tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN March 7, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
and of course the chemical weapon belonging to very few countries. >> thank you. be sure to follow me. that's it for "the lead" today. now i turn it over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, the hush fund. whether or not president trump knew about the hush money paid to stormy daniels to help keep her quiet about an alleged affair. poisoned spy. a former russian spy and his daughter were deliberately poisoned definitely moscow have anything to do with the nerve agent attack? mueller's new witness. a middle east man who sources
say went between. and chaos incorporated. a day after the resignation of another top white house adviser, the white house defends the extraordinary turnover in the senior staff saying it is not abnormal. is chaos normal? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." grappling with allegations from a porn star. stormy daniels filed a lawsuit against president trump about a hush payment. it ended up confirming new details of the story. i'll ask the ranking member of the house intelligence committee about those breaking details. and our correspondents and special. is, they are all standing by
with full coverage. let's begin at the white house on the defensive after a porn star sues the president of the united states. let's go to jim acosta. this has to be a first. >> that's right. just as aides are insisting there's no chaos going on in the white house, a new scandal has emerged from the president. this time the storm is not about policy or personnel shake-ups. for the first time white house spoke about allegations from a pornl star who said she had an affair with the president. a perfect storm, it is not. sta affair with the president. a perfect storm, it is not.plac. >> reporter: who also bigs stormy daniels and alleges she had a relationship with the president who tried on koirt up. >> the president has addressed it directly. >> reporter: the white house press secretary danced around
whether his personal attorney had arranged a payment to daniels a week before the 2016 election. and it has twind an arbitration decided in the president's favor. >> there was no knowledge of any payments from the president and he's denied all these allegations. >> i can share that arbitration was won in the president's favor. i would prefer you to the president's outside counsel. >> reporter: that's not how an attorney for daniels describes it. her attorney calls it bogus saying it was initiated surreptitiously without even providing her notice of the proceeding and basic due process. the attorney said the president had to have known with the payment. >> there's no question the president knew about it at the time. the idea that an attorney would go off on his own without his client's knowledge and engage in this information, enter into this agreement is ludicrous.
>> reporter: and the white house is finding itself in a messy fight over tariffs. but there are signs the white house is no longer standing firm on the issue. hinting there may be some exceptions there are potential carveouts for mexico and canada based on national security and possibly other countries as well. that would be a case by case and country by country basis. it would be determined whether or not there is a national security exemption. >> reporter: it is the trade issue that prompted gary cohn to resign. another example of white house chaos. unless you ask the press secretary. >> if it was, i don't think we would be able to accomplish everything we've done. it is not abnormal to have people come and go. >> reporter: democrats seizing on the president's claim -- >> everybody wants to work in the white house. >> reporter: that everybody in washington wants to work for
him. >> one of the problems is the white house is getting hollowed out. the number of people capable of doing things, real things, whether you agree or disagree ideologically is getting smaller and smaller and they seem unable to recruit new people to take these jobs. >> reporter: one thing we should float, the president has addressed these allegations from stormy daniels. you made it clear that nonof these allegations are true. that's false. the president has not done that. so far the president's outside attorney who arranged the porn star payment mike cohen has not yet commented on these statements by stormy daniels. but they said the payment was lawful and not a campaign contribution. it seems the storm clouds are not yet over at the white house. >> thank you. with her lawsuit, stormy daniels is removing the veil of secrecy over her alleged affair with
donald trump. first of all, take us through this actual lawsuit. >> look, we are now for the very first time hearing details that a lot of folks wanted to hear. and seeing the documents of this nondisparagement agreement that they say was an agreement to shut stormy daniels up. donald trump is referred to as david dennisson. and the porn star is referred to as peggy peterson. according to the details of a nondisparagement agreement revealed publicly for the first time. >> did she have a sexual relationship with the president? >> yes. >> the attorney filed a lawsuto invalidate the agreement to prevent daniels from talking about her alleged intimate relations with donald trump. that agreement was signed 11 days before the 2016 presidential election by cohen and stephanie clifford, daniels'
legal name. and clifford was eventually paid $130,000 to seal the deal. the lawsuit argues the agreement is null and void because it was not signed by donald trump. dans' lawyer said mr. trump purposely did not sign the agreement so he could later publicly disavow any knowledge of the contract and daniels. >> she believes it's important that the public learn the truth. >> reporter: just last month, cohen admitted to facilitating the payment to granls his own personal funds but insisted neither the trump organization nor the trump campaign was a party to the transaction with miss clifford. and neither reimbursed me. her attorney won't reveal if there are text messages or photos to corroborate her story. >> she said that there were tangible items, photos, images, that she had them. according to the agreement, she will never release them
publicly. does she still have photos, images, texts? >> that's something she will ultimately have to answer. >> do you know anxious? >> i do know and i am not at liberty to discuss it. >> reporter: she shared her story after this hollywood tape was released. but the lawsuit said trump and the campaign got wind of stormy's plan to reach out to the media and wanted to shut her up. and then there's this. cohen has continued to intimidate miss clifford into silence and shut her up to protect had trump. even as recently as february 27th when cohen filed a bogus arbitration proceeding. what about these two letters? one from cohen, one from gina rodriguez. both signed by stormy daniels
saying no affair ever took place. >> that was a statement that was demand that had she sign. mr. cohen demanded that she sign that. and as alleged, we say it was done through force and intimidation. >> reporter: still, stormy daniels has remained silence. she did reveal this in a recent search chat on flirt for free.com. >> i've been working on a book for several years. the book i'm working on is a collection of really funny but completely true short stories of funny things that have happened on the road. >> reporter: now about, that arbitration proceeding that you heard jim acosta reporting, sarah sanders said it had been won in arbitration. we got ahold of stormy daniels' attorney. he said this, yeah, and he also won the popular vote referring to donald trump, which we know he did not win.
