tv Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs CNN February 28, 2019 1:00am-2:00am PST
pick up right where you left off. with our commitment free guarantee, there's never been a better time to start listening to audible. the most inspiring minds, the most compelling stories, the best place to listen. to start your free 30-day trial, text listen5 to 500500 today. ♪ good morning and welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm dave briggs. it is thursday, february 28. we welcome all of our viewers here in the u.s. and around the world. as we speak, air force one is already wheels up, the high stakes nuclear summit between president trump and kim jung-un cut short overnight with the
white house saying no deal was reached. the two leaders canceling a planned working lunch and there was no formal agreement. president trump talked to reporters a short time ago. >> we thought and i thought and secretary pompeo felt that it wasn't a good thing to be signing anything. quite a guy, quite a character. and i think our relationship is very strong. but at this time we had some options and at this time we decided not to do any of the options. and we'll see where that goes. but it was a very interesting two days. and i think actually it was a very productive two days. but sometimes you have to walk. and this was one of those times. >> standing by live in hanoi, christiane amanpour. and also jim sciutto. you've been following all of these twists and turns all night long. welcome. listen to the president talk about how it was a friendly
walkaway, not a walkout, seeming to leave the door open. listen. >> i think it was very good, very friendly. this wasn't a walkaway like you get up and walk out. no, this was very friendly. we shook hands. you know, there is a warmth that we have and i hope that stays. i think it will. >> was this summit a success or a failure? >> look, i think that it is not helpful to talk about success or failure, i think it is a process. i think the last time everybody portrayed this as a historic unprecedented thing and they came away with just sort of a foundational relationship. they didn't even sign anything completely concrete. and then of course stakes are raised and everybody wants something to happen here. but actually expectations were being lowered the whole way through. but you're right, nothing was even managed to be signed off on, not even opening a liaison office, not maybe even sort of moving towards not a formal
peace treaty, but declaring some kind of end as a preamble to a formal peace treaty. president trump basically saying look, we wanted to do something, but they demanded the entirety of nuclear sanctions be lifted and we couldn't accept that. >> and i think you could see and hear the disappointment to some degree in the president's voice there. we're in a spin zone now. the president saying it was a friendly walkaway, but it was a walkaway. the working lunch and signing ceremony canceled last minute because they couldn't reach agreement. and the north koreans wanted it all. now, all the sanctions lifted. but in exchange only for shutting down it seems one nuclear facility. and the president saying in effect that is not good enough. and we should note, christine and dave, there was some concern from inside the president's own administration leading up to the talks that the president would be tempted to give too much, to come away with something, something of a headline, when in
fact the president said no, not good enough and was willing to walk away. >> the one good bit of information that the president gave us is that he said kim jung-un maintains his pledge to keep the halt on nuclear or bk ballistic missile testing. >> so on the down side, a dictator has been legitimized. but is the world a safer place as a result of the two summits? >> we just don might happen in the aftermath of a summit that didn't actually produce even what the first one did.might ha the aftermath of a summit that didn't actually produce even what the first one did. they talk a good game, but the frirts one w first one was the foundational one. it is really unusual for summits to start with the principals meeting rather than that being the culmination of a process whereby all the working groups
have got all the pieces in place and then the two leaders meet to sign off, they have a treaty and we go from there. this was completely reversed and everybody sort of said look, nonetheless it is really important to build trust in this massive diecades long wall of distrust. you can't keep saying at every summit that fails. at some point something has to -- tangible has to actually happen. and at the moment, nothing tangible has actually happened beyond singapore. >> and to your point, dave, the president was asked about u.s. intelligence assessments that north korea during this time in between these summits has not -- granted it hasn't tested or accepts sent up missiles, but it has continued to manufacture fissile materials. but when confronted with that, we had something of a helsinki moment because the president
said some people are saying that and some people are denying that, in effect the president denying his own intelligence community's assessment that that activity continues there. so that is a concern, that as north korea stretches out these talks, that how much does it really give up. it pauses the nuclear and missile tests, but if it is continuing to expand its nuclear capabilities, what is the u.s. losing in the process. it is a request the president was not willing to acknowledge. >> and you mentioned the helsinki moment -- >> on the other hand though -- sorry. we have a delay. on the other hand sometimes americans believe that negotiations, success is total surrender and is that not going to happen in this case. success is a compromise that makes absolute national security sense and security sense for all sides. and this is a long game particularly with north korea. we have had deals between north korea and the united states in
