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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  March 27, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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if you'd have told me three years ago... that we'd be downloading in seconds, what used to take... minutes. that guests would compliment our wifi. that we could video conference... and do it like that. (snaps) if you'd have told me that i could afford... a gig-speed. a gig-speed network. it's like 20 times faster than what most people have. i'd of said... i'd of said you'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. breaking news, north korea's dictator making his first known trip outside the country since assuming power to beijing. this is just unfolding now after a whole lot of mystery which
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began with what's believed to be kim's train. cnn asia-pacific editor andrew stevens in the chinese capital what can you tell us about this surprise two-day trip? >> the big news, it is kim jong-un. that was the general feeling, that it was kim, given the level of security that there has been in beijing for the last couple of days. he arrived with his wife, we're just finding out that it was at the ins equation of the chinese. president xi jinping inviting kim over to talk. obviously about what's going to be happening at the talks, inter-korean talks, the big summit with donald trump later in may. what i'm just getting now, this is a the xinhua state news agency quoting kim jong-un himself saying, if south korea and the united states kindly respond to our effort, create an atmosphere of stability and
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peace, and take gradual and simultaneous steps, the issue of denuclearization on the peninsula can be resolved." that's what we're getting at the moment. now confirmed, i think it's been confirmed now because the train which was carrying kim has finally cleared the chinese border. as in the past, no publicity about this at all until the north korean leader has come and then gone. >> is it known who he's meeting with? and we believe this is a two-day meeting? >> he was here for a total of four days. he arrived on sunday. and the train got into beijing on monday. we know, according to xinhua now, that he met with xi jinping. there were meetings, plural. we don't know exactly what was discussed at those meetings. but given the fact that we're now in late march and the first of the two summits, the inter-korea summit is held in april, the meeting with donald trump scheduled for may. there would be a lot of
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discussions around that, obviously. i mean, this is a case where kim jong-un needs china in his corner. given the fact that china is north korea's chief ally by a long, long way and its economic lifeline as well. kim jong-un, particularly now, he's facing a much more hawkish administration with john boaten and mike pompeo added to the inner circle. he needs china to be acting in concert with him, and vice versa. for president xi, for china, they feel they need to have a position at the top table in these negotiations. they want to have an influence in the way that the talks move forward and the denuclearization of the north korean -- or the korean peninsula actually happens. it's in both their interests to meet at this stage. >> appreciate it, we'll continue to follow it. keeping them honest, something we almost never report on because it happens so rarely. the president not saying something, not tweeting, not
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punching back, nothing at all about stormy daniels. she's talking about her alleged encounters with the president, she's talking about the hush agreement she did sign. and the president, except for kennals from spokes people, he's been uncharacteristically silent. >> mr. president, any comment on mrs. macdougal? >> will you watch "60 minutes" on sunday? >> will you watch "60 minutes," mr. president? >> that was the president saying nothing on friday. he said and tweeted nothing about stormy daniels over the weekend. not sunday night when the interview aired. not since -- it's as if he didn't see it. the "washington post" is reporting that the president did, in fact, watch. that he even asked white house staffers for their take on the interview and weighed in on ms. daniels' appearance, reportedly saying, she's not his type. his attorney and his attorney's attorney, they have weighed in as well. but radio silence from the president, notably so.
