tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN March 25, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
these launches. >> oren liebermann on the border between israel and gaza. be careful over there. we'll stay in close touch. and to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." erin burnett, "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, the breaking news the white house has still not received the full mueller report but that is not stopping the president. he has declared victory. plus, is the president about to pardon his former advisers? his lawyer just answering the questions. and michael avenatti charged with trying to extort tens of millions of dollars. prosecutors say it's all caught on tape. let's go "outfront." and good evening, i'm erin burnett. the west wing still has not seen the mueller report but president
trump does not need the report to declare victory. >> i love this country as much as i can love anything. my family, my country, my god. but what they did, it was a false narrative who -- it was a terrible thing. we can never let this happen to another president again. i can tell you that. >> and with that, all the talk of witch hunts and hoaxes and witch hunts and hoaxes and witch hunts and hoaxes is over. >> mr. president -- >> now, that is certainly a change of heart. because clearly the president expected something else from mueller. in fact, his lawyer, rudy guiliani, bluntly said that attorney general barr's memo, was, quote, better than i expected. barr, of course, says mueller found no collusion with russia. and while mueller didn't reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice, the issue of obstruction. there are many questions tonight.
for instance, why president trump and so many people in his orbit lied about their contacts with russia. why was former campaign chairman paul manafort allegedly sharing polling data with a russian with ties to putin's intelligence agencies? why did the trump campaign get the gop's anti russian stance on ukraine? what are president trump's financial ties to moscow and how important was that tower in russia? the full mueller report may answer some but not all questions. president trump is changing his tune, hiding behind his attorney general but saying he is fine with the full report being released to the public. . >> the attorney general -- it wouldn't bother me at all. >> it wouldn't bother him at all. and it would at the at least explain the many actions of robert mueller. don't forget, he criminally charged 37 people and entities, 29 of them russians, six of them trump associates. 199 criminal counts. this is unprecedented. paul manafort alone will spend the next seven and a half years
in prison. he was a chairman of a presidential campaign. this will go down in history, which is why there is more we need to know and releasing the report will be a big step to understanding how mueller came to his conclusions. but whether we see mueller's full report or not, the chairman of the house intelligence committee says there are still other crucial questions. >> our investigation has always focused on counterintelligence issues. that is, is the president or anyone around him compromised in some way. that work has to go on. >> that's a crucial question to imagine that we don't know the answer to. shimon prokupecz is "outfront" live in washington. we obviously have this four-page summary and this report. but we all hope we will get to see. but what -- chairman schiff there is saying, the question of whether the president or anyone around him was compromised by russia is a question that was not -- that we still are working on. was that even part of mueller's investigation, answering that
question? >> yeah. of course, it was. and it continues to be something that the fbi and the counterintelligence will always i think counterintelligence investigators will always look for. but i think it's very clear from what we saw in the bill barr report, they found no evidence that the russians and people on the -- with trump and the trump campaign colluded with the russians. the idea that there may be some kind of let's say someone may be compromised or the russians may have somehow been able to breach the trump campaign is certainly something that everyone wants to know more about. because you have so many people when they were asked questions about their involvement with russians. so many people on the campaign, they had lied about it. so that had always investigators suspicious of that activity so that is an ongoing process in terms of what were the russians up to. but it's very clear from the report that we have seen so far, parts that we have seen so far, that really, you know, the fbi did not find that there was anything criminal that was going
on. now counterintelligence is very, very different, as you know, erin. >> yeah, it is, obviously. and what kinds of conclusions you could reach from a counterintelligence perspective may not reach a criminal standard when you're talking about things like assets and, you know, foreign governments. when do you think, shimon, that we might get the final report? >> right. so the members of congress are saying they want it by april 2nd. that's probably a little too soon. that's not going to happen. i think what we saw from department of justice this weekend, they were trying to move quickly. and they did. and i think that should keep everyone optimistic. we know they're going to continue to work on this report. there's a report that people should understand is in two parts. you have the obstruction part and then you have the russia collusion part. the russia collusion part is going to be a little more difficult, because that's where you're going to have all the classified and perhaps the grand jury information. >> right. >> on the obstruction stuff, it's going to be more about interviews and the work that the fbi was conducting.
