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there's many things that were lost. lives that have been forever changed. >> that's all for this edition of dateline. i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. good morning. it is 7:00 in the east. 4:00 out west. here's what's happening. going to war, new reporting michael cohen is prepared to tell all to robert mueller about what may now be the most famous meeting ever to take place at trump tower. >> this is about truth versus lying and ultimately donald trump is going to be done in by the truth. >> and why some of trump's tweets could be dangerous for the president. >> plus, what plan we are 101 days out from the midterm elections and there is still no strategy for security. how vulnerable is our democracy this november?
>> and this town ain't big enough for two. two of the most talked about men in d.c. happened to be waiting at the most hated airport gate in washington. and we begin with new reaction from one of the democrats on the house intelligence committee following the bomb shell accusation by michael cohen. congressman said on msnbc last night said the president's reactions only adds to the collusion argument. >> it's not about what donald trump did with that meeting. i think what is significant is what he did not do. if he knew that the meeting was to take place, he did not tell his son to cancel the meeting. he did not tell the fbi about the meeting, and if anything, he further encouraged and emboldened the russians to hack because he went out just about a month and a half after the meeting and said russia, if you're listening which was two
years ago from today as you pointed out, you would be rewarded for hacking hillary clinton's e-mails. >> michael avenatti also weighing in and suggests cohen knows about and may have recorded far more incriminating things about president trump. >> i stood in front of the federal courthouse and demanded the release of all of the trump tapes and i stated at the time there were multiple recordings and now we know that there are indeed over 100 recordings that have been seized. this information on the trump tower meeting, that's not the best information michael cohen has i can assure you of that. >> nbc chief white house correspondent hallie jackson has more on the growing conflict that now surrounds that famous meeting. >> reporter: for the ninth time this week the president staying silent about his former fixer on camera, but not online. that's after michael cohen according to a knowledgeable source asserts he'd be willing to tell the special counsel that donald trump knew about that
june 2016 trump tower meeting. the one where his son tried to get dirt on hillary clinton from russians linked to the kremlin. if true, the bomb shell revelation would fly in the face of denials like this. >> did you tell your father anything about this. >> no. it was such a nothing, there was nothing to tell. >> did you know at the time they had the meeting. >> no, i didn't know anything about the meeting. it must have been a very unimportant meeting because i didn't hear about it. >> reporter: the president tweeting i did not know of the meeting with my son don jr. sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam. the president's lawyer says cohen who worked for the president for years is lying. >> he's been lying all week. i mean or for two weeks. lying for years. >> so why does it matter? >> if it suddenly coming to light that back when this meeting took place in trump tower in june after of 2016, nod only did the president know about it but he in some way blessed it and advanced then
we're in an entirely different place when we talk about collusion and the purposes of bob mueller's investigation. >> the president's son could be in trouble for lying to congress. donald trump jr.'s lawyer says we are very confident of the accuracy and reliability of the information that has been provided by don jr. for now, no proof of whatever went down, a he said, they said situation. >> as for donald trump jr., he was spotted at the airport yesterday waiting for a flight just a few feet from none other than the special counsel, robert mueller spokes person said the two did not interact in this picture that was released by politico play book but it's one of those d.c. moments you just can't make up. >> thank you so much. let's bring in reporter for the hill and a chief washington correspondent. good morning to you both. >> good morning. >> kevin, let's start with you. the particular allegation was not recorded by michael cohen so
if this is a he said she said situation like hallie just put it who has more credibility? president trump or michael cohen? >> well it depends on who you support, but look, i think in terms of credibility for the purposes of the investigation, bob mueller isn't going to look at that. he's going to look at what the facts are. and what's interesting here about this is that there is no recording of this particular incident like there was with other incidents. now, michael cohen's attorney, a former clintonite has really pushed out that michael cohen is now fully cooperating with -- with the investigation and with investigators. what's interesting is that yesterday at the white house, and all week at the white house has hallie just alluded to, the president has not issued any type of direct comment on these latest allegations. that's unique. and until he does about whether or not he did in fact, have knowledge of that june 2016 meeting, you know, these
questions are only going to continue. >> and from a political perspective, how damning is this allegation? >> well, we'll have to see how this really plays out, but it could potentially be very damning. i think a lot of the president's critics could possibly draw a red line between this and collusion. you know, if the president had knowledge of the meeting, that could lead to questions that he blessed the meeting or gave his approval to the meeting, which could raise collusion questions. however, right now we're just looking at whether he had knowledge of the meeting at this point. however, it's interesting because the president in a june 7th speech talked about how he was going to reveal dirt or you know, give a speech on the clintons during the campaign, so the timing of this is very peculia peculiar, lots of questions about lying, about when he knew about this so we'll have to see how this plays out but i don't see this playing well for the president. >> and kevin, you heard michael avenatti say that the other tapes that the fbi seized are
far worse. the fact that michael cohen recorded the president and revealed the content of one of those conversations, his payment to karen mcdougal, do these tapes bolster or diminish his credibility but especially with robert mueller? >> i think what's interesting is every american wants to know what's on the tapes. i mean, whether you support the president or not, release the tapes. what's on the tapes? what are they going to say on the tapes? but with regards to bob mueller's investigation it becomes interesting because we've talked about this for weeks. bob mueller is operating on bob mueller's time line and until he releases that report, until there's a conclusion reached in that report, all of this is -- is politics. meaning outside of that investigation. and bob mueller to his credit has done a completely apolitical type of investigation despite the onslaught of hyper political tensions outside of it coming at him from both sides.
