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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  May 7, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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the shoe was on the other foot. this minor league manager took care not to throw his shoe at the ump, instead he raised an armpit in protest. you stink. jeanne moos. cnn, new york. >> and thanks for joining us. anderson starts now. good evening. we begin with breaking news. while president trump and his treasury secretary refuse to hand over the president's tax records to house democrats, the new york times have obtained a decades worth of his tax information and they're findings are eye-popping. stunning. there is a lot of different adjectives to use. we'll talk to a reporter coming up. as the stiff-arming from the white house hit a new level blocking don mcgahn from turning over documents to the house jieshd committee and that comes a day after attorney general william barr refused to meet a deadline to hand over the full unredacted mueller report to congress and the same day the
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treasury secretary steve mnuchin said no to turning ore over the president's taxes and tonight we get the clearest picture of why the president might not want that information out. it doesn't look good for him in that information. joining me is susan craig of the "new york times." she shares the byline of this record, showing over $1 billion in business losses. this is incredible in its scope and detail. you could just lay out in your reporting and again it is on the "new york times," so people should go and read the full thing. but we're talking over a billion dollars over a decade. >> that is just for his core businesses. every year that we looked at, he lost money and the losses grew as he went further into the casinos and the losses that hop in there. but it is unbelievable. we would have thought at least in one of the years that we saw, maybe the year he wrote "art of the deal", he would have made money but he didn't. he was bleeding money every year that we looked at his businesses.
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>> and certainly years donald trump according to your reporting lost more than nearly any other individual taxpayer in the united states, is that right? >> yeah. it is incredible because we had both tax information and able to compare it to a data base of people who make a fair bit of money and that was a one-third sampling but even within that, he was often the largest number for losses in america. >> so the irony is -- >> it is stunning. >> he was the biggest loser to use a term he would use if this was -- if he was labelling somebody else. >> if he was writing the headline at "the new york times," that would be it. >> this is true. but he lost so much money he was -- did he pay income tax? >> he paid income tax in two of the ten years. one of them -- >> in only two of ten years. >> and it was the ultimate minimum tax. and just why. one was he had a big salary number because of a deal he did with merv griffin and so he paid the amt. it wasn't a lot but only two of the ten years.
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>> so he only paid a small amount. >> a very small amount. he hit the amt two years. >> so why was he losing so much money? >> because his businesses just weren't doing well. they actually were doing horribly year in and year out. and he had some decent investments. we saw them here and there. but always they were just -- the losses just flooded them. he would make money here but then he would lose money. he had a foray into stock trading for example and there was years he would make money and then just lost it all the next year. >> it is incredible that banks were loaning him -- it was banks that -- i guess they were keeping him afloat. deutsche bank we know he would default on loans to one part of deutsche bank and those bankers would say, okay, we won't have any more to do with him and he would go to another department -- >> yeah, later in his career, he did. and he ended up dealing with the private wealth group but the banks took a bath on him. and for the banks when you look back at the period, a lot of
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them remember how bad it was and some of them still will not do business with him because of what happened. it all kind of came to a head in 1990 when his casino started to go bankrupt. but for years we thought that was sort of where it started. but now we know he just never made money in those years. and it is shocking for us to see and we led with it, the year he wrote "art of the deal", this master of the universe memoir. >> which is written by somebody else. >> yeah. but that year he lost tens of millions of dollars. >> it is incredible. is there any response from t the -- the president on this reporting. >> the information that we have is from an irs transcript and they are simply saying that the -- the numbers in it, they are saying they are wrong but they have not provided us any information about what is wrong and they said the transcript is questionable. >> so explain that. you do not have a copy of his tax returns. >> we don't. >> which is what the fight is with the treasury department. you have print outs from an
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official irs tax transcript. what is that? >> it is within the irs that they use when they want to collect year after year of information on a taxpayer irs employees when they are doing -- dealing with things like audits and, in fact, we looked at it and not only had, we verified it and the individual who had it gave ten years of his father's tax returns and we have because of prior reporting that we've done and it matched it. matched it number for number. it was unbelievable. so we didn't find any inaccuracies in it. and we did other things to verify it. but we just couldn't -- we couldn't see that there wasn't any inaccuracies and we went to great lengths to verify it including getting fred trump's tax returns. >> for the battle over tax returns, is there more in the actual tax returns that you would like to see? >> yeah. this is -- it is incredible what we were able to see with the information that we were provided but we don't have the schedules and one of the frustrating things that we saw for example in one of the years
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he had more than $50 million in what is known as interest income and this is income if you have mortgages or bonds you'll get interest from those. and every year he had ten or 13 or less million dollars and then one year he had $50-some and we couldn't explain it and we had access to holdings to see what might be generating that interest income and if we had his schedules we would know what the sources of that income were and to me when i think about the modern day tax returns and why they are so important, it is because we need to see his sources of income. we know to know who is paying him and where that money is coming from and right now we don't know where that hidden hand is because we don't have his tax returns or the schedules that go with them. >> it is incredible reporting. susan craig, on the "new york times" website and people should check it out. thank you very much. i want to get reaction from democratic senator richard blumenthal, a member of the judiciary committee.
