tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 20, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
drag it out by monday. dana? >> absolutely tragic. thank you for giving us the update. thank you, miguel. and tune in this sunday to "state of the union." jake tapper's guests marco rubio and seth moulton. our coverage continues with wolf blitzer right now in "the situation room." happening now, breaking news. secret tape. former fixer michael cohen secretly recorded a conversation with donald trump. a source quotes the president saying, quote, i can't believe michael would do this to me. cnn learns the fbi has more recordings. boosting mueller. the president's legal team is worried that the disastrous summit performance with vladimir putin could strengthen the hand of robert mueller. could this be a turning point in the special counsel's
investigation? attack warning. microsoft says three, three 2018 campaigns have been targeted by russian hackers linked to the group which attacked the democratic national committee. that comes as secretary of state mike pompeo warns the russians will continue to undermine western democracy for years to come. and putin's power. in russia, vladimir putin is taunting the u.s. after his meeting with president trump revealing new, high-tech nuclear weapons while hosts on state-run russian tv say president trump, quote, smells like he is a kremlin agent. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." breaking news. the fbi now has a recording of then candidate donald trump and his former fixer and private lawyer michael cohen discussing a payment to a former playboy
model who has alleged an affair with mr. trump. that according to the president's attorney rudy giuliani and another source who say cohen had other recordings of the president seized by the fbi. i'll speak with congressman sicilyny. and our n't correspondents and specialists are standing by with full coverage. but first, let's get straight to cnn justice correspondent jessica schneider. jessica, truly a stunning development today. walk us through the latest information. >> it is, wolf. the existence of the tapes could be a revelation that rocks the fbi's investigation into the president's former fixer michael cohen in new york but perhaps the larger question is, will this impact the special counsel's probe, especially since one source with knowledge of the tape told cnn it is not exculpatory as rudy giuliani says it is. instead, the source saying it is not good for the president. michael cohen secretly recorded multiple conversations with
donald trump, sources tell cnn, and those tapes are now in the hands of the federal investigators. two months before the election, cohen recorded a conversation with trump discussing a payment to the former model mcdougal according to rudy giuliani. mcdougal claims a nearly yearlong affair with the president right after melania gave birth in 2006. >> i was attracted to him, yeah. he is a nice looking man and i liked his charisma. >> reporter: she said trump tried to hand her cash after the first night together. >> after he had been intimate he tried to pay me. and i actually didn't know how to take that. >> did he try to hand you money? >> he did. >> reporter: trump deny it is affair. mcdougal said she didn't take the money but eventually sold the story to "the national enquirer" for $150,000. the tabloid never published it. giuliani trump didn't know he was recorded in that discussion and on the tape trump and cohen
discussing buys the rights to the story of ami. trump advised to pay by check to be documented. the recording one of several by the fbi during a raid of the cohen apartment, hotel room and office in april and there are other tapes and powerful individual that is the fbi seized beyond the president that could be embarrassing for the people on the tape and for cohen according to a source familiar with those tapes. prosecutors in new york city are examining possible election law violations related to payments of michael cohen allege sexual encounters with trump. stormy daniels received $130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair. daniels' attorney urging cohen to release the recordings. >> if michael cohen is a true patriot as he wants the american people to believe and lanny davis wants the american people
to believe then michael cohen should release the audio recordings and i will tell you there's more than one, multiple recordings and all of them should be released for the benefit of the american public. >> reporter: for now, michael cohen isn't commenting. he's been seen on the streets of new york city but stayed mostly silent, at least publicly. he sat down with abc anchor george stephanopoulos off camera this month signaling a willingness to work with robert mueller and said his family comes first and not the president and late last night after a week of twisted words from the white house on russia, cohen quoted the broadcaster walter cronkite saying it's never more important than now for everyone to distinguish of innuendo and fact. michael cohen told friends this month he's skeptical that president trump would ever pardon him if cohen is charged with a crime. in fact, a source tells cnn when the president learned that he was recorded by cohen, trump said, i can't believe michael
would do this to me. wolf? >> jessica schneider, thank you. let's bring in dana bash working this story for us, as well. what are the sources telling you? >> first of all, that according to people who are familiar with this tape and i should say that these are people who are on the trump side of this, what i'm going to tell you that this is the big one. this is the only tape of substance. but there are other tapes. other recordings i should say. because tapes are not used anymore. digital recordings of the president and michael cohen talking. that this was as jessica reported this was short and this was about this potential payment which apparently he never even made to help out or to keep quiet this playboy model. the other question is, what about other recordings that michael cohen made?
