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tv   New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman  CNN  February 28, 2019 3:00am-4:01am PST

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the negotiating table. >> the president was half a world away but he was tuned in to michael cohen's blistering testimony on capitol hill. president trump is now calling his former lawyer and fixer a liar. as for cohen, in a dramatic flip on his former friend he accuses president trump of committing crimes while in office. and before. cohen also revealed president trump has reason to worry about a wide-ranging probe in new york and there's even more. cohen is back on capitol hill in just a few hours for a third day of testimony, this time behind closed doors with the house intelligence committee. let's bring in michelle live in hanoi, vietnam for us with all of the breaking news. what happened, michelle? >> reporter: less than 24 hours we were thinking this time something has to come out of this. how exciting, what are will it be? what has each side finally agreed to give up to come to some understanding? well now it turns outthe surpri out
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the surprise ending to this trumpian cliff hanger is nothing. they could not agree on a definition of what denuclearization even means. could not even finish the summit and have lunch together. no signing ceremony because there is nothing to sign. the president traveled 8,000 miles and comes away empty handed. a vietnam summit with kim jong-un 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. it was a very productive two days, but sometimes you have to walk. >> i wish we could have gotten a little bit further, but i'm very -- i'm optimistic. >> there were good signs early. kim jong-un keeping denuclearization on the table. >> translator: if i'm knotting willi not willing to do that i
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wouldn't be here right now. >> reporter: but talks in private did not lead to any break through. a working lunch and signing ceremony that had been on the schedule never happened. an abrupt end to talked overnight with the white house saying no agreement was reached at this time but the respective sides look forward to meeting in the future. president did make one stunning headline, letting kim off the hook for the death of otto warmbier. >> those prisons are rough. they're rough places. he tells me that he didn't know about it and i will take him at his word. >> the summit itself largely overshadowed by testimony back home. >> i know what mr. trump is. he is a racist, he is a con man, and he is a cheat. >> explosive allegations by trump's long-time lawyer and fixer michael cohen. president responding this morning slamming the democrats for holding the hearing while he was here at the summit. >> and it was pretty shameful. he lied a lot, but it was very interesting because he didn't lie about one thing.
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he said no collusion with the russian hoax. >> cohen's testimony upstaged any kind of progress the self-described deal maker hoped to gain in his second summit with the north korean leader. the u.s. was hoping for more concrete steps from pyongyang towards a deal that's verifiable and enforceable. only time will tell now whether the future holds more of this. >> rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself. >> reporter: or this. >> i'd much rather do it right than do it fast. >> reporter: trump's line walking away from this is sometimes that's what you have to do. the good things here, yes, he didn't give anything away as many felt he did last time when he suddenly ended joint military exercises with south korea. also that the two sides, according to trump, are going to tip talking. the north korea wouldn't do anymore missile or nuclear testing. but as for the next summit when asked when the two will meet again, trump said, and i quote,
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it might be soon, it might not be for a long time. i can't tell you. i would hope it would be soon, but it may not be for a long time. john and alisyn. >> well that answers that. michelle, thank you very much for setting all of that up for us. joining us now from vietnam we have jim sciutto, cnn's chief national security correspondent. christiane amanpour, and david sanger, national security office forte "new york times." christiane, explain how we got here because given the way that table was set for lunch, given the way the signing ceremony was already scheduled, it seems as though the u.s. side approached this with a lot more optimism than they should have. >> yeah, probably each side, as others have said and those who are much better negotiating and being in the room, it wouldn't have been the north korean side that pulled the plug on this. they would have stayed for the lunch. it was clearly the american side, president trump made that clear in his press conference. and basically said that they
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were willing to give some things up, like perhaps moth balling again. they did it once before in 2007 or 2008. the nyongbyon nuclear plant, but they weren't able to give the other things that the u.s. was demanding, according to the president, and moreover, for that give that they were willing, they wanted the entirety, again in the president's language, the entirety of the sanctions lifted. and that was something the u.s. was unwilling to do. so it's probably a good thing that the president hasn't said we're going to meet again, we're going to do this and do that, because now the question will very, very heavily revolve around is it right for the leaders to continue meeting and shouldn't this be where it should be? and that is with the working groups, with the negotiators, with the experts to see what actually is possible and then see whether the two leaders can -- can actually come and sign something. but for now, nothing. and as michelle said, they came away with nothing except for a
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pledge to keep as north korea has said, to keep their moratorium or testing nuclear and ballistic devices. they didn't agree freeze that just that they wouldn't keep testing. >> david, you said there were people close to the administration that were worried the president would give away too much. democrats also worried the president would give away too much. that didn't happen. he didn't give away anything, this all fell apart, he walked away. but does this show, david, the limits of personal diplomacy? he staked so much on his personal relationship with kim. >> i certainly think it does, john. this was an unusual negotiation because you were having the president basically reserve the toughest issues for khim to sor out directly with kim jong-un. and that's risky. most presidents go into negotiations like this with everything but the last part sort of all wrapped up so that you don't have the embarrassment of going 8,000 miles and coming home empty handed.
