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tv   Wolf  CNN  July 20, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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of throw out there and the rest of your administration scrambles to catch up. >> at any moment it's unusual. when your own president says he continues to attack the united states of america, you invite him to the showcase of that democracy, odd to be polite. we'll continue to follow the breaking news on the president. more on the breaking news, michael michael -- wolf picks up right now. hello, i'm wolf blitzer thank you for joining us. we start with a bombshell involving president trump and discussions about potential hush money for a former playboy play mate. outs one of the item -- it's
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involved a former playboy play mail karen mcdoogle who claims she had an affair with donald trump around 2006, around the same time that he allegedly had a relationship with stormy daniels. maggie, thanks very much for your excellent reporting. walk us through the information you're getting. >> this was a recording that was among the many, many documents and audio repocordings that wer seized from michael cohen, his hotel, his home and his office. and it is our understanding that it is a brief record iing, i thk it was early september, in which they can be heard discussing, it was a conversation between the two, they can be heard discussing the payments by ami
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to karen mcdoogle for the rights to her story where she claimed to have an affair with president trump before he ran for office. they never commented on that story. they claimed it was an additional payment for her silence. apparently on the audio, you can hear mr. trump saying it should be done through a check, and not by cash. what his lawyer said to us, rudy giuliani is that shows that he wasn't trying to hide it, that this was above board because he knows that a check can be subpoenaed or bank records can be subpoenaed and our understanding was that payment was never made. but it does raise questions as to why it is that the trump campaign in october 2016 when the wall street journal asked about these payments, asked about ami and karen mcdoogle that they didn't know anything about it. he apparently knew about it two
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months earlier. >> it was a payment by ami to karen mcdoogle, you point out in our story, it was one of the points that the president's communications secretary said that this payment to karen mcdoogle is totally untrue. it now seems to be the case that she was lying or was given false information. >> it's very possible that she was given nals information, many white house officials will say they're often told to go say things that are not true. but what is clear is that this audio was recorded about, i think a month after this deal was struck. our understanding is that mr. donald trump did not know or allegedly did not know about this payment being made in real time. he was learning of it during this conversation. again, the conversation was very
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brief, it was i think the recording is under two minutes. but, you know, it raises all sorts of questions about what he knew and when. >> maggie, i want you to stick around, we have a lot to assess. we're getting additional information, i also want to bring in cnn legal analyst, dana bash and our chief political analyst gloria borger. you guys are getting more information. let me start with you about this conversation, and i know you also had a chance to speak to the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani. >> the first is that the president had no idea, that liz long time lawyer and fixer was recording him, and that when the president found out about it, which i'm told was this week, his response was, i can't believe michael would do this to me. so as you can imagine, as somebody who felt that he had the most loyal of aids in michael cohen, and attorneys of michael cohen had this recording that the fbi as maggie was saying seized in a raid earlier
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this year. the second thing is that because this -- the information that was seized, any information that was relevant to donald trump has been shared with donald trump's attorneys on this case. they believe that there are other recordings of michael cohen and donald trump, but as far as they know when they have seen the transcripts, this is the only one of substance, that there are other reportings between michael cohen hand donald trump that are talking about meeting times and things like that. that's what we're told as of now. there are a lot of transcripts that they're going through. but the other thing is separate from donald trump, that is new is that apparently michael cohen recorded a lot of people, not just people -- not just the now president, not just people around the president. and that there are recordings of, i'm told, significant individuals, people who are
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powerful, my source wouldn't tell me who they are, but they exist, the fbi has them and that whatever it is, would and could be embarrassing for michael cohen and these individuals that have also been recorded in addition to the president. >> and gloria, you're working your sources too? >> my source is confirming what dana's source is telling her. and i was told that there are, quote, definitely all kinds of tapes out there, including other tapes with the president, my source would not characterize the substance of the presidential tapes as significant or insignificant. and wouldn't talk about the other people. but -- who were recorded. but what we do know is that there's this trove of tapes that now the fbi has gone through, the attorneys have gone through, and clearly, you know, there's a -- i think there's a move afoot for everybody to protect
