tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN February 27, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
michael cohen, president trump's fixer and former attorney gave explosive testimonies before the house oversight committee, slamming the president as a conman and accusing him of engaging in activities before and after the election. republicans doubling down the attack and reminded him that he's a convicted felon who's soon beginning his prison term for lying to congress. here is some big moments of cohen testimo cohen's testimony. >> i am ashamed. because i know what mr. trump is. he's a racist, he's a conman, he's a cheat. >> let me make sure i understand. donald trump wrote you a check out of his personal account while he was serving as
president of the united states of america to reimburse you for hush money payments to miss clifford, is that what you are telling the american people today? >> yes, mr. chairman. >> did the president call you on public messaging about the payments to miss clifford? >> yes. >> what did the president ask or suggest. >> it was not knowledgeable of these reimbursements or knowledgeable of my reaction. >> he asked you to say that? >> yes. >> your meeting with donald trump in july of 2016, when roger stone happened to call and tell mr. trump he had just spoken to mr. assange, is that correct? >> that's correct. it was a short conversation, i just want to let you know that i gotten off the phone with julian
assange and in a couple of days there is going to be a massive dump of e-mails that's going to hurt the clinton campaign. >> mr. trump was aware of the upcoming dump before it actually happened. >> yes. >> let's go back to this credibility. you want us to make sure we think of you as tropic icon and you are about justice and you are the person that somebody would call at 3:00 in the morning. no, they would not. you are a pathological liar. >> are you referring to me or the president? >> how long have you worked for donald trump? >> possibly a decade. >> it is that bad, i can see you working for him for ten days. maybe ten weeks or maybe even ten months. you worked for him for ten years. mr. cohen, how long did you work in the white house? >> i never worked in the white house. >> that's the point, is it mr. cohen? >> no, sir.
>> you wanted to work in the white house. >> my loyalty to mr. trump has cos cost me everything. my law license, my company, my livelihood and my family and my hon honor, my reputation and soon my freedom. >> you made a lot of mistakes. hopefully, this portion of your destiny will lead to a better, a better, a better michael cohen, a better donald trump, a better united states of america and a better world. i am hoping that all of us can give back to this democracy that we want and we should be passing to our children so that they can do better than what we did. we have got to get back to normal.
with that, this meeting is adjourned. >> there you go. so i want to bring in ryan lizza and susan galasso, what a day everyone. hello everyone. we spent last night coming through the testimony, we got it and he read everything that we got last night. what was the biggest thing for you today? >> for me was the southern district of new york, sdny continuing to investigate things that i think what should be wor worrisome for michael cohen, things that michael cohen could not talk about. i did not expect him to intimate in any way that he's continuing. he's saying he's continuing to cooperate with the southern district of new york. he was providing information. two months after the raid or
someone -- i can't talk about it because it is under investigation. those are the shocking moments. >> is the president facing criminal charges here if you listen to what michael cohen said today? >> i don't think the southern district is going to buck the doj. i think doj can do a lot of damage and pass their findings onto congress and lodge an indictment under seal. i think a lot of structural way the southern district poses a serious threat. mueller is running out of time. he's in the process of wrapping up. the southern district is going nowhere. they'll be there for a long time. mueller is cabin in what he can lo look at. he can look at financial issues or inaugural or trump or where ever the evidence take the southern district they can go. coming out of that office, i know that office is relentless.
>> susan, i know you were struck to cohen that trump never told him to lie. >> that poses one of the challenges for anybody who's hoping to pin trump down. the question is whether congress will ever get so far to pursue proceedings against him. michael cohen painted a devastating portrait of trump and trump's world. on the other hand, he says that's not how trump works. he said it over and over again. he does not tell you -- lie for me, he makes it clear. michael cohen says he speaks a code and i know what the code means. >> he gives you the talking point >> yes. >> i love that tie, that's the best tie that ever was. >> that's the best tie ever was and people should wear that tie, a red and blue tie. they know those are the orders and talking points going off.