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now, in this case i think the administration did something smart, which was that they said we're not simply going to ask the north koreans to give up all of these declared facilities that we've been talking about for years inside the nyongbyon nuclear plant, the one major plant that's been a big issue since really the early to mid 1980s. instead, they were also raising, as the president conceded in the news conference that he had, that they were talking about facilities that have never been declared that the united states has found outside of nyongbyon. and i think over time secretary of state pompeo and probably john bolton, the national security adviser, persuaded the president that he'd be taking a huge risk of appearing naive if he simply walked away with a deal to close the one big known facility and allow the north koreans to keep producing
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elsewhere. >> we're just getting a bulletin that japan's president shinzo abe supports president trump's walking away from this deal. and, you know, you heard it, you were there for this press conference that was surprising because obviously the press corporati corps was expecting to say longer and sean hannity was in the audience and you could hear sean hannity beginning to spin this as how it would be a huge win for the president. i don't know if we have time to play it, but basically he suggested it was reaganesque. listen to this moment. >> yeah. >> look, we have a gentleman nobody's ever heard of that was sean hahn knit at this time. what are you doing here sean hannity? should we let him to do a question? yeah, sean, please? >> i work in radio tv, the mike's on. mr. president, mr. secretary, good to see you. mr. president, if you could elaborate a little bit more. we have some history, president reagan walked away, a lot of
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condemnation at the time and it ended up working out very well in the end for the united states. was this mostly your decision or -- and what message would you want to send chairman kim as he's listening to this press conference about the future and your relationship. >> i don't want to say it was my decision because what purpose is that? i want to keep the relationship. >> jim, is that a good analogy? >> well, no. listen, we're firmly in a spin zone. he was trying to relate it back to reagan with gorbachev which if you look at the history folks and christiane and i were talking about this earlier, looked at that as a miscalculation by reagan at the time. but we were in a spin zone from the administration, sean hannity participating in that from other allies trying to put the best shine on this in what was a
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failure of both sides to come to an agreement to make any progress from not just one, but two remarkable face-to-face summits between the u.s. president and north korean leader. but the talks ended early, that's a fact. and they didn't come to a signing ceremony and they didn't even reach any of the low-hanging fruit for agreement here such as the exchange of liaison offices, which would be a pretty easy thing to do. it happened in the mid-90s. they didn't actually get there in the end but that was an agreement that the u.s. and north korea made before but they couldn't get there. and that, as far as the president is concerned, as you were saying, john and alisyn, earlier, this raises a test about the president's personal diplomacy, about the art of the deal. this imagination that the president can walk in the room and based on that warm, loving relationship with kim just move the two sides closer together. it didn't work here. now, on the good side is david was saying and we had similar reporting in recent days, the
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concern was would trump in seeking a headline, particularly in light of the cohen testimony happening yesterday, give up too much? there were concerns from within his own administration. and that did not happen either. but it raise the question where do you go from here? because if north korea is taking a maximalist position, and the u.s. wants something bigger are and the two leaders couldn't bring them closer at this summit, what brings them closer in that agreement? it's not clear. >> that summit was with a nuclear power, the other super power in the world in the is with north korea, which if anything, the president has elevated now its status by holding these talks. and christiane, the president also repeatedly tries to elevate kim jong-un or excuse him in some cases. one of the really baffling moments in this news conference was when he justified somehow
