tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 7, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PST
u're dreaming. dreaming! definitely dreaming. then again, dreaming is how i got this far. now more businesses in more places can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. good evening. what did the president know and when did he know it? that was the question senator howard baker famously asked about richard nixon during watergate. tonight keeping him honest, the question surfaces again. what did the president know and when did he know it about buying the silence and recent legal action to reinforce that silence about a porn staff extra marital affair in the run up to the election? despite how sordid that may sound, this is not history repeating itself as false. this is not the hush agreement stormy daniels is suing to declare void. you'll hear from her attorney in just a moment.
nor is this just about the affair that she says took place 12 years ago. nor the name david denison in the nondisforeclosure you're agreement the lawyer says is it an alias for president trump. it is not even a suggestion in the lawsuit who is peggy peterson in the nondisclosure agreement stephanie off camera, when she signed the hush agreement just days away from being elected president. as fascinating or disturbing as all of that may be, this is serious for many reasons especially because the white house is not telling the truth about what the president knows and when he knew it about the $130,000 his attorney michael cohen arranged to pay daniels. listen to sarah sanders at the white house briefing and how she answered key questions from cnn's jeff zeleny. >> you said repeatedly that we have addressed our feelings on that situation in regards to the stormy daniels payment. specifically can i ask, did the president approve of the payment that was made in october of 2016
by his long-time lawyer and advisor michael cohen? >> look, the president has addressed these directly and made very well clear that none of these allegations are true. this case has already been won in arbitration and anything beyond that i would refer you to the president's outside counsel. >> when did the president address specifically the cash payment that was made in october of 2016? >> the president has denied the allegations against him and, again, this case has already been won in arbitration. anything beyond that i would refer you to outside counsel. >> did he know about that payment at the time, though? >> i have addressed this as far as i can go. >> did he know about the payment at the time? >> not that i'm aware of. and again, anything beyond what i've already given you, i would refer you to the president's outside counsel. steve? >> michael cohen, since this has become -- >> sorry. >> has he talked to michael cohen about it? >> i'm sorry? >> has he talked to michael cohen about that this week since this has become news? >> i don't know. i'm not sure.
>> did you hear that? she's saying there is no case and it's been won in arbitration. stormy daniels' attorney says the arbitration is bogus because the nondisclosure agreement is boeing us because david denison the president never signed it. he calls it implausible on candidate trump's behalf in the waning days with donald trump even knowing about it. sarah sanders said in so many words this is old news. the president and the white house have addressed this already. she said the president has addressed this directly. that's a quote, addressed this directly. keeping him honest that is simply flat out not true. no tweets at all from the president trump since "the wall street journal" broke the story back in january. no answers from him to questions from reporters. the only response up until now, the only one has been this nonanswer. on february 22nd by spokesman raj shah, not the president, but the spokesman. >> last week the president's personal lawyer acknowledged
giving a $130,000 payment to stormy daniels. is the president aware that his lawyer paid that kind of money to a porn star to buy her silence? does he have proof of that? >> i haven't asked him about it, but that matter has been asked and answered in the past. >> no, not since -- he acknowledged this. he acknowledges this last week, this is the first time we've had a chance to ask about it. so, can you go back and find out if the president approves of the fact -- >> i haven't asked him about that. >> will you ask him about that? >> i haven't asked him about it. >> will you ask him about it? >> we'll get back to you. >> he never did. and the president has not addressed this directly not once. in a moment we'll talk to stormy pz daniels' attorney. he'll answer any outstanding questions as we can get to. there are developments since the story. senior investigative drew griffin on where we are now. >> reporter: the lawsuit in explicit detail leaves no doubt stormy daniels, whose real name is stephanie clifford, says she had an affair with the president. ms. clifford began an intimate
