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tv   CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  April 10, 2019 6:00am-7:01am PDT

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breaking news regarding the "wall street journal" report on what the president knew about hush money payments to stormy daniels. that's next. ♪ well, it's wednesday and it's a big day, certainly on capitol hill. good morning, everyone, i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. the "wall street journal" reports that federal investigators have interviewed two members of president trump's inner circle regarding its probe into hush money payments to two women who alleged they had affairs with the president. former white house communications director hope hicks and trump's former security chief keith schiller. also breaking this morning cnn has learned william barr has assembled a team at the department of justice to investigate how the fbi began its counterintelligence probe of russian interference in the election and any potential ties between the trump campaign and russia. expect par to be asked about
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this new investigation today as we are just moments away from barr facing lawmakers once again on capitol hill. >> yeah, and that's not it. today we do, as jim said, have the senate questioning barr on all of this after the house committees did yesterday, and those questions and his answers and non-answers spurred arguably more questions that barr will face today about the mueller report and when it will all be turned over. case in point, will he continue to refuse to release the fully unredacted version of the mueller report to congress? buckle up, because democrats want to know why he won't answer those questions and many more about what the white house has or hasn't seen. in just minutes president trump leaves the white house on his way to texas to continue his border push. will he talk about all of this as he heads to marine one? we will stop, we will see. we're following it. let's first, though, get to this "wall street journal" reporting that just broke. the reporter who broke it one of those on the by line here
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rebecca ballhouse. important reporting. thank you for calling? >> thanks for having me. >> where do we begin? let me ask you what you think the most important nugget is from all that you guys have laid out here? >> i think what the most important take away is is that this manhattan u.s. attorney's office investigation really went much deeper into the president's circle in this push money payment investigation than was previously known. so as you mentioned they spoke to hope hicks who was one of the people close e. to trump, was with him from the earliest days of the 2016 campaigned and also spoke to keith schiller who worked as his security chief for more than a decade before joining him in the white house until the fall of 2017. so i think the fact that they were willing to bring in these people shows the lengths that investigators were willing to go to in this criminal investigation. >> okay. rebecca, one thing that stood out to me is your reporting here that prosecutors had gathered
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information about mr. trump's alleged involvement before michael cohen spoke out in the courtroom, now famously, implicating the president in what is alleged to be a federal crime here, using this hush money to influence an election. because, of course, the president in his team's defense is centered on whether cohen himself by himself is a credible witness to this. you're saying that federal investigators have spoken to others and had other evidence even before cohen came forward. >> that's right. and i remember there was a lot of speculation around the time that cohen did come forward about, you know, did prosecutors already know this and if they didn't know this would they have let cohen say that in court. a lot of people were saying, you know, this he don't just let people say anything they want. if they believe this not to be true they wouldn't let this happen. what our reporting today shows is that they really did know this to be true, this he conducted many different interviews, they had at least david pecker confirming that the president has been involved in
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those payments. so this was really something that they had evidence to back up on and, of course, prosecutors have since michael cohen's guilty plea said in their own words in court documents that the president -- that individual one directed michael cohen to make these payments. >> if this did happen and if this were deemed to be a campaign donation then it would be illegal because it would be undisclosed. the question comes and you point this out in the middle of your piece that you guys just don't know at this point, you can't determine what the southern district might do with this. because up to this point they have adhered by the guidelines of the justice department that a sitting president can't be indicted. that's a pig remaining question, isn't it? >> that's right. so they have given every indication that they are adhering to the doj guide abs and they haven't given any indication that they are going to try to charge trump after he leaves office, but what our reporting shows is that they have evidence that were they to choose to bring a case, we just
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don't have any signs that they are planning to do so. >> okay. >> rebecca, thanks very much. let's discuss now with elie honig and jennifer roberts as well as sabrina siddique. so approach this as prosecutors as you can. so they have more than michael cohen testifying to this apparently, at least according to the "wall street journal's" reporting but also apparently a recorded phone conversation, the "wall street journal" says, between the president's lawyer michael cohen and lawyers for the two women who alleged these affairs. jennifer, if i could begin with you, what is the standard to establish, if true, criminal wrongdoing by the president here? >> they are going to be looking for evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the president committed this crime. even though you only actually technically need probable cause to indict, you are really always looking for more than that in case it goes to trial where beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard. neither elie nor i are surprised that they had a lot more evidence than just michael cohen when they came forward with him.