>> that's not necessarily easy to prove which is why the fact that he produced some documents that he showed these two checks with trump's signature on it while trump was in office. >> i want to ask him about that, let's talk about the checks. this is august 1st of 2017. there is a lot going on. scarramucci had been fired from the day before. there was awfully a lot going on. president trump was in the white house that day signing this truck to reimburse hush money or bribe money for a porn star. >> very busy summer of 2017. . >> we have never seen anything like this president paying off a debt to someone who's later convicted where this is part of
a criminal plot. just to take a step back, i don't think it was any one single thing that cohen brought today that was a knock-out revelation. i think it was the enormity of the details that he added to all the investigations that we know had been going on. he added new contexts to the stormy daniels situation and putting trump more of the center that we knew. added more contexts in trump's role in what he knew about wikileaks. more meat on the bone of how he told and how he directed or in directly told cohen to lie to congress. we know that story a little bit better now. a little bit more about his role and finally something new which is potential fraudulent loan obtained from deutsche bank. that's a whole new box that's opened today. he gave a general sort of
devastating character take down of someone he knows intimately. at the same time one thing we have not talked about is he also cleared up the far out stuff that all of us as journalists have been chasing for a long time. >> what do you mean? >> if you believe michael cohen, he shot down a lot of stuff that had been tanntalizing a lot of trust. >> the infamous tapes from moscow. he does not think it exists. this tape of the alleged incident in the elevator with melania. >> i don't remember hearing about it. >> i actually don't believe that. >> that's what he said, he didn't believe it. >> a lot of people hav have -- that's useful that he shot some of that stuff down as well. >> here is the thing. and you said he gave some clues to well, this is going to be an investigation. the check that is evidence.
that's receipt. how much of what he said can be corroborated. >> when it comes to hush money payment, prosecutors have a strong case, you have checks and he recalls specific conversations he had with the president and alan weisselberg. that was pretty damming for the president and the southern district of new york, they implicated the president on that. the things where it gets murky is the roger stone conversation, the don jr. and his recollection of whether or not the president remembered or knew about the tower meeting. outside of the president and michael cohen, there is no one that can corroborate it. >> you guys are saying that but let me ask the evidence guy here. what if they got phone records? >> i got a follow-up checklist to share it with congress, right? >> let's take the alleged call from roger stone from wikileaks.
if there is a record showing roger stone called into the secretary, great. there are things you can do to follow up. some of these there is nothing you can do. the conversation that cohen said he over heard were donald trump jr. went around the des desk -- unless there is a hidden video camera, that would never corroborate. >> oh, they can track cell phones. >> right, step by step. and ryan mentioned the bank loans. cohen gave evidence about how trump would inflate his asset when he's trying to get bank loans. that's a bank fraud 101. that's the kind of case you would get. >> he provided documents. >> i got to get this in. i want to play this, susan was struck by cohen talking about threatening people. let's play some of that. >> have you seen mr. trump
personally threaten people with physical harm? >> no. >> he would use others. >> he would hire other people to do that? >> i am not sure he would have to hire them, they are already working there. everybody's job at the trump organization is to protect mr. trump. every day most of us knew we are coming in and lie for him on something. that became the norm. that's exactly what's happening right now in this country and it is exactly what's happening here in our government, sir. >> what does that say to you? >> that was one of the most powerful moment for me today. overall as ryan said it was an overall devastating portrait of this toxic culture of lies inside the president's world essentially. there was no one single revelation is the idea that the president of the united states is coming to us from a business
organization that operated like a crime family. we were threatening so many people at it, at a different point of questioning, michael cohen was asked how many times did you threaten people on behalf of donald trump? 50 times? no. 100 times? 500 times is where he ended up testifying under oath. >> one final thought. >> quickly. >> to be honest, the most shocking thing to me is we all know a lot of this stuff about donald trump. a lot of it is not surprising. the most shocking thing was there was not a single republican on the panel who seemed to care. >> very good point. >> also, we got to talk about matt gaetzs, he threaten exposing some sort of women and alleged girlfriends. apologizing and he says leave the cohen's family alone. >> i am sorry. come on. he shows up today high fi-fivin
