tv Cuomo Primetime CNN July 24, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
i hope you join us for that. the news continues. i want to hand it over to chris cuomo, who's got a big exclusive tonight. "cuomo prime time" starts right now. chris? anderson, thank you very much. appreciate it. it is a big night here. i'm chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." we have one of the michael cohen tapes. the secret recording of president trump back in 2016 made by cohen in which he and then-candidate trump discuss arrangements surrounding a payment to former playboy playmate karen mcdougal that was made by a third party, david pecker, as head of the "national enquirer." this all happened in the months before the election. now, this is not a great quality recording, and that will be relevant to its analysis. so, first, i want to play you the entire recording, not all of which is relevant to the payment. so listen for yourself. >> let me know what's happening, okay?
oh. oh. maybe because of this, it would be better if you didn't go, you know? maybe because of this, for that one -- you know -- get rid of this because it's so false what they're saying. it's such bullshit. i think -- i think this goes away quickly. i think what -- i think it's probably better, do the charleston thing just this time. yeah. in two weeks, it's fine. i think right now it's better, you know? okay, honey. you take care of yourself. thanks. yup. i'm proud of you. so long. bye.
what's up, mike? >> great poll by the way. great poll. >> making progress. >> big time. >> and your guy's a good guy. >> pastor scott? >> what's happening? >> oh, no. >> can we use him anymore? >> oh, yeah. you're talking mark burns. >> i don't mean that. mark burns. can we use him? >> no. no. >> i'm sorry. richard just called. he had an idea for you. >> so we got served from "the new york times." i told you this regarding to unseal the divorce papers with ivana. we're fighting it. kasowitz is going to -- >> they should never be able to get that. >> never. kasowitz -- they don't have a legitimate purpose. >> a woman that doesn't -- >> correct. >> you've been handling it. >> correct. for about two, three weeks now. >> all you have to do is delay it for -- >> even after that, it's not going to ever be opened. there's no purpose for it. i told you about charleston.
i need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend david, you know, so that -- i'm going to do that right away. >> give it to me. >> and i've spoken to alan weissleberg about how to set the whole thing up with funding. >> so what are we going to -- >> yes. and it's all the stuff. all the stuff because you never know where that company -- you never know where he's going to be. correct. so i'm all over that. and i spoke to alan about it. when it comes time for the financing, which will be -- >> what financing? >> we'll have to pay -- >> you won't pay cash? >> no, no, no. >> all right. now, a couple things. there are side conversations. i wanted you to hear everything that was on the recording that was provided to us. those side conversations aren't relevant in my estimation, and i'm not including a translation of the tape because there is clearly a dispute about what is being said.
so you have to listen, and i want to now play for you the portion that seems to matter the most. this is 2016, before the election. donald trump and michael cohen on a recording seized by the fbi. the specific conversation about the arrangement surrounding a payment that had been made to a former playboy playmate. here's that portion. >> what's up, mike? >> great poll by the way. >> making progress. >> big time. >> and your guy's a good guy. >> pastor scott? >> i can't believe. no. >> oh, no. >> can we use him anymore? >> oh, yeah. no, you're talking mark burns. we told him to -- >> i don't mean that. mark burns, can we use him? >> no. >> richard just called. he said he had an idea for you. >> so we got served from "the new york times." i told you this regarding to unseal the divorce papers with ivana. we're fighting it. kasowitz is going to -- >> they should never be able to get that. >> never.
