tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 4, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
"vanity fair" one asked, is luke a fluke? nah. >> you look familiar. >> i'm that guy you wish you were. >> reporter: that guy you wish didn't have to go so soon. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> so sad and so shocking. thank you for joining us. anderson starts now. good evening. today the house committee responsible for impeachment proceedings sent the president a message. 81 letters to nearly every person, institution, and business entity connected to donald j. trump signaling the president is about to face more scrutiny on more fronts than any president ever has. we're putting them up on the screen. and as you can see, eric and donald trump jr. are on the list, david pecker, who runs the "national enquirer's" parent company, the karen mcdougal payoff guy, trump organization cfo, allen weisselberg, coo, matthew calamari, corey lewandowski, and others. the trump organization itself, the president's discredited charity. they're all getting letters from
the committee requesting documents. so are campaign officials, michael flynn, members of the inaugural committee, jared kushner, hope hicks. there are russian billionaires on the list, june assange, people involved in the trump tower meeting, the judiciary committee, they want information from all of these people and entities. it is, by any measure, a daunting list. and as you can see, the names go on. together, they know more things about more specific aspects of the president and his dealings, some going back decades. so, if there's anything fishy with any of it, they would probably be in a position to know. yet, today, when asked whether he'd cooperate with the committee, the president preferred to focus on one aspect of the investigation. >> i cooperate all the time with everybody. and you know the beautiful thing? no collusion, it's all a hoax. you're going to learn about that as you grow older. it's a political hoax. there's no collusion. there's no anything. >> no collusion, no anything. that is, of course, the president's long-standing refrain, and it very well may be
true. it might not. that's what robert mueller's report will likely, hopefully settle. but tonight, that's not the point, because keeping 'em honest, whatever you may think of the president or his actions, whether as president or before, it's not just a question of collusion, it's also potentially obstruction of justice. perhaps witness tampering, as well. and during his testimony last week, michael cohen suggested numerous other items for congress and law enforcement to look into, including fraud on the president's part. >> in conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time i was actively negotiating in russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me, there's no russian business, and go on to lie to the american people, by saying the same thing. in his way, he was telling me to lie. >> well, cohen also shed light on efforts he made to silence stormy daniels and karen mcdougal and the apparently deceptive way in which he was paid for his work, which may
have violated campaign finance law with the president's knowledge. >> that was in order to hide what the payment was. i obviously wanted the money in one shot. i would have preferred it that way. but in order to be able to put it on to the books, allen weisselberg made the decision that it should paid over the 12 months, so that it would look like a retainer. >> and did mr. trump know about this reimbursement method? z >> oh, he knew about everything, yes. >> well, cohen says he knew and suggested the names of people, such as allen weisselberg, that lawmakers should contact, many of whom are now getting letters from the judiciary committee. and on top of that, he also put fresh focus on other allegedly questionable practices, some of which reportedly date back decades for the president, including this. >> to your dodge, did the president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company? >> yes. >> who else knows that the president did this? >> allen weisselberg, ron lieberman, and matthew calamari.
>> and where would the committee find more information on this? do you think we need to review his financial statements and his tax returns in order to compare them? >> yes. and you would find it at the trump org. >> although we do not know specifically what the house judiciary committee is seeking from the trump organization, we do know that the company either has or is about to get a letter in the mail and there's more tonight. including another avenue that a number of leading conservatives believe could lead to impeachment on its own with nothing added. it involves the president reportedly leaning on the justice department to block a business deal involving our parent company, because, again, reportedly, the president didn't like cnn's coverage of him. we'll talk about that, we'll talk about all the other ways the president could now be vulnerable, either legally or politically or both and you'll hear from some who have called this wide-ranging scrutiny long overdue and those who disagree, say it's completely unfair. what you won't hear is anyone who is downplaying how serious this potentially is, except perhaps the president.
