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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  February 28, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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we are back.
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you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. for the past couple of days, michael cohen has been a fixture in washington, d.c. shuttling between the house and the senate while giving congress and up close look at his decade working at the trump tower empire. cohen finishes testifying before the house intelligence committee and while he may be behind closed doors today, koeb is clearly still top of mind for his former boss who took a moment to weigh in on this whole spectacle in vietnam with kim jong-un. >> 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 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 impress that had 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.
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>> democratic congressman questioned michael cohen yesterday. welcome. good to have you on. >> thank you. good to be here. >> so from all that you heard during that testimony, what do you consider an indisputable crime? >> well, there was a couple of things obviously that we touched on in the committee hearing. there clearly seems to be evidence that the president knew about these emails being released ahead of time, so i think that's an area of inquiry that needs to be pursued. there's clearly some concern about how the testimony that michael cohen put together before his appearance before the intelligence committee when he lied to congress, how that came together, who knew about it at the white house and obviously these hush payments to stephanie
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clifford, aka, stormy daniels, where he brought documentary evidence. i think what michael cohen did yesterday -- and i thought his testimony was pretty compelling just because i can't at this point think of any reason why he would lie, what he has to gain at this point by lying, he just put more information on the table and we now have the oversight machinery working in the house of representatives which was not the case a few months ago before democrats got the gavel, so we're in a position to follow-up on some of his testimony and do further inquiry and investigation and as the chairman said, get to the truth. >> i jotted down potential and disputable crimes, the testimony in which he lied and the conversations he may have had ahead of time on that and the hush money but what i didn't hear you mention is the inflating or deflating of his money. so in your view, if that is
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corroborated, should president trump be perfectrosecuted for b fraud? >> those potential instances or issues of fraud or other ones that we'll look at. we don't want to get ahead of ourselves here. i want to say again, it's only just now because we have the oversight capacity and authority in the congress to really do this job well that we can get moving on these various lines of inquiry, so we need to do this in a very deliberate and steady way so that wherever it takes us we have confidence that we've arrived in the right place in terms of what the remedy should be. >> listening to michael cohen yesterday as well, he dropped a lot of names and so my question to you is, who specifically do you think should be summoned to your committee now to testify? >> again, i don't want to prejudge that. the committee is going to pull
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together all of the information from yesterday and actually they're going to compare that to evidence that's already been collected from other witnesses, other documents, other subpoenas and other kinds of things out there and they'll judge who are the best people to bring in to corroborate some thing, to potentially contradict it, et cetera. so this was really a first step in this oversight responsibility that we have, an important first step and an important first witness to bring forward because he obviously has a lot of knowledge about how the trump operation functions, what trump world looks like, et cetera, so he gave the committee i think some important information that we can now build on going forward. >> great. congressman, thank you so much for weighing in here. just in case there was any doubt inside that hearing room and elsewhere about what donald trump knew and when, michael cohen did his best to eliminate
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them. >> nothing at the trump organization was ever done unless it was run through president trump, correct? >> that's 100% certain. >> both former federal prosecutors in new york, so ladies, good to have both of you on. let's get to it. obviously cohen was talking a lot about the trump businesses, cnn has learned multiple hill committees will be splitting up the various crimes that cohen alleged. i mentioned with the congressman this information about inflating or deflating the income and could that constitute bank or tax fraud. where is he most exposed? >> i think you're on the right track. to me what was most compelling and interesting is the inflation and deflation of the same asset depending on who the audience is and that typically leads to a filing of a false submission, an application or something that can't be crossed examined and i would expect prosecutors to be trying to find those inconsistencies among his records and his public filings