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themselves here. and i'm also told that my source said that there could be some real ethical issues about cohen taping his own client without his client's knowledge, but i was told that's the least of michael cohn's problems right now. >> that's broke right, one of the things that first came to mind was that this potentially raises some ethics issues for michael cohen, although given the professional criminal charges he might be facing, him worrying about the new york bar right now probably isn't at the top of his list, but it's definitely an issue. >> i know you lad an opportunity to get reaction from rudy giuliani, the president's lawyer. tell us briefly what he said about this, he obviously knew that there was a recording, there was at least one recording probably a whole lot more between donald trump and michael cohen. >> to be clear on that, there is
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probably not a whole lot more in this cachay of what might have been seized. there's people close to the president might be assuming that our reporting and we asked a lot of people about this was that from what they have gone through from what was seized, this is it, i think people are speculating because cohen was known to tape, this is something that he did constantly, as dana said, but as far as we know, this is it, there were a lot of other than issues talked about in that recording that we know about. this is not the only subject that came up, i don't believe there are multiple tapes that came up in that trove of seized documents. what rudy giuliani said is he described this as exculpatory. he believes that shows that the president was trying to do things above board, he certainly wasn't aware that he was being taped, which he told us as well. and he was trying to basically handle things the right way when
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he was told of this information that he was unaware that ami had been paying karen mcdoogle until he was told during this conversation, again, i don't know if he actually believes that, but he says he believes this is not bad information for them when it comes to the president's credibility versus michael cohen's. >> but the legal issue here, for the president is potentially mag gimag -- maggie, and the legal issue is whether it was a campaign finance violation only weeks before an election, having a friend of the president's paid karen mcdoogle to remain quiet. >> that was an issue before the tapes or not. and the president's lawyers don't believe from what i understand it, from people who have spoken to them that this does anything to that case, there is a case that this is
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damaging politically, personally, but it doesn't do anything for the legal case. >> what does it do to the legal case. >> there's a couple of issues on campaign finance, this issue -- are loans from the campaign, i do think that timing matters, if this was just a couple of months before the election, when we get to the election when donald trump is personally involved in knowing or being involved in these types of payments, the closer it gets to that election, that there were questions if there was some kind of loan to the campaign to help his chances in the election, the other is whether there's some kind of reporting allegation. those are the two campaign finance issues, but it also calls into question credibility, ongoing with this issue, it's just another area where they say one thing and then it turns out
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to be another. and it really raises issues regarding what other things, whether or not this is the only issue that michael cohen recorded, the other information that michael cohen might have that could potentially affect the president's issues. >> the context of all of this is sort of michael cohen right after july 4, what we were reporting declaring his independence of donald trump and kind of advertising that he's going to go his own way and that he clearly wants to talk to prosecutors or that we're told that that has not occurred. so i think if you put all of this sort of in the context of now the trump team and the cohen team really squaring off at this moment and then the trump team hiring lanny davis. >> and he was bill clinton's legal counsel. >> yes, he was.
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so i think what you're seeing is the two sides here are going to be up against each other. >> he's been tweeting the most recent tweets from michael cohen, clearly he takes a very different stance than the president of the united states. he tweeted freedom of the press is not just democracy, it is democracy, quoting walter cronkite and as we know, the president does not like the quote, fake news agency. the president tweeted that yesterday, it's a serious development. i want to bring in michael avanati right now, he's the attorney for stormy daniels, back in may you were suggesting very, very strongly that there are what you called donald trump tapes? >> yes, good afternoon woolf, back on that may 30th, i stood joust -- and we're making that demand again today, if michael cohen in fact is a true patriot as he wants the american people
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to believe and as lanny davis wants the american people to believe, then michael cohen should release all of the audio recordings and i will tell you for a fact there's more than one, there's multiple recordings and all of them should be released for the benefit of the american public. you know, wolf, the problem for the president is, he's got multiple problems relating to his relationship with michael cohen, but a very big problem is that michael cohen will go down as one of the world's great evidence hoarders over the years. this is a guy that never threw away an old cell phone, did not delete text messages and ex-mails, kept recordings and documents and that is a very bad thing for this president. >> the fact that karen mcdoogle got $150,000 payment from american media, the parent company of the national enyearer, stormy daniels got a $130,000 payment from michael
