahead. >> the length of time that the trump tower project stayed and remained alive. >> it remains unclear what changes were made and which helped make them. we are live from capitol hill where the cohen hearing is about to pick back up. how are members of congress and other people that are part of the story reacting to this hearing so far? >> it depends who you talk to. some say hatz been damaging that he has had credibility in today's hearing. others republican senator graham said he is making the case. the credibility came up repeatedly. it is true, jake, that cohen is testifying today under different circumstances from last time he lied to congress. he has been cooperating in two
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different investigations. if what he said today contradicts that it would be very problematic and he knows investigators are watching. >> shame on you, mr. jordan. >> his personal and fixer faces off with committee members. democrats wanting to dig in that president trump told him to kplit crimes. >> did the president have any involvement? >> yes. >> he directed you do this? >> yes. >> attacking his credibility. >> i'm concerned about your lives. >> started with cohen dropping bomb shell accusations. >> i'm ashamed because i know what mr. trump is. he is a racist.
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is that correct? >> that is correct. >> it because short conversation. i want today let you flow i just got off the phone. in a couple of days there will be a massive dump of e-mails that is going to severely hurt the clinton campaign. >> so he was aware of the upcoming dump before it happened? >> yes. >> he said he never discussed it. he tweeted he never spoke by phone with stone. stone released this statement today. mr. cohen's statement is not
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true. cohen revealed trump directed him to lie to the public during the election for which cohen provide add check as proof. >> did the president call you to ko coordina coordinate in or around 2018? >> yes. i wasn't knowledgeable. >> he asked you to say that? yes. >> kept bringing up cohen's past and how he lied repeatedly for what he is headed to. cohen was pressed on how he worked for trump for so long if he was such a bad person. >> he said all of these things about the president and you worked for him for ten years. all of those bad things, i mean, if it's that bad i can see you working for him for ten days,
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maybe ten weeks, maybe even ten months. but you worked for him for ten years. mr. cohen, how long did you work for the white house? >> i never worked in the white house. >> that's the point isn't it? >> no it's not. >> you want today work in the white house. >> no, sir. >> you didn't get brought to the dance. >> sources tell cnn cohen did want to work at the white house. they pressed imhim if he was planning to make money. >> what is your source of income in the future? >> i don't expect i will have a source of income in the penitentiary. >> is there a book deal coming or anything like that? >> i have no book deal. i have been contacted by many including television, a movie. >> it is overnight where the president is and aids expected
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him to stay up and watch this. it is clear this has been on the president's pliemind. he talked to the president last flight and he was unhappy about the shows and the split screen of him for the second meeting and michael cohen. let me run a little bit of that testimony. >> lawyers reviewed a statement to congress on the moscow tower negotiations and did they make any changes?
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>> were there changes about the timing? >> there were several changes that were made including how we were going to handle that message. >> which was -- >> the message of course being the length of time that the trump tower project remained alive. >> that's lot of this testimony
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today that's the explosive comments and roger stone called. he said they are coming and who else could verify that? i'm sure special counsel talked to the person, the president's secretary at the time, who would have connected the call might have heard if others might have been in the hall. it is simply his word here and it's not that useful. >> one thing i do know like a tonov of bricks for the bank an tax fraud. so you tell me house republicans how you crack down ton michael cohen for that. >> i look forward to it being applied. >> and it's on the republican
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side. >> and also in favor of con s consistency. they claimed it got to call saying this stuff is coming. last month he told the new york times he never spoke to roger stone. take a listen. >> did you ever talk to him about wikileaks? >> no. >> did you tell others to get in touch with him? >> never did. >> and i understand we have a lot of unreliable narrators they said he has never had a telephone call with roger stone. >> in 2018 the president said about 15 false statements per day. >> i think it's down to eight or nine. >> >> he is not a credible source
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of information in all of this. we don't know. we only know a portion of it. one other thing to the original point i thought was interesting, it was reported that there may have been some contacts between mr. cohen's legal team and white house at some point. >> so we learned more about what it actually means. does it mean editing the statement? he was talking about you want to limit the exposure. yeah. that's what you would tell someone. you don't want to create new avenues or new questions. you want to try to limit it. it sounds very credible to me actually. >> what did you think was most important? >> i thought the most important thing was that mr. cohen, a proven liar put the president ton phone can roger stone.