that's all he would say. we'll certainly hear more from him this evening. >> joining us now, the ranking member of the house intelligence committee, adam schiff of california. thank you for joining us ufrlt a lawyer. you're also a former federal prosecutor. do you believe it is possible president trump was in the gark this $130,000 payment that his private attorney made? >> that doesn't steam least bit plausible. that an attorney for a client would go pay hush money and never tell a client about it. it seems far more credible that donald trump was well aware of this. and it is also i strange, to think that michael cohen didn't expect to get reimbursed for this. if there was an expectation that he would get reimbursed for this and it was in order to hide the allegation during campaign, that's a campaign expenditure
and a violation. >> a campaign contribution. >> exactly. >> the bigger issue is this is a president who ran on a campaign of draining the swamp. and here he is alleged to have had an affair. that's not draining the swamp. and jared kushner, administration people flying first class on private jets on expenditures. they're not draining the swamp. if anything they're licensing the swamp and branding with it great big gold letters. that's a real problem for the white house, for the president. that may be the lasting impact of the whole stormy daniels thing. they have completely seeded the ground when it comes to the family vals. voters who care about family values can't possibly support this president in f it was a
$130,000 campaign contribution, not formally disclosed to the s.e.c. that's a crime and a felony. >> it would be a crime. now i think a very similar crime was alleged against john edwards and that prosecution was unsuccessful. so it may be a crime that's difficult on prosecute. that's one of the reasons why the political consequences may be far more significant than the legal ones. but here, i think it is part of a pat western the president. he continually emphasizes that the significant thing is denying things. with respect to roy moore, he thought it was important to point out, roy moore denies the allegations. rob port he denies the allegations. if you denial it, it didn't happen. so the president denies knowing about it, denies it ever happened. it is part of a pattern. >> they're not necessarily denying the affair.
i think they're denying that there was any knowledge of a payment which is a bit of a nuance there. >> you probably appreciate the nuances more than i do. >> two of your democratic colleagues, they say they want the fbi to investigate this whole thing. to see if federal election laws were in fact violated. do you agree with that? >> i would recommend the fbi treat this in the same way they have looked at similar issues in the past. however they treated this with respect to john edwards, they ought to do it the same way. they should use the same stand dart to determine whether it rises to the level of opening a criminal investigation. i'm just not in the weeds enough to know on this particular issue, whether that has been reached. >> do you want to call back michael cohen and ask him questions? >> well, we wanted him to come back and anxious questions as
well as present documents. we've asked for his travel records to disapproval some of the allegations that have been made with his involvement. we would like him book other issues. whether this is pertinent to the russia issue, i'm not sure that it is, but there are plenty of other questions that we have unanswered. >> potentially, if there was criminal, let's say, could this potentially fall into the lap of the special counsel robert mueller? if you look back at the instructions he received when he took job. any links between the russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of president trump. and any matters that arose or may arise directly matters within the scope of their investigation. could this fit into robert mueller's investigation? >> in theory, yes. as a practical matter, bob mueller will be far more interested in what was michael
cohen's involvement in trying to get a russia trump tower going at the time of the campaign. and did president trump deny anything in russia. what was michael cohen's travel in europe. is there any collaboration of what christopher steele made during the campaign. that's going to be much more the core interests of bob mueller. as we have seen with other issues that have arisen but may not be central to the russia story, those may be taken by other prosecutors. so there's an investigation of the eastern district of new york looking at eb 5 visa issues with the kushner properties. i think bob mueller is like i to say these prosecutors should handle these. >> let me ask you, there was a
meeting apparently now is being investigated by the special counsel, robert mueller, that we had trump associates. uae officials and a russian banker. what type of information do you think mueller is looking for here? >> i think the same information we are. that's, was there this clandestine meeting in trump tower with jared kushner and george nader and steve bannon and others, and what was the purpose of it? was this a way of a back channel to russia? working a business deal? was there a discussion of a meeting in the seychelles which we would learn that erik prince met with the crown prince of uae and then had a meeting with the russian state bank er was that the result of the meeting?