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you've seen the report. it certainly paints a picture of president trump that is much different than certainly the picture that he has painted of his business acumen. >> biggest loser is a contrast to his boasts about his business acumen. but very significantly, this report raises many more significant questions than this wonderful reporter was able to answer. and it sheds light on why president trump may be the first president in decades to refuse to disclose his tax returns. it also demonstrates irrefutably why the congress is wvl justified in seeking the tax returns as has been done now by subpoena. and the american people should be asking, what is in those six years of current tax returns that donald trump wants to conceal? >> a decade in the red with $1 billion in losses is extraordinary. and this time period in the
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reporting, it is not at the center of the battle between the trump administration and congress and all of this underscores the fact that there is so much that just isn't known still about the president's finances. >> there is so much that is unknown here. and it underscores the importance of the lawsuit that i have brought along with almost 200 of my colleagues. blumenthal versus trump seeks the story and evidence of his payments and benefits from foreign governments to him which he continues to refuse to disclose to the american people or to congress as is required by the emoluments clause and donald trump is defying the constitution and breaking the law by failing to disclose those details of his ongoing dealings with foreign governments and so it is a stunning picture of spectacular collapse during those years which is the term the report uses.
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but it also indicates very clearly why the american people deserve more truth from the white house, from this president about his business dealings. >> i want to ask you about the white house clearly continuing to stonewall the latest example obstructing don mcgahn to defy the subpoena for documents. so what are the democrats options at this point other than chairman nadler saying they could move to hold mcgahn in contempt? >> holding don mcgahn in contempt means holding the president accountable. along with others who may have participated in obstruction of justice. and that accountability means airing the truth. right now the american people have many of the president'salco lights and sycophants saying no collusion, no obstruction and case closed. but holding don mcgahn in contempt of court and enforcing
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that contempt through the courts is the prime avenue we have for telling the american people the truth about what happened. letting them hear and see from mcgahn and from mueller and from the unredacted report which we are also seeking. so they could make a judgment about what the proper remedy is and we can present that case. >> chairman nadler said that the contempt vote for attorney general barr that is scheduled for tomorrow, will democrats achieve anything, though, by holding him in contempt? does barr by extension, does the president even car? >> holding the attorney general in contempt of court is a very powerful marker and a message about this attorney general's contempt for the rule of law. from day one he has distorted and warped this report beginning with his four-page summary and then his statement at the time of the release of the report and his press conference and again
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when he testified before us at the senate judiciary committee. in fact i've written to the inspector general of the department of justice because of some of his comments about sharing information, which he couldn't recall precisely, with the white house. but he did recall that he may have given them the names of some cases. that may be highly inappropriate and we have recourse through the inspector general of the department of justice as well as through the courts to seek the truth from the attorney general who is acting as the president's defense counsel, not as the people's lawyer. >> senator blumenthal, thank you. and joining me david axelrod former senior advise to president obama. your reaction to "the new york times" reporting. >> well donald trump build this mythology about who he was, the uber business man, the ultimate success. this is sort of explodes that myth as you pointed out. he was the biggest loser among
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all taxpayers in the country. perhaps that is what he should have named his reality show instead of the apprentice and you got a much different view and the more important and relevant thing is it shows how vulnerable he was. and how he might have continues to be, which goes to the question of whether he -- whether his dealings made him a mark for, for example, the russians. and that is a big question. we know that deutsche bank is the only lender that would lend him money. they are notorious for their dealings with the russians and for money laundering issues. this is, i think, the legitimate reason why the congress wants his tax returns. to try and run some of these concerns to ground. >> just in terms of stonewalling from the white house, how effective can that be? you've worked in the white house. >> it could be effective for some time as it works its way
