tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN January 18, 2019 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
you are watching cnn on this friday afternoon. i'm brooke baldwin. a giant news story from buzzfeed news today involving president trump, michael cohen and an explosive claim that trump told him to lie to congress. if true, important caveat, here's two words we're learning today, suborning perjury. cnn has not independently confirmed this reporting. that being said, suborning perjury is basically a fancy legal way of saying encourage someone to lie. not only is it a crime, it was also part of the articles of impeachment against both richard nixon and bill clinton and, of course, we're all old enough to go way back to 2016 and remember what then candidate trump said during one of those presidential debates. >> i know nothing about russia. i know -- i know about russia, but i know nothing about the inner workings of russia. i don't deal there. i have no loans from russia. >> and now the white house press
sarah huckabee sanders just walked out to some microphones outside the white house and she is commenting on this story. let's listen in. >> what about the polls? >> look, i think, again, i think that that one statement, those two words sum it up better than anything else anybody can say is categorically false. >> we'll keep you posted. the president has done every single day since he's gotten into office, he's going to continue to communicate directly with the american people whether it's speeches across the country, through social media, through taking questions from you guys and we'll continue to do that whether it's on capitol hill or elsewhere. >> why should the president believe anything that comes out of the mouth -- considering after the last summit the denuclearization that was promised did not and has not happened? >> we've continued to make progress and continuing to have
conversations. the united states is going to continue to keep pressure and sanctions on north korea until we see fully and verified denuclearization. we've had very good steps in good faith from the north koreans in releasing the hostages and other moves and so we'll continue those conversations. the president looks forward to -- >> was the president lying -- >> steve, go ahead. steve. >> did the president have an exchange of letters today? >> as i put out earlier, just a little bit ago the president had about an hour and a half long meeting. there was a u.s. delegation which we'll send out those specific names. i can tell you mike pompeo was in the room as well as several others from the president's team. it was productive and they'll continue those conversations and the president will look forward -- >> sarah? >> the president is in regular -- the president's in
regular contact with the number of world leaders as he has his discussions, we'll put those readouts out. >> there's concern about the democrats that if the shutdown isn't -- isn't wrapped up by the super bowl that there could be some security concerns with the super bowl? does the president hold those concerns as well? >> if the democrats have those types of concern they should sit down at the table and negotiate with the president. we've got an offer on the table. we made it clear that we'd like to make a deal. we want to get something done. the president wants to open the government as well but he wants to make sure we're protecting american citizens and we have to secure our border in order to do that. >> is there any urgency that government workers could miss a second paycheck? >> absolutely. that's one of the key reasons that the president did not want speaker pelosi to leave the country, if she did it would all be guarantee the fact that the negotiations couldn't take place over the weekend and federal workers, 800,000 federal workers
wouldn't receive their paychecks because she wasn't here to help make a deal. >> he might compromise on the budget and sign a c.r. originally and, of course, we heard from ann coulter and from rush limbaugh, why is he not willing to go back to where he was in the beginning? >> the president's laid out what he wants. we sent a detailed letter from the office of management and budget to congress and we've had a number of discussions discussing what we're looking for. we haven't backed down from that. we haven't changed our position on it. >> will the president still be delivering a speech on january the 29th as he plans? >> we'll keep you posted on that front. >> so there you have it on shutdown on the buzzfeed story on whether or not the president will be delivering the state of the union there on the date of january 29th.
so it was the first bit of the clip where we heard sarah huckabee sanders questioned for comment on this buzzfeed story we've been covering and the two words i heard were categorically false. so before we dive in, let me just remind everyone watching. cnn hasn't confirmed any of buzzfeed's reporting. you hear the white house saying categorically false. you hear rudy giuliani calling michael cohen a liar. there are similarities from this buzzfeed piece and the court records. go through all that for me. >> absolutely. what they do say in their story citing two law enforcement officials is that michael cohen was essentially confronted by the special counsel's office with information from witness testimony, from documents and from text messages that corroborated according to buzzfeed that michael cohen said or was directed by donald trump to lie in his response to congress when he testified about the length and the time and
trump's involvement in negotiations and discussions to build a trump tower in moscow during the campaign and so what we can pull and look at from court filings from a filing by the special counsel's office, they actually say that the information provided by cohen about the moscow project in these proffer sessions is consistent with and corroborated by other information obtained in the course of the special counsel's investigation. so there's a pairing there of what buzzfeed's reporting where they're saying there was other information that was actually used to confront michael cohen. another area that we can point to where we see some similarities here is, you know, buzzfeed is reporting that michael cohen talked to donald trump about this project about ten times. michael cohen had lied to congress about that saying it was, you know, very short conversations minimal, but buzzfeed's saying according to their sources that cohen spoke to him ten times.