it is certainly consistent. we certainly want to get to the bottom of it if this george nader was in the meeting in the seychelles with erik prince, with this russian banker, with the crown prince. >> so who do you believe? >> i don't know who to believe. eric prince' testimony is public and the public can judge it. clearly the impression he wanted to give, he wasn't there representing the trump transition or the trump campaign or the administration. it was purely fortuitous. he didn't know it was going to happen. that's very different. >> and he is not apparently cooperating. >> thanks very much. here's more breaking news.
was president trump aware of the hush money identified stormy daniels? and a former russian spy and his daughter were deliberately poisoned. did moscow have anything to do with the nerve agent attack? performance sales event, experience our most elevated models- including the rx, nx and exceptionally capable gx. but get here before they're gone, because while confidence can be simulated... nothing compares to the real thing. experience the command performance sales event for yourself, now through april 2. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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let's get reaction. help us make sense of this, the white house press secretary, sarah sanders saying, the president won in arbitration so it's over. >> first of all, an oops. a little waffling back and forth. a little arbitration is not the collective meeting or a nauns you're thinking of where both parties to an issue come together and decide what they're going to do and they have a neutral arbitrator. instead, what you have here is a retired judge acting as an arbitrator to say, i am going to preemptively tell you, miss daniels and your counsel, not to engage and disclose confidential information. one, he said to the judge, that this was a contract in existence. you had to abide by the terms and you'll be enjoined in an inzwroungs say you can't violate
the terms. she wouldn't have had to be a party tom discussion. and the attorney for michael cohen is trying to show they're being proactive getting the benefit of bargain they made in 2016. >> in that lawsuit that stormy daniels' lawyers filed. >> on or about february 27, 2018, mr. trump's attorney mr. cohen initiated a bogus arbitration proceedings against miss clifford in los angeles. remarkably he did so without even providing miss clifford with notice of the proceeding and basic due process. >> you still get notice and have due process in terms of having the opportunity to present your side of the issue. when you contract for arbitration, you're giving away a number of rights intentionally. so an arbitration proceeding is designed to ensure that you don't have the inconvenience of
court. you have some of the evidentiary protections but most are lost and the ultimate goal is to have confidentiality. it would be within the prerogative of one person trying to enforce the terms of an arbitration clause to say things like, i can and go do this. i don't know the terms if he gave some notice to her counsel and she didn't respond in enough time. generally speaking it would be the prerogative of the person trying to enforce what they perceive to be a disclosure of confidential information. this statement just went out. let me read this to you. the judge from the arbitration tribunal found miss clifford had violated the agreement is enjoined her. we intend to pursue our recourse
in the context of the arbitration as agreed to by the parties and categorically refute the claims alleged by miss clifford and her counsel. >> i'm not a lawyer but i can tell you they believe michael cohen and his attorney lawrence rosen believe in the original agreement there was a claus that said we can initiate arbitration whether we tell you about it or not. that's quite an agreement if you ask me. of course she didn't show up because she had no idea about it. and the tribunal found she had violated the agreement. so they're going to continue to pursue this. and now michael cohen in addition to having an attorney to represent him before the house and senate committees and potentially before bob mueller now has to have a separate
attorney representing him in the case of stormy daniels. >> yep, we're work our sources to see if we can get the agreement. there's much more after this. mvo: you're not doing work to help somebody, you're gaining something from meeting mr. adderley. it's a calling to not only everybody in this neighborhood in miami, but to the nation how great we are. and how great we can be. ♪ ♪ i'll stand by you.