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going forward. >> same question to you. >> yeah. i think she's exactly right. i think alexandria ocasio-cortez laid out a nice road map -- >> whoever is helping, the way she maps it out is perfect. >> it was so nice. the prosecutors to hear concise questioning. she laid out this road map of not only what type of documents they want but other witnesses. that's where the concern is for the president and people in his orbit. it's not necessarily what michael cohen said but these other people that are going to be called in -- >> that's why i was asking the congressman. there were a number of names mentioned, including even the president's own son having signed one of those checks paying back the hush money, according to michael cohen. >> when you have corporate executives that commit fraud, it's often very hard to pin it on the top executive because they're insulated and they have other people below them and they can say i don't know what he was doing. >> totally. >> when you have a family owned privately held close corporation with a small inner circle, i
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think you can expect there will be a lot of pressure on that inner circle. >> yeah. this morning the chairman of the oversight committee said his panel will look into trump's role in the hush money payments but trump is president, so how would he even be prosecuted? what would that look like? >> we can say with some degree of confidence now that it's not likely that the president is going to be indicted for these crimes. the doj policy, while it's not written in the constitution, i think that that has stood the test of time for a while now and we can safe to say he won't be indicted. however, congress does have the authority if they feel like they have enough evidence that the president committed some kind of high crime or misdemeanor to move forward with some sort of impeachment proceeding. i don't know that we're there yet. cohen's testimony was one data point in that analysis or one little building block as they're trying to put together a case to see if they actually have the goods. >> yeah. allen weisselberg, a name we
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heard over and over. cfo in trump org. he has immunity with cohen but cohen told investigators weisselberg was involved in discussions on how to pay the hush money. this is what the chairman said after the hearing yesterday. >> mr. chairman, what do you -- >> allen weisselberg allen weisselberg, donald trump jr., weisselberg, will you talk to them? >> yeah, we probably will. there are certain areas we've got to be careful with because special counsel and southern district of new york and others have basically said that there are things that they're looking in to. there are a number of areas that we couldn't even get into and didn't get into that they're looking in to. this is -- i think that there are still a number of shoes to drop. >> so on the number of shoes to drop, right, and so many people obviously have been making such
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a huge deal about mueller and potential collusion but really isn't this about finances, sdny -- >> it's about new york. >> it's about new york. >> absolutely. maybe trump can't be prosecuted but the trump organization can be and it derives its liability for any crimes from the people who act within it, so that's well within the prospects i think for the southern district or the attorney general of new york. >> are you surprised and i know allen weisselberg allen weisselberg presumably maybe he's giving them all they need and they don't need to raid trump world, would it surprise you they haven't done that? >> they've gotten a lot of documents in some sort of cooperative way, they subpoenaed a lot of things. just because there haven't been fbi raids at the crack of dawn -- >> doesn't mean they're not getting a lot. >> exactly. much more to discuss including michael cohen's claim that he fears president trump would never allow a peaceful transition of power if he loses
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in 2020, but first no deal in north korea. president trump walks away from kim jong-un without signing any agreements. north korea laid out new terms that would bring them back to the table. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. what makd the best simple salad ever? great tasting, heart-healthy california walnuts. so simple, so good. get the recipes at walnuts.org. you might or joints.hing for your heart... but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish, prevagen has been shown in clinical trials to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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the most common side effect is bone and muscle ache. if you'd rather be home, ask your doctor about neulasta onpro. pay no more than $5 per dose with copay card. sometimes you have to walk. that's the word from president trump leaving vietnam earlier than expected and without reaching a deal with kim jong-un. president trump and the north korean leader had a scheduled signing ceremony for earlier today but the president was advised to walk away when kim demanded the removal of all sanctions levied against pyongyang. >> basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do
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that. they were willing to de-nuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn't give up all of the sanctions for that. you always have to be prepared to walk. i could have signed an agreement today and then you people would have said, oh, what a terrible deal, what a terrible thing you did. no, you have to be prepared to walk. >> north korea's foreign minister just held this rare news conference claiming kim only wanted partial lifting of sanctions. cnn political analysis josh rogan is a columnist over at "the washington post." josh, all right, so that's how north korea's seeing it now, but a lot of people are calling this a loss or a failure for the u.s., but speaker pelosi actually said she's glad trump walked away. how do you see it? sigh of relief that nothing, no crazy concessions were made? >> the way i see it, this collapse of the trump/kim summit was a clear win for kim jong-un and a clear failure for the trump administration's diplomatic effort. set aside for one second the