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>> you also called him a counterpuncher many times. why has he not punched back on this one? >> look, the president -- i didn't say he punches back on every singlet topic. if he, did he would probably be addressing a lot of the stories a lot of you write every single minute of every single day. >> the president of the united states can say anything he likes about allegations of infidelity with an assault film actress or he can choose to say nothing at all. this line of reasoning seems a little thin. to say as sarah sanders did the president doesn't always counterpunch against critics is to say the president wouldn't threaten to slug a former vice president. wait, crazy joe biden is trying to act like a tough guy, actually he's weak, yet he threatens me. he doesn't know me but he would go down fast and hard crying all the way. do the threaten people, joe. someone too busy running the country to hit back, sarah sanders said, wouldn't waste his
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time on an opponent defeated a year and a half ago, but he has. spending much less money and not using social media as well as crooked hillary's large and highly sophisticated staff, not saying that anymore. he's also found the time to attack robert mueller for the first time by name, james comey, andrew mccabe, even counterpunched against rachel crooks who's also allege is sexual misconduct on his part. a woman i don't know and to the best of my knowledge have never met is on the front page of "the washington post" saying i kissed her in the trump tower lobby, never happened. whatever you think of the president, whether or not you believe the president right there is characteristic for him, it is for better or worse the president we've all come to know which makes hit silence on stormy daniels all the more puzzli puzzling. >> i still don't understand why the president's response has been so different in this case. october 13, 2016, he said these claims are all fabricated. the next day he saidness i have no idea who these women are,
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they're lying. mrs. trump has said he will pushback ten times as hard no matter you're a man or a woman, he treats everyone equal. why the silence? is someone advising him to be silent -- >> i don't think it's sea lent when the president has addressed this, we've addressed it extensively, there's just nothing else to add. just because you guys continue to ask the same question over and over and over again doesn't mean we have to keep coming up with new things to say. we've addressed it, we've addressed it extensively, there's nothing new to add to this conversation. >> stormy daniels' attorney michael avenatti told cnn a total of eight women have now come forward to make allegations similar to his clients. radio silence from cnn's jim acosta who joins us from the white house. what are you learning about why the president is remaining silent on all of this? >> it's like the newly discovered human organ, the ability to hit the mute button. i'm told by a source the plan is
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for the president to stick to this strategy, to avoid this topic of stormy daniels, ask according to this source, one of the reasons why is the president's poll numbers. they feel the president's poll numbers are holding steady and even doing better. there is a point there. if you look at our latest cnn poll, his numbers among evangelicals and republicans, they're pretty strong. and so at this point i think the theory is, do no harm. but even though he's being the commander in brief this week on this topic you have to wonder if they're setting the stage for really dramatic moment in washington when he finally does break his silence on this issue, like when bill clinton finally addressed monica lewinski. >> rick wilson, book "everything trump touches dies: a republican strategist gets real about the worst president ever." paris dennard, served under
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president george w. bush. calling this a hoax, saying stormy daniels not the kind of woman he's attracted to, are you surprised he's not saying anything publicly? >> the greatest tell we've seen so far here is that donald trump is terrified of two people in this world. vladimir putin and stormy daniels. and his silence speaks a lot about the degree to which he knows there's risk factors here. trying to say, oh, she's not my type. when she's demonstrablily his type. and that nothing is there, it's a hoax. it is the worst kind of wish casting on his part and i think he's going to end up embarrassed. he's the guy who likes o shape his reality no matter what the actual facts on the ground are. i do think it is a major note that his silence on this is deafening. i don't think he's got any legal counsel to speak of right now outside of michael cohen on this. but he's obviously very, very
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disturbed by what she could say or what she could demonstrate about their affair. and i think that the consistency of more and more women coming out and telling this kind of story is something he's really, really not looking forward to. >> paris? sarah sanders said while the president's a counterpuncher, he doesn't punch back on everything. president trump has punched back on a lot, though. cast of "hamilton," nordstrom's department store. why stay silent on stormy daniels? >> you did a fantastic job, there's nothing more to say. in all furiousness, i think what this comes down to is the president has denied the allegations. he doesn't believe that they're true, number one. number two, the president feels as if that this is something that is embarrassing to the first lady. meaning all of the attention, all the speculation, all of stormy daniels trying to talk about all of the nitty gritty details about what she claims happened is just a move to embarrass mrs. trump as the first lady.
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i think the other point that the president, why he's not talking about this, is because it has nothing to do with him as a candidate or as the president. lastly, i think he's listening to his attorneys. he does have legal counsel, outside legal counsel and inside legal counsel. i believe they're telling him, sir, if you look at the lawsuit that has been filed against michael cohen and the sort of obscure way they are claiming defamation, if the president were to say something that they could find to be defaming to stormy daniels, they could then in turn sue him for defamation of character, which could open up to discovery and a deposition and more embarrassment to the first lady. he is wisely not talking about this for a whole host of reasons. >> rick, it's interesting. to paris' point, it makes sense from a legal standpoint not to talk. but there's been plenty of times in the past where from a legal standpoint it would have made sense not to tweet, yet he did.
