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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  May 2, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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tripadvisor. check the latest reviews and lowest prices. that's it for us. thanks for watching time to hand it over to don lemon. "cnn tonight" is starting now. this is "cnn tonight" i'm don lemon. the president shaking up his legal team. ty cobb is out and president clinton's impeachment lawyer is in. another member of the trump legal team is making a shocking statement tonight, that is the breaking news. rudy giuliani dropping a bombshell tonight in an interview saying the president paid michael cohen back for that $130,000 hush money payment to stormy daniels. let's get right now to cnn's sara murray who's joining us and can tell us about all this. sara, i believe what it is as we were watching, giuliani says trump reimbursed cohen for the
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$130,000, saying he knew about the general arrangement but not the specifics of it. >> that's right. and it seems like hannity came back to that and giuliani says it was paid over a period of time. but remember, michael cohen basically said he was doing this on his own on the president's behalf, that he did not consult necessarily with the president on this. and remember, president trump when he spoke to reporters on air force one not too long ago, said he didn't know anything about this $130,000 payment to stormy daniels. and in fact he said you're going to have to check with my personal lawyer michael cohen. so the sort of party line up until now is that the president really didn't know anything about this payment, that he wasn't involved in this payment, and you that know, michael cohen just sort of took these things upon himself essentially as donald trump's fixer over the years to take care of these things. we heard something pretty different from rudy giuliani. he tried to backtrack a little and say you know, i haven't really looked into this. but of course he's now one of
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the main players on the president's legal team. we know that trump's personal lawyer has gone through a raid. you'd think he would have looked into this. >> yeah, and he's supposed to be helping the president out. i'm not sure if he did that in interview, sara. don't mean to cut you off now. but we're going to listen to it now. this interview happening earlier on fox. watch this. >> having something to do with paying some stormy daniels woman 130,000? i mean, which is going to turn out to be perfectly legal. that money was not campaign money. sorry. i'm giving you a fact now you that don't know. it's not campaign money. no campaign finance violation. so -- >> they funneled it through a law firm. >> funneled it through a law firm and the president repaid it. >> oh, i didn't know. he did? >> yeah. >> there's no campaign finance law. >> zero. so the president -- >> just like every -- sean -- >> this decision was made by -- >> everybody was nervous about this from the very beginning. i wasn't. i knew how much money donald
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trump put into that campaign. i said $130,000? he's going to do a couple of for $130,000. when i heard cohen's retainer of $35,000 when he was doing no work for the president, i said that's how he's repaying -- that's how he's repaying it, with a little profit and a little margin for paying taxes. for michael. >> do you know the president didn't know about this? i believe that's what michael had said. >> he didn't know about the specifics of it as far as i know. but he did know about the general arrangement that michael would take care of things like this. like i take care of things like this for my clients. i don't burden them with every single thing that comes along. >> all right, cnn's mark preston joins sara and i. mark, were you watching that interview? when i was watching in my office my jaw dropped. >> i've got to tell you, yeah. it hit the floor. it started off a little bit slow. but you know, it seemed as if the former mayor was in such a relaxed atmosphere right there that he was willing to let everything roll. we just played that clip right there. what a bombshell that is.
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rudy giuliani also said had he chosen to become attorney general, had he taken it, had donald trump given it thoim and he had accepted and he'd decided to, we wouldn't even be in this investigation right now. he even went to far as to say if push came to shove he'd be willing to sacrifice jared the son-in-law as opposed to ivanka the daughter because you don't want to go after someone's daughter. what an amazing interview we just witnessed. >> but again, he said -- michael, the president, as you said, sara, on air force one said he didn't know anything about it, you'd have to talk to his lawyer michael cohen. let's listen to this and we can respond to that. >> do you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. what else? >> then why did michael cohen make it?