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that is direct collusion. again, mr. cohen is a convicted liar. mr. stone denies it it. he is an indicted liar. >> he takes in oxygen and exhales lies. he lies when the truth suits his interest. mr. mueller will be able to find those calls. >> and quickly -- >> and he acted like -- >> but quickly on that point in the indictment of roger stone none of that was in there. >> well, there's stuff about him lying. >> there's no criminal conspiracy charge and kcovering up anything. get me roger stone.
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that's his whole life. he is a puffer. his whole life he has been trying to be bigger than he is. >> take a listen to how he described it today. >> i have gone into mr. trump's office after each and every conversation. he told me he had spoken to friends. it's not a lot of money and we should just do it. go ahead and do it. he directed us to figure it all out. >> he is a chief financial officer. go ahead and do it is a pretty direct order. >> and it's also for the purpose of winning the election. >> oh. >> i think -- >> oh. >> that's a big joke.
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>> the president might have been doing it to hide it from his wife. >> that was just a side benefit? >> that is. >> that is something prosecutors will have to prove. it is also interesting that they talked about how he rigged polls for donald trump. think about this. he wants this honestly. he is proving to be a fraud bit by bit by bit. >> it is showing he can gain traction. >> and they stole money as well.
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>> i'm coming to you. in terms of fraud cohen being asked to say that trump didn't know about cohen's payments to stormy daniels. this is why donald trump was president. take a listen. >> did the president call you to koor din flat on public messaging in or around february 2018? >> yes. >> what did he ask that you say about the payments or reimbursements? >> he wasn't knowledgeable of my actions. >> he asked you to say that? >> yes. >> but it would be a lie. lying to a reporter is not a federal crime. >> it is not a federal crime however it does go to what this hearing today was really about. there were lots of other side issues. you were talking about race and what have you which is learning more about what the president
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may have done. not just the lies but broken in terms of getting into office and as it always tends to be the cover up once in office. it is not that he could want him to cover up the fact he may have engaged in various behaviors to then cover it up once you're in officer. it makes plenty of sense you want to cover that up. >> he did not bring proof of conspiracy with the russians. he was asked what he thought about the president's willingness or whether he would do such a thing. take a listen. did he lie about coordinating
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with the russians? >> i wouldn't use the word colluding. was there something odd about a back and forth praise with president putin? yes. that's not conspiracy though. >> that's right. >> what do we need? >> and all of this started meeting with kilimnik. >> here is what the trump campaign had to say. michael cohen is a felon, a disbarred lawyer and convicted
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perjurer in a premeditated fa fashion. the only support for that is his own testimony which has proven before to be worthless. much of that is accurate. it did bring evidence. >> and we talked to paul about this before. michael cohen had his conversion i mean it's not like he worked for ten years and said i'm having a crisis in conscience. i need to come clean. he came clean when it was to be the person he is now. not before. >> that's a given. >> can we just stipulate? she a liar, he is a lying liar. we all get that.
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it is in any kind of case you're talking about going after the mob or going after gangs you get somebody to flip on the others. that person is already a criminal when they flip. it does not necessarily mean -- >> okay. >> hold on. it doesn't mean when they offer testimony it's not actually true. >> there's -- >> it's not like an individual common tactic.
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>> he said in response to questioning he thought the family had a conflict because ongoing talks and he also placed the lawyer at discussions with his lawyers and white house lawyers and they were discussing his testimony. >> and you can see -- >> right. >> there is chairman of the house oversight committee and have it recommence. there is the man of the hour preparing to talk more about what happened. you can see davis, the famous or infamous democratic attorney who used to do damage control for clinton during the clinton impeachment years. having flash backs. i did want to ask you one thing and i'll have to interrupt when it comes down. that is criticism from analysts at this very table.
