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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  August 23, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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increasingly tight race against pete sessions. former nfl player and civil rights attorney. he was just endorsed by former president obama and he is now neck and neck with congressman session in the polls. thank you for being with me. the lead with jake tapper starts right now. president trump says he would grade his performance an a plus so far. presumably vice president pence says that is not high enough. breaking news hours after president trump said flipping almost ought to be illegal another trump loyalist is granted immunity and he is ready to talk to inquiring minds in the mueller probe. the president's favorite punching bag punches back, the attorney general standing up to president trump after another public humiliation. with his white house in peril president trump chooses to
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send his first tweet about a-- welcome to the lead. we begin with the politics lead. another long time friend of president trump's is telling all. david becker, the latest to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for a better deal for himself after the president's former attorney michael cohen pleaded guilty to federal crimes and implicated the president in the commission of two of those felonies. the wall street journal is telling the news he was granted immunity. he said then-candidate trump knew about payments that donald trump knew about payments paid to stormy daniels.
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this all comes right after the president sat down with fox news bashing those who cooperate with authorities, a.k.a. those who flip. >> they get ten years in jail and flip over whoever the next highest one is. it almost ought to be outlawed. it's not fair. >> let's get to brin gengrass. >> two against one and two very good friends of trump. it's clear from court documents cohen and pecker had the alliance. now it seems only cohen will be the one taking the fall for the illegal scheme. >> another trump ally cooperating with investigators and this one is gaining immunity for doing so. wall street journal reporting david pecker worked with federal
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prosecutors in the michael cohen investigation and discussed the deals the two men brokered to quash bad press about the president prior to the 2016 election. details of the immunity deal coming out hours after trump complained about people flipping. >> they get ten years in jail and flip on whoever the next highest one is or as high as you can go. it almost ought to be outlawed. if you say bad things -- they make up lies. >> reporter: pecker was subpoenaed by the feds in april shortly after the raid of michael cohen's home office and hotel room. like cohen pecker reportedly told investigators the president knew about payments made to two women who alleged affairs with trump. and pecker's testimony to investigators is supported by documents and audio recording s
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seized from the raid. court papers show one conversation a regarding payout to porn star stormy daniels on an encrypted phone app. pecker tells cohen we have to coordinate something or it could look awfully bad for everyone. this isn't the first time we are hearing about the deals made and the fact the president knew the reference made. >> i need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend david so that -- i have come up and spoken to allen about how to set the whole thing up with funding -- yes. and it's all the stuff.
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>> that conversation obviously referencing david pecker, as well. we reached out for comment and we haven't heard back just yet. >> thanks so much. let's chat about this with our experts. another ally of the president's talking to authorities, the walls seem to be closing in a bit. >> it gives an indication of why the document was so thorough. they had the cooperation of david pecker. we don't know what more that means, how much and what other information pecker has that cohen wasn't aware of. >> a trump friend reportedly told "vanity fair" quote holy s, i thought pecker would be the last one to turn. i have to say this is a powerful guy and the fact that he is cooperating with authorities i
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find it is hard to believe he is doing it out of the goodness of his heart. >> it almost makes you think they put their pressure on david pecker. he is a powerful guy. he is covered as a media organization. you could put up a big fight and decline to cooperate and turn it into a battle if you want. it is safe to bet the president would bet on his side on that. it is telling to see people who are so friendly to the president over so many years turning on him like this. it does make you wonder -- this is a slice forward and a small slice of what the people are willing to share with investigators. we don't know what they are not cooperating about or what investigators have agreed to push to the side in exchange. >> are you surprised? you have cohen. he was in hot water. are you surprised the long-time trump associates are turning on him? >> no, because the justice department is a very different thing from resisting hostile media inquiries or standing up
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to congress. i think that has been under mated throughout the coverage -- under estimated throughout the coverage of this. two to three weeks later what are you going to do about it? justice department investigations are different. they have a huge amount of leverage. you don't choose whether to cooperate. they indict you or they don't. they offer you a plea bargain or they don't. they have all of the information. it is the entire justice department. it is rod rosenstein managing a complex investigation with two extremely experienced and able teams. that just changes everything. we need to start thinking about the implications. they got this guy to flip and then it is like a news story and move on to something else. they now know who they have to go after. here is the evidence we have