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>> you have to ask michael cohen. michael was my attorney and you'll have to ask michael. >> so, he said he didn't know and michael cohen has said all along that he did not -- that the president did not pay him back, sara. >> that's right. and there was another question, and the tape didn't go that long, that they asked the president on air force one that day, they asked him do you know where michael cohen got the money to make that poimt? and president trump says no, i don't know. there's no mention of this notion that he repaid him. michael cohen as you pointed out has said he's done this on his own. the striking thing about this is rudy giuliani new to the president's team but the president and his allies felt like is this would bring much-needed star power to their team and firepower, that he could be someone out there defending the president and take a harder line when it came to the mueller investigation but he seemed to have created another mess. the notion that you would have this attorney come on and not know the details of this arrangement or what his client has publicly said about this arrangement when we just saw michael cohen's home office and hotel room raided is pretty
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stunning. >> so listen, cue the giuliani bite back up. i think sean's question was did he know about the payment. i forget the question that he asked going into it. we don't have it there. but mark, this is what michael cohen has said previously. he has said in a private transaction in 2016 i use nid own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to miss stephanie clifford, michael cohen said in a statement. "neither the trump organization nor the trump campaign was a party to the transaction with miss clifford and neither reimbursed me for the payment either directly or indirectly." play the clip. >> having something to do with paying some stormy daniels woman $130,000, i mean, which is going to turn out to be perfectly legal. that money was not campaign money. sorry, i'm giving you a fact now that you don't know, it's not campaign money. no campaign finance violation. so -- >> they funneled it through the law firm.
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>> funneled it through the law firm and the president repaid it. >> oh. i didn't know. he did? >> yeah. >> there's no campaign finance law. >> zero. just like every -- sean -- >> so this decision was made by -- >> everybody was nervous about this from the beginning i was not. i knew how much money donald trump put into that campaign. i said 130,000? he's going to do a couple of checks for 130,000. when i heard cohen's retainer of 35,000, when he was doing no work for the president. i said, well, that's how he's repaying -- that's how he's repaying it, with a little profit and a little margin for paying taxes for michael. >> do you know the president didn't know about this? i believe that's what michael had said. >> he didn't know about the specifics of it, as far as i know, but he did know about the general arrangement that michael would take care of things like this. like i take care of things like this for my clients. i don't burden them with every
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single thing that comes along. >> okay. so again, this is -- and i want everyone to be clear about this. in a private transaction in 2016 "i used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment," i'm talking michael cohen now, "of $130,000 to miss stephanie clifford. neither the trump organization nor the trump campaign was a party to the transaction with miss clifford and neither reimbursed me for the payment either directly or indirectly." the trump organization, that would be indirectly, right? >> well, look, donald trump is the trump organization. if you want to get into legalities of who's on the letterhead and who request make decisions, what have you, we can go down that road. i think we need to stop, though. everybody needs to take a big pause and think about what rudy giuliani just said about michael cohen. he said that michael cohen engaged in this kind of activity and did so on behalf of donald trump, took care of things so that trump didn't have to necessarily do it. look at what he's taking care of right now. he's taking care of hush money payments to a pornographic
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actress that is alleging she had an affair with donald trump. now, if donald trump -- this is like the way of doing business in the real estate empire, i'm sure that you can go out all across the country and find people who are very successful that don't have fixers like this that are dealing with such lewd and tawdry types of allegations. that in itself, before we even get into whether it's illegal or not, that in itself should say something, don. >> yeah. it's unbelievable. this is kind of the gift that keeps on giving. i'm not sure the trump folks are viewing it as a gift but i'm sure michael avenatti and stormy daniels are. stand by, sara and mark. i want to bring in sara sidner. you've been following this story. good evening, by the way. what's your reaction to this? >> it's stunning. it's a bombshell, if you will. i hate to use is that word. but it is a stunning development in this case. for so long there has been a real separation, michael cohen constantly saying there was no affair, the white house saying there was no affair.
