tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN March 6, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
and anxious about revealing this. she was essentially saying that's the problem with the system here and that is exactly what this committee hearing is focused on and working on. this comes at a time up here on capitol hill that they have been hearing from many members of congress, many women members who have come forward with their own me too stories. you have jackie speier and joni ernst who talked about her abuse so clearly this perspective from sitting members of congress, women, gives new weight on what they're working on. >> so important. thank you. top of the hour here on cnn, i'm erica hill. thanks for being with us today. in for brooke baldwin. breaking news out of washington where on a day when he was supposed to report to prison, michael cohen is instead back on capitol hill in a closed door session with the house intelligence committee and with him today, new documents which show edits to his false written statements about that trump tower/moscow project. you recall he gave that
statement to this same committee in 2017 not before the president's lawyers made the edit, a claim cohen made last week in his public testimony before another house committee. >> there were changes made, additions, jay sekulow for one -- >> were there changes about the timing? >> the gentleman's time is expired, you may answer that question. >> there were several changes that were made including how we were going to handle that message. >> mr. -- were you finished? >> the message, of course, being the length of time that the trump tower/moscow project stayed and remained alive. >> jay sekulow called cohen's allegations that trump's lawyers edited or changed his statement to congress completely false. cnn senior congressional correspondent manu raju is on capitol hill. what more do we know about these documents and edits?
>> reporter: yeah. we were told that michael cohen did provide those documents to the committee after his public testimony from last week in which he made that allegation saying that the president's attorneys, jay sekulow as well as abby lowell were involved in the preparation of that false testimony in 2017 in which he initially downplayed the role of the trump organization and candidate trump's effort to get that trump tower/moscow project moving forward. now from what we understand, these documents that he's provided show edits that were made to that testimony from the attorneys. it's unclear exactly what those edits are at this point, but they're intended to further explain what he said in that public session. now jay sekulow pushed back last week in the aftermath of cohen's testimony saying -- the testimony by michael cohen that attorneys for the president edited or changed his statement to congress to alter the
duration of the trump tower/moscow negotiations is completely false. you'll recall that the time cohen said the time line ended in january of 2016. he later pleaded guilty saying later it occurred up until june 2016 so that's one aspects of the dispute here. we're now hearing from the trump attorneys saying they stand by their statement from last week, so we'll see what ultimately they learn here in this committee but documents that cohen believes corroborate his testimony we'll see if the lawmaker agrees with cohen's assessment. >> manu raju with the latest for us, thank you. i want to bring in a national political reporter from the "new york times." yes, there's the legal fallout to it and legal analysts we spoke to are saying depending on what these edits are saying this could be a big deal. what could the fallout be, lisa? >> it just underscores how much
the michael cohen testimony last week is a gift that keeps on giving. not only did that testimony prompt this flurry of investigations, they requested 81 different documents and entities and people to come and testify and submit information to congress, it also led to document requests for people very close to the president, including his family. so this is just another example of how that hearing, how michael cohen getting up in front of that committee last week really broadened this whole investigation out for democrats and also how much of a strategic mistake the president made by not being able to keep his personal lawyer, the guy who was his fixer for all those decades in the fold. >> that is a fascinating point. this latest cohen revelation comes as the battle between house democrats and the trump white house ramps up which lisa just alluded to there. a battle that may soon ensnare the president's daughter ivanka.