they don't have a -- they don't have a legitimate purpose. >> a woman that doesn't want -- >> correct. >> you've been handling it. that's been going on for a while. >> about two, three weeks. >> all you have to do is delay it -- >> even after that, it's not going to be opened. there's no purpose for it. i told you about charleston. i need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend david, you know, so that i'm going to do that right away. >> give it to me. >> i've spoken to alan weissleberg about how to set the whole thing up with -- >> so what are we going to pay -- >> yes. and it's all the stuff, all the stuff because you never know where that company -- you never know where he's going to be. >> he gets hit by a truck. >> correct. i'm all over that. i spoke to alan about it. when it comes time for the financing, which will be -- >> what financing? >> we'll have to pay --
>> not pay with cash? >> no, no, no. i got -- no, no, no. >> so, trump's attorney, rudy giuliani, is aware we have the recording. you'll remember the president waived his attorney-client privilege that allowed this tape to be released to prosecutors. now, the team says they didn't leak the tape. this recording comes from cohen counsel lanny davis, who we're going to talk to in a moment. but the point is, giuliani says the privilege was waived because he and his team believe this tape is of no concern to trump. in fact, they argue it helps him. rudy giuliani and the whole team were, of course, invited on the show tonight. in lieu of an appearance, their understanding of what is and is not said on the recording and the relevance of the same has been relayed to me, and i will make those points to lanny davis in our interview. however, at the onset, it seems there's one part of this conversation that matters most to both sides, and they disagree about what is said and what it means. it involves the discussion of
how this corporation that was being set up supposedly to buy back any potentially damaging stories about trump would pay for any such properties. here's that section again. >> i've spoken to alan weissleberg about how to set the whole thing up with -- >> so what are we going to -- >> with funding. yes. and it's all the stuff, all the stuff because, you know, you never know where that company, you never know where he's going to be. >> if he gets hit by a truck. >> correct. i'm all over that. i spoke to alan about it. when it comes time for the financing, which will be -- >> what financing? >> we'll have to pay -- >> you won't pay with cash? >> no, no, no. i got -- no, no, no. >> all right. lanny davis is counsel to michael cohen and he joins us now. counselor, thank you for joining us. you provided this recording, why? >> because everybody heard just now donald trump say the word
"cash" after michael cohen mentioned financing. when mr. giuliani and mr. trump through mr. giuliani accused my client, mr. cohen, of saying the word "cash," and i posted a tweet at the time, and i said wait for the tapes. richard nixon couldn't spin the tape that did him in, and there's no way that mr. giuliani, who knows from being u.s. attorney, the only people who use cash are drug dealers and mobsters. cash is not what you do, and it was michael cohen who said, no, no, no, no. and donald trump, despite what rudy giuliani said publicly, the tape contradicts mr. giuliani and the word "cash" is heard by everyone. >> now, the president's legal team disputes what is being said in this tape. they even provided us their own transcript, which we'll put up at some point. they say that the president said, do not pay with cash.
check. and that he was advising cohen to do it all on the up and up because the president wanted to make sure that this was papered properly. >> i'm looking at mr. and mrs. donald trump, red america. listen to the tape. it doesn't say what you just heard. it says "cash," and it's mr. cohen who says, no, no, no, no. now, don't believe me. i'm a democrat. i'm a lawyer representing a client. believe your own ears, and when richard nixon had a tape that he couldn't dispute, the tape says what it says. and i put a tweet out and said, listen to the tapes. so, everyone out there, listen to the tapes. whatever spin mr. giuliani is trying to invent, it says "cash," and michael cohen says, no, no, no. >> it says some things before it. in fairness, i didn't have this sweetened, which is what we call in this business where an audio,
a forensic expert goes through and pulls out pieces of sound. there's so much science around that now. we didn't have time to do that. so i want to go through both sides and the implications for both sides, but we don't want to get too far away from the big questions here. this recording could be argued to be fruit of the poisonous tree, that as counsel, michael cohen shouldn't have been recording his client, then donald j. trump, now president trump. how do you get past that, that this whole thing can't look for cohen because he should have never done it? >> well, i'm not going to shift the topic. it's up to mr. cohen to explain why he was taping mr. trump. he assumed it was an attorney-client privileged conversation. i'm going to let him speak to that. i have attorney-client privilege that i can't waive. but i will say this. there is no way to spin the two falsehoods that mr. giuliani, on behalf of his client, donald trump, told america to disparage my client.
one is that this is the first time that he heard about the karen mcdougal issue. listen to the tape, everyone. this is not a man shocked when mr. cohen said, we have to make payments. >> even though michael is describing to him the formation of the company and why it's being formed and how it will be financed, you believe that's a second reference? >> listen to the tapes. this is not a man shocked about karen mcdougal. he knows what they're talking about. listen to this tape. they speak for themselves. remember that karen hicks, the campaign spokesman. >> hope hicks. >> hope hicks, excuse me. denied that he knew anything about the mcdougal matter in november before the election. a lie. and here mr. trump is not surprised when mr. cohen mentions there needs to be financing, and he immediately says, "cash." he doesn't say what the transcript that you're telling me says. he says "cash," and my client has been disparaged over and over again by mr. giuliani with misinformation and
misstatements. for example, what we have heard over and over again is that mr. cohen is living lavishly, and no mention is made that there was a tremendous flood in his apartment. he's living in a hotel with insurance paying for his hotel room. 14 times on the dossier, his name is mentioned and publicly posted where absolute rebuttals, false that he was ever in prague. there's been a campaign out of the white house to disparage mr. cohen. and why is that? chris, because he's got truth on his side now, and he intends to tell the truth. >> all right. fine. all of that be as it may, that is extraneous to what we're talking about with this tape and what is said on the tape and what is meant. giuliani argues -- and, again, i have to represent his arguments because that's in the interest of fairness. >> he's not here tonight. that's too bad. >> the opportunity to come on. maybe he'll -- >> maybe next time the mayor will confront me directly and say what you hear with your ears, don't believe your ears. believe me. >> well, he says it's a lousy
recording and that it -- >> a lousy ear is what i would say. >> and that it may have been done because it's very clipped at the end. you hear check and then -- >> that isn't the issue. the word is, who said the word cash. >> in what context, lanny? >> not context. i'm talking about the word. he said cohen used the word cash. the tape has trump using the word cash. giuliani said something false on behalf of a client who is accustomed constantly to lying, and this is just another -- >> i saw it reported by nbc that giuliani had suggested that it was cohen who wanted to pay cash. however, in his own statements, which we can put up for you there -- we have pulled a couple of them. this is the transcript of what team trump says is said on the tape. don't pay with cash. check. you can decide for yourself when you listen to this. look -- >> that's comical. that's not what the tape says. >> i get what your argument is. >> mr. and mrs. trump america, listen to the tape. i know you don't believe fake news. don't believe fake transcripts.