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fact that the u.s. and north korea can't even agree on what they disagreed on. they don't even have a story that matches about what just happened, the bottom line is that no matter what the north koreans wanted from us, the only thing they were willing to give us was the destruction of this one facility, like an old decaying facility that they'll have to get rid of any way -- >> not to mention they're entire nuclear arsenal that they still have. >> right. they weren't willing to put anything on the table that showed the real sincerity for denuclearization and, of course, trump had to walk away. he's right. it would have been a very terrible deal but it's not as if, you know, a failure of a summit of this kind is just a wash or draw. time is on north korea's side and what they get is an extension of this process and meanwhile, while we try to figure out what to do next, they'll keep increasing their missile capability and kim jong-un gets to parade around the world with his new
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international legitimacy. you might even suspect that's exactly what he wanted. a failure for summit is good for them and bad for us. >> what about the fact that we've been reporting that president trump's advisers warned him that a deal was unlikely and even former diplomat in north korea says that this speaks to a lack of preparation. do you agree? >> it wasn't for a lack of trying. trump officials including spent weeks trying to get the north koreans to show a little bit more leg and do a little bit more and the idea was that trump and kim would get into this room and bridge the gaps based on trump's personal charisma. how did that work out? we're told constantly by the trump administration that this north korea policy has failed, we got to try a new approach, top down based on personal relationships. okay, now we've tried that twice, all right, it's not working. it's time to recognize that and maybe change our approach a little bit. if north korea's not going to denuclearize, there are other things we can do. it's not a choice between war
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and this negotiation as some say. there's another path which is to increase the pressure to contain them and to deter them with our allies and the longer we wait to do that, the harder it is. >> what's next? >> well, secretary of state pompeo assures everyone progress is being made. he won't tell anyone what he's talking b. they could continue to make progress on sending the phil harmonic to pyongyang, none of that really means anything. the trump administration doesn't seem like they're out of effort yet. they'll keep going and keep trying to make this grand bargain with kim jong-un that he doesn't seem interested in, right. he doesn't seem to buy into the fact that you can get a mcdonald's in pyongyang if he just gives up all his stuff. we'll have to wait longer for this to probably fail and then we'll have to move to a different policy and hopefully that policy will be better
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coordinated than the one we're seeing right now. >> i have one more question for you. this just came in. the north korean vice foreign minister just referred to kim jong-un negotiating with trump, here's the quote. i have felt that he may have lost the will to negotiate. he being president trump. i felt that he may have lost the will -- kim jong-un lost the will to negotiate. >> right. they're playing to trump's investment in this process. for president trump there's a political benefit to this. he wants to run on being a peacemaker. he's invested in this. he's in a love affair with kim jong-un and what they're doing is they're threatening to walk away because that's good leverage, right, and what's president trump's doing, he's not threatening to walk away. he's promising to stay at the table. it's just another example of the north koreans playing us for fools, okay, and us just going along with it and, you know, that's smart of them but bad for us and our security for us and the region. >> josh rogan, you were
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excellent on this. good to have you on. coming up next, an apology for virginia's governor's office but this time it's from the first lady for handing out cotton to at least one african-american child on a tour of a slave cottage. what was going on there? r in yo, coke, dr pepper and pepsi hear you. we're working together to do just that. bringing you more great tasting beverages with less sugar or no sugar at all. smaller portion sizes, clear calorie labels and reminders to think balance. because we know mom wants what's best. more beverage choices, smaller portions, less sugar. balanceus.org
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virginia state employee and
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outraged mother claims the state's first lady, pamela northam handed out cotton to her daughter and other african-american children on a governor's mansion tour and asking them to imagine being slaves, being handed cotton in the field. all this comes as her husband ralph northam refuses to resign. the first lady has responded. let me say what her side of this is. i have provided the same educational tour to executive mansion visitors over the last few months and used a variety of artifacts with the intention of illustrating a painful period of virginia history. i regret that i have upset anyone. the governor's office insists the cotton was distributed to everyone, not just the black children in the group, but to everyone and the first lady's office says it is offered to apologize to the mother of the page but hasn't heard back. phillip, we talked about