ivanka trump is a senior adviser to the president was granted her security clearance at the insistence of her father and over the objections of both his former chief-of-staff and white house counsel. this news comes just days after a similar report about her husband and fellow trump senior adviser jared kushner, for his part, the president has said he didn't intervene and so has ivanka. >> the president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband's clearance. >> so no special treatment? >> no. >> cnn political commentator anna navarro is also here with me. ivanka trump, senior adviser to the president. the fact that she says nothing happened here, it's possible she didn't know anything about it. >> uh-hum. >> there's also a question of why she would need the security clearance in the first place in her role as senior adviser and if it was appropriate even though he has the right to for the president to step in like this. >> there's a reason why there have been nepotism laws, there's
a reason why people don't hire folks close to them with whom they would have emotional conflicts of interest to work in sensitive jobs in the white house. why would she need the job? why would she need the clearance? you would think that somebody's that's a senior adviser would be privy to and read stuff and listen to stuff that is classified and sensitive for which you would need a security clearance. when you put it together with what we've heard about jared kushner's security clearance where the same thing happened, it's very troubling and i am glad that the oversight committee is asking about this and investigating this. this should, should lead to further legislation to tighten up nepotism laws and to tighten up laws regarding national security and how do you receive it? >> you just mentioned needing to read perhaps certain documents, being in certain meetings, is that the only reason she would need this security clearance because, lisa, as we look at her role as senior adviser, it's not entirely clear in that role that she would need even perhaps the
same security clearance as her husband based on some of the meetings he's having? >> she wants to be privy to as much as possible that's going on in the white house. i mean, this comes at a moment, these investigations, into jared and ivanka's security clearance at a moment with jared kushner's powers considered to be fairly high at the white house, that he's almost acting as a de facto chief-of-staff. so this is very problematic to the functioning of the white house and crippling to the president's daughter and son-in-law. >> as we look -- there's a heck of a lot going on today which is just a normal wednesday in 2019, let's be honest. freshman congresswoman rashida tlaib is filing impeachment notice. is it a smart move for her to do that? >> i don't think so. it's premature. i understand where she's coming from. if you take a look at what democratic leadership is saying, they are not on the same page
and we're seeing that more and more where some of these younger members of congress, some of these newer members of congress are, frankly, not singing to the same hymn the democratic leadership is. look, we're at this point less than two years from an election. i think the american public is very wary of a possible impeachment. i think everybody remembers what it was like during -- not everybody, perhaps not the youngin's but those of us that were old enough to remember, how traumatic and how difficult and polarizing it can be for the country and we are much more polarized already than we already were then. i think they've got to tread carefully particularly with an election coming up, because they don't want to overreach. they don't want to turn trump and his family into victims.
they've got to tread very carefully. what people want is transparency in the process and if there were real crimes committed, if there is evidence of real crimes, then i think, you know, that's the time to think about it. >> we're also just getting some news in today about upcoming debates. the national committee now saying they're banning "fox news" from hosting any democratic presidential debate citing a quote, inappropriate relationship between fox and the white house. this, of course, comes out of a report in the "the new yorker" earlier this week which demonstrated the president's frequent contacts, the loyalty system he has, fox is also now responding saying in part, we hope the dnc will reconsider its decision to bar chris wallace, brett bear and martha maccallum from moderating a democratic national presidential debate. i have to go back to you on this
one, what do you make of this? when i first read that, i thought this is an interesting position to take, was it the right one? >> look, it's true that those three journalists that were just mentioned in that fox statement are good journalists and have shown great professionalism but it is also true that "fox news" is tainted with partisanship and defense and loyalty towards this president. we have seen time and time again that he takes from "fox news" to name people and appoint people into his administration, including now the chief communications person in the white house, bill shine who comes from the corporate offices, the executive branch of "fox news." we have seen the beyond cozy relationship with people likeson hannity and other of the opinion hosts on that network, so i think it's -- after "the new yorker" piece, it's not irrational, it's not illogical for the dnc to wonder and
suspect that they can't get a fair shake from "fox news" or if they will be set up. >> lisa, this could come with its own fallout. >> right. it's fun -- it's interesting you mention this. i was just on the phone with somebody at the dnc fairly recently this afternoon after they made this announcement and what i was told was that the big fear over there is just that the president could have some involvement either be privy to the questions that would be asked or have some role in crafting the questions that would be asked and even if that is a long shot unlikely situation, it was something that officials at the dnc felt they could not risk under any circumstances and that's part of what motivated this decision that, you know, they knew would be fairly controversial and could prompt some blowback. >> lisa, anna, good to see you both. thank you. >> thank you. just moments ago, president trump saying his relationship with kim jong-un is good despite new satellite images that show
north korea appears to be rebuilding a nuclear site it claimed to have dismantled. plus we're talking money, specifically the imaginationive federal deficit that has ballooned under president trump despite his promises to cut it. so what is fueling the increase? later r. kelly granting an explosive interview, his first public attempt to fight the sexual assault charges against him at times crying, yelling, pounding his fists. >> youall are trying to kill me. you're killing me, man!