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the question is what does it mean? who are they going to charge? i was really interested in this reporting because had we learned that they have been recently speaking to hope hicks and keith schiller then that to me would suggest that they are still moving towards charging someone, maybe executive two who might be don jr. but this is old reporting -- reporting new from old interviews from last spring. >> we don't know definitively from it if they've -- you know, the reporters may just not know at this point if they have spoken to them subsequently because there has been recent reporting about the extent of hope hicks' communication and cooperation, et cetera. i think it's interesting these are two people we know the president trusted, probably still trusts a lot, hope hicks, keith schiller. very close to him. keith was with him at trump org forever before this. what does it tell you, elie, that they are not currently working for/with/employed by the president? >> it probably makes it easier for them to cooperate. it's a hard thing when you're working for somebody and your livelihood depends on that
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person but you're also asking asked by prosecutors for information about that person. you have to prioritize and put your own criminal liability first and foremost. it puts them in a better position to cooperate. they have fewer conflicts of interest, i don't mean that in the technical sense, but they're being pulled in fewer different directions and both of these people, hicks and schiller, inner sanctum people, they were deeply trusted by the president who really keeps a pretty tight inner circle around him. it's basically his family, these two and maybe a handful of other people. they would be in a pretty unique position to give inside info to the southern district. >> keeps them close, keeps them close for years. michael cohen with him more than a decade, keith schiller i believe even longer than that. sabrina, there is the law and then there is the politics of this. what is the political appetite for pursuing these charges further? federal prosecutors here have to make their own decisions based on the law, this he appear to be pursuing this case, but politically what is the appetite for pursuing these and how much
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do democrats risk this sense that, you know, always investigating the president? >> well, i think that democrats have made clear that these hush money payments and what exactly the president knew about them and when he knew it is an area of focus and that they fully do intend to investigate those matters, especially after michael cohen not only directly implicated the president in a violation of campaign finance law, but entered what he said was evidence for the public record that trump personally signed off on at least one of those reimbursement checks, as did his son donald trump jr. and allen weisselberg. they have said that they intend to, in fact, call allen weisselberg on capitol hill to testify. on the idea of investigating to investigate, i think that the fact that this is also being pursued by investigators in the southern district of new york does give democrats some credibility to say that this is not simply politically
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motivated, that this is something that the authorities are themselves looking into. now, of course, you know, the aftermath of the mueller report does mean that the present republicans will continue and say that democrats are harassing the president, that's what trump called it, presidential harassment, but they do have at least some very serious allegations that have been made that are a reminder that the legal perils the president faces are not by any means limited to the mueller report. >> right. and, look, the congress has a mandate for oversight as well and let's get to the other part of the other side of investigating the investigation with news of what bill barr the attorney general has ordered as it relates to the russia probe of the 2016 election. that's more breaking news this morning that he is investigating how the fbi opened its investigation into possible russian -- into the russian interference with the 2016 election and any possible ties to the trump campaign.