people. >> i think people were sympathetic today. michael cohen came off sympathetic when he talked about his family and his dad is a holocaust survivor and he talked about his family. >> everybody talking about credibility issues, is he believable? >> for me? i thought he was believable. >> he was absolutely believable. he has done what a lot of people get in trouble don't do. he apologized and he's going to pay a price for it. >> believable? >> i am wondering how angry donald trump is sitting there in vietnam of these republicans who did not defend him today. they just talked about michael cohen and not donald trump. >> i see a lot of corroborating witnesses. i don't think the republicans laid a glove on him other than one point over and over. you have been convicted of lies, we got it. they did not touch his testimony other than that. >> it is interesting that you
pointed out that people would be so sympathetic. >> the republicans were a little surprising. >> people can change, right, rather they are forced to or if you come to some sort of epipha epiphany of doing the same thing. >> thank you. >> michael cohen told jackie spear that donald trump asked him hundreds of times, i am going to talk to the congresswoman, next. that as president trump's meeting in kim jong-un in vietnam. kim questioned journalists whether he was willing to denuclearize and responding quote, "if i am willing to do that, i won't be here right now." i would not be here right now. president trump says it. >> we ultimately have a deal that's really good for chairman kim and his country and for us. i think ultimately that's what's going to happen. that's where it is all leading. it does not mean that we'll do it in one day or two days but it is all leading towards a very
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here. thank you so much for joining us here. that was one of the moment that gave us a glimpse into the trump organization, cohen's role. why did you want to expose that? >> well, i think it was really important for us to appreciate that that's how donald trump operates. he threatens and lies and the fact that was the job of michael cohen kind of fits into this whole process where by he was the fixer. he was the fixer when it came to the two women that had to be hushed up, both stormy daniels and karen mcdougal. i am sure and he actually alluded to the fact that there were probably others. we were not able to determine what they were. this is a man who is basically a immoral. he does not play by the same rules all of us does. he had michael cohen do his dirty work.
>> you know today was a day that was going to be talked about and studied as we look back into the history book years from now, people are going to talk about this day, what did you learn that was new? >> what was new that his testimony was edited binomial ty president trump's counsel. this was a conspiracy to prevent the intelligence committee from knowing that the moscow trump tower project went on all through the election year when donald trump said he had no business with russia when he did have business with russia. he had a letter of intent that was in place between 2015 and 2016. furthermore, i think what we heard from michael cohen was there were efforts for tax evasion and probably bank fraud, both in terms of how he
manipulated his earnings and assets and liabilities. also, the fact that he ended up using trump organization to pay back michael cohen for the hush money. on top of everything else, he probably took a business deduction for that particular transaction. it is pret . >> you were talking about cohen thing the lawyer for trump. he named him. it was abby lowell and jay seco sekulow. >> you have two attorneys now that were manipulating his testimony and creating a story that was not true.
so, i think they're legal status should be reviewed by the bars in their respective states. >> okay, this is the statement from jay sekulow. >> i got attorney from the president edited or changing statements to congress for all duration of the moscow negotiations is completely false. it is carefully worded. give me your take away. >> what the committee had was documents that ended on january of 2016. we now know that those negotiations went on all through 2016 and even after the election because felix satyr was sending e-mails to michael cohen. the fact that these attorneys reviewed his testimony that he was going to give and edited is pretty i think -- it is pretty damming. i asked michael cohen to give us
a copy of his original statement and we can compare it to the statement he gave to the intel committee and that'll provide us ample evidence of who is telling the truth. >> you said after the hearing today, there was growing evidence for impeachment. more needs to be evaluated. what more do you need to evaluate? >> so we need the benefit of the mueller report. he has much more information than we have at this point. he's been able to look at those 100th tapes. something we have not had the benefit of. he talked to many people. i think that's going to be important and what's also going to be important was for us to bring back donald trump jr. and roger stone, and probably steve bannon to testify again. there there is reason to believe that
they were not telling the truth. >> so can we expect more possible public hearings. >> i think you will see potentially more persons being charged with lying to congress. >> well, congressman jackie speire, thank yspe speier, thank you for your time. >> so who do you believer wh wh everyone is a liar? ice. td ameritrade. ♪ at panera, we treat soup differently. with vine ripened tomatoes, signature cheddar, simmered to perfection. with big flavors, not artificial ones. enjoy 100% clean soup today. panera. food as it should be. enjoy 100% clean soup today. with tough food, your dentures may slip and fall.