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market, to low unemployment rates both great things to focus on. when the president took office, he also vowed to eliminate the federal deficit and yet in just the first four months of the 2019 fiscal year, it has exploded, ballooning a whopping 77%, just let that sink in for a moment. in four months ballooning 77%. it now stands at $310 billion. at the same time the u.s. trade deficit is now the largest in the country's history, that you may remember was another core campaign promise. i want to bring in mya mcginnis. good to have you here. as we look at all of this, we heard that, yes, it's part of the increases due to shifting of certain payments but that is not the only reason. why is the federal deficit sky rocketing like this? >> yeah, particularly given how strong the economy is, this is extremely discouraging news and yet at the same time, entirely predictable because the reason the deficit's going up so much
and we've never seen growth of a federal deficit at a period when the economy is so strong and growing like this, the reason is, pretty much self-imposed. congress and the president keep adding to the debt and growing the deficit as they pass borrowed tax cuts. they don't pay for the tax cuts, those add to the debt and turn around and borrow more money for additional spending. no surprise there the math is what one would expect, it's growing the deficit massively and it's continue -- it's expected to continue to grow on this path forever right now which is very frightening news. >> the fact that it continues to grow is frightening news because we know the white house is preparing new government budget, that's out -- due out this month. if you were to take a look at that, specifically where do you think there could be cuts that could start to make a difference here? >> well, unfortunately, the president has promised not to make the kinds of changes which would actually close our fiscal hole. we know what it's going to take
to fix the situation. we're going to need more revenues and less spending. what we're going to see is the opposite, both the president and congress have been talking about additional tax cuts. we've heard about promises for more spending particularly in defense and walling off some of the most important areas of the budget that we have to attend to and fix, social security and medicare. we know that the white house budget is going to have significant cuts in one area, domestic discretionary spending, probably some other mandatory, not social security and medicare but some of the other programs. when you look at the overall budget, it's going to talk about borrowing, probably beyond $10 trillion over the next decade and that's just a path that's unsustainable. >> it's a lot of zeros. is there anything you think that could happen that could be a wake-up call -- for lawmakers across the board here, that would actually change anything at this point or are we stuck in this cycle? >> let's hope it doesn't. the kinds of things that would
be a wake-up call is foreign countries saying they don't want to lend us the money that we've become so dependent on. that would push up interest rates. we could see signs of interefla rates. because the u.s. is the safe haven and other countries want to lend us money, we have a huge advantage. i would add to that, we're borrowing it for consumption and not investments. these aren't big changes that would grow the economy. if we get to that moment of a wake-up call, that means we're already in trouble. what we really want -- i don't see this any time soon, but bipartisan cooperation on making some of the difficult choice that's budgeting actually requires. if something's important enough to do, we should be paying for it and that's just not the mentally we're seeing out of our political leaders right now. >> thank you. the saudi crown prince going
full gangster. that's what one republican lawmaker says after a group of bipartisan senators slam a classified briefing by the trump administration about the murder of journalist jamal khashoggi. they call the briefing worthless, a waste of time. we're not just talking about democrats here. why they're not getting answers to whether the saudi crown prince is to blame for this man's death? cosentyx can help people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis find clear skin that can last. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting, get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms, if your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms develop or worsen, or if you've had a vaccine or plan to. serious allergic reactions may occur. how sexy are these elbows? ask your dermatologist about cosentyx.