maybe we'll see a lot of what the president was tweeting in that part of the report. so that could be easier. and that could be something that department of justice could do quicker. so we could see it come in part. so we could see the obstruction part first and then at some point, we could see the russia collusion. but obviously i think what everyone really wants to see is the obstruction part of the report. and we may get that sometime in april. could be sooner. >> and, of course, you know, then we find today mcconnell basically blocking, you know, the vote from congress to release the whole thing. the president says he's for it. is that real? is he really for it at this point obviously would say i've been exonerated. but is that really what he wants? >> it's hard to say, right, because the president also said, yeah, i'm willing to sit down with robert mueller and his team and never did. the president's lawyers protected him from that. he usually always says, okay, i want to do this, but then, you know, we hear weeks later, days later, he doesn't do it. so i think he's feeling good
about it, as he should. and so that's why he's saying, yeah, let's put it out. but i don't think they know exactly everything in there now. >> thank you, shimon. i want to go to democratic congressman denny heck, who sits on the house intelligence committee. they're looking into a lot more things and there's a lot more going on there. so congressman, let me start with you. you and i spoke back in december. there was a whole lot of activity on that day from mueller's team, and on that night, you told me, quote, it was the beginning of the end. the walls are closing in on president trump. do you feel differently now? >> no. i don't. i think it's hard to look at the accumulation of the number of people in and around him that are closest to him that are going to jail. and conclude anything other than the amount of corruption that associates with this president is beyond any modern historic precedent. erin, let us remember that in addition to the 39 criminal indictments and the seven guilty pleas or prison sentences, we also still have, count them, for
district or regional u.s. attorneys' offices engaged in investigations, we still have a state regulator and i don't know how many local prosecutors are pursuing violations of state laws. so i don't think this is the end of the story at all. >> so when you say, though, that you know, you stand by the walls closing in, has your committee found anything that mueller didn't? mueller obviously, you know, did not -- found no collusion with russia. i mean, that's the bottom line. it's very hard to beat around that headline. >> yes. and it's a headline. and it's just that, erin. just a headline. look, i have said all along to you on-air and i will repeat tonight, i'm completely prepared to accept the conclusions of bob mueller. but i want to read bob mueller's conclusions. what we got was a four-page distillation by a political appointee of the president. and you'll pardon me if i don't take his word directly for it. besides which i think the american public deserves to see
this work product. director mueller deserves to be congratulated and thanked for his service. and let us remember that for the last two years, the administration has been engaged in a nonstop hour-by-hour attempt to discredit the reputation of bob mueller. haven't heard much of that in the last 48 hours, though, have we, erin. >> no, obviously, that's been a complete about-face. but when you say a distillation of the report by a political appointee, are you saying you don't trust the attorney general? >> no, not at all. remember, as it relates to this point in particular, i'm not making that point generally. but remember, attorney general barr on an unsolicited basis submitted a 19-page single-space memo to the department of justice last summer about why it is that they shouldn't pursue an obstruction of justice investigation. so it's no surprise that within 48 hours of getting director mueller's report, which contemplated or envisioned the interviewing, the 500-plus
people and tens of thousands of pages of document, he almost instantaneously stuck with his recommendation of last summer. so, yeah. pardon me. i want to read the report in its entirety and i think the american public deserves to be able to do that. >> if his interpretation of it is accurate, what are you going to do? the house speaker today, nancy pelosi, said she stands by comments from january that president trump may be compromised by russia. you just heard your chairmanship saying the same thing. shimon prokupecz saying, look, that was part of the mandate of bob mueller, we don't know what time frame he would have looked at that, but says that's part of the mandate. so you think there's something there on compromise? or are you guys just grasping at straws? >> so it's good that you ask that question. because it enables us to remind people that collusion, per se, which has been hiding in playboplain
sight doesn't rise to the same level of criminal conspiracy and beyond a reasonable doubt standard. but the fact of the matter is that there is collusion hiding in plain sight. and there has been all along. and there remains, of course, as well the question, erin. why is it that all these people have lied on behalf of the president for the last couple years? why are so many people in and around him going to jail? why did they feel compelled to lie about all of this? and i think the only way we can truly get the answer to that question is if we are able to read the mueller report in its entirety. >> so i want to ask you about congressman schiff. obviously we played him a moment ago. chairman of the intelligence committee. he obviously is saying there's evidence of collusion, which, again, the summary says there is not. because of comments like that, the minority leader, kevin mccarthy today has called for schiff to step down from the house intelligence committee. look, what's your point of view? can he stay? this is your committee. should schiff remain? >> erin, i have been privileged
to be able to have public service as a part of my life intermittently throughout my entire adult life. i was first elected to public office 43 years ago to the state house of representatives in washington. as a consequence, i've served with literally hundreds and hundreds of elected officials. and i will just tell you flat out, that adam schiff is as -- possesses as much integrity and intelligence and professionalism as any single individual with whom i've ever served, bar none. >> thank you very much, congressman heck. i appreciate your time. >> you're welcome. next, cnn bob mueller decided weeks ago he could not be able to reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice. one lawyer says that decision is a borderline dereliction of duty. she's next. plus, president trump wants revenge. >> there are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things. i would say treasonous things against our country.