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manu raju is on the hill. so this isn't -- i mean, he talked about this yesterday in his testimony and now we're learning more details about this and how it's different from the ig's investigation. >> reporter: yeah, we're learning from a u.s. official that the attorney general has actually assembled a team to look into how the russia investigation began. this is, of course, something that the president has railed on for months and months, raising concerns about bias, that allegedly may have been involved with launching this probe to begin with and asking and directing his attorney general to look into this matter. well, we have learned that barr is, in fact, looking into this. he alluded to this yesterday at the subcommittee hearing before the house and he said at the time yesterday he said i am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all of the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016, and
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he also revealed that a separate inspector general report about the surveillance activities that occurred also during the campaign season, that those findings will be out in may or june of this year. so on at least two fronts probes are moving forward that the president could be happy with, and we will see if he reveals any more at today's closed-door hearing as well. >> so barr faced house members yesterday, is facing senators today. what are senate democrats planning to zero in today with barr after the house hearing yesterday? >> reporter: well, expect more questions about whether or not the white house had any knowledge about the full mueller report, has any briefed in any way. of course, yesterday barr refused to engage on that question, saying he's not going to answer that anymore, though he did discuss -- or at least telling the white house about the four-page summary right before it came out. the questions will be why -- can you talk about that but not
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about the full mueller report? expect more of that and also expect democrats to demand the release of the full mueller report, something that bill barr said that he would not do yesterday. yesterday when he said that he would only provide the redacted report to congress that provoked quite a backlash from house democrats who are going to move to subpoena for the full report and also move on other fronts. one front that adam schiff the house intelligence committee chairman told me yesterday was to demand all of the counterintelligence information that the mueller probe has uncovered and took a shot at bill barr in his testimony and said to me yesterday he's simply trying to protect the president. >> i think that's a betrayal of what he promised during his confirmation, but it is whaeft was hired to do which is to protect the president. the president wanted his own roy cohen and apparently he has got one. we have an independent basis to want the counterintelligence information and after all this began as a counterintelligence
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investigation determined to find out whether the president or people in his campaign had been compromised in any way by a foreign power. >> reporter: but republicans, of course, have said that he's doing what he's supposed to, bill barr, doing what the regulations call for. so you expect that split on this panel here on the senate side today as we saw yesterday in the house. >> manu, thanks very much. we know you will be in there and update us. our experts with back. elie, the question, of the course, with this investigate the investigators thing, is this a criminal investigation or is it a please the president investigation? because we've seen both, i mean, saw saw it, for instance, were there 3 million fake voters in the election? was it inaugural crowd size billinger or smaller than obama's? can we tell now whether this is going to go down a serious path or more political path? >> you said it and that's the question that some senator needs to ask real quick today. you have now opened up -- you are taking a look at the investigation itself. is that a criminal probe that
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you've opened and if it is i think it is remarkably dangerous, this idea of you had a group of investigators looking at conduct, did not result in criminal charges, now you get investigated. now you might go to jail. that is a horrible precedent and i think you said is it a criminal probe or is it carrying the president's political water, paraphrasing, it could be both. >> folks have to remember the counterintelligence investigation was russian interference in the election. what they turned up were communications between trump aides and russians. so it didn't begin as an investigation of the president. >> it led to these fisa warrants. >> it began as an investigation of russian interference, point of order. >> it's an important point. listen to this from barr yesterday because i think it's going to come up a lot today. let's play it. >> until someone shows me a provision in 6-e that permits its release, congress doesn't get 6-e. and the chairman of the judiciary committee is free to go to court if he feels one of those exceptions is applicable. >> grand jury information being
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protected and redacted in this report. he's going to be asked about that again today. what are nadler's legal chances in court on this? >> it's really all up to the judge. it's one of those things where if the judge decides in his or her own judgment that it's in the interest of the public to release this information and there's no reason to hold it -- >> public interest or not? >> it is. we will see have to see where they draw. literally who they get out of the bin the judge is going to make a huge difference here. >> that's why legal judge appointments make a difference. >> we will be watching. he will be with us for it. coming up, president trump set to depart the white house any moment now heading to texas this morning. he may speak to reporters on his way to marine one. he tends to. we will bring that to you right away. also, the president's chief adviser kellyanne conway will join us live. much to discuss with her this morning including lots of breaking news this morning. she will be here soon. of course, we're getting ready for round two, attorney
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general william barr will testify before the senate committee and subcommittee today. i will speak to the congresswoman who questioned him yesterday on a lot of important topics ahead. our dad was in the hospital. because of smoking. but we still had to have a cigarette. had to. but then, we were like. what are we doing? the nicodermcq patch helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. nicodermcq. you know why, we know how.
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moments from now the attorney general bill barr will face another round of intense questioning when he appears before the senate appropriations committee. we're learning barr has put together a team to investigate how the fbi russia probe and the fisa warrants that were requested as part of it came about. congresswoman grace may is a democrat from new york, a member of the house appropriations committee. of course, she questioned bar yesterday. also vice chair of the dnc. she joins me now. good morning. >> good morning. thanks for having me on. >> let me get you on that breaking news that we've learned that bill barr has assembled a team to investigate basically the investigation, to look into these fisa warrants that were issued as the feds were investigating russian interference in the 2016
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election. are you glad that he's doing that? >> well, he did allude to this very generally yesterday. >> yeah. >> he said him and his team were still reviewing this within the agency. however, this does nothing in terms of us in congress still needing to see the full content of the mueller report and he know we talked about this a lot on our subcommittee yesterday, but that is still the case. the american people still deserve to see it, congress in a very bipartisan way voted to express the will of the american people that we want to see the report. >> so it doesn't sound like you oppose him assembling a team to look into whether there were any political motivations behind these fisa warrants. >> honestly i don't know his intentions and motivations behind doing that. he is obviously the head of the agency and has a right to do that, but i sincerely hope that this is not meant to be any sort of distraction from revealing the content of the reports.
