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tv   Cuomo Prime Time  CNN  January 10, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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i want to hand it over to chris cuomo for "prime time." i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time". is mueller is looking at misleading public statements to those to the press as proof of obstruction of justice as was just reported the president of the united states has trouble. we have two men who know the law and how to prosecute obstruction cases for the government. and they're here for cuomo's court. and to tackle the meeting between mueller and one of trump's campaign pollsters. how big a deal is it that manafort gave polling to a connected russian. plus the big news that michael cohen, the president's personal lawyer is going before congress and mueller said he's free to talk about whatever they want. and another big headline, the president now saying he will almost definitely declare a national emergency to build more wall. here's the big question.
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where will he get the money? wait until you hear where and whom he may take it from. a big night. let's get after it. >> all right. we learn that the mueller report is already in the process of being written and a potential battle is already brewing before the probe even wraps up about how public that report may become. cnn sources say the special counsel has been reviewing the president's changing stories as well as conflicting statements by his team as a possible way to show corrupt intent in an obstruction probe. has there been an effort to influence witness and obstruct justice through misleading statements? here's what he said about his dealings with russia. the president. >> i have no dealings with russia. i have no deals in russia. i have no deals that could happen in russia.
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because we've stayed away. we had a position to possibly do a deal to build a building of some kind in moscow. i decided not to do it. >> inconsistent? yep. misleading? yep. proof of obstruction? i never would have said yes until what was reported today. if mueller sees it that way, what will he say? art firing comey. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey knowing there was no good time to do it. and, in fact. when i decided to just do it i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. >> now, remember in context. he said publicly before that, no, it was rosenstein that gave me the memo. that's why we did it. a few days after the tweet on your screen. i never fired james comey because of russia. inconsistent.
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misleading. meanwhile, mueller is giving michael cohen the green light to testify before congress next month and he says he's glad to. in public for the first time since flipping on president trump, who tried to play off if t news today as no big deal. >> are you worried about this? >> no. >> cohen implicated his client if federal crimes. the president says he may not be worried him should he be 1234 what else might we learn from his former lawyer? let's get cuomo's court in session. we have former acting solicitor general walter dillinger and john malcolm, former deputy assistant attorney general. gentleman, perfect night for both of you. thank you for being available. walter, let me start with you. the idea of public statements being taken seriously by the mueller probe as proof of intent to obstruct. do you buy it?
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>> well, sure, of course, a public statement can be a part of the everyday. -- evidence. you know the president's allies pick up bits and pieces that they apparently learn from witnesses who are asked questions and russia out and say that mueller's got to prosecute the president for one statement or another or for firing comey. >> that is not going to be the case. if he makes a calls for obstruction of just nice, it will have many, many elements before mueller would go forward. if the president says, publicly, i will pardon anybody who will agree to testify falsely, that, before the grand jury on my behalf. of course. is a of an element that can be used. we don't know if anything he did say would be in itself a basis for a prosecution. if a president or anyone else makes false public statements.
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that is some evidence they have something to hide. it's one piece of evidence. it doesn't establish criminality. it's not the elements of a crime. but before we go running off worried about it. i think it's one piece. it's a perfectly acceptable piece of evidence. >> a piece of evidence. john, i would have pushed back harder on it. the team sent me history that ken starr, which i had forgotten, had put it to then president bill clinton about a tie he was wearing that supposedly they were talking to monica lewinsky, he was talking to them as whether or not he had been using it as a public signal. so if they were going to take that kind of public gesture seriously, why wouldn't mueller look at real interviews and make real statements on material matters from his probe. >> any statement or action that the president takes, spoken, written or jgesture it may have
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significance to somebody, can be probative of somebody's intent. public statements by themselves would certainly not support an obstruction of justice. >> right. >> charge of anything. >> that's the worst part of it, john, are you bringing it up if they use it as evidence of probative intent, that's a whole charge the, you believe that's what it can go to. >> i don't want how close or away bob mueller is ar any other charge against donald trump. however the way you prove intent is by people's actions and statements. >> right. that includes a public statement. >> that's why we see, walter, his lawyers have always pushed back on this as obstruction by tweet. give me a break given this reporting. let's look at the tweets. it's not just what the president said about relevant mats. it's how he rewarded people and condemned people for testifying in ways critical of him.