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donald trump himself saying i knew nothing about this whole deal, my attorney took care of it for me and then goes on fox and says, well, you know, he took care of the stormy daniels thing for mep so little by little we were getting closer and closer. but this revelation squarely puts donald trump in the position of knowing something, knowing there was a $130,000 that was owed to michael cohen, michael cohen paying that to stormy daniels, the porn star who allegedly had an affair with him. we just heard from michael avenatti. as you might imagine, this is big news to him. he said he was stunned and speechless and he said if this is accurate the american people have been lied to and deceived for months and justice must be served. i want to talk about justice for a minute because i just got off the phone with common cause. that is the organization that had filed the complaint with the fec about this $130,000 saying that it violated campaign finance laws because -- not because of who paid what when and from whom but because it
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wasn't reported partly. that's part of the problem. the other part of the problem is michael cohen paid $130,000 for donald trump to keep quiet this information that may have elected -- excuse me, affected the election. he's only allowed as a personal person to pay $2,700. $130,000 is a heck of a lot more than that. common cause says that violates the federal election laws. and lastly, they complained to the doj. now, this revelation about donald trump having paid back some of this money could put him in a legally divisive or bad position. because if he willfully knew that he was paying this money and it wasn't reported and they were trying to keep it away from the public to impact the election, that's a huge problem for him with the law. >> sara sidner, i want you to stand by. because sara, you've been covering this story very closely and i need your insight on it. i want to get back to our folks in washington, sara murray. in that sound that we heard,
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sara, rudy giuliani also said that he did no work for the president. so what does that mean for attorney-client privilege? >> well, look, it's hard to say at this point what that means for attorney/client privilege in term of michael cohen i think you're referring to there. we know michael cohen did work for the president. we obviously know giuliani's now working for the president, they have attorney-client privilege. i think this is going to create a lot of hurdles potentially in the lawsuit sara sidner was just talking about. potentially some hurdles going forward when giuliani is trying to make the case that the president's words should be trusted for instance over james comey, at the same time that he's putting out conflicting information on something else. one of the things we need to look at about what rudy giuliani just said about these payments is that legally they could be actually on firmer ground with the fact that president trump ostensibly, if you believe rudy giuliani's version of events, paid back michael cohen.
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maybe it's not a campaign finance violation. maybe it was not a campaign donation that was not revealed and documented the way it should have been. but what you then do is you make the president out to be a liar at a time when you're trying to decide whether or not to put him in front of special counsel robert mueller and then convince mueller's team that they should take the president's word over james comey's. so either way you sort of read the rings around that it doesn't look great for the president. >> stand by, sara murray. i want to bring in now john dean. john dean is a cnn contributor and former white house counsel for nixon, president nixon. this is exactly what rude ji giuliani said. he said, "when i heard cohen's retainer of $35,000 -- $135,000 -- or $35,000 i should say, when he was doing no work for the president, i said, that's how he's repaying. that's how he's repaying it." unquote. rudy giuliani said that cohen did no work for the president. why are we learning this now? >> it's baffling.
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i can't understand first of all where rudy giuliani learned this -- >> can we get that sound bite, too? i want to hear sean's question before and i want to hear the exchange afterwards because it is my recollection that afterwards sean tried to -- my sense is that he was trying to get him off of this topic. okay. but go on, john, sorry about that. >> yeah, the fact is -- the question is where does he get this information from that he seems to know, first of all, the entire arrangement to how it was paid back. this sound like something from trump, his client and so he's -- to be able to speak this information and not breaching the privilege, he has to have trump's permission to put that out. he did say also that he does things like this for his clients without letting his clients know. well, that's contrary to the rules of ethics in new york state, which is an amazing statement by the mayor. so you know, he's just stirred up a hornet's nest with these
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remarks and it looks like a little loose lips to me. >> yeah. loose lips sink ships. but same thing -- similar thing happened, remember, during the campaign. rudy giuliani during an interview revealed some information that sort of caused some chaos in the campaign. john, just your overall assessment of these statements when you heard about them? >> it's -- given the position that trump has taken, that he knew nothing, had no knowledge of the transaction, there was -- you know, go talk to my lawyer, michael cohen on air force one. rudy has made a liar out of his client is what he's done. that's my first and initial reaction. >> so what -- john -- hold on, mark. so john, having experienced something similar to this, right? not exactly the same thing. it wasn't an adult film star. so now what?