>> now we have people that lost and, unfortunately, you put the wrong people in a couple of positions and they leave people for a long time that shouldn't be there. and all of a sudden, they're trying to take you out with bullshit, okay? with bullshit. >> excuse the language. cnn's jim acosta joins us now from the white house with more on how the president is reacting to the apparently widening investigation. so, any word from the white house on this? >> reporter: not much, anderson. just that little bit of audio that you played just a short while ago, where the president said that he cooperates with everybody. the white house press secretary did issue a brief statement saying that chairman nadler of the judiciary committee knows full well that some of the things he's seeking are protected by law, as private conversations that the president and some of his aides have as they're doing the people's business inside the white house. but, anderson, that is an indication, when the white house says something like that, that
they're going to try to stand in the way of cooperating with this investigation, which is no bs, no matter what the president says. >> so they plan to assert executive privilege, at some point? >> it does seem to be that case. you know, the white house has not pulled that trigger up until this point. intalked to a white house official earlier this evening who said the president has not made a decision about that. although if you look at exactly what chairman nadler's committee is seeking at this point, a lot of this false under the area that, according to this white house official, falls under executive privilege. whether or not they go down that road, we'll have to wait and see what happens with that. if you remember what happened with matt whitaker, the acting attorney general, he went up and testified on capitol hill, was viewed by many democrats as not being terribly cooperative. and really not a productive witness. and so the white house could go down that road, where they try to obfuscate and drag things out and perhaps flood the zone with as much documentation and information as possible, as a way to jam up this
investigation. but i talked to one of the targets of this probe, one of the names on that list who didn't want to speak on the record, but was basically saying, listen, you know, if there's one cautionary tale in all of this, if you're going to go work for a campaign or an administration, it's best to hire a lawyer beforehand. and anderson, i would suspect, if you're a white-collar attorney here in washington, dealing with government corruption, defending clients who have been accused of government corruption, your phone is probably ringing off the hook this week. >> other white houses would set up elaborate war rooms staffed with a lot of people in order to deal with things like this. do we know if this white house has anything like that in place? >> no signs of that, anderson. and one of the things that we can point to is what happened last week with michael cohen. when the president was over in vietnam with that summit with kim jong-un, it was almost deafening silence coming out of the white house, and out of the president's team over in hanoi, when we were asking these questions about michael cohen. remember, michael cohen brought up a whole slew of these issues that are now falling under chairman nadler's investigation, going into the president's business dealings, the trump
organization. i mean yo, you name it, michael cohen was basically pointing a finger at it, talking about how the president was avoiding paying insurance and personal taxes on his personal properties and so on. and there wasn't anybody inside the white house who was willing to field those questions. and my guess is, anderson, dealing with the nadler investigation, we're going to have some more of that same deafening silence. it's another way of dealing with the questions. you can se t up a war room, sor of like they did back in the clinton administration, or have no war room and not talk to anybody. >> now to jerome corsi, longtime conspiracy theorist, birther, and associate of roger stone. i spoke to him and his attorney, larry clayman, earlier this evening. >> mr. corsi, this letter you received from the judiciary committee, what exactly are they requesting that you provide them now? >> well, there's three specific
requests. one has to do with anything i did with foreign countries. another with the russian federation and a third with wikileaks. and it's pretty ridiculous. i've given all of this information to the special counselor in far greater detail. it's going to be very expensive. it's really harassment. i don't have paper copies. i've got external hard drives, which i turned over to the fbi. they extracted the information. going to cost me thousands of dollars. and in the end, i didn't have any contacts with wikileaks. i didn't have any contacts with russians. >> so all of the information, did they return that information to you or do they still have it? >> oh, they still have it. the special counselor's office. but i would be happy if they turned it over and it would save me thousands of dollars and endless harassment to go get it again. >> so what happens next here? do you plan to comply with the request? >> well, i don't see -- there's no reason to fight it. if we fight it, it will just delay it. i just think it's, again, harassment.
this is more russian collusion. and after two years, we don't have a single indictment on the specific topic of russian collusion by the mueller team. >> i guess, you know, you did send an e-mail to roger stone, who you've long had an association, i think it was on august 2nd, 2016, referencing julian assange. you said, word is, friend in embassy, meaning assange, plans two more dumps, impact planned to be very damaging. in the past, you've said that you used what you called forensic analysis or deduction to figure out that they were going to do that. do you really expect people to believe that, though? because it doesn't seem to make sense that you were able to just deduce that. it sounds like somebody told you that. >> well, anderson, i don't know what people are going to believe and what they're not going to believe. they may not believe the truth, but the truth is, i did connect the dots and figure it out. in fact, if you take a look at my book, i wrote a whole book on all of this. none of this is secret.