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could those be relevant as well? >> it could all be relevant. >> i think it's important to have concrete proof when the president exercises his constitutional powers. we would agree of a concrete you wouldn't want to surmise a an improper motive on exercise of a constitutional authority like this charging a cabinet member or pardoning someone but if you've got that prove, if a president says, here's my plan to obstruct justice to this allies, and it's on tape, i think you can use those statements. >> let me ask you, something, john. we also find out that mueller met with one of trump's pollsters. a guy fab fabritsio. why did he meet with him. he says manafort shared polling data. we must surmise, we weren't
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talking about a quinnipiac poll. it was proprietary stuff that he shared with someone who has has connection with russian intelligence and mueller's meeting with that pollster. he takes it seriously. do you believe this is proof of collusion? >> i certainly don't think any of it is proof of collusion. it suggested internal polling data has been turned over to russian businessman. >> what's the proof. what's the difference. between proof and suggestive? >> you need to explain the actions and why was manafort turning over that information. what did the russians do with that information? did donald trump know about any of this? i mean, paul manafort has all sorts of reasons for his own personal gain to provide information to konstantin kilimnik and russian ol gas, and been paid tens of millions for years.
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certain certainly going tho them and saying im the greatest consultant in the world. saying here it is i am writing a campaign he is feathering his own nest as well. i don't know the other evidence. i was a prosecutor myself. i wouldn't want to speculate as to what he has. so it's suggestive. it's a tantalizing tidbit. it's hardly proof of collusion or conspiracy of any time between the trump campaign and particularly donald trump and the russian government. >> on the side of maybe it's not as big a deal as people have, well, mueller didn't charge him with it. truly it's his declarations as well, what he declines to pros prosecute. he didn't charge him with this. there is what we know john is leaving out. when they change that plank and the party platform at the convention, it made no sense to us until we learned about these things and that's not something that manafort could have done by
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himself or did do by himself. because the reporting is clear. when the original plank came out, trump people from the campaign were reportedly in the meeting, rejected it, scripted new language and got it passed. relevance. >> yeah, chris, here's what's relevant about cnn's reporting on the manafort polling data. we now have information that would suggest that coordination with both ways. that is to say the russian lawyer close to vladimir putin in the june meeting at the trump towers, providing information, offering to provide information to the trump campaign. now we have the trump campaign manager providing sensitive internal data back to the russians. so the idea that there has been no collusion, so it's getting more afraid and we're down to the two remaining questions sean
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suggested, which are what did the president know and when did he know it? >> and that convention, we will hear more about it. it's not something manafort could have done all by himself. then the last big headline tonight. michael cohen given the green light by mueller to talk about whatever the hell he wants to. he is only too happy to oblige. he will go before the senate judiciary committee. the house intel. the house judiciary. schiff said it would be closed. now mueller gave the green light so they could both be push lick, -- public. level of concern if you are the president or one of his attorneys. john. >> i want to go on the record, i don't agree with everything that john said about the establishment of collusion. with respect to michael, cohen, i would be surprised mueller told him he can testify. whether he will allow him to speak freely about trump hotel russia. i suspect we will hear an awful lot about stormy daniels and karen mcdougal and perhaps other dealings when he was donald trump's so-called fixer.
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we'll hear what he has to say. he has been locked down he's testified nurm numerous times in front of the grand jury. hardly an untainted witness. he's pled guilty to lying, including lying before congress. he is cooperating on some matters, presumably, there are other illegal conduct he didn't feel like sharing with prosecutors. so he is damaged goods. but he may have interesting things to say. >> she was damaged goods until he wasn't. right? mueller came forward, he's told the truth to us. he's credible. he's been helpful to us. many men have different facets to them. we'll see what is said by michael cohen and what can be demonstrated as true. walter, john, you guys were so helpful on a night when we needed it. thank you, both. >> good to be with you. >> the president did his nice photo op at the border, day 20 of a shutdown. it was on the verge of a longest
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we've ever had. we were on the verge, according to president, kind of of his declaring a national emergency to build the wall. we keep hearing this phrase, what does it mean and how will it work? there are some big questions and i got them laid out for you next. each day justin chooses to walk. at work... and after work. he does it all with dr. scholl's. only dr. scholl's has massaging gel insoles that provide all-day comfort. to keep him feeling more energized. dr. scholl's. born to move. t-mobile knows dancing is better when you include a partner.
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tell your doctor if symptoms develop or worsen. serious allergic reactions may occur. see me now. i'm still clear. how sexy are these elbows? get clear skin that can last. ask your dermatologist about cosentyx. all right. just so we have the latest reporting. the president just said in an interview i can't think of any reason why i wouldn't declare a national emergency with respect to the border if we can't get a deal done. it is kind of different of what he was saying. he says i am 100% and there seems to be no deal to be made. the self professed greatest deal maker we had as president as he told us has once again gone nowhere, according to congress. declaring a national emergency may be the best option for more wall as he sees it. take a listen to this. >> i haven't done it yet. i may do it. if this doesn't work out,
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probably i will do it. i will almost say definitely. >> probably. almost, definitely. what does that mean. that comes out of the white house. it's instinctive and feel and the border visit, more hype and planning. the only part is declaring an emergency would be a slam dunk. >> i have the absolute right to declare an emergency. i have the absolute right to declare a national emergency. this is a thing that the lawyers tell me is 100%. the lawyers tell me 100%. >> do they? would a lawyer tell him it's 100%? that doesn't sound like a lawyer. why? two problems. the law here is the 1976 national emergencies act. all right. it does create a low bar for declaring an emergency. but the president still has to make a case.