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so recently my son's band was signed by a record label. a record deal? unbelievable. whenever we're about to get on a stage for a huge audience, i always give my dad like a facetime kinda moment. you see the crowd, you see the emotion. you know, he has that experience for the first time with me, and that's really important to me. i created a rockstar. (both laughing) (vo) there for you when it matters most. get iphone xr on us when you buy the latest iphone. and apple music on us with unlimited. only on verizon. new tonight, special counsel robert mueller decided three weeks ago that he would not make the decision on whether or not president trump obstructed justice. so a source is telling cnn that mueller's team gave the attorney general, bill barr and the deputy attorney general, rod
rosenstein, a heads up during a meeting. three weeks ago, they said we're not going to be the ones to make this decision. that conclusion, was, quote, unexpected by bill barr. we don't know what thattence ma means. but now we're left with this issue. no procedure -- not moving forward with obstruction because of the attorney general, bill barr's decision. "outfront" now, former federal prosecutor, laura coates, and white house correspondent for american urban radio network's april ryan. laura, you say mueller not reaching a decision on obstruction of justice, choosing to say i'm not the one to make that call, would be dereliction of duty. why? >> it is. because it sounds like he said it's a punt. i can't make the decision, you decide. well, the exact charge that included under mueller's mandate was for him to make difficult decisions for 22 months of work to be able to come to a conclusion. to hand it over to barr, who is a political appointee, who
already has made his viewpoints well-known that he already came in with preconceived notions on that particular issue, although rosenstein is a part of it, it's as if he is saying, did he commit a crime? maybe. that's the actual question we want you to answer for it. so it's a punt that could only mean he is trying to punt not in the direction of bill barr but the direction of congress, perhaps. >> and bill barr, of course, making that decision right now. that's all we've got. and his letter on the obstruction point. barr writes, quote, the special counsel states that while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. that's the most negative thing in that entire letter, right? and barr and rosenstein make the decision. we're not going to go ahead with obstruction of justice. what happens now? >> well, i think what happens now is if you're a member of congress, you want to find out what analysis and what facts stood behind that conclusion by mueller, which is excerpted here. to be sure, if barr, since he
was going to recommend no charges on obstruction, felt compelled to include that sentence from mueller's report in his short letter summary -- >> it means there was something there. >> there must be something there. and what i would like to know, if you imagine there being pros and cons to the charge, barr told us what he thought were the cons and some of those cons, to my mind, don't make much sense. but what were the pros? in favor of that? why did mueller think it was counter balanced in some way? with reasons to charge and reasons not to charge? and we don't know those reasons to charge. only the release of the report will answer it. >> and april, when it comes to this, as laura said, what was bob mueller supposed to do? the former independent counsel, ken starr, not coming from the political point of view, which would leaeach a decision on obstruction. here is ken starr. >> we've got a final line from
bill barr, but not from bob mueller. bob mueller punted. i don't think that was wise on his part. i don't think it was courageous. . >> starr laid out obstruction of justice and put it out there. nothing. >> i'm glad to hear ken starr say that. i was around. i was in that white house when he deposed bill clinton. second term of his presidency. ken starr started looking at a land deal that went wrong. and it went from a land deal that went wrong into a blue stained dress. okay? a boss versus an intern having an affair who just happened to be the president and a white house intern. what ken starr did, he had on the table the original mandate, trying to find out about this land deal. if there was any violation with this issue that the clintons had committed. but when you have something like this, and ken starr did this.
