tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN August 23, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
and please know, i don't call any of this out to attack you or to bring you down. the truth is, mr. president, this is much bigger than you. this is about us, about america, e pluribus unum. we are one out of many because diversity is our strength. thank you for watching. "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts right now. >> i'm not done with you, christopher. i mean chris. >> yes, pal. >> i cannot get that 20 minutes of my life back. >> i hope that it was edifying for you and you saw how difficult it is to get even the most obvious falsehoods and proof of lying to be owned and accepted by this white house. >> they know, and the president does as well, and kellyanne, that you're not attacking the president. they know that deep down. but they can never admit it. doesn't play well for the base. you asked kellyanne conway, she
said why do you think i'm doing this, and you said she's doing the right thing. we'll have to differ on that one. i think power is a very, very -- >> he said she thinks she's doing the right thing. >> power is a powerful aphrodisiac. that's all i'm saying. >> all i said to her is, i think you think you're helping people. i do believe she believes that. i also believe they are playing lots of bad games. they're trying to turn things back on us, make us seem like we are a problem in this country. and that is dangerous medicine. and it's not going to stand on this show. i'm sorry the president does get a pass when he goes to the mothership for interviews. that's why they go there more. we will talk about what the president talks about. we will challenge them because that's the job. the truth matters. and the mistake is thinking you're going to scare us away from it. won't happen. >> absolutely. but the whole thing about the white south african farmers, it's the same thing.
did you see the article, there was an article in "the washington post" -- or in vox about it. it's unbelievable because none of it is true. none of it is true. >> look, there are problems there. we'll have to see which way they take their constitution. >> the president of the united states is co-signing something from a white nationalist group. it's just beyond fathomable now. >> and that he would hear something on tv and not use a power that you and i pray to whatever we believe in every night, which is to pick up the phone and say, hey, is this true in south africa? he's got the best intelligence in the world. they would have told him the truth. instead he enlists his secretary of state to chase down a bogus report that he heard on tv. and the reason he did it is what really shakes me in my bones. he can't care about this as an issue, there's too much racism at home to worry about. i believe that he's reaching out to a group he's been told he needs. and he doesn't need them. there are a lot more americans
in this country that you could cultivate than the hateful ones. >> we have a big show planned, but i have to ask you. why can't kellyanne conway just admit the president lied? you kept saying, david pecker said it, michael cohen said it. chris, the tape said it. he said it himself on the tape. the tape didn't say, hey, i've already paid these people. it's saying we need to talk about this, i need to send out the payment, this is the way we have to pay it, we've got to do it through cash, not a check. they're talking about it in advance. the tape shows the lie. >> i know. that's why i had so much confidence going into the conversation. i know i'm right. and they know that admitting the truth will be perceived as weakness, at least by the president. i don't agree with that. i don't teach it for my kids. the media can punish you for telling the truth sometimes, that's politics, that's life, own it because there's a bigger value. but you also heard the real heart of the answer.
the president already answered this. i said, yeah, and he lied. >> the president has already answered this. >> he said it was a ridiculous suggestion that he was lying. it's ridiculous that she would call it ridiculous. his play is, if i say it, the base believes it no matter what. that's their play and i don't think it's a long term strategy. >> peter beinert will be on the show to talk about why trump supporters believe he is not corrupt. chris, i give you a lot of credit, my friend, i could not do it. you know she tried that thing with me, why are you badgering me, she said to you why aren't you letting a woman speak. >> if anybody knows anything about my personal life, they will know i am surrounded by nothing but powerful women. >> who you have to let speak all the time. >> and they should, they have more to say, they have more worthwhile listening to.