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>> that speaks to the risk factor he knows is involved. that speaks to the level to which she and others could expose him on his behavior. and i do have to take issue with something paris said. it's just risible to say donald trump is worried about embarr s embarrassing melania. his behavior is the source of all this embarrassment. it's the wellspring of all this embarrassment. if you don't want to embarrass your wife, don't sleep with porn stars. if you don't want to embarrass your wife, don't date playboy bunnies are if you don't want to embarrass your life, don't be a hound and make it a central part of your brand, your image, that you're a skirt chaser. this is donald trump flornt and center as his image. if he's worried about embarrassing melania trump, the source of that embarrassment is always and only donald trump. >> you said this didn't have anything to do with the campaign. do you believe michael cohen paid this money, had this contract signed 11 days before the election, and it had nothing
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to do with buying her silence before the election? at a time when the "access hollywood" tape had been released, there was a lot of focus on these issues? >> i have not talked to michael cohen about this particular issue, so i don't know the exact rationale as to why he paid her out of his own personal funds about $130,000 to do it. but what i was talking about, it doesn't have anything to do with the candidacy or his presidency. it's meaning him personally. >> but it is him personally. >> excuse me -- >> let paris finish. >> michael cohen did these actions. micha michael cohen paid her with personal funds. this is not something the president or the candidate actually did. that's why i'm saying he is not talking about this because it has nothing to do with him as a candidate or him personally as the president. >> i'm sorry, look. paris, i know you're a steadfast
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defender of this president. but most people don't just whack out $130,000 from their home equity loan to an adult film star a few days before an election to protect donald trump. this is not something that happened -- >> loyal friends. >> this is not something that happened in a random fashion. and occam's razor is michael cohen was engaged in a last-minute thing in the campaign to cover up something that was going to be embarrassing to the president and embarrassing to his candidacy because he is a guy who has for a long time gone out and chased down anything that was mammalian and susceptible to his limited charms. this is not a guy who was -- michael cohen was not a guy doing this because of a random set of circumstances. he was doing this to protect donald trump. he was doing it in a way that was representative of a pattern of behavior michael cohen has engaged in with other women, forming these ndas to be set up to protect donald trump and his reputation. it's laughable to propose that
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michael cohen did this randomly and it's laughable to propose donald trump hasn't been doing this for decades with other women. >> then propose that, but i will say michael cohen did something because he as loyal friend to the president -- >> but what happened -- do you believe that he did that just because random porn car called up and said, i'm going to tell people donald trump slept with me unless you give me $130,000? a good lawyer would tell her to pack sand at that point. he knows what she knows and he knows donald trump slept with a porn star. let's get down to it. this is the guy who did this and i know you want to deny it, i get it, it's a sign of how loyal you are to donald trump. but this is not deniable in the long-term. this is a pattern of behavior donald trump has expressed over generations, over decades, his behavior in new york. >> paris, does it make sense that michael cohen -- i get your point, he's local, grump is his client. but a, for an attorney to pay
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$130,000 for their client is unheard of. to take out a home equity line of credit for a billionaire? does that not strike you is just odd? that a billionaire would let him take out a home equity line of credit for him to pay $130,000 of his own money and not pay him back or know about it? >> michael cohen is a very astute, very smart attorney. and he knew very well that if he had talked to the president or then-candidate trump or asked him for money for this, that would have opened up a whole host of issues for the candidate, now president. he was smart not to do that. he acted on his own volition, which is what a smart attorney does. and this is somebody who's terribly loyal. i hope to have friends and people who would come to my aid and do stuff like that. he knows in the long run he will
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be okay, he will be fine because he did something, because he felt it was the right thing to do, aside from the fact that donald trump is a billionaire, he did it because he wanted to. that's loyalty, that's friendship. next, the man stormy daniels' attorney called a thug and paris calls a loyal friend, how michael cohen earned the reputation rick wilson spoke of and cultivates. his murder became a right-wing thereconspiracy theo. how seth richards' brother is fighting back in court. [man] woah. ugh, i don't have my wallet, so - [girl 1] perfect! you can send a digital payment. [man] uhh, i don't have one of those payment apps. [girl 2] perfect! you have a us-based bank account, right? [man] i have wells fargo. [girl 3] perfect! then you should have zelle! [man] perfect. [girls] perfect! [vo] the number one mobile banking app just got better. [man] does your coach use zelle, too? [boy] of course! [vo] another way we're building better every day.