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[ ding ] show me fish on youtube. say it and see it with the x1voice remote. from netflix, prime video,youtube and even movie tickets. just say get "dragon tickets". . liar, liar, pants on fire. that's one poster says at the hearing of capitol hill with michael cohen. the congressman even says it out loud. >> the congressman even said it out loud. >> no one should ever listen to you or give you credibility. it is sad. >> well, that's a good playground come back there. >> cohen admits he lied to congress in 2017 and he'll be going to jail for it among other things. here is the thing, michael cohen, is not the only one who
has not told the truth. when it comes to the russian investigation or trump's business practices or hush money payments, there had been a lot of lies told by a lot of liars. when everyone involved is a liar -- what do you do? michael cohen testified that he heard a conversation between roger stone and donald trump about julian assange and wikileaks. >> mr. stone is on the speakerphone and mr. stone told mr. trump that he had just gotten off the phone with julian assange, mr. trump tostone told trump that in a couple of days there will be a massive dump of e-mails affecting hillary
clinton. >> that carries no weight because special counsel mueller indicted roger stone for lying and witness tampering. a month before that, stone settled a defamation lawsuit over a chinese businessman and admitting he lied and apologized. that lasts two months for roger stone. >> donald trump jr. called cohen a liar today. this is what cohen said about him. >> donald trump jr. came into the room and walked behind his father's desk which in of itself was unusual. people didn't just walk behind mr. trump's desk to talk to hem. i recall don jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which i could clearly hear and saying, "the meeting is all set," i remember mr. trump
saying okay, good, let me know. mr. trump had frequently told me and others that his son don jr. had the worse judgment of any one in the world. also that jodon jr. would never set up any meetings alone. >> don retweeted dozens of tweets disputing what michael cohen had to say. >> this is reporting back in the early days of the administration, suggests that cohen did want to work in the white house. but, donald trump jr.'s defense on everything else, so fierce that it had been offense. it would be believable had he not lie about the trump tower meeting. trump says it was about adopt n adoptio adoptions, but his e-mail revealed it was set up because
russia wanted to deliver dirt on hillary clinton which brings it to the biggest liar of all is president trump. he made 8,000 false claims. one of those claims he knew nothing about the payment of stormy daniels and today though michael cohen brought a check to congress, a check signed by donald trump. cohen says that was reimbursement for the hush money payment to daniels. a payment that the two of them had discussed on tape. >> i need to open up a company for the transfer regarding our friend david so i am going to do that right away. >> i have spoken to alan weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up. >> and it is all the stuff --
>> i am all over that. >> looks like cohen has the receipts. when it comes to all the lies with many liars, the big question is, who do you believe? that's a question mike shields and rick wilson is here to try to answer. that's a lot of questions, guys. that's next. a majority of adultsempic, lowered their blood sugar and reached an a1c of less than seven and maintained it. oh! under seven? and you may lose weight. in the same one-year study, adults lost on average up to 12 pounds. oh! up to 12 pounds? a two-year study showed that ozempic® does not increase the risk of major cardiovascular events like heart attack, stroke, or death. oh! no increased risk? ♪ oh, oh, oh, ozempic®! ♪ ozempic® should not be the first medicine for treating diabetes,
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what about all the other lies by the president and the people around him. who can we believe? seriously, who do you believe? >> mike shields and rick wilson. gentlemen, good evening. mike, when everyone is a liar, who do you believe? >> i think today was an example of why the american people hate congress and why they don't agree anything anymore. it starts with the media's lack of ability. you have democrats who used to hate michael cohen and think he was the worst thing ever and suddenly he's the truth sayer of all truth sayers because that fits the narrative and it is the triable world that we live in. everyone though he's a terrible witness. >> even if he brings evidence? >> if you are going to believe some of what he says, you have to believe all. he said there was no collusion and he was not asked to commit