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cohen. is that just a coincidence that those numbers are roughly the same? >> i don't have knowledge, wolf, as to whether mcdoogle's payments of $150,000 had any connection to the $130,000 payment to my client. but what i will tell you is this is the tip of the iceberg, the very tip of the iceberg, when all of this evidence ultimately comes to light, and i hope that it will all come to light and it will ultimately be released, this is going to spell a larger problem for michael kobe and a larger problem for the president. >> tell us why you think that. >> well, i think it because i know it. and if you look at my track record over the last 12 months and the statements i have made and predictions i have made have been fairly spot on. >> do you think there are more than this one two-minute audiotape between the president and michael cohen, do you think there were tapes involving the president? >> i don't think that, wolf, i
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know that. there are multiple repocordings between the president of the united states and michael cohen and they're all going to be released today. >> after the fbi seized this information, this evidence, these documents these recordings, a copy was turned back over to michael cohen, remember, he was originally in possession of all of this. there is nothing stopping, i want to be really clear about this, there is nothing stopping michael-cohen from releasing evidence in the recordings that were seized by the fbi. michael cohen and the attorneys they have possession of this information, the fbi hasn't told them not to release them, the evidence the justice department has not told them not to release the evidence. there's nothing stopping them
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from releasing this to the american public. it is within their right and i would assert it is not their obligation. >> the potential as you well know, you're a lawyer, there's one thing that's stopping michael cohn from releasing these kinds of tapes and other documentless, his own lawyers may be saying, you know, michael, you're under criminal investigation from the u.s. attorney of the southern district of new york, just cooperate and let's see what happens, that would presumably be good legal advise is, right? >> movies of tst of the time yew we see michael kooend his counsel effectively teasing the american people with potential tidbits of information, he should come clean, he should disclose this information, and i will assert that if he does that, that the truth will set him free and the american public
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will look differently upon him if he does the right thing. wolf, this is serious does business, i mean this isn't some game, the stakes are very, very high as everyone knows. the american public deserves this information, and they deserve it now. >> bottom line, what's going to be the impact, assuming the tapes are not released, that michael cohen doesn't release the tapes, his lawyers tell him don't do it. what's going to be the impact in the short-term and the long-term? >> again, i think the amount of evidence and information that the fbi and the attorneys for the southern district of new york have at their disposal is significant. and i think all of this is going to ultimately harm the president, i'm going to stand by what i have said in the past, i don't think he's going to serve out his term. i think this is going to be the achilles heel if you will. and if this information is not disclosed in full, we're going to continue to push as hard as
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we possibly can and we're going to continue to be aggressive, because i'm in the interest -- or we're interested in full disclosure to the american people of these recordings, this is a big deal and it needs to happen now. >> michael cohen is under criminal investigation, but he has not yet been charged with any crime. thank you for joining us. still to come, there's more news we're following, president trump -- why they think it may benefit the special counsel robert mueller. and why the u.s. intelligence community is deeply concerned, they may soon experience and i'm quoting now, another comey moment. t signify why we want to end the disease. and we walk so that one day, #
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now we're back to the presidesummit and -- meeting in helsinki earlier there week. it's still not clear what
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happened when the two leaders wept behind closed doors for two hours at the helsinki summit. the moinority leader chuck schumer who said until we know what happened in that two-hour meeting in helsinki, the president should have no more one-on-one meetings with putin or anyone else. we're talking about the top intelligence chief, the director of national intelligence, dan coats, what do we know about who was involved in the decision, how it was actually rolled out. >> well, wolf, you're right, it was a very awkward and an extraordinary moment at the aspen security forum, you have the director of national intelligence being interviewed live, it is my understanding that all three television
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networks were covering this. and then a tweet comes from sarah sanders, the white house spokesperson saying that the white house is planning for president putin to come visit president trump in washington. the dni learns this from -- during this interview essentially that this has gone out on twitter. take a listen to his reaction. >> the white house has announced on twitter that vladimir putin is coming to the white house in the fall. >> say that again? >> vladimir putin -- >> did i hear you? >> yaeah, yeah. >> okay. that's going to be special. >> reporter: and wolf, that was not a joke, the dni was asked later on during that interview by someone else whether indeed
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this was a surprise to him, and he said absolutely. my understanding is that the director of the national intelligence office was in touch with the white house, they knew that he was going to be here, they made sure that everybody was on the same page, and then suddenly sarah sanders sends out this tweet. so clearly there was a little bit of miscommunication, there was certainly a lack of information that was being provided by to director of national intelligence before he had this public appearance here in aspen. >> i want to bring in our chief white house correspondent jim acosta who's also working this story for us. you're getting more reaction from sources over there, elsewhere, what are you hearing about this invitation now to putin to come to washington, have a normal reception, a meeting at the white house in the fall? >> reporter: wolf, essentially white house officials are beginning the process of setting up that meeting with vladimir putin in the fall. remember, before that summit in helsinki, white house officials were saying don't call it a