and this is what was missing in this mueller report issued, this investigation. when -- and it's -- i've said it before. it's equated to a police officer going into a home, hearing that there's some kind of drug activity. but along the way, when he goes into that home, he sees the wife being beaten or the children being abused. he can't just look for the drugs and leave that alone. ken starr took everything -- when he started hearing everything, put everything on the table. bob mueller, he -- the original mandate -- the original mandate was collusion. and then he left -- he's leaving it to the southern district, as well as to the house to possibly investigate. >> so you've got obstruction. and then, of course, you have collusion. and laura, on this collusion issue, the headline is that bob mueller found no evidence of collusion. so the law fair blog today wrote something i thought was really important and i wanted to read and get your and harry's interpretation. they write, quote, barr's summary would be broadly consistent with many other possible reports. it would be consistent with, for
example, a report that finds lots of evidence of collusion that for one reason or another falls short of criminal conduct. it would be consistent with the report that describes conduct that falls short of the criminal standard by the barest of technicalities. it would be consistent with this top line summary. no collusion. your take, laura. >> well, no one has ever been satisfied by the statement, nothing to see here, folks. there is a reason we're all looking in particular directions. you can't just give a summation that says there is nothing here. it's a great actual summation for the democracy in america. it's great for the president of the united states. it's great for the american electorate not to have had collusion. but there is deserving an explanation to support that conclusion. if you reed ad it if there is a clear determination, there is no waffling, a punting. compare that to obstruction. what was so sure for people for collusion that wasn't there for
protection. if i were the president of the united states, frankly, erin, i would not be satisfied, because it puts me in the very same position that james comey put hillary clinton in. which was extremely reckless and careless, but no criminal conduct. there is something here. i can't exonerate you, but not a crime being committed. no collusion, i can tell you for sure. but okay instructibstruction, m. it's a problem. >> harry, what do you make of this collusion, that you could conclude no collusion and yet have essentially collusion that falls short of the criminal standard by the barest of technicalities. would you agree? >> very unsightful. in any criminal investigation, when it begins, there is some reason for it to begin. there is some smoke, some evidence. and then you can see evidence building. you can imagine a spectrum from just bare evidence all the way up to but just short of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. if you're a prosecutor, you're trained not to bring charges unless you really feel proof beyond a reasonable doubt
exists. so when people now sometimes say this means there was no evidence of collusion, i would have to disagree with that respectfully. i would say -- >> the president. >> anyone. i would say it's somewhere on that spectrum. and until the report is released -- >> we just don't know. >> we don't know where on the spectrum. what if there was a conspiracy between someone in the trump administration and someone who had uncertain ties with russia. somewhat misleading in terms of our understanding what happened. >> you would have intent. >> exactly. >> so -- all right. so, look. the president asked about pardons. so if he says the headlines are great, i'm exonerated, are you going to pardon people. his response, they haven't thought about it. of course, that's not true. but tonight rudy guiliani tells the "washington post" that the president is not considering pardons. will trump pardon manafort? >> you know, that remains to be seen. this president does a lot of things in a knee jerk reaction.
how the public sentiment comes out. and also what's at stake for him. it's always about the trump brand. and it's also sometimes about thumbing his nose, like, okay, i can do this, because did you that to me. unfortunate, it's very kind of high school-ish, or maybe even grade school or playgroundish. but quite honestly, this white house has looked at it. if it's not the president today, there are people who have looked at it to show him the pitfalls or the positives of doing this. so we just have to see how this plays out. as of this moment, it may not happen. who is to say next week, next year, even. >> whether it's a wait and see sort of thing. thank you all very much. so many more questions. next, team trump now calling for an investigation into the investigators. and it appears hillary clinton. but is that really the way to go? plus michael avenatti. remember that guy? the man who tried to take down trump who was out there all the time, gallivanting around.