big brother, good luck tonight. >> i appreciate it, chris. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. a big show ahead. not only is one of the president's long time friends flipping on him. he had a secret safe full of evidence. donald trump's friend's name is david pecker. david pecker is a publisher of "the national inquirer," granted immunity by the feds. sources tell cnn that trump knew about the payments he knew about donald trump's hush money payments to silence women who said they had sexual encounters with trump. a friend of the president is telling "vanity fair," and i quote, holy sh-- and you can guess the rest. this is more bad news for this white house. the bare knuckle tabloid
reportedly kept a safe full of documents on hush money payments and stories it killed, that's according to the associated press. so just days after trump's former fixer and keeper of secrets michael cohen flipped on him, we're learning that david pecker has flipped too. can you imagine what's going through the president's mind right now? is it any wonder the president has flipping on his mind when he sat down with fox news yesterday? >> this whole thing about flipping, they call it, i know all about flipping, for 30, 40 years, i've been watching flippers. it almost ought to be outlawed. >> all of this has to be especially shocking to a president who, in spite of his own disloyalty, demands loyalty from others above all else. >> we could use some more loyalty. i love loyalty. loyalty can be a wonderful thing. loyalty is very important. i'm loyal to a fault. loyalty. you know, some of these people
have like a 10% loyalty, meaning if they sneeze in the wrong direction, they're gone. >> huh. a president who says this about the man he has been slamming pretty much from day one, his own attorney general, jeff sessions. >> you know, the only reason i gave him the job, because i felt loyalty. he was an original supporter. >> and now, sessions is fighting back. saying in a statement, and i quote here, while i am attorney general, the actions of the department of justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations. that's a blow right across the bow right there. but you know what they say about this. you're known by the company you keep. how often did your parents tell you that or how often do you tell your children that? now some of the people donald
trump has surrounded himself with for years are turning on him. michael cohen. david pecker. omarosa. three people very close to him for decades. president trump may not have seen all of this coming. but he probably should have. after all, he is the man who made this a centerpiece of his campaign. >> on her way to work one morning, down the path along the lake, a tender hearted woman saw a poor, half-frozen snake. his pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew. poor thing, she cried, i'll take you in, and i'll take care of you. she stroked his pretty skin and then she kissed and held him tight. but instead of saying thank you, that snake gave her a vicious bite. you know your bite is poisonous and now i'm going to die.
oh, shut up, silly woman, said the reptile with a grin. you knew damn well i was a snake before you took me in. >> so -- okay. so who should be reciting that story? should cohen be reciting that story? omarosa? maybe pecker. is the snake trump? ponder that for a moment. i want to bring in now cnn politics editor at large chris cillizza, also kristen powers and ryan lizza. good evening to all of you. we're going to get to all of that in just a moment. but i've just got to tell you, kirsten, you heard what i was just talking about chris about. there's no way kellyanne was going to admit the president lied even though the evidence is right in front of her eyes. the tape says it. they're talking about a payment
to be made. how that payment should be made, and how they were going to do it. it didn't say i already did it, because the president says i only new afterwards. >> right. >> but as a complete bald-faced flat out l-i-e, lie. and i don't mean the long island expressway. >> i got it. i think that i don't understand why anyone goes back to her expecting her to come out and say something other than what the white house line is. and no matter how many different ways you go at her, she's going to go -- going to come back with saying that often isn't true and play the victim and pretend she's being talked over because she's a woman and all these other things. and i just find it kind of a waste of time, personally. i know we're divided. people are divided over these things, over whether these -- it's worthwhile talking to her or not. but i just wish that she would be a little more forthcoming and
answer the questions and stop spinning. >> so chris, let's get to the other stuff that we have. this potential fallout for donald trump appears to be getting bigger with reports that the publisher of "the national inquirer," david pecker, the president's buddy, granted immunity by prosecutors in the cohen investigation. that's huge. >> yeah, i mean, look. it's easy to focus just on when cohen cut the plea deal, we focused on cohen and what he said. the trump argument is, this is michael cohen, you can't trust this guy. what any lawyer i talked to said was, there's a zero percent chance the southern district of new york went just on michael cohen's word about what he said
as it relates to these payments to stormy daniels and karen mcdougal and donald trump's role in it. they corroborated it, right? this is prosecution 101. you don't just go with this one guy. if you're going to give him a plea deal, you make sure what he's telling you is provable and can be corroborated. so if you follow that chain, you sort of had to suspect ami, american media, that david pecker is the head of, had some role in that because they're central to karen mcdougal. we shouldn't be stunned but it does show that the guy who no one expected to roll over, david pecker, the guy who said i would take a bullet for donald trump, has now cut a plea. so, you know, you are starting to see these people who donald trump relied on for not just a year, not just every once in a while like he likes talk about with michael cohen, people who played central roles in his life before the presidency, have given up the goods. now, we don't know all the goods yet. but they've given them up. >> and just for the sake of