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summit, but then it ended up being called a summit by the president. so my sense is that the president is going to roll the red carpet out for vladimir putin when he comes here in the fall. if that all of that pans out. we do know that the national security adviser john bolton did extend the information to vladimir putin on behalf of the president. and that that is already in the works. in terms of why dan coats was not brought into the works on all of this, it shows how he's outside of the president's orbit to some extent. we do know that the secretary of state mike pompeo is a little bit more in the inner sang tum in terms of the the president's international security team. so i don't think it's a great surprise. but i will tell you, wolf, having talked to a number of sources outside the white house,
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people who are close to this white house, this morning, they have said that there is some irritation inside the white house, maybe not from the president, but from stavers as to how candidate dan coats was in his comments yesterday, some of the remarks he made i don't think were received all that well inside the west wing. wolf, one other thing i want to point out, i did talk to michael aven avanatti when this news was breaking, and i do want to point out something that may be critical in all of this. michael avana trtti said that h and michael cohen actually ran into each other at a restaurant monday night. this was a total happenstance according to michael avanatti, and he said that he and michael cohen ended up having a brief conversation about things that are essentially happening right now.
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avanatti didn't want to get into details about what they talked about. but they called it a very productive meeting. so i think it's interesting that avanatti and michael cohen were somewhat at othsds with each other over the last several weeks, michael cohen indicating that he might be lg to cooperate wi investigators. >> he challenged michael cohen to release all the tapes, publicly, even though michael cohen doesn't have to do that. but you just heard him say on the show that he quickly has to release everything. joining us right now is leon panetta, the former cia director, mr. secretary, thank you for joining us. do you have a problem with president trump inviting the russian president vladimir putin
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to the white house for a second summit in the fall? >> well, it races a lot of concerns, first of all, we don't know what went on in that one-on-one meeting between president trump and president putin. and i think the president yos it so the american people to explain just exactly what they talked about and whether or not any agreements were made. unless that is cleared up i don't quite understand why he would again invite putin to this country, particularly at a time when we're aware that the russians are interfering with our election process, and this meeting would take place just weeks before the midterms. so it just doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of the kind of diplomatic strategy that most presidents would implement at this point in time. >> it was pretty shocking that the director of national
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intelligence dan coats didn't know about this invitation, didn't know that there was a second meeting in the works in the fall, but i would argue it was maybe even more shocking that three days after the summit and the private meeting between the president of the united states, the president of russia, he also didn't know what happened during that two hour and 10-minute meeting, it's pretty extraordinary, isn't it? >> well, we're living at a crazy time when there are few surprises just because of the way this president operates. the fact is that in most administrations, when you're talking about inviting an adversary like president putin and russia to this country, that that would be discussed with the national security counsel, of which dan coats would be a member. and you would have the secretary
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of state, secretary of defense, you would have the national security advisor, you would have your key intelligence people around the table. and they would be able to present views to the president as to whether or not that ought to happen. this didn't take place here. this was obviously president trump making a decision on his own, he might have talked to his national security advisor, he might have talked to his chief of staff, we don't know. but he issues this invitation without sitting down and determining what are going to be the consequences of having another meeting with putin. this last meeting was a disaster. does he really want to repeat another disaster in the fall? that would really be harmful, not only to our country, but to our relationship with other countries in the world. >> dan coats the director of national security also said this about the president's private one-on-one meet with the vladimir putin. >> i don't know what happened
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ina meeting, i think as time goes by and the president has already mentioned some things that have happened in that meeting, i think we will learn more. but that is the president's prerogative, if he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, i would have suggested a different way. but that's not my role. that's not my job. so it is what it is. >> he seems to be suggesting what a lot of people suggested that the president should have his national security advisoadv the secretary of state, the u.s. ambassador to russia, john huntsman, someone in a meeting like that to make notes and to be able to brief the national security community afterwards. but the president decided he only wanted a translator there. >> this is absolutely unheard of. in terms of the presidency. and our foreign policy. to have the president of the united states sit down virtually