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>> well, now what will be how trump responds to this, how he deals with it. we'll see what kind of relationship trump has with rudy as to how -- this will be very telling. i don't think lawyers really belong on television talking about what they're doing with their clients, and it's very unusual. that looks like one of the shifts they're making in this operation now is to be much more political and much more public. and apparently rudy's going to be the face of this. >> okay, mark preston, you wanted to jump in? >> yeah, just very quickly. all through the president campaign you heard president trump say i will release my taxes, i will release my taxes, i will release my taxes once the audit's over. all through this investigation we heard trump say of course i'll sit down for an interview, 100% i'll sit down for an interview. let me tell you right now, i was fooled. he never had any, any, any, any desire to sit down for an interview. and what we're seeing right now as we're seeing his legal team take this shift, what we're seeing is a more combative approach and what donald trump
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has done is he has laid out at least reasoning to say back to his supporters i wanted to do that interview, i wanted to do that interview but they were being unrealistic and if you look back at that hannity interview tonight with rudy giuliani, rudy giuliani laid down the markers. he put down unreasonable expectations if there were to be an interview. so there will never be an interview and what we're going to see now is a very vicious political fight, one that i thought was coming but it's certainly coming a lot faster. >> unless this is some odd strategy that they're doing a jedi mind trick, i don't know, stand by everyone because i want to get to jeff zeleny, our senior white house correspondent. he joins us now. excuse me. jeff, this is a wide-ranging interview. and we're going to get to a lot more in this broadcast. there was a lot that was said about the new legal team and their strategy. but this was an interview with fox news, a very friendly venue to the president to say the least. this is a message they wanted out. why? >> it's a great question. obviously rudy giuliani was feeling comfortable in this
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interview, as we've said. and the reality, it's not just fox news. it's sean hannity, who we should point out is an adviser to this president. he talks to president trump routinely, frequently, multiple times a week. he's an adviser to the president. and it seemed to me he was offering several opportunities there for rudy giuliani to, you know, follow his lead there. but i've heard a question ever since rudy giuliani came on board the legal team, some people who like him are wondering if he is as sharp as he was or up to this task. i think that question will be asked in the light of day tomorrow as this is all accessed and, you know, the fallout of this is coming out. because the reality is he did not do his client any good tonight. even as the president is lawyering up and sharpening up what is going to be, as everyone has been saying tonight, a confrontation with bob mueller. so i don't know exactly why he would have gone on for such a
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long interview. did not do the president any good tonight, i don't think, don. >> yes. john -- >> to say the least. >> john, what does this mean legally? because where the president gets in trouble. if this is legal. the rest of it may be political. it involves a forn stporn star. but what does this mean legally for this president right now? >> well, if he represents the president and claims these are the president's words, the president has to be held accountable for them and could well be contrary to some of the rumblings that rudy's making that there will be a very brief interview. that's not going to be decided by rudy, it's going to be decided by the special counsel and the courts. looks like that's where they're headed. as i say, it's just not the norm for a lawyer to go out and ramble on about your strategy and how you're going to deal
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with one problem or another, and what are the facts that you don't know that he's now making public and doesn't source them or say where he got this information. so, as i said, he kicked a hornet's nest. >> i also wonder what it means legally for michael cohen. but we'll discuss that. john, i want you to stay with me. everyone else has reporting to do on this and we're going to check back with them. you guys go do your reporting. there's a lot to cover in the next couple of hours on cnn. when we come back, more on our breaking news. rudy giuliani dropping a bombshell. he is saying that president trump repaid michael cohen for that $130,000 hush money, that money to stormy daniels. he also talked about what the parameters would be for an interview with the special counsel. as a control enthusiast, i'm all-business when i travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations-
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right now breaking news tonight and this is a bombshell. rudy giuliani says president trump repaid michael cohen for that $130,000 in hush money to stormy daniels. and he has a lot more to say. joining me now is john, and ryan lewis and april ryan. the sound that we heard can you play it for us. leave my mike open. i want to hear what the question was going into this. go ahead please. >> is russian sources that not only weren't verified, were debunked, are you concerned that that was paid for to manipulate the american people in the leadup to an election? >> isn't that closer to the mandate than michael cohen? >> why isn't that -- where's mueller on that, sir? >> having something to do with paying some stormy daniels woman 130,000, i mean, which is going to turn out to be perfectly legal. that money was not campaign money.
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sorry. i'm giving you a fact now you that don't know. >> okay. >> it's not campaign money. >> okay. so here we go with that. so he was asking him something that had to do with russia. he said this is more to do with russia, with the investigation, more in the parameters of robert mueller than stormy daniels. he led himself, john, into this when that wasn't really sean hannity's question. >> not at all. sean was actually conflating -- or rudy conflated something that is not part of mueller's investigation and is now out of the southern district and actually emanates from a civil lawsuit, into the whole russia investigation issue, just volunteering this like he wanted to get this information out. it's -- it's surprising, don, that he offered this information. >> as we had been discussing -- >> maybe shocking.