when we look at another court filing that was part of the charges against michael cohen, we see there that the special counsel's office is saying that cohen discussed the status and progress of the moscow project with individual one, that's donald trump, on more than the three occasions cohen claimed to the committee. so while we have not independently verified buzzfeed's reporting, when you line it up next to some of the court filings, you can see these similarities that don't make it seem entirely out of left field but nothing in the court filings actually corroborates that donald trump directed michael cohen to lie. that is still buzzfeed's reporting based on their law enforcement sources, brooke. >> got it. thank you very much. i mentioned rudy giuliani's coming out swinging. he's saying, quote, any suggestion from any source the president counseled michael cohen to lie is categorically false. michael cohen is a convicted criminal and a liar, to quote the prosecutors. he has traded on a pattern of lies and dishonesty over an
extended period of time and for that he's going to pay a very, very serious price. today's claims are just more made-up lies born of michael cohen's malice and desperation. so let's start there. garrett graph is back. let me just quickly hit both of you. if this reporting is true, is this a smoking gun? >> yes, it is. look, it is a discreet crime that we know from past practice and history is an impeachable offense. it's not necessarily a smoking gun for collusion by trump with russia, let's remember the underlying lie was about his dealings with russia for the
trump tower moscow, but it's in some ways a bigger problem because this can't be spun as part of the russia hoax. this is its own crime. it's about impeding congress's legitimate oversight functions and really interfering with the checks and balances in our structure of government, which means that congress has to take it seriously as an institution regardless of how they might feel politically about the russia investigation itself. >> garrett, what about you? how big is this? >> i very much agree with asha. this is a very big development and for some of the same reasons she just laid out. the fact that this is separate from the underlying questions of what actually happened with russia, points to i think one of the things that we have seen sort of bread crumbs of in many of these court filings, which is that robert mueller -- we think of the bob mueller obstruction probe as this binary question of
did the president correctly fire jim comey which gets into all sorts of complicated questions like executive power, et cetera. what this points to, though, is the idea of an obstruction case that is larger and more consistent and instead a pattern of behavior that begins during the campaign continues through the transition think michael flynn and continues into the white house and so that's an obstruction of justice case, that's a conspiracy case, that's a suborning perjury from witnesses case that doesn't hang on any single piece of evidence, but instead it is a total indictment of a pattern of behavior that stretches over more than three years. >> trump has disavowed all knowledge, most importantly any business ties to russia during the campaign, asha during the
scenes. might this be the classic case of the cover-up is worse than the crime? >> the cover-up is definitely bad, but, brooke, i have to ask the question, why cover it up? i mean -- >> if you're doing nothing wrong. >> when michael cohen pleaded guilty to lying to congress, you know, the response was, i was a private businessman, i can have business dealings with russia. then why not say that from the beginning. there is something about this relationship that the things that were leading up to it that he doesn't want discovered and it's kind of -- it goes back to this idea of wanting to limit the probe. i think definitely the cover-up is bad. it's a separate offense. whether it's worse than the crime, we have yet to find out depending on mueller's findings. >> garrett, you were talking about obstruction just reading what you wrote today and reminding everyone your words, mueller has the receipts,
mueller's investigators aren't just taking cohen's word for it which is important to remember when you hear giuliani and trump say he's a liar. it's not just about what cohen's saying. it's the mueller team that can back this up and if that is the case, is that not -- mainstream obstruction? >> very much so. the way that buzzfeed talked about this in their piece is not that michael cohen came out and told them this, but that, in fact, michael cohen was backed into a corner where the special counsel, the federal prosecutes had documents, they've had testimony from other trump organization witnesses. the chief financial officer alan weisselberg was granted immunity back in august and has been cooperating with investigators ever since, that they basically figure this had out before they ever talked to michael cohen and then went and asked michael cohen whether it was true. that's a very different fact
pattern, a very different set of circumstances than just sitting here and being like, michael cohen told us this. >> totally. garret and asha, thank you so much on that. we're also following other developments in the white house where president trump and north korea's top negotiator have just discussed having a second summit next month between trump and kim. details from the oval office coming up. also house speaker nancy pelosi putting the blame squarely on the president for making a congressional trip to afghanistan public, her trip with her congressional delegation, forcing them to cancel for safety reasons. we're live on capitol hill for this tit for tat as this shutdown continues. federal employees in atlanta had to line-up to get food bank donations to try to make ends meet. one tsa worker with three kids says the situation is getting dire. >> the second pay period, i don't think after this, i don't