the past that have advanced the courses of peace. we had it under president clinton with the agreed framework, we had it a little bit under president george w. bush after dismissing the clinton process and then started his own and there was a moment where it looked like kim jung-un's father kim jong-il would continue denuclearizing and that was a process. he died and that was a big reason why it came a cropper. and now we'll wait to see if kim jung-un as he says wants to turn his sights to the economic development of his country. >> we know he is not willing to fully denuclearize at this point. >> and i think there is something concrete that they walked away from and that is the person am relationship between these two men. the president took be pains to really make sure that we know that the personal relationship is strong. even on the subject of on the
t otto warmbier, he said he didn't know about the treatment. did that surprise you? >> absolutely no question. the president's words that he takes his word -- and this was something of a helsinki moment too because he said he denies -- trump said of kim that he denies knowing about it. and the president said that he takes him at his word. similarly taking putin at his word that he did not interfere in the 2016 election if you remember. that is a, are aabsis it remark say about a young american who left north korea -- he was taken hostage in effect by north korea and left there brain dead and died when he arrived home.
it is a remarkable thing for an american president to say, well, you know, i give the north korean leader a pass because he denies knowing anything about it and is blaming it on underlings in a country that is by its very nature top heavy where it is extremely unlikely that the north korean leader did not know the circumstances. was he in the room when he died? no. or put in this condition. but the president to give him a pass was quite a remarkable moment. >> and just to build on that, the special representative was tasked with bringing on ttto warmbier out. and after he was convicted and septemb sent back to jail, he must have known. >> and what does it remind you of with the khashoggi murder, the president saying did bin
salman -- again when his intelligence community has assessed that he ordered or directed or at least had knowledge of that murder, the president said many people are saying maybe he did, maybe he did not. i mean a parallel there as well. >> among the many things covered up in the last few days, or not covered up, but at least brushed over, is that jared kushner met with mbs during all of this. thanks so much. we'll check back with you in vietnam in about 20 minutes. president trump also talking about michael cohen's stunning capitol hill testimony. matter what he said, next. k onle what's new? olay has the hottest debut. new olay clay stick masks, hydrating facial mist, and brightening eye cream. only by olay.
could. i wasn't able to watch too much because i've been a little bit busy. but i think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a terrible thing. he lied a lot, but it was very interesting because he didn't lie about one thing. he said no collusion with the are russian hoax. and i wonder why he didn't just lie about that too like he did with everything else. he lied about so many different things. and i was actually impressed that he didn't say well, i think there was collusion. he didn't say that. he said no collusion. so a little impressed by that frankly. he could have gone all out. he only went about 95% instead of 100%. >> michael cohen's third appearance this week before a congressional committee starts at 9:30 this morning. president trump's former fixer and attorney testified behind closed doors to the house intelligence committee. he has already appeared before the senate intel committee. and yesterday cohen testified in
public for 7 1/2 hours to the house oversight committee. it was his first public testimony since pleading guilty to lying to congress back in november 2017. his answers included a host of revolutions and clues giving investigators leads to follow for months to come. most explosive was his claim that mr. trump violated campaign finance laws after he took office, reimbursing cohen for a $130,000 hush payment to stormy daniels while in office, a claim backed up with physical evidence, a personal check signed by the president. >> a copy of the check mr. trump wrote from his personal bank account after he became president to reimburse me for the hush money payments i made to cover up his affair with an adult film star and to prevent damage to his campaign. >> do you believe that the president committed a crime while in office? >> based on what -- looking at
the text and listening to mr. cohen, it appears that he did. >> michael cohen also implied president trump has committed other crimes, crimes we apparently don't already know about. crimes under investigation by federal prosecutors in manhattan. cohen told the panel he last spoke to mr. trump a couple of months after the fbi executed search warrants on his home, hotel room and office. but he said that he couldn't say anymore about that interaction because it was the subject of a criminal investigation. and then there was this followup question. >> is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of regarding donald trump that we haven't yet discussed today? >> yes, and again, those are part of the investigation that is currently being looked at by the southern district of new york. >> cohen also claiming the president did know ahead of time about roger stone's efforts to
communication with wikileaks. he describes being in a room with the president in 2016 when stone interrupted them with a phone call. he said the president put the call on speaker phone. >> it was a short conversation. he said mr. trump, i just wanted to let you know that i just for the off the phone with julian assange and in a couple of days there will be a massive dump of e-mails that is going to severely hurt the clinton campaign. >> that drew this response from julian assange has never had a telephone call with roger stone. wikileaks publicly teased its pending public llationpublicati. >> and he told lawmakers that the president made clear he wanted coy then hen to lie to c stretching well into the 2016 campaign and he claims that the president's children were regularly briefed.