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breaking news tonight. cnn's jim acosta citing a source close to the white house saying the president will maintain his silence on stls because the source says it has not hurt his poll numbers. cnn chief political analyst gloria borger has more. >> in the soap opera in which a porn star accepts a payoff to keep quiet about her affair with donald trump, there's got to be a guy who gets it done. >> where is michael cohen? >> where is mr. cohen? >> where is this guy? >> where is this guy? >> michael cohen is where he's been since 2007, standing behind donald trump, or closer, in his back pocket. >> michael was, i always like to say the ray donovan of the office. he took care of what had to be taken care of. i don't know what had to be taken care of. all i know is michael was taking care of it. he's the guy you could call
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three in the morning when you had a problem. >> do you know stories of donald trump calling him at three in the morning? >> donald trump has called him all hours of the night. every dinner i have been at with michael, the boss has called. >> cohen did not call the boss, he says, when he decided to pay stormy daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket. 11 days before the election. >> i think it's ludicrous. >> so you believe 100% donald trump knew? >> 100%. >> there's not a meeting that takes place, there's not an expenditure that is authorized that he doesn't know about it. >> cohen wouldn't go on the record for this piece but his friends claim it's all part of his job in trump world, giving the boss deniability and protection. >> if you know the relationship between the two people, he took care of a lot of things for mr. trump without mr. trump knowing about it. that's part of the overall structure is that michael had great latitude to take care of
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matters. >> in michael cohen, trump hired his long time mentor the lawyer his consigliere, a version of roy cohn, an aggressive defender of all things trump, no questions asked. after dantonio finished his book on trump, he got the cohen treatment in what turned out to be an empty threat. >> then he got mad and it was you just bought yourself an f'ing lawsuit, buddy. i'll see you in court. >> in 2011, michael cohen described his job this way. >> my job is i protect mr. trump. that's what it is. if there's an issue that relates to mr. trump that is of concern to him, it's of course a concern to me and i will use my legal skills within which to protect mr. trump to the best of my ability. >> cohen, a sometimes democrat, first came to trump's attention after buying apartments in trump developments.
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then went to the mat for trump against one of his condo boards and won. >> trump loved him for it. that was the beginning of it. then after that, they became close. it was much more than an attorney/client relationship. it was something much deeper, almost father and son kind of thing. always hot and cold. donald trump could be yelling at him one second and saying he's the greatest person in the world the next second. donald trump knew that michael always had his back. >> for trump, it wasn't about pedigree. cohen, who at 51 got his degree from western michigan's cooley law school and had some initial success in the less than genteel world of new york taxicab medallions. >> if you look where michael came from in his legal career
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before he started working for trump org it wasn't like he came from a white shoe law firm. he came from a hard-nosed new york trial firm. trump has an eye for talent. this was somebody that he used to call him his bulldog, his tough guy. >> at the trump organization, he's done a bit of everything. running a mixed martial arts company, securing real estate branding deals, and even taking care of transportation. >> you know the famous trump plane. there was an engine issue that he actually took care of and got a really good deal on. >> watching him is like a reality show. he's got three phones, he's got the hard line, he's got two lines, he's texting, he's on the computer. >> you can almost say this is donald trump's mini me. for a guy who started really in the middle class on long island to now be quite wealthy himself, known internationally, and yes, he's in a bit of a jam with the russia scandal. >> in the eye not only of stormy but also of interest to the special counsel, bob mueller,
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and congress. >> i look forward to getting all the information. >> during the campaign, when trump said he had no contact with russia, cohen was privately trying to cut a deal for a trump tower moscow. it never happened, but mueller has asked about it. >> the sad reality is that michael pursuing that trump tower deal in december is just another factor that goes into this whole russia narrative. >> cohen's name was also in the infamous dossier which alleges he traveled to prague to meet with russians. he's completely denied it and is suing buzzfeed which published it. >> it's immeasurable, the damage that has been caused to him, to his family. >> i will faithfully execute -- >> when trump became president, he did not bring his brash wingman to washington. do you think he wanted to be in the white house, be white house counsel? >> there must have been a part