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north korea's treatment of otto warmbier. he didn't justice north korea's treatment of him, but he excused kim jong-un's role in it. christiane, he said i don't believe that kim jong-un knew anything about it. i believe him when he tells me he must not have known that w m warmbier was being mistreated. that's shocking to hear from the u.s. president. christiane? >> it is because you never say that about a dead american, a dead member of your own nation, you just don't. you have to stand on the side of that victim and that hostage and of what happened to him and on the side of the family. and you cannot put the burden of proof anywhere except where it belongs, that is on the head of the leader of this country that wrongly imprisoned warmbier, that gave him a kangaroo court trial, and then shoved him into prison. it was between that trial and when he was brought out that something bad happened to him. and officials, u.s. officials who were tasked with bringing
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him out say that there's no way that a leader, dictator like kim jong-un would not have known what was going on to an american national in his own prison system at that time. so it's very, very important how you actually talk about that. i can see what the president is trying to do. he did it, as we've talked about, you know, with putin in helsinki, he's done it with mbs, the crown prince the saudi arabia with khashoggi. he's trying to preserve the personal relationship with kim jong-un because he still believes that that is the key to unlocking this nuclear dilemma. and most people now think the key is for them to keep a decent relationship, but to hand it to the experts and do the really hard slog of meticulous negotiations. it's happened before. the united states has reached a deal with north korea before under the clinton administration and to a lesser extent but nonetheless importantly under the george w. bush administration if the is possible, but it takes time and
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it does not start with the leaders. >> and neither one of those deals held. >> yeah. >> in the 1994 agreement with president clinton was probably the most instructive one for the trump administration here because in that case the north koreans agreed to stop producing nuclear material and then secretly went off on another pathway to go do it and got caught doing it. and i think that president trump recognized that he didn't want to be the president who got caught a second time with that, with a growing arsenal. >> christiane, david, jim, thank you very, very much. other dramatic developments overnight in the aftermath of michael cohen's testimony on capitol hill, cohen basically accusing the president being involved in crimes while he was in office and dangling the notion that there are other investigations of criminal activity the president might have been involved in that we don't even know about. that's next. live from the starlite lounge.
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all right. it truly was a historic day on capitol hill yesterday. seven hours? >> 7:21. >> seven hours 21 minutes. >> i listened to most of it while driving around and it was riveting. >> michael cohen before the oversight committee saying that president, among other things, was involved with crimes while he was president of the united states. and during this seven hours withstanding to some extent withering critiques from the republicans on that committee. want to bring in jeff zeleny, nia malik henderson, laura
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coates, and joe lockhart former clinton white house press secretary. i don't think there's any question, joe, that this was a moment. my question is, what happened in terms of who comes out looking better? who comes out feeling good this morning? >> well, i think where it goes, and i think that's where congresswoman casio cortez did a great job of laying out the committee. now we'll have to bring in people from the trump organization, bring in people with the foundation. what i think the democrats are trying to do is stop short of saying we're going to impeach this president, but we're sure going to drag out every piece of information we can before we make that decision. they don't have control of the mueller report, that will come when it comes. and that will have a big impact. but i think they want to spend time on lots of issues that are important to them, but this is -- this is a big one. so, you know, on who wins, who
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loses, you know, i think michael cohen did a good job of getting some things off his chest, raising issues about trump. i think he did poorly when he tried to attack trump on politics because i don't think he has the standing or credibility to do that. but i think particularly among the freshman democrats we saw some really good questioning and kind of laid out what the next four or five months will look like. >> laura, legal jeopardy. what changed yesterday? >> well, what changed is that they don't have to wait for mueller any longer to have some end roads into who they need to question next, about the scope of the investigations that are happening. i mean, michael cohen alluded to the fact that in the southern district of new york there's another investigation we may not know about. he's talked about donald trump jr. as part of the investigation i think as well. this is one of the end roads into figuring out what is the other hard place to mueller's rock? and that is the other u.s.
