tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 1, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PST
this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. michael cohen will return next wednesday. that's after the former fixer answered question for more than seven hours out of the public eye. and there's more. the chairman announcing a public hearing march 14th with felix sader, a russian-born who worked on the trump tower moscow odeal, as the president siding with a dictator again. saying he doesn't hold kim responsible for otto warmbier's death. >> he does feel badly. and he does he doesn't kbroe about it and i'll take him at his word. >> good evening. thank you all for joining us this evening. first, let me ask you about the "new york times."
the president ordered chief of staff john kelly to grant a security clearance to his. son in law, jared kushner. it looked like the president over ruled the recommendation oz of his own intelligence agency. >> we've known for a while kushner had problems. when he filed his initial streak, he didn't put any foreign contacts on it. we learned over the last two years the fbi, cia and others had raised concerns with a number of foreign businessman who were tied into foreign governments and his discretion and ability to keep sookerates. a level of entanglement with foreign concerns that would probably keep any american from getting clearance. at some point last year the president said he's going to have it and the former chief of staff believed he was ordered by
president trump and made surer jared got a clearance. and that don mcgahn wrote a memo saying the same thing. they wrote their own memos outlining the concern and kelly said he believed he was ordered, despite the concern of the fbi, the cia the nsa. >> sorry. i was trying to tell them i need sneeze. so listen, team trump hasn't been very honest about it. >> no, they haven't been very honest. neither has team trump or the people around jared kushner. let's remind folks of when it was announced and lawyers said oh, he's getting his security clearance. they wanted to ask as though thisent with through normal channels and all kind of signs off on it this. and we learned that wasn't the case.
anden the the other thing, let's remind folks is when the president was asked about this by the "new york times" he denied back in january he had any involvement in getting jared kushner his security clearance. >> the president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband's clearance. >> and that was obviously ivanka trump, daughter and wife of jared kushner. and what's significant in all of this is basically what the president did here was he
circumvented the entire process, the intelligence community process by doing something like this. i cantle yo tell you tonight i with someone and they're not happy about this because of obvious reasons. if the president is sort of going to circumvent the process, they feel what the point of having the process? the president is go tag decide leltsz rr do this. this entire process, the president which we see time and time again has been circumvented. >> listen, the president has a right to grant a security clearance, but why lie about it? >> that's the major question here. it really is -- to classify or declassify whatever information he sees fit. as we know he kind of gave the role to his son in law.
he's somebody who would, if he had to fill that role, would need to be able to have access and the president has a right to. so why would you lie about things you already had the power to do? and hammer in the reason why there may have bun concerns. we dont know are the reasons why there may have been security clearance concerns. when you have somebody working so closely with the president unparticular, you want them to engage in behavior to have international compromises. if the nature of the concern is because they thought he could be susceptible to brievry or this is somebody you do not want to have top secret clearance, it's about dismissing genuine concerns by putting someone in the position to be malleable, to maybe a have that ceptable and have the top government secrets.