truth so far, lanny davis told me there is no deal. he just pled guilty. there is no deal for leniency or anything like that. none of that has happened. i guess it could happen in the future. so for the people who are saying he cut a deal and he's sort of bartering that against the truth, that is not the case at this point. so ryan, there's also this ap story about the safe, right? does that mean these stories were locked in the safe, are they about to come out? because no one knows where that information is. mysteriously, it has vanished. >> the a.p. said some of the information was moved. i mean, part of this story that i'm fascinated with is, you basically have the southern district of new york outlining a criminal conspiracy between pecker's company, ami, michael cohen, and candidate donald trump. they decided to give pecker
immunity, right, but they decided to either prosecute or they were going to indict cohen and forced him into a plea agreement. so they obviously, for whatever reason, made that decision between cohen and pecker that cohen was the bigger fish here, right, they wanted to send him to jail but they were willing to give pecker immunity to sort of corroborate the tale of how the three individuals violated, allegedly violated campaign finance laws. and the third person is the president of the united states. i'm fascinated with why did they pursue the campaign finance violations when they had cohen on tax evasion and on bank fraud, right? the only reason to do it, the only reason to go all out on the campaign finance violation, which let's be honest, the last time this argument was made was
against john edwards and the jury didn't buy the prosecution's argument, right? so these prosecutors in new york decided they were going to go after cohen on this issue for one reason and one reason only, i think, and that is because it implicated the president of the united states, and they thought it was very important to let everyone know that they believe the president was involved in a criminal conspiracy. the question now is, what next? what do we do with that information? what does mueller do with that information, what does congress do with that information? >> i want to read something real quick and i want to bring you guys back. this is from karen mcdougal's attorney. to all media asking our firm to comment on "national inquirer" publisher david pecker getting immunity, here is our official statement. told you so. when we come back, a new legal challenge for the president, one you can't fire his way out of.
back now with kristen powers and ryan lizza and chris cillizza. welcome back. new tonight, "the new york times" is reporting that the manhattan district attorney's office is considering criminal charges against the trump organization, two senior company officials in connection with the hush money payments to stormy daniels. how do you think the president
will react to this? >> i don't think he's going to like it. particularly because this will be out of his purview of pardoning, because it would involve a state law. whether it's an individual or a corporation, and in this case it looks like they were involved in some pretty shady behavior in terms of, you know, accounting for these fees as legal fees and that michael cohen was submitting phony invoices, you know, to sort of cover up what had transpired here. trump, this obviously hits very close to home for him, but most importantly there's nothing he can really do to try to, you know, influence it. >> chris, apparently, though, the official -- they told "the times" that they cautioned that this is still in its earliest stages, okay? but they proceed with this probe connected to cohen. wouldn't this be crossing the same red line the president set when he warned mueller not to get into his business dealings? >> yeah, i mean, it's a red line
i feel like has been crossed. you know, donald trump was trying to say you can't ask about anything other than russia. i feel like we're well beyond that at this point. and i'll note, as i've noted, everyone on twitter always attacks, where is russia, why isn't russia being mentioned? if you read the founding document that rod rosenstein put out establishing the special counsel, it says any other crimes that you come across. >> i read it as much as possible, chris. it irks me to no end -- there it is, it's up on the screen. the special counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters. but listen, when they say, oh, where's russia, there's no collusion, blah blah blah, so it doesn't mean anything, i always want to say to them, i scream at the television and say, do you remember how kenneth starr
started? it started with whitewater. >> correct. >> and it ended with monica lewinsky. all of a sudden have the rules changed, because this is a president that you support? that is not how it works. go on, sorry to interrupt. >> not at all. i'm glad i'm not the only one who yells at the television, thank you, don. point two, yeah, number one, it says, authorized to prosecute any federal crimes you may come across in this investigation. that's that. but i always say to people, how do we know? we don't know what mueller knows. he hasn't released anything. so the idea that well, these two things don't have to do with russia, okay, maybe they don't, but why should we assume -- it's like saying i left the basketball game in the second quarter, i'm just going to assume that the team that was ahead won. we don't know, maybe they did.