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attorney's office. but one of the big headlines here is the fact that for the first time although everyone knew to read between the lines, michael cohen told us that individual one, the person who directed him and coordinated with him to commit a felony offense and circumvent campaign finance laws or attempt to do so by these hush money payments to stormy daniels, to karen mcdougal, he named the president of the united states and he said there was a check that was issued while he was the president. meaning there are was an ongoing felony going on. so the idea that this happened is really, really big news. >> i have a copy of that check with me in my hands right now. >> you've been carrying it around. >> i think it's fascinating. >> are you trying to cash that? >> michael cohen ran into problems with that the 'it's a $35,000 check. the date is august 1, 2017, written why donald trump was president of the united states. this directly puts the president of the united states as a person involved with a crime. and, nia, chairman cummings of
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the oversight committee was asked directly if he feels there is proof now of crimes. listen to what he said. >> do you believe that the president committed a crime while in office? >> based on what -- looking at the checks and listening to mr. cohen, it appears that he did. >> a president committing a crime while in office seems like a big deal, nia. >> being very careful with his words, weighing almost everything he was saying there, not rushing to have sort of a full-throated partisan attack on the president. so i think that coming from him certainly means something. you have in michael cohen somebody who was a pretty credible witness. you had cummings saying basically he threatened cohen that if he'd lie to congress this go round he'd nail him to the wall. so there he was offering sort of
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a poe porery of him in the white house of the president essentially saying don't worry, your money's coming in laying out the reason why they did it in the way they did to make it essentially look like it was a retainer, agreement, that's high it was in $35,000 increments. why was it twof 260,000 rather than 130,000? because of the tax laws in new york. so we'll see what happens going forward. i think there are obviously a lot of groundwork that was laid in this pretty extraordinary hearing. we'll see where it goes. we'll see also, there's always been a really small group of folks in the house democrats who, you know, used the "i" word, who talk about impeachment. but from the leadership
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offyou'ofyou've heard a slow walk of this. we'll see where it goes. and cohen volunteering names. he's rattling all different names of people who they should talk to and bring before congress. so much more to come in skrut niegs the president's behavior. >> what did the republicans seem so uninterested in scrutinizing the president of the united states behavior? i mean, they just didn't want to dive into whether there were hush money payments made, whether there was a cover-up? >> i think it's what we've seen for the last couple years. it's something that these really new friends of the president, mark meadows and others, say, look, i've talked to the president some 300 times. michael cohen knows the president. he knew donald j. trump before he game president, all the other members of congress have known him since. the most extraordinary thing about this is how extraordinary it was for michael cohen to be saying all of this.