perjury. he said a lot of things today that we'll pick and choose one side wants to believe or the other side does not want to believe. this is their first witness since they have congress. they clearly a lot of democrats want to impeach the president. this is their roll out. >> hold on. >> i think elijah cummings clearing it up at the end. >> the feirst one, they got liv coverage, the average person who's not paying attention, the democrats may want to impeach the president. we can't have this person come out here. >> usually when people flip, usually they lied before. >> if they have been convicted of lying, they're not a good person to put on the stand. >> what are you thinking today
of michael cohen? >> i disagree on mike's point on this bases. american understands when you are picking apart a crime whether it is a mob family or a drug cartel, you are not bringing witnesses out who are civic minded or good hearted people that you want to have over a barbecue. a lot of these people have criminal bruackgrounds and prosecutors understand how to talk through evidence and how to sort out the truths and the lies. america understands when you are doing something like this with complex set of conspiratorial behavior, you are not going to get angels coming to testify. what michael cohen did today was opened up a whole bunch oven yus for people who are not going to go to jail or as edge case michael cohen is. guys like weisselberg who understands the mechanics of the trump's scheme his organization
and on every front from paying off the girlfriends or the charity fraud or the way that donald trump does business or to the fact that he and stone were making phone calls when stone denied it and he denied it consistently. there is a lot of evidence that could be run down because of michael cohen testimony. he does not have to be a good dude to be credible. i don't know if there are any perfect witnesses, some of the things and many of this things he said can't be corroborated at least as of now. we don't know that. >> if you were sitting there and watching these hearings, republicans seem like they were obsessed with whether cohen is going get a book deal. they're uninterested in figuring out the story were true or what the evidence meant. was that a mistake?
>> they believe the democrats are going to try to impeach the president. their leadership is saying no, we are not going to do that. the democratic basis going to force them into something. i work for newt gingrich in the '90s and i saw how it happens. you whine up going too far, the republicans on there are saying let's talk about the credibility of this witness if it is a court case. they have every reason to do that because he's a terrible witness. >> should they be trying to strike down the evidence. well, that check whatever you think about it instead of hammering -- i thought it was a bad look. on the democratic side, i did think god, who wrote these questions for them. they were terrible questions. >> this is why americans were sick of congress. they don't think today had anything to do with making their lives better. the president is trying to negotiate a peace deal, normally that's something that's good. this was staged directly at the same time that looks incredibly partisan and political.
>> and also, remember michael cohen is going to go to jail. h they had to do this before he goes to jail. no one else in two years had been able to take the spotlight away from donald trump like cohen did today. do you think that's the thing that's going to bother this president the most? >> i think donald trump obse obsessively watching. i think he watched without a blink. to all who's saying michael cohen is a scum bag, he was a guy working with donald trump for over a decade and dealing with donald trump's disgusting problems. he was a key trump adviser and ally. he was a guy on the campaign trail who look at any damn picture in the campaign, he was a key surrogate for donald trump and defender of donald trump.
this is not some stranger that donald trump did not know who this guy was from the beginning. it does speak to the old donald trump, the question is i hire the best people. well, michael cohen, is the best kind of person you hire. emerson says the institution is a length of a shadow of a man. i am curious if donald trump agrees with that. >> okay, last word. thank you. i appreciate it. thanks don. >> rats, mobster, some of the words used at cohen's hearing today. sounds like a mob movie than a congressional hearing, does it? and a dedicated advisor to help you grow and protect your wealth. fidelity wealth management. to help you grow and protect your wealth. hey, who are you? oh, hey jeff, i'm a car thief... what?! i'm here to steal your car because, well, that's my job. what? what?? what?! (laughing) what??