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letter from kim. this north korean who was at the white house today is a former spy chief and the last time he and trump met at the oval was last summer. that is when he delivered kim jong-un's first letter to the president. kim yong-chol also met with mike pompeo. so with me now cnn's will ripley who's been to north korea so many times i think i've lost count. he's live for us now in tokyo and so, will, let's just start with this meeting, the significance of this meeting and anything we know about this second summit. >> reporter: this was supposed to be a courtesy call, brooke, in the oval office. a quick meet and greet with kim yong-chol and president trump and the fact that it lasted 90 minutes just goes to show you, one, the north koreans went to washington to meet with trump. kim and pompeo have had a rocky relationship. they had a disastrous meeting. pompeo leaves and a couple of hours later he's been accused of
making gangster like demands. the north korean's have been lavishing praise on president trump. these denuclearization talks have broken down because the best deal they're going to get is with president trump directly. >> in the wake of that first summit, though, in singapore, what -- of all the promises made, how about promises kept? why does north korea deserve a second summit? >> reporter: there were no promises made. they signed this vaguely worded statement. north korea walked away, kim jong-un walked away thinking the u.s. was going to lift sanctions. president trump walked away thinking kim was going to give up all its nukes. neither side has done that. the question i have is are there now closer together? did they talk in the oval office about a compromise? maybe north korea being transparent starting the process of denuclearization in exchange for step-by-step lifting of
sanctions. if both sides aren't willing to budge, this is going nowhere. >> how do you explain this fascination of kim jong-un by the president of the united states? to quote david axelrod, he said it's better they're talking than war but still, what do you make of it? >> reporter: the fact that over a year ago they were insulting each other -- president trump was insulting kim jong-un on twitter and now they're writing each other these glowing, gushing letters and he's spending more time talking to kim jong-un than the democrats about the shutdown, its extraordinary and surreal. this is the world we live in. all i can say is that the north koreans studied president trump very closely for a long time before they ever got in the same room with him and the way to get something from him is to lavish him with praise and tell him what he wants toll hear. north korea probably has more
nuclear weapons today than they did at the diplomatic process. the pentagon just put out this new missile defense strategy calling north korean extraordinary threat to the united states. and yet, former spy chief who is believed to be responsible for sinking a south korean navial ship got 90 minutes in the oval office today. >> what a difference a year makes. thank you so much. will, back to our top story. the stunning report from buzzfeed news that president trump ordered michael cohen to lie to congress about his talks with russians about a real estate project in moscow. the white house saying this is categorically false, we're live on the campaign trail as potential 2020 contenders respond to the news. in true british style,
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the longest government shutdown in u.s. history has now reached day 28 in the battle over the border wall has spawned a more personal fight. today she leveled a huge accusation at the white house. he pulled the military plane for their trip to afghanistan. >> he has prerogative to travel commercially and we made plans to do that until the administration then leaked that
we were traveling commercially and that endangers -- we weren't going to go because we had reports report from afghanistan that the president outing our trip had made the scene on the ground much more dangerous. >> let's go to our congressional correspondent phil mattingly there up on the hill and hearing that from speaker pelosi today, those allegations, that's significant, phil? >> reporter: the security concerns are real and the precautions that lawmakers and the president take when they're going into conflict zones are also real. you remember the president went to iraq near the beginning of this shutdown. reporters were with him. they were under strict guidelines not to report that the president was going there. no public announcement is made until he lands or after he might be gone in the air and that's the same with congressional delegates. we find out that they're going to conflict zones and we don't report on them because of
security. the white house after the president's letter and the polling of the military jet, speaker pelosi said she was trying to find a way to use a commercial plane to go commercially with the delegation and the white house knew about that and leaked that to several news organizations. the white house has said that is a flatout lie. sarah huckabee sanders just a short while ago addressed this as well. this is speaker pelosi addressing that and why this all happened in the first place. take a listen. >> the fact that they would leak the commercial -- that we were flying commercial is a danger not only to us but to other people flying commercially. so it's very irresponsible on the part of the president. >> do you view this as retaliation for your letter? >> i would hope not. i don't think the president would be that petty, do you? >> i think she might have been a little sarcastic about that. >> reporter: they have been saying the president is exactly that, petty.