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of him that was dreaming of a great job at 160 pennsylvania avenue. but he's also the guy who not only knows where all the bodies are buried, he buried a lot of them himself. that aaron -- ironically disqualified him. >> they say i'm mr. trump's pit bull, that i'm his right hand man. i have been called many different things around here. >> now he may be called to testify. with the stormy daniels case in federal court. >> i know michael cohen for over 21 years. i know that he will not rest, he will not sleep, he doesn't sleep anyway, right, until he recovers every single penny from stormy that's due the llc. >> i have seen a lot of attorneys use intimidation tactics. the problem is if that is your speed, if you are a one-trick pony and you use that in every case, when all of a sudden you run up against somebody that doubles down and that isn't intimidated, then you're lost.
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>> cohen flew to mar-a-lago to dine with the president the night before stormy daniels appeared on "60 minutes" because if you are michael cohen, you are the ultimate loyalist. >> the words the media should be using to describe mr. trump are generous, compassionate. >> you still believe donald trump will be loyal. >> kind, humble, honest -- >> to you. anderson, we will have to wait and see whether michael cohen's faith in the president, his ultimate faith, is actually going to be returned. this is a very difficult case now. with stormy daniels. there are lots of people who say they wouldn't be surprised if the president turned on michael cohen if things don't go well. i can tell you he doesn't believe that will happen. >> thanks very much. appreciate it. just ahead, more high-powered lawyers reject the
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opportunity to work for president trump as the russia investigation continues. ( ♪ ) stop dancing around the pain that's keeping you awake. advil pm gives tossing and turning a rest and silences aches and pains. fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer with advil pm. fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer ♪ directv now gives you more for your thing. your letting go thing. your sorry not sorry thing. your out with the old in with the new,
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at&t, no way. we offer 35 voice features and solutions that grow with your business. at&t, not so much. we give you 75 mbps for $59.95. that's more speed than at&t's comparable bundle, for less. call today. it's hard to get all the daily that's why i love fiber choice. it has the fiber found in many fruits and vegetables, all in a tasty chewable tablet. fiber choice: the smart choice. two more attorneys are saying, no thanks, to offers from president trump to join his legal team to help defend him in the ongoing russia investigation. both of the attorneys, dan webb and tom buchanan, are part of the high-powered chicago firm winston and straun. this makes the fifth major law firm we know of to receive an
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invitation to work in the president's defense. white house press secretary sarah sanders spoke about that today. >> the president in the last few weeks has reached out to a number of high-profile lawyers to take him on as a client in the russia probe. dan webb took a pass recently, ted olson took a pass recently, others have as well. i'm wondering why the president has had so much trouble finding an experienced lawyer willing to take him on, and who at this hour is his lead counsel in negotiating with robert mueller and the special counsel? >> look, the president has a highly qualified team with several individuals that have been part of this process, ty cobb, jay sekulow, for specific details on any search process outside of the white house, i would refer you to his outside counsel. >> who is his lead counsel now? >> i would refer you to -- >> ty works for the white house. >> outside of the white house i would refer you to jay sekulow who can address any detailed questions on that front. >> as for the president, he has been relatively quiet on the twitter front lately but on
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sunday he tweeted, many lawyers and top firms want to represent me in the russia case. don't believe the fake news narrative that it's hard to find a lawyer who wants to take this on. fame and fortune will never be turned down by a lawyer. some are conflicted. problem is a new lawyer or law firm will take months to get up to speed if for no other reason that they can bill more which is unfair to our great country. i'm very happy with my existing team. besides, there was no collusion with russia except by crooked hillary and the dems. i'm joined by a legal mind who knows a lot about washington investigati investigations, john dean, former nixon white house counsel and cnn analyst. also with us, national security analyst, rasha angappa. how do you reconcile the president's claims many big-time lawyers want to represent him with the reality that none seem to be coming on board at this time and how perilous is that for the president? >> well, i don't think there is an easy way to reconcile it, because trump is just way off base. i think there are a couple problems. there probably are some legitimate conflicts with firms in washington but there's also another problem.