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it is saying cohen testimony bringing up the bone spurs. it is to say things in this country. he needed an editor on those points. it wasn't -- ten weeks from now nobody will remember that. >> it is sprinkles in there to throw some in there for certain parts of our party shall we say we knew he was a racist. so that i mean that element was a little bit bizarre. it is about trying to get to the
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bottom of what happened. >> and what happened in the election. >> we won. that is something you heard him talk about. they were can go him the question about what they thought the president was directing him to do. they said he seemed to suggest there was some sort of way he was trying to tell him to say something or do something. >> if the president wants you to do something he tells you. >> he is not subtle about it. >> but what this gets to in
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terms of what comey said and it is in terms of their credibility. it is if he wants you do something that wants you to be legal or ethical or proper. there's the gavel. let's listen back in.
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obviously that gavel was from mature as you see. jim jordan, republican of ohio. cummings is now the chairman of the committee. if you think it is perhaps a witch hunt and if you do not like president trump it is welcomed oversight depending on
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your point of view. we were talking about this before. you agree some of his testimony and things don't have to do with ethics or legality were resistance chummed for want of a better term. it is something to make people looking to hate president trump happier. i don't believe he went intofully of that. i think you need that particularly if you're a convicted liar. he did bring a lot of facts. some of them were stunning. i would have said you need just the facts. >> just the facts. >> she said she thought the
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reason for all of the comments were horrific and despicable were to show he was an insider. he is not kind. i think at some point there's a conversation to be had about a spectrum of race today. certainly having the one black person that worked for him there and have an older white male member say i talked to him.
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he didn't get a job that he wanted to. here is the gavel. let's listen in. i want to finalize this issue in testimony form. the form requires do you list your contracts or payments originating from a foreign
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government not from all foreign entities. do you have any additional information? >> my four attorneys continue to believe as they did before that the language of the truth and testimony forum which i was given and assigned to right before this hearing and which requires disclosure of any contracts or payments from foreign governments in the last two years did not apply to my work for bta bank which is an entity. they advised that had entities been intended for disclosure it would have been in the disclosure definition. if the committee's cone seunsela
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different view we would be willing to do that. >> mr. chairman? >> let me finish. >> sure. >> i want to understand clearly, you are -- you fought the advice, is that right? >> that's right. >> and counsel advised you to say what you just said, right? >> yes. >> and you know that to be the truth, right? >> yes, sir. >> i thank the chairman for his courtesy. insteadov instead of making pointsov of order perhaps the way to do this is to request he give to this committee all of the foreign payments that he has received over the last two years, whether they are an entity or government. we have strong believe there is over $900,000 that came from the government on behalf of mr. cohen. it is either the truth -- the whole truth or nothing but the
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truth. the rules look at foreign payments that come from or with foreign governments. the bank he is talking about is owned 81% by the government. >> we are going to move on. first of all, let me be clear. i said to mr. cohen that if he came in here and lied i would nail him to the cross. didn't i? >> yes. you did more than once. so if there's any ambiguity i want that to be cleared up. i have no problem working with you to make sure that's straightened out. i don't want him to think one tling and we think one thing. we can clear that up. we have other members that are waiting. >> i don't think we should limb it to the bta bank which has the
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afail jags. i think we should look at one of the other clients and any other client that's foreign that may have connection to that and i hope we get it exactly right. >> reclaiming my time. we will take that certainly under advisement. we will work with you and see what we can do to come up with that. i don't think it's an unreasonable thing. it is marked as exhibit 5b. it is a check for $35,000 and it
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is dated march 17th, 2017 after the president took office. it is right now on the screen. do you see it, sir? >> yes, sir. >> to be clear the revocable trust is the trust the president set up to hold his assets after he became president. is that correct? >> i believe so. >> do you know why you were paid from the trust as opposed to the president's personal account? >> i don't know the answer to that. >> did you think it was odd he paid you once and he is paying you through the scheme of a trust? >> i was just happy to get the