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in secret with our prime minister adversary, russia and putin, not have anybody else in the room except interpreters, and furthermore, then not come out and really brief the american people and the world as to what was discussed in that meeting. so now we're getting different interpretations, putin, is describing what they agreed to, what they talked about at the same time, this president has really not presented any kind of summary as to what he discussed behind closed doors. that puts the united states at a terrible disadvantage in terms of the relationship, not only with russia, but with the rest of the world. i think the rest of the world is growing increasingly distrustful of this president and what he's up to. and that means that it
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undermines our foreign policy and undermines our leadership in the world that is so important to the interests of this country. >> you know, there's a lot of speculation, if there's a recording of that conversation that took place, a lot of experts suspect the russians defl definitely recorded the meeting one way or another. a lot of experts suggest that the fins themselves, that was held at the presidential palace at helsinki, in one of their rooms, they probably or may have recorded the meeting. do you think the u.s. in some way has a recording between v of that conversation between putin and the president of the united states? >> well, i don't know the answer to that, wolf, but, yao ming, i can tell you that our intelligence people would certainly want to know what the president of the united states said to the president of russia
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behind closed doors. there's not much question in my mind that the russians would have a recording of that meeting, they had plenty of time to wire that room, the fins probably could have wired it. we don't know exactly whether or not our intelligence people wired that room as well. but the problem here is that there should not be any necessity to do that because the president should have sat down with the russian leader, with his secretary of state, with his national security advisor, with his key advisors, so that they would know exactly what the president was saying. this is a situation that raises, i believe tremendous concern about this relationship between the united states and russia. if two leaders go behind closed
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doors, have a meeting, and then we, the american people have absolutely no idea what was discussed, in my mind, that under mines the trust that is absolutely essential between the american people and their president. >> one final question before i let you go, mr. secretary, put on your hat as the former cia director and i know that the u.s. has very close intelligence cooperation with a whole bunch of countries and i assume it has pretty good intelligence cooperation with finland. if the u.s. intelligence community were to ask the finland intelligence community, do you have a tape and can you share it with us? what do you think their answer would be? >> let me put this way, if the fins or others recorded that conversation, it's only a matter of time before through the intelligence circles we get an indication that that was the case.
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we have a very good relationship. with our intelligence comrades not only in finland, but across the world, and as a matter of fact, you don't really get good intelligence without the cooperation of other intelligence agencies and other countrie countries, that's the way it works. and so if there is something here, then i think it's just a matter of time before we'll find out. if there isn't, then obviously it's up to the president of the united states whether he wants to be honest with the american people as to what exactly took place in that meeting. one way or another, one way or another, i think ultimately history will find out what happened in that room. >> i suspected you're absolutely right. mr. secretary, thanks so much for joining us. >> good to be with you. up next, the president, president trump's legal team concerned right now, we're told, about his statements in helsinki
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sources say his -- back with us once again, cnn legal analyst, our chief political correspondent dana bash, and our chief political analyst gloria borger. we have been talking about how the summit could actually impacted robert mueller's investigation. what are you hearing? >> we're hearing they're a little concerned that it could impacted them in a bad way. >> that the trump lawyers. >> trump lawyers are feeling that way. and before the summit, let me set the scene, before the summit, they were feeling pretty great, because don't forget, you had public opinion turning on robert mueller, thanks to rudy giuliani. who's been out there talking about this as a witch hunt, the president as well. you had an inspector general report that was deeply critical of the fbi, which raised all kinds of concerns about the onset of the russia investigation. so they were feeling pretty good. once donald trump spoke at helsinki and his performance was
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universally or nearly universally panned, what we're hearing is that the lawyers are saying, you know, wait a minute, it's harder to make the witch hunt case in a way when you have so many people who were appalled at the president's performance. we should also say that he enjoys a 90% approval rating with republicans, 68% of republicans believe he did fine in helsinki. but they think this is now a concern of theirs and the question of course whether mueller could be slow walking now the nerin terms of the an interview. >> his lawyer and teams of guys who support.