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he has adored president trump. he has wanted his approval for all these years. and it was sad in a way and pathetic in another way, i think. but he was -- he was in many respects responsible for him running for president the first time back in 2011. >> and he was sticking to that. when they were trying to scoff at him, oh, you're responsible. >> but michael cohen knew what he was talking about. he did put those polls in front of him. so these guys are new friends of the president. but i think overall what i was struck by in this was the republicans were not interested in anything other than discrediting him, which michael cohen, he is a lying. he said i have lied. but yesterday i thought he was pretty credible except the point where he said he did not want to work in the white house. it was common knowledge among int mates of the president and others that he did want to work in the white house. so i guess he said he said, but i'm thot sure why he didn't say i wanted to and the president didn't hire me. but he maintains he didn't want
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to. >> and that's what we're talking about, the republicans didn't scrutinize the claims against the president. the flip side of that, which to me is equally if not more astounding, they didn't defend the president. they didn't say he didn't do this. they didn't say no, no, he didn't pay off the porn star, that never happened at all. >> it's funny -- >> i was going to say, the one time they tried to over the racism issue, it completely backfired and was just kind of laughable moment where mark meadows brought up lynn patton and essentially to say how cot president be racist because he hired this woman as a party planner and she works at hud now. that was the one awkward instance. but there was never a point to rehabilitate the president's image to say he would never do anything like this. and i think part of the problem also, i mean, michael cohen was there as jeff said, basically saying i know donald trump. you don't know him like i know him. i have been in -- you know, traveled with him. i've sat in meetings with him. i know how he operates his
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office. but real missed opportunity for democrats there who didn't really try to either pinpoint specific ways that they felt like that cohen was lying about the president, nor did they really i think try to defend the president very well. >> i was having some fun on twitter yesterday by doing an hourly update saying it's been an hour, no one's defended the president, it's been two hours. and i got bored because it just never happened. and, you know, one of the things that truck me from the hearing was this is the same committee when it was run by republicans they brot in diamought in diamok as witnesses. >> say no more. >> they ran this committee as a political weapon to attack democrats and protect the president. so the idea that somehow that this was a fake hearing yesterday and this was outrageous stretches -- >> the president called it this morning fake -- but did he like the fact that he did not say that there was russia collusion. >> you don't get it both ways. >> he was impressed by that.
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>> you can't be excited about something in your figuring. >> sorry. thank you all very much. great to talk to you. there were heated moments during the hearing and some that involved race as we've discussed a little bit. but we're going to play that for you and debate, next. was ahead of its time. still, we never stopped making it stronger. faster. smarter. because to be the best, is to never ever stop making it better. introducing the new c-class. lease the c 300 sedan for $429 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing.
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michael cohen accuse president trump of being a racist and then republican lawmaker mark meadows introduced what he thought was evidence to refute that. it was one of the stranger moments when congressman meadows invited lynn patton, a trump administration official who is black to stand up. >> you made some very demeaning comments about the president that ms. patton doesn't agree with. in fact, it has to do with your claim of racism. she says that as a daughter of a man born in birmingham, alabama, that there is no way that she would work for an individual who was racist. how do you reconcile the two of
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those? >> as neither should i as the son of a holocaust survivor. >> that exchange led to another interesting exchange with another member of congress that we'll get to. we're back with our panel. nia-malika, i'm just curious. what was that? what was mark meadows doing? >> i mean, i am still wondering about that today. i mean, first of all, you never see folks sort of props behind, you know, members of congress. so that in and of itself was sort of odd. and then you saw lynn patton there standing there. mark meadows speaking for her, right. >> she didn't speak. that did not make the case very well. >> it didn't make the case. you saw her sort of awkwardly standing there. what do i do? should i sit over there? i want to be in the frame because my sort of black presence here is important in what mark meadows is saying but it was so bizarre. and you had exchanges from the
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freshman members who were really insulted. congresswoman talib basically saying this in and of itself was a racist act, bringing this black woman who was silent there as a prop was in itself a racist act and then you had mark meadows again citing his friendship with elijah cummings in citing his relatives who are people of color basically taking ombre at the idea that he could have committed a racist act. there was all this tokenism and rhetoric around race that really, think, struck a nerve with folks on that panel and certainly the broader public. >> and there was internal politics involved there too. do we have kpt change? did you want to kmaert chanwant between rashida tlaib? let's play that. >> the fact that someone would actually use a prop, a black