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>> to say the least. so guys, we had been discussing president trump's attorney, rudy giuliani was on fox news tonight and here's what he had to say. this is about a possible interview with the special counsel. watch this. >> what are the parameters that you would insist on for any interview with mueller beyond two to three hours narrowing the scope? >> never beyond two or three hours. i'm not going to have my client, my president, my friend, a year and a half against all odds than anyone had a right to expect, i'm not going to let him be treated worse than bill clinton, who definitely was a liar under oath. i'm not going to let him -- he's being treated much worse than hillary clinton, who had no right to any of that stuff. so i'm not going to let him be treated worse than hillary clinton. i think jay and i will insist that they're going to have to
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treat him the same way as clinton. 2 1/2 hours. we end, we walk out. give us your questions in advance. he's ready to -- >> didn't he just say clinton was a liar? he hired his lawyer. so listen, what's your take on the parameters here? giuliani wants to set up for a possible interview with mueller. >> i think john dean hit the nail on the head. the mayor has drawn a line in the sand that i'm not so sure was wise to do on national tv in this kind of interview. look, i don't have any problem with the mayor going at bob mueller, arguing precedent, arguing what happened in clinton, in the clinton case, arguing what happened in other cases, and say look, if i'm the president's lawyer -- look, he is dealing with incredibly important issues right now.
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and to take really literally days to prep him and possibly a day or two to interview him seems unreasonable. and i'd rather litigate that, go before a judge as opposed to agree to that with bob mueller. now, you can make that demand -- >> you said it's unreasonable to take a day or two to interview the president? >> well, in this case it's going to take -- look, how long do you think it would take, for example, to prep the president on these areas? >> yeah. >> as a lawyer -- >> i'm just asking because he's got a lot of executive time. that's not hyperbole here. so to say that it takes two to three days is a long time. i mean, he spends a lot of time on the golf course. so april, listen, i've got to get april in here. stand by, guy. giuliani slammed jim comey and hillary clinton throughout the interview. watch this. >> i'm sorry, hillary, i know you're very disappointed you didn't win. but you're a criminal.
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equal justice would mean you should go to jail. i do not know why the justice department is not investigating you. >> comey -- you said hillary deeply respects the rule of law. comey said that. >> wow. well, this is a very perverted man. >> april, what's your reaction to that? >> we're going right back to where we started. deflection to hillary clinton. this is not about hillary clinton. this is not about james comey. this is about what he said about stormy daniels and the president repaying $130,000 to michael cohen. now, when it comes to the issue of rule of law, there is a major concern about the rule of law being broken. this president is not -- and rudy giuliani, he's wanting to delay the process now for the president to speak, and what does that do? he just wants to buy more time instead of putting it out there making it happen now.
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because what's going to happen is if indeed mueller feels that this is a delaying tactic or some kind of tactic not to do it, there is a possibility of grand jury or indictment. we've seen the grand jury issue and we've seen how the republicans went after bill clinton at the time when he was president and this could actually force the republicans to do exactly what they don't want to do, to write up articles of impeachment for this president. but again, a lot of this is deflection. yes, they have been talking about this for a long time. but the issue is bigger now. you heard sarah huckabee sanders say there was arbitration. you heard the president say, he didn't know anything about it -- >> i've got to go, april. >> michael cohen. now you have giuliani. >> i've got to go. guy, can you give me ten seconds, give me your assessment of what just happened tonight? >> i think that the president's
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lawyer got off message, got off point and was talking about things that he shouldn't be talking about. i really do. >> april, thank you very much. guy, thank you and of course john we appreciate it. when we come back much much more on this breaking news. rudy giuliani says president trump repaid michael cohen $130,000 for that hush money payment to stormy daniels. there was also something about taxes in there. we got it all for you. don't go anywhere. ♪
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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. we're back now with major breaking news, rudy giuliani says president trump repaid his fixer, michael cohen, $130,000 for that stormy daniels' hush money payment. joining me now a member of the intelligence committee, you're a lawyer as well, aren't you? >> yeah, i was a criminal defense attorney for a decade. >> so, this -- this is an explosive interview with rudy giuliani. he is president trump's new attorney. what did you think of that when you heard it? >> yeah, i was on a different level than rudy but obviously he
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was a better prosecutor than defense attorney. i never felt it was a good idea to talk about your clients or the cases on t.v., only bad things can happen and tonight was a great example. >> let me read something. he not only says it -- i just want to bet yoget your assessme this. he was talking about the money, there's no campaign finance law. rude giuliani says everybody was nervous about this from the very beginning. i wasn't. i knew how much money donald trump put into the campaign. i said $130,000, he's going to do a couple of checks for $130,000. when i know i heard cohen's retainer of $35,000 when he was doing no work for the president, i said that's how he's repaying. that's how he's repaying it, with a little profit and a little margin for paying taxes. what do you think? >> yeah, who needs investigative reporters when you have rudy defending the president of the united states? he i think it says something.