that's part of the issue and perhaps that's why he lies is because he disregard repeated lathe incommunity. both dont have the ax to grind as one thought about ivanka or jaured kushner. both have concerns the president disar disregarded this. >> they go into everybody you know. they want to know about all your foreign contacts. i know if you want to live unwashington, you've got people come to your house. i've rr sat down and asked are they loyal americans? do you have any reason to doubt their honesty? and that's a lot of frustration for people inside the government who went through this process and it's never really been
explained why is he in the white house? what is his role and expertise and now he's got access to all the secrets? and just disregarded concerns? >> i was kind of dragged a little bit into the michael cohen issue. i interviewed him a number of times. he was never my attorn a. he did apologize for his attorney sawing that in court. and he said to me at least a dozen times that he made the decision payments and he didn't tell you. told me personally. >> he did. and remember this he's an attorney. whatever it decision he makes, i rely on him as an attorney to make a decision. one of the very good republican members said he's supposed to be an attorney. he's out there doing all sorts of things. when you have an attorney,
you're supposed to be able to rely on your attorney. >> here's the problem with that. cohen told the president he was going to make the payment. there's a tape of it. roll it. >> i need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend david. i'm going to do that right away. and i've spoken to allen wug weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with funding -- yes. and itsler the stuff because here you nvr know what -- >> gets hit by a -- >> correct. so i'm all over that. >> what are they talking about? >> look, i'm not a lawyer . it's not what they're talking about making payments to keep play of the story, the stormy daniels story and it sounds like
the president has been fully briefs and knows what's going on? >> did he open up hannity for potentially a meeting in congress? >> oh, you, a conversation with a convicted felon when the president of the united states was nameds as an unindicted co conspirator. this is wonderful. thank you for volenner toing the information. and i have a sound bite to compare it to if you decide to change your story now that you're under oath. absolutely. and they can't have their cake and eat it too. was he your attorney e? was he your attorney? or was he not? either he's my attorney when he talks about the payments. karen mcdougal, nationalen
choirer, etc. because the person is an attorn a doesn't mean he was for the purpose of the actual transaction and that you're immunized by the conversation simply because the person has jrbs it d. was he your attorney or was he not? the privilege is poof, gone and the president's responsible for that. >> and if i can just add. >> quickly. >> despite what sean hannity's saying, moval cohen was his attorney. i was in court when that was announced. the judge forced michael con to tell her that sean hannity was a client. >> and people on that panel will never know. alternative facts and alternative universe. he did it again today. he accepted the word of a
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remarkable moment at the trump/kim summit in evietnam today. president says he believes north korean leader, kim jong-un didn't know about the death of or otto warmbrbs i erbs r. >> it's a big country. lot of people and in these prisons and camps, you have a lot of people and some really bad things happened to otto. some really bad things but he tells me he didn't know about it and i will take him at his word. >> fareed zakaria is here. that is astounding, isn't it? he's taking kim at his word. >> the whole thing is breath taking. here you have a dictator of the
arguably most repressive people. hundreds of thousands of people in prison a camps in like a min a country in north korea. so, yes, there are a lot of people. but it is aen absolot dictatorship. the idea that an marecon would be taken prison and torture without the kbaunl of their leader is inconceivable. and why would you take his word for it? that's part of the bizarre aspect of donald trumpici aspect. donald trump says he takes his word for it. forget about american intelligence but common sns. you have the dictator of one of the most repressive countries in
the world and you take his word that he didn't know about the prominent cosof torturing an american to death? >> from russia, over all of these dictators. does he feel like he's like them? >> i think it's the power. at the root of trump is narcissism. and to watch the people who counterpersonality. he's never said something like angela merkeltles me she thought it was a good idea to take these refugees unand i tabe her for her word. it's only provided to these ducktators. there are very few leaders dof mockeracy he extends that courtesy. and it's breath takingly naive for a guy who's a tough guy a
shrewd guy. you don't extend the benefit of the doubt to the leader of the north korean communist party. >> walked away no deal. what happened? >> i think frankly he dead the right thing in walking away with no deal. why did we get there? my guess is donald trump invested waw too much in the idea of his personal relationship with kim. he signalled he wanted a deal very badly. he scheduled a signing ceremon a and a press conference before the negaucheuations began. so kim probably thought he could ask for a lot and he asked for a relaxation of the illumination of all american sanctions why he was not going to do that much. now at that point, trump, to his credit, probably influnlsed a lot by pompeo and bolton. walked away.
i don't think we would have got to this point if there weren't crazy expectations raised. the thing to remember kim is watching cnn just as trump is. i think he set himself up. kim made a much bigger ask than he would have done. he goes in like every president does in one of these negotiations, you would got a reasonable process that would take much longer. but trump wanted a dramatic quick win but at the end oof the day he did the right thing. >> art of the deal. >> one of the days donald trump should read "the art of the deal." and time and time again don't set yourself up. don't want the deal too much.