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woman in this chamber, in this committee is alone racist in itself. donald trump is setting a precedent -- >> mr. chairman i ask that her words be taken down. >> i reclaim my time. >> mr. chairman, i ask that her words when she's 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. >> it was really strange, laura. what the congresswoman said it was a racist act to have lynn patton stand up there. and later in that exchange between meadows and elijah cummings, ultimately talib apologized said i didn't mean if you thought i was calling you gu a racist, that's not what i meant. >> i'm surprised she retracted it because what she said was quite clear and what she said had some foundations that malik
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was speaking about. what better way to combat an accusation of racism than to bring somebody out in a stereo typical fashion he doesn't hate black people, he knows one, he hired one, he has friends of one. i don't know why congressman meadows thought that was an appropriate tactic to use. what did it did was overexemplify when cohen came back to say the truth in reality is who he has hired in the long run. how many executives are black in the trump organization in the assistance zero. that was left out there lingering. and this farce that no black person has had a racist or ideologies or anything else belies the entire history of america. it's why there are so many diversity initiatives across fortune 500 companies across all spectrums because race say very, very polarizing yet existing occurrence in america. the idea that, no, no, no one has ever worked for nor would,
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perhaps it's that she's up aware that people like michael cohen who has had a more intimate relationship with him and he offered some thoughts and advice about that. >> michael cohen talked about the disgraceful things that he had heard, joe, donald trump say, maybe even president trump when he was president say that he felt were racist and sure sounded racist. so there was all of that. i mean, it was just very interesting yesterday to here michael cohen who, as you said, wanted to unburden himself, seemed as though this was ka 4 cathartic for him. these are sensitive topics that end up getting heated. >> i think michael cohen on a number of subjects was doing a public service. he was laying out information that the public has wanted to know about financial fraud, about all the other things. this, to me, appeared a little bit gratuitous. i think this was he wanted to hurt the president.
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and these are legitimate issues. the president has a long history of racism, you know, the central park five, his first big deals in business were sanctioned by the justice department. you know, charlottesville, all of that. i think there was a little bit of a generational thing going on there. some of the younger members, african-american members talking to an will ore white guy who thinks i can just trot out. and i want to leave you with one thing on mark meadows. i'm not going to call him a racist but is he a birther. he did subscribe and accuse president obama of not being born in the united states and y underlying that i entire attack was racism. >> cohen was associated with a lot of this. it had nothing to do with the matter at hand. think had they focused more on the investigations to come, those questions from aoc were the best ones because they open the door into what's to come. that would have been more effective rather than calling
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him a con man and a racist. >> i don't fault the members for pushing back on what meadows did. >> sure. >> but i think this was less relevant to the hearing and had more do with michael cohen trying to get one last shot in at the president. >> all ryight, friends, thank yu very much. we'll come back to this. we're going to speak to two lawmakers who did question michael cohin colluding rashida tlaib was in the middle of that. and also katy hill who moved the ball forward in terms of the president's involvement in potential criminal activity while he was in office. >> okay. michael cohen also linked president trump to campaign finance crimes. how big of a problem is that? you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills?
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president trump's former lawyer michael cohen in one of the most dramatic and perhaps important moments of his testimony suggested that president trump while he was president of the united states was involved in committing campaign finance crimes. listen to this.
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>> this $35,000 check was one of 11 check installments that was paid throughout the year while he was president. other checks to reimburse me for the hush money payments were signed by donald trump jr. and alan weisselberg. >> what he's talking about is this check, a copy of which i'm holding in my hand right now, written to michael cohen by donald trump on august 1st, 2017, while donald trump was president of the united states. this was part of the hush money, according to michael cohen and frankly federal prosecutors, used to pay off stormy daniels. joining me now is larry noble. he previously served as general counsel for the election commission and is a cnn contributor. larry, i'm thrilled to have you with us to help understand the laws that prosecutors, federal prosecutors say were broken here. first, by get to michael cohen, just remind us in 20 seconds or less what laws did michael cohen plead guilty to breaking in terms of campaign finance?
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>> well, he pled guilty to i believe making excessive contribution and also conspiracy, i believe it was. and so it was -- it was all related to this making of the contribution, make of the payoff to stormy daniels. and so, yeah, it was -- i'm trying to think. and so it was -- it was a conspiracy to -- to make an illegal contribution and it was a conspiracy for failure to report the contributions. >> and what was new yesterday was hearing from michael cohen's own lips that he talked to donald trump every step of the way when he was negotiating these payoffs to stormy daniels. why is that significant? >> well, it's significant. if you go back a year, donald trump was denying that he knew anything about these payments. they were saying that michael cohen just -- michael cohen was saying a year ago that he just did this because he was donald trump's lawyer and this is the type of thing a lawyer does for his clients.