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>> so the chairwoman of the senate appropriations committee neat ita lowey yesterday him an this morning on "new day" she said all members of congress must see the full reunredacted report, she said we can go to a secure location on capitol hill, we can read it there. on monday on this show we had on congressman row canha and he told me, no, i don't need to see the report, not every member of congress needs to see the fully unredacted report, you know, the committee chairman of intelligence, judiciary, et cetera, should. what do you think? does every member of congress need to see the fully unredacted mueller report? >> well, every congress member certainly can decide for him- or herself whether they want to review the report. for myself and many of my colleagues on both sides of the report we want to see a fully unredacted version of this report. like you said, these are instances -- this happens a lot where we go into a scif where
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there are privacy concerns and, you know, this is something that's done very frequently with congress members and we deserve to see it. >> you questioned him yesterday about any communication with the white house on this report before the mueller report is released. let's play that. >> was the president or anyone at the white house alerted in advance of your letter's release? >> the march 24th letter, i don't believe so, but, as i said, once the report is out i will be testifying and i will be glad to discuss all aspects of the process and also explain the decisions i've made. >> did you or anyone on your team consult with anyone in the white house in the crafting of that letter? sn>> are you talking about the march 24th letter? >> yes. >> the answer to that is no, but, as i say, i'm not going to discuss this further until after
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the report is out. >> do you feel like -- and he will be on the hill, by the way, after the report is out, may 1st and 2nd. >> right. >> did you feel like you got a full some answer to your question? >> well, i appreciate him being on the hill to answer our questions. did i want to know what conversations he had in terms of the march 24th and there was a march 29th letter as well. but also just in general, what types of conversations has the attorney general and his team been having with the white house on this report in general. so, of course, there is more information to know. he was hesitant understandably to answer some of these questions and that is yet another reason why we need to see the full report. >> okay. so let's move on to your role as vice chair of the dnc, obviously the democratic party, we've got 18 contenders so far for 2020 in the presidential race. let me ask you about congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez, of course, you're born in queens as well as she was and now you're both
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representing in congress. she tweeted on march 30th encouraging small dollar donors to instead of giving money to the dccc to give it directly to progressive candidates pushing back against the committee's decision to break ties with consultant and pollsters who are working with primary challengers. do you support that idea or does that further fracture your party? >> look, i think donors have a right to donate whether they want to donate to a democratic committee, whether they want to donate directly to candidates and donors if you talk to them have different preferences all the time. i think that we are still having a lot of conversations on this issue. we want to make sure that the public knows that the dccc of course has raised and has spent a lot of money not only in flipping seats but also helping to elect democratic and progressive candidate members and progressive causes as well. >> you obviously don't like to hear a message that says don't
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donate to the dccc but you are saying people should have freedom to donate wherever they want and they do. final question, presidential candidate bernie sanders, senator bernie sanders will release his medicare for all plan today. you have been a big proponent of this. you know that even the left leaning urban institute says, look, the cost is $32 trillion over a decade. how specifically would you propose paying for that? >> well, i think part of my reason for wanting to sponsor a bill like medicare for all and to push for it is because i think we need a lot more conversation, whether on capitol hill or throughout the country, on how we can make sure that more people have equal access to healthcare. >> totally, but how would you pay for that, because that's the price tag. i'm wondering is this just increase taxation across the board? >> no, it's not just about increased taxation it's also about a shifting of priorities. there are a lot of issues we might pay for in congress that i think sometimes we need to reassess and reanalyze, but
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priority is healthcare and being able to take care of our fellow americans and that's why we desperately need to have that conversation. >> okay. conversation about how you cover people, how you pay for it, we will have you back for that. thanks very much, congresswoman meng, i appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. we are following the breaking news this morning, the attorney general launching an investigation into how the fbi started its russia probe of russian interference in the campaign. possible trump campaign involvement. we will speak to the president's senior advisor all about it next. and we are moments away from the opening bell on wall street. investors are going to be watching for any insight from the federal reserve for clues on possible interest rate cuts or moves this year.