the tape says what it says. nothing that giuliani or president trump can do can alter what's on the tape. i leave it to you. >> so let's do that. here it is again, the relevant section. >> listen. >> i have spoken to alan weissleberg about how to set the whole thing up with -- >> so what are we going to pay -- >> funding, yes. and it's all the stuff, all the stuff because you never know where that company -- you never know where he's going to be. >> if he gets hit by a truck. >> correct. so i'm all over that. i spoke to alan about it. when it comes time for the financing, which will be -- >> what financing? >> we'll have to -- >> we'll pay with cash. >> no, no, no. >> a check? >> "we'll pay with cash." >> but there are words that are muddled before it. how do you know if they have a forensic specialist, they don't tease something else out? the best question for you is this on this point because you
can't answer that point. this is the best recording you've heard. your client, was it his understanding in that moment that his client was telling him, be careful, don't pay with cash, or was suggesting pay with cash? >> he heard the words. he said no, no, no. what he said no, no, no to, everybody, listen to the tape. what is this about? this is about honesty versus false disparagement of michael cohen. why is giuliani out falsely disparaging michael cohen? because they fear him. what do they fear, chris? why am i representing him? they fear that he has the truth about donald trump. he will someday speak the truth about donald trump. the truth is that when donald trump said "cash," which rudy giuliani knows that only drug dealers and mobsters talk about cash, it was -- you heard michael cohen. you heard michael cohen say what? no, no, no, no, no. >> and you're saying he wasn't saying, no, no, i would never pay with cash. i'll only pay with a check?
>> he was saying, no, no, no, you don't pay with cash. and that's why what you heard, no matter the spin, is about truth versus falsehood. this is what this whole thing is about. mr. trump used the word cash and he lied about it by having giuliani accuse cohen saying the word cash. now we've put the tape out, and you decide whether i'm telling you the truth because the tape says what it says. but this is about the big topic in america today. a president of the united states who consistently lies. now he has giuliani lying about the lie. remember, he lied about what he said on air force one, openly lied. he said, no, i had nothing to do with stormy daniels. then giuliani said, oh, yes, he did. then he lied about the statement in trump tower, that he had nothing to do with it. it wasn't misleading. he in fact was involved in the writing of a definitely misleading statement. this is a repeated pattern that now giuliani is a participant in. he's not here tonight because i would say, mayor giuliani, when
you were u.s. attorney and people paid with cash, what kind of people choose cash? and he would say, drug dealers and mobsters. >> no. he would say something else because he said it to me. he would say, nobody paid anything. this was never transacted. the corporation that cohen is talking about, we believe was set up as an entity, but never paid any money to anybody. >> and i don't dispute -- one of the few things i don't dispute when mr. giuliani talks about to get away from the issue of truth. he accused falsely, falsely michael cohen of using the word "cash." all america and all the media now knows that was a lie, and the tape says very clearly, mr. trump used the word "cash." this is about truth, and the larger issue we face in coming months will be about truth versus falsehoods. >> i want to ask you about a couple things. people are going to hear it and say, man, it cuts off fast and goes to another conversation. why? >> i don't know.