so until that conclusion is reached and until that report is made public, you know, no one knows what's on the tapes. but i will say, why was michael cohen recording those tapes? i think you know, the president has tried to go after him for that. >> i think a lot of people want to know that reason. >> julia, let me play for you what rudy giuliani said right after this allegation was made. let's listen. >> ip expected something like this from cohen. he's been lying for years. i don't see if he had any credibility. if you had a trial and there won't be a trial, which lie do you want to pick? the first lie, the second lie, some new lie? there's nobody that knows him that hasn't warned me that if he's backed up against a wall he'll lie like crazy. >> just a few weeks ago president trump and rudy giuliani were singing his praises saying what a big guy he was and doesn't this speak to how much the president's inner
circle has changed since the beginning of the campaign and his presidency? >> it absolutely does. if there were so many allegations against michael cohen from those around the president about him lying for so many years as rudy giuliani says, then why did the president keep him so close and keep him so close as a confidant? i mean, those statements don't seem to make sense to me really. but it is a testament to how much his inner circle has changed. michael cohen's not in that circle and we're seeing rudy giuliani come in, so very interesting comments, but really don't make sense to me. >> kevin, how crucial might the trump organization financial chief be in the investigation and what kind of information might he be able to offer short of the president's tax returns? >> massive. i mean, he is a hugely influential person inside the trump organization. he's someone of course with deep ties to the inner circle, of the apparatus of how that organization works. i think he's someone that we're
beginning to hear more about this week in the sense of how the investigation is going. this right now took a turn with michael cohen coming out publicly with these tapes in the last week, week and a half. by accusing the president of having knowledge of that 2016 meeting. it gets to the crux of the president's credibility as well as the president's trustworthiness and whether or not he was in fact telling the truth with regards to that june 2016 meeting and what you have noticed with former new york city mayor rudy giuliani, dara, is this is a white house that is prepared for a full onslaught political battle. and a legal battle that really took a turn and intensified even more than it already has this week. >> it's been an amazing week. giuliani is looking at president trump's tweets so what kind of tweets are we looking at here? >> he's looking at the tweets in particular about his tweets
about james comey and jeff sessions, him really attacking the two of them. the president's legal team, rudy giuliani have said well, if the president really was trying to obstruct justice he would have done it in private, so there's no reason to investigate the tweets. however, it's interesting because this -- donald trump in general more than lots of other famous figures has really used twitter to i don't know, dictate how he communicates with people especially in politics and really drive that point across and a lot of, you know, it can be argued that he's used twitter to try to communicate with those around him and to push a message, so he has this abnormal -- not abnormal but a different way of communications with twitter and i think robert mueller does realize that. >> stays with us. we have much more to talk about this morning. >> michael cohen's lawyer speaking out for one of the first times attacking the president for his remarks caught on tape about the former playboy
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he lied about denying that he knew anything about the mcdougal issue and we know from the tape that he did know. he lied about erg including the message about the trump tower meeting. ultimately donald trump is going to be done in by the truth. >> michael cohen's attorney davis lays down the gauntlet as his client goes to war. trump attorney rudy giuliani says michael cohen is not credible and trump jr.'s attorney dismissed the report as false. here with more is msnbc legal
analy analyst. good morning. >> good morning. >> this looks like a amped up defense while discrediting the president. what's your take on how this will work and could this backfire on cohen? >> it's interesting because these developments challenge some of my basic assumptions. first it's very reasonably possible that coenh is going to cooperate or already has cooperated. it's also a strong possibility that mueller's team or the southern district of new york would not want a cooperating witness leaking information or putting information out there. so it seems one of our assumptions may be wrong. but if this strategy is part of the cohen team's plan to minimize or improve cohen's image, it's not all that helpful, because it shows cohen complicit in all these activities. it doesn't make him a -- an unappetizing cooperating witness per se, but it is a step in the
direction that mueller or the southern district of new york may like him a little less. >> and referring to coenh, the president tweeted i did not know of the meeting with my son donald jr. sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of unrelated jam. how could these attacks on cohen come back to legally jeopardize president trump? >> as if cohen can corroborate his story. right now we don't see that much corroboration with cohen's story. we see a whole lot of trump team members saying that trump had no idea, no idea that this meeting was going on. if cohen and prosecutors can corroborate this story that trump knew in advance of the trump tower meeting and the meeting with the russians, then that could be damaging to trump. but what you need to know is that for conviction purposes and we're a long ways from there, you don't need the story to be corroborated by cooperating witness and that's why defense