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it's a look what your wifi can do now store. a get your questions answered by awesome experts store. it's a now there's one store that connects your life like never before store. the xfinity store is here. and it's simple, easy, awesome. tonight, treasonous and evil things. president trump seizing victory and going after his enemies. those are his words. here he is. >> there are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things. i would say treasonous things, against our country. those people will certainly be looked at. i've been looking at them for a long time. and i'm saying, why haven't they been looked at? >> treasonous and evil.
kaitlan collins "outfront" at the white house. the president not wasting any time, taking this and going on the attack. >> no, erin, and the trump you saw there was a very different trump than the trump we saw yesterday after he found about the findings in mueller's investigation where he was declaring victory and today the president trying to weaponize these findings. for the better part of two years, the president has been on defense when it comes to the russia investigation and now we're seeing him go on offense, saying people should be looked at, possibly investigated themselves and saying they are guilty of treasonous or evil things there. now, not everyone close to the president thinks it's a good idea for him to take an aggressive approach. several people say the president should take the high road, essentially, take his win here and even republican leadership has advised they should just move on from the russia investigation. but then other people close to the president say that he feels vindicated by this and is not ready to put this behind him and you can expect for the president to not only use it during his
first term but also leading up to the re-election in 2020. now i talk about some people who don't think it's a good idea for the president to take an aggressive approach here. but people like david bossie, the president's deputy campaign manager in 2016, said he believes that he agrees with the president here about the aggressive approach and that the investigators here should be investigated. >> all right. thank you very much, kaitlan. "outfront," joan walsh, national affairs correspondent for the nation and rick santorum, senator from pennsylvania. joan, people the president wants investigated who have done evil and treasonous things. >> evil and treasonous. this is really kind of deranged language and behavior, erin. for one thing, if he's going to claim that this investigation exonerated him at the same time claiming there was evil and treasonous intent behind it, i'm not sure he can have it both ways. second of all, we shouldn't be surprised, because they are still chanting lock her up and we know who her is, at his rallies.
this is the way he behavioes. he should just enjoy. he had a great weekend. he's had a good day. he should take his victory lap and be happy with what we know so far. because i think the next couple weeks are going to be tougher for the president, as a matter of fact. as we learn more about this report. >> and, of course, we don't know the timing. they're setting a deadline. house democrats saying april 2nd. obviously, unclear as to what would -- have the -- to meet that deadline. but rick, what do you make? he's taken the fall, going immediately on offense, talking about the investigators who have exonerated him as doing evil and treasonous things. it is very hard to say you're exonerated and then say they're evil and treasonous. >> that's not who he is call evil and treasonous. he's not calling robert mueller evil and treasonous. what he's calling, the people at the fbi. the folks who were, you know, conducting an investigation on a presidential campaign, now based on what we found to be basically no evidence whatsoever. that -- >> we don't know that.