i've discussed this many times. "silent no more" is my book. >> you said you connect dots. jeff toobin wrote a piece about this last month, saying basically that your claim is dubious. you said, quote, there was nothing about the prior disclosures that would give you any basis to predict that podesta's e-mails would also be made public and -- >> anderson, i want to interject -- >> -- that podesta's e-mails were going to be disclosed -- >> anderson, i want to interject here. because we're not going to get into areas that deal with the stone prosecution or anything else. there's a gag order there. jerry came on to talk about gerald nadler's request -- >> he's talked about all of this before on television numerous times. >> he has, but we're not getting into it now. we have a judicial order. roger stone is out there saying things. we're not going to violate that gag order. >> what mr. toobin believes or doesn't believe is not my problem. what we testified to, i spent 20 hours -- i wrote this in "silent no more," we spent 20 hours with
the special prosecutor going over everyone i've been in contact with in 2016 and 2017. my attorneys begged the special prosecutor, if you know anyone we were talking to, tell us. i'm confident i had no contact with julian assange directly or indirectly. i did connect the dots and figure it out. whether people believe it or not is not my problem. >> mueller has laid out claims that you lied multiple times in your interview with his office. you rejected the plea deal they offered. where do you stand at this point with them? do you think they're going to -- >> anderson, he has not laid out claims that dr. corsi lied. he has not. in fact, that's the reason that dr. corsi is not indicted. that's simply not true. >> well, he is the person referenced in the indictment on roger stone. >> i am person number one. but anderson, as i pointed out, again, please read "silent no more." as i pointed out, the one count that mueller wanted me to plead guilty to was testimony that mueller had allowed me to amend.
and i thought that was completely fraudulent. i was amending my testimony constantly. you've got to read the book. >> just lastly, i mean, there are obviously a number of people watching this who are going to say, look, you have been an advocate of many conspiracy theories, from president obama not being born in the u.s. to, you know, the questions about what really happened on 9/11 -- >> no, no, i have not questioned that one. you -- you may have accused me of that one, before, even, but i have not. i find it -- i never wrote anything about 9/11 at all. >> well, i think you -- you were talking about fire -- yeah, on a radio show, i think i actually have the clip. >> i have one clip on a radio show, but it never got published. we decided, ultimately, i changed my mind on that and did not publish it. but here's my point -- >> anderson, let me say one thing here about the birth certificate. the birth certificate, there's been forensic analysis on that. he never said that obama was born in another country. but the birth certificate
appears to be fraudulent. >> you're saying forensic analyst by people linked with joe arpaio, is that the forensic analysis you're talking about? >> well, people can get things right. >> i'm just saying, is that the forensic analysis you're talking about? >> there's other forensic analysis, the birth certificate uses the word "african-american" in 1961. that term was not used until jesse jackson -- >> so you don't belief thve tha president obama was born in the united states? >> that's not what i said. i said the birth certificate, there's forensic analysis and it's fraudulent. don't beat up on my client because of that. it's inappropriate. do some research. >> aernnderson, i may not belie as readily as you do, perhaps, government explanations. >> do you believe the president was born in the united states? >> i said, and larry's right on this, i want to see the original birth records from kenya. that will settle it. i don't know where he was born. i'm happy to see the 1961 records and admit i was wrong. the state of hawaii will not show those records to anyone, include to law enforcement.
i don't know why. >> you did admit you were wrong about something just today, which i want to point out, you apologized for a false story about seth rich stealing e-mails and releasings them to wikileaks, stealing them from the dnc zp. >> and when i'm wrong, i'll admit it. there was one story, i relied upon an article that admiral lyons had written in "the washington post" and they subsequently retracted, and i agreed, because they retracted my story, i retract eed my stor. i didn't retract anything else i've written on seth rich. in deference to the seth rich family, i retracted one article that ended up being based on a story that "the washington post" retracted. when i'm wrong, i'll be happy to admit it. >> so i guess the question is, given your record on, you know, on obama's birth certificate, on the seth rich matter, why should
people believe you? >> wait a second. there's nothing wrong with his record on the obama birth certificate, anderson. don't twist things. we came on your show -- >> the birth certificate -- >> let me say something! we came on your show, i think you're more honest than the rest of the people on cnn. >> you made this apology just today. it would be irresponsible of me not to ask you about it. >> i don't object to you asking about it. i answered it. i apologized for one story. >> okay. >> i've written 22 books since 2004. two of them were number one best sellers. some of them were on the best seller list. i believe my books are well footnoted. people may not agree with me. i do not readily accept government explanations, as many people seem to. i challenge government explanations. and i will probably continue to do that as long as i'm alive. >> jerome corsi, i appreciate your time, and larry clayman, thank you very much. >> thank you, anderson. >> let's dig deeper now into where the judiciary committee is heading and the ground it may cover up to and including the
question of impeachment. joining us is david cicilline, democrat of rhode island, who is a member of the committee. congressman, you just heard jerome corsi who said the request from your committee is ridiculous, he called it harassment, said he's already given all of this information to the special counsel and can't you jufs get it frst get it fro? >> well, it's a kind of ridiculous claim. he said on the one hand, he's already produced it, which is why we recommended a very short timeline of just a couple of weeks for people to come in compliance, because we specifically said, if you've already produced this material for either the special counsel or the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york or any other government body, just provide us what you provided them. >> he claims he doesn't have copies. >> well, all he has to do is authorize them to furniture sh with a copy. it will be easy to come into compliance. but the judiciary committee has a responsibility to collect these documents so we can begin our oversight work.
