tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN April 30, 2019 5:00am-6:00am PDT
>> oh, my gosh. that's really scary stuff. >> and we have a serial number -- i'm sorry, go ahead. >> only because we're running out of time. i want to cut to the chase because this sounds like really scary stuff to my ears as just a member of the -- a passenger. >> absolutely. >> just the flying public. would you knowing what you know and what you've seen with your own eyes, would you ever fly on the boeing dreamliner? >> absolutely not. no, ma'am. >> john barnett, you are a whistleblow whistleblower. we really appreciate you bringing what you've seen to the public's attention. thank you very much for being here on "new day." >> thank you for having me. >> all right. meanwhile, there is this new cnn poll it shows joe biden's big bounce since he jumped into the race. "new day" continues right now. good morning and welcome to your "new day," it is tuesday, april 30th, it's 8:00 in the east and this new cnn poll out
just a couple hours ago shows a bounce for former vice president joe biden, a big bounce. biden has broken away from the pack 39% of potential democratic voters say he is their top choice for the nomination. senator bernie sanders is way, way back in second with 15%. >> today biden begins campaigning in iowa where he is doing much better this time around than during his previous runs. this morning biden takes on president trump's signature slogan. >> the president has a motto, make america great again. do you have one? >> make america moral again. make america return to the essence of who we are, the dignity of the country, the dignity and people -- treating our people with dignity and this god awful deliberative vision that's being taken in order to -- separating people for his own power. >> cnn political director david
chine joins us with the numbers hot off the presses. >> it's a biden bounce from that announcement. this is the first national poll we've seen taken entirely after joe biden got into the race last thursday and here is that horse race. 39% way out in front for joe biden, 15% for bernie sanders. the next four, warren, buttigieg, o'rourke and harris all in single digits. look at the movement from our poll last month. joe biden went way up by 11 points from 28% in march to 39% now. again, that may just be a bounce that comes back down after the announcement, but that's a formidable position. the only other person to make a move in the positive direction, pete buttigieg. i want from 1% to 7%, but sanders went down a bit, o'rourke and harris returned to single digits from double digits, all to joe biden and a little to pete buttigieg's benefit. take a look at this next number here, we broke it down to show you what is fueling the biden
commanding lead in this race. we broke it down by race. white voters versus non-white voters in the democratic primary. among white voters joe biden has a lead, though not as big as his overall lead, 29% to 50%. nonwhite voters, a key part of the democratic primary electorate. 50% go to joe biden, 14% for sanders. this is fueling that big lead. one note of caution, there is still a lot of time, right? 64% of democrats in this poll tell us they might change their mind, only a third definitely will support the candidate they are with right now. we also asked folks about the qualities that they are looking for in these candidates and take a look at this, 46% of democrats in this poll say that the beating donald trump is extremely important to their vote. this is the electability factor we are talking about. then it's right experience, will work across party lines, the candidate has to look like the future of the party.
this is all much lower. it is about beating donald trump right now for democratic primary voters. on the issues, it is very clear there are a couple top issues animating this race, climate change 82% of democrats say it's very important, 75% for medicare for all and then guns, you see free public college, impeaching the president, paying reparations, voting rights for felons. all topics that have been gated in the last several months lower down. climate change and medicare for all are animating this democratic electorate. >> david chalian, thank you very much. joining us now abby phillips, jonathan martin national political correspondent for "the new york times" and john avalon cnn's senior political analyst. john avalon, these numbers for joe biden, 39% is a very big number just on its face for a 20 candidate field and then when you go underneath he's leading everywhere. >> that's what's stunning in this poll. it's more than just a biden
bounce. the broad base support. i mean, you know, areas where he's been considered weak looking at the primary, he's leading among voters under 45, leading among liberals over bernie sanders, the nonwhite voter number at 50%. that is really stunning in terms of how broad based this poll shows joe biden's support is. he's really lapping other candidates in a lot of categories. this is very good news for joe biden as an out of the gate poll and it shows other candidates got a lot of work to do. >> that number 64% still say they could change their minds. i should hope so, we are more than a year away. i'm glad to hear that voters are open to learning new information over the next year, but still better than probably the biden team expected. >> yeah, i think it's a little stronger nationally perhaps than he thought and perhaps some of his rivals thought, but you are key to emphasize how early it is and how often in past campaigns early numbers have not reflected