mr. cohen has no explanation. the phone either cut off or stopped recording. so we don't know why it suddenly got clipped off, but we do know that donald trump uses the word "cash". >> and then "check". >> at the very, very end after donald hears -- excuse me -- after mr. trump hears mr. cohen say, no, no, no, no, then we hear mr. trump say "check" after. >> all right. >> after mr. cohen says, no, no, no, no. but mr. giuliani said it was my client, michael cohen, who used the word "cash." that was false. >> in speaking with rudy giuliani today, he does not make the case, at least to me, that cohen said he wanted to pay with cash and trump said, no, use a check. he says that his point is that the president wanted cohen to pay by check, not cash, because he wanted this dealt with on the up and up. >> so i would say walking back, but i have -- >> by the way, we have statements -- sorry about putting my hand in front of your face. put up for the audience some of giuliani's statements, which
echo what i'm telling people that he told me today as well. when you find them, put them up, all right? cohen is talking about buying the rights from ami. true. they're talking about a corporation doing it. true. one of their corporations doing it. the -- continue. the president says, make sure it's done correctly. make sure it's done by check. >> i don't know where giuliani is getting his words, but i can tell you what everybody in america heard. the false accusation against michael cohen is that he used the word "cash." the tape says false. the tape is the truth. then rudy giuliani says he didn't know about karen mcdougal until this meeting. we know. listen to the tape. donald trump is not shocked that money is being paid concerning someone named karen mcdougal. and finally we know that trump has lied even during the campaign when his campaign spokesman denied two months after this tape that he knew anything about karen mcdougal. ladies and gentlemen, if you voted for donald trump, listen to the tape and ask yourself, is
donald trump lying when he said he didn't use the word "cash" and accuses michael cohen of using the word "cash"? cohen has been disparaged. cohen has been insulted and called all sorts of things by people around donald trump, and the question is, why are they attacking him? why am i representing him? because he's got truth on his side, and he will continue to tell the truth. >> although, look, in fairness, to take a step away from the tape, michael cohen is not the most sympathetic character for people when it comes to donald trump. he was a heavy for trump. i worked michael cohen all through the campaign to get him on. he would come on. we'd go back and forth about his arguments. he was a relentless defender for trump. he was constantly saying he'd do anything for him. now he's saying, well, i needed to protect myself from what i was doing for then donald j. trump, not president. so i recorded him to protect myself. that's why he did it. is that going to fall on sympathetic ears for people? you did all these things for
trump, and then at the same time, you were recording him because you wanted to protect yourself. why didn't you just not do those things? >> so i'm going to do something in a very sober -- i've smiled a bit and laughed at mr. giuliani because it's laughable that he's trying to twist what's on the tape. he can't do that. but let me be very serious with you about michael cohen. it took me a while to decide to represent him. it took me a while after he spoke to mr. stephanopoulos on the air to see that his positions are diametrically opposite from mr. trump. he was diametrically opposite in telling mr. stephanopoulos he believes in the fbi and respects it, opposite from trump. he thinks the trump tower meeting was dumb. opposite from trump. he agrees with the intelligence community's assessment that russia meddled in our election. opposite from donald trump. this man has come to a moment in his life, and i won't talk about what he did in the past for donald trump other than being a loyal defender as an attorney.
but i will tell you my own personal view. this man has turned a corner in his life, has hit a reset button, and he's now dedicated to telling the truth. and the reason why giuliani is attacking him so viciously, rewriting what everybody hears with their own plain ears, is they're afraid of him because donald trump can't stand the truth. to quote a famous movie. and the truth will come out, chris. >> the counter is that what they hate is that the attorney taped the client and that they're now worried that to save his skin with federal prosecutors, he'll tell them whatever they want to hear and that he can't be trusted because he'd make something like this in the first place. >> you can see why mr. trump would be worried when he denies saying the word cash when everyone in america now knows he lied. >> but you won't give him the benefit of context -- >> i don't care what words like say context, walking back. i should have used the word not. these are people that scramble
the truth up when they're caught. he's caught. the word is cash. they denied using the word cash and they put it into my client's mouth. they're caught. now, it's context, transcripts, they're not hearing right. now they're going to say the tape was made up. it's all fake news. i'll tell you, ladies and gentlemen, what is not fake. your own ears and your common sense. no matter what i say, don't believe me. listen to the tape and ask yourself, is it right for a president of the united states before he's elected to use the word "cash," which drug dealers and mobsters will prefer so there's no tracking, which is a check is, and you hear michael say, no, no, no, no. that's truth. and going forward, chris, i'm predicting to you, they are afraid of michael cohen. they're certainly aware of my political background that i'm representing michael cohen. and i'm telling you, we have truth on our side, and whatever mr. cohen regrets in the past will be up to him to say to you.
but i am telling you, we have truth, and they are afraid, which is why rudy giuliani is not here tonight, but making things up in a transcript regarding a tape that he has invented in his own mind without confronting what the tape says. >> point of fairness to rudy giuliani. he spent a lot of time with me on the phone going over the transcript. >> but not with me here on the set. >> he may take it. it was last second, lanny, as you know. >> invite him back to take me on directly. >> i understand. i just believe all this stuff -- there's no reason to be partial about any of this. people can hear it for themselves. they can think about it. it's not the best recording. that's why it's going to take some dispute of analysis. the corporation, just to make sure i'm right about something -- >> right. >> i believe from my reporting that that corporation was, in fact, formed. is that true? >> i'm trying to decide whether i can answer any of your questions that i got from my client. >> i'll skip past it. if i am right about that, was this corporation set up for anybody else other than mcdougal?