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through the courts. and remember particularly on contempt citations, the justice department has to act on those. they're not going to. and i think the president feels emboldened. they have a strategy and that strategy is to label all of this as politics and they're going to resist and resist as long as they can. perhaps try and push it further down the field. but among his supporters, i think the feeling is this is just democrats going after him for political reasons and not legitimate oversight as prescribed by the constitution. >> but his approval rating is at like 46% right now and the latest go latest -- in the latest poll. >> which isn't high but for him it is a record. >> and the economy is doing well. >> one of the reasons why his approval rating has risen. >> do you think the more that the administration stonewalls, the more congressional democrats issue subpoenas and this back and forth continues, it only
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gems up the president's base. >> but it waters down the impact of the probes. there is -- you just need to read the mueller report to know that there are very serious questions here and the more that they get dismissed as politics -- >> majority of people have not read the mueller report. >> right. and they haven't heard from mueller. so what the majority leader did today, mitch mcconnell, was part and parcel of the president's strategy which is to say it is done. nothing to see here. move along. and i think that is how they've going to approach all of this going -- >> so what do democrats do at this point in terms of what the -- with the upcoming election? >> it is a tough question, anderson, because we know that the public wants them to focus on the real problems facing people in their lives. but they also have a constitutional obligation to provide oversight. there are serious allegations about what the president and others did.
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so they constantly have to weigh those two. obviously speaker pelosi come to the conclusion that certainly impeachment is not a politically positive thing to be done. and she has -- and beyond the politics of democratic party, it is not good for the country in her view to be so deeply divided as impeachment would do. otherwise, you're so defining the standards down that future presidents will also feel that they could operate with impunity. >> david axelrod, thank you. more to get to. including information that we're just getting about another scoot shooting. this one not far from denver. we'll have the latest. and also later what the fbi director said before congress that wasn't exactly in line with what the attorney general had said. centers around a key word. we're keeping them honest ahead. >> announcer: anderson cooper 360 brought to you by claritin.
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breaking news from colorado, another school shooting this time at a science school not far from denver. nick watt joins us now. nick, what is the latest? >> reporter: well, the headline, anderson, is that eight students shot by two of their fellow students on campus in the middle of a regular school day. tuesday lunchtime. and according to the local sheriff, he said this could have been a lot worse. luckily there is a sheriff substation just a block away from the school. authorities from the school called in pretty quick, within 2:00 dpu-- deputies were on the scene and could hear gunshots as they enter the campus and they engaged with the shooters and we're told when they arrived there was a struggle between people from the school, unclear who they were, and these two suspects who had shot their fellow students at two different locations on campus. now the tragic irony here is
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that the columbine shooting just over 20 years ago just seven or eight miles away from here. and one of the criticisms after that was that law enforcement didn't react quick enough. back then law enforcement would set up a perimeter around the school and now they go in and engage the shooter and that is what happened here and as i say, the sheriff saying that that speed of response, he thinks, saved some lives. those two shooters are now in custody and described as adults, one is an adult -- one is a juvenile and males both students of the school. warrants are now being worked on to search a car that they left on the property and also their two homes. and the sheriff kind of tight-lipped on the details. listen, there will be criminal prosecution and charges here so i'm not giving too much away. but initially reports were there was perhaps a third shooter and that is not the case it was just an abundance of caution to go through the schoolroom by room to make sure there wasn't a