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it's extraordinarily important. it's additional evidence when the president of the united states gets in the same room with the truth a fight breaks out. i hear in a previous discussion people talking about laying the groundwork for the president's decision to go speak before the special counsel. i don't think you give him that opportunity now. i think you subpoena the president of the united states, i think the case law is clear, he'll have to appear. while that old case was a civil case, i think it's easy to argue that having the president -- ensuring the president helps with the criminal investigation is far more important than a civil trial that we were talking about before. >> i want to get your reaction to another story, i think it's a big story as well. it's from the "new york times" tonight. they report a former federal law enforcement official familiar with the department's views said mr. rosenstein and top fbi officials have come to suspect that some lawmakers were using their oversight authority to gain intelligence about the
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investigation -- about that investigation so that it could be shared with the white house. what's your reaction, and do you suspect the same thing? >> yeah, my reaction is the line from casablanca. gambling at rick's? i'm shocked to hear your winnings. look, i had a birds' eye view on members tanking the investigation. going along with a gag order by the white house. refusing to issue key subpoenas. the chairman's midnight ride. writing a memo about the investigation in concert with the white house. so, this doesn't surprise me at all. it shouldn't surprise the american public. it's why we have to protect the special counsel from the president and his far right friends on the committee. >> that leads me to this next question, the president's attacks on the justice department. he says it is a rigged system, referring to the justice department, and at some point he's going to use the powers granted to the president and get involved.
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i mean, that sounds like a threat. do you think the president is getting closer to firing rosenstein or mueller, and if he does what will congress do? >> i think he's trying to do two things. when he talks about getting involved with the clinton e-mail investigation and he talks about what you just mentioned, it's two extremes but it's the same thing. he wants to be able to use the justice department to go after his political opponents and he wants to use it to muzzle those that would investigate the white house. this is an extreme violation of the rule of law. it takes a historical context to fully comprehend what's happening here. right? the king was restricted that he wasn't above the law by the magna carta. our founding fathers would not have imagined giving a president of the united states in the constitution rights and ability to be above the law when there already extraordinary concerns with the powers of the king can and wanting to be independent of that king.
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so the president of the united states has turned american history and law on its head. we are facing a real constitutional crisis. and my friends on both sides of the aisle need to stand up, show some profiles in courage. >> congressman mike quigley joining us from chicago. thank you, sir. i appreciate it. >> thank you. the president's new lawyer, the former mayor of new york, also the state's attorney under the southern district where the michael cohen case is now. breaking some news. admitting the president paid michael cohen back for the hush money to stormy daniels. more on that breaking news after the break. trust and loyalty.
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also cnn political analyst kirsten powers, a columnist for "usa today."" frank, welcome good evening. this is his first interview as a new lawyer, right? >> yeah. he seemed to be enjoy it. he's not bringing what discipline may have had in the past into these interviews. that's one crazy interview. >> yeah. and your reaction when you heard it? >> well, it's like he put all of our brains into a ball and scrambled them up. this is just nuts. how many different directions are they going to take these stories? first the president's saying i don't know anything about this. the press secretary and the white house is saying there's nothing to this. now, the new lawyer trots himself out and in this really unbridled interview says, oh, the president's paid him back over a number of months. he didn't have $130,000, he's a billionaire but he didn't have that in his account to write just one check. >> i'm looking -- because we're getting new information and i'm trying to get so much. kirsten, i want to go to you.
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because giuliani seems to have thrown michael cohen under the bus saying he didn't do any legal work for the president. does that also undermine the president in this investigation? >> i don't know about how it affects the investigation. but look, donald trump clearly -- he lied. and i know that's not breaking news. but it is still problematic when he's on air force one was asked about whether he knew about this and said that he didn't know about it. and that we have a president who keeps a fixer on hand to be doling out money to, you know, porn stars. >> yeah. >> that's a fact that we now have raced past. this is now normal. we talk about this every night. the $130,000 paid as the election approached to keep a porn star quiet. >> so how does this complicate things? let's talk about michael cohen here. let's talk about michael cohen. how does that complicate things for michael cohen in this case? what did he do illegally here?
