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heartbreak that anyone can ever experience, i think. that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. good morning. i'm dara brown in new york. it is 7:00 in the east, 4:00 out west. here is what's happening. new threats from president trump's lawyer who says former trump attorney michael cohen needs to keep quiet. taking care of business, why a court ruling threatens to blow the lid off president trump's financials. >> we need to know, whether the president in conducting business around the united states and around the world is acting unconstitutionally. >> will it reveal the
information? new reporting on what is next for jared and ivanka. we begin with the latest war of words between president trump's lawyer, rudy giuliani and the attorney representing the former fixer, michael cohen. giuliani accusing him of doctoring a conversation he has about a payment to karen mcdougal. here he is in an interview. >> this could be a recording of a recording. that, they can probably determine. then, you are right, we may never be able to determine that, but we have determined the fact that he tampered with the tape in the sense he abruptly, mid conversation turned it off. i think they put it out because they wanted the doctored version to be obscure from the tape, which will be good for us.
>> we have complained to them that he's violated the attorney-client privilege. cohen's lawyer fired back saying mr. giuliani seems to be accused. he waived attorney-client privilege inaccurately as proved by the tape, talked about the recording forfeiting all confidentiality. president trump is hitting the campaign trail for vulnerable republican candidates 100 days ahead of the midterms. it's unclear if he will hurt or help the districts where he is unpopular with voters. kelly o'donnell has more. >> reporter: presidential pitchman. >> you have to vote republican, people. >> reporter: donald trump talking big with an ambitious midterm. >> i'll go six or seven days a week when we are 60 dais out. >> reporter: trying to activate his own base with control of
congress at steak. >> i will be campaigning for all these great people who have a difficult race. >> reporter: a poll finds voters in michigan, minnesota and wisconsin clearly favor democrats in congressional races. though trump won two of those states, his disapproval rating is north of 50%. the president readily injects campaign plugs into government elections. >> the beautiful, beautiful election in november 2016. >> tossing hats after a jobs round table. and in kansas city -- >> hopefully, your new senator to be, josh pauly. >> reporter: he called a gop senate candidate up on stage when addressing the veterans of foreign wars. the trump midterm playbook is sell the strength of the economy and claim strength in how he deals with world leaders.
tries to ignore or discredit the investigations, the president said he's told his chief of staff to get him out on the trail. >> give me the top 25 congress people that are, you know, could go either way and i want to go out and campaign for those people. >> reporter: the president has a mixed record helping candidates. democrats beat his choice in special elections for the alabama senate and one pennsylvania house seat. more recently, nine of his picks did win their gop primaries for congress and governor's races. that suggests he remains strong with his own base. but, the real test comes in november. that is just a blink of an eye away when the republican candidates are up against energized, democratic voters. dara? >> kelly o'donnell, thank you. let's bring in the melanie reporter of "the hill."