>> when were the family members that you briefed on the trump tower moscow project? >> don trump jr. and ivanka trump. >> do you recall how many briefings there might have been? >> approximately ten. in total. >> cohen also claims that his testimony to congress about the trump tower project in 2017 was changed by white house lawyers at the last minute. >> which specific lawyers edited your statement to congress on the moscow tower negotiations and did they make any changes to your statement? >> there were changes, additions. jay sekulow for one. >> were there changes about the timing? >> there were several changes that were made including how we were going to handle that message. >> jay sekulow denies the claim. he says, quote, today's
testimony by michael cohen that attorneys for the president he had it i had -- edited or changed his statement to congress to alter the duration of the trump tower moscow negotiations is completely false. we're expecting an important report on the american economy, that's next. and plus beto o'rourke maki making a decision about his political future. lysol laundry sanitizer kills 99.9% of illness- causing bacteria detergent leaves behind. lysol. what it takes to protect.
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1.8% for the fourth quarter. the new york fed's 2.3%. a deceleration from growth in the previous two quarters. the government shutdown delayed this report, so we're getting a look at this late. and until the holidays, the economy appeared strong, strong job creation too. but then something started to happen. large sectors of the economy including housing and manufacturing started to decline toward the end of last year. most forecasts expect growth to slow down further toward the end of 2019 as the economy maxes out on available workers and the effects of last year's tax cuts and government spending wear off. and remember the president promised 4% plus growth. so if it comes in that low would be a real disappointment. back here, former texas congressman beto o'rourke says he has made a decision about his political future. a soi source telling cnn o'rourke
ruled out a run for the senate in 2020 which leaves open the possibility of launching a presidential bid. at an event last night, o'rourke was asked about that. >> i'm going to be making an announcement tonight, i'll be making the same announcement to everyone at the same time. that's all i can say at this time. >> are you running for president? >> that's all i'm going to say. >> when will you make that announcement? >> soon. >> why are you waiting? >> because i want to make the announcement at the same time, i want to do it the right way. >> is that yes or a no? cliffhanger. >> stay tuned. this is just ahead of his self imposed deadline at the end of february to reveal what he will do next. same goes for joe biden. we await word from both. no deal at the trump/kim summit. president trump saying sometimes you have to walk. breaking details next.