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check. they ford warded to someone referred to and presumably he was signing this check as executive too, correct? zbli believe so. it's important for them to understand there's nothing to do with conclusion. it's financial fraud. it was disguised as a payment for legal services for you. it is not a payment for legal services was it? >> no, sir. >> it could give rise to serious state and federal criminal liability if a corporation is cooking its books. based on your testimony today donald trump jr. directed this payment to you and approved this. >> mr. trump initially
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acknowledged the obligation. i was instructed by allen at the time that we were going to do this over 12 installments. >> and donald trump jr. signed off on this. >> it would be them but always allen on the check. >> you think executive too is donald trump jr.? >> yes. >> they knew this payment were false and illegal, correct? >> i can make that conclusion. >> you told representative kelly that the president was aware of this scheme, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> i want the pleamerican publio
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understand the nature of this testimony. are you telling us that the president directed in conspiracy with allen and his son, donald trump jr. as part of a civil criminal -- part of a criminal conspiracy of financial fraud. is that your testimony today? >> yes. >> and do you flow if this criminal financial scheme that the president and donald trump jr. are involved in by the southern district of new york? >> i would rather not discuss that question because it could be part of an investigation that's currently ongoing. >> and i just want to american public to understand that solely apart there is financial fraud and your allegation and the explosive smoking gun document is that the president, his son and cfo may be involved in a
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criminal conspiracy and isn't it true, mr. cohen, that this criminal conspiracy that involved four people that there is only one person so far who suffered the repercussions and that's why you're there jail? >> i'll be going to jail, yes. for the record nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax returns even while under audit by the irs. mr. cohen, do you know whether president trump's tax returns
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were under audit in 2016? >> i don't flow the answer. i asked for a copy of the audit so that i could use it in terms of my statements to the press. i was never able to obtain one. >> can you give us any insight what the president has refuse today release the tax returns? >> the statement he said to me, what he didn't want was to have an entire group of think tanks that are tax experts run through his tax return and start ripping it to pieces and then he'll end up in an audit and he'll ultimately have taxable consequences, penalties and so on. >> so that's a point he said he didn't want to release his tax
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returns. he might end up in an audit. >> can he be blackmailed because of his financial and business venn clu ventures including by foreign government? >> i know the opposition, the first thing they will ask or say is he released his financial disclosure forms. i believe there are other things we can learn from his taxes. do you have any idea what he can
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learn? >> i have seen them i just have never gone through them. they are dwiquite long. >> quite long. one of the things i find ironic is one of the ways is by saying that you committed bank fraud and tax evasion. the reason why is it goes down to a person's character when it comes to taxes. the republican minority never asked to see his taxes. it is something that for four years democrats and republicans alike have released their tax returns to prove to the american people that they didn't have financial interest that would be leverageable by a foreign government. they refuse to ask for his tax returns. i also want to kind of go on
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they have indicted or received guilty pleas from 34 people and three companies that we know of, the latest being long-term trump adviser roger ston. it includes six former trump adviser. it is one that will lie for him, two, break the law for him, three, cheat the system for him. essential essential he wants to surround himself with people just like him. would you agree with that statement? >> it appears so. >> mr. cohen, the american people have a lotover questions when it comes to this president. when he went and he bowed before putin and nobody could understand buy he acts the way he acts. we believe the way he gets those answers is looking at everybody
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that surrounds them, who he has been associated with and his tax returns. that's the only way we can get down to the bottom line. thank you and i yield back. >> mr. clahairman, i have a unanimous consent request. he begged me to give him a job in the administration. he is still lying under oath. i asked unanimous consent. i have one more from bob. getting sick watching these hearings i know michael cohen personally for many years. he told me several times he was very angry and upset he didn't get a post in the white house and that he would do what he has to do now no protect his family.