the final outcome. by the way, if you just talk to people on the street or in a coffee shop like i did yesterday in pittsburgh, it's pretty revealing. guys, they don't necessarily know who all the candidates are, they are not sure who is even running. it's no knock on them, you know, we're ten months out from the first vote. they are normal americans with lives and they are not super engaged in this race yet. there is a lot of game to be played here and obviously these debates are going to be crucial, but it does look like now at the start biden is something of a traditional front runner and that can only mean one thing, guys, he's going to be facing a lot of incoming coming his way. >> absolutely. i will note if you were in pittsburgh yesterday and you are in cedar rapids today there is no direct flight as far as i know. so you've had a very -- >> i have three letters for you, ord. >> you have had an eventually last 24 hours. >> abby, you cover the white house every day. the president is paying close attention to this, he's tweeting
all about joe biden yesterday, clearly watching the announcement. he seems fixated to an extent in elevating joe biden here. >> yeah, i mean, clearly the president has decided to his front runner is in this race and you can see why some of his advisers are a little bit nervous that the president is going a little too far. that he's telegraphing too much that he's worried about joe biden. and the result that that might have in the democratic primary where there are 20 candidates is that you end up taking those 46% of people who say that beating donald trump is the most important thing to them and you're basically telling them that trump thinks that biden is his toughest competitor. he is telegraphing to the democratic primary that he thinks that joe biden is the guy who will give him the toughest race. that actually helps joe biden, especially as the trump campaign is trying to frame all of these democrats as far left socialists. it really elevates joe biden as
an almost kind of centrist character who will do the best in a general election and that is counter to what the trump campaign wants to accomplish here. but the president can't help himself, he doesn't like to fall back when people are attacking him, and joe biden came right out of the gate and basically said that when the president talked about charlottesville he really let down the character of the nation. the president could not take that sitting down and basically took the bait and forced himself into a position where he's relitigating charlottesville. so in a lot of ways you see joe biden kind of outmaneuvering trump at a very early stage and it's causing the president's advisers to kind of try to get him to take it down a notch because it's too early for them to be engaged, i think, in their view at this level where there are so many other opportunities, easier opportunities, to take on these other candidates. >> obviously -- >> john, real fast, i was going to say it's so trumpian, too,
because this is not strategy. the reason he's reacting yesterday to biden is because he's watching cable tv all morning and he's seeing the biden coverage because it's the day of biden's first speech and he's just tweeting about what he's seeing on cable tv, which is covering the news that day. so so much of this is just -- it's not strategic, it's just a president who responds to what he sees on tv, but that itself is what then drives the next day's news cycle and here we are talking about it? >> the larger playbook that trump has been sur suing also echoed by his favorite station is basically a negative partisan playbook. it's to paint the democrats as radical leftist socialists as abby said and it's very hard to fit joe biden in that mold. trump can't define him as he can many of the other folks and that's why the team trump is going to be nervous because the candidates who flip obama to trump in those key 200 pivot counties, biden is almost tailor-made to appeal to their concerns, white working class,
middle class folks where you can't paint biden as a leftist radical in the same way he will try to do with bernie sanders and members of congress. >> joe biden is asked what he thinks his chances are of winning the democratic primary and of beating donald trump. here is joe biden's answer. >> donald trump is very confident that should you win the nomination that he could beat you easily. are you as confident that you can win the nomination and defeat him? >> whether i win the nomination or not is going to depend on the democrats and whether or not i beat donald trump is going to depend on the american people, but, as i said, everybody knows who donald trump is. >> i'm confident. >> maybe joe biden should be running. joe biden should be running his campaign. she's confident. he was giving the very deliberate, very diplomatic answer there and his wife joel, i don't know if you could hear it jumped in and was like i'm confident. >> let me clean that up one.