the focus as it should be is on president trump. but apparently the feds seized recordings that michael cohen made of conversations with other high profile individuals and the question is whether or not we're going to see those. it's important to note, wolf, though, that there is a he said/he said situation going on right now. because we don't have the transcript. because we haven't heard this short tape. we can only rely on, number one, rudy giuliani saying on the record that it's exculpatory and shows that the president didn't do anything illegal, didn't break any laws and despite the fact that it's not always a great thing when you're talking about paying hush money for a playboy model that you -- alleging you had an affair when you're pregnant but that's one side of it. the other side, sources who are close to cohen saying, no, no, no. it's not exculpatory and things that the president doesn't want out there on these tapes and so, until and unless we see the
content of it, we're not going to know who's telling the truth. but there is a truth here. and in the world with -- when it's hard to find facts, there is going to be a very clear truth here. >> one thing that jumped out at me in giuliani's statement, he said use a check so there's a record. don't do cash which suggests maybe earlier deals they used cash opposed to check and raises all sorts of questions. another issue to get you, the mueller investigation. i understand based on your reporting there's some concern among the trump team, the trump lawyers, that the president's not so successful summit in helsinki is encouraging the mueller team to move forward with certain developments? >> well, the concern is among people in and around the president's legal team, this is gloria borger and i have done reporting on this, they felt very confident leading up to the helsinki summit because they had been quite successful. rudy giuliani on the record in
many interviews and the president in many tweets and elsewhere calling the mueller probe a witch hunt and successful at eroding public support. the concern the performance that president trump gave and was obviously widely panned gives the sort of view of many that there is something there, that there is a there there, more credence. and that gives the president -- special counsel maybe a bit more of a leg up. now, it all boils down to facts and the investigation and the nuts and bolts of what's in it and public opinion. the other thing that gloria and i learned is that this month's long negotiation between team mueller and team trump about a potential interview with the president robert mueller, it's nowhere right now. they have been negotiating, they have been talking about the parameters but the feeling up until at least today of the trump lawyers is that suddenly
the mueller team doesn't feel a sense of urgency to get it done and the question is why? is he preparing a subpoena? are there other things that are coming? and they don't know the answer to that. >> president calling it in his words yesterday a vicious witch hunt. which suggests he won't cooperate. we'll see what happens. excellent reporting, dana. thank you very, very much. the president has gone off to his new jersey golf club for the weekend. leaving behind a white house rocked by a series of blunders and now this stunning revelation. let's go to chief white house correspondent jim acosta for the latest. jim? >> reporter: wolf, the white house is quiet in evening, silenced by news overwhelmed this administration's message and just when you thought the week would end with more cleanup over the president's summit with vladimir putin, a different kind of encounter has come back to haunt mr. trump and there are recordings. in this recording of the president leaving the white house, only silence. as he declined to comment on the
bombshell of a former personal attorney cohen recorded him regarding a payment to former model mcdougal. >> i'm not a liar or a nut. i did what i did. >> are your concerned about the cohen tape? >> reporter: for a president who often boasts he likes to make recordings of the adversaries, it could be the ultimate irony. >> we tend to record stories now so we have it for your enjoyment if you like it. >> reporter: the lawyer for porn star stormy daniels believes there are more cohen tapes covering a range of subjects. >> for a fact, there's more than one. there's multiple recordings. all of them should be released for the benefit of the american public. the problem for the president is he's got multiple problems relating to the relationship of michael cohen but a very big problem is that michael cohen will go down as one of the
world's great evidence hoarders. over the years. >> reporter: another surprising development involving cohen, avenatti said he ran into the former personal attorney monday night and had a productive and lengthy conversation. it's the latest sign cohen may be willing to turn against the president, who once complained the fbi raid on the former lawyer was an attack. >> attack on the country in a true sense. it's an attack on what we all stand for. so when i saw this and when i heard it, i heard it like you did. i said, that is really now a whole new level of unfairness. >> reporter: the latest twist in the saga comes as the white house is still leaning up after the president's disastrous summit with vladimir putin. now the president wants a second rendezvous at the white house, a prospect officials are clearing on. >> i'm happy that the leaders are continuing to meet. if that meeting takes place in washington, i think it's all to the good. the conversations are incredibly