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governor northam and first things first, you know this outraged mom who's making this claim. have you spoken with her? tell me what you know. >> no, i haven't spoken with her. i know her. we met with her on several occasions dealing with issues involving equity in virginia school system. it's interesting she's a very well-educated person and if she has a concern with this, then it must be saying something. >> there are as we pointed out, there are multiple versions of this story, right, and first of all, have you ever been on one of these governor mansion slave cottage tours, has this cotton handing out bit been done before? can you shed some light on that? >> i guess it has been from what they say but what's interesting is that, why would you use cotton when everyone knows the big product in virginia was tobacco. it's just -- you would think, they're so tone deaf that they don't seem to get that they're
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being watched very closely and to continue in this direction, this was a layup. if you can miss this layup here, what are you going to do when it comes to real policies affecting african-americans. >> so you and i have talked about governor northam and it was -- i don't know -- a couple weeks ago that crazy news conference when his wife actually had the sense to stop her own husband from what appeared to be moon walking when he was talking about dressing in blackface as michael jackson. this was in february. let's just remind everyone. >> are you still able to moonwalk? >> inappropriate circumstance. >> my wife says inappropriate circumstances. >> so she said that was inappropriate, again. her office, the governor's office insists the first lady did not single out the black kids and one other parent in the group confirmed that to "the washington post" so would handing out cotton to every child in the group make it any
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better? >> no. it doesn't make sense to even be in that -- going in that direction when you can't get basic facts on whether the first african-americans arrived were slaves or indigent servants. this is why we believe that the governor should resign. if we can't solve the issue -- if you can't get it right at the governor's mansion, how can we solve issues in other places like in my county where we had the runaway slave game at a school. it makes it hard to address these when the people at the top continue to do these things. they both dressed up as antebellum persons in halloween and he played his favorite slave holding governor during halloween and she had on her assorted dress too for which the naacp did chastise them on but it just shows a level of tone deafness that makes us wonder, why is this guy still the governor of the state of
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virginia. >> phillip, thank you. the top republicans in michael cohen's public hearing have now asked the department of justice to investigate trump's former lawyer for perjury. we'll discuss with john kasich. -i call it my comfortable future plan. -it's our confident forever plan. -welcome to our complete freedom plan. -it's all possible with a cfp professional. ♪ -find your certified financial planner™ professional at letsmakeaplan.org. -find your certified financial planner™ professional thanksmrs. murphy. unitedhealthcare, hi, i need help getting an appointment with my podiatrist. how's wednesday at 2? i can't. dog agility. tuesday at 11? nope. robot cage match.
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breaking news now. a resolution on venezuela proposed by the u.s. that calls for presidential elections and deliversies of aid has failed at
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the united nation. the russian ambassador in the room criticizing the u.s., accusing the trump administration of seeking regime change as the country is embroiled in a power crisis. that's happening more as we get that. michael cohen's lawyer is firing back after two republican congressmen say that cohen committed perjury when he testified before the house oversight committee. trump allies, jim jordan and mark meadows have referred cohen to the department of justice for possible criminal prosecution. they say cohen wasn't truthful on several points including cohen saying he never desired to work in the trump white house. cohen's attorney says the move is, quote, a sad misuse of the criminal justice system with the aura of pure partisanship. here is the congressman talking about that hearing. >> this is -- this is step one in the democrats crazy efforts
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to impeach the president of the united states and the best they could come up with, the best they could come up with is a guy who is going to prison in two months for lying to congress. >> cnn senior political commentator john kasich is the former republican of ohio and former republican presidential candidate. a pleasure. >> before we get into the cohen thing, russia vetoes the resolution at the u.n. people are starving in venezuela. this is one place where the administration has it right trying to put pressure on. we have a huge coalition of people that want to change the government in venezuela to set the people free and the russians veto it at the u.n. >> thank you for that. i wanted to start with you just on michael cohen in just looking at members of your party yesterday. >> right. >> did a lot of, you know, liar, liar pants on fire. >> right. >> but not a lot of -- >> what do you really know? >> digging in to find out what's true and what's not? >> why not?