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appears to be on the verge of securing a record fifth term as israel's prime minister. with roughly 97% of the votes counted, netanyahu's party holds a very slight lead over the party of his chief rival, benny gantz. >> but it also appears that his path back to power is much more straightforward. our correspondent oren liebermann joins me live from jerusalem. this is history making in terms of being the longest serving prime minister. >> reporter: and that's a milestone he will achieve in summer, outlasting is alley raes first prime minister and becoming this country's longest serving prime minister. it does look very much like that's the path we are on at this point. 97% of the votes counted, it is very, very close head to head between him and his rival benny gantz, just a few thousand votes
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separate the head to head race. when it comes to the important question who it is that can form a government netanyahu has the advantage with the support of the ultra orthodox parties and smaller right wing parties which is why he made this confident statement. >> translator: and i want to clarify that this will be a right wing government, but i will be the prime minister of all israel -- israeli citizens, jewish and non-jewish, left or right, all citizens. >> reporter: that statement that he will be the prime minister of all citizens of israel, jewish and nonjewish, they different than the campaign rhetoric which certainly had quite an anti-arab element to it, as well as a left versus right and us versus them. his rifle claimed victory yesterday putting out a very different statement today, not
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quite a concession, but certainly sounding like it. here is what he said in the statement. reports tell an unfinished story, yes, odds may not seem in our favor but two things are missing, the first is certainty as there is still a possibility of electoral shifts that will allow us to engage in various political endeavors, the second is recognition of the great hope we delivered to the israeli people and society. the problem for gantz is that that electoral shift as more votes come in, 200,000 votes from soldiers, diplomats and others may ma i can this even more of a victory for netanyahu. poppy and jim. >> oren, question for you, trump administration made two moves in the last week that seemed to favor the government of benjamin netanyahu, golan heights, annexation in effect but also designation of the iran revolutionary guard as a terrorist organization. in the simplest terms did netanyahu get help from the u.s. in this election? >> reporter: i think you can look at the last two weeks as well as the last few months and say yes definitively. the actions of president donald trump appeared almost blatantly
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to advocate for prime minister benjamin netanyahu and for his reelection as major political gifts, especially israeli sovereignty in the golan heights, recognition of that. secretary of state mike pompeo visited the western wall with netanyahu just a couple weeks ago. that was unprecedented until this, very much came out as trump openly it seemed campaigning for netanyahu. did it make a difference? do we know if it had a quantity fate testify effect? that's a more difficult question to answer. it certainly didn't hurt here. >> look for congratulations from president trump coming soon. i imagine. we should note that the president is leaving the white house speaking to reporters as we speak on his way to marine one as he's departing for texas. we will bring you those comments as soon as we have them. tonight washington governor jay inslee sits down for a presidential town hall moderated by wolf blitzer. 10:00 eastern time of course only on cnn.
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all right. now to the continuingly stunning college admissions scandal. actress lori loughlin and her husband and 14 other wealthy parents are now facing money laundering charges in this huge scandal. the latest charge comes a month after loughlin and her husband were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud. >> they are accused of paying $500,000 to get their two lawyers into the university of southern california. let's bring in elie honig. beyond all the bad parenting here, money laundering, they were setting up shell companies. >> this refers to the way they made the payments. remember they didn't just cut a check to the college, money laundering is a very common
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feature of criminal schemes like this one, pay the money through this fake shell nonprofit organization to try to hide where it comes from and where it's going. that's a crime in itself and it will up the penalty that lori loughlin and the others potentially face. >> okay. jail time? >> so interesting. i think felicity huffman and her attorneys have sort of handled this very smartly, which is, which is get out there, plead quickly -- >> she pled guilty. >> pled guilty, accepted full responsibility. get in early, you get points off your sentence if you accept responsibility and if you do it quickly. her sentencing guidelines range which is not mandatory but it's important in advisory is 4 to 10 months which i think puts her within shouting distance of probation. i think her lawyer will have a good basis to go in there at sentencing and say she's facing this small amount of jail time, but there's no good to be done by sending her to jail. i think the pros computer, the reporting is the prosecutors will be seeking the lower end, but some jail time. i think the prosecutor will say we need to send a message, you can't get a break because you're
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rich and famous. >> look at martha stewart, prime example. a lot of people say if she weren't martha stewart would she have gone to jail for that. >> it's a tough conundrum when you're dealing with celebrities. i have had a couple in my time. you can't punish them extra because they're celebrities and you can't use people as a vehicle to send a message but you also have to be careful of anything that will be perceived as giving them special or light treatment because of their status. >> there are a couple cases of celebrities getting off easy, too. >> it happens. >> coaches were explicitly involved in this, harvard fencing coach, yale women's soccer coach, they were taking done, do they face stricter penalties. >> i think their conduct is more problematic than the parents, they are insiders and are betraying their employers and owe more of a do you tell co yahoo he to the universities that betray them and they are pocketing some of the money to compromise their job. i think they main be in a tougher position than the parents. >> elie honig. thank you.