relationship with mr. trump in the summer of 2006 in lake tahoe, the lawsuit claims, and that in october 2016, mr. trump, with the assistance of his attorney, mr. cohen, aggressively sought to silence ms. clifford as part of an effort to avoid her telling the truth, thus helping to ensure he won the presidential election. in exchange, trump's attorney michael cohen wired daniels $130,000 and the arrangement has so far prohibited daniels from giving any details, leading to a series of bizarre talk show appearances like this. >> did you have a sexual relationship with donald trump? >> reporter: clifford's lawyer included this hush agreement in the lawsuit, saying it was written by michael cohen. it refers to donald trump under an alias, david denison, and clifford under the name peggy peterson. according to the hush agreement, stephanie clifford came into
possession of certain confidential information pertaining to dd, trump's alias, which includes information certain still images and/or text messages. michael cohen goes on to write, included in those are images donald trump previously presented to his counsel to exist. i.e., text messages between p.p. and d.d. in other words, trump told his personal attorney about communications he was having with a porn actress. >> you can't say whether you have a nondisclosure agreement. but if you didn't have a nondisclosure agreement, you most certainly could say, i don't have a nondisclosure agreement. yes? >> you're so smart, jimmy. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: also new and potentially damning if true is what happened little more than a week ago. the president's attorney tried yet again to silence clifford on or about february 27, 2018. mr. trump's attorney, mr. cohen, surreptitiously initiated a
bogus arbitration proceeding against ms. clifford in los angeles, the lawsuit says, in an attempt to intimidate ms. clifford into silence and shut her up. but clifford is now eager to talk and explained why she claims she was coerced into signing a false statement that the affair didn't happen. according to the lawsuit, any breach of the contract would mean clifford would be obligated to pay the sum of $1 million. president trump through his attorney michael cohen has denied the affair took place. cohen says mr. trump did not know about the payment he made to ms. clifford to keep quiet. all of that now under question by this lawsuit. drew griffin, cnn, atlanta. >> well, shortly before air time i spoke with stormy daniels' attorney. we are airing the conversation in two parts. here's part one. michael, you are alleging that michael cohen has been attempting to intimidate ms. clifford into silence and
shut her up. how has he attempted to do that? >> well, he's actually, anderson, attempted to do that by means of a number of steps, including filing this bogus arbitration against her, communicating through her prior counsel, making threats to her relating to what may happen to her from a legal perspective in the event she does not deny allegations of the affair, et cetera. >> how recent have these threats, in your words, been? >> these threats continued until -- in fact, only a few hours ago when mr. rosen, lawrence rosen, the attorney who now purports to represent mr. cohen and the entity e.c., llc, sent e-mail correspondence to me threatening that if ms. daniels continues to talk, she may be subjected to significant additional damages. >> i want to ask you about this arbitration. you say the -- that back, i
think it was february 27th, that michael cohen, quote, surreptitiously initiated a bogus arbitration proceeding against ms. clifford in los angeles. can you describe what happened? >> well, our understanding and kwietd honestly we're still looking into this, anderson. our understanding is mr. cohen, on behalf of the entity e.c., went into adr services in los angeles, filed an arbitration proceeding, managed to get adr services to a point, an arbitrator immediately. then managed to get that arbitrator to issue a temporary restraining order against ms. daniels. he did so without any notice to ms. daniels, no prior notice to ms. daniels -- >> she didn't even know this was happening? >> she had absolutely no idea. that was by design of mr. cohen. she had no idea it was happening. no opportunity to respond. no opportunity to present her case. no opportunity to have a hearing prior to the issuance of the
order. and quite honestly, the entire process is absolutely untoward and improper. and to make matters worse, e.c., pursuant to the agreement which, of course, we allege is invalid, e.c. pursuant to that agreement, section 5.1.1, doesn't even have the ability to go in and obtain such a restraining order. that would have to be accomplished by way of d.d., otherwise known as president trump. so, e.c. didn't even have standing to pursue this, which is -- which is why we find the statement by ms. sanders and i'm sure that ms. sanders was not told the truth before she stood at the podium today and made the representation that she did, but we find her statement that president trump has already, quote, won, close quote, this arbitration to be absolutely bogus and baseless.