>> he's trying to be modest and not give out in this brag doesh i can't way which i think would be trumpian so he's trying to restrain himself. look, i think if the trump white house wanted to elevate somebody they would be focusing trump's fire on, you know, bernie sanders or one of the other candidates that they are not as concerned about. the fact that he's responding to biden shows that it's not strategic because they are concerned about biden as the nominee. it shows a lot of the trump white house day to day tactics are just trump watching tv and responding to what he sees on tv, it's not based on any kind of strategy that his campaign is giving him. it's him sitting in the residence until noon watching a dvr'd morning news coverage and responding to it online. it's remarkable, but it's where we are. it does, guys, have the effect of creating this trump versus
biden dynamic for the first five days of the campaign that biden is in. >> everybody should dvr our show. >> i do every day as you know. >> very good. >> go ahead, abby. >> it's also worth noting that the president is elevating joe biden which seems like a good thing for joe biden, but i think biden actually when he's -- first came out of the gate benefited from some fairly low expectations in terms of how he would be able to raise money, how he would be able to compete on a sort of grassroots level and there is a risk here that joe biden can become the sort of inevitable candidate, kind of like how hillary was going into 2016, and that seems like it might be a good thing, but if you look at that poll that we just talked b look at all the people who were in the double digits a few weeks ago who are now in the single digits. there is a lot of dynamism in this race right now and there is a risk that you can start pretty high and drop precipitously and that's what biden -- biden wants to be in this sweet spot where he still is viewed as someone to
be taken seriously but not, you know, flying too close to the sun. i don't think there is a strategy for trump, but the result for biden could be something that he might want to temper because it's so early in this race. >> john avalon, i will give you the last word. there is one other place where joe biden wants to be and that is in the shadow of president obama. i want to play you the campaign video that the biden team put out a short time ago, just a little bit of it. >> joe talks to auto workers whose livelihoods he helped save, we hear the son of a man who once knew the pain of having to tell his kids that he had lost his job. when joe talks about hope and opportunity for our children, we are the father who rode the rails home every night -- >> you can hear sound of president obama speaking when he was in office with joe biden. jeff zeleny is reporting that the biden team did tell the obama folks that this type of thing could -- would happen.
>> look, this is the kind of endorsement -- nonendorsement, but the halo effect of part of the obama/biden ticket is enormously powerful in the democratic primary. i also think that this particular environment is suited to joe biden's strengths. look at those top tier concerns that democrats say they want, ability to beat trump, yes. experience and then ability to work across the aisle is the third. that's the stark difference between the two parties and strength of some of biden relationships in washington and reputation for personal decency. we have a top tier that's moving, this is still early, but biden is very well positioned for where the party seems to be right now. >> john avalon, abby phillips, jonathan martin, we look forward to your dispatches from the hawkeye strength. the country's opposition leader juan guaido is calling for a military uprising. the situation is unfolding quickly. these, i believe, are live pictures from the streets.
joining us on the phone stefano pozaban live from caracas. >> reporter: we are right next to those [ inaudible ] -- in the heart of the venezuelan capital. just meters from a key military air base that is [ inaudible ] caracas. right now security forces appear to be still loyal to embattled president nicolas maduro. they are throwing tear gas towards protesters. [ inaudible ] gathered here at the outskirts.
we can see the armed forces military guards men who appear to be wearing the light blue arm bands, those that are taking part in the uprising. [ inaudible ] made himself a name as the leader of a failed coup in 1992 and maduro has staged several uprisings, but seems like something different. seems different. these are crucial allies in the capital of venezuela. >> stefano, these are obviously crucial hours as you just said. we should let our viewers know that you are wearing a gas mask out of necessity which is why it makes some of your words hard to hear, but obviously we're seeing what's happening when people are
not wearing gas masks, home people are in distress there trying to cover their face as the situation continues to be such a hot bed of activity. >> for people watching this very closely over the last few years one key piece of information is lopez who was an opposition leader jailed and house arrest, he has been freed and we saw pictures of him earlier this morning. this is a huge development. lopez is someone with ties to the united states. he's out now, we're trying to figure out exactly what this means and the impact of this. also given the call for a military uprising what we need to figure out over the next minutes and hours is if there is a response, if the military is responding to this call for an uprising against the government. we can see obviously the violence on the streets. >> we are being told that president trump has been briefed about this situation that is growing more heated. we will wait for the white house's official response on what is happening in caracas. we will bring that to you as soon as we have it. meanwhile, president trump is trying to prevent two of his
banks from turning over his financial records to congress. what does a member of one of the committees who wants to see that information think of this move? we ask her that and so much more up next. high protein. low sugar. tastes great! high protein. low sugar. so good! high protein. low sugar. mmmm, birthday cake! pure protein. the best combination for every fitness routine. ♪ pardon the interruption but this is big! now at t-mobile buy any samsung galaxy s10 and get a galaxy s10e free! it's our best sale of the season semi-annual sale... featuring 20% off select diamonds. dare to be devoted. only at jared.