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vef a lot of news coming out of the white house. >> let's roll. >> thank you very much. just a little bit. the president has just been speaking. it is deadline day as well. still no word from the president or administration as to whether they will release the president's tax returns. if house democrats do not receive them by the end of today they will likely issue a subpoena. here with us now to discuss this and other headlines, counselor to the president kellyanne conway. appreciate you taking the time this morning. >> thank you, jim. >> so i've got a lot of topics to run through, you would expect me to. i want to start with news, "wall street journal" reporting this morning that federal prosecutors in new york have gathered more evidence than previously known including by speaking to some of the president's closest confidants, hope hicks, keith schiller, about his involvement in those hush money payments to stormy daniels and karen mcdougal. i want to ask you this question because i've heard your comments before defending the president. but if there was no wrongdoing here and the president was confident in that, why did he lie about it in april 2018, as you know, on air force one and
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say he didn't know about the payments? >> well, the president is saying he didn't know about the payments when they were made, that he discovered that -- i've spoken with him directly about this and that is what he has told me so i'm going to repeat it to you. >> for the sake of our audience who might not remember this, i'm going to play the tape. it was a clear question and clear answer on air force one. >> he took a request he from the same reporter minutes ago on the south lawn. >> folks at home might not have heard it. let's play it and i want to hear how you respond. >> when the audit is complete i will release my returns. i have no problem with it. >> i'm releasing when we're finished with the audit. depends on the audit -- >> president, did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels. >> no. no. >> simple answer, simple question. sorry, that started with a tax question, but you heard the answer there. i don't know how you can say he was being specific there only that he did not know about it at the time. >> that is what he told me, that his answer was referencing when
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the payment was made, but, again, you know, mr. cohen has testified in front of congress, then said he lied in front of congress, testified again. obviously the mueller investigation, 22 months and $30 million or so later also looked into these issues, as you know. i know people were promised collusion. those who are still searching for collusion are denying what they see at the border, 103,000 migrants last month, a 35% jump. so it doesn't surprise me at all that the sdny has interviewed other people, but, again -- >> that's what's new in there. the piece -- there is a lot to unpack there, but the piece says that the prosecutors had evidence of the president's involvement in that payment before michael cohen went in that courtroom and implicated the president, which would seem to mean that it's not based entirely on michael kobe's testimony here, that others have documented it. we have seen the images of the checks. >> jim, but remember that the president's outside lawyers have
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also said that this was not a campaign finance violation, that this was not done in furtherance of any campaign activity, and i can tell you as the campaign manager at that time that there was no discussion -- this is a president who every single day was beating back the false accusers as he referred to them, including ones that got a ton of air time on cnn. so the whole country was watching that as it unfolded. but i guess i am very serious, i know it's your show and you get to pick the news, but i guess i am could you are yus as to where we keep on resickling this particular story when we just had a two-year investigation that took on all types of chutes and ladders apart from the original task and mission was to find out if people on the campaign that i ran had excluded with russians and somehow we had an illegitimately elected president. that's all been decided. there is no collusion. >> this is new today and it's a separate investigation. let me, if i can, ask, again, because the time we have with
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you is -- is short so i want to make sure we get to as much as we can. as you know, today is the daddy line for the president to release as imposed by house democrats to release his tax returns. i'm unclear because as you know the president has said repeatedly he won't release them because us' under audit, but his chief of staff said this weekend he will never hand them over. is it because of the audit or has he made a decision that he's just not going to share them with the public? >> a few factual things. it's the irs who has been asked by chairman neal, the ways and means committee, to release the president's tax returns. the president just told the media moments ago on the south lawn, i'm sure you will play the clip when you get it, that he's under audit. if he wasn't under audit maybe he would release them. secretary mnuchin of the treasury testified under oath just yesterday to a house committee, jim, that he is going to do what he would do for any citizen which is protect sensitive information and security information. >> but every presidential candidate going back to nixon has released them. i wonder if -- >> and he didn't and he got elected. >> i'm a rich successful man,