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>> all right. i ask unanimous consent written by former house counsel. the title is oversight looks like an illegitimate show hearing. i asked unanimous consent that a letter requesting you call to testify at this hearing also be part of the record. >> mr. chairman, can i respond? >> just one second. the article. i want to deal with this one right away. we -- when we saw that article we knew it was inaccurate. it is on basics.
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the case is that mr. brand are distinguishable what's going on here. we got former general counsel it is february 2019 and where are we? >> thank you mr. chair. i may go a little quickly to get it all in. first my colleague from vermont had asked you several questions about the parent company of the national inquirer.
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does the documents still exist? >> i don't know. i asked pecker for them. >> so you would say the person who flows the where abouts is pecker? >> pecker or levine or howard. >> i want to ask a little bit about your conversation about my colleague from missouri about acid inflation. did they provide to an insurance company? >> yes. >> who else knows that the president did this?
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>>. >> do you think we need to review in order to compare them? >> yes. you would find it a the trump org. >> and the last thing here, the trump golf organization has a golf course near the bronx. i drive past it every day between the bronx and queens. the washington post reported on the course in an article entitled taxpayers built this new york golf course and trump reaps the rewards. that is where many new yorkers learned that taxpayers spent $127 million to build trump in a generous deal allowing president trump to keep almost every dollar that flows in on a golf course built with public funds. it doesn't seem to be the only time the president has benefitted at the expense of the
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public. mr. cohen, i want to ask you about your assertion that the president may have improperly do to avoid paying taxes. according to an august 21st report by the washington post while the president claimed that trump national golf club in florida was worth more than 50 million he had reported otherwise to local tax authorities that it was worth no more than 5 million. mr. cohen do you flknow whether this rort is accurate? >> it is identical to what he did. >> do to your knowledge was the president interested in reducing his local reestate bills? >> yes. >> how did he do that? >> you deflate the value of the asset and put in a request to the tax department for a
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deduction. >> thank you. >> in october 2018 new york times revealed president trump participated in tax schemes during the '90s that increased the forclun he received from his
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parents. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to thank you the way which you comport yourself. some would have you believe the more you say something the more true it is. thanks to democratic majority has been doing to work of the american people. before this alone we looked at the issue of making election day a federal holiday, reducing drug pricing and subpoenas to reunite families and recently before we returned here tried to pass a universal background check gun bill. we are doing the business of the american people including today. it has been said that the best sunlight -- sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants. let there be light. the point is for us to pursue the trust, to pursue the truth
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and justice for the american people, to understand if lies, deceit and corruption are threatening american democracy and our safety. mr. clahairman, it should not b abused as personal piggy banks. a line of questioning that we have not yes addressed is that of the foundation. sit to bid $60,000 painted by a
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trtist at a clarity auction, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> why would the president want to bid at the price of something he was ultimately paying for? >> how was it paid for? >> i believe it was paid for by a check from the trust. >> and abuse and again, you know, this is not a partisan pursuit here. i think we are demonstrating patriotism. did they reimburse? can you explain the mechanics of that payment? >> i'm not involved. >> did the president know what was happen sng. >> yes. >> how did he know what was happening? >> he test me. >> what happened to the painting? >> i believe it's in one of the
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clubs. >> okay. >> according to the new york attorney general mr. trump used the foundation to pay $10,000 for the winning bid that ended up in one of his golf courses in miami. are you familiar with that transaction? >> yes. >> are you aware of any other instances where the trump foundation was used to benefit the trump family? >> yes. >> could you elaborate? >> there was a contract that i ended up creating on mr. trump's behalf. it was by the name of victor. it was that mr. trump was asked to come into participate what was the ukrainean american economic forum. it wasn't able to go. it was able to negotiate 15 minutes by skype where they would have a camera very much like that one. they would translate mr. trump
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to the questioner and he would respond back. i negotiated a fee of $150,000 for 15 minutes. i was directed by mr. trump to have the contract done in the name of the donald j. trump foundation as opposed to donald j. trump or services rendered. >> thank you. any other abuses of the foundation you would like to share? again, it is against the law and extremely extremely unfair to clarities playing by the rules. >> not at this time. >> and then for the balance of my time would you agree that someone could deny units to african americans, lead the movement refer to to it as country and refer as fond people have a black friend and still be racist? >> yes. >> i agree.