we don't know that. >> just don't -- please don't bankrupt interrupt me, joan. i don't think that's where the president is headed. i don't think he's going to have at mueller team. he's going to have at people who started this team. and i think it's legitimate, and here's why. because as you just heard joan say and you just said, erin, the democrats haven't given up, they're not going to take their loss and go home. they're going to continue to pound away at this, to try to find something, somewhere, in some footnote somewhere, to continue to go after this president. and for the president to sit by and say, hey, i won and we're going to move on i think would be a big mistake. >> joan, to this point, obviously, there's a lot more information we don't have. but there were a lot of democrats who were very quick before they knew anything to go all the way, you know, for the end zone. here's a few of them. >> sure. >> i believe that we have everything that it needs to basically impeach him. >> we're going to go in there and impeach the mother
[ bleep ]. >> we know that this president, this administration -- every day has gone a little bit closer to being impeached, and we won't be having these conversations on whether to do it, but it's going to be when and how. >> yes, some people have gone out there. but, you know, we also have to acknowledge that there -- mueller did bring 37 indictments on more than 100 counts. >> a lot of things that happened. no question about it. >> a lot of things that happened. there were at least 16 contacts between the trump campaign -- >> right. >> and russian folks. we still don't know the nature of the conversations of the quid pro quos, if any. >> right. >> so, yes, some people may have gone out a little beyond what the evidence says. but most people are standing with the american public and saying, we want to see the report, for one thing. that's a very popular opinion. jerry nadler of adam schiff, they're talking about
investigation, not impeachment. we in the media cannot keep conflating investigation and impeachment. it is their duty to investigates. impeachment is a separate issue all together. >> rick? >> the reality is, they had $25 million, 500 interviews. two years of investigating, whether there was any collusion. and joan, you just sort of throw out, well, there were 16 contacts. people run into and talk to and contact people who are from russia. the hillary clinton campaign, i guarantee you, had contacts with some people who may have been alive with russia. that doesn't make -- that doesn't make a criminal or investigative or an impeachable offense. the reality -- >> more like fly by night context. but go ahead. >> the reality is, professional investigators, all of them mueller hired. democrats looking to get donald trump. they all came back and said there is nothing here and yet we hear again from joan and other democrats, we're not satisfied yet. we still believe there's
something that needs to be investigated. i just think the american public is going to turn this off. i think it's a big danger for the democrats. there is part of me rooting for the democrats to continue to do so, except for it's really bad for the country. >> joan, on this issue, obviously there are all sorts of levels, right? >> right. >> that you could have, basically short of a criminal legal conspiracy. >> right. >> and conclude no collusion. but you also could have no collusion at all. >> you could have no collusion. >> so do democrats run the risk of saying give us the report and it comes out and guess what, bill barr's summary is accurate. no collusion, no anything. just a bunch of stupid people who wanted to get whatever information they could. what if that happens? then what? >> if that is true, which i don't expect. but if that is true, that's a win for the country. then we know everything. i don't understand why people -- the president is saying, sure, show the whole report. but mitch mcconnell is saying, no. we don't want to release the report. this is fascinating. if it exonerates the president, just like rick says, rick and everybody else should be calling for the release of the whole
report. you know, with the exclusion of sources and methods -- >> so rick, let me give you the final word here, since joan had the first. mitch mcconnell blocked it tonight. is that a mistake? don't we all have the right to see all of this, except for any sources and methods? >> i think that bill barr was very clear in his letter he's going to release everything he can, based -- with the exception of things in grand jury testimony that's protected. and other things, sources and methods. so, look. i think this is a big talk about nothing. let's wait and see what bill barr does. i think he's going to be very transparent to the extent that the law allows him to do. and then we can talk about it from there. >> all right. so -- >> thank you both. and next, what do swing state voters want now that the mueller investigation is over? >> democrats really just need to work -- roll up their sleeves and get to work on the issues that are important to the issues that are important to the state. >> michael avenatti about to be released on bond, charged with extorting tens of millions of
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switch to cvs pharmacy. tonight, democratic presidential candidate, senator cory booker, expressing doubt about attorney general barr's letter about the mueller report. >> i have a lot of suspicion about barr, who has already spoken to these issues before he even saw the report. so, again, i worry about that
filter. and secondly, i think barr has characterize something in a piece of paper that almost seemed to be handing the president talking points and did a job that we should be able to do as congress by looking at this report. >> well, the thing is, for many trump voters who were worried, they were legitimately worried about what mueller might find. they now have the answers they need. miguel marquez is "outfront." >> in the heartland, conclusions of the mueller report so far favor the president and his catch phrases are winning. >> i make of it exactly what donald trump said it was. it was fake news. it was a witch hunt. it was a hoax all along. as a matter of fact, i think they need to investigate the people that funded the fake dossier, because they're the real criminals in this. >> ford auto worker, brian pennbecker is a huge trump fan. he helped elect the presidents in vote-rich county and says the
report's filings gives the president a lift. >> if the democrats were smart, they would start working with president trump instead of trying to overturn the results of the election. >> and in your mind, if they do, they're only going to make him stronger in places like mckone. >> absolutely. because guy didn't do anything wrong. >> they are critical to the president's re-election. in 2016, he won the state by just 10,704 votes. the county and suburban detroit voted for obama in 2008 and 2012. he won the county by more than 48,000 votes. even democrats here say the report's findings won't help them win back macomb county and the state. >> it was surprising that more wasn't revealed in this report. >> yanez, who has run for and held several political offices says his fellow democrats need
to investigate less and focus on policy. >> i think democrats really just need to work -- roll up their sleeves and get to work on issues important to the citizens of my city and my state. >> there is hope for democrats here. the midterms saw them rebound slightly. the county narrowly back, winning democratic candidates in the senate and governor's races. >> i was excited. >> john scans, who retired from management in the auto industry, considers himself a moderate republican. he voted for the president, but could be persuaded to support joe biden in 2020. >> do you think that mueller report and the summary helps the president? >> i think it helped him a lot. i think it helped him a lot. and it got rid of a big stigma with his following. >> and that was miguel marquez reporting on the ground in michigan. "outfront" next, breaking news. michael avenatti about to be released on bond, arrested, charged with trying to extort tens of millions of dollars.