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>> everything is so partisan now that i think that if you're a republican sitting up there, you're afraid to ask the question because then you become a skunk at the republican party. >> even if you're on the side of seeking the truth. >> that's what it seems like to me. it's such a different time. when i was in the congress and we did investigations in defense where we saw the marines blown up in lebanon, we had to have tough questions. this is like, i'm a republican therefore i can't ask the administration tough questions. some people there, probably really believe that cohen has no credibility, that the democrats should never have called that hearing, but at the same time if you're on that committee, i think you want to acquit yourself by saying, let's get to some of the facts here but they didn't do it. this is where we live today and it's really amazing. >> do you -- you can't listen to just michael cohen, right? it's this whole big picture collectively and if what some of what cohen said is corroborated by other key players here, do
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you think this warrants action against a sitting president? >> well, here's what we are learning today and i think cohen said this yesterday, that there are investigations going on the -- >> elijah cummins said other shoes to drop. >> i don't know how many investigations you're going to have. you got the southern district and we're all waiting for mueller to see what he brings forward. >> if and when it is corroborated, does that warrant actions against a sitting president? >> let's see what we have. in other words, i'm not really great into speculation. people wanted me to speculate about the korean summit last night. i need to see it and know -- if you want to be really gone tv, you do a lot of speculating, but i'm not a speculator. i want to do a good job and we'll see what we have. you know what i hope? >> what? >> i hope there's not all these threads that fit together, but if they do, this is terrible problems for the president and terrible problems for our country. >> the other question is,
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something else that stands out is cohen's remark -- >> one other thing. one other thing. what's amazing to me is the resilience of republicans and their ability to put their heads in the sand in regard to donald trump and his activities. >> if and when something eventually happens, they can't do that. >> i don't know what they're going to do because a lot of times -- i talk to these republicans, well, my 401(k)'s better or, you know, we're richer and he's been a good president and all that and in the meantime, think about how how much this country has been hurt, attacks on the basic institutions in this country, the fbi, the press. i got to tell you, brooke, these are kind of nuances for a lot of people. we follow it all the time but a lot of people don't follow this. and they're like, my life is okay, i'm working, i have money and it's just people wanting to pick on him and that's where a lot of republicans live. with the cohen testimony, how many republicans that have been sitting on the fence finally say
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after that, i've had enough. that's what we'll have to see in these polls and the politics of this. >> stay with me. i have more from you. i want to ask about the statement from the president. you mentioned speculating or not last night on this summit in north korea. he says he believes kim jong-un when he says he didn't know that otto warmbier abouts tortured, the warmbiers from your home state of ohio. >> that's crazy. >> hang on. it is not the first time president trump has taken the word of a dictator. what makes this simple salad the best simple salad ever? great tasting, heart-healthy california walnuts. so simple, so good. get the recipes at walnuts.org. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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all right. as the president heads back home to washington from his second
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summit with kim jong-un, i can't help but think of the family of otto warmbier, an american college student who was captured an imprisoned in north korea for more than a year and when he was returned home to his parents, he had severe brain damage. he was in a coma and died days later and warmbier's parents were guests of the president at his 2018 state of the union address. >> you're a powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world and your strength truly inspires us all. thank you very much. thank you. >> tonight we pledge to honor otto's memory with total american resolve. we need only look at the depraved character of the north korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to america and to our
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allies. >> but when the president came face-to-face with kim jong-un in vietnam, he gave him a pass, even defending him. >> he felt badly about it. i did speak to him. he felt very badly. he knew the case very well but he knew it later and, you know, you got a lot of people. big country. lot of people. and in those prisons and those camps, you have a lot of people and some really bad things happened to otto, some really, really bad things. >> why are you -- >> but he tells me, he tells me that he didn't know about it and i will take him at his word. >> so he takes kim jong-un at his word, he sides with vladimir putin about russian involvement in the 2016 election, he believes the saudi crown prince about the murder of journalist jamal khashoggi and i was honored to speak with the warmbier parents just months after his death and they unequivocally hold one man responsible. >> using the term coma for
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otto's condition is completely unfair. otto had severe brain damage. otto was systematically tortured and intentionally injured by kim jong-un and his regime and this was no accident. >> how has it been explained to you what north korea did? when you say torture, what did they do? do you know? >> no. >> north korea doesn't even acknowledge -- they considered it a humanitarian gesture sending otto home. his teeth looked like they had been rearranged with a pair of pliers. you can only look at the evidence. a perfectly healthy young american visiting there, an innocent young american comes home with severe brain damage but it's not like it happened and they shipped him home immediately. it's a year later. these people are terrorists, kim
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and his regime intentionally injured otto. >> nobody should go there ever. nobody needs to go there. it was legal. he went with a tour group. nobody needs to go there, you know. "the wall street journal" just went there. they show you what they want you to see, so why are we playing into this? why do we play into this at all any more? i mean, i don't want to see anyone else hurt or taken. >> mr. and mrs. warmbier i am thinking especially of you today and governor kasich, i know you are too. they're from ohio. >> i just can't believe what the president said. i mean, i'm -- sometimes i don't have the words to describe some of the shock that i see when i listen and here's -- here's the thing. to think that -- that kim jong-un did not know about otto warmbier -- no, he doesn't have many american. they're used as pawns.