>> but if they were able to get a temporary restraining order, wouldn't that indicate that they had won that round of arbitration? >> well, who is they? according to mr. cohen, this was pursued on behalf of e.c., not d.d. or president trump. and if there is one thing we know of the last four to six weeks, it's that mr. cohen and others close to the trump administration have made it clear that e.c. is not president trump. >> your client did agree to arbitration at the time she signed the agreement, didn't she? >> she agreed to arbitration, but that agreement fell by the wayside when a party to that agreement, namely, mr. trump at the time, did not sign it. that agreement is null and void. it doesn't mean anything. >> can you tell us about this arbitration? can you tell us who appeared on michael cohen's behalf -- you're saying nobody appeared on the president's behalf because this wasn't technically this was just the llc bringing up the
arbitration? >> that's correct. that's to the best of our knowledge. i mean, anderson, at this point, you know about as much about this arbitration as we do because nobody bothered to tell us about it before it happened. nobody bothered to invite my client to the party, if you will, which makes the issuance of this order even that much more curious, that it happened within a matter of hours. all in an effort -- and i want to be really clear about this -- all in an effort to keep this matter under wraps, keep it out of public view, hide the facts, and silence my client. there's a pattern and practice that has gofrverned the way my client has been dealt with by mr. cohen and president trump for months. and that pattern and practice, anderson, has continued up until even a few hours ago. >> an attorney for michael cohen put out a statement a short while ago today saying, quote, the designated judge from the arbitration tribunal found ms. clifford had violated the agreement and enjoined her from among other things filing this lawsuit. have you gotten a ruling -- have
you seen this judge's ruling? >> we've seen the temporary restraining order that was earn you'd within hours of the filing. i don't know of any hearing that took place. i don't know of any findings that took place. and, again, our position is we don't even belong in arbitration. this matter belongs in a court of law, a public court of law. a court of law owned by the people and open to the public. that's why we filed the matter in a court of law yesterday. we do not belong in arbitration and we're not going to proceed in arbitration. >> you are also alleging mr. cohen forced ms. clifford to sign a false statement saying reports of her relationship with mr. trump are false. how did he force her? do you have any evidence of that documentation of any sort? >> there were significant threats made directed at ms. daniels, ms. clifford, that if she did not sign, that various things would happen to her. and i think -- >> legally speaking? >> legally speaking, correct. when and if she provides
statement publicly about this entire matter, i think when the truth is known, the general public will likewise conclude that she felt like she had no choice but to go along with the demands of attorney cohen. >> does it put her credibility, though, in question in some people's eyes? just a few weeks ago she was saying, look, this never happened. now she says it did. >> well, i think of course it puts her credibility at issue and raises questions about it. i would be absurd for me to claim otherwise. but i think once she actually gives her statement and sits down for an interview and hopefully she will have that opportunity, our position is that we want to give her an opportunity to make her statement, to tell about what happened and then we're going to let the american public decide for their own -- on their own who is telling the truth and who is pulling the wool over their eyes. it's really that simple. >> in a moment we'll have the rest of our conversation including his answer to the question, why not speak out fully right now. later, there is breaking news
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president trump's personal attorney to keep stormy daniels the film star silent about the affair she alleges took place between them. also about the agreement she signed, the payment she got from attorney cohen, and the lawsuit she's filed now to overturn the nondisclosure agreement. before the break i asked daniels' attorney why maintain silence on this at all any more. if the agreement is void, why not violate it? you have nothing to worry about if it's not a real contract. why bother going to court at all? >> in light of the constant threats by mr. cohen and others, my client is concerned and wants a court of law to adjudicate that in fact she is free from the agreement. i mean, we've already heard threats of a million dollars per incident, per instance where, if my client were to come forward and talk about what happened and tell the truth about what happened, regardless, by the way, they want to ding her for a million dollars whether she tells the truth or doesn't tell the truth. just the mere fact that she