steny hoyer calling what he's done beneath the office. there's two things it underscores. the leak allegation is very serious. the white house has denied it. it just underscores that the government's still shut down and these are the people that are supposed to be talking and figuring a way out of this and it just seems that everybody is further apart and not moving. they believe their winning the political fight and believe their bases are happy. we essentially stand now almost four weeks into this shutdown exactly where we did on day one of this shutdown. none of that is happening over the weekend either. there's the microon the fight over the flights and there's the macro and things are broken down right now. >> talking to a coast guard wife
yesterday she just said how scared she is. phil mattingly, thank you. what about the potential 2020 contenders? they're weighing in on this buzzfeed news report today from senators corey booker to bernie sanders. we'll take you live to iowa where senator kirsten gillibrand where she addressed the possibility that the president obstructed justice. what she just said next. at fidelity, we help you prepare for the unexpected with retirement planning and advice for what you need today and tomorrow. because when you're with fidelity, there's nothing to stop you from moving forward. because when you're with fidelity, moving? that's harder now because of psoriatic arthritis. but you're still moved by moments like this.
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moments ago the white house responded to that bombshell buzzfeed report that president trump directed michael cohen to lie to congress. the press secretary calling it categorically false but potential 2020 democratic contenders have been mostly quiet about it. vermont senator bernie sanders definitely tweeted about it writing if this report is true, donald trump committed obstruction of justice, a felony and a potentially impeachable offense, but we haven't heard from any other 2020 contenders. i should say we hadn't until cnn asked democratic senator corey booker about it today as he has been down in new orleans. >> i want the investigation to continue in a timely and thorough way and obviously the kind of charges that many people are talking about hold serious consequences for anybody whether you're a president of the united states or a citizen and this is what we have about america. no one is above the law. donald trump is not above the law. there's an investigation going on and it should continue before
we draw our conclusions. >> national correspondent thema jones is live. athena, i understand she's just weighed in on all of this. why did the senator say? >> reporter: she arrived here just a few minutes ago and i asked her about the buzzfeed report and she essentially echoed much of what we heard from booker there. she said it's highly concerning and it shows he may have been complicit in obstruction of justice. take a listen to what she had to say to me just a few minutes ago. >> my biggest priority right now is to protect the mueller investigation. we have a bipartisan piece of legislation that needs to be voted on now. i don't know why senator mcconnell is unwilling to let us vote on this legislation and what it would do is guarantee that mueller can't be fired for any reason other than cause.
what we're waiting for certainly what i'm waiting for is the mueller investigation to be completed so we have the facts. this information if proven to be true shows there was obstruction of justice. >> reporter: there you heard directly from her. she's concerned. she calls this highly concerning and says it calls into question really the everything the president has said about this whole investigation, his involvement with russia. she's now spendig a few minutes talking to voters here. this is her first stop since announcing her exploratory committee earlier this week. she's speaking with a group right now of older citizens of around here talking about immigration, she talked with a woman and a young girl about education and class sizes. she's hearing from voters and trying to share her message about what she believes is necessary to beat president trump and what america needs.
she's just getting started here. this is her first stop here in iowa, brooke. >> thank you very much. coming up next, the third women's march in washington, d.c. is set to go on under this cloud of controversy and division this year. we'll take a look ahead of tomorrow's big event. you have 4.3 minutes to yourself. this calls for a taste of cheesecake. philadelphia cheesecake cups. rich, creamy cheesecake with real strawberries. find them with the refrigerated desserts.
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trump's inauguration was the largest single day protest in history but in the past year, march leaders have faced accusations of anti-semitism and some local marches are distancing themselves from the d.c. event. erica hill has the story. >> reporter: a movement that energy kwliezed and unified so many just two years ago is today overshadowed by controversy including accusations of anti-semitism within women's march, inc., the group that organizes the d.c. event. >> the women's march condemned anti-semitism, bigotry. we have repeatedly -- >> reporter: co-president tamika mallory attended an event last year in which he called jews his
enemies. she has denounced anti-semitism but not his comments. >> as i said, i don't agree with many of his statements. >> do you condemn? >> i don't agree with these statements. >> condemn it? >> no, no. to be very clear. it's not my language. it is not the way that i speak or organize. it's very clear over the 20 years of my own personal activism, my own personal track record of who i am. >> reporter: shortly after that exchange on the view, women's march, inc. scheduled our interview. we sent them a list of questions they have yet to respond. >> they did not come out forcefully enough. >> reporter: vanessa ruble helped plan the first d.c. march but left the group shortly after for what she described as a bundle of reasons including anti-semitism. current leaders telling the "new york times" her departure had nothing to do with her being
jewish citing growing pains at an evolving movement. >> it's impossible to grow up in america without getting biases both conscious and unconscious. it's important for those biases to surface so we can address them, move on and become a stronger movement. >> reporter: ruble later cofounded march on with the goal of getting more women elected in 2018. there also offering support to marches around the country this weekend. national headlines are weighing on local events. in los angeles, new york city and florida, stark statements publicly distancing those marches from washington and the d.c. leadership. new york city dealing with the added confusion of multiple events this year. a march organized for the third year by the women's march alliance and now a rally organized by an offshoot of the d.c. group and the new york immigration coalition.