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why wouldn't he want to show the most definitive record of his income and his business success by showing his tax returns to the american people. >> he has produced 104 pages of financial disclosures that tell an awful lot about his businesses and -- >> but not his tax return. >> -- his holdings. he didn't release them during the campaign and he was elected anyway. everybody knew that people were asking about those tax returns, it apparently is more important to many americans what their tax returns look like now having gone through the largest -- one of the largest tax cuts in american history -- >> let's get to the -- >> i know you don't want to talk about those, but those are the number one issues to the coun y country. >> i will talk to your point. to get to your point about it's been litigated in the election. i've heard you make this point and others. the president lied during the election, as you know, he lied about birtherism, lied about muslims celebrating 9/11 in new jersey and others -- >> actually -- >> does that give him continues to share falsehoods while he is
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president? does the election give you license to do whatever you did during the campaign? >> that's a lot of opinionating about the campaign. focus on my work here at the white house since you want to talk about the 2016 campaign since you brought it up, i certainly didn't because i never have to talk about it again, winning finishes all the sentences. it's hillary clinton who had a 62% number of people saying that they thought she was not honest or trustworthy and it hurt her in the election. we as a country certainly want to elect the first female president but not one who has a difficult relationship with the truth. so that certainly was decided by the electors, but this president ran -- >> -- the president has demonstrated his difficult relationship with the proof, but we don't have time for that. >> if you think that's your job as a reporter then go for it, but i think my job here is to work every day on policy that helps improve the lives of americans and we do have record low unemployment among millions
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of americans. we have growth over 4%. we have unemployment under 4%. this matters to people. if you look at the latest polls, this bipartisan poll by two pollsters and friends of mine i respect, just came out yesterday and that poll shows that the president is doing so well with respect to the economy, even people who don't like >> it's a fair point and it's taken. we talk about that a lot on this broadcast. >> it's a major issue to this country, though. they care about the economic wherewithal. >> they do. fair point. we talk about that a lot on this broadcast. one issue where the president and republicans do not do well, where they're trusted more is health care during the 2018 midterms this was an issue. 75% of them back democrats. you have said that the president has a plan to replace obamacare. what is that plan and does he
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have any support on the hill for that plan? >> obamacare, it looks like the democrats, including president obama, are moving off of obamacare. they're all making joyful noises about medicare for all. >> some but not all. some candidates, others don't support it. >> who is running on obamacare in who out there as a candidate is saying, you know what? obamacare must be protected? 3.4 million americans lost their plans within months of obamacaretaking hold. they were lied to you can keep your plan, keep your doctor. someone working on the president's health care plan, we have several meetings a day on it. i'll make you a deal. people who like their obamacare can keep their obamacare. let's see if they're actually do that when there are other choices, lower cost -- >> lot of reporting that republicans want to keep protection for pre-existing conditions. >> no question. jim, let me say in no uncertain
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terms it's nonnegotiable. pre-existing conditions will be protected. this president has said this as a candidate, as president during transition as president-elect. and he was never senator or congressman trump who voted to repeal pre-existing conditions. >> and pre-existing conditions. >> it's nonnegotiable. >> most popular elements even in red states. >> no question. we're not even discussing not protecting them, trust me. what we want to make sure that people understand medicine car for all mean choices for none. seniors and disabled rely on medicare for health care benefits and financial stability. when people hear government insurance, you can't just hear insurance. you have to hear the word government. you don't want government more involved in the most intimate parts of your life, health care portfolio. >> although it is for medicare and veterans care. we'll get to that another time. >> thank you for having me. >> you're welcome back any time. >> okay, thank you. >> let's listen to the president. >> take care. >> okay. all right. >> we have numbers coming from
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companies that are beyond expectations. the tax cuts are working very, very well. so, we're very proud of the economy. job numbers are as good as we've ever had. and more people are working right now than ever worked in our country before. we're doing really well. i would like to congratulate bebe netanyahu. looks like that race has been won by him. may be a little early but i'm hearing he has won it and won it in good fashion. he has been a great ally. he is a friend. i would like to congratulate him. that was a well fought-out race, i can tell you. but it looks like bebe has won that race. go ahead. [ inaudible ] >> the fact that bebe won, i think, we'll see some pretty good action in terms of peace. look, everyone said -- and i