speaks in their mind entitles them to a million dollars in each instance. that is one significant threat to say the least. and by the way, we think that is unconscionable and another reason why the agreement would have to be thrown out. the mere suggestion of that is absurd. >> the lawsuit claims, quote, it's strange credibility to conclude mr. cohen is acting on his own accord without the express approval or knowledge of his client mr. trump. are you referring specifically to the arbitration or cohen's actions at large? >> anderson, i'm referring -- we are referring to it all. the suggestion that you would have an experienced, educated attorney like mr. cohen who would run off half-cocked without any knowledge of his client that he would negotiate and draft a detailed agreement that included his client as a party, that he would engage in weeks of negotiation, that he would reach agreement, that he would then send $130,000 in connection with that agreement, that he would then later
institute an arbitration proceeding without knowledge of his client, all of this to those of us that practice under the law as attorneys, it's ludicrous. >> isn't it unethical? >> absolutely. we have an ethical obligation to inform our clients at all times of all material facts. it's one of the basic tenets of what we do. and the idea that somehow president trump didn't know anything about this and that attorney cohen was just running off and doing what he thought was best without any consultation with president trump, it is patently absurd. >> you do acknowledge, though n your lawsuit, quote, the extent of mr. trump's involvement in these efforts is presently unknown. you don't have actual evidence. this is just a supposition on your part based on, frankly, ethics and common sense. >> well, here's what i will say. we are not going to disclose at this point all of the facts in evidence that we have substantiating the allegations
in the complaint, nor would we have set that all forward in the complaint. i mean, that just wouldn't be smart. but we certainly have more facts in evidence to support the allegation or allegations, i should say, than what has already been disclosed. i mean, also keep in mind the timing of this. we're not talking about an agreement that was entered into at some point in time where nothing significant was transpiring in mr. trump's life. we're talking about an agreement that was being negotiated and entered into in the waning days of the 2016 presidential election. an election that at the time was very close, an election at the time where anything could happen and the slightest miss step could cause a candidate to lose the presidency of the united states. and yet mr. cohen expects the american people to believe that he was running off on his own and entering into this without any consultation with the candidate for the president of the united states? mr. trump?
it's not believable. it doesn't make sense. >> do you view the money that ms. daniels received as campaign contribution regardless of who the money came from, do you view it as a campaign contribute sngs >> anderson, we don't view it one way or the other. i think individuals that are far more qualified and educated on those laws and regulation s are ultimately going to opine on that. ultimately, if they conclude that in fact it was, katie, bar the door. i don't know where that ends, but if in fact that is the conclusion, i think that president trump and the white house could certainly have significant problems. but again, that's not -- that's not for us to opine on n. >> is katie bar the door a legal term? >> no, it's a southern term. >> can you explain just in nonleg nonlegalees what ms. clifford wants? most people don't know what a declaratory judgment is. does she want money, freedom to tell her story to other media
outlets, is that what this is about? >> this is about freedom of speech at this point, anderson. there's been a significant amount of misinformation that has been disseminated over the last six weeks. and remarkably, a lot of it has been at the hands of attorney cohen, mr. cohen. my client wants an opportunity to tell her story, to tell the truth about what happened and what didn't happen, to tell the truth about the events not only relating to her relationship with the president, but also the conduct and what she's witnessed the last 12 to 18 months as it relates to efforts to silence her. she wants an opportunity to set the record straight. ultimately, she wants the opportunity for the american people to pass judgment as to who is telling the truth. is it her, or is it mr. cohen? is it her, or is it president trump? is it her, or is it ms. sanders? that's what my client wants. and that's what we're going to fight for. >> our chief legal analyst
jeffrey tubin said the contract reads to him like a form that maybe has been used before. does it seem that way to you? are you aware of any other women who signed similar contracts with president trump? >> we're not aware of any other women. but let me just say this. in my experience, the way that this was handled and the documentation, quite honestly, this was amateur hour, anderson. this is very, very sloppy. it's very, very messy. it is shocking, quite honestly, that something of this magnitude was handled in this way in the waning days of the 2016 presidential election. i have -- >> what is sloppy about it? >> i have a lot of respect for mr. cohen. i think he's a good attorney in a lot of ways. i don't know the exact circumstances of what happened here, but this is not how something of this importance should have been handled, in my opinion. >> and just to be clear, ms. clifford is not accusing president trump of any sexual misconduct? >> that is correct.