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serves on the house financial services committee, that committee subpoenaed the banks to get info about president trump's finances. congresswoman thank you for being here. it sounds like the president and his adult children and businesses say that you want too much. you want too much, you're going back too far, you're looking into too many personal details and they are suing to block you from being able to see that. >> i support chairwoman waters doing her job on the financial services committee, she's asking for these documents to fill in some of the gaps that are revealed in the mueller report and the president is not a private citizen, he has become a public figure by choosing to run for office, he gets public benefits like living in the white house and getting to fly on air force one and with that comes disclosure of things that would otherwise be private. so i think the subpoenas are targeted and i have great confidence in both of our court system and these financial institutions to disclose the documents. >> here is what the trump legal team says, the subpoenas issued
to deutsche bank and capitol one are unlawful and illegitimate. they seek information going back decades from anyone with even a tangential connection to the president including children, minors and spouses. he was a private citizen, his children were private citizens then, so how do you respond specifically to those complaints? >> when somebody runs for office and becomes elected they have a duty to disclose and answer questions. the reason that we are asking for these documents is because they pertain to a pattern and practice of dealing with deutsche bank and capitol one. we didn't subpoena every business dealing that the president has ever had. these subpoenas were narrowly targeted and i respect the president's desire to petition the courts for redress, but this is also a president who said he should enjoy special protection from the courts, he should enjoy special protect from the president, for instance, from having to answer questions in person under oath during the mueller investigation and now he wants to have it the other way
and be just a private citizen. so with public -- with public duties come public responsibilities and i think that's what we're trying to do here. >> the deadline or request for the financial records is may 6th, that's very soon. now that the president's team and his adult children, et cetera, have filed this lawsuit, are you going to be able to see these records? >> we're going to let the lawsuit, i'm sure, proceed forward. we have a duty as congress to respect the rule of law and branches of government, but the house may well choose to respond to that lawsuit and make its arguments. we have to respect what the court ultimately decides here, like i said, the president has the ability to petition the courts, but we have our constitutional duty to do oversight here. >> i want to move on to this twitter spat, i guess you would call it, that you got into yesterday with chase. they backed down is the upshot of this and you went after them basically for their tone deaf i think is the word you would use
tweet suggesting that people who can't necessarily pay their bills are kind of, you know, overspending or are spending on too much luxuries. here is how it went, they said -- they put out first this tweet, you, why is my balance so low? bank account, make coffee at home. bank account, eat the food that's already in the fridge. bank account, you don't need a cab, it's only three blocks. you, i guess we will never know. bank account, seriously? so that was sort of their cheeky way of suggesting that its people's fault for, you know, spending beyond their means. you tweeted, hey, chase, try paying your workers more. families aren't spending frivolously, they're trying to pay rent. were you gratified when you saw that they took that original tweet down and said basically my bad? >> i was glad they took the tweet down, i think it's insulting to the hard working american people, many of whom are earning minimum wage or just
above that who are struggling to pay rent, health insurance and other costs. so i think that it was important that they took the tweet down. i think they should apologize to their customers, that's obviously their business decision, but we just had mr. dimon testify before the committee about the importance of everybody -- you know, a financial system that works for everybody. he has taken on the mantel of leadership of the financial services industry and i think that means chase should be leading the way in understanding why americans are having trouble making ends meet, not making fun of them, not being sarcastic and not diminishing the real struggles american families face. >> we have a moment of that exchange with jamie dimon and i just want to play t your point was that a seller who makes $37,000 a year can't afford a lot of necessities, so i just want to watch this moment where you put jamie dimon in the hot seat. >> mr. dimon, she doesn't have the ability right now to spend your $31 million. >> i am sympathetic. >> she's short 567 what would
you suggest she do? >> i don't know. i would have to think about that. >> would you recommend that she take out a jpmorgan chase credit card and run a deficit? >> i don't know. i would have to think about it. >> would you recommend that she overdraft at your bank and be charged overdraft fees? >> i don't know, i would have to think about it. >> you gave him a lot of food for thought there. did you hear back from him? >> i have not heard back from mr. dimon and i think that's why i found this tweet particularly disheartening. i took mr. dimon at his word that he will think about what americans should do and how we can improve the economy to ensure prosperity for every american family. there are a number of responses to that with increased wages being one of the pockets, we have asked chase to consider raising their minimum wage to meet that of their competitor, bank of america. the other thing he could be reflecting on is the importance of lowering healthcare costs, prescription premiums, tackling the problem of housing affordability. he is one of our nation's most