attorneys like me complain that there's so much insen ty for cooperating witnesses to lie, fabricate or embellish. >> interesting. well, the new york times is now reporting that robert mueller is examining trump's tweets in a wide ranging obstruction inquiry and one of those tweets you say could be dangerous for the president and it's from december of last year and it reads i had to fire general flynn because he lied to the vice president and the fbi. he has pled guilty to those lies. it is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. there was nothing to hide. danny, why could this be dangerous for president trump? >> mueller not only has been looking at his -- president trump's tweets. he looks at them on an ongoing basis and he's looked at every single one of them, at least his team has because these would be helpful evidence of his state of mind. they're almost like a journal of what he's thinking and that can go a long way to establish intent and motive. as to that particular tweet it's
a great example of why the president's tweets are different than the rest of our tweets because the president has a plausible defense that this was not authored by me, at least that's what he said and ultimately his own lawyer came out and said, you know, i wrote that tweet. most of us, it's pretty plain, we write our own tweets. we have access to our own iphone, our cell phone and we tweet from our computer and they can be reasonably imputed to us and then authenticated under the rules of evidence. but trump and the presidency might be a very different situation because they are so managed by so many layers of staff and attorneys and everybody else. so although there may be an authentication issue, if they can be authenticated, if those are trump's tweets from his own mind, they can and will be used against him as evidence. >> and before i let you go real quick, stormy daniels attorney michael avenatti says president trump paid quote hush money to three additional women he represents. how strong are those claims?
>> it's hard to say because michael avenatti shrewdly releases information only when he needs to. all we know at this point there are potentially three additional women who were paid off. but if this ends up being true, this is compelling evidence of a pattern or practice and any time from an evidence standpoint that some act becomes part of a pattern or practice, it becomes more discoverable, more relevant and more evidence can come in like an avalanche against a suspect or a defendant. >> thank you so much for sharing your expertise this morning. great to have you. and next, two close for comfort. two russia probe adversaries and their near run-in at reagan national airport and before the break it is all about michael cohen's tape in the late night. >> apparently cohen would record heez calls and meetings on his iphone instead of taking notes
because it was easier than taking notes. i'm starting to think trump doesn't hire all the best people. >> no, no, no. i got this. >> okay. it's hard to hear because the only thing that michael cohen is worse at than lawyers is sound recording. >> you know who's really annoyed about this? russia. they're like why are we putting so much work into spying on these americans when they seem to be doing it to themselves all the time? >> and it involves playboy, but i'm only in it for the articles. insurance that won't replace
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countdown to the midterms, the battle for control of capitol hill. voters across the nation will flock to the polls. politico says president trump's re-election campaign will funnel money to 100 republicans in house and senate races. the move comes after democrats raised more than their republican opponents in the last quarter and new polling shows
increasing chances of a blue wave. in hypothetical matchups for the house democrats hold a 51 to 39% lead over republicans and the difference maker, women. they side with democrats 57 to 32%. well, washington is still abuzz about that picture showing special counsel robert mueller and donald trump jr. at same gate at reagan national airport. mueller's office confirmed that it is his him in the picture but he did not have any interaction with trump jr. kevin, let's start with you because seriously, what are the chances? have you ever been at that gate. >> that gate is the worst gate in america. 35x is -- i mean, i can't -- it's an abominable gate. i've had the inopportunity to fly out of that thing multiple times. you've got to take like an escalator, then a shuttle bus to get to the plane and then i'm like, the one time as a reporter i'd actually want to be at that
gate, you know, you've got bob mueller, don jr., what are the chances? like what are the actual chances? only in d.c., a very d.c. moment really, not even house of cards. >> and ken, i mevin, is it poss they didn't see each other? could they possibly have really missed each other? >> i -- i wasn't there, but you know, it's a very small gate. >> and julia, your thoughts on that? >> so there's the gates of hell and then there's 35x. >> am i allowed to say that on television? >> you just did. >> it wasn't me. >> so very small, very crowded. i mean, d.c.a. in general, it is probably -- it's the airport out of the three surrounding airports in the metropolitan washington area that's closest to the city so i mean, it's true you have to say what are the chances but at the same time quite a bit of high profile people, senators, lawmakers fly
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