if you signal you want the deal too much -- he just needs read that book. >> the book with his name on it at least. we vea special on saudi arobbia coming up. >> it feels like we're at this bizarre moment where the trump administration has invested so much in this one guy and one can country. and just take people back and make them understand whew do we have this crazy relationship with saudi arabia in the first place? united states is the most open democracy in the world and saudi arabia is one of the most closed societies. it's a 75-year-old aluns. there are so many secrets and so many paradoxes. the most open society with the most closed society. they have been our closest
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♪ oh my momma check in from afar with remote access. and have professional monitoring backing you up with xfinity home. demo in an xfinity store, call, or go online today. chairman of the house oversight committee, elijah cummings is suggesting there might be more coming to testify. here's what he said about people mensed in michael cohen's testimony. >> that there were names mentioned, records mentioned during the hearing and we'll bring them in. >> would it be fair then to say if any names come up -- >> they have a good chance to appear before congress. >> that includes the president's children and some of his tauch aids.
the author of "the threat matrix, inside robert mueller's fi fbi and the war on global terror." . you just heard chairman cummings say if a name came up in cohen's testimony, they'll probably be reaching out to them. this is one name that came up over andover again. correct? >> yes. the bottom signature. i believe is adam weisselberg. in the office with me was adam weisselberg. allen weisselberg >> who would know the answers to those with questions? >> adam weisselberg. >> he mensed the chief financial officer more than 20 times.
you think he was laying the groundwork to call allen weisselberg? >> he's one of the key players. this is someone cooperating with federal prosecutors. has immunity in the finance probe. a probe, mind you that the southern district of new york is continuing so they have other investigative targets in mind, likely in that case. and remember this is the trump organization. this is not a super large company. this is a small family business with a small number of senior level executives. and most of them are named trump. one of the few in a position to know everything that was going on in that company not named trump is michael cohen. and one of the few others is
allen wei allen weisselberg. so if you're going to try to figure out what's happening inside the trump organization. and we hear lot about criminal organizations staying two steps afoot. the trump organization might be the first criminal organization keeping three separate books. facebooks for your tax folks, the real books and your other set of fake books that you gussy up for forbes and other organizations to try inflate the idea that donald trump is a successful billionaire. >> ocohen suggested yesterday that he committed a variety of crimes, bank fraud. and we're told he knows where all the financial bodies are buried. >> happy birthday.
it's hard to know. we heard he had an immunity deal and we heard more recently a limited immunity deal. clean for a day immunity which only protects his words from being used against him in the southern district. i would imagine any competent lawyer would have to strike a separate deal with congress. to your point would have a lot of exposure. cohen revealed a smorgs borg of potential crimes. bank fraud, tax fraud, charity fraud, auction fraud. fraud sort of sublime and ridiculous and dare i say weisselberg was right in the middle. yes, he has lot to be concerned about. >> would they get to the bottom of potential crimes like this? >> michael cohen helped them
yesterday. i think one of the over looked aspect of the testimony is of the three of the four documents. he says i don't see collusion. one of them is about trump fighting about the -- the other three are right in the bull's eye of the southern district of new york. they involve deutsche bank, the payments to stormy daniels and -- i wrote it down. the aubz of the portrait of himself which relates to the trump family foundation. those are the three achilles heels of donald trump. we've got to believe the southern district we've already has those key pieces. the national security implications of this are real. this is not just about the trump organization. these falsities made the trump
family vulnerable. collusion orjust a desire to hide this entire network that is based on three different books, who knows. but that kind of false hood is why people who have companies like that don't get security clearance. they're vulnerable. >> let me play this, please. chris christie said >> for folks at the southern district own lathey know what they know. what they're doing building a case for two things. one to go after those around the president who may have committed crimes. and two too, build a case f thaw have one. i don't think they do but they're trueing to build one, against thes for when he leaves office. >> is he right? >> it certainly seems possible. it al
ittall seems possible they're building a case in hopes to move forward while the president is still unoffice. they could put forward a conspiracy indictment. one of the things i think really comes true -- real a came clear out of michael cohen's testimony yesterday is this is looking more and more like racketeering prosecution. the racketeering investigation, a rico case. you have an overlapping group of players. an overlapping group of conspiracies, an overlapping set of crimes. this is not individual instances this is an organization that was involved in corrupt practices from top to bottom on a wide variety of fronts. and there's no office in the country that's better at rico racketeering prosecution than the southern district of new
york which invented it under, wait for it, u.s. attorney rudy -- >> giuliani. interesting. you think that sdny is not as powerful as special counsel? >> i think investigating the president they have less jurisdictional limits and it's much awkward or difficult for them to get their story they can only speak through indictments, as garret was saying. so if thaw can indict the president, that's sitting doj poli policy hoard how thaw can get a report to congress. >> that's got be to the last wrurd. investigations into russian interference are expanding on capitol hill. what to expect next. you've tried moisturizer after moisturizer...