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third shooter and to make sure those two were in custody. >> and one was an adult and one was a kid. by adult you mean over the age of 18? because you said they both went to the school. so an adult who had already graduated? >> reporter: well i'm asiouxing what you just said. the sheriff said they were both at the school, one is a juvenile and one is an adult. so i'm assuming one of them has just turned 18. so, yeah. that is where we are. both of them in custody. >> and the wounded, do we know how they are doing? >> reporter: so eight wounded, three have been discharged from the hospital and another three listed in good or stable condition. and another two are still listed in serious condition. we were told by the sheriff that four were serious and going into surgery a couple of hours ago and that is down to two so moving in the right direction and three released and two still serious. >> joining me now is author dave cullen written about the deadly school shooting in parkland, florida and the columbine shooting that nick just
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referenced. the idea of two shooters potentially involved often times there is reports of two shooters early on and it is just eyewitnesses seeing the same person in multiple locations. but if there are, in fact, two shooters, that is quite rare other than columbine. >> it is rare. and the fbi calls it a diead. it is a whole phenomenon of the snipers of d.c. and the break at halifax, it was foiled and a young woman from chicago who flew there and there were three people involved, it was mainly the two. but they were -- >> so it happened but it is rare. >> exactly. exactly. and there is a leader and a follower. it is a specific psychology going on there. >> and according to the sheriff, one is a juvenile and one is adult and we don't know what that means. it could be -- >> i thought it was a middle school. >> so i think it goes up to 12th, i should double check on. >> that but in terms of the
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police response, as nick was saying, it all has changed since columbine and most of the fatalities in school shootings or the violence goes on in the first 6:00. so police response time is critical. >> it is fantastic. complete change. and because of columbine the active-shooter protocol and oddly and sadly the perpetrators follow this and knew they have to maximize their fire power very quickly and get it up. but, yeah, it has -- that is why they commit suicide too. >> a lot of times the shooters have studied other attacks. >> yeah. almost always. and specifically they tend to study the columbine killers. i found a graphic this week that shows more than 40 of them have actually documented in their writings studying eric and dylan from columbine and so many of those studying each other. there is a whole web of them. but it generally traces back to those two who the perpetrators
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see those two as the founding fathers of this movement. >> crazy to think about it in those terms. >> pre-parkland i was blocking about 50 a week. there is a kids online called the tcc for true crime community that idolize them or pretend to to be cool with each other. and by the way, i say before parkland, after every shooting it stops cold. they just -- i wake up to ten, 20, 30 of these a day but they stop when it happens for a about a week and then they pick up. parkland, they never came back. until about the last month or two, they started to gradually slowly. i kind of wonder if it is gonzalez and people like that -- who became more cool than being cool by being so edgy that i'm a rebel. i think they just made it less cool to be these kids. so i see it mostly by them waking up and just like all of these horrible things said to me
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and that is my data point. >> and the fact there is this idolization of the people and it emphasizes my belief that you shouldn't name these people and focus on them. >> we're exporting it. the ones in siberia and where they don't have shows like this is really scary to me. >> dave cullen. thank you very much. did the fbi spy on the trump campaign. a new twist in that tale. we keep them honest, up next. i've got an idea! oooh, what is it? what if we give the people iphone xr, when they join t-mobile?
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- there but what are wes to get our messactually saying?ys. any message is a story. and all stories tell the tale of the times we live in right now. how do you want to be remembered? how do you want your story to play out? our own experiences make the best stories, and your words carry a lot of weight. think about what you want to say before you say it.