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never made it a promise -- but everybody said you can't have peace in the middle east with israel and the palestinians. i think we have a chance. and i think we have now a better chance with bebe having won. yes, please? major? [ inaudible question ] >> no, there is no law. as you know, i got elected last time with the same issue. and while i'm under audit, i won't do it. if i'm not under audit i would do it. i have no problem with it. but while i'm under audit i would not give my taxes whatsoever. now i will say this, i would love to give them but i'm not going to do it while i'm under audit. it's very simple. remember, i got elected last time, the same exact issue, with the same intensity, which wasn't very much because, frampgly, the people don't care. what i have done is
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approximately a 104-page summary and really in great detail of assets and values. nobody wants to go over that because it's so good. i built a great company, one of the best companies. i have one of the greatest assets in the world. i did a good job. frankly, i don't care about them. i only care about the united states. but i have no obligation to do that while i'm under audit and no lawyer would tell you to release your tax returns while you're under audit. [ inaudible question ] >> i think that the whole asylum rules, laws and regulations have been taken advantage of by people that are very bad people in many cases. these are the people running the cartels. they're gaming the system. they have been for years. the only difference is our economy is now so strong that more people come up. we have done a great job at the
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border with bad laws. it's very important that the democrats in congress chaeng these loopholes. if they don't change them, we're just going to be fighting. the other thing, we built a lot of wall. a lot of wall. you know, when we rip down an old wall and then replace it, it's called a new wall. that's what we've done. a lot of wall is going up and every place we build the wall it's less and less. the power of the economy, it's like a magnet. it's bringing more people than we've seen in a long time. major? [ inaudible question ] >> well, the mueller report is interesting. after $35 million, with 13 increased to 18 angry democrats,
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people that truly hated donald trump, truly hated trump, they found no collusion whatsoever with russia, but i could have told you that and so could most people, and so could have everybody who voted for me, which was a lot of people. so, after wasting all of this money and all of this time with people that were haters, people worked on the hillary clinton foundation, people who were absolutely haters of trump, they found in collusion. what has been found during this period of time are the illegal acts of getting this whole phony investigation started. and hopefully that's where people are going now. it's very interesting. it was an illegal investigation. major, it was an illegal investigation. it was started illegally. everything about it was crooked. every single thing about it.
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there were dirty cops. these were bad people. you look at mccabe and comey. you look at lisa and peter strzok. these were bad people. this was an attempted coup, attempted takedown of a president and we beat them. we beat them. so the mueller report, when they talk about obstruction, we fight back. do you know why we fight back? because i knew how illegal this whole thing was. it was a scram. what i'm most interested in -- excuse me. what i'm most interested in is getting started. hopefully the attorney general -- he mentioned it yesterday. he's doing a great job getting started on going back to the origins of exactly where this all started. this was an illegal witch hunt. everybody knew it. they knew it, too. they got caught. what they did was treason.
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what they did was terrible. what they did was against our constitution and everything we stand for. so hopefully, that will happen. there is a hunger for that to happen in this country, like i have never seen before including all the millions of people who voted for me. what they did was disgraceful. there's never been anything like it in the history of our country. [ inaudible question ] >> i like herman kaine and h herman will make that determination. he is a wonderful man. he has been a supporter of mine for a long time. that's up to herman. he has already sat on one of the fed boards and he is just somebody i like a lot. as to how he's doing in the process, that, i don't know.
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you go through a process. but herman is a great guy. i hope he does well. [ inaudible question ] >> steven is an excellent guy. he's a wonderful person. people don't know him. he has been with me from the beginning. he is a brilliant man and, frankly, there's only one person that's running it. do you know who that is? it's me. [ inaudible question ] >> i have not seen the mueller report. i have not read the mueller report. i won. no collusion. no obstruction. i won. everybody knows i won. and the pros knew it was illegally started. the whole thing was illegal. i have not read the mueller
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