welcome back to a breaking news news day. i'm dave briggs. >> and i'm christine romans. the high stakes summit between president trump and kim jung-un cut short overnight. the white house saying no deal, no deal ways reached. the two leaders canceled a planned working lunch and there was no formal agreement. president trump talked to reporters just a short time ago. >> we thought and i thought and secretary pompeo felt that it wasn't a good thing to be signing anything. quite a guy, quite a character. and i think our relationship is very strong. but at this time we had some options and at this time decided not to do any of the options. we'll see where that goes. but it was an interesting two days. it was a very productive two days. but sometimes you have to walk and this is just one of those times. >> straight out of part of the
deal once again. standing by live in that notiha christiane amanpour and jim sciutto. 4:31 p.m. there in hanoi. sanctions relief at the heart of why the u.s. walked away. here is the president. >> the sanctions lifted in their entirety. and we couldn't do that. they were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn't give up all of the sanctions for that. >> and one could argue that the world is a safer place as a result of these two summits, but could have all of this work, should it all have been done ahead of a first summit? >> it is really interesting. this has been an unusual interaction between the leaders of these two countries. we've spoken about how in the past and in previous negotiations between different countries it is usually sort of working groups that work their way up, they have all the ts
crossed and is dotted and then the leaders come and in-so the papers to great fanfare. this was opposite. maybe it was necessary to break down this wall of distrust, to have some sort of personal relationship. and i think most people believe that foundation has been laid. but after the first summit in singapore, not to come away with anything here, that is not terribly hopeful or helpful and it does beg the question that others did ask before this, will kim jung-un allow this to become a working group, working level process. will donald trump want to keep meeting with kim jung-un. and if so, you know, what are the pitfalls of that. and we've seen that there are pitfalls. this needs to be highly prepared, highly technical. the negotiations are very technical. but f. it did flound der on kim jung-un asking for the entirety of sanctions to be lifted which
is an extra ordinary thought, it means that he has not read the situation carefully at all and he overestimated what he could get out of the united states. >> a good point because there was a lot of reporting leading up to this and concern within his own administration that the president would overconcede and the president walked away. he said that it was a friendly walkaround, b aroun walkaway, but we are in the spin zone now and in the final analysis they could not complete upon all of the agreed upon steps. there was meant to be a working lunch, that was canceled. there was meant to be a signing ceremony ever something, even the low hanging fruit of concessions. >> liaison offices. >> a liaison office which had been discussed at a genuine possibility but could not get even to that point. and that is a disappointment. >> i think the picture of that lunch table all set so beautifully and empty really speaks volumes because they had
these photo-opes for the la ths progress just stopped. no deal, but progress made is the spin that you're hearing. and here's what the president said about how friendly his relationship -- it was a friendly walkaway. listen. >> i think it was very good, very friendly. this wasn't a walkaway like you get up and walk out. no, this was very friendly. we shook hands. there is a warmth that we have. and i hope that stays. i think it will. >> last year he said the two of them fell in love, jim. so i'm wondering can you give the president credit that at least this is the personal relationship between the two allows more talking in the future? >> listen, the fact that they are talking is better than shooting at each other, right?
that. remember the comments that there were concerns about a military escalation. but you've had two summits now. the process cannot survive based on just the discussion of how good your relationship is. that relationship has to deliver results. and this is the second time it was not able to do that. and that is a problem. doesn't mean that they won't get there, but you saw both the president and secretary of state say we wish in effect that we had gotten further and were not able to get that distance. and you saw it in the president's voice as well. clearly disappointed with that. >> i think the only thing that we can come out of feeling a little bit hopeful is that status quo remains and that is that the president says kim jung-un has promised to him that he will maintain his moratorium on the missile and nuclear testing. >> and also in the subject of the joint exercises, the korean peninsula, where do we stand on that? because the president said again
that this is expensive, we don't get paid back for that, certainly the north koreans love. >> i'm sure south koreans, but also the pentagon perked up to the's comments. the president did not describe them as important, but he emphasized the cost saying it costs hundreds of millions. not clear where he gets that figure but taking a shot in effect at the south korean allies saying i wish that they would pony up information for these. those exercises are meant to begin very soon. will they continue? at the last summit, you will remember he surprised even his south korean allies by delaying -- canceling those military exercises. we know how north korea views them. north korea views them as practice in effect for a u.s./south korean invasion.