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or send it. a new voice is weighing in on the ongoing debate over the term spying ignited by president trump and more recently doused with gasoline by attorney general barr. on multiple occasions the president has accused the fbi and even president obama himself of spying on his 2016 campaign. here is what he told reporters on april 11th. >> there was absolutely spying into my campaign. i'll go a step further and in my opinion it was illegal spying, unprecedented spying. and something that should never be allowed to happen in our country again. and i think his answer was actually a very accurate one and a lot of people saw that -- a lot of people understand, many, many people understand the situation and want to be open to
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that situation. hard to believe it could have happened but it did. they were spying in my campaign and his answer was a very accurate one. >> the accurate answer he's referring to is your attorney general barr's one day earlier he seemed to align himself with the president's conspiracy theory with this testimony before a senate panel. >> i think there was a -- spying did occur, yes. i think spying did occur. >> and last week on wall to wall national television, mr. barr expressed exasperation that anyone would take use of the word "spying" and said it is a good english word and isn't a pejorative. and today christopher wray appointed by president trump after the firing of james comey distanced himself from the president and the attorney general use of the word and even took it a step further. i want to ask you and i would appreciate a yes or no answer if possible. when fbi agents conduct investigations against alleged mobsters, suspected terrorists,
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other criminals, do you believe they're engaging in spies when they are following fbi investigative policies and procedures? >> well, that's not the term i would use. >> thank you. so i would -- i would say that is a no to that question. do you have any evidence that any illegal surveillance into the campaigns or individuals associated with the campaigns by the fbi occurred? >> i don't think i personally have any evidence of that sort. >> joining us now is michaeles cough from yahoo news and author of the fbi at war and garrett do you see this as an act of defiance by director wray to push back about how the president and attorney general using the word "spying" or just answering it as he sees it? >> i think it is him calling it as he sees it. and i think it is important
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to -- to understand and sort of look at the historical record and it is attorney general barr's comments that the court-ordered surveillance programs that have come about and been developed over decades since watergate with very close oversight that it is his comments labelling them sparring that is the aberration and not christopher wray's defense of them as normal investigative procedures and surveillance programs. >> michael, how do you see this? because attorney general barr and director wray said the real issue is whether the law was followed. wray said he's not personally seen any evidence of any illegal surveillance occurred. >> right. look, first of all, barr did say right after he did say that he thought spying was occurred and the question was there an adequate predicate for the "spying." now fib director wray is absolutely right that it is not usually the term -- "spying" is not the way law enforcement officials would describe the
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standard surveillance they do in investigations. including undercover surveillance which involves using informants to approach targets and try to get them to say something incriminating or find out what they know. but beyond all this, the semantic disputes and "spying" or "surveillance", there is a serious issue underlying and that is the inspector general report that is underway and maybe out very soon. and i think the stakes on that are really high. >> in what way? >> well, michael horowitz first of all, the inspector general is the one guy in all of this that will have credibility. he's a obama appointee and independent and nobody suggested he's a political animal but the issue he's looking at is did the fbi use appropriate procedures when they got the fisa warrant on carter page and when they began the counterintelligence
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investigation into the trump campaign. that is something that investigation has been going on for a year. there is questions about the role that the steele dossier played and what did the fbi know about it's credibility when they used it to the court. and this is key to the narrative on both sides. if the ig finds there were problems in the way the fbi handled it, that will play right into the president's hands. if he finds there was not, that is going to shoot down the main narrative that the president's defenders have been using. so i think we should wait for that ig report and i think it will be crucial to how we look at this whole set of circumstances. >> and although, garrett, you could hear the president and his supporters saying, well, this was a deep state actor, this was an obama appointee and is the ig. >> absolutely. and i think one of the things -- and michael touched on this just
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now, that is important to understand is that this really did start as a counterintelligence investigation. not into the trump campaign, but of the contacts around the trump campaign. and when you look at the core of the fbi's national security mission in the realm of counterintelligence, to counter foreign operations, foreign influence in the united states, it is important to remember and understand that the fbi began this investigation as a defense of the trump campaign. not as an attempt to investigator find dirt on the trump campaign, they saw suspicious activity taking place around the trump campaign and stepped in initially as an attempt todefendpresident trump's campaign and those around him from these foreign activities. it was sort of only with the donning horror that they realized that the trump campaign was open for business with the russians. >> michael -- >> i have to take a little issue
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with the issue if you read the text of strzok with lisa page that those two key fbi officials were trying to defend the trump campaign. but that said, garrett is right. the fbi had legitimate reasons to really be concerned about russian approaches to the trump campaign and to figure out what was going on. the question is did they follow the right procedures in how they went about that and that is what horowitz is focusing on. and by the way, anderson, you have a good chance to press the fbi -- then-fbi director comey tomorrow night on these issues because he's been vague about how much he knew about the counterintelligence investigations when it began. so have at it. >> it will be thursday night but i have two nights to prepare. even better. thank you. up next, more on the breaking news from capitol hill. democrats threaten to hold former white house counsel don mcgahn and attorney general william barr for not testifying.