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from these e-mails. you better tell us the truth. i think the justice department is just a whole different kettle of fish. >> and one of the things that is interesting is there has been a lot of talk of whether or not michael cohen is credible and reliable. it turns out according to the justice department at least there is another source. it's not just michael cohen. >> it is interesting news that we found this out because on tuesday when he was under oath and pleading guilty we were wondering, is there a deal? what is going on? now we know they were also talking to pecker. they had another piece of the pie as you were saying. every day i think we will get more and more pieces. and so i think that what cohen and pecker is learning is that there is no loyalty. loyalty is really one way with donald trump. they have to watch out for themselves. you can't lie to the fbi. you just can't lie. >> you can see why the president is so frustrated to see all of his friends turning on him like
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this. he does make his point poorly. i think his point is sort of that campaign finance violations are very hard to prosecute. it's very hard to take that to court and to win in a court of law. so the fact that the president is implicated in this campaign finance violation is not the same as being found guilty. when you have your personal lawyer plead guilty, the president looks pretty guilty. i'm sure he would have wished that michael cohen said i will try to fight this. you will talk to lawyers and they will tell you it is harder to prove this in court. that is probably part of the reason prosecutors wanted cohen to sign a plea deal. >> it is hard to under estimate the dirty work that the national inquirer did for donald trump during the campaign. here is some of the coverage they chose during the campaign. they falsely linked ted cruz's dad to the assassination of john f. kennedy.
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they claimed that ted cruz had affairs. no evidence for this. ted cruz denies it. they published a number of covers on hillary clinton, one reading hillary's hitman tells all. they have circulation of 350,000 in 2016. how many votes did he win by? 80,000. >> if you flip half of those hillary would be president. they have a close long-term relationship that predates the campaign. i think this -- one of the mysteries of this prosecution is they had cohen pretty dead to rights on tax evasion and bank fraud. as we saw with the manafort trial those are easy document-based prosecutions. they had to make a decision on the campaign finance violation. this is not a clear-cut easy case. they tried to do a similar campaign finance case against john edwaragainst -- they had to make a serious decision to go forward with this knowing that they were going to
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implicate someone who the justice department says they can't indict, the president. so why did they do that? why did they just nail cohen for na tax evasion and the bank fraud? why did they throw this campaign finance violation? that gets into tricky first amendment issue because it is a media company and makes the president look like a criminal conspirator. >> they think michael cohen knows about other issues. >> and to take it back to -- >> trump's instinct was always right. given the way trump lived his life both in terms of private life, financial dealings, he knew once this got going, once this rock was turned over -- now we are seeing what happens with serious prosecutor. i give the justice department huge credit for this. >> comey said i know a lot more.
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he was telling that to the justice department. come to me. i have more information for you. >> and now we are down the rabbit hole looking at the national enquirer covers that looked like and wondering what might they have looked like if they hadn't been trying to strike up these back room deals? donald trump has been a man about town in new york for quite some time. you have to imagine there were a couple of stories out there it might have been an interesting cover for the national enquirer. >> one wonders if david pecker only knows of two such women paid off. we have a lot more to talk about. what was keeping president trump up so late last night and causing him to tweet at 1:00 in the morning? was it how to turn the a plus grade into a plus plus. jeff sessions fires back at president trump's insults minutes before heading into the white house. stay with us. you might take something for your heart... or joints. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish,
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we are back with more on our politics lead, president trump down playing and distancing saying of his former personal attorney michael cohen that he was one of his many lawyers doing only small deals for him working, quote, more or less as a part-time employee. that is a totally new characterization of cohen from what we heard before. let's go to kaitlan collins at the white house. we learned rudy giuliani told the "washington post" president trump asked about possibly pardoning paul manafort. >> sarah huckabee sanders telling reporters there have been no discussions of the potential pardon for the former campaign chair. the "washington post" is reporting that weeks ago the president talked about the prospect of pardoning paul manafort. he was in the middle of his trial in which he was convicted
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found guilty of eight counts. the president was complaining that he believed paul manafort was being treated unfairly by the prosecutors. rudy giuliani tells the post that he convinced the president to wait to make decisions about pardons until after the special counsel robert mueller finishes his investigation. what we do know is that even today the president refused to rule out pardoning paul manafort. president trump arms folded and biting his tongue today, staying quiet when it came to questions about whether he is considering pardoning his former campaign chair paul manafort found guilty this week on eight counts of tax and bank fraud. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: trump expressing sympathy for manafort when he was asked the same question the day before. >> i have great respect for what he has done in terms of what he has gone through. >> reporter: the president's praise for manafort coming along