>> and there were reportedly fears within the administration that the president would give away too much. perhaps there is relief that he did not. christiane amanpour, jim sciutto, thank you both. the news cycle back here of course has been about michael cohen. and that is where we go next. the president also talking on camera for the first time about michael cohen's stunning capitol hill testimony. hear what he said and the implications next. [boy gasps]
breaking overnight at his news conference before leaving the summit, president trump made his first on camera remarks about michael cohen's congressional testimony yesterday. that is where cohen accused this president of committing crimes while in office. >> i tried to watch as afternoon as i could. i wasn't able to watch too much because i've been a little bit
city. but i think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a terrible thing. he lied a lot, but it was very interesting because he didn't lie about one thing. he said no collusion with the russian hoax. and i said i wonder why he didn't just lie about that too like he did about everything else. he lied about so many different things. and i was actually impressed that he didn't say, well, i think there was collusion for this reason or that. he didn't say that. he said no collusion. and i was a little impressed by that frankly. he could have gone all out. he only went about 95% instead of 100%. >> michael cohen's third appearance this week before a congressional committee starts at 9:30 this morning. president trump's former lawyer and fixer testifies behind closed doors to the house intelligence committee. he has already appeared before the senate intel committee and yesterday cohen testified in public for 7 1/2 hours to the
house oversight committee. it was his first public testimony since pleading guilty to lying to congress back in november 2017. his answers yesterday included a host of revelations and clues. the most explosive, his claim that mr. trump violated campaign finance laws after taking office. reimbursing cohen for a $130,000 hush payment to stormy daniels, a claim backed up with physical evidence, a personal check signed by the president. >> mr. trump broke frwrote from personal bank account after he became president to reimburse me for the hush money payments i made to cover up his affair with an adult film star and to prevent damage to his campaign. >> do you believe that the president committed a crime while in office? >> based on what -- looking at
the text, and listening to mr. cohen, it appears that he did. >> michael cohen also implied president trump has committed other crimes, crimes we apparently don't already know about. crimes that are under investigation by federal prosecutors in manhattan. cohen told the panel he last spoke to mr. trump a couple months after the fbi executed warrants on his home, hotel room and office. but he said he couldn't say anything more because it was the subject of a criminal investigation. and then there was this follow up question. >> any other illegal act that you are aware of regarding donald trump that we haven't yet discussed today? >> yes. and again, those are part of the investigation that is currently being looked at by the southern district of new york. >> cohen also claiming that the president did know ahead of time about roger stone's efforts to communicate with wikileaks. he describes being in a room with the president in 2016 when
stone interrupted them with a phone call. he says the president put the call on speaker phone. >> it was a short conversation and he said mr. trump, i just wanted to let you know that i just got off the phone with julian assange and in a couple days there is going to be a massive dumpg mass dump of e-mails that will severely hurt the clinton campaign. >> that drew this response from wikileaks. quote, publisher julian assange has never had a telephone call with roger stone. wikileaks publicly teased its pending publications on hillary clinton and published over 30,000 of her e-mails on march 16th, 2016. >> let's bring in marshall cohen and elie honig. gentlemen, good morning. what a day glued to the television no question. elie, what stood out to you as the most legally damaging for this president? >> so the clearest shot at the president if you were looking to
make out a crime is on the campaign finance violations. you now have testimony directly from michael cohen, directly inch pli indicating the president. you have various false statements that have been made which goes to consciousness of guilt meaning there is no reason to falsely deny something unless you are trying to under lie thing. and we have signed checks. i've all all the attacks that he is a liar, but what i've not heard is any questioning as to how could that check somehow not be part of a reimbursement for this hush hone scheme. so i think that that is the clearest shot. whether that particular crime carries the heaviest political hit for the president i think is a separate question. >> and as to the collusion, it is incredible that michael cohen went in there in front of congress, called the president a racist, con man, cheat, who committed crimes, knew about conversations between roger stone and wikileaks, knew about
the trump tower meeting with russians, promising dirt on hillary clinton and the president heard two words, no collusion. what did we learn about the russia probe? >> as you pointed out, we learned a few things that moved the ball forward. of course if michael cohen is being honest with his testimony. you mentioned the trump tower meeting and whether or not the president then the candidate trump knew about it at the time. keep in mind donald trump jr., his son, testified behind closed doors two years ago, no, i did not tell my father. now we have michael cohen testifying that he believes he heard donald trump jr. telling his father or talking to his father about that meeting. so there seems to be e a confli there that warrants a little bit of additional investigation. and as you mentioned on wikileaks, the possibility that roger stone had more communications with candidate