renowned business leaders and i would welcome his help in trying to solve the problems that american families are facing not belittling them. >> thank you for going over all of thighs topics with us. a u.s. army veteran charged with plotting terror attacks in the l.a. area. find out why the fbi says he wanted to carry these attacks out in the first place. that's next. to look at me now,
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developments to tell you about in a suspected terror case in los angeles. a u.s. army veteran and recent convert to islam has been charged with plotting terror attacks designed to inflict mass casualties. the fbi said he wanted retribution for recent attacks against muslims. former fbi special agent josh gamble is live in l.a. with more. what have you learned? >> the fbi's joint terrorism task force being credited with arresting a suspect authorities believe to have caused massive loss of life. a 26-year-old former army infantryman, a recent convert to islam who last month began posting in an online forum expressing his desire to do what he called a vegas-style attack
in the united states, also talked about seeking retribution for the victims of the recent attacks at two mosques in christchurch, new zealand. after seeing this an fbi under cover employee made contact with the suspect and established a relationship. learning of his desire to attack jews along with churches and police officers. decided upon a rally in the los angeles area that was being conducted by white nationalists. as part of that effort he sought to acquire an improvised explosive device, this was all under the control of the fbi. they provide him with an inert device, he tried to place it in an area where a crowd was to gather and was taken into custody. at no point was the public in danger. they also were told they do not believe he had any associates. >> josh campbell in los angeles. the fbi at work stopping this before it had a chance to be deadly. hundreds gathering to mourn the death of lori gilbert-kaye the could think gant shot and
killed by a gunman inside a california synagogue over the weekend. it is sparking new discussion in social media's role in violence against places of worship. this morning new statistics show that there were nearly 2,000 attacks last year against jews and jewish institutions. that's a small decline from 2017 but a big increase from 2015 and 2016. i want to bring in orrin siegel. these numbers just out this morning, before people celebrate because they will see the number of anti-semitic incidents are down, that's because vandalism is down, but harassment and assaults which you also measure are up from 2017. >> yeah, specifically the assault numbers are particularly alarming. we've seen a doubling of assaults against jews and that includes the shooting in pittsburgh and now as we're trying to still understand what happened in poway, it's clear that attacks or efforts to
actually target jewish communities and the individuals are not going away. >> why? what's happening? what's behind this? >> there are multiple factors. one is social media. you have these platforms that essentially act as digital hate groups. individuals are able to reach and recruit and radical lies others and frankly they're signaling back to these communities before they're carrying out these attacks. we saw it this in poway, in pittsburgh and in new zealand. >> i struggle with blaming social media sometimes for this, and it comes up in all the discussions we have and we talk about it a lot and i do understand that it makes it easier at times to convey messages of hate, but i also think it makes it easy to ignore the roots of anti-semitism and the fact that if you did away with twitter and facebook and all forms of social media immediately, i still think it would be out there. >> anti-semitism is not something that increases solely because of any one platform. frankly, the public discussion
and the mainstreaming of anti-semitic troupes and bigotry of all kinds also play a role in people's willingness to not only try to find others who share that hatred, but also try to leverage those conversations and insight each other to violence. >> there you go. because i disagree with john and we do debate it all the time because i think it wouldn't be able to be activated without social media or activated as easily bought social media. we know they do find each other and get ginned up and make plans on social media. what are the social media platforms doing about that? >> that's more important. we know there are more platforms than ever before for people to be able to communicate their hatred. it's not unreasonable for users and the public o to have expectation fs these platforms that they take more efforts and more initiatives to try to create efforts to make it more difficult for extremists to share their hatred. >> tell me what that would look like. you know facebook, et cetera, say that they have all sorts of like first amendment issues
where they can't do that. what's your dream scenario where they would crack down on that? >> it's not a one size fits all. facebook and twitter are different than gab and hhan. at the starting point you have to admit that you have a problem, you have to put the resources in protecting your users from those who seek to weaponize social media. the reality is this, extremists and those carrying out violent activities are preparing their social media approach at the same time that they're preparing their weapons. >> that is chilling. i will say this, twitter and facebook perhaps the reason that h chant exists is because twitter and facebook had made it more difficult to people to hate online and publicly. if you did away with 8chan there would be 9 chan or 10 chan. >> it's not just the role and responsibility of the tech industry and some have made efforts.