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side his scorn for his former personal attorney michael cohen after cohen implicated him in a crime claiming under oath that trump directed him to pay two women who claim they had affairs with them. >> turned out he wasn't a good lawyer. he has been a lawyer for me, didn't do big deals, did small deals, not somebody that was with me that much. they make it sound like i didn't live without him. he was somebody that was probably with me for about ten years and i would see him sometimes. >> reporter: cohen served as the president's attack dog for the last decade, even earning an office next to him on the 26th floor of trump tower in new york. but sources say the president was blind sided when cohen turned on him and he has spent the days since spewing over it. no collusion, rigged witch hunt,
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1:00 a.m. tweet. with impeachment talk accelerating in washington trump saying this. >> i don't know how you can impeach somebody who has done a great job. if i ever got impeached i think the market would crash. i think everybody would be very poor because without this thinking you would see numbers that you wouldn't believe. >> reporter: adding if he were to give himself a grade -- >> i would give meseyself an a plus. >> reporter: an impeachment could rattle investors. >> kaitlan collins, thanks so much. let's talk about this with our legal experts. jeffrey, you have interviewed david pecker. he seems to be a witness to corroborate the testimony. >> one thing david pecker was
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open about was his enormous affection for donald trump and his determination to use the enquirer to help donald trump get elected president. there is nothing improper about that. the nation is a magazine that supports liberals. the weekly standard supports conservatives. magazines can support candidates. the issue is can they use money to subsidize their campaigns? that would be unlawful. david pecker did admit to me that he did give money to one of the president's or then candidate's alleged former lovers to help donald trump get elected. i think there is potentially some legal problems for him. there was until he got immunity. >> talking about david pecker. the president suggesting it should almost be illegal for someone facing jail time to
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become a cooperating witness, the flip. >> everything is wonderful and then they get ten years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is or as high as you can go. it almost ought to be outlawed. it's not fair. you get ten years in jail but if you say bad things about somebody, in other words, make up stories, they make up lies. >> how common is flipping? and what is there to prevent people from lying as president trump suggests michael cohen is doing in order to get a better deal? >> flipping is a generalized term for giving information to the government that would not otherwise be privy to that is verifiable and truthful. it's not just giving an answer that you think the person wants to hear. i can't withdraw information from you as a prosecutor that is not truthful that i cannot verify. it would be nice if that fact would fit into this box.
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the idea of the safe guards are in place, corroboration. you want to have other objective information available to you to say this is actually what happened. >> and it happens all the time. >> i was going to say didn't rudy giuliani make his name by flipping members of the mob? >> long ago i was a summer intern in rudy giuliani's u.s. attorney's office. i worked on the commission case which was the case that brought down the heads of the five families. it is one of rudy giuliani's greatest triumphs. it was built on the testimony of cooperators. every case against mob leaders, against the top insider traders are all based on people who plead guilty and flip. if you want to stop that you stop prosecuting the leading criminals in america. >> just because you are flipping does not mean it is not factual information. it should be truthful.
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flipping is not synonymous with lying, mr. president. >> rudy giuliani tried to make a case that cohen's implication against the president cannot factor into grounds for immun y impeachment. >> he didn't collude with the russians. he didn't obstruct justice. you only impeach him for political reasons. >> what is your reaction to that? >> which american people are voting on your behalf? if you are somebody who has broken the law the revolt is the impeachment process itself. if you are not executive branch holder who can say we cannot have crimes in our world. this is really a little bit of gas lighting people to suggest that this is the only mechanism in which we can have trust in the system. impeachment is there to prevent people from having these
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incidents. >> it's also true that the choice here is not michael cohen is a terrible person or donald trump has to be impeached. let's have an investigation. let's have a public investigation and see what happened here. we have michael cohen who has said in open court that his legal acts were coordinated with and directed by donald trump. what does that mean? it is certainly very suggestive and important. it doesn't mean the president will be impeached. certainly given that statement and everything that has gone on here there should be some investigation of like whether donald trump actually did violate the law. >> thank you both. that was brave. just minutes before heading to the white house attorney general jeff sessions firing back at president trump's insults. the punching bag's punchback next. see psoriasis. you see clear skin. you see me. but if you saw me before cosentyx...