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what this shows, in fact, donald trump was involved from the very beginning. michael cohen testified yesterday that donald trump told him to use his home equity line of credit, and that donald trump was involved in the actual paying back of michael cohen for the money he used to pay stormy daniels. so donald trump is very much involved in it. we now have proof that donald trump is very much involved in it. and also he was involved in putting together the scheme to hide the money. and the reason that's important is for this to be a criminal violation of the campaign finance laws, it has to be a knowing and willful violation. that means you have to have known what you were doing was illegal. one of the things that is evidence of a knowing and willful violation is efforts to hide what wur doing. it was very clear from michael cohen's testimony that the whole goal in donald trump of doing this was to hide his involvement with paying stormy daniels. >> that's right, it come from a home equity loan from michael cohen. donald trump, michael cohen testified, didn't want his own fingerprints on it or his own
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signature on it directly and then breaking up the payments over time helps mask that. we also, we don't have to take michael cohen's word for it that the president knew he was involved in this. we've heard him on tape discussing the payoffs here, so we know the president knew. knowledge of needs to be happening here, knowledge of breaking the law needs to happen here, and also proof that it was just for campaign purposes. and, again, it's the timing here that matters so much, larry. >> right. absolutely. you know, if this payment had happened before donald trump was running for president, you know, it would be a very different issue. even if he was paying off stormy daniels way before he decided to run for president and continued to pay her off, it might be a different issue. but what's really remarkable about this is that he didn't decide to really pay her off until right before the election. and this is at a time when donald trump's treatment of women was a very big issue. there was the billy bush tape that was out and i think they were very concerned about how this would look and all of a sudden it becomes imperative for
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them to pay off stormy daniels. so you have the direct connection to the election. >> as someone who has been in the campaign finance field for some time and been involved with investigations like this, when you saw a copy of this check this that was fwlwritten in aug of 2017, while donald trump was president of the united states, i want to know what your first reaction was? >> my first reaction had is hard evidence of a campaign finance violence. it does not say on memo line of the check to pay off stormy daniels or does not say contribution. but what we have here is hard evidence that donald trump knew about the payoffs, he authorized the payoffs. we have donald trump's signature on a check. so this is really concrete evidence that frankly supports the narrative. one of the things that you have going on here is a narrative about what happened, why did this happen? and michael cohen is telling a story about what happened here. and what supports the story is these checks. he can explain why these checks were paid and the fact that this went on through the presidency is also significant because it shows that this is something
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that donald trump kept involved with and it's something that he felt was important to make sure that this all stayed silent. there's also another issue that i wondered about listening to the testimony, is cohen says that trump which explaining why the checks were late coming to michael cohen said something about it was hard to get through or took time to get it through the white house. i'm not sure how much they used government resources to try to get these checks to michael cohen which could be a different problem. also at the same time they talk about trump organization people, was he willberg being involved in this, donald trump jr. being involved in this and cohen may have very well implicated these people. >> he may have involved other people or fingered other people in possibly illegal activity campaign finance. lawyers may want to look at that and congress may want to look at it as well. larry nobles, thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you. michael cohen is back on capitol hill today for more testimony, this time behind closed doors. what more can he reveal? that's next. ♪ tear up ticket. find the cat. [ meowing ] mittens!