great to have you here. the words between rudy giuliani and lanny davis, which side wins the credibility argument? >> well, you don't have to win the argument. you have to inject doubt. we will never be able to determine, using the phrase doctored, he is doubting whether you can understand or trust what is known. you have a person you know and don't know in michael cohen. >> i want to play what a member of the intelligence committee said on msnbc yesterday. >> this is donald trump's worst nightmare because it's not just this revelation or this allegation because it is yet to be co-ob rated. there are 99 additional tapes and the one revealed today. i think what is of material significance, though, alex, we moved from the territory of
collusion to the potential territory of conspiracy. >> do republicans on the hill see this as dam sng. >> that depends on whether or not he has evidence to back up this claim. right now, it is a public credibility war. cohen, if he is able to come forward with either tapes or e-mails or if someone else who was in the room when trump was given advance notice of this trump tower meeting, that could be a game changer. it is the clearest evidence of day that he was willing to accept help from the russians on behalf of his own. if it's cohen versus trump's words, it's a nothing burger. i don't think it's going to change much in the public court of opinion. >> ozzie, how crucial might the finance chief be in the cohen investigation and what kind of information might he be able to
offer short of the president's tax returns? >> he knows a lot. he has been with the trump organization many years and, as we have seen with michael cohen, people who were loyal, in good times may not be when things are harder. he knows about the financial transasians and there's one allegation cohen spoke to weissenberg to make going to stormy daniels. if a prosecutor gets that witness to talk about financial transactions, you could have a world of trouble for the president. >> melanie, michael cohen saying president trump knew about the trump tower meeting. what are the chances donald trump jr. goes back in front of congress? >> there's no question president trump's son could be in trouble. you could go to jail for that. the question of whether
congressional investigators are going haul him back in remains open here. we have seen other reports in the past, in may, a report that showed the president's son may have lied under oath and said something else in his testimony. democrats want to bring him back in, but it never happened. we'll see the same thing this week, democrats calls to bring him in, the republicans saying, let mueller finish his brohm. >> let me play what was said on friday night. listen. >> i have three clients that have hired me as their council. each of them had a relationship with mr. trump. each of them were paid hush money prior to 2016. >> does at least one of them involve ami? >> yes. >> and that would be a previously undisclosed, it's not karen mcdougal, correct?
>> correct. >> how much does the american public care about this? >> pattern recognition is one of the strongest forms of information absorbtion. if they believe this is a pattern of how trump behaves, that is hard. >> trump was on the periphery of politics. now he is dead center. how is this going to affect him? >> people in new york understood who donald trump was. people on the national stage didn't. if "the apprentice" gets rewritten where he's the star of sex allegations and hush payments, that looks different. >> we heard kelly o'donnell's package about president trump hittinging the campaign trail
and touting the latest gdp number. john harwood points out when it was higher with president obama. can republicans do anything? >> they deserve credit for the reports and gdp numbers. gdp is on track to exceed 3% growth, something that never happened under the obama administration. the issue here is that the president makes it really hard to talk about the economy with, a, so much going on in the news whether it's russia or the cohen developments and, b, he threatened a trade war with the tariffs. they walked away from one with the eu, there's still a lot of concern in the republican, red rural districts that they will be impacted by the tariffs.
>> ozzie, how about the democrats here? do you have a sense of what their strategy is? >> if the focus is donald trump and the scandal, russia, the border, democrats are hoping people are so fed up with the controversy, they will choose any other alternatives. they will have to focus on the economy. >> stick around. we have many more headlines to discuss. could a new lawsuit refeel what is hiding in president trump's tax returns? that's up next. (vo) i was born during the winter of '77. i first met james in 5th grade. we got married after college. and had twin boys. but then one night, a truck didn't stop. but thanks to our forester, neither did our story. and that's why we'll always drive a subaru.
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take a listen. >> we have complained to them that he's violating the attorney-client privilege. >> mr. giuliani seems to be confused. he waived the attorney-client privilege. joining me now is doug burns. giuliani says cohen is violating attorney-client privilege. davis argues they are not. who is correct? >> very interesting. each side is partially correct. the mayor is right, attorney-client privilege seems to be implicated if he was acting as an attorney. but lanny davis is correct in terms of waiver. the way you have to frame it, it is simple, if they waived the attorney-client privilege with respect to one conversation, how does that affect the rest of them? that's the legal issue. it's not 100% clear, honestly.