>> and in terms -- finally, where does this go from here procedurally? how long does the president's legal team have to respond? do you have any sense of what the time frame is? >> well, the defendants in the case have approximately 30 days to respond in court. hopefully we can expedite that. hopefully they'll expedite it. it's no sense in dragging this out. again, i think it's pretty simple. did the president know about the negotiation, the terms, the payment of the money or not? did he sign the agreement? i mean, this doesn't have to be a prolonged process. we should get right to it >> michael, appreciate it. thank you for your time. >> thank you, anderson. >> certainly a lot to talk about there. in just a moment we'll have some of the finest legal and political minds in the business weigh in on a story of adult film star and the president. me ! higher! higher! parents aren't perfect, but then they make us kraft mac & cheese and everything's good again.
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before the break we heard from the attorney for stephanie clifford a.k.a. stormy dams, the adult film actress who is suing president trump over their alleged affair and his attempt to silence her. her attorney said threats continued up until a few hours ago and absurd to think his lawyer michael cohen didn't know he was paying her off right before the election. i asked if there was any evidence to the extent of mr. trump's involvement other than common sense. >> we are not going to disclose at this point all of the facts in evidence that we have substantiating the allegations in the complaint, nor would we have set that all forward in the
complaint. i mean, that just wouldn't be smart. but we certainly have more facts in evidence to support the allegation or allegations, i should say, than what has already been disclosed. >> joining me now is jeffrey tubin, kiersten powers and jason miller. all right, jeff. legal aid. >> legally there is one very important question, which is is this a valid contract in the first place. and because if it is, stormy daniels has a serious problem because, you know, she's portraying herself as a victim here. she took $130,000. and in return for her silence. that's a contract. that's binding if -- and she could suffer consequence -- >> binding even if president trump through this alias did not sign the contract? >> well, that's the question. if he didn't sign it, then there's no contract. then she can do what she wants. she can say whatever she wants. she did take the money, so she did think there was a valid contract. but the question of whether he
signed is very, very important. and, you know, the copy of the contract that was attached to her complaint does not have his signature on it. but, you know, we certainly want to hear from the other side before you make any judgment about whether a signature exists. but if he didn't sign, i think she's free to say whatever she wants. >> kiersten? >> well, the thing is the whole reason behind this allegedly, we want to take the trump defender's side. i don't want to put words in your mouth. the idea was maybe she made this whole thing up. it came up right before the election so they paid her off, even though it's not true, it would be bad that it came out. well, we're kind of past that. why not release her from the agreement and let her talk. i mean, it's not -- it would suggest the reason they don't want to release her from the agreement is because she actually has something to say that's very damaging. that's the only thing i can take away from it now because there isn't any -- there isn't any reason. it's already out there, right? >> jason? >> so, i mean, where is judge
wapner when you need him? >> i'm playing that role. >> okay. so jeffrey is the real lawyer, i play one on tv. i can't speak to the legal side of this. i think two important points here. one, i don't understand and i don't think most people at home understand what this lawsuit is even about. ms. clifford is not asking for damages. this is to go and seems to be to want to launch the second act in her career. so, this all seems kund of puzzling to me. even going back to the campaign, the reason why -- >> if michael cohen has and what they are alleging is michael cohen has come forward and made misleading and not true statements and it's unfair in their opinion that she cannot respond and say what actually went on. >> yeah, and again, i can't speak to any of that. i'm not a lawyer and i don't know the nuances and the back and forth. but even going back to the campaign, many of these allegations against the president which i think there are some serious question marks around, here is i think a fundamental point i think everybody is missing. if you're somebody who has a story like this and you're going to go and present it to a major