that's separate and apart from the special counsel, who has a very limited inquiry that relates to russian -- the russian attack on our democracy and whether or not there was a conspiracy with any of the trump officials or trump campaign officials. we have a much broader responsibility to do oversight. this focuses on corruption, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power as kind of the three main areas. and we are beginning that work now in earnest, because the judiciary committee has been prevented from doing any oversight over the last two years under republican control. >> there are going to be a lot of supporters of the president who are going to say, look, maybe -- it looks like the mueller investigation is winding down. if there is no evidence of conspiracy or collusion, if there's nothing that the president can be indicted on, then what democrats are doing in the house now, what your committee is doing, is basically a phishing expedition. just send out as many letters as possible, call as many people in, and just, you know, grind this for another two years,
trying to find out anything that might be untoward. is that fair? >> well, first -- no, it's not fair at all. look, the judiciary committee has institutional responsibility to hold the administration accountable, whoever the president is. to do oversight. all of these requests for documents are based on information that has come to the judiciary committee that requires us to begin to collect evidence to do appropriate investigations. we've hired outside consultants to assist us in this work. there's a lot of work to do here. we have a responsibility to -- we understand how it might be looked at by focuses. but this is our responsibility, as members of congress to uphold the rule of law, to ensure that the administration is not engaged in acts of corruption, abuse of power or obstruction of justice. and we have a responsibility to gather evidence, to bring in witnesses, to make factual determinations, so that we can take appropriate action, as the judiciary committee. the fact that it hasn't been done in two years, i know it may look like a new exercise, but we ought to have been doing this for the last two years. we pleaded with our republican
colleagues, we have a 500-page document, which lists all the times we attempted to do oversight under republican control, but they would not do it, so we have a lot of work backed up, but this is a core function of the judiciary committee. we're doing it while we're doing our other work, too. but this is one of our responsibilities and we owe it to the american people to do it. >> one of the things we heard a lot the last two years was kind of a new invention of executive privilege, where the white house wasn't actually claiming executive privilege, but people would appear before committees and say, well, i don't think i'm going to say anything about that because, i think that's what i -- you know, that's private between me and the president and i'm -- i just think that's, you know, covered by executive privilege, even though the white house itself was not claiming executive privilege. and that just seemed to be accepted by republicans who were running the committees. is that -- does that game work anymore? >> well, of course -- no, it doesn't work. and of course, we have the responsibility to collect
evidence, to listen to testimony, and people have the obligation to answer. if we were prohibited from collecting information or hearing from witnesses or having documents produced because people thought it would make them look bad or they were uncomfortable, the president might not like it, we wouldn't be able to do our oversight as we're required to by the constitution. if people are going to claim a reason not to produce documents or testify, they have to invoke a legally recognized reason to do that. and simply saying, i think the president would prefer i not answer this is not an invocation of executive privilege. the president will have to do that and do it in front of the american people if he's going to try to prevent witnesses from testifying or producing documents. but look, we're going to get at truth and get the materials and evidence we need to find out exactly what happened here and to hold this administration accountable. >> congressman cicilline, appreciate your time, as always. >> thank you. >> thank you. coming up next, we have breaking news. what former fbi director james comey has to say about the pending mueller report. and later, the president's national security adviser, john bolton, tries to clean up president's defense of north
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now... grandpa, what about your dream car? this is my dream now. principal we can help you plan for that . there is breaking news. the former fbi director james comey fired by president trump writes in an opinion piece published by "the washington post" that the new attorney general, william barr, should not limit the public disclosure of the mueller report when it's finally issued. comey writes, and i quote, every american should want a justice department guided first and always by the public interest. sometimes transparency is not a hard call. here with me tonight, neal katyal, who back in the late '90s drafted the special counsel regulations and cnn's chief legal analyst jeffrey toobin. so jeff, you see comey citing what he say is justice department tradition of disclosing information that's of public interest. william barr didn't talk about tradition, though. >> no, he talked about the
regulation. and you know, neal was instrumental in writing this regulation. as i read it, i mean, it leaves a lot up to barr. and, you know, i don't think he is obliged to release a lot of the mueller report. i hope he does. i think a lot of americans hope he does. but if you are inclined to read that regulation narrowly, it could be a very small disclosure to congress and thus to the american people. >> neal, do you agree, depending on how you read it, the attorney general could, within his rights, decide to have a very small disclosure to congress? >> well, the attorney general does have general discretion under the regulations, because the regulations are written not just for presidential wrongdoing, they were written for all sorts of high-level wrongdoing. and so, they're written in general terms. there's certainly nothing that forbids disclosure when you're dealing with an investigation like this. and indeed, the commentary to the regulations, i think, does require it.