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bill richardson who created a relationship with north korea, somebody i was in touch with at the very beginning of this whole thing, he would tell you, i believe he would tell you that they know exactly what they're doing in regard to american and to say that i talked to this guy and there's lots of things happening in the country but he didn't know -- >> he didn't know about it and i will take him at his word. >> it's beyond outrageous and, brooke, think about if your own son or daughter went on a trip and then they just disappeared and they sent him back and he -- you don't know where he is the whole time. there's no communication. the state department didn't always know or at least didn't tell people what was going on and at the end he comes home and basically -- >> he isn't himself. >> -- he's brain dead. the parents have to go through this excruciating situation that remains today because it wasn't that long ago and then you have the president saying, well, i
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kind of think he didn't know any better and he felt terrible about it. it's implausible to me and how you can do that, how you could agree with that. >> not only does he agree with kim jong-un, he agrees with vladimir putin, duterte, mbs. why? >> the only thing -- i can't get in his head on these things and i'm not here to spend my time bashing trump. you have to tell things as you see them and that's what i do here when i work at cnn. but you can't sell human rights down the river. you can't trade something that is bad, hoping you're going to get something good. life doesn't work that way. he should have said, are you kidding me? i want you to release all these prisoners. human rights problems in korea, it's one of the worst places on the face of the earth. maybe he thinks he's going to
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get a better deal. maybe that's his way of getting the art of the deal. here is what i -- first of all, thank god whoa didn't get a bad deal out of north korea. that's what a lot of people are saying. secondly, how can you go there when you don't already have it pretty well accomplished? you don't send the president over there to negotiate from the seat of his pants. they walk away. they don't have much. what about china now? we're in the middle of these trade negotiations. what happens with the china negotiations? what happens to the leadership in south korea? everything now has been set back because of this. this summit should never have happened until they were close to an agreement and then add to this this whole story, the human interest story of the warmbier story, otto himself. it's a terrible story. >> agree. one last one, this has nothing to do with president trump and everything to do with the virginia governor. as a governor, the virginia governor, embroiled in this
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whole thing of the black face photo, admitting to black face years ago and moonwalking at a press conference until his wife stopped him. his wife now is -- there is a black eighth grader in virginia who she says, according to her mom, was handed cotton by the first lady as she was going on these governor mansion slave cottage tours and the governor's office is saying no, no, no, we're handing out cotton to everyone, no matter the color of your skin. >> i think they're tone deaf. i don't know what they're thinking and i don't know what the democrats are going to do in virginia. they've got a problem with the governor, lieutenant governor and with the attorney general. do you know what i think they're really afraid of? >> what's that? >> they all go down you're going to have a republican governor. we've seen politics on the other side. look at the democrats in
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virginia. you know, this is why, brooke, we have to realize the great hope for america is that the real change that comes comes from the bottom up. i'll give you a perfect example. the kids in florida at parkland changed florida. had they waited for the politicians, they would be waiting for 100 years, which they were almost waiting for. the hope is in us. we have the pressure. we can get things done. >> let's end on the positive. governor, pleasure. >> thank you, brooke. thank you. breaking news out of israel today. president benjamin netanyahu has just reacted to being indicted.
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a major blow to israel's prime minister benjamin neta netanyahu. the prime minister is denying any wrongdoing. live in jerusalem, oren l lieberman. >> reporter: a major blow to the prime minister 5 1/2 weeks before the election or so. two of the smaller cases known as 1,000 and 2,000, the attorney general says he intends to indict the prime minister on a charge of breach of trust. that's a smaller charge relatively speaking. case 4,000, the attorney general says it will be charged as bribery and breach of trust. in that case, investigators say netanyahu gave regulatory
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benefits of $300 million to his friend, a wealthy businessman and in exchange he received coverage in a favorable light. he fought back calling this political persecution and that the attorney general only made this decision because of media pressure and pressure on the left. they couldn't beat him in the polls so they had to take down his right-wing government like this. he calls it unfair that he won't have a chance to have his hearing, which he is entitled to, until after the election. therefo therefore, he calls it an undemocratic way of changing the government. how soon could the indictment come? it's months away but will certainly loom over netanyahu when he seeks election. can he win this hanging over his head? he has the support of his right-wing coalition partners but if he loses a little bit in the polls to his challenger, it will be very difficult for netanyahu to win another term in
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office. >> oren liebermann, thank you. i'm brooke bolduan. "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. after talks with kim jong-un collapse, the president is on his way back home. and after he shocks us by accepting a dictator's word on the death of an american. >> and michael cohen back on capitol hill after alleging ruthless tactics and schemes that made the man who won the white house. >> another democratic star on the verge of joining the race to face trump, beto o'rourke says he has made up his mind about a 2020 bid. cnn caught up with him. >> welcome to "the lead." i'