important. >> reporter: other republicans in washington aren't so thrilled. >> say that again. that's going to be special. >> reporter: the signs of dan coats who seemed floored by the news to invite put on the washington, gop lawmakers are worried mr. trump could be played again. >> i have seen the russian intelligence and, you know, manipulate many people in my career and i never would have thought the u.s. president would be one of them. so it's disappointing. >> reporter: former house intelligence committee chairman mike ronlg earls was just as candid. >> the set-up to helsinki i think was a disaster. president of the united states really crossing europe insulting many of our allies and, you know, a little bit rude. my mother used to say rude is a very poor imitation of strength. >> reporter: some white house staffers are angry with dan
coats, director of national intelligence, for being frank about the feelings recording the summit and supporters of the director of national intelligence say coats is needs what the president needs on the team, honest with president trump and getting back to the saga over michael cohen, we should point out the first lady had released a statement through her spokeswoman about all of this. we can put this up on screen. this is from stephanie gri sham who's a spokesperson saying mrs. trump remains focused on her role as a mother and first lady of the united states. we will have no further comment on the topic. he traveled up separately from the president. wolf? >> jim, thank you. there's more breaking news coming in right now. a source says special counsel robert mueller's team reached out to the lawyer for kristin davis, famously known as the manhattan madame.
cara, pretty dramatic stuff. >> wolf, the lawyer was approached by a representative of mueller's team and she went to jail in that scandal of eliot spitzer. he has worked with roger stone and very close and stone is the godfather to her child. we don't know why she is of interest to the special counsel and a number of people close to roger stone interviewed recently by robert mueller's team. the lawyer told me he is not subpoenaed yet but he said that if he -- if the special counsel does subpoena her he will be representing her in the matter. but it does sound like special counsel's office is interested in her relatting to roger stone. i called the special counsel's office and they declined to comment. >> looked like it's related, the subpoena going to her lawyer related to some cueto roger stone. >> that's our understanding so far. we have seen a number of people who have worked with stone being
interviewed by the special counsel's office in recent weeks and that is the one connection that's obvious to the mueller investigation and so close to stone and worked with him at some point. >> i know there's more reporting to do. cara, good work. thank you very much. joining us now, democratic congressman david sicilin. thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> let's get back to the top story now. the fbi in possession of a recording made prior to the 2016 election just days before between the president, then the president-elect and former personal attorney and fixer michael cohen. on that recording, the two men discuss a payment to a former playboy model, karen mcdougal who allegedly had an affair with mr. trump in 2006. how much trouble could this be for the president? >> well, i think we know for sure that it reflects again on
the president's lack of candor and the president said he had no such conversation, didn't know anything about it. i think it is going to raise questions about the president's credibility. there are obviously issues of the payments made. were there other payments made? some reporting of additional tapes so i think this is in many ways the tip of the iceberg. i think it's a signal that michael cohen has useful information and information that is potentially harmful to the president but it's also great distraction for the president. just a few days ago he stood before the american people and the world on foreign soil and as the former cia director under president bush said, you know, the u.s. was attacked and the president sided with the enemy. there was reporting and coverage for a few days and now the story changed to discussion about this tape and i think he'll benefit from that in the short term because people should not lose sight of what's important stuff happening in the last couple of days and the president of the united states stood alongside a thuggish dictator and took the