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>> the independent polling in gin said that the support for the mueller investigation really took a hit and that was no action that that was around when the president and rudy giuliani were going after it. and you heard gloria and one of the questions that they're asking inside the legal team is whether or not public opinion and sort of the tide will turn a little bit because of helsinki, but also the question is about people asking why did the president do that? before they could say, oh, my gosh, it's a witch hunt, but now it's an open question. on the issue of an interview. the trump legal team -- >> the president and robert muleer. >> the donald trump legal team and we have reported this many times for many, many months,
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they have been in talks with the mueller team, but they have hit a bump. there's not a lot going on right now, they're communicating, but not getting very far in these talks. and i was told by one source that they, meaning the mueller team, don't seem to be expressing any tremendous desire to expedite this, so this is very opaque, there's not a lot that we really know about what's going on inside the mueller investigation, but some of the concern is, one, that they're just -- they're gathering more information that could be obviously more hurtful to the president. but also they could just be giving up inside the mueller team and they might be preparing a subpoena. they, meaning the president's legal team, they don't know the answer to that, but it's the sound of silence. >> i'll play a clip from the president, this is earlier in the week, he told cbs news about the possibility of an interview, sitting down with robert mueller and his team. listen to how he responded.
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>> i mean more likely to sit for an interview now? >> my lawyers are working on that. i have always wanted to do an interview because, look, there's been no collusion. there's been no talk of russia. there's been no phone call. there's been nothing. and it's, i call it a witch hunt, that's exactly what it is. it's a vicious witch hunt, and you know what? it's very bad for our country, very, very bad for our country. >> even christopher wray said it was not a witch hunt, he's the fbi director that was named by the president of the united states. so the president's performance in helsinki, how do you think it would affect a sit down interview that the president would grant the special counsel. >> what happened in helsinki really goes to, and i'm not surprised that his lawyers are concerned. but it goes to the heart of what the russia investigation was about. which is what was the extent of the russia effort, the actual
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things that russia did to influence the election and whether or not the trump campaign coordinated in some way with them or conspired with them. and whether or not donald trump or people in his circle knew about it. and why that matters is what motivation would he have to act towards russia the way in which he does. i think what was on display for the entire world this week, which has been apparent to those of us in the national security community for the last couple of years, dating back to the campaign, is why is his policy for example of accepting intelligence community assessments one thing when it's with respect to everything else in the world, and then something different when it comes to russia? why when he was with vladimir putin, was he not able to say that he accepts the intelligence community assessment? even in his corrective, later in the week, he ad libbed and changed what he said and said it could have been other people
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that influenced the election. so if i was the mueller team looking at these events this week, and say why in the world is he acting in this way, what is the motivation? and that goes to the heart of their investigation. >> that's a good question, and we don't know the answer to that. gloria, let's go back to the breaking news this hour, there's now a tape that we confirmed, the president's long time lawyer and fixer and a recording of a phone conversation involving the playboy model karen mcdoogle. this is an apparently significant development. >> it is, and what you have are million of documents that people have listened to, the attorneys have listened to them. dan spoke to rudy giuliani and he seems to think it's exculpatory in a way. >> he argues that it's
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exculpato exculpatory. >> that it proves that donald trump wasn't going to do anything wrong. and i think this was first reported by the times. so in our reporting and following up, we have discovered that there are other tapes of either the president and other people and you can talk about what you know about the other tapes of the president, that they -- well, when it comes to the president, the thing that i'm told is that this one tape, which is very short, about two minutes max is the only one of substance. there are other recordings, michael cohen did record then candidate, then client trump other times, but they were very insignificant, i'm told, more like what time is the meeting, when can we meet, things like that. it is still noteworthy that he made a pattern, to make a pattern of reporting his client
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and then in addition to 2ru6r7, i'm told there are other recordings of other significant individuals, powerful people outside the trump orbit. >> if i'm trump by the way, and dana reported this, that was the president was upset and dana said i can't believe michael would do this to me, dana reported that was michael's reaction. suddenly you have discovered that your attorney was recording personal conversations, i mean aren't they privileged? >> it's not standard practice. as we said at the top of the show, there are certainly ethical considerations and it's not ethical for lawyers to record conversations with their clients. and it's whether these really were privileged or other types of things. >> you heard michael a vanatti
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tell >> here's the thing about that. important point dana made about rudy guiliani as well. when these lawyers are speaking, they have a client. when we're listening to what rudy guiliani says, it is because he is representing donald trump, so his public statements are in donald trump's interest. when michael avenatti is speaking, he is the lawyer for stormy daniels who has these different lawsuits and is arguing against the president and trying to get out of an agreement that she made. when michael avenatti is speaking publicly, i think it is important to point out that he has a client. his calls for michael cohen to release these tapes are not in michael cohen's interest necessarily, those interests are going to be determined by michael cohen's lawyers, and michael avenatti has a client he is giving a public presentation for. >> great analysis, guys. thank you very, very much. appreciate it. there's more news coming up.