>> again, this is information i obtained from a client. i'm not allowed to answer your question, but i will answer this, which is what you're looking for. donald trump was told about that corporation on tape, and you heard it. was he shocked? did he say, what's that about? who's karen mcdougal? oh, my god, why are we talking about paying check or cash? no. he knew exactly. listen to the tape. when he says he knew nothing about karen mcdougal before this meeting, ask yourself, is that on the tape? and when he denied knowing anything about karen mcdougal before the campaign was done by his press spokesman, ask yourself, was donald trump lying or not? and the big issue going forward is going to be about, we all know his lies, but you can't deny a tape. richard nixon said one year of watergate is enough. one year later, a tape caused him to resign from the presidency. >> the reason i'm asking you is that when cohen is talking to trump about it and he's talking
about his friend, david pecker, it doesn't sound like they're talking about just one thing. and i believe if people listen to it closely, they're going to hear him say those things they were talking about that he has. and it seems like there was a collection of things that they wanted back from david pecker. that's why i'm asking you. i know you won't answer, but i want that to be in people's minds that this may not have been just about karen mcdougal. >> let me try to answer that. michael cohen is an authentic, sincere man, hurting because the power of the presidency, rudy giuliani, and all the henchmen are now after michael cohen. and he's living in a hotel because his apartment was drenched, and he's forced to live in a hotel with family that's being attacked by a president. and the end result here is what they were talking about was paying money in order to keep something quiet. >> mm-hmm. >> and that's what donald trump has been up to for a long time
and lying about many subjects, and this is the one time, which is why i seem to be smiling so much, because it's a serious moment, where there's no disputing the sound that you hear with your own ears. and i invite everybody, listen to this tape, and you decide. >> lanny davis, thank you for making the tape available. appreciate you going through the arguments on both sides with us. >> thank you, chris. >> all right. so, what is this tape going to mean? you've got two categories. you have political and legal implications. we're going to test them all for you tonight. you're going to hear that tape again. this is a special cuomo's court that we're going to have for you with some top lawyers who have made and defended these kinds of cases. next. what about him? let's do it. ♪
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named karen mcdougal. i want to play for you the relevant section. you got to listen closely. this wasn't a well made tape, but there's plenty to find out in it. >> and i've spoken to alan weissleberg about how to set the whole thing up with -- >> so what are we going to -- >> -- with funding. yes. and it's all the stuff. all the stuff because, you know, you never know where that company -- >> maybe he gets hit by a truck. >> correct. so i'm all over that. and i spoke to alan about it. when it comes time for the financing, which will be -- >> what financing? >> we'll have to pay -- >> you won't pay with cash? >> no, no, no. i got -- no, no, no. >> are there potential legal issues with what you just heard? let's bring in cuomo's court now in session. ken cuccinelli, alan dershowitz, and laura coates. it's good to have all three of you. laura, i start with you. your interest in this? >> you know, what you're seeing here is michael cohen is very
well aware the gloves need to come off. it's a credibility campaign going on right now and a game of he said/he said, he wants to prevail. particularly it seems the idea whether he says cash or whether he said check may seem like a nominal matter. what he's trying to establish is there was some awareness on behalf of donald trump at the time that there was this pending transaction, this agreement with karen mcdougal, and that he, himself, was trying to at least appeal to his good senses in some way talking about, no, no, no, no. so i think you're seeing this all play out in real time, but certainly the gloves are off. and if you're donald trump, you're concerned there may be additional information that his tape alluded to in the form of all the things, in case david pecker no longer is in charge of ami. >> now, alan dershowitz, professor, even if we take the reckoning of the recording as lanny davis, counsel to michael cohen, wants us to take it,
which is, it wasn't michael cohen suggesting paying cash. it was donald trump. and michael cohen said, no, don't pay cash. and then donald trump said, fine. use a check. relevance? >> well, first of all, i don't know why anybody waived the lawyer-client communication regarding this tape. >> oh, my gosh, yeah. >> here you have a lawyer and a client discussing something. >> rudy giuliani says it's because they think it helps him. >> well, here you have the client maybe saying, let's pay cash. the lawyer says, no, no, no. do it by check. and the client comes back and said, i'll do it by check. that's a typical conversation. i've had that conversation a dozen times with clients, and you persuade them to do the right thing. but i think the big picture here is, number one, lanny is a terrific lawyer. and so there is a real lawyer who is now against trump, unlike avenatti and some of the others. a really, really good lawyer who is on this case. second of all, you have a situation where, you know, he's going to flip. there's no question.