side of russia against the american intelligence community and dismissed an attack on our democracy. and there was followed up by republicans and then congress who took $380 million out of funding for election security. when we tried to put it back they blocked that amendment. this is serious. we ought to be coming together, republicans, democrats and independents to prevent foreign adversaries from interfering in the elections. >> talk about the fallout of the meeting with vladimir putin in helsinki. we don't know what was agreed to in that meeting. should the white house hold off on preparations for a second summit in the fall at the white house until it's clear what was discussed in helsinki? >> absolutely. you know, national intelligence director, the director of national intelligence, secretary of state, they have not had a readout of the two-hour meeting. apparently the president made an agreement, what the russians are reporting. i think we should have a lot of
concern of what was said in that meeting and the implications from that. this is unusual to have two heads of state particularly after one attacked the other's democracy to have a secret meeting and to keep the contents of that conversation secret and the notion that someone who attacked our democracy, who -- interfered with an american presidential election invited to come to washington to the white house, the iconic white house, which, you know, represents our great democracy, is deeply offensive. it's appalling. it shouldn't happen. i'm all for the president speaking and used the opportunity to make it clear to vladimir putin that what he did is not tolerated and sanctions put in place. by the way, you know, extradite the people indicted for doing this and let us bring them to trial here in the united states. he could have used that in public view to make that point and very forceful way to protect american democracy and stand up for the country and then instead he really abdicated that role and supported vladimir putin in
his denials. it was shameful. >> congressman, thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. coming up, there's more breaking news. we'll have more on the latest bombshell to rock the white house, the revelation that donald trump's fixer and long-time personal lawyer michael cohen recorded him discussing a payoff. plus, new signs that russia is keeping up the attacks on the u.s. political attack as a top tech executive reveals that at least three, at least three 2018 political campaigns here in the united states have already been targeted. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." are upgrading their water filter to zerowater. start with water that has a lot of dissolved solids. pour it through brita's two-stage filter. dissolved solids remain? what if we filter it over and over? (sighing) oh dear. thank goodness zerowater's five-stage filter gets to all zeroes the first time. so, maybe it's time to upgrade.
the u.s. election system are continuing. microsoft expectative told a security conference that at least three 2018 political campaigns here in the united states have already been targeted. let's go to justice correspondent evan perez looking into this for us. what are you learning? >> reporter: wolf, tom burt, that microsoft executive, speaking here at the aspen security forum saying three kron congressional campaigns attacked with phishing attacks and essentially these were attacks that they believe were launched by russians. now, the group that was behind this believed to be the same russian military intelligence group that was behind the hack of the dnc back in 2015 and 2016 which really indicates that it really illustrates how much that the russians are still trying to target the u.s. election
systems. we heard just in the day -- last day or so from rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, that they know that the russian attacks on the election system are still very much going on including they're on guard for possible attacks on the election infrastructure system, ballot fraud. the types of things to keep an eye out, the fbi and the intelligence community because they believe these attacks from the russians, russian military in particular, is very much still going on, wolf. >> evan perez in aspen, colorado, for us. thank you. coming up, more breaking nulls. we now know there are recordings of donald trump including one discussing a payoff to silence a playboy model. how bad will the damage be? and vladimir putin shows off some new high-tech nuclear weapons. is he deliberately flexing muscles after his summit with president trump? need a change of scenery?
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>> i spoke with lanny davis who gave me a statement. obviously, he said, there is an ongoing investigation and we are sensitive to that. but suffice it to say that when the recording that's been widely reported is heard it won't hurt mr. cohen and any attempt to spin cannot change what is on the table. and, you know, reading between the lines there, rudy giuliani is the person wheno's been talkg today so you have to assume it refers to rudy giuliani saying that this conversation is exculpatory for the president and is good news for him. i spoke with another source with knowledge of the tape earlier who said that the conversation between trump and cohen is not as rudy giuliani described and that it's not good for trump so, wolf, here you have the tale of the tape. you have two sides.