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i will talk to jeffrey toobin who did testify when he was no longer nixon's white house counsel. -♪ just like any other family
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more breaking news. cnn has learned that house judiciary chairman jerry nadler told democratic leaders he's prepared to move forward with the contempt of congress vote for william barr unless they agree to his set of demands and he sent a letter to don mcgahn
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threatening to do the same to him if he doesn't appear before the committee and the white house told mcgahn not to comply with a subpoena for certain documents and one of the key questions the judiciary committee wants is did president trump obstruct justice. those from democrat and republican administrations say yes and signed an open letter saying the president would be charged for obstruction of justice if he wasn't president. joining us john dean kbho works for a president under investigation and federal prosecutor jeffrey toobin. how strong, jeff, is the white house argument to push back about them actually testifying? >> i think their argument is very weak, as a substantive matter. but as a practical matter, their ability to delay this testimony, perhaps into oblivion for so long it becomes essentially irrelevant or swallowed up by the campaign.
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i think that could easily happen. >> delay because it moves to multiple courts. >> right. and even getting contempt -- it is not just the committee that has to vote on contempt. it is the full house of representatives. and then there has to be some sort of legal proceeding that begins the process in the district court. then the circuit court. and then perhaps the supreme court. none of that works very fast. and even if the merits of the argument are pretty strong and clear, which i think they are here given the fact that mcgahn turned over documents to -- to congress. i think there is a clear waiver to mueller and i think there is a clear waiver there. i think the barr issue is a little closer in terms of getting access to the full mueller report. >> john, you are no longer white house counsel when you testified to the senate watergate committee. did the white house tried to stop you. if you were able to testify why couldn't don mcgahn?
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>> well i was called to testify before the senate watergate committee during pat gray's confirmation to become the director of the fbi. he was the acting director at the time. the senate judiciary committee held him in hostage unless i agreed to come up and testify and i was perfectly willing to go. but the president said absolutely not. there are two privileges involved, executive privilege and attorney/client so i knew his thinking on this pretty well. but i -- that was not -- that was very much when i broke rank with the white house and i realized there is no way, unless they go to court, and get a court order, can they stop me testifying. and then you raise the issue of whether there is an exception because of the so-called crime fraud exemption. if we were discussing criminal matters which i believe we were that would not give any privilege at all. so i don't think any president
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wants to raise that. and i think that comes right around into the mcgahn situation. >> but what is so different about the mcgahn situation is, at least as far as we could tell given what happened today, mcgahn basically turned the whole thing over to the white house. he does not appear enthusiastic to testify. john dean wanted to testify and as he said sort of dared richard nixon to stop him. mcgahn seems determined not to testify if president trump doesn't want him to testify. >> what about mueller? what is the likelihood of -- he still works for the department of justice. >> correct. mueller is a somewhat different story. first of all, barr has said he has no objection to mueller testifying. mueller presumably wants to testify. and it is just a matter of him leaving the department of justice, which he's going to do any way. for him not to be be -- to be subject to barr. i think the judiciary committee is more likely to get mueller's testimony than anyone in the
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control of the white house. >> john, what is the argument for why executive priv linl wasn't waived when mcgahn was allowed to testify to mueller and not only that the findings are public. >> well the argument was that his lawyers gave consent. mcgahn apparently did want them to raise executive privilege and had some argument with ty cobb who released him and said, go over and cooperate. which he did in spades. now the interesting thing, anderson, there is a way to get his testimony, or the facts he relayed to the special counsel. if you look at the report closely, they're all done in 302 reports. there are five of them. running right up to february of this year. so you have two agents probably making contemporaneous notes and a attorney there probably asking questions, just subpoena them, bring them in front of the committee and get mcgahn's
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testimony. without mcgahn. >> that is theoretically true but they are trying to show the public what went on here. >> that would do it. >> and they want john dean, they don't want the person taking notes on john dean. >> john dean, thank you, jeff toobin as well. a busy night for breaking news. nobody actually knew where the american secretary of state had traveled. coming up, some answers. welcome to our lounge. enjoy your stay. thanks very much. ♪ ♪ find calm in over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. it's another way we've got your back.