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back sources tell cnn it was the interview with fox news today, specifically this part. >> i put an attorney general that never took control of the justice department. >> laura, what was it about that part of the interview that so bothered the attorney general? >> jake, unlike the name calling of the past, sources familiar with sessions tell me that the fact that he struck at the idea that he doesn't have control under mines his authority and for that sessions thought was a bridge too far. >> jeff sessions recused himself which he shouldn't have done or he should have told me. >> reporter: president trump taking aim at his own attorney general for recusing himself from the russia investigation. >> he took the job and said i am going to recuse myself. i said what kind of a man is this. i put an attorney general that never took control of the justice department, jeff
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sessions. never took control of the justice department and it is sort of an incredible thing. >> reporter: it's that specific line sources say that prompted a rare pushback from jeff sessions defending himself and the work of the justice department saying, quote, i took control of the department of justice the day i was sworn in which is why we have had unprecedented succe success. while i am attorney general the actions of the department of justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations, a strong rebuke from the man president trump reduced to scared stiff and missing in action, blaming him for mueller's appointment and a failure to further investigate democrats trump says have committed wrong doing. >> there has been a lot of conference around the activities at the department of justice of late. >> reporter: despite all of that trump wouldn't say whether he plans to fire sessions. >> i will stay uninvolved and maybe that is the best thing to do. >> reporter: if that changes and
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sessions is replaced before the november election the number two republican in the senate says -- >> i think it would be a mistake and i don't think it would be good for the country. >> reporter: after the election, south carolina republican lindsey graham suggests there could be a new attorney general. >> i think there will come a time where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the department of justice. clearly attorney general sessions doesn't have the confidence of the president. >> reporter: for all of the president's bluster on fox, according to sources today at a meeting at white house president trump did not bring up sessions' statement at all. sessions didn't say a word about it and the attorney general is still on the job. >> seems like a healthy relationship. appreciate it. so according to lindsey graham, senator from south carolina, republican and friend of president trump, sessions is living on borrowed time and
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maybe after the election president trump will replace him. >> as if sessions wasn't living on borrowed time. >> i didn't know he had an expiration date like a bottle of milk. >> they looked at instances where they wanted to get rid of him but they know it is an uphill political battle. the senate has put up a fight in the past. i think they are a little more amenable to the notion that trump could replace sessions after the mid terms. i think this is something they could re-evaluate. there is no doubt that in the president's mind it is just a matter of when he is able to do this and not if. >> lindsey graham's statement is totally irresponsible. i think your point about the politics, let's think about that. if you are a democrat trying to hold the senate seat in
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missouri, why don't you say if you want to have a republican senate, lindsey graham said he would replace sessions. you want a republican senate rubber stamped some trump crony put in there to really effect this investigation? we need a democratic senate. graham is being irresponsible and foolish. >> this situation puts people like you, progressives, in a very awkward situation. >> i don't like sessions. >> sessions says i took control at the department of justice the day i was sworn in which is why we have had unprecedented success. >> let's not forget, sessions was the first u.s. senator to
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endorse donald trump. he is out of any of the cabinet secretary, he managed to advance donald trump's agenda very effectively. i'm not a fan of sessions. it is wrong to fire sessions because you want to end the russia probe. so that's what he is gearing up to do. he has been telling us that for months. we should not be surprised if it happens. i believe that it will because donald trump has no poker face. he basically puts out all of his cards and tells you what he is about to do. i think we are in a really grave time. graham and grassley once said we don't have time to confirm an attorney general, said maybe we do now. republicans are certainly not doing their party any good here. >> take a listen to this because this is another part of the trump interview on fox. this is why he doesn't like jeff sessions. it has nothing to do with enacting the agenda and everything to do with loyalty.