he's now made it clear. >> flip on what? he hasn't even been charged. >> i know. but he's going to flip. he said he's going to tell the truth. he's going to cooperate. he's turned. he's pressed the reset button. if that doesn't mean that he's going to cooperate with the government, i don't know how you could say it any more than if you walked into the prosecutor's office and said, ask me any question you want me to ask. >> but he says he has been cooperating. hold on. let me get to ken in here. ken, let's assume that now rudy giuliani is right, and he is saying that the transcript will show, once you sweeten the audio and extract the true words, you will hear the president say, with an admonishing tone, do not pay cash. use a check. does that matter to you? >> well, sure, it matters along the lines that laura was describing. each piece of the puzzle actually reflects on all the other pieces. i do have the same first
reaction that alan dershowitz had, is it's just mind-blowing to me to be hearing a tape of an attorney-client conversation. i mean, i don't know why any client or their lawyer, rudy giuliani, would ever think it's a good idea to start releasing these things. >> well, he says he didn't release it. he says he didn't release it. he says that the president waived the privilege because they believe the tape is not hurtful. it's helpful, and they want prosecutors to have it. >> right. well, and we all hear slightly different things on that tape. you could say "cash" is a question instead of a statement, and then he says "check." it's being cut off, but part of the problem we're getting is, you do have a good lawyer here in lanny davis, who has presented a part of a piece of evidence. and i say a part of a piece of evidence because we don't know what other r0ecordings are out there and we don't know the surrounding context when you take such a slice like this. so it is a little difficult. it is a little difficult to work with. >> let's chew on the suggestion.
laura coates -- hold on a second, professor. >> the big picture -- >> hold on one second. lanny davis says it's relevant for two reasons. one, it shows that the president was familiar with karen mcdougal being paid and the efforts of his attorney to buy back assets, plural, which is something i've never really thought about before. i thought it was just about mcdougal, but now it seems this corporation was formed to buy back assets, things plural, from david pecker. i don't know what else they thought he had. but that's what it shows, number one. and that, two, to say michael cohen wanted to pay cash, and that trump said, no, do it the right way, is not what the tape reveals. your take on those two points. >> well, he's accurate on the first point that it seems from my version and reading of the actual tape, it actually says to me that he is alluding to trying to have an overall umbrella in case there's something that happens to the company or the stories go someplace else or david pecker is hit by a bus. he talks about all these different things. remember, he's the head of a magazine and a number of magazines that allegedly has been able to protect the
president of the united states as citizen and now as president from damaging stories that are against his actual interest. that could be true. the second part of it is why it's so important, this cash versus check distinction. people are hearing the words corporation, chris, and they're thinking about essential consultants and stormy daniels. but he's talking about ami and about buying back stories and he's trying to lay the foundation right now that you have to trust this person, michael cohen, as opposed to somebody who was a seedy, nefarious character, who simply was trying to hide the ball for federal election purposes or other things. he's trying to plant a seed in america's mind that this person was simply acting at the discretion and at the pleasure of the president as his attorney, which, again, is why it's mind-boggling he would have released this tape. but it does serve in many ways, rudy giuliani to say, hey, there is different ways to hear this. and you now by having this seed of doubt, now his credibility is in question once again. >> president -- not yet. professor, weigh in on this. go ahead. make your point, please. >> this is all political.
>> right. >> there's no crime here. the worst case scenario, take everything lanny davis says as true. there's no crime. there's no federal crime. there's no impeachable offense. this is all about how the president looks in the court of public opinion, whether or not he, through his lawyer, said something that was not true. i think they will win that fight because the tape's ambiguous enough so that there will be people who will hear it the way they want to hear it, and other people who will hear it the way they want to hear it. but there's nothing criminal here. and i'm still going back to the first question. why waive this -- this is a classic lawyer-client communication. it's not within the fraud privilege. it's an honest conversation, and it ends up with the president doing exactly the right thing in the sense of paying by check rather than paying by cash. so why do you waive -- >> that's not even the case. >> why do you have it out there? >> that's not even the case, professor. there was no transaction. there is no proof that any money ever exchanged hands. there is proof that the
corporation was set up for that purpose, but there is no transaction. >> but there's no crime. >> so ken cuccinelli, there's no crime to the professor's reckoning on this. is there exposure? is there concern? >> well, i mean, it's as the professor said, this is a -- it's public appearance concern for sure. it's truth or falsity concern once again. but i think, chris, we've talked about in the past, these things don't seem to matter to voters. when you boil it down to policy and politics, they don't seem to matter to voters. and if there isn't an illegal act here and it doesn't sound to me -- nothing on this tape suggests to me there's an illegal act. then it is about favorable and unfavorable ratings. that's what it's about. >> i'll take you on that. we're going to lose the professor, so let me say good-bye to all three of you. laura, i've got to go because i'm going to lose the professor. you've all made great points. thank you very much. >> good to be with you, chris. >> thanks to all three of them. i will say this, though, to ken's last point.