party candidate a week or two before the election, and you're making these allegations against a multi-billionaire, you're going to settle for $130,000? i don't think so. i think it's laughable on its face. i think it's clear ms. clifford is trying to launch a second act to the career now. >> you're saying it's not true because $130,000 isn't a lot of money? >> that would be nothing. >> i think to her it is a lot of money. >> going after a multi-billionaire? that's ridiculous. >> maybe she had bad attorneys who settled -- >> yeah, most people watching think 130,000 -- i think $130,000 is a lot of money. but also didn't this happen because reporters were reaching out to her and asking her questions and then also the payments weren't coming in? i don't think she's trying to launch -- >> she's fully embracing it, she's doing the media tour, going to kimmel, inside edition, whatever these -- she's using it to try to launch a second career. >> i think putting aside this particular narrow legal dispute,
one point that i think is disturbing is that the white house really does appear to be lying about the underlying facts. the idea that the white house is putting forward that michael cohen did this on his own without ever informing donald trump is so completely preposterous. plus he says he paid the money himself. what lawyer has ever done that in history? >> it would be unethical for an attorney to enter into a contract for somebody else without informing that person, wouldn't it? >> of course. and, at least according to the white house version or at least the michael cohen version, donald trump signed it. he signed the contract, but he didn't know what it was about? like, well, i guess someone is writing a check to some woman for $130,000. i'm signing the contract and i have no idea what it's about. i mean, come on, that's ridiculous. >> also "the wall street journal" reporter the payment was late according to what cohen told a friend he couldn't get in
touch with trump. he did know about it. he complained to friends about not being reimbursed. i think she should be released to speak. i don't know -- i don't know what the problem is. like, why can't michael cohen just release her and let her say what she has to say? >> again, that will be for the lawyers to figure out. but going back to the campaign itself, and the only conversations i ever had when we were on the campaign was the president just blanket across the board saying all these allegations were ridiculous and completely untrue. but i think the fact now, again, going back to the point, what really is the goal here? is the goal here are there specific damages being sought? is the goal to try to get attention? i just don't -- >> i can answer your question. she is sitting there facing the prospect of a million dollar fine if she talks. so, her lawyer says, let's go to court and get a court judgment that you will not be liable for that million dollars if you talk. i mean that's what you want.
>> let's be clear. when we say talk, it means make money by selling the story. >> come on. you don't honestly believe this is to go -- >> do i honestly believe she would do an interview and not be paid? absolutely. >> she's already done several and not been paid for it. >> kimmel would respectfully disagree. >> do you believe the white house is telling the truth? >> i have no idea about who at the white house knows what. obviously it's not a phone call that i made today to ask who knows what when, or anything like that. like i said, the whole thing just kind of seems a little bit -- >> you're a smart guy. do you think that donald trump would sign a piece of paper saying, i'm giving $130,000 to stormy daniels and not say what's this about? >> i don't think president trump would ever settle or give in -- >> he settles all the time. you're saying you don't think he would settle if what? >> no, i would say it doesn't matter who goes and brings something like this to him. i think on the campaign trail, he very clearly across the board said that these were false
allegations and nothing happened. >> so why did he sign the agreement for $130,000 if he signed it? >> well, that's why anderson is going to try to get the michael cohen exclusive interview and find out. i can't speak to that. >> all right. we're going to take a quick break. jason miller, kiersten, jeff tubin, counsel mueller is learning about conversations between trump and key witnesses in the russia investigation. details next. with advil liqui-gels, what bad shoulder? what headache?