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>> the only reason i gave him the job because of loyalty. he was an original supporter. >> this is a constant theme with president trump. >> i was watching that interview and it reminded me of some of the things that nixon used to say on the tapes behind the scenes and when they were released people were outraged and he sounded like a mob boss. trump says it out in the open. >> he didn't have to ask a single tough question. this is one of the weird strategies he has is saying all of the stuff that creates constant outrage totally out in the open. his twitter feed and public statements are like nixon tapes. >> if sessions hasn't shown loyalty he recused himself because the justice department ethical guidelines told him he
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had to. now president trump very openly talking about rudy giuliani acknowledging this whether or not manafort will be pardoned. my gut tells me he is going to do it. >> so much verbal gymnastics about whether he is willing to consider it. the president has clearly forecasted and he has been saying for months that he feels badly for paul manafort because he feels like manafort's past crimes have gotten any attention was because this was a guy who went to believes everyone is out to get him. it seems clear that the president wants to pardon this guy. this seems like a question of when. i think he has had a lot of people saying please do not do this right now as we are gearing up for difficult mid terms and while paul manafort is in the middle of two different trials. the guy is already in jail. he can sit in jail for a little
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while longer. if you want to pardon him maybe that is something we deal with after the second trial. as you pointed out the president has no poker face. rudy giuliani frankly is not much better about that. they are just going out there saying whatever they want. >> how bad do you think it would be for the country to paul manafort before or after the mid terms? >> it would be bad and taken by a democratic house and republican members of the house as an impeachable moment or one would have to consider impeachment. if you are pardoning someone almost explicitly to hamper an investigation into yourself that has been proven to have some credibility so far based on various guilty pleas and verdicts. he is signaling roger stone who seems to be under inquiry by the special counsel, that he should hang tough and pardons will be there. i suppose you want manafort and stone and others believing they
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would get pardoned if they hang tough maybe until the end of the four years and not just the two. that is a tough thing. i never put beyond what could happen that he could pardon manafort and stone and be willing to run that risk. >> stay right here. we will come back to you guys. a throwback thursday trump style. the then-businessman giving his take on a president testifying under oath and saying something nice about hillary clinton. oh! oh! ♪ ozempic®! ♪ (vo) people with type 2 diabetes are excited about the potential of once-weekly ozempic®. in a study with ozempic®, a majority of adults lowered their blood sugar and reached an a1c of less than seven and maintained it. oh! under seven? (vo) and you may lose weight. in the same one-year study, adults lost on average up to 12 pounds. oh! up to 12 pounds? (vo) a two-year study showed that ozempic® does not increase the risk of major cardiovascular events like heart attack, stroke, or death.
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rudy giuliani says the mueller investigation should be winding down though the two sides have not agreed on whether the president will testify. will the president testify? not if he takes advice from his former self circa 1999 on the tonight show. >> what are your thoughts on that? >> a lot of bad choices there. i don't know where these folks came from monica, paula jones. i have never seen anything like it. i'm sure the president wished he had never seen anything like it. you have some beauties in that deal. >> what do you think he should have done? >> let's suppose you are in that same situation, what would you have done? what should clinton have done? >> he could have come clean. you gave me that answer just before the show. he could have come clean or he
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sho should have never answered the questions. i think his lawyers did an absolutely atrocious job. they could have fought a little harder not to have to answer the question. it is tough to answer that question with your wife sitting at home. did you have an affair with this woman? hillary has had a hard time. this has not been -- this could not have been three years of fun for hillary. >>. >> wow. i wish we had like a back to the future thing. one of the things that strikes me about this is the idea that bill clinton should have come clean but he doesn't suggest that that is what bill clinton should have done. he should have had better lawyers so he wouldn't have to answer the question. >> it's all so bizarre. i watch the tape.
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everyone has flipped from where they were then to where they are now. donald trump should take his advice from 1999. i don't know what to make of this. it's bizarre. >> the basic what he was saying is he should have figured out a way to slip the noose on the prosecutors. he should have been more creative with his lawyers and suggesting that trump could get out of a sticky situation and can't believe clinton was so dumb to do an interview with the prosecutor. >> he had to sit down with ken star because the original lie, there was evidence to refute it. >> trump is saying clinton is not crafty enough. >> they are trying to sustain i would say falsehoods against the
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legal investigation. >> one of the other things that is interesting is the sympathy he has for hillary clinton. >> also, he suggested he has sympathy for the husband. that would be tough to admit with your wife right there. >> tough for him to hear but much harder for the person who did the stuff wrong to have to admit it. i hope he tweaks his language a little bit more. >> so the basis of the entire interview was donald trump was considering running for president in 1999 on the reform party ticket. take a listen to this exchange. >> do you feel you will be able to restore dignity to the office? >> i think i would because he has suffered from a lack of dignity. >> would your past be a problem? >> i don't think so. i think nowadays it's not. who knows? we'll see. >> would your past be a problem? >> i don't think so. >> i love how he says these days it wouldn't be a problem.