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that's the reputation the potential client has. he's a difficult client. he doesn't follow the advice of his attorneys. he also doesn't pay. i think that last item might be a dominant item. >> is there any reason to believe robert mueller would delay his desire to speak with president trump if the president doesn't have a team in place? >> i don't think so. >> he hasek ewe low. >> exactly. if he has an attorney, mueller will move forward with his plan. he's been very efficient so far. one thing to keep in mind is that mueller has an excellent legal team. these are lawyers who went to the best law schools, who were prosecutors, supreme court clerks, and this is a complicated federal investigation. it involves all kinds of criminal law and will test the bounds of the constitution given who trump is. so trump will need to get not just an experienced attorney but also a legal scholar and if he
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doesn't get somebody who is top notch both of those fronts, he will get crushed. >> do you buy the argument that some firms are saying they have a conflict? big firms represent many different people. is it true that they can't represent, if it's a huge firm and it's different attorneys and there's separation between them, they can't represent trump and somebody else involved in the investigation? >> as john said there may be conflicts. but this is the kind of job that most lawyers have normally dreamed of. it makes a legal career. the fact that you have a challenging case or unpopular client is kind of a badge of honor. john adams represented british soldiers in the boston massacre. as john said, he's a bad client. he doesn't treat his lawyers particularly well. he may not pay him. and let's remember we are sitting on the edge of our seat every day wondering if trump is going to fire mueller. i don't think you want to be his attorney if and when that happens. because news flash, the investigation will go on and then as the attorney, you might
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get sucked into the vortex also and become questioned by mueller and no attorney wants to go down that road. >> john, we always make the caveat we want to be careful with any watergate comparisons but president nixon's personal lawyers, as i understand, he wasn't even agreeing to meet with them at certain points, much less take their advice. the notion of a president who trusts his own instincts more than anyone else, does that ring familiar to you? >> it does, very much so. in fact, what happened with nixon, he refused until really after he left office to get a highly competent criminal lawyer. notwithstanding advice to the contrary from yours truly, that he needed somebody early. so he delayed it and never really did have good counsel. you asked the question if mueller would go forward if he didn't have good counsel. well, the watergate special prosecutor knew they did not have good representation. i have asked these guys over the years was there any lawyer nixon ever had while he was in office that gave you any concern that he was going to be a tough
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cookie to deal with? they said absolutely none. they were in fact surprised at how weak the legal representation was. >> what did nixon say to you when you were advising him early on that he needed to get an attorney? >> didn't want to hear it. did not want to hear it. >> it is -- >> did not bring anybody in with that experience. >> it is baffling there's no iconic washington defense attorney eager to take on mueller on behalf of the president of the united states. it's not a town short on attorneys. >> i think it's one of the real issues for some of the firms is that they won't get paid. that's the rumbling i have been picking up in talking to washington lawyers i know. i think he will probably find somebody in washington that will step forward. he's got the word out there now so i think some republican lawyer probably will come forward. >> thanks very much. coming up, first his parents sued. now the brother of seth rich has also filed a lawsuit against right wing activist and media
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the brother of murdered dnc staffer seth rich is suing right-wing activists and media organizations for pushing conspiracy theories about his brother's death. it was an unsolved murder,
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police say probably a robbery gone wrong. that didn't stop some trying to promote unfounded claims from trying to tie rich to dnc hacking. his brother aaron is now suing, accusing the washington times and others of acting with reckless disregard for the truth. his lawsuit comes weeks after his parents filed a separate lawsuit against fox news and others for their role in pushing the conspiracy theory, an effort in which one figure looms particularly large. gary tuchman tonight reports. >> another massive breaking news story. explosive developments in the mysterious murder of former dnc staffer seth rich. >> reporter: sean hannity of fox news hyping a conspiracy theory about the murder of a young man named seth rich. >> this issue is so big now that the entire russia collusion narrative is hanging by a thread. >> reporter: the conspiracy theory concocted by right wing commentators was this. the 26-year-old rich who worked for the democratic national committee had leaked dnc e-mails to wikileaks. it wasn't the russians who did it. the murder was committed by