the truth is aside. okay? i'm playing this straight and fair for you to hear what you hear and let you know what both sides are disputing about it. but the truth is aside. whether or not you care about the politics, whether or not trump is your guy or not your guy is irrelevant. the truth is a side. the truth matters. we need to know who's telling us the truth in power, and that's why we're bringing you this recording. so that's the court of law, and three good minds on it. but as they were showing you, the court of public opinion is where most of this is likely to play out. so who wins on this tape? we'll take it up in our great debate, next. my car smells good. it's these new fresh-fx car air fresheners from armor all.
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much dispute between the two sides. >> and i've spoken to alan weiselberg about how to set the whole thing up with -- >> so what are we going to -- >> with funding. yes. and it's all the stuff. all the stuff because, you know, you never know where that company -- you never know where he's going to be. >> maybe he gets hit by a truck. >> correct. so i'm all over that. i spoke to alan about it. when it comes time for the financing, which will be -- >> what financing? >> we'll have to pay -- >> pay with cash. >> no, no, no. >> i got -- no, no, no. >> a check? >> there's a big dispute about is the president or then citizen donald trump telling his lawyer, pay cash, and cohen is saying, no, no, no, and then trump says pay with a check, or what the president trump legal team says is that he says, don't pay by cash, and pay by check.
now, this is all happening in real time, and alan futterfuss, a lawyer with the trump organization sent a response. whoever is telling lanny davis that cash in the conversation refers to green currency is lying to him. there's no transaction done in currency. it doesn't happen. the whole deal never happened. that's true. there was no transaction to our knowledge. it never happened, this payment of buying things back from the "national enquirer," their parent company. if it was going to happen, it would be a payment to a large company with an agreement of sale. those lawyers would be prepared by both sides. the cash containing green currency is false. not just ridiculous, it's false. the word cash came up in the context of the description between financing which is referenced and no financing which means a full payment, a total one time payment. that's the context in which cash is used.
anyone who does business with the president knows there is no green cash. everything is documented. every penny is documented. we would know a lot more about that if we had seen the president's taxes. the trump org is saying cash was like a term of art, meaning, are we going to finance over time or give a one-time payment. the president wasn't talking about paying with cash to make it harder to track such a transaction. what do you think? that's up to you. now let's bring in the great debaters. angela rye and david urban. angela, when i say cash, i don't mean green money, i mean a method of financing and this is proof of the president wanting to do it the right way even if his lawyer had other ideas dudo you accept that reckoning of the tape? >> i said would, not would not. i can't with these folks.
it is an ongoing cast of shady characters of which michael cohen has just been summarily dismissed. as an attorney, i have problems with the fact he reported a conversation. i have problems with the fact that there's even some discussion about how to set up some type of corporation to pay for a story that exists with donald trump's friend. i was reading earlier about ami and "national enquirer" and the fact that one of the senior editors said there wasn't a single story published in the "national enquirer" that they didn't get donald trump's approval when it was about him. that's the problem. the focus on cash versus check, i heard you say in the last segment, i heard donald trump say check at the end. i did hear that. i'm not going to lie. i don't have to lie because donald trump lies enough every single day for himself. however, okay, you're hip, but however, i think the most important thing that we have here is there is a playmate named karen mcdougal who he
denied having any interaction with, any sexual relationship with. we've heard this before. it was from a democratic president. his name was bill clinton. i did not have sexual relations with that woman. >> this is a little bit of a different scenario, and the point of the tape, dave, from lanny davis is that the idea that trump didn't know anything surrounding the payment to karen mcdougal, according to hope hicks and what we heard on air force one is not true. he was aware of the arrangement. and the second one, the idea that it was cohen pushing a cash payment is not true. it was trump. >> i agree with angela and the panel you had on before this. michael cohen's taping of his client is not illegal but it's clearly unethical, and if lanny davis thinks somehow this is exculpatory and it shows that
michael cohen is somehow the victim here, it's going to backfire on him. it was said earlier in the earlier segment, there's no aristotelian truth. this isn't going to be a rorschach test, this recording, as someone said earlier. trump detractors are going to hear what they want to hear. trump supporters will hear what they want to hear. audio audiologists will hear the cut played a thousand different ways and you'll hear what you want to hear in the tape. >> at the end of the day, dave, do you believe that the president was aware that his lawyer was setting up a corporation to buy back a bunch of assets from the parent company that he worked? >> chris, i listened to this tape for the first time about 15 minutes ago on this show. it was pretty garbled. i can't tell you what i believe
at this point because i can't intelligbly hear what he said. >> let's listen to it again. >> you can play it slow. >> i'm just play it how it happened. >> okay. >> i need to open up a company for info regarding our friend david so that -- i'm going to do that right away. >> give it to me. >> i've spoken to alan weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with funding -- yes. and it's all the stuff. because you never know where that company -- >> maybe he gets hit by a truck. >> correct. i'm all over that. i spoke to alan about it when it comes time for the financing -- >> what financing? >> i have to pay -- >> cash? >> no, no, no.