because it talks about public administration and the -- public confidence in the administration of justice. and here -- and that's why this -- you know, in the comey argument, i think, is largely right. comey's basic argument is that when you're dealing with something that has massive public concern, the justice department has traditionally erred on the side of more disclosure rather than less, looking at ferguson and things like that. i think he goes far too far when he talks about trying to defend what he did with hillary clinton, because that's a really different thing. we're talking about here the kind of fundamental question a democracy faces, which is, if allegations that your top leader, your numero uh knno, th president of the united states is possibly involved in crimes. and the president wields prosecution power. the president picked attorney general barr. the president installed, you know, matthew whitaker, you know, before that and the attorney general before that,
jeff sessions. all of those provides opportunities for cover-up as well as the firing of jim comey. so that's why this is different. >> i want to kind of change topics here. because, jeff, there's a fascinating article in "the new yorker" by your colleague, jane maier. and among other things, she writes that president trump ordered gary cohn, who at that point was his top economic adviser, to pressure the justice department to oppose the at&t/time warner merger. >> you know what's so interesting about what jane disclosed in this piece is that it dovetails very well with the jerry nadler document request that came out today. because what that's really about is not so much identifying criminality in the trump administration, but abuse of power. i don't think -- >> that's what's behind the nadler -- >> right. the idea that, you know, presidential misconduct, even impeachable conduct, can be beyond simply just violation of the criminal code, but abuse of
power. and if this story, you know, could be proved in a more -- you know, with witnesses, this could be the kind of abuse of power that might even rise to the level of impeachable offense, because, it is something only the president can do, only the president can stop an investigation -- you know, or can initiate an anti-trust investigation, solely for political reasons. now, you know, we're a long way from that, but that is, if it's proved, i think, an abuse of power. >> it's pretty stunning. gary cohn was what, number two at goldman sachs. i mean, for the president to put him in that position, if this is true, it's -- i mean, neal, george conway, obviously, husband of kellyanne conway and frequent tweeter against the president said if "the new yorker" report is true, this could be grounds for impeachment on the basis that the president by working to stop the merger was basically trying to
interfere with the first amendment. >> yeah, george is 100% right, as is jeff toobin. what trump is basically doing is bringing back king george iii, not just on his odious views of race and so on, but on the most fundamental value we face, which is free speech. that's the heart of our democracy. and this isn't like some antitrust technical thing. the allegation in this new yorker piece is that the president isolated cnn because hep didn't like their speech. that's what despots do. that's what people like putin do. and jeff's absolutely right. the core of impeachment, historically, if you look at the ratification debates is all about abuse of the public trust. can this is, if it's true, and we don't know if it is, but if it's true, that's a core classic impeachable offense. >> couldn't gary cohn just put out a statement about whether or not this is true? >> i think he's going to have the tun to testify about that under oath in the -- i mean, that is -- that cries out for an investigation by congress. that whole exchange, about the merger. >> jeff toobin, thanks very
much. neal katyal, as well. coming up next, how a tough-talking president and a hardline national security adviser both end up bending over backwards to not hold a dictator accountable for the death of an american. they're not keeping 'em honest, but we will. last years' ad campaign was a success for choicehotels.com badda book. badda boom. this year, we're taking it up a notch. so in this commercial we see two travelers at a comfort inn with a glow around them, so people watching will be like, "wow, maybe i'll glow too if i book direct at choicehotels.com". who glows? just say, badda book. badda boom. nobody glows. he gets it. always the lowest price, guaranteed. book now at choicehotels.com
national security adviser john bolton has spent decades honing his reputation as a hard liner, especially in north korea. he's even clashed with the boss about it, especially last year when he advocated what he called a libyan model for the country. no american concessions until kim jong-un physically opened up his entire nuclear program. negotiations, he once said,