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>> he met with the iraqi prime minister and he made the visit after he abruptly cancelled the trip to germany. he called it off due to what were called pressing issues. white house digit explain what the pressing issues were. joining us now is cnn global affairs analyst. he is also the author of the road not taken. the way this played out is unusual. you don't just blow up a trip to major trip like germany.
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>> they don't normally announce trips to a place like iraq because of security concerns but they also don't schedule a visit with the german chancellor and blow her off to go to iraq. we're still waiting to find out what is going on here. >> you read between the lines, pompeo on the plane after leaving said he was talking with officials there about increased threats, the possibility of threats. >> it's really the iranian crisis that is ramping up and, you know, on sunday night, john bolton announced that uss abraham lincoln carrier strike group was moving to the persian gulf and there's threats of iranian attacks and u.s. forces. it's not clear if they're u.s. forces inside of iraq. we have about 5,000 troops there but whether it's in the persian gulf itself, we have a presence and this is a dangerous situation where there's a sense
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that the administration and in particular john bolton that talked about his desire for regime change and desire to bomb iran, there's a sense that they're ramping up these tensions with iran and now ramping up sanctions, designating the iranian revolutionary guard core as a terrorist organization and my concern is are they trying to provoke an reaction from iran? that could be an excuse to use military force. >> they're playing a huge role in iraq. that has been a concern all along, especially in the absence of u.s. forces there. >> iran is probably the most important foreign player in iraq and, you know, with the majority in iraq they're heavily influenced by iran. they back militia fighters that are more answerable to iran than to iraq. we have 5,000 troops that could be very vulnerable to
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retaliation because they don't like the sanctions that we're imposing on them right now. >> do you think john bolton wants a confrontation with iran? no matter what that would be a extraordinary step. >> well, i think there's no question that john bolton wants a confrontation with iran. all you have to do is look at what he himself has said. in february he issued a video saying congratulations on your 40 years in power, you're not going to be around much longer and made no secret of his desire to attack iran and replace the regime. his difficulty is that trump is not on board with that because trump is, although he's kind of a isolationist. he makes noises but doesn't actually want to go to war. i don't think he's going to attack iran but my concern is is bolton maneuvering in such a way that he's going to provoke hostilities and force trump's hand? that's the real concern here. >> also what any kind of conflict would actually look like given the fact that the president wants to bring back u.s. forces out of afghanistan,
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our longest war thus far. >> that's the essential tension. trump wants to take u.s. forces out of afghanistan, out of syria, he is basically a neo-isolationist and bolton is somebody that really believes in regime change and talked about there's no alternative but to use military force and they're really forcing iran into a confrontation because they have torn off the nuclear core even though iran is actually abiding by it's terms and there's a real danger than the iranians could lash out and we could wind up in a war. >> i want to check in with chris to see what he's working on for cuomo primetime. >> this is why the president doesn't want you to see his taxes. because they tell a story he hasn't been telling. they're just from the 80s and in the 90s but i'm sure i've talked to you about this before, when i was still at abc, we did a yearlong investigation on his network in 2004-2005, 2006.
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tim o'brien was part of that. the big shot over at abc running the investigations now did it and the president insisted he was worth billions. hard to believe that. we're going to go through the highlights of this information and what they mean going forward and what the politics mean going forward with how the democrats will respond to what they now know in the past in terms of what they try to get in the present. >> it's a fascinating piece. the new york times broke it. we'll have more on it in about four minutes. we'll see you then. we'll be right back. more news ahead. with clean base automatic dirt disposal empties the roomba bin for you. so dirt is off your hands. if it's not from irobot, it's not a roomba.
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thank you, anderson. welcome to primetime. breaking news, the best answer yet to why the president is hiding his taxes. when you see the years and the tears from investors and maybe even a potential scam, it's hard to see how our president can brag about his business arkcume. we have a reporter that broke the story and one of the oversight hawks in the house that's been fighting for one of the most recent taxes. where will democrats take the battle next and senator mitch mcconnell struck again. the master of