>> has the confusion impacted your support at all? >> it absolutely has. >> no question. the reality is people don't noel the difference women's march, inc. or alliance. people only hear women's march. we get asked if we are anti-semitic. we are not any way, shape or form. >> reporter: omaha's march was renamed and moved to march 10th to coincide with international women's day. with all the changes and confusion, who are these marches for? >> we have conservatives pro-life and pro-choice on our board at women's march alliance because at the end of the day women's rights are for every woman. >> the women's march is open to all. >> reporter: and brooke, 2020 hopeful kirsten gillibrand will
be in iowa this weekend. we learned she plans to speak at the women's march in des moines. she put out a statement yesterday saying that she strongly condemns anti-semitism in all forms and goes on to say, it has no place in a movement for women's empowerment or anywhere else. we should point out, brooke, the new york senator is one of the few lawmakers to confirm her attendance this year. >> thank you. coming up next, atlanta rapper and activist, killer mike joins me live. he's got this new show on netflix out today. he'll talk about that and we'll get him to weigh in on everything from the shutdown to the controversy over the super bowl halftime show in his hometown. stay tuned.
the government shutdown now in day 28 and super bowl now 16 day away. the mayor is worried tsa staffing may cause major problems as thousands will be flying in for the mega sporting event. >> we are hosting one of the biggest most watched events in the world in just a few weeks. there are real concerns about will our airport be up and functioning in a way that we need it to be. >> let me bring in rapper and fellow atlanta native, killer mike. he debuted "trigger warning"
just out today. we'll get to your show in just a second. i love picking your brain. the atlanta airport, they are telling folks, show up three hours ahead because of tsa issues. i was reading about mlk day. they were afraid ewould have to be closed. you have friends that were directly impacted. >> one said i'll have to go back because the money is not coming. she is also a veteran. i think it's shameful someone has to get a bar tending job. nothing wrong with that job but we should be making sure our federal workers are paid. >> what do you think of what's going on in washington over this? >> i think washington is a mad house right now. i think they need to get the
government working or stop paying politicians. >> they would be working really quickly. >> there has been a whole controversy over the halftime show. this quarterback -- >> colin kaepernick. >> yes. >> and i have heard of black artists who have been asked to perform. >> yes. >> who have -- i'll put this nicely, said no. >> i understand. >> and now you have maroon 5 and you have travis scott. >> and gladice knight doing the anthem. there is a petition asking them
to kneel. if you were asked to perform would you? >> if a million dollar check would be attached i might because i would make some systemic change in my community. i wouldn't because i think it's a trade issue. i think players should have united because they have the worst contracts in all of sports. kaepernick gave them a chance to say this is a worker rights issue. >> he said you cannot ignore the fact of the amount of commerce that's been brought to the city. so it provides jobs in atlanta. it gives working class people
dignity. there are many paths to freedom. >> what about your shou show trigger warning? >> trigger warning is his new netflix show. here is a clip. >> okay. >> revolutionary our adversaries. [ rapping ] >> it turned out the majority of these folks weren't as closed minded as i feared. >> if you like sinatra you like jay z and biggie. >> i knew i was adding old folks homes to my next tour and realized there was more than just line my pockets. see, the problem in america today, everyone is in their own little bubble. these bubbles keep us divided. we don't talk to each other or see other points of view.
what they prove today me is that music can burst those bubbles. >> give me some context and what it is about. congratulations. >> so trigger warning is saying there is somebody besides the polarized things you're getting to argue about. >> you can play chess sitting down or you can stand up and look at the whole board. i went out in the community and tried it. there's a meme that says if you can be in the street gang and organize a street gang you can organize a business. i took gang members in atlanta that only needed the introduction of commerce to that to start to radically change their lives. i took these young men out.
they kill more black people than any gang because of sugar and diabetes. i said if we are selling cola then let them produce it. >> it is on trigger warning on netflix. love you killer mike. >> the lead with jake tapper starts now. >> three words we have heard a lot today, if it's true. the lead starts right now. did he do it? that's the question everyone is asking after buzz feed says president trump directed cohen to lie to congress. it has a few people dropping the i word. lies and alleged leaks pelosi droching a big accusation without any evidence only to be countered by a white house response that