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breaking news tonight in the russia investigation, word that the president has been asking key witnesses about what they talked about with investigators. this is reporting "the new york times," maggie haberman joins me now on the phone. what can you tell us about these conversations, maggie? >> sure, there are two instances, anderson in the last couple months. one involving reince priebus, former chief of staff, which was relatively brief and one involving don mcgahn which was much more detailed and specific. and i think potentially problematic for the president. basically in one conversation with reince priebus back in december at a luncheon in the west wing with john kelly, the current chief of staff present, the president raised the topic of reince priebus's appearance before bob mueller's investigators and asked essentially if they were nice. and priebus said yes, they were nice and professional. trump i think raised a generic, you know, did they ask about, you know, what's in the news, something to that effect, and priebus i think trying to get
out of it said they asked what you'd expect and the conversation moved on. that was a brief one. it's not clear if kelly tried to intercede. in the mcgahn incident which happened a couple weeks ago, after mike schmidt and i reported that the president had sought to fire robert mueller last year, president wanted don mcgahn to put out a statement saying our story was false, which mcgahn did not do. the president did that through an aide. he then spoke directly to mcgahn after that and asked him to put out the statement, mcgahn said he would not. and mcgahn had to remind the president that he had indeed told him to fire mcgahn. the president said, well, you didn't threaten to me that you would quit if i did this. and mcgahn said that's true, but i told other senior advisors at the time and our story never said he told the president at the time, but he did suggest that he would have to quit if this went through in terms of firing mueller. this is -- look, i'm not a lawyer and experts we spoke to think this doesn't necessarily
imply witness obstruction of justice or witness tampering, but it does go against best practices at a minimum. the president's lawyers have urged him repeatedly to avoid doing things that would create even the appearance of seeking to interfere with this investigation. asking questions like that does exactly that. >> it's incredible, you know, that he would ask don mcgahn to put out this statement. i mean, i guess the two options are he knew what he had told don mcgahn, he wanted don mcgahn to lie for him. or he had forgotten it or i guess the third one is he just chose to remember it in a different way. >> right. i mean, it's hard to know, you know, anderson, this president is no stranger to telling lies or telling falsehoods. he is also no stranger to forgetting what he has said before. he is no stranger to casting a remark differently the next time around. i'm not in his head. i have no way of knowing exactly what he intended when he asked that question, but mcgahn
clearly remembered it otherwise. and most significantly, mcgahn told the version that he was contesting the president over to mueller's investigators and lying to federal investigators is a crime. so, that carries extra weight. >> fascinating. maggie haberman. appreciate it. coming up next bernie sanders about the chaos in the white house, a lot more when we continue. i'm just worried about the house and taking care of the boys. zach! talk to me. it's for the house. i got a job. it's okay. dad took care of us.
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senator bernie sanders in washington i'm assuming full of questions surrounding the adult star stormy daniels and president trump, kidding. wasting no time, i'm joined now by former 2016 democratic presidential hopeful senator bernie sanders. thank you for being with us. i want to ask you one thing about this. do you think it would have made any difference had this information about this particular alleged affair had come out during the election? >> probably not. and i've got to tell you, anderson, there are enormous problems facing our country. >> i knew you were going to say this. that's why i said -- >> there are millions of people with no health care, people are going crazy with deductibles and co-payments. we can't pay high cost of prescription drugs. we haven't dealt with
immigration reform, daca, a gun crisis, people all over the country saying let's do something, making sure our schools are safe. and what are we talking about over and over again? stormy daniels. let me respectfully suggest that i do not think stormy daniels is one of the major issues facing our country. >> i knew you were going to answer that, thought i'd ask anyway. where the administration is right now, the people leaving, have you -- clearly nobody has ever seen an administration like this. the security clearance issues, the infighting. if it's not signs of chaos, what is it signs of? >> it's signs of a president who is, i think, not fit temperamentally. i say this without any joy in my heart, who lies all the time, who changes his mind every other day apparently based on the last person who spoke to him. so, you have an enormous amount of instability, which is of real concern. and i would hope that my