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interesting revelations out of north korea today. satellite images appear to show a key long-range missile site that the country was, we were told, in the process of dismantling appear to be rebuilt and that raises potential questions about the future of u.s./north korea negotiations. two respected monitoring websites say they observed activity at that site in the days surrounding north korean leader kim jong-un and president trump's second summit, that summit which abruptly ended without a deal last week. a senior fellow for the counsel on foreign allegatissociation, watch all of this, this movement right at those sites is clearly a message coming from north korea. the president said if this is true what we're really happening, i would call that very disappointing. it's almost like they're messaging one another again but there's no love letter involved. >> absolutely.
i'm getting the sense that kim may not just be that into trump. this is an attempt to rattle trump's cage after the failure of the hanoi summit where the north koreans were very disappointed that the u.s. side was not offering massive sanctions relief in return for some kind of symbolic step by closing a nuclear facility so now they're sending a message, that, if you don't give us sanctions relief, we'll do stuff that you don't like like for example, restarting the satellite launch facility that was supposedly closed last year. >> what could this do to the future of talks? if these are the moves we're seeing right now, what does that say? >> i think a lot of it really depends on the attitude that president trump holds because basically what he's said pretty consistently ever since the singapore summit is that all he cares about is whether north korea tests their nuclear weapons or their missiles and so as long as they don't actually test something, as long as they don't actually fire something
out of that test facility, i don't expect to see much of a reaction from president trump and i think we'll continue to see is that -- is that president trump will continue to live in this fantasy land where he imagines that he has a wonderful relationship with kim jong-un and kim will denuclearize somehow, some day but if north korea decides to go ahead with a test launch which is improbable but not impossible because kim may feel that he is really getting nothing in return for playing nice with donald trump and so if kim actually goes ahead with the test launch that will put trump on the spot and he will have to decide at that point whether he's going to continue this charade of talks or whether he's going to go back to the maximum pressure policy that he was following in 2017. >> i want to get your take on some of the developments involving saudi arabia. there's been a lot of criticism about the administration's handling of the murder of "the washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi, whether saudi crown prince muhammad bin salman should be held responsibility.
here's how some senators described a classified briefing they just got about the probe. worthless. miserable. a sham. i'm not happy and not the right approach. the bipartisan frustration is mounting, clearly. democratic senator tim kaine saying the administration is not taking the jamal khashoggi murder seriously. >> the witnesses who came to the hearing had no idea, no information about whether the president, whatever complied with the law and reached a determination about mbs's complicitly in the jamal khashoggi murder. the briefing was a quote, total joke adding it merely served as more bipartisan fuel to hold the saudi regime responsible. max, more bipartisan fuel, but the question is, what are they doing with that fuel and outrage? what's the real action that's going to happen here? >> that's a great question. congress did act and demand that
president trump impose sanctions on saudi arabia and he has essentially not complying with that will of congress. this is a question not just of protecting the saudi royal family but also not truly complying with the law and his obligations as commander-in-chief. the ball is back in congress's court right now and the question is, will they hold trump and saudi arabia responsible? will they do something to punish saudi arabia for carrying out this murder of jamal khashoggi? and that remains to be determined. a lot of it will depend on senate republicans. are they going to do anything about this or will they just express some disapproval and let trump and the saudis get away with it and it looks like that's what's going to happen. they aren't really going to hold the saudi feet to the fire. >> it is still top of mind. we saw that today in questioning in the senate for the pick for president trump's pick for saudi ambassador. take a listen. >> can you talk about how as
ambassador, what opportunities you have to help hold the saudis accountable for what they're doing? it has been two years since we've had an ambassador in saudi arabia without any oversight or concerns expressed on some of these issues? >> senator, ambassadors don't hold countries accountable. countries hold countries accountable. >> true, yet the country's not doing a heck of a lot as you just laid out. the fact that there hasn't been an ambassador to saudi arabia for two years, this relationship that is so important to the president, all of those things add up to, i mean, we're just stuck with a whole lot of nothing. >> this is yes, ma'am blem attic of the general -- many other ambassadorial posts that are not being filled and meanwhile you have a campaign donor being
appointed as u.s. ambassador to the u.n. which is an unprecedented insult to the u.n. and to the world. the general was right. there's a limit on what any trump appointee can do if he is not backed up by the president and clearly, even if the general wanted to hold saudi arabia accountable, he couldn't really do it because all the signals from president trump are that he doesn't care about the murder of this journalist. all he cares about is the possibility that saudi arabia may buy a lot of u.s. arm sales and you just have his son-in-law jared kushner who, a, should not be employed and should not have a security clearance, but nevertheless remains one of the most powerful people in u.s. foreign policy is now trying to develop this middle east peace plan which he's been doing for the last two years and he thinks he needs saudi participation in that, which he does. i very much doubt that the saudis will make any major concessions. they'll just pocket the gains they're getting from the trump white house.