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the white house is trying to handle this. in the process, sarah sanders is confirming sensitive information that presumably they don't want to confirm. >> right. the whole notion of there being any arbitration with anybody in this stormy daniels situation was news today. the fact she used that word was news today. they are understandably trying to get to the bottom of the legal ramifications of what's going on here. we have confirmed that a porn star has received $130,000 from the president's fixer, from the president's long time lawyer. why? why did that happen? we don't know the answer to that and that's something to keep our eye on. i'm not saying that trump supporters, especially after the access hollywood tape, will care, but he's the president of
the united states and we should know the answer. >> and about a month before the election, that the $130,000 was transferred to her and presumably, they didn't want her to be public making these accusations. >> look, the timing is questionable. we're approaching silvio berlusconi headlines with the president of the united states. not that there's ever a good time to be sued by a porn star but now in particular when you're seeing a real rift between the president and his own party, after his stand on tariffs. the party for the most part really supported gary cohn, for this timing, to have this subject come up when you're already seeing tensions within the party, to republican and republican leadership now answer questions about this.
you see how difficult this becomes. not only for the president. you saw how difficult it was for sarah sanders, his spokesperson. now you'll have party leaders being asked these questions as well. now, a cynic may say, it takes us away from the tariff conversation. and every day there's a different headline. one can't imagine how difficult this must be for a republican leadership in particular but republicans across the country to have to answer these times of questions and to remain silent. >> one thing that was confirmed is that donald trump is dennison. until that point there was a blank line with the officials, d.d., and a man named dennison. now with the statements she's made, she's essentially said, david dennison, peggy peterson. where was donald trump? now donald trump already won arbitration. that's a very, very huge
concession to have made. >> the side show is becoming center stage now. we were all sort of scratching our heads saying, it is kind of interesting that in this day and age, there question about a president and he a porn star hasn't really bubbled up to become a full throttle scandal because there's so much other incoming from the white house on all kinds of issues. chaos, trade tariffs, whatever. but now it seems to me as if this side show is becoming the main stage. because it is a question of sthrgs president dennison? do we have a president that was using a false name in a payoff scheme to a porn star? and where did the money come from? why was it done? and all those other kinds of questions. were there more? this opens an entire pandora's
box. and as dana said before, it may not platter to his hard base but what about the evangelical side? will the president have to answer for this directly? these questions that are out there. and it is another headache for him. >> and drew just got a statement from the attorney representing stormy daniels. earlier today, through his attorney, further threatened my client if an effort to prevent her from telling the truth about what happened. we do not take kindly to these threats. nor will we be intimidated. a strong refraction her attorney. >> do you know what else? a firm contract. if it is a valid contract, then
the attempts to undermine it fatally and to disclose information in a nondisclosure agreement is also a problem for people. so you have some prerogatives competing on both sides. the idea of a side slow accurate. but there's a reason the american people should care. not just because it is about a porn star and it is salacious. the whole notion is about transparency and democracy. the idea that people are fighting about whether or not there was collusion with an outside nation like russia, somebody trying on influence unnecessariory our democracy. if you're not disclosing information with campaign, 11 days prior the an election, it dove tails perfectly. it is not just about porn. bits transparency and democracy and this is an affront to it. >> it is not just about breaking
a contract. at this point it is high level enough that contracts, whatever. we need to know answers to what exactly happened and there's enough out there. there are enough crumbs out there that we need to see it. >> and we'll see if the s.e.c., or the fbi, if any of them be given an investigation. >> well, one thing we're not talking about is bob mueller so maybe that's something the president would see as good sign. we're not talking about russia today. but then you go back to the larger picture. what happens when you want to interview list top advisers, jared kushner, ivanka trump. is ivanka going to say i can't talk about a porn star because that's my father. it goes back to so many issues we've dealt with. when you hear sarah sanders saying, you have to deal with this person's individual house to deal with these questions. >> we have a lot more on this coming up. we have to move on. we have an update coming into
"the situation room." an amazing story, a former russian spy poison tad shopping center in the united kingdom. british authorities are now naming the substance used and they now stay man was specifically targeted, as was his daughter. your heart doesn't only belong ♪to you. bye grandpa. and if you have heart failure, entrusting your heart to entresto may help. entresto is a heart failure medicine that helps improve your heart's ability to pump blood to the body. in the largest heart failure study ever, entresto was proven superior at helping people stay alive and out of the hospital compared to a leading heart failure medicine. don't take entresto if pregnant. it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren. if you've had angioedema while taking an ace or arb medicine, don't take entresto.