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comes with 100% beef, grilled onions, and two types of melty cheese on toasted sourdough, plus fries and a drink. it's comfort food for the uncomfortable things in life. yep, this guy knows what i'm talking about. try my $4.99 sourdough patty melt combo. michael cohen is heading back to capitol hill. he testified before congress for three days in a row. but law makers think there's more to learn from him. >> i'm committed to telling the truth and i will be a back march 6 tooth finish up. there's more to discuss. >> congresswoman, always a pleasure. the administration officials, including the white house, they're telling pamela brown that they believe the way the special counsel regulations are written will protect the
president from any negative information from being released if he's not charged with a crime. give me your reaction to that. >> clearly i stand on the side of insuring the american people have all the facts they need to know what their president did, when and why. the special counsel report is one that the american people are expecting to see and there are many of us in the united states congress that will join either in a lawsuit or demanding that justice department release the documents if there are confidential or classified matters but to present them to the american people. we will not sit idly by and not allow the special counsel's report in the context it canby presented to be seen, heard and studied by the american peepl and the members of the united states congress. we will simply sthu justice department and the
administration to have that document released. >> let's talk about michael ecohen now. he's come canning back for his fourth day of testimony before congress in just over a week. and year told investigators are expanding. where do you think all of this is heading? >> you know, don, what was shocking to me is a man who spent a good part of the decade with the nofz united states calling him a cheat a con man and a racist. in addition providing real document augz of evidence of bad behavior. the check that came during the actual presidency of donald trump. $35,000. hush money reimbursement well documented. i think looking closely at the testimony given by mr. cohen and information that is going to be gleened from whole series of hearings by the house judiciary committee which i'm on, dealing
with obstruction, issues that are extremely important are really going to provide a road map for what the next steps should be regarding this president. >> i want to talk about the house oversight chair, elijah cummings. he says aftero cohen's testimony, they want to interview close associates and family members. who do you think could be facing the most trouble? >> well with, i certainly think there are persons that have left the white house -- i mean i wouldn't leave out some of the persons that have been fired or left that would be relevant to call. i don't know whether or not there's an intention to bring in family members. i think the trump associates and they are vast, would be the ones that he would be calling on. and anything that's going to be
relevant to the american peep 8, it connects to the cannel pain but it is what kind of behavior is going on in the white house. that is correct. that is the most important. >> i want to ask about your colleague, mark meadows. >> anyone kbhoo knows me knows that there is not racial bone in my body. >> so meadows was respond two videos that emerged showing him to vowing to send then president barack obama home to kenya. now he regrets those comments. it do you agree with those comments that there is not a racist bone in his body? >> want to make this point. i hope he's learned over the past 24 hours from his actions. and i will take the approach that i cannot judge a saint or a sinner. but i can certainly look at bad
acts, bad behavior and buildhavior that should be changed. the brining out of an individual no matter how talented they are. and i have no comment on the administration officials that was brought out. when i looked at that my heart sunk. i could not get my hands around or my mind around the concept of a person standing, not speaking, not being called upon to provide any oral reference to why they were there. is akin to how the master used to call slaves into the dining room to stand. to be there to either show their wealth or to act upon any edesire that they may have had. people who don't understand our history may be incense toov that. and of course some people are