>> max boot, always appreciate it. thanks. we are keeping a very close eye on ohio. at this moment, hundreds of workers leaving a general motors plant there for the last time. workers, many of them feeling left behind in what by all accounts is a booming economy. an iconic american job is nearing extinction. plus the interview everyone is talking about, r. kelly lashing out at his accusers. >> i hope this camera keep going. this is not true. this doesn't even make sense. why would i hold all these women? they're mothers and fathers told me they're going to destroy your career. no matter how much you clean, does your house still smell stuffy?
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nearly two weeks after he was indicted on ten counts of criminal sexual abuse, r. kelly is trying to make his case in the court of public opinion. for the first time since his arrest, the singer is now speaking out in an emotional and at times expletive laden interview. a defiant kelly asserted his innocence. >> i have been assassinated. i have been buried alive, but i'm alive. >> so i think the point you're making is, and correct me if i am wrong, that you have never held anybody against their will? >> i don't need to. why would i? how stupid -- >> you've never held. >> -- with all i've been through
in my way, way past to hold somebody -- let alone, four, five, 60 you said. how stupid would i be to do that? >> i didn't say you were holding -- >> is this kraerm on me? >> yes, it's on. >> that's stupid. i didn't do this stuff. this is not me. i'm fighting for my [ bleep ] life. you're all killing me with this! >> robert? >> you're all trying to kill me! you're killing me, man! you all just don't want to believe the truth. you don't want to believe it. that doesn't even make sense. why would i hold all these women? they're mothers and fathers told me we're going to destroy your career. i need help -- >> what kind of help? >> this is the kind of help i need. >> what kind of help? >> i need somebody to help me not have a big heart, because my
heart is so big, people betray me and i keep forgiving them. younger women that like women. >> are you an older man that loves younger women? >> i'm an older man that loves all women. >> the parents of two women still living with him sold their daughters to the singer saying, they hoped he would help them with their music careers. all of the parents say that is not true. they have never received nor asked for any money. we'll get to all the legal stuff. i have to say, when we were watching this, you're just mesmerized, not only at him but also at gayle king's composure and her excellent questions. your reaction to this but also as an attorney, his team seemingly let him go and do this interview? >> this is remarkable, erica for someone who has been charged with a serious felonies. there are ten counts of aggravated sexual abuse that
have been filed by the chicago district attorney against r. kelly. these charges carry with them the potential for 70 years in prison and for him to be on television without his attorneys making statements that can be used in the trial that will go forward against him is pretty unusual, not something we often see and definitely not for 80 minutes which is what we told this interview went on for. >> you talk about his words and how they could potentially be used. he was -- part of the questioning there about, is he an older man that likes younger women? he said he doesn't look at age, he just looks at whether they are in his words, legal. that would stick out to prosecutors? >> that's one statement, erica, and lots of other statements that could potentially be damaging to him. we know in a court of law he's not required to take the witness stand. he can pursue his defense without ever testifying, but his words, his statements made out of court in this interview can be used by the prosecutors as they present their case and
unlike the last trial that he had in 2008, this isn't one victim coming forward, this is four victims. there's also, according to the district attorney, a video tape and what we know from the bill cosby case is prior bad act witnesses may also be allowed to testify. this isn't your classic he said/she said there's a lot of evidence the district attorney has at her disposal that will be brought forth. >> one of the two women still living with him also speaking out. here's what she's saying. >> tell me why you're crying. tell me. >> i'm crying because you don't know the truth. this is all [ bleep ] lies and if you can't see that you're ig nornts and you're stupid. >> so, she's saying that this is all a lie, her parents are in it for the money. we heard what r. kelly had to say about it. that too -- you look at the
emotion in that, how would these two women, especially the one we just heard from, fair as witnesses? >> that's what made it so complicated, we had women like the woman we saw in that interview who have refuted the statement that's r. kelly is holding them against their will or is abusing them. we saw all the women that came forward in the documentary that offered a very different version of the r. kelly that they know. i don't know if these witnesses will be called to testify, but i do know that there are many, many women who have come forward to support the allegations that have been filed by the district attorney and who are saying very loud and unequivocally that they were abused and sexually assaulted by r. kelly. >> always good to see you, thank you. >> thanks. just ahead, michael cohen on a day when he's supposed to report to prison, instead back on capitol hill with another revelation, new documents about that trump tower/moscow project.