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because the president keeps getting caught on misleading the reality of the border. the white house is rushing everybody in front of a kamerata camera to make the case for him. >> this is a crisis. >> a crisis often our southern border. >> we have a national crisis. >> undeniable. crisis at our southern border. >> it is a crisis. >> we have a national crisis. >> there is a tremendous crisis at the border. >> crisis is all the people living in abject poverty on the other side of the border. waiting tro to get processed. that's not what he's talking about. there can certainly be a problem. there is latitude for a president in that regard. that said. there has been a test of this. it was of a big one back in the korean war. that was president trueman. he was backed down for
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privatizing the steal case, the court said his power grab was a job for the national law makers, not the commander in chief. could that come in play here, maybe. i don't think the challenge is legal. i think the real problem is where the president will get money for his law. -- wall. the trump administration is looking at he is looking at siphoning defense department disaster recovery money. what does that mean. i will layout some of the places that congress has appropriated money but it hasn't been used. but it's been appropriated for really serious things. people who desperately need help. so the president can fulfill his farcical promise of a wall on the backs of people you will not believe. that's coming up. if communities are cheated. there will be a legal challenge. from congress, those communities, that will take us to the supreme court. that's where trump's biggest
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victory could be his problem. >> that newly cemented majority, they are big fans of the separation of president's powers. he's stepping on that with this move. he may be undercutting his own legal argument about the urgency when he says he prefers to work with congress. how will the supreme court hear that? after all, emergency powers are designed to be use when it's so urgent the president doesn't have time to do anything else. here, that is clearly not the case. so those are facts for you. here's another one. the shutdown has to end. should the president do it or should he go around congress? ripe for a great debate. we'll have it next.
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all right. here's the state of play. the president says i want 5 point whatever billion for the wall. the democrats say, no, we're not giving you that money. now he's saying maybe i'll declare a national emergency. i say maybe then. he is much less definitive than that. almost certainly probably maybe. maybe he's all over the place because he's thinking it through in real time. can he do it? probably. should he do it? that's a great starting point for a great debate. jennifer granholm and rich santorum. glad to have you both. let's start with the obvious question. jennifer, do you think the president should declare a national emergency? >> no, of course not. i mean there isn't a national emergency. >> you get the government back opened if he does it. >> that's an emergency. that's an emergency of his making. >> i'm sorry if he declares a national emergency, jen, you'd probably get the shutdown over like that. >> you declare a national emergency and set a precedent and say every time the president doesn't get his way, he can go
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around congress. and declare a national emergency? can you image finance a democratic president said, hey, we have a national emergency on gun violence. i want to appropriate a bunch of money to chicago. we have a national emergency on climate change or health care. >> that is such a terrible precedent and none of the national emergencies that have been declared since the act that you described in 1976 have been about anything like this, going around congress because the president doesn't get his way. terribly dangerous. >> rick. >> i love those words of jennifer, the president going around congress to get his way. >> you were thinking daca. >> i'm thinking daca. the president got slammed down. >> that was a national emergency act. >> it's the same idea. the president couldn't get his way. i opposed the president doing it. i'm not comfortable with the president declaring this. there is actually much more as chris said, much more legal framework supporting the president's ability to declare a
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national emergency than what president obama did with daca. there is a statute that givers the president broad authority. >> they're not apples to apples. >> it's the same tenets. >> that if the president gets it his way, i'll do something -- >> you don't like it. >> no, i don't. i don't like it and i don't like it not because -- in part, because of the whole presidential powers, but secondly, i don't like it because i don't think that gets you where you want to go politically. i think that facing down the congress and getting nancy pelosi to come together and to get a deal, he's a deal maker. he should put a deal on the table and if nancy pelosi does what she did yesterday is say no money, absolutely under no circumstances. she's in an untenable position. you can't continue to say i won't give anything when even members of her party say fencing is an integral part of this whole border security. >> she's not saying i won't give you anything. let's turn to the facts.
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>> to give no money for a fence. >> no, she's saying i'm not giving 5 point whatever billion. they had a deal, let's call wit schumer and pence. not really a deal. nobody is allowed to negotiate except the president because he went bad on that deal and anything else he didn't like at the moment. >> a fence or a wall. >> i am told that is not accurate. there is money that can go for ballard fencing. what they don't want is the amount and to reward the president for a farcic am promise. let's see if we can agree on facts here. there was a big part of the promise which is who was going to pay for it? the president said today, you guys are taking me way too literally on mexico paying. i didn't say what you think i said. here's his statement today. >> when i say mexico is going to pay for the wall. that's what i said. mexico is going to pay. i didn't say they were going to write mae check for 20 become or 10 billion. i said they're going to pay for the wall. >> now the facts matter on this.