even sense tchb or don't want to hear about there was slave history in the united states. my point would be congressman is yes, he has always shown himself to be nice and i'm not go toing to comment except for the fact that deeds have to be in conjunction with your spirit or your reference of who you are. the action yesterday cannot be defended. and i just hope it is a lesson well earned by congressman meadows and that we can go forward unthat reflection. we are all equal. we deserve the dignity of that equality. >> thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me. have a good evening. >> michael cohen implicating the president during a crime during his testimony. what happens now? when we started our business
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and now for your body... new hydro boost gel cream from neutrogena® michael cohen, yesterday implicated president trump in a crime and did it out loud for all the world to hear. so what happens now? let's discuss with the presidential hustorian. thank you. always a pleasure to see you. he implicated president trump in criminal activity, illegal hush money payments made to porn star stormy daniels and possibly more. what happens now? >> i think it's a myth that we have settled the questions that a sitting president could be indicted. certainly the watergate special prosecution boertd concluded that a sitting president could be indicted and the only reason they didn't was he was already
facing an peachment proceeding and they thought let's let the house decide. if the president is found dpaegs the president presented to a grand jury is such that the president is indictbible, he could be indicted. >> you've got a new spells airing this sunday. let's take a quick look at it. >> i would luke to introduce you to my family. fact is i'd be nothing without them. ure four sons, our daughter, barbara bush >> i can hear you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us too. >> people renoor bush family as a dynasty. that's what it is and what it was. >> i'm running for president of the united states. there's no turning back and i intend to be the next president of the united states.
>> there's my boy. >> so as we gain more distance between each of the bush presidencies, what has time started to reveal about each of these men and how they made their mark on america? >> first thing is they're human beings, they're flawed. as we look back in time we should, i think, ask questions about the grander effect of their decision. in the case of george herbert walker bush, i think with time people will be more and more appreciative of the hard calls he made. he certainly wasn't perfect. the 1989 campaign was quite dreadful. but he understood because of his life of service and i think because of his psychoall, he understood how to handle the collapse of the soviet empire. and secondly he understood that
despite the fact he had promised his base that he would not raise taxes, when staring into the abyss, he recognized he owed it to all americans to break his promise not to raise taxes it takes a political hit. >> thank you. i appreciate your time. three generations, two presidents, one powerful family narrated by ed harris premiers sunday oo night at 9:00 on cnn. but there's one... that blows them all out of the water. hydro boost water gel from neutrogena®. with hyaluronic acid... it goes beneath the surface to plump skin cells from within and lock in hydration. leaving skin so supple, it actually bounces back. the results will blow you away. and now for your body... new hydro boost gel cream from neutrogena®
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nex we reveal our first cnn hero of 2019. but before we do an update of last year's here oo. recognized for helping sick children and their families who have made the difficult journey to access medical care. his nonprofit provides them with a home and wrap around services so they can comfortably stay and receive services. >> ladies and gentlemen, the 2018 hero hero of the year is dr. ricardo punjan. >> and crowds gathered to greet ricardo at the airport. he's been hailed a national hero.
all right. to the best team in show business. thanks for watching. our coverage continues. i'm going to get you guys. new controversy surrounding the president's son-in-law. how did jared kushner land a top secret security clearance. >> they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety. the president says he had to walk away. now north korea's pushing back on the sticking points. democrats in congress are not done with michael cohen yet. they think his dramatic testimony left a number of new leads to follow. this man just signed the richest sports contract