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did he do anything illegal even with this information? >> i don't know that he necessarily did. i think the campaign, if this was an expenditure related to campaign activities they should have reported it on their list of expenditures, but the president may say, well, this is a personal matter and i settled this because i needed to protect my family. this is -- that's the last refuge of most scoundrels, is i'm going to protect my family from the terrible thing i did. >> i have to believe giuliani said this because they believe this takes the campaign finance problem off the table. this wasn't a payment from the trump organization. it wasn't a payment by michael cohen on behalf of the trump organization. it was a personal expenditure by the president. thereby he paid michael cohen back. the problem is there's so much else about this giuliani interview that does not seem to adhere to any script they'd want him to follow. >> i was watching it i was
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stunned i couldn't take my eyes off it. >> the part about trump repaying michael cohen you assume okay, this is a better story we've told many stories of in terms of evading any xin finance questions. right? but the problem is the rest of the interview i don't think they wanted giuliani out there returning to lock her up and hillary clinton. i don't think they wanted giuliani out there -- what did he call james comey, a pervert or -- >> it was perverted. and he referred to law enforcement officials from the southern district as storm troopers. i mean, that's crazy. >> we've got a lot to talk about p you guys are going to stick around. when we come back, more on the stunning news by rudy giuliani admitting for the first time that the president repaid michael cohen. that's according to rudy giuliani in an interview he did tonight for that hush money to stormy daniels. we'll be right back. i'm not a bigwig. or a c-anything-o. but i've got an idea sir. get domo. it'll connect us to everything that's going on in the company. get it for jean who's always cold. for the sales team, it and the warehouse crew. give us the data we need.
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so we are learning a lot more about two things the american people didn't know in the months leading up to the election that the president's attorney michael cohen paid a hush money pay off to stormy daniels. and our breaking news tonight that apparently according to rudy giuliani he paid back michael cohen. and also according to the president's ex-doctor the glowing letter he wrote about then candidate trump's glowing health in 2016 was actually
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dictated by himself. it is interesting because this stuff was not revealed during the election. >> i wonder why. >> what i'm saying is people made their decision without all the information. >> of course. and that was intentional. what i think we see going on especially with this doctor's letter is the power of donald trump's conviction. so when you talk about con men, it is the power of their conviction. that is the con in con men that overwhelms people. he's going to do what he says. he's going to demand the letter he wants and the doctor is going to produce it. >> here's the thing, though, i'm sure michael cohen thinks he's doing his job. he was working for the president in the way that the president i would guess would want him to work. is that a fair assessment or no? >> well, sure.
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if he broke some law, which is being determined right now -- if he broke some law, then he wouldn't. you're supposed to color in the lines of the law. donald trump has a talent for picking people who work for him who will color very, very far outside the lines. he knew when he was with this doctor, he knew when he dictated that letter that he had someone in his employ that would put his name to that document. i mean that's not proper doctorly procedure at all. >> this is question i probably know the answer to, his relationship with the truth and the people around him, their relationship with the truth. >> right, they don't have any kind of relationship with the truth. and i do think frank just hit on it. how did this person end up being a billionaire's doctor, someone who could pay literally anybody for the best care in the world, someone flying in from johns hopkins treating him, they said
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when they went in to get the file they couldn't find it because he was so disorganized. this is person who actually said there's nothing wrong with me telling the media that he uses propesia. that's a violation of his privacy. >> look what he did to ronny jackson in the white house? this is person who by all accounts had a stellar reputation and all of a sudden when he asked to evaluate the president, he's saying ridiculous things. i think it's something in the power of donald trump's method that not only attracts certain people but overwhelms their normal observations. >> all right. we have a lot more. thank you all very much. every night it's something. i sit in my office and we have
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this entire show prepared and then we just go, okay. it goes right out the window. when we come back much more on our breaking news tonight. rudy giuliani says he paid michael cohen $130,000 for hush money he paid to stormy daniels. polk county is one of the counties that you don't think about very much. it's really not very important. i was in the stone ages as much as technology wise. and i would say i had nothing. you become a school teacher for one reason, you love kids. and so you don't have the same tools, you don't always believe you have the same... outcomes achievable for yourself. when we got the tablets, it changed everything. by giving them that technology and then marrying it with
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this is cnn breaking news. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. it is 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast. we're live with big breaking news. rudy giuliani dropping an absolute bombshell tonight. saying that president trump paid his fixer michael cohen back for that $130,000 hush money payment back for stormy daniels. >> my question is are you concerne


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