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someone with ties to the dnc as retaliation. never mind that there was and is no evidence of that. sean hannity was happy to make it part of his tv and radio shows. >> is there any evidence that he might have been disgruntled at the treatment of bernie sanders and the unfairness and the fix was in to put hillary in that position and maybe he had evidence of that? >> reporter: again, there wasn't any evidence at all. it was all made up. seth rich was murdered, but evidence has always pointed towards a botched robbery according to d.c. police. despite that, hannity continued to fan the flames night after night. it took pressure from advertisers pulling their commercials from his show for fox to finally take action, releasing a statement regarding the original seth rich story published by its reporter malia zimmerman who is also being sued by seth rich's parents. the article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all reporting. upon appropriate review, the
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article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed. after that statement was released online, hannity on his radio show made it clear he did not agree with the concept of backing down. >> i am not or >> reporter: amid all this, seth rich's family released a statement. the amount of pain and anguish this has caused us is unbearable. with every conspiratorial flareup we are forced to relive seth's murder and a small piece of us dies as more of seth's memory is torn away from us. sean hannity later declared -- >> out of respect for the family's wishes for now, i am not discussing this matter at this time. >> reporter: in case hannity's fans thought he meant he would never mention it again, he threw them a bone. >> i am continuing the work that i promised to do every day for you and at the proper time, we shall continue and talk a lot more. >> reporter: gary tuchman, cnn, atlanta. >> the lawsuit filed by seth
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rich's brother aaron is against the washington times, an online activist and his media company and texas businessman. joining me is michael gotleib. attorney for aaron rich. thanks for being with us. the defendant named in today's lawsuit, can you explain how they were dragging your client, seth's brother, into this? >> thanks for having me. the introduction that you showed the viewers at the start of this piece was sort of about the prelude to this suit, the story that existed about the seth rich conspiracy from around january until may. after that, these defendants that are named in the lawsuit today decided to make aaron rich, seth's brother, the target of the conspiracy theory and sort of named him as the technical mastermind behind the leak and also somebody who took money from wikileaks into his personal bank account. that started around the summer of 2017 and the allegations grew more grotesque from there. they started to allege that aaron rich warned seth's girlfriend to break up with him
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and leave d.c. because he knew in advance the murder was coming. they made up a meeting that purportedly occurred at the dnc where aaron threw a chair at donna brazile. all of this is made up. >> they said this online and in articles? >> it began on a periscope, that the defendant matt couch and america first media hosts. they have about 200,000 twitter followers and 10,000 view others periscopes. and one of the defendants appeared as a guest on a periscope on august 15th, 2017 and said there's money in aaron rich's account, he needs to come out and admit what he did. it's made up. there's no money, there's no basis in fact whatsoever for it. it's a complete fabrication. >> you are saying this was not sort of random one-off, this was premeditated, coordinated effort? >> there was definitely coordination between ed batowski, america first media and matt couch to take this theory or this notion of rich's involvement and to spread it as far and wide as they could and
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to profit off of it. they have raised money off of it, have sold merchandise off of it and now have a team of investigators roaming around using that funding to talk to people and try to prove this theory to be true. >> how is this lawsuit different from the lawsuit that seth's parents filed? >> different plaintiffs, different defendants. the parents filed a lawsuit that relates a lot to the allegations in the prelude you played with fox news. this is a lawsuit against different defendants for dragging aaron into what was a conspiracy theory that already existed. >> and for the parents, this is not only to lose a son but then have their other son being accused of this stuff there's no evidence of. >> devastating for them and for aaron, who is a patriotic american who worked at the same defense contractor since basically the day he graduated from college, who has served his country, trying to protect national security. he has assisted law enforcement at every available effort,