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i think he means that in the sense of having been married multiple times and maybe having sort of a nontraditional. i took it as maybe he means nontraditional family background. i don't know that people are as sympathetic to the whole paying off former play mates. at the same time, this is a guy who got elected after a dozen people accused him of unwanted sexual conduct and he won. maybe 1999 donald trump was right. >> it doesn't matter to his supporters now. >> or to bill clinton supporters. it's not like bill clinton was only accused of anything after he was in the white house. that was before. i thought that he meant when he said it didn't matter these days was post bill clinton i think we are in a different time, swing,
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baby. >> trump is right, if you had said to me at the time of the clinton thing people who were most upset, what lessons is this teaching our kids especially christians and others who just couldn't believe this was happening in the white house in the oval office -- >> they were right to be. >> they are fine with trump. >> you said the words paying off a former playboy model. it sounds almost archaic. is anyone pretending to be outraged about the underlying behavior. has anyone said it's kind of horrible that we have a president who has been paying hush money to various women. >> that is one thing i did think. it highlights the hypocrisy. when clinton was in his awful troubles, republicans attacked him and wanted to take him down. now we have i think times ten with donald trump.
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the evangelicals stayed with him. there was no movement. >> democrats all had to say that this is really terrible behavior. it's not impeachment. i think they all did say this is unacceptable behavior. >> the defenders of trump don't have the first two sentences of this is unacceptable behavior. >> one person who has been consistent on this issue is donald trump. he doesn't think it is a big deal. >> the one thing i will say that certainly has changed over the course of that time is there was also a sentiment when bill clinton was going through this that this is not a national conversation that we should be having. this is an issue between a man and his wife and so salacious that we would be dragging this out into public and dragging their personal life through the mud. we are in a different era now.
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i think that sort of could potentially change the way the light this is cast on. we are not as far in the throws of this when donald trump was elected although we were kind of at the beginning of that. will it make a difference? it hasn't made a difference of trump supporters so far. so it is the middle section where you wonder is there a bridge too far? does it leave a sour taste in your mouth to the point where you are willing to change your vote? >> coming up, the last time president trump made news talking about africa he called some countries in that continent s-holes. a new tweet can't be much worse. , 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 differently. for psoriasis, 75% clearer skin is achievable, with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. and for psoriatic arthritis, otezla is proven to reduce
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with everything else going on president trump tweeted about africa, the most prominent reference that we heard from this president was when senator told us president trump complained about having to accept immigrants from the quote s-word hole countries in africa. the president was expressing concerns for the quote large scale killing of south africa's white farmers. that's a story the government of south africa says isn't true and one the anti-defamation league called a white supremacist talking point. >> trump directed him to do it all. >> manafort may flip. cohen may provide other evidence. >> the president did nothing wrong. >> impeachment. this is what they wanted. >> reporter: amid a storm of legal implications, political questions and talk of impeachment --
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>> if i got impeached i think the market would crash. >> reporter: a tweet prom left fie field -- from left field. i asked secretary mike pompeo about the large scale killing of farmers. the tweet was spurred. >> the president of south africa has begun seizing land from his citizens without compensation because they are the wrong skin color. >> reporter: it is true the south african government is in a fierce debate on whether to allow some white-owned farms to be handed to black citizens. an activist group that mainly represents white south africans has called for international intervention. >> millions of people need your protection. >> reporter: south africa's president says the issue will be
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debated by the public. is large scale killing of farmers underway? not according to a study last year from a large south african farmer's group which found while violence remains high, attacks on farmers have been declining. trump's tweet was based on false information. government officials quickly said calling him hysterical comments. the false notion of white south african is a populartrope, some have plenty to like in president trump. his brutal comments about some african countries, attacks on protesting football players and more. even as he intist sists he is n racist. >> i am the least racist person you have interviewed. >> reporter: to be clear as far as we can find the president has never before directly tweeted about any issues in africa and now that he has chosen to do so
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he has forwarded a piece of fake news about the alleged plight of white people. our coverage continues with wolf blitzer in the situation room. thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news, sessions under siege after enduring months of bullying and name calling by president trump, the attorney general of the united states jeff sessions hits back insisting his justice department won't be, quote, improperly influenced by political considerations. is that a firing offense? turning on trump, new reports reveal the top executive of the national enquirer parent company was granted immunity in the case involving hush money