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the pain and swelling. the psoriasis. cosentyx treats more than just the joint pain of active psoriatic arthritis. it even helps stop further joint damage. 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. get real relief, with cosentyx. so recently my son's band was signed by a record label. a record deal? unbelievable. whenever we're about to get on a stage for a huge audience, i always give my dad like a facetime kinda moment. you see the crowd, you see the emotion. you know, he has that experience for the first time with me, and that's really important to me. i created a rockstar. (both laughing) (vo) there for you when it matters most. get iphone xr on us when you buy the latest iphone.
and apple music on us with unlimited. only on verizon. thanksmrs. murphy. unitedhealthcare, hi, i need help getting an appointment with my podiatrist. how's wednesday at 2? i can't. dog agility. tuesday at 11? nope. robot cage match. how about the 28th at 3? done. with unitedhealthcare medicare advantage plans, including the only plans with the aarp name, there's so much to take advantage of. from scheduling appointments to finding specialists, it's easier to get the care you need when you need it. breaking news. michael avenatti who represented
porn star stormy daniels in her legal quest against president trump is about to be released on $300,000 bail. prosecutors say avenatti tried to extort more than $20 million. they also charged him with wire and bank fraud. he didn't seem to have any clue this was happening. he was walking down the street and, boom, they took him in. he's about to appear outside the court house in just a few moments, we believe. m.j. lee is out front. m.j., it's pretty stupinning. it doesn't seem like he has any clue this was happening. what are you learning about this huge extortion scheme of huge proportions? >> definitely a stunning development for michael avenatti. he was arrested today in manhattan by fbi agents. this 11-page criminal complaint basically goes into the details of how michael avenatti tried to exextort the company, nike, for millions of dollars. it says that last week is when it all began. michael avenatti met with a number of lawyers that worked for nike and he said, look, i
have a client that has damaging information about your company. unless you agree to pay us millions of dollars, i'm going to hold a press conference which will be damaging to your company. unfortunately for avenatti, the lawyers that work for nike immediately contacted sdny, the southern district of new york. so law enforcement officials recorded and monitored subsequent conversations thatta naughty ho -- that avenatti had. there are a number of statements that sound very thuggish. avenatti says i'm not f'ing around with this and not continuing to play games. you guys know enough now to know you've got a serious problem and it's worth more in exposure to me to just blow the lid on this thing. it's interesting, the sdny said michael avenatti was targeting nike last week ahead of their earnings call and also ahead of the start of the ncaa tournament
because his intention was to inflict maximum damage on the company, erin. >> prosecutors also say avenatti has an unindicted co-conspirator? >> that's right. it's interesting, this complaint there are references to this unnamed co-conspirator. a california attorney known for his representation of celebrity and public figure clients. well, my colleague is reporting that that that lawyer is mark geragos. this is a celebrity lawyer, you might know him for recently representing jussie smollett. he was participating in these conversations that avenatti was having with the nike lawyers. interestingly enough, as a part of the condition for avenatti's release that's happening tonight, he is not able to speak with mark geragos. again, this witness. finally i will quickly note that he was a cnn contributor. as of today, he no longer is. >> all right, thank you very much, m.j. it's pretty stunning, right? michael avenatti, talk about a
falling star. outfront now, former federal prosecutor jack weiss. how likely is it that avenatti goes to prison? >> well, it's a stunning case. and it's nuts. i've read the charging documents in new york and los angeles. in new york there is a lot of bad stuff in that charging document. m.j. put some of the language there. there's a lot of other stuff he says that he shouldn't say ever, ever in life. and certainly not in a business meeting. he is asking for exorbitant sums, $10, $20 million. the person who is recorded asking him the questions is a sophisticated lawyer who knew exactly how to ask the questions to establish the factual predicate for these charges. but on the other hand, there may be a claim that he can make that he was representing a client, that his client had an underlying claim. it just has to be barely