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here is the proof that he is completely off on this. >> we will build a wall. you know who is going to pay for the wall? mexico. they're going to pay for it whogoing to pay for the wall? >> mexico. >> who? >> mexico. >> by the way, 100%. >> you know the politician say they'll never pay. 100%. they're not going to write us a check. in one way or another. they'll pay. they may write us a check. >> i want you to know, rick, he's ruined the phrase 100% for me and my kid. my 13-year-old got 100 on a quiz. he actually asked me, if it's a good grade. this is where we are. the point is, we'll remember the argument about remittances and the two-page memo from trump. he said he was going to cut him a check for $5 billion. i want people to remember. i don't think it has ever come from dhs or cbp or anybody. i think it came from the white house. it's a number he likes for some
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reason. i don't think anybody ever gave it to him. he did say they're going to pay for it. as a matter of fact, rick, shouldn't he own that? >> look. when he did this campaign thing saying mexico was to pay for the walk. i chuckle. to me, this was just you know puffery and trying to rally the troops. but i never thought that mexico was going to pay for the wall. >> i know, most off know it was bs. >> who even shouted mexico. it was just you know. >> it got. elected. >> it is the bravado that is donald trump. >> it got him elected. shouldn't he have to own it. it's a promise keeper. >> his bravado got him elected. not mexico paying. he did say that. he is not consistent with what he said during the campaign. but i didn't take him serious during the campaign. i don't think most people did. >> they elected him. >> jennifer. we need the wall, jennifer, as a matter of fact.
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>> what he says matters. you know, the expression he has. i consider that just words. what? so he said today, as a matter of fact, we need the wall because it will stop the illegal drugs. jennifer, you know dam well that the mark -- the over welling majority of illegal drugs come into this country through ports of entry in vehicles. >> right. >> not on illegal entries across on foot the southern border. is that something that you think will matter in this debate down the road? >> he is certainly making this case. he is trying to put this. -- lindsey graham tonight put out a statement saying the president should have a national emergency. i think he was setting the president up for this i think the president will declare it and will try to use the opioid epidemic and the drug coming in through mexico as -- it is an epidemic. the point is does the wall fix that problem? a wall is the least effective way of addressing it because they're all coming through ports of entry. by the way, chris.
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the fact that only six people only, six came through mexico who were on the terror watch list and seven times that many came through canada and double the amount of canadian visa extensions, who come through, by the way, ports of entry as well are in the united states, more than mexico, why are we just talking about the southern border, i say that as a canadian, not that i want to build a wall. >> it's your country, jennifer. >> i'm saying the point is that this is a fake crisis, that he is manufacturing. the democrats are willing to shore up border security in a smart way. and what he is putting out there is merely this campaign promise blatter that he cannot get from his own party when they were in control fully, he's not going to get it from the democrats. the democrats and i think the republicans want to do something smart. >> let's leave it there with both of you. rick, jennifer, well argued and
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thank you. house democrats have just made their first major move to investigate the president now on their watch and power in congress. they're calling michael cohen, his former personal lawyer to testify and he says i'll do it and i want to do it in public and they say great but we have to talk to mueller and mueller says talk about whatever you want, kid. it's a big move. and we have some big investigative minds to tell us where it could lead us next. well one mind. and mud. do your asthma symptoms ever hold you back? about 50% of people with severe asthma have too many cells called eosinophils in their lungs. eosinophils are a key cause of severe asthma. fasenra is designed to target and remove these cells. fasenra is an add-on injection for people 12 and up with asthma driven by eosinophils. fasenra is not a rescue medicine or for other eosinophilic conditions.
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please, join the more than 6.5 million americans who are demanding action now. because there's nothing more powerful than the unified voice of the american people. together, we will make this happen. need to impeach is responsible for the content of this ad. a a mop and bucket... swiffer wetjet makes cleaning easy. it's safe to use on all finished surfaces, ...trapping dirt and liquid inside the pad. plus, it prevents streaks better than a micro fiber strip mop. for a convenient clean, try swiffer wetjet. [[clap, clap]] ♪ hey, jen, which tie says, "trustworthy but also fun"? gold down, oil up. oil down, gold up. this is too busy. we need to make sure people can actually use this stuff. which one says, "hours of free live streaming coverage without cable or subscription fees"? aluminum, aluminum? you ready, zack? oh, we're ready. welcome to the show. let's make finance make sense. ♪
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president trump says he's not worried at all about what michael cohen has to say. congress, however, is very anxious to talk to him. he was the man's personal
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