legitimatized the kim dictat dictatorsh dictatorship. keeping 'em honest, confronting nuclear-armed dictators, that seems 2018 for bolton, especially when the boss is bent on cutting him stack, even when it comes to the horrible death of an american after 17 months in north korean captivity. here's the president after meeting with kim last week, absolving him of responsibility for the death of otto warmbier. >> some really bad things happened to otto, some really, really bad things. >> why are you -- >> but he tells me that he didn't know about it and i will take him at his word. >> he didn't have to, but he did. and remember, not so long ago, john bolton didn't think that talks with kim jong-un should even take place, which leaves him with the choice that all top officials have when they clash with the boss. they can either step down or do verbal backflips instead, as he did this weekend on fox news. >> when he says i'm going to take him at his word, it just -- it doesn't mean that he accepts it as reality, it means that he accepts that's what kim jong-un said.
>> you got that? what you heard the president say about taking kim at his words doesn't really mean you know that he takes him at his word. except on "state of the union" on cnn, bolton says the opposite, that the president really does take kim jong-un at his word. >> do you take him at his word? >> the president takes him at his word. >> i know he does, but what about you? >> my opinion doesn't matter. >> so now he doesn't want to say, although you know he's been shy voicing his views on foreign affairs, but sometimes he's bucked the boss before. just not this time when it matters. this time he's playing word games over the president's questionable interactions with some of the world's most dangerous characters. >> he's not saying he's siding with dictators over americans. >> he believes them. >> he has expressed his opinion about what they've said on these various points. >> points like russia interfering in the 2016 elections, which the president's own intelligence officials said
they did. the president expressed the opinion, as john bolton calls it, that virtually anyone could have done it other than that vladimir putin. as for kim jong-un, i want to play you one other opinion that the president has expressed, after meeting the man who imprisons and tortures generations of his own citizens. >> he's a character. he's a real personality. and he's very smart. he's sharp as you can be. and he's a real leader. and he's pretty mercurial. i don't say that necessarily in a bad way, but he's a pretty mercurial guy. >> max boot joins us now. he's a cnn global affairs analyst and author of the corrosion of conservatism, why i left the right. you have john bolton, clearly very conservative, who always voices opinions whether you agree with them or not, very strongly, tying himself in knots, not to avoid contradicting the president. >> yeah, i think he's earning an olympic gold medal, if tap dancing were an olympic sport, because he's clearly tap dancing
around the fact that he is very deeply opposed to what president trump is doing in the case of north korea. and if this were any other president doing this, he would be breathing fire and fury on fox news about, this is appeasement, sellout, et cetera. but you know, anderson, i was certainly not in favor of appointing john bolton. i was quite critical of him. i am no fan of john bolton. but i appreciate the fact that you have somebody in the white house who has a different view and perhaps may be a check on donald trump's desire to reach out to kim, lhis new best frien with whom he claims to be in love. so i think john bolton can serve as a reality check upon those impulses. >> if, in fact, he does that. in that fox interview or maybe it was to jake he said, my opinion doesn't matter. he's the national security adviser. actually, his opinion matters greatly or it should matter greatly to the president. the hope is, fine, i understand him not expressing it on television, but you would hope that he would express it face-to-face with the president. >> and i think that's the big
question. we don't know what he's saying behind closed doors. i will say, even what he's saying in public is not going to sit well with president trump, because trump wants complete toadyism from his surrogates and officials. so he's not going to appreciate the fact that bolton pointedly refused to endorse his position on north korea. but you bring up the right question, what is he saying behind closed doors? does he actually confront trump and say, hey, mr. president, the sblem intelligence community is right, kim jong-un is not going to give up his nuclear weapons. or does he tap dance around in the oval office as well and refuse to tell trump straight to his face that he is living a fantasy when it comes to north korea? that is the important question and we don't know the answer to that. >> bolton also suggested on fox that american national interests were weightier and more important than individual cases like otto warmbier. obviously, leaders have to make difficult decisions that there may be a greater good and it may be terrible for individuals or family or, you know, however one wants to phrase it.