plausible against nike. you will see that raised as a defense. we don't know much about that claim from these charging documents. >> all right. so let me ask you about this. stormy daniels responded on twitter. obviously that's how we know michael avenatti, right? he became famous because of president trump and stormy daniels. her response today, i'm saddened but not shocked by news reports that avenatti has been criminally charged today. i made the decision more than a month ago to terminate michael's services after discovering that he had dealt with me extremely dishonestly, and there will be more announcements to come. what do you read into that, jack? >> yeah. in los angeles there have been reports over the last several months of alleging abhorrent conduct on behalf of mr. avenatti. a prominent former federal prosecutor has told the world about this crazy phone call avenatti made to him, just threatening him out of the blue. we had that allegation a few months back of a battery case against him. so altogether does it look like
someone whose life is not entirely in control? possibly. >> all right, jack weiss, thank you very much. as we await michael avenatti coming out here in new york momentarily, outfront next, jeanne on where beto stands, literally. live from the starlite lounge. ♪ one plus one ls too little too late ♪ ♪ a sock-a-bam-boom ♪ who's in the room? ♪ love is dangerous ♪ but driving safe means you pay less ♪ ♪ switch and save ♪ yes, ma'am excuse me, miss. ♪ does this heart belong to you? ♪ ♪ would you like it anyway? [ scatting ] ♪ would you like it anyway? ♪
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o'rourke will take a stand on. here's jeanne. >> reporter: what's a candidate known for climbing onto counters do to kick it up a notch? that's beto o'rourke climbing on top of a minivan, his campaign's, to address a crowd that couldn't fit into the coffee shop he was headed for. and after he slid down, he went inside the shop and climbed on that counter. even up there he was sometimes blocked from view. >> i promise to personally clean your counter before i leave, okay? >> reporter: he gave it a quick wipe afterwards. he always asks permission beforehand. >> are you okay with me getting up here? >> reporter: he's done it so often there's a twitter account called beto o'counten counters. that includes him standing on chairs. even at 6'4" he can get lost in a crowd. besides, it could serve as a
subtle dig at rivals in their 70s. can you imagine trump, biden or bernie doing this? >> hey, step forward. >> sometimes he vanishes. >> thank you for asking the question. >> reporter: he likes to crouch on the counter as well, which seems to defeat the purpose except when he wants to answer someone's question eye to eye. someone tweeted, oh, god, is he pulling a tom cruise again? remember leaping tom on oprah's couch? >> have you ever felt this way before? >> reporter: beto has made the leap to internet meme, photo shopped on a mcdonald's counter, on top of a podium while debating president trump. even portrayed as president o'rourke, addressing the nation from the oval office. you'd think counter climbing was an olympic event judging by the cheers, for beto's counter
attack. >> thank you for allowing me to stand on your counter. >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. thanks for joining us. don't forget you can watch "outfront" any time, just go to cnn go. anderson starts now. good evening. the attorney who made stormy daniels a household name and sparked the case that ended with michael cohen sentenced to prison is now himself at risk, if found guilty, of also going to prison. michael avenatti was charged in what the feds call a multimillion dollar extortion attempt and say the alleged shakedown was caught on tape. on top of that, he was charged in a separate case involving wire an bank fraud. he was arraigned just moments ago at a courthouse in lower man manhattan. we're expecting him to come out shortly and possibly speak to reporters. we'll bring you that when he does. there are also fallout from the summary of the