>> check -- >> now that you've heard it, dave, do you believe trump was familiar with what he was talking about or do you think this is a first discussion? >> i don't think it's a first discussion they've had on the topic. >> that's a problem, isn't it? >> i just heard the part where michael cohen talks about financing and president trump said we're not going to finance this. it's all about intent, it's about what the party intended here. it's a piece of the puzzle. as former a.g. cuccinelli said, this is a snapshot of a conversation one time taken out of context. chris, even if you assume all these things are true in this tape, there was nothing done that was illegal. you said there was no payment made. >> i don't think it's about a crime. i don't think we can allow that as a bar for behavior in our society that felonies and below are okay. i just think people can hear it and they can make judgments. i don't think criminal conduct is the bar for responsible behavior, is what i'm trying to say.
>> it didn't occur. >> there was no transaction done. there was no transaction effected but things were done. i got to go. i got to go. >> there was a discussion about things that may or may not have happened. >> there was a discussion of something that happened. there was not a cash transaction for the assets for various reasons. there's a difference. it's just about who is telling the truth about the situation and who isn't. last point, angela, then i have to go. >> there are also crimes based on the planning of doing this. >> of course there are. conspiracy, sure. >> so let's be clear that discussions are also damning, too. this is a damning discussion -- >> nothing occurred, even chris admits it. >> it's not about -- >> something did occur. he had sex and a relationship with this woman and they were planning how to pay her for her silence. >> you don't know that was the conversation. >> oh, come on. whether there was a payment or not, we know he lied like he lies every day. >> let's leave it there.
i think there are credibility issues. you don't have to commit a crime to be judged in terms of the content of your behavior as a leader. dave, i know you agree with that. angela, appreciate it. angela rye, david irving. there are lots of answers, and there will continue to be questions. this tape will continue to play out. other tapes may well come out. there is a competition between the president and his former lawyer. some final thoughts and takeaways, the right questions to be asked, next. o severe plaque psoriasis, little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable after just 4 months, ... with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. and the otezla prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. otezla may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
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♪ here's our closing argument about this. this has been a protracted situation about this. and i'm reading all the opinions you guys have online about this. you don't have to have the opinion whether or not this is a crime. i don't think that's helpful. this tape is about credibility and accountability. here is the salient part of the conversation. >> i need to open up a company for the transfer of info regarding our friend david so that -- i'm going to do that right away. >> give it to me.
>> i've spoken to alan weissenberg about how to set the whole thing up with funding -- yes. it's all the stuff. you never know where that company, you never know where he's going to be. >> you mean he could get hit by a truck. >> correct. i'm all over that. i spoke to alan about it when it comes to the financing -- >> what financing? >> we'll have to pay something. >> cash? >> no, no, no. no, no, no. >> check? >> is what you heard proof that the president knew about the deal with karen mcdougal or does it sound like new information to the president? then there's the question of how to pay? >> what financing? >> we'll have to pay -- >> cash? >> no, no, no, no. i'll bring don lemon out. he's going to pick up on this story, so as soon as don is
ready, bring him to the show. >> i'm ready. i was just sitting down and getting ready. >> thanks, buddy. sorry to take you by surprise. rudy giuliani said do not pay with cash, use a check. we did not have this sweetened with an audio expert. rudy giuliani said he did. here's one point. the trump organization put out a statement and said cash is being used as a financing term, not a reference to green money. whether you're paying on a one-time payment or over time, financing. now, if that's true, then why would trump say the word "check"? >> yeah. >> it is true, no payment was ever made of any kind, so this is about intentions and credibility, and this idea that you're going to hear what you want to hear, this is a tricky one. you and i both know michael cohen. that was trump's guy. he had a lot of depth with the trump base. will they just not believe him out of allegiance to trump when this is someone they also used to believe? >> i think that's a very good position. good quest
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