it seems, though, what the president is doing though, is not really that, it's just toadying up to kim jong-un. he genuinely seems to like him or he genuinely believes he's a real leader. and that to me is, i guess, the most stunni inning two words. the idea that he is a real leader. >> and this is very much the opposite of ronald reagan's approach, even though trump and bolton and everybody else claims to revere ronald reagan. in fact, you saw what happened in the 1980s. ronald reagan was able to negotiate with the soviet union while still calling them out for human rights abuses, still saying, mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. and trump doesn't do that. he feels he has to go all in in flattering these dictators to get deals and there's no evidence that that approach actually works and it creates some cognizant dissidence. because on the one hasn't, bolton and trump are thundering about human rights abuses committed by the maduro regime,
and they're giving a pass to kim jong-un who's even a worse human rights abuser than maduro. so the one thing i will say to john bolton's credit is, i don't actually think that's his policy. i think he's dealing with a very head strong president who knows very little and has very strong ideas he wants to pursue. and i think the question is, to what extent will bolton be able t or even willing to steer trump in a different direction? >> it's interesting, the president had very tough words for north korea when otto warmbier's parents were standing by his side and he was speaking. and at the state of the union, very tough words about north korea when otto warmbier's parents were there. i want seems like when the president is face to face with somebody, he says one thing. and then when he's face to face with kim jong-un, he says something else. and the knock on him as always been, he sort of takes the opinion of the last person who left the room and a lot of people discounted that early on, but that does seem to kind of hold some truth. >> i think that is true, anderson. and that's why trump has know
credibility. this is somebody who lies an average of 20 times a day and in 201 2019, he says one thing and then says something else and nobody knows what to believe. and that's part of what makes him such an unreliable negotiator, and why he's not a good negotiator, whether he's negotiating with nancy pelosi or kim jong-un. we have some big breaking news now, on the one leading democrat who until tonight had yet to say whether she was running for president. hillary clinton, the 2016 democratic nominee, she spoke tonight on news 12 westchester. here's very quickly what she had to say. >> i'm not running, but i'm going to keep working and speaking and standing up for what i believe. >> hillary clinton not running. some had raised some questions about that, but sounds like there's no doubt. as the night continues, next, it may never happen, but if it does, what form would a criminal case against the president look like? could it be based on prosecutions in the 1980s against organized crime? we'll look at that. plpr
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the trump-pence administration just issued a gag rule which would block providers across the country from giving full information to women about their reproductive healthcare, a move the american medical association said would "dangerously interfere with the patient-physician relationship." they trust that i will be providing them with complete information. with the gag rule, the consequences would be devastating for women in my community and across the country. . in an opinion piece in today's "new york times," cnn contributor garrett graf writes that a hypothetical prosecution of president trump could be based on tactics used against organized crime back in the 1980s. and i'm quoting, the parallels between the mafia and the trump organization are more than we might like to dpliadmit. michael cohen was labeled a rat
for agreeing to cooperate with investigators. rats generally aren't seen as liars. they're rats because they turn state's witness and tell the truth, spilling the secrets of a criminal organization. joining me now, david cay johnston, author of "the making of donald trump." so david, as someone who's investigated, written about the trump organization for decades, do you agree -- i mean, do you see a parallel between the way the trump organization was run and organized crime? >> oh, absolutely. and in addition to the federal rico statute, new york state has a similar statute and both of them would allow prosecutors to reach far back into donald trump, donald trump's past, including what i think is one of the most troubling episodes in his life, and that was all the favors and business relationship he had with joseph wexelbaum, a cocaine dealer that donald did favors for. >> and there have been connections between donald trump, the trump organization, and various figures associated
with mob families in the construction business. >> right, exactly right. when donald was building trump tower, he was able to use non-union, illegal immigrants from poland to tear down the old because he had the mob connections he had through roy cohn. there was a concrete strike in new york while he was being built. every project in new york, the sidewalk in front of your house, all stopped, except trump tower, because of donald's mob connections. >> you've pointed out before, donald trump has been connected, as i said, to various figures in his career, but if there ever were a criminal investigation of the trump organization, do you see a road map investigators could follow, that is similar to way the southern district of new york handled the war on organized crime? >> oh, yeah, what you have to have are a series of events that show a criminal enterprise.