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including providing them with all of the information he had about seth and testifying in front of a grand jury, and he's being accused of being complicit in his brother's murder and covering it up. it is just outrageous. >> has the rich family received an apology from anyone involved in spreading these lies? >> i think the parents have received certain apologies. fox news obviously retracted the story, as mentioned in the piece from before. aaron rich hasn't received apologies from anyone, even though he's reached out separately to each of these defendants privately. he reached out to batowski privately, to matt couch and america first media privately, telling them how much pain this was causing, he asked them to stop spreading lies about him. he told them this was false. they not only doubled down on the lies they were telling, they spread them far and wide, then worked to place them in an op-ed in the "washington times." >> michael, appreciate your time. we will continue to follow it. thanks very much. coming up, during the election campaign, candidate trump over and over again told rallies he would make certain that mexico paid for his promised border wall. as president he's tried to get
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president trump is now wondering if someone else should help pay for the border wall, hinting the pentagon might chip in. over the weekend he tweeted, quote, because of the
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$716 billion gotten to rebuild our military, many jobs are created and our military is again rich, building a great border wall with drugs, poison, and enemy combatants is all about national defense. the border wall became a call and response catch phrase that someone else would pay for the wall. here's a stroll down that memory lane. >> we are going to build a great border wall. and who's going to pay for the wall? >> mexico. >> who's going to pay for the wall? >> mexico! >> who? >> mexico! >> it will be a great wall. mexico is going to pay for the wall. mexico is going to pay for the wall. and mexico is going to pay for the wall, and they understand that. mexico is going to pay for the wall, believe me. 100%. >> now perhaps there's a very different method of payment. joining me about more, boris sanchez. the president is asking about the pentagon funding the wall now, is that right? >> that's right, anderson. it appears he's poised to do that. two sources telling cnn the
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president floated that idea with some advisers, even presenting it to house speaker paul ryan during discussions about the omnibus spending bill that he signed into law last week. we didn't really get a clear read of what the speaker's reaction was nor if this is really a serious path forward for border wall funding. keep in mind congress would have to go back and approve any changes to 2018 funding for the budget. obviously it didn't really have a whole lot of support last week. it only got about 1.6 billion out of $1.3 trillion bill. press secretary sarah sanders was asked about this during the briefing today. she didn't really appear to commit to this idea. listen. >> on the wall, i wanted to ask about the president's tweet over the weekend about the military building the wall. i'm wondering if the president believes he can reprogram funds from defense department for wall construction without a vote of congress or if he's asking the white house to examine that. and what military programs that
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were included in the omnibus that he would -- he could see cutting in order to pay for what he says is a -- >> i can't get into the specifics of that at this point, but i can tell you that the continuation of building the wall is ongoing, and we're going to continue moving forward in that process. >> reporter: now, a note about vice president mike pence. he's in north dakota speaking to supporters tonight, and he brought up the idea of the wall, making a promise to these supporters saying we will build the wall completely. we will build it all, anderson. >> do we have any idea where this idea about the pentagon footing the bill came from? >> reporter: you get the sense that it is born out of frustration because the president didn't get what he wanted out of that omnibus spending bill. he threatened to veto it that same morning. we did hear from a source that the president has had some musings about exactly how to pay for the border wall. one other idea according to a source was having people who are coming into the united states
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legally pay more for entry. obviously this contradicts what you just heard the president say going back to 2015, that mexico would pay for the wall whether through reconfiguration of nafta or possibly through a refund. the whole thing has caused a lot of friction between president trump and the mexican president. of course, anderson, they're still that unlikely possibility that we may see a check in the mailbox here at the white house at some point soon. we'll keep an eye out for it. coming up, the quiet after the storm. why is the president, a self-avowed proponent of punching back ten times harder keeping quiet? i'll speak with our panel next to see if anyone has any ideas. heel never be mistaken for behr marquee presents: it's got potential. - i think it'll look really, really good without the stripes. - margo and sam had a vision, brought to life in one coat. ♪
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