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a tragic scene unfolding in missouri after a duck boat capsizes leaving 17 people dead. so he took aleve. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve. all day strong. you're smart,eat you already knew that. but it's also great for finding the perfect used car. you'll see what a fair price is and you can connect with a truecar certified dealer. now you're even smarter. this is truecar.
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oh my gosh. poor guys. oh my gosh, oh no. oh no. >> 17 people are confirmed dead
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after a duck boat carrying tourists and two crew members sank near branson, missouri. the deceased include children, adults and the elderly. >> again, it has been a long night and been a very trying night. >> we have boats out there, it was perfectly calm, then we had a high speed wind system that just came out of nowhere and out of that storm front. >> did the win come out of nowhere? a severe thunderstorm warning was in fact issued for surrounding areas 15 minutes before the last duck boat tour was scheduled to start. another warning was issued for the lake about a half hour before reports came in of the boat sinking. joining us now, colleen johnson, former duck boat captain and was with boston duck tours for more than a decade. such a sad story. let's talk a little about this, colleen. wind gusts on the lake reach 63 miles per hour. is it normal to be on the water
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during a storm warning along these lines? >> well, i mean, to be out on the water during storm warnings, probably not that abnormal i guess. the 65 miles per hour winds, sounds like they came pretty quick. i would have to imagine that that came once they were already in the water. i can't imagine anyone would have gone in the water with 65 miles per hour winds. >> i agree. we understand there were life jackets on the boat that capsized, but no regulation requiring they actually be worn. why not? >> i mean on a normal day, the water is so calm, generally not a problem. it is standard procedure to don life preservers in the event of an emergency. otherwise, if you're on a duck on a 100 degree day, you don't want to put a life preserver on. >> the boat did have two crew members, a captain that survived, the driver who died. is it normal for there to be two crew members on a boat like
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this? >> yeah, it is now, especially here in boston. that changed a couple years ago also. used to just be one. now for safety reasons there are two. i am just heartbroken for the family of duck people down in missouri. if they're anything like boston, they're 100% a family and i just can't imagine. >> it is an awful, awful situation. clearly our heart goes out to all of them. tell us a little about what are described as those plastic flaps on the boat. the company that operates the boats said they were lowered at the time of the accident. does that make the boat safer? >> my guess is the flaps were down due to weather. i don't know if it was raining, that's generally why the flaps would be down, and i can't speak to how they are in missouri but here in boston they both zipper and velcro from the outside, so if there's an issue, you could
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push on the plastic curtain and it would fallout. >> would it make it more difficult for people to get out? >> i mean, yes, if the flaps are down, but like i said here in boston there are two different ways for the flaps to be dealt with. i can imagine if there's water up against one of the sides, that would be probably hard to push it out. there's also the windshield of the duck, of our ducks, can lower for another exit point in an emergency. and then the back of the duck by the ladder would also be open. >> what kind of certifications must duck boats go through? >> as a captain of a duck, you're u.s. coast guard certified, so it takes a course and passing an exam, passing a physical. it is renewed every five years. there are different hoops to jump through to upgrade your
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licenses, too. so i would assume the captain of the duck is a coast guard licensed captain. my heart just breaks for him. >> we're all in shock as a result of what happened. an awful, awful situation. colleen johnson, thanks so much for your expertise. >> thank you. >> all right. our special coverage will continue right now. stay with us. all right, wolf. i am brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me this afternoon. the breaking news today, there's a tape, could be tapes. source tells cnn that the fbi is now in possession of a recording between the president and his loyal confidant, former personal attorney michael cohen when they discussed payment to a former playboy model who says that she had an affair with then private citizen donald trump. the president's new attorney,