that the trump organization, while appearing to be a real estate firm, is a really a criminal enterprise. and i don't think meeting the standards of either the federal rico statute or the new york state statute would be at all difficult. i was a little surprised with the list of 81 people who jerry nadler sent >> it didn't include several people from donald's past. a few surviving people connected with construction of his buildings and the mob connections involved there. >> the irony of this is that rudy guiliani who was responsible for heading up investigations into the mob is also now president trump's attorney. >> well he's a television lawyer and he keeps getting the law wrong as many of us have been pointing out. but i agree. there's irony that he made his
reputation that way. he didn't prosecute the cases personally. other lawyers working under him did. >> he held the press conferences. >> thank you very much. i want to check in with chris and see what he is working on at the top of the hour. >> the tricky part of this is that the president has rudy giuliani working as his press. what if it doesn't on the district side? that's when they may come home to roost. i'm going to ask him three questions about this. also we're going to take on what's going on in general with oversight. we have one of the main hotshots for the democrats. he's going to be at the. >> terry: -- he's going to be at the tip of the spear for this. does he like that? does he believe that trump and abuse of power can even go in
the same sentence? he'll make the case. >> he's joining us tonight. >> why, do you know something different? am i wrong? >> no, i'm looking forward to it. appointment viewing. >> you had me nervous there for a second. >> i loved seeing your son on the air last week. it was so cool. mario. >> anderson cooper and the sexy hair cut and on instagram today you cut your hair. and he said did he cut his hair because he thought i didn't say something nice about his hair? i said i'm sure whatever he did has nothing to do with you. >> i tried to play basketball with him in the hallway and i was very sad. >> i told him, stay away from his face. don't hit coop in the face. >> the president offers a new reason why he walked out of talks with kim jong un and kind of defies logic. ridiculist is next. like those from pollen, pets and dust. because new memories start with dusting off old ones.
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tonight we have a do it yourself guide on how to transform your life. how to go from fixer to ultimate scapegoat in one easy listen. in addition to being a rat, michael cohen is also apparently now indirectly responsible for the disentegration of talks with north korea. it's perhaps a new low in american politics and may have contributed to the walk. never done when a president is overseas. shame. the michael cohen hearing contributed to the president walking out of talks with kim jong un. i'm confused because i thought it was about sanctions. i wonder what could possibly have given me the impression it was about sanctions? >> was that the real sticking point here in that you didn't want to do that and they did?
>> it was about sanctions. they wanted sanctions lifted but they weren't willing to do an area that we wanted. they were willing to give us areas but not the ones we wanted. >> it was the president that said it was about sanctions several times. and now it's because of the michael cohen hearing but i'm sorry, i'm just not following the logic here. is the president suggesting that kim jong un wanted to go along with everything he wanted and then watch the michael choohen hearing? what part could have any bearing on north korean negotiations? did perhaps the dictator decide he could not negotiate in good faith after he heard cohen say that trump once paid someone to bid on a giant portrait of himself? i doubt that. i doubt that would offend kim jong un's delicate sensibilities. there he is walking past a 7 foot tall portrait of himself at
the airport. maybe it was this that made the talks deteriorate. >> i am providing the committee today with several documents. copies of letters i wrote at mr. trump's direction that threatened his high school colleges and college board not to release his grades or sat scores. >> again, not sure that the murderous dictator of the most oppressive and brutal regime of the world would care about what the president got on the verbal section of the sat's in the early 1960s. so maybe the president's point was and if you can at all avoid it, i would recommend not trying to follow the president's tweet logic, especially if you're prone to migraines but maybe simply having the hearing was a bad look while he's overseas and that contributed to the break down. well, pass the tylenol because he said it was about the sanctions. he also said it was simply time for him to fly. >> it was a very interesting two days and it was a very
productive two days but sometimes you have to walk. and this was one of those times. >> no mention that the michael cohen hearing had anything to do with what happened during the talks because it probably didn't because we live in the real world or at least we try to keep a grip on the ridiculist. that's it for us. let's go over to chris for cuomo primetime. >> i am chris cuomo, welcome to primetime. abuse abu abuse of power. that's a scary phrase and that's where democrats are headed. what's the basis? what's the goal? we have one of the most powerful democrats on the hill. they have a list of 81 names.