at some point we may see a transcript or hear the audio tape and you can judge. the context of it. and everything else. but at this point, we have two sides of the story here. >> knowing there is a tape in which michael cohen and the then president-elect discussing karen mcdougal, obviously politically damaging potentially to the president. personally damaging. but is it legally damaging. >> could be from a federal election contribution standpoint. if american media bought the story for -- >> parent company of "the national enquirer." >> correct. bought the story from mcdougal in coordination with michael cohen and the trump administration and failed to report it as a contribution in kind or otherwise, then potentially there is a federal election campaign violation at hand. as well, what we know is that if this is part of a pattern of
behavior then it may be something that otherwise implicates fraud in financial transactions but that's a bit more speculative than the federal election stuff. >> it is interesting, abby phillip, one source said the president reacted by uttering these words. quote, i can't believe michael would do this to me. but in recent weeks michael cohen has been sending all sorts of signals he is ready to fully cooperate with the southern district of new york looking into the criminal investigation. >> there's no question the president could not possibly have been surprised that michael cohen would be at least looking to put something on the table that would help him get out of a world of legal trouble. the president is not -- he is not a novice here. he understands what's going on and perhaps president trump doesn't always recall all of the events happening to him. we know this for a fact. this is one tape that's a couple
minute's long perhaps. something that he might have said and probably didn't recognize the significance of at the time. but is now incredibly important in this case. i think one thing that's really stood out at me from that statement lanny davis gave on the table. this strongly suggests part of something that michael cohen offers to prosecutors to get him out of this bind he is in. the president is not paying the legal bills. he is on his own. >> let's not forget lanny davis. special counsel of bill clinton at the white house and close to hillary clinton and now a lawyer representing michael cohen. this is a big story. there's still fallout you're learning about from the helsinki summit of the president and putin. i take it some senior administration officials still in the dark? >> there's a tremendous amount of confusion and frustration of what happened at the summit. there's not been the full briefings, interagency briefings
about the contents, what was agreed to, if anything. there haven't been any instructions and usually there are internal talking points that are sent around. there's a coordinated messaging. there's a fact sheet. cabinet officials going on tv talking about what happened. none of that is happening here. people are trying to get crumbs of what happened and put something together but i'm hearing words like puzzling, confusing, you know, painful and just counter productive to the president's message that meeting with president putin was a good idea an meeting with him again would be a good idea. there's a lot of -- everyone's in the dark and people are just really puzzled as to why. >> i have one little correction here. i just heard from lanny davis. he said the last sentence should read any attempt to spin cannot change what is on the tape. not table. tape. >> little clearer. >> significant word. gloria, you are getting -- >> my dictation is not that
great. >> fallout of the summit strengthening mueller's hand? >> dana bash and i are reporting there's some concern with those who are on team trump that the president didn't do himself any good with the helsinki summit and in fact he kind of maybe bolstered the political case against him. he was -- he had the wind at his back. he had an inspector general report critical of the fbi. he had public opinion that was going against muellerme. suddenly he seems to be friendly with vladimir putin. so obviously, in the eyes of the public, it may raise more questions. his supporters, 68% are with him. he has 90% popularity in the republican party. but, you know, the question is, is robert mueller watching that? i mean, we don't know. nothing's happening about an interview. they seem to be in a lull. so, the question has to be asked, did he hurt himself? >> we'll continue to follow
this. stick around. more details come to light about the newly revealed recording of president trump and his attorney michael cohen discussing a payment to silence the one-time playboy model karen mcdougal. also, russia's spin on the summit in helsinki and no doubt about who the kremlin sees as the really big winner. if yor crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough,
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nations, the secretary of state mike pompeo said he opens president trump and president putin will meet this fall in washington telling reporters such a meeting, quoting him now, makes enormous sense and clarifying monday's summit, the russians spinning a version of the events. bring in brian todd. the way the russians are telling it, put season the really big winner. >> right, wolf. there's a narrative pushed in russia by putin, the inner circle and state-controlled media that he has the upper hand on trump. you know it's bad when a tv personality on the state-run network feels emboldened enough to make the statements make him sound like a kremlin agent. tonight vladimir putin in full swagger seeking to control the narrative as the fall yacht of the summit hovers over president trump. >> putin seeing an opportunity here. trump is weak. and, you know, trump provides him an opportunity to really communicate to the russian
people and the world overall that russia's back as a great power again. >> reporter: there's this taunt of the u.s. from russian state-run media, sophisticated weapons developed, an underwater drone, two new missiles which the russians say fly faster than the speed of sound, an official said they're not close to operational and analysts say that's not the point. >> putin showing the videos of either current or imagined russian weapons systems is part of the deterrence part of his end saying we have very capable defenses, more capable. doesn't matter what nato does and stop trying. >> reporter: since the summit, there's gloating in putin's state controlled media that the former colonel got the upper hand on trump taunting him for not sticking up for his own country. >> i hold both countries responsible. i think the united states is
foolish. i think we have all been foolish. >> reporter: a host pounced on that with a cruel insult of trump. >> translator: when he says that because of the foolishness and stupidity of the united states, we have bad russian/american relations, this smells like he's a kremlin agent. >> reporter: another possible sign of putin's manipulation? reports of a secret offer, according to bloomberg, putin proposed for a referendum on the occupation. the report says trump asked putin not to discuss the idea publicly and trump could think it over. supporting what would likely be a sham vote in ukraine to run counter to america's stance of the invasion of ukraine. the nsc says trump won't support the referendum and analysts say there's growing pressure on the president to stand up for his own country instead of the russian leader. >> i think the president needs to stop making statements that make putin seem like a good guy. >> reporter: but analysts say they're not confident that
president trump gets tough and turn the narrative against putin because every time the president shows some backbone like saying he would be putin's worst enemy if things break down and then seems to waver and extend an olive branch like inviting putin to a summit in washington. lots of concerns of that potential, wolf. >> you are right, brian. thank you very much. brian todd reporting. coming up, more on the bombshell revelations of a 2016 recording of donald trump and his attorney michael cohen discussing a payment to silence a playboy model. also ahead, the grim investigation into a tour boetd accident that claimed 17 lives including 9 members of a single family.