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choosing to tell the truth, much like a mobster would do when one of his men decides to cooperate with the government. >> have you ever seen mr. trump personally threaten people with physical harm? >> no. he would use others. people didn't just walk behind mr. trump's desk to talk to him. i'm talking about a man who declares himself brilliant but directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges, and the college board to never release his grades or s.a.t. scores. i have been smeared as a rat by the president of the united states. >> how many times did mr. trump ask you to threaten an individual or entity on his behalf? >> quite a few times. >> 50 times? >> more. >> 100 times. >> more. >> 200 times. >> more. >> 500 times. >> probably. everybody's job at the trump organization is to protect mr. trump.
every day most of us knew we were coming in and we were going to lie for him on something. >> is that an accurate portrayal of working for trump? here to discuss michael d'anton d'antonio, the author of truth about donald trump. and day cay johnston, the author of "it's even worse than you think: what the trump administration is doing to america." i love the titles. i'm going to get a book. i want one now. it will be "the chronicles of don and donald: how we both keep each other awake until midnight." he watches me and i'm talking about him. there you go. you think it would sell? >> i'll help you. i'll hook you up with a publisher. >> hello to both you have. there is a lot to talk about, especially these mob tactics during today's hearing. that how trump does business, michael? >> it's exactly how he does business. don't you remember how he had
his goon push jorge ramos out of a press conference. he likes physical intimidation. people were physically intimidated on the sidewalk in front of trump tower during the campaign. their placards were taken out of their hands and thrown away. he likes to have people intimidated reputationally, financially. you name it, he'll use the trick to go after somebody. >> david, you say that trump operates like a white collar crime family? >> yeah. well, michael's right. we've seen these examples of him having his bodyguards push people around. donald is really in the business of ripping people off using a pen. and representational threats are absolutely at the core of this. i watched donald trump march into "the new york times" newsroom one day with a whole flank of lawyers and pr people. i knew exactly why he was there. it was try and persuade "the times" that i shouldn't be allowed to write about him, because he only wanted people writing about him that didn't understand that whatever he
says, it's almost always not true. >> i got ask you, michael, about matt gaetz. the florida bar association, the florida bar is now investigating him for his threatening tweet to michael cohen. today gaetz, you saw it, right? >> yes. >> he showed up at the oversight committee, and he just showed up there, telling reporters he was going to ask questions, even though that wasn't happening because he's not on the committee. what is the point in this move? why is he there? what's the point in this move? >> this is trump-style thuggery. now in the united states congress, now being practiced physically by this member of congress. i think what he did was reprehensible. this is exactly what's wrong with what's going on in the country today. it's exactly what chairman cummings was saying when he said we're better than this. we are better than this. this is not something you would do in high school or junior high school, let alone in the united states congress. >> well, he took it down, and
then, you know, the tweet that he said and then said oh, let's leave the cohen family alone. this is after. >> after i disrupted the cohen family. >> exactly. so david, michael cohen was also asked about trump's not releasing his tax returns because he feared that the public scrutiny would lead to an audit and tax penalties that is a very, very different take than what we have heard from trump. >> oh, it's absolutely different. the bottom reality is donald doesn't want anybody to see his tax returns for several reasons. first of all, if we got him for the last ten years, for some of those years we would see that his reported income was less than $500,000. we know that because he got something called the star property tax credit in new york, and you only get that if you report an income of less than $500,000. it's also going to reveal things about his sources of income, although that would require some further digging, depending on how he's organized the returns. trust me, there is nothing donald trump wants more to keep out of the public record than
his tax returns. and the irs does not investigate people because of a change congress made in the law based on news accounts. they use a computer score, and that's almost all of it, unless you're up for something like a security clearance or become wrapped up in a drug investigation. >> well, democrats say they're going to subpoena. they say they're going get their hands on the tax returns. >> and they have the absolute right to do so. congress in 1924 passed a law that says they have the right and they routinely look at many tax returns every year of corporations and individuals. >> that means stay tuned. thank you, both. i appreciate it. and thanks for watching, everyone. our coverage continues. 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!
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