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the pair were found unconscious in a public area in southern england and a police officer who arrived on the scene is also hospitalized. let's go live to cnn senior correspondent nick peyton walsh. he is over in london at scotland yard. what are you learning? >> reporter: wolf, a staggering change, frankly, in an event that occurred about 4:00 a lazy sunday afternoon in a shopping center in a rural town of salsbury. sergei skripal who worked mi 6 and swapped and found himself in rural england, visited by his daughter yulia from russia. very close to the birthday of his son who died recently, i know what his wife. a sad family tale. we've gone from that moment a bench to a remarkable revelation to british police. this is with a they said hours earlier. >> reporter: having establish that had a nerve agent is the cause of the symptoms, leaving to us believe this is attempted
murder, i can believe the two people originally became unwell were targeted specifically. >> reporter: now of course, the key question is, who else may potentially have been contaminated? you have heard about the police officer who arrived on the scene. there are others who have been released from the lot. how was this nerve agent, which the british police are clear to say they know particularly the identity of, where did this come from and who delivered? only a small number of companies have that capability. many point back to skripal's employer in russia. >> britain will be taking this very, very seriously. what do you think they're going
to do? they said they will respond robustly if they can prove a foreign power was behind this. there's a lot of russian money in the u.k. the relations have been for the last year or so, at a very low point indeed. they don't have a particularly large amount of options here. a diminished power for the u.k. this calls into question why russian might have chosen this. the fingerprints may lead quite clearly back to one particular foreign power supplying a murder weapon of this complexity and this isn't the first time britain has been in this situation. 12 years ago, a person was poisoned by a poison going straight back to russia. and this is and just 11 days before the russia presidential elections. >> we'll get information. coming you, the latest in
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2006 alleged affair with the porn star during his many years in the public eye. so why does the stormy daniels scandal now stand out? brian todd is working this part of the story for us. brian, tell us more. >> with all the allegations of groping, inappropriate advances and worse from other women, it's stormy who president trump and his attorney michael kohn spent the most time trying to keep quiet. we found daniels has exhibited a unique ability to keep her case in the public eye and to give president trump and kohn headaches. >> of all the women who have made claims about donald trump including the 15 who accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior which trump has denied, stormy daniels is the one that seems to drive trump and his personal attorney to distraction, even though trump and the porn star had an allegedly consensual
affair. dams and her laup claim kohn tried to silence her as early as last week. >> she may have proof, whereas other women may have come forward and it's their word against his, she alleges or infers she's got text, she's got video, may have pictures. >> a key exhibit in the lawsuit, the non-disclosure agreement daniels and kohn signed shortly before the 2016 election which repeatedly refers to texts and images. >> people will focus enormous attention on the salaciousness of it, and that will be very difficult for the president to run away from. >> the daniels case also may cause trump more headaches because of everything daniels has done to publicize it. from capitalizing on the alleged affair with high profile appearances at strip clubs, to an interview with "in touch manchester magazine five years before the payment where daniels gave lurid detail of her alleged
encounters with trump by saying things like the sex was textbook generic. they may be concerned about the other people daniels told about all this. she confided in fellow porn star alana evans. >> i knew she met don't and she expressed what happened in the golf tournament. >> there are four other people listed as having been told about the alleged affair before the non-disclosure agreement was signed. could trump and his lawyer be trying to control the damage to the president's marriage? since the allegations broke, first lady melania trump has sometimes taken separate transportation to public' haven't and didn't go to a conference with her husband in davos, switzerland. >> these situations are very stressful, and the more exposure that there is like this, the more public publicity there is about such actions even if allege
>> reporter: observers say the fact this alleged affair started a few month after melania trump gave birth to their son only compounds the pain and embarrassment for mrs. trump and could be another reason why trump and his lawyer have tried to suppress as much publicity about this case as possible. >> coming up, more on the breaking news, the white house struggling to explain whether president trump new about the hush money famt to porn star stormy daniels. daniels is suing the president saying that agreement is now invalid and revealing stunning new details. new york forward.g the new we're the number one dairy and apple producers in the eastern united states supported by innovative packaging that extends the shelf life of foods and infrastructure upgrades that help us share our produce with the world. all across new york state, we're building the new new york. to grow your business with us in new york state,
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happening now, breaking news, stormy's new front. tonight the white house is responding to a porn star's new lawsuit against the president. stormy daniels now going public with their alleged affair and her claim of being paid hush money. stand by for a powerful new accusation by her lawyer. secret meeting exposed. a mystery man with ties to the trump team is cooperating with the special counsel after taking par in clandestine talks during the transition. what might he know about foreign influence of top administration officials. former spy poison. who is behind the attempted murder of a russian agent convicted of selling russikreml secrets. making history, the president is trying to down play a high level of resignations as