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you hear those horns. you hear the chants. people holding signs. this from just moments ago in northeast ohio as more than 1,400 workers finished their final shift. general motors is shutting down production there. 400 workers have accepted transfers to other plants. the closure is part of a larger gm plan that will see more 8,000 layoffs in north america over the coming months. vanessa is at the plant. what are these folks saying on
their last day? >> reporter: hi, erica. a lot of them are very emotional to be leaving today but a lot of them are also showing a lot of pride for having worked for gm, some for decades. some of their families for decades and just a short time ago, the last shift ended at 3:00 p.m. eastern time and we saw a large group of workers cross the highway just to my right, they got together, holding signs, holding flags and asking cars as they drove by to honk their horns in support and it really shows just how much this plant and the workers here have meant to this community. now, according to gm, the reason why they're closing this plant and four others across north america is because people aren't buying cars like the chevy cruz any more. they're buying trucks, they're buying light suvs and they're also shifting their attention to autonomous vehicles and to making electric cars which
simply require less human bodies. and when mary barra, the ceo of gm came out and made that announcement in november that they were shutting down this plant, the president responded right away saying, he was very disappointed, even threatening to cut some subsidies for the company, but we spoke to the local union leader here in town and he said that promise that the president made to them of bringing autoworkers >> this was a blue county before president trump came through here and promised to, you know, don't sell your houses. all of these jobs are going to come back. we haven't seen that here. have only seen jobs leave. my dad worked there. he came here when the plant started. i got a job here. yeah. a generational thing in some aspects. i think that the corporation is dropping the ball on its numbers
right now. it feels like they are dropping the ball. like they are offering these jobs. there's not enough jobs for people and some people have children with special needs. they have parents they are taking care of. whatever it is everybody has a different situation. not everybody, it's not easy to pack up and move your stuff. >> gm this morning put out a statement saying that they understood that it would be a really emotional day for a lot of people but they have already been able to accommodate moves to different plants for about 400 workers here. one woman finished her shift here. her husband also works here. she told me she is getting out of the auto industry all together. >> talk about the end of an era. thank you. the president may have a love affair with certain brands, fast food, diet soda.
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>> the president showing a lot of love to different fast food restaurants and other companies as well. what is interesting is the love is not always reciprocated at least not in a way we have seen it with past administrations. you have this really interesting piece up about it. the fact is that it is a distinct shift from past presidencies. i'm not just talking about former president obama but going back typically if a president is calling out a brand that brand is really excited about it. >> yeah. that's right. i think we have seen it in the
past with past presidents and previous companies have been able to really increase that you are their marketing. with president trump because he is so devicive and very strong opinions about him brands have been not so willing to associate with him even when he brings it into the oval off the and does his greatest efforts to show how great their brand and products are. we haven't seen any of these companies respond at all. the only companies that mentioned anything is burger king and they made fun of him misspelling the word hamburger. >> that was a little surprising i have to say, to see a company push back and basically poke at him. what is maybe more surprising is this study that you published
things can be so devicive. >> we have seen a big shift where people expect companies to follow social responsibilities. they want them to take a stand on social issues. day want them to stand up for issues and we have seen companies like nike decide to take a stand on the issue of police brutality. this was nike taking a stand. they saw the revenue go up after that. it is for taking a stand and companies are being more willing
to take a stand on controversial issues. standing next to the issues is not one that very many are deciding to join onto. >> nice to have you back. thank you. thanks for joining us. the lead with jake tapper starts right now. the lead starts right now. >> he has more to say on capitol hill. democrats demanding to know whether and why president trump pressured officials to get security officials for his daughter and