trump about wikileaks than we previously knew about, sort of getting to the possibility that trump knew a little bit more about what was going on before those really damaging e-mail dumps came out during the democratic convention. >> and i think one thing we learned yesterday as well, very clearly from michael cohen, that there are other investigations on multiple fronts. we know that manhattan prosecutors are looking into this. what did you learn about these other investigations from this testimony yesterday? >> that jumped out at me. i think that is maybe the biggest takeaway if we're asking what is next. we'll clearly see many more hearings and i think some fairly obvious followup. but the fact that cohen said straight up the southern district continues to investigate this and i continue to work directly with them. that is big news. the other thing that we learned that we had suspected and i think discussed on air at some point is that michael cohen is hoping to get further sentencing relief. and it goes to what his
incentives and motives are going forward. he was asked yesterday and he confirmed that he is hoping to get made we call rule 35 relief, and that is a federal rule that says that after you've been sentenced, if a prosecutor will go into court for a person and say judge, we'd like him to be resentenced to less time. so you have to get a prosecutor on board. it is not super common, about but i probably did it five, ten times in m my career. sbon continues someone continue you additional cooperation and i think that yesterday will eventually become part of his rule 35 application. and nothing motivates like self interests and nothing is quite as scary as the prospect of three years behind bars. so his interest heavily is in coming clean now. >> and an interesting interaction with ocasio-cortez appeared to be what one of those investigations might be regarding, tax fraud. a lot of questions still to
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what are you learning? >> reporter: he has begun his offensive against that charge, he called it ridiculous and in a statement last night he said soon his entire house of cards will collapse. it is up to the attorney general now in a statement we're expecting perhaps sometime this afternoon to announce which charges he is pursuing against the prime minister. remember police have said that they have enough evidence to indict the prime minister on fraud, bribery and bleareach of trust in three separate cases against netanyahu. netanyahu got a show of support from president donald trump in vietnam who said he doesn't know the specific details of the investigations but he stands by netanyahu. here's what trump said. >> i just think that he's been a great prime minister. and i don't know about his difficulty, but you're telling me something that, you know, people have been hearing about, but i don't know about that. i can say this, that he has done a great job as prime minister. he is tough, he is smart, he is
strong. >> reporter: of course all of this as prime minister seeks a fifth term in office. netanyahu's party has gone to the high court and said look, the attorney general can't publicize this now, it will affect the election. so that is their argument to try to get this delayed as long as possible because it could be a major blow to the prime minister as he seek hes another term in office. >> major news coming about. oren liebermann, thank you. a critical picture of how the economy is doing. the government finally releases fourth quarter gdp and it looks gloo gloomy. 1.8% and 2.3%, lower than the previous two quarters. the government shutdown delayed this report until the holidays we knew that the u.s. economy appeared strong and there was really good job creation, but large sectors of the economy including housing and manufacturing declined during the end of the year. most economists and forecasts expect growth to slow down
further toward the end of 2019 as the economy maxes out available workers and the effects of last year's tax kits a -- cuts and government spending wears off. the president could be disappointed by this number. thanks for joining us for a short "early start." >> short but sweet. "new day" is right now. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is "new day." good morning, welcome to a special early edition of "new day." glad to see you here and glad to see me here. because it is early. it is thursday, february 28, 5:00 here in new york and we do begin with breaking news for you. president trump is heading back to the u.s. empty-handed. nuclear talks with kim jung-un have abruptly ended with no agreement. the president and his top diplomat insist that real progress was made, but mr. trump
says talks broke down when north korea insisted that all sanctions be lifted. president trump says, quote, sometimes you have to walk away from the negotiating table and so he did. >> so for the first time we also heard the president's response to michael cohen's explosive testimony on capitol hill. we learned that the president did watch much of it even from hanoi. he called michael cohen a liar and complained that the democrat held the hearing at all given that the summit was taking place. and hours of dramatic testimony, cohen described the president's role in illegal hush money payoffs to stormy daniels and said that he knew of more. cohen knew of more illegal activity involving the president now under investigation not by robert mueller, but by federal ross cute are toku prosecutors in new york. we want to begin with michelle kosinsk live in hanoi. breaking news truly unexpected surprising breaking news, and this was a surprise to hear that
this whole process had broken down. >> reporter: it was. and this ends up being proof that president trump's insistence on a top down approach to this extremely complicated decades long problem is not always going to work out the way that he thinks it will. i mean these two could not even agree on a basic definition of what denuclearization even means. that is how big the gap between two sides still is. i mean they couldn't even finish the summit and have one last lunch together. the president traveled 8,000 miles and comes away empty-handed. the vietnam summit with kim jung-un quickly turned south leaving the president with no distraction from michael cohen's damaging testimony. >> they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that. sometimes you have to walk. >>