it's also law enforcement, government, civil society organizations to call it out. it's to recognize what anti-semitism and extremism is. we can't deny there is a surge in white supremacy and we can no longer deny the surge in anti-semitism. >> historically when you have seen a spike in anti-semitism and white supremacy what is it that has quelled it? what is it that's brought it down in the past? >> that's an important question. i think part of it is leadership, unvehicle voe clee speaking out against hatred wherever it is. anti-semitism starts with the jews but doesn't end with the jews. we into he had to address other forms of bigotry. faith leaders need to not just find times to come together during times of crisis but we need to find a way to stop people from driving a wedge between these communities. >> one of the things i find troubling is the mainstreaming of some types of anti-semitism. in my lifetime maybe i wasn't as
aware of it when i was a kid, but i don't remember a time in my life when so much of it is so overt and out there. there was this cartoon in the "new york times" over the weekend, that was an anti-semitic cartoon and we get statements from our leaders that are single enten dras, flat out ant semitic. >> that was ant submit tick propaganda not just a cartoon. >> also i think that the words coming from the president needs to be stronger. he says that he's against anti-semitism and talks about being against white supremacy but some of his messaging have been confusing. >> i've been doing this work at 20 years looking at extremist narratives, how they speak to each other and i don't recall a time in my doing this work that it has become so mainstream where people don't even tell the difference between what is anti-semitism and what is not. >> how do you stop that? >> again, you would have to consistently speak out the way we do and call it for what it
is. defining our terms an educating the public is always critical. >> thanks for coming in. really interesting discussion. i appreciate it. all right. he was the youngest director and first african-american ever to get an oscar nomination. hollywood is remembering jon singleton next. oh! oh! oh! ♪ ozempic®! ♪ (announcer) people with type 2 diabetes are excited about the potential of once-weekly ozempic®. in a study with ozempic®, a majority of adults lowered their blood sugar and reached an a1c of less than seven and maintained it. oh! under seven?
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the loss of oscar nominated director john singleton, he was just 51 years old. he suffered a massive stroke nearly two weeks ago and died monday after his family took his off of life support. sara sidner has much more on singleton's life and legacy. >> either they don't know, don't show or don'thood. >> reporter: at 24 "boys in the hood" earned john singleton a place in movie history as the first black director and the youngest director ever nominated for an academy award. >> something wrong? >> something wrong, yeah. >> reporter: his 1991 debut film told the story of three childhood friends coming of age in violent south central los
angeles. a place singleton called home. he loved movies from an early age and that passion took him from south central to the university of southern california's named film school. singleton's college screen plays won writing awards and landed him a hollywood agent. in surprisingly short order he turned his senior thesis "boys in the hood" into a movie. >> i look at the time my senior year in school as a hallmark in my life because i was young, i didn't have anything, all i had was promise. >> reporter: with dramas like poetic justice, rose wood and baby boy singleton led a new generation of black directors making films that spoke to the american experience. >> my life's dream is to make films, the films i want to make, the films i want to make that come straight from my soul and to just do what i want to do, not only to entertain an audience, but to raise people to a higher level of consciousness with every film.