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all right. new this morning, what exactly is under investigation? michael cohen dropped a huge hint saying that federal prosecutors in new york are investigating other unspecified criminal activity involving the president. >> 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's currently being looked at by the southern district of new york. >> joining us now, jennifer rogers and ellie, both former prosecutors. ellie, really? that's interesting. >> i had the same reaction, john. i perked up with i heard that. the way he was asked the question was very broad. is there any other investigation has no wrongdoing ninkt that's the biggest takeaway for those trying to figure out what's coming next. we know not only that the southern district is engaged, we knew that, but that cohen continues to actively assist them. another interesting and related
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thing that we learned and theorized about and michael cohen confirmed yesterday is that he's trying to get further sentencing relief. we call it rule 35. and what that says is that a prosecutor can go back to the judge after sentencing and say this person has given us additional cooperation and so we ask you to reduce his sentence further. it's somewhat rare, i probably did it five, ten times in my career. but it does happen and michael cohen said yesterday that's what he's going for. it makes sense when you look at him postponing his sur rend egg date to prison. he is heavily incentivized to get that benefit and to be truthful. >> back to the southern district of new york, jennifer. didn't we know there were ongoing investigations? why is that a bombshell? >> we did know there was other investigations, but the fact that he's saying there's other things that i can't talk about. but what we didn't hear yesterday was about the trump organization investigations. i think that there's all sorts of looking into corporate malfeasance there, tax fraud,
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bank fraud, accounting fraud, personal issues with donald trump, again, bank fraud he brought those financial statements yesterday, tax fraud, insurance fraud we heard about. so all of this is fair game. and then of course we all know that there are kind of corollary investigations in d.c. and new york which could be pardon proof which a big deal. >> off of this is outside mueller world to an extent. the sdny investigation and the state and city investigations they go on even after the mueller report comes out next week. ellie, in another exchange michael cohen was asked directly when the last time he spoke to either the president or people connected to the president or white house was and he said about two months after the raid on his home and hotel room. but he couldn't talk about that conversation because it might be connected to the various investigations. and that's the one that i find truly confounding. i can't figure out what that might be about. >> yeah, again, i was trying to work that one through. it could be that it's somehow related to what the southern district's doing. could be related to what mueller's doing.
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it's unclear how they set the ground rules for this and who was responsible for policing it. my first reaction it must go to obstruction of justice. i don't know why that would be off limits. but if you look at the timing of that conversation and the search warrant having just been done and then the president wants this conversation, that would be my best guess as to what that was about. >> it was interesting, jennifer, to hear him talk about the trump foundation and he was involved in doing sketchy things with charity money which, of course, is illegal. so my question is dd, today he appears behind closed doors house intel committee and can he reveal more to them because it's behind closed doors or does he still not want to give up what he's helping with the sdny? >> prosecutors don't love it because congress leaks like a sieve. so even when it's behind closed doors stuff will still get out. but he will be more free to talk and they shouldn't be disclosing details of an ongoing investigation. i do think he will be able to be
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more forthcoming and he'll be able to answer what was your last meeting about, what was discussed, get into more details an things he wouldn't talk about and at least defiant scope of what define the scope of what's going on. you said there's other investigations that you wouldn't be willing to talk about. i think he will have to answer those questions. >> can michael cohen do interviews and say anything in public before may 6th? this was testimony but there are a lot of questions that maybe with direct efforts jed could have revealed more information. is interest a second chance for people to get those answers? >> there's nothing to prevent him from doing interviews. but having been a prosecutor if someone is cooperating and trying to get an additional benefit, i would tell them no more public statements, no more pr tour, no more lan did i davis leading you around. if there's something you want to talk about, run it by us first. if it's an official proceeding then go ahead, but no freelancing anymore. >> all right ellie, jenn fer, thank you very much.
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thanks for our international watching for your cnn talk is next. and for our u.s. viewers, we have more on the u.s./north korean summit. new day continues right now. >> we thought it wasn't a good thing to be signing anything. >> president trump and kim jong-un wrapd wrappped up their sum mout mitt without any agreement. >> i think he should get some credit to being willing to walk away here. >> he lied a lot. having a fake hearing like that in the middle of this very important summit is really a terrible thing. >> do you believe that the president committed a crime while in office? >> it appears that he did. >> how long did you work in the white house? >> i never worked in the white house. >> that's the point, isn't it, mr. cohen? >> this is new day with alisyn camerota and john berman. all right. good morning, everyone. we do have some breaking news. welcome to your new day. we begin with breaking news because a lot has happened overnight. if you're just waking up, president trump is now on his way back to the

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