breaking news, president trump's attorney rudy giuliani says the newly revealed recording of president trump and his long time former attorney michael cohen contains a conversation about one of their corporations buying the rights to one time playmate's karen mcdougal's story. at one time they owned exclusive rights to the story alleging she and donald trump had onfair. brian stelter joining us now. brian, the president has had a long-standing relationship with the owner of ami. tell us a bit about that. >> yes, david pecker who controls the national inquirer
and a number of other publications that relationship has been documented. apparently on this recording we're hearing the two men trying to talk about trying to reimburse a super market tabloid for helping cover up their secrets. this is very strange territory and shows how there are certain members of the pro-trump media that do help trump out, that try to take care of him in various ways, in this case by trying to bury his secrets. david pecker says, no, no, no this was not about a nondisclosure agreement but burying her story and they say they were paying her for photo shoots, not to keep secrets. >> your documentary, the trump show looks at how the trump presidency is changing television. watch this. >> in the trump era last minute
script change are the new reality for scripted tv. >> we will see what we will see. >> there's this impulse to be relevant and to comment on what's going on. >> alex gaunza is the cocreator of homeland. >> when a big story breaks do you all talk about how to incorporate that? >> it's the first thing we discuss especially now when the news stories are so crazy. >> breaking news, defending putin. >> breaking news tonight, a shakeup at the white house. >> foreign star and another staff departure. just another day in the trump white house. >> we are all utterly blown away. we're all trying to adapt to trump's america. >> is it fair to say america is a hubub of the so-called resistance. >> it's no secret that hollywood leans progressive and there's a certain dangerous presumption that everyone who walks into the room is going to share you politics and not everybody does.
>> people feel insulted. people in the middle of the country believe that hollywood only portrays things in a certain way as though they are the butt of the joke, that their views aren't respected. >> brian, is the trump presidency now the driving force behind a lot of scripted television? >> that's what's remarkable is it really is. there's so many show runners, writers and producers who either take jabs at trump in their scripts or write plot lines who are influenced in the trump presidency. the hands maid tale on hulu had a dialogue that sounded a little too much that sounded like make america great again. so they took it out. but other shows lean-in and attack him savagely. the producers of will and grace said to us all the easy jokes about trump have now been made. we have to be clever, we can't be cheap when it comes to
talking about trump. >> to our viewers be sure to watch later tonight, 10:00 p.m. eastern for brian's special report, the trump show, tv's new reality. coming up the breaking news that former fixer and lawyer michael cohen secretly recorded a pay off, the president quoted as saying i can't believe michael would do this to me. >> and the pre-'s team worries the disastrous summit in helsinki could strengthen the hand of robert mueller. will this boost the special counsel's investigation?
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happening now, break news. i can't believe we're told president trump was shocked to learn that his former lawyer michael cohen secretly taped their conversation about a pay off to silence a playmate. cnn has learned that multiple recordin recordings of mr. trump are in the hands of the fbi tonight. not good for trump. a source with knowledge of cohen states this newly revealed reporting could be damaging to the president. we're getting new information about what was said and why it might spell trouble for the president. sex, guns, and lies that's how prosecutors say an alleged kremlin secret agent infiltrated american politics getting close to trump allies and other republicans. a gop congressman now confirmed to cnn he had encounter with maria butte tina. and 17 dead. disaster strikes a duck boat ride in a popular vacation spot with children and families onboard. the