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>> her time has expired. you play answer the question. >> yes. >> i have two unanimous consent es since we are finishing up. i want to go ahead and -- >> give me one second. >> yes, sir. >> i want today get to him and come to you. >> okay. >>. >> thank you for the committee on the sole purpose of exposing the truth. some of my colleagues can handle the truth. they want criminal schemes to stop especially those from the oefrl office. we are upset that some of our
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colleagues are so disconnectedover what disconnec of what it means to have the president sending checks to cover bribe payments you made on his behalf. one in 2017 of march and another august 2017 after he was sworn in as president. they are upset while my colleagues are trying to discredit by some of your own unlawful acts and lies they are disconnected with the fact that you were the personal lawyer for this president and this president close you as his legal counsel. my stance has always been the same based on the facts not on future reports that we are all waiting on. my residents back home don't need a collusion cause with a foreign government to know this president has disregarded the law of the land, the united states constitution and he
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misused his bpardon powers. filed in december of last year they stated in particular and as cohen himself has admitted with respect to both payments he acted at the direction of individual one. based on what we flow now is that he used his money and platform to enrich himself, his grant and in the process directed you. and you covered it up, correct? >> that's correct. >> mr. cohen, with this do you think the president of the united states is making
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decisions. they said you used horrible words about like muslim americans and immigrants? >> yes. >> just to make a note mr. clarm, just because someone has a person of color, a black person working for them does not mean they aren't racist. it is insensitive some would even say it's the fact that someone would actually use a prop, a black woman in this chamber, in this committee is alone racist in itself. >> mr. clahairman i ask -- >> i reclaim my time. >> setting a president -- >> mr. clahairman the rules are clear -- >> cover up and hold onto business assets to campaign finance laws. what we have here mr. chairman is criminal conduct and pursuit of the highest public office by
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mr. cohen and individual one. i hope that the gravity of this situation hits everybody in this body and across this body. thank you. i yield the rest of my time. >> mr. chairman, i ask that her words which she is referring to an individual member of this body be taken down and stricken from the record. i'm sure she didn't intend to do this. but if anyone knows my record as it relates it should be you, mr. chairman. >> i would like -- >> hold on. >> i want the words read back. >> no. >> we want to flknow exactly wh she said. >> would you like to rephrase that statement? >> thank you mr. chairman. i can actually read it from here. just to make a note that just because someone has a person of color, a black person working for them does not mean they are
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racist. it is incensensitive some wouldy it to use a black woman as a prop. i can submit this for the record if they are thinking that's what i'm saying. as a person of color that's how i felt at that moment and i wanted to express that. i'm saying it is a racist act. >> i hope not. i need to be clear on this. >> mr. meadows. wait a minute. >> i defended you. >> mr. meadows. i'm the chair. >> yes, sir, you are. >> i will clear this up. >> now, is it -- i want to make sure i understand.
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>> i'm trying as a person of color to express myself and how i felt at that moment. for the record that was my intention. >> mr. chairman, there's nothing more personal to me than my relationship. my nieces and nephews are people of color. not many people know that. you know that mr. chairman. to indicate that i asked someone who is a personal friend of the trump family who has worked for him, who floknows this individu it is racist to suggest them to come in here for that reason. the president's own person, she is a family member mr. chairman,
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you and i have a personal relationship not based on color. to even go down this direction is wrong, mr. chairman. >> i want to thank the gentleman for what you're saying. if there is anyone who is sensitive with regard to race it's me. so i get it. i listened very carefully. i think she said she was not calling you a racist. i thought that we could clarify that because mr. meadows you know of all of the people on