republican colleagues in the senate would begin to understand that and work with us to start moving forward on the important issues facing the american people. and if we do that, i think you'll find trump coming along. but i think we cannot look to this white house for leadership. >> you supported a tariffs on imported on the 2016 campaign. i wonder what you think about the president's announcement of tariffs. on fox news a moment ago said mexico and canada would be exempt temporarily effective immediately. >> what i have said over and over again and what i believe is we have a very serious problem in terms of the dee industrialization of the united states of america. we have seen tens of thousands of factories shut down, millions of hard working people, decent people have lost their jobs as fact risk going to china and mexico. there are other reasons. automation plays a role as well. this is an issue that we have got to deal with. i happen to think we need a more
comprehensive approach than what trump is talking about. i think the main target of our concern has got to be china. we have a $375 billion trade deficit with china. trump, i think, today, yesterday said he wants to reduce that by 1 billion. that is not enough. china is dumping steel clearly all over the world, and i think china is the major country that we've got to deal with. i would personally favor the repeal of permanent normal trade relations with china. >> doesn't -- doesn't a tariff, a, risk a trade war? and also while it will help manufacturing in the united states, it's going to raise prices on cars, it's going to raise prices on -- >> it depends how it is done. but i think that we are in a trade war right now, and we're losing that war. and i think demanding that corporate america start reinvesting in this country rather than in china, you look at your cell phone. i don't believe apple manufacturers any cell phones in the united states. it's all done in china. you can't buy a television
manufactured in the united states of america. we have to deal with that issue. and it's not going to be easy. but i think we have to do it in a comprehensive way and demand that american companies are not running to countries where they're paying people 2 bucks an hour while throwing american workers out on the street, that's wrong. >> there is legislation in the senate that would roll back provisions on dodd-frank. it has bipartisan support, it's going to help community banks, flexible lending. you are opposed to it? >> i am opposed to do it. what it would do is de-regulate 25 out of the large 38 banks in this country. it amazes me how short memories are in the united states congress. in 2007-2008, this country was hurled into the worst economic downturn in the modern history of this country because of the greed and the recklessness and the illegal behavior of major financial institutions. and what's happened since the
deregulation, since dodd-frank, i should say, is we have seen the largest banks become even larger. the cbo, congressional budget office reported just the other day as you will recall, they said this moves us closer to the likelihood of another bank failing. why would we want to do that? banks are now making in general -- they have made in the last two years record breaking profits. yes, we want to help credit unions and small banks, but banks that are worth 200, $250 billion in assets, those are not small banks. >> do you think a collapse like we saw in 2008 could happen again? are there enough stopgaps in place? >> that is precisely what they're doing. they're removing some of those stopgaps. and according to the cbo, it will make it more likely that some of these banks may fail leading to a massive taxpayer bail. let me ask you this. not ask you this. all over the country there are issues on people's minds. whether it's guns, immigration, health care. it amazes me that this is the
issue that the republican leadership has put on the floor of the senate. and you know why? last year the financial institutions spent $200 million in lobbying over the last 20 or 30 years, they haven't spent billions of dollars on campaign contributes. this is the corruption. what you're seeing is the corruption of the american political system, big money rules and the needs of ordinary people get ignored. >> during the campaign hillary clinton went after you for your position on guns. you're from vermont where a lot of people hunt. do you think there is actually going to be movement on some form of gun control? >> i would hope to god there is. and what we're seeing all across this country is people saying we cannot watch tv any more and see our children shot down by some lunatic with an assault weapon. so, clearly what we have to do -- and this is not just me talking. this is what the american people want. they want expanded background checks. they want to end the so-called gun show loop hole where you can walk in and without any background check come out with
an ak -- with an assault weapon or semi-automatic weapon. without a background check. they want to end the so-called straw man provision where you can buy guns legally and sell them to criminals. i happen to believe and i believe for 30 years we should buona salt weapons. there is a smaller majority of the american people who support that. but be that as it may, gun owners, nongun owners understand that the status quo is untenable. we've got to do something. i hope that we will do it. and again, one of the things i am upset about is that this banking bill is built for big banks is now on the floor of the senate. we're not talking about guns. we're not talking about the daca issue. we have 1.8 million young people eligible for daca. some of them may start being deported so the american people don't want that. we're not talking about that. >> senator sanders, appreciate your time. there's much more ahead including the lawsuit filed on behalf of stormy daniels against president trump. more news on the mueller investigation and more news. we'll be right back. at when youe spending time with the grandkids... ♪ music
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