>> reporter: he had action films as well, including the remake of shaft and the second installment of the fast and furious franchi franchise. he later worked mostly in television, director ep oeds of "empire," the people versus o.j. simpson. he also created the series snow fall which chronicled the '80s crack epidemic in los angeles. >> i don't sell coke to kids. >> reporter: john singleton, a pioneering filmmaker whose journey took him from the hood to hollywood. >> a major impact. "boys in the hood kbgs is an iconic film and it was his first." he said he didn't know how to direct when he started it. by the end of the film he says the last third of the film was better because he actually knew how to direct by the time the whole thing -- >> steep learning curve. what a loss. what a loss too soon. michael cohen heads to prison next week. what's on his mind as he
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attorney michael cohen is heading to prison next week for crimes he says he committed at the direction of and for the benefit of the president. cnn's jeffrey toobin sat down with michael cohen for a new piece in "the new yorker." he joins us now. jeffrey, you spent a lot of time with michael cohen and he had one burning question for you, and i think for himself, and so let's just get right to that. >> indeed. >> he says, and how come i'm the only one? i didn't work for the campaign, i worked for him. and how come i'm the one that's going to prison? i'm not the one that slept with the porn star. what's the answer? >> well, the answer is that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and he made some terrible decisions, but what was fascinating to me and what i didn't realize, you know, coming into this project was of all the
crimes he pleaded guilty to, all of them but one were entirely for the benefit of donald trump. he -- the illegal campaign contributions in connection with karen mcdougal and stormy daniels, raising the money to get the money to stormy daniels, making a false statement to congress about donald trump's dealings with russia to align himself with trump's false story about that. now, there was also income tax evasion which was his own problem and he has his own explanation for it, but the degree to which his crimes benefited trump more than him is really -- is really shocking and i think contributes a great deal to his bitterness about heading off to prison. for three years, which is not a trivial sentence. >> first of all, everyone needs to read this full article in "the new yorker" and read it to the end because you get the great gatsby reference at the end. >> that's the dessert. >> you have to stick around to the end.
to that point you were just making, i guess that i had always assumed and i think we had all assumed that the investigations into michael cohen were for sketchy feelings he had been doing any way and then they also tacked on the campaign finance stuff, but it seems to be the reverse, it seems to be what brought him under the spotlight first was russia and the campaign finance and then they got him on the other things. >> one thing that was fascinating to me, robert mueller was appointed may 17th, 2017. july 17th, 2017, they get a search warrant for michael cohen's phone. that's how quickly they focus on him, just two months after mueller is appointed he's going after cohen. so mueller obviously thought that cohen was the key to all this and it was -- it was part of the russia investigation, it wasn't the tax stuff and, you know, the -- your comment shows how powerful donald trump's
megaphone is. >> i understand. >> trump keeps saying he was mixed up in all sorts of corruption and taxicabs, he was except for cheating on his taxes. >> usually the way this works, don't you use the type like michael cohen, the character in this plot, michael cohen, to get to the bigger fish? don't you normally use him as a cooperating witness to get the bigger if i wish? why didn't that happen in this situation? >> because cohen himself made a terrible miscalculation. he sort of agreed to cooperate with the southern district of new york's investigation, but he didn't fully cooperate. the southern district like a lot of u.s. attorneys offices has a rule that if you are going to cooperate, you have to agree to talk about anything they want to talk about. you have to spill your guts about everything, and cohen wouldn't do that. he said i will cooperate about some things and not others. >> what did he he want to talk about? >> it's not entirely clear and frankly michael wasn't entirely clear to me about that, but in any event he didn't and so when
it came for sentencing the southern district did not give him the sort of glowing recommendation that cooperators generally do. interestingly, mueller's office did say that cohen cooperated successfully and if you read the mueller report, the mueller team adopts cohen's version of just about everything he is involved with and, in fact, one of the things rudy giuliani said to me when i was working on this piece is that it was unfair to trump because he believed cohen so much. so that's an interesting point of departure between the two. >> at the end of the day cohen's truthfulness has been called into question by a whole bunch of people. >> to be sure. >> but mueller really did seem to lean on him white request a bit and you make that point here. >> he's i believe, the second most cited person after don mcgahn in the mueller report. one of the ten examples of obstruction of justice that mueller raises on the part of the president is the efforts to
get michael kobe not to cooperate with mueller, not to cooperate with the southern district, and in that accounting, in that episode, mueller endorses cohen's testimony much more than he does trump's or anyone els. >> it is a fascinating and comprehensive piece. >> may 6th he's off to prison. >> thank you very much for sharing it with us. there is currently chaos on the streets of venezuela at this hour and it is a possible military uprising. "cnn newsroom" is going to pick up now with much more.
and we begin this morning with breaking news out of venezuela where an attempted coup is under way there. you heard that right. opposition leader juan guaido calling for the military to oust the sitting president nicolas maduro in an early morning video guaido saying, quote, the moment is now, calling for his supporters to take to the streets. many answering that call. crowds gathered around an air force base in caracas, the capital, and both maduro and guaido are claiming that they have the support of venezuela's military. that will be the