>> giuliani talked about the conversation. let's listen to that. >> we have had it analyzed and there's no way to tell if he did at the time or he went back and edited out a portion because it goes on to another subject. it stops abruptly and goes on to another subject. >> doug, how much weight would the audio excerpt add? >> it's very important and i have said all along, if there's a dispoout as there's been, one said don't pay cash, the other says the tape indicates he said pay cash, they sometimes have auditory issues. i have been working with tapes for years. you need forensic experts to look at it. it's a toxic media conversation that may be different from
court. in court, you get an objective person listen to the tame. in fairness, it ended abruptly and was a red flag to me. it cut off quick. mayor giuliani is saying it's been altered. again, it could be easily resolved. the trump side says they hired two retired fbi agents. >> juligiuliani says we wouldn' consider it in our best interest and they feel the same way. >> it's ironic because a joint defense agreement, the irony preserves and extends the attorney-client privilege. if i'm representing mr. x and by colleague mr. y, the agreement spells out, we will share
information as the investigation proceeds. that sharing will be deemed to be covered by a global attorney-client privilege. the point is, here, it's not surprising. the relationship appears to have fractured. we don't know the specifics and don't want to speculate. michael said i'll take a bullet for this president. now, it seems he is going in a different direction. it's not surprising at all, if there had been an attorney joint privilege document, it would not be honored either side. a judge ruled a lawsuit could come forward. what is the basis? >> it's an obscure clause. it keeps the president from receiving anything of value, gain from a prince, a king or
foreign government. my language sounds silly, but that ease the exact worked in the constitution. the framers put that in for anti-corruption. there's a heavy, heavy back and forth and legal issue to how broud that is. does that mean, as conservatives contend, a specific monetary payment to the official or a bribe or on the other side, does it mean anything of value, in this case, revenue coming into the trump hotel in washington, d.c. revenue from foreign officials staying there. one judge, in december of '17, george daniels in the southern district ruled the case could not go forward. he made an interesting observation in his opinion. in the constitution, it behooves me to point out, congress can approve a particular one. if that's the case, congress should adjudicate this.
however, a judge this week ruled the opposite saying the case against the administration and president trump can go forward because they took a broader definition. amazingly, a professor at georgetown made a study on the definition of it. he went back to dictionaries from 200 years ago. the judge cited him 17 times. the point is, the professor, to keep it simple says the definition from way back was very, very broad. the judge agreed, the case will go forward. the significance, discovery can go forward. dara? >> yes or no on the tax returns? are we going see them? >> are we going to see them? >> yeah. >> we are a long way away. they may get them in the discovery. the mueller investigation may have them. it's the issue of leaking.
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a new report suggests two of the president's closest aides are about to step into the spotlight. as president trump cut off decenting voices, they have become more emboldened, so have his daughter and son-in-law. melanie, this report coming days after ivanka gave up her fashion business. do you think this was inevitable and part of the strategy to step back into the d.c. spotlight? >> a lot of west wing observers are taking it as a sign she and her husband are in d.c. for long haul. it's not just that. we have seen them play a larger policy role in recent months. jared has been on capitol hill
pushing and she's been talking about paid parental leave. they are spending more time in the private dining room with the president. chief of staff, john kelly has seen his influence wayne. he is seen as a rival to the couple. their grip on power is stronger than ever and they are enjoying it. >> does this have little to do with focusing on the white house policy and the fact that the ivanka trump line was failing and is it failing because president trump is bad for business? >> it was an easy target for critics. people can make the connection, if it's doing well, it's because of trump, if it's poorly, it's because of trump. to remove herself puts an end to the story line and gets rid of the conflict of interest. if she's promoting the line, is she benefiting from her public work and things of that nature.
it signals her focus is going to be more in washington and less on other activities. when you have that role, that's what the public wants. >> their silence on the issues of the separation at the border. what credibility do they have? >> that was the most controversial part of the entire piece. a very good piece. the pushback was, they never should have been expected to speak out publicly against the president who is ivanka's father. people expected the couple to, sort of maintain that type of new york, metropolitan voice. someone who is so public, it raises a lot of questions, are they doing something behind the scenes? there's little evidence of it. >> is there a way to gauge the influence they have on president trump? >> i think when you look at the policy issues they are pushing, if we see these things advance
on capitol hill, if you see the president tweeting about them, that's a sure sign they are having influence. in the past, ivanka has not been able to reign in her father. >> we have to go. thank you so much. i'm dara brown. stay with us. i don't keep track of regrets. and i don't add up the years. but what i do count on is boost®. delicious boost® high protein nuritional drink now has 33% more protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals boost® high protein.
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