manafort has nothing to do with it. but maybe he does. >> if there's a crime, we should just look the other way. no, that's not how it works. >> paul manafort was convicted by a jury of his peers on eight felonies and 11 of the 12 jurors would have convicted him on 18 felonies. so i don't know how that's the deep state or bob mueller's fault. >> come on. the deep state handpicked that jury. that was sarcasm, by the way. ryan, i want to talk about attorney general jeff sessions hitting back after the president said this. watch. >> i put an attorney general that never took control of the justice department, jeff sessions, never took control of the justice department. and it's sort of an incredible thing. jeff sessions recused himself, which he shouldn't have done. or he should have told me. even my enemies say that jeff sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself and then you wouldn't have put him in. he took the job and then he said, i'm going to recuse myself. i said, what kind of a man is
this? >> umm, a man who is following the letter of the law? i mean, that's different than the criticism we have heard before. why does sessions put up with this? >> i don't know. i think what sessions did today in responding to that was really important. it was the first time that someone in this administration, and really the most important person in the administration because of his job running the justice department, it was the first time where he stood up and fully declared his independence from the president, and assured the american people that he would not let political interference sway the way that the justice department does its work. we now have the leadership at the department of justice as a sort of bulwark against a president who at least in my reading, watching that interview today, has complete contempt for the rule of law and views law enforcement officers and the justice department as people who should be his political protecters, you know, his sort
of shield and sword. that's what came out of that interview today, he believes the justice department should be a completely politicized weapon and shield for donald trump, which is a shocking thing for a president of the united states to believe, considering the oath of office they take. and what sessions did today, whatever you think of sessions on a whole host of issues, i'm sure we could agree and disagree with a lot of things sessions believes and does, but what he did today was really, really important in standing up, assuming he follows through. >> it's interesting, the same people who carted around law enforcement people on the campaign trail, lecturing protesters that they must respect law enforcement, is not respecting law enforcement. this is supposed to be the law and order administration. it doesn't seem to be that way. kirsten, i want to talk about impeachment. ryan did bring up that interview
on fox. this is what he said about impeachment. >> i don't -- i don't know how you can impeach somebody who has done a great job. i'll tell you what. 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 -- you would see numbers that you wouldn't believe, in reverse. >> i mean, the fact that you have a president of the united states sitting there talking about impeachment. but maybe he should like pick up the phone and talk to bill clinton who had a very robust economy, the country was doing really well, and was actually impeached. >> right. no, i think -- i mean, what he's saying doesn't really make a lot of sense. maybe he doesn't understand how impeachment works. i do think, however, that if the democrats win the house back, which is looking like they will if things are the way they are today, they're not going to have enough people in the senate to be able to convict him. so i think the impeachment stuff
is kind of -- people are getting a little ahead of themselves on it. >> i agree with you. >> i don't see a scenario, unless there's more information than this. i'm just saying based on this, i don't see there would be any way to get the requisite votes in the senate to actually convict him. >> kirstin is right, by the way, 67 votes, a super majority. so even if it democrats -- let's say they take back the senate, you're talking about 52, 53. we haven't seen a super majority vote for anything in a very long time. to kirstin's point, barring the mueller report -- >> i got to go, chris. >> -- showing things we don't know about. sorry. >> the president is sitting at the white house talking about impeachment only 20 months in. thank you, appreciate it. when we come back, why the manhattan district attorney is considering charges against the trump organization.
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comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. the manhattan d.a. tonight considering criminal charges against the trump organization in connection with the michael cohen case, according to "the new york times." their sources say two company officials could also face charges related to the hush money payment to stormy daniels. let's discuss this now. cnn legal analyst jack quinn and laura coates are here. you taught constitutional law. >> for three years at georgetown. >> so you know a little bit about this. >> enough to be dangerous. >> and john dean is here, the nixon white house counsel. nothing to talk about legally, jack. that is sarcasm. according to "the new york times," they're reporting that a
state investigation would center on how the trump organization accounted for its reimbursement to michael cohen, that $130,000 payment to stormy daniels. how significant a development is this? >> it's significant. when the investigation was opened up in the southern district, i made the comment that this whole investigation was metastasizing. it continues to metastasize. and i think you can expect that any law enforcement agency with equities in some of the conduct before us will want to have its opportunity to review the facts and see whether there's a legitimate case to be brought. >> laura, the trump organization recorded the payment as a legal expense but cohen says this payment was to buy stormy daniels's silence during the campaign. problematic? >> extremely. when you have reporting requirements, the underlying premise behind them is that you report things truthfully and accurately so you have transparency so you know whether
it's a campaign finance violation, whether it's an irs exposure for tax liability or anything else. if you're trying to circumvent the law by hiding it in different places, you already have this idea that people are going to be suspicious of it. it's the intent already being formed about what they were trying to do. if michael cohen is saying, and of course we have to test that theory, if he is to be believed about this, that means there were more parties who were complicit in hiding the truth from the american people and from the campaign finance oversight committees. this is a huge problem. >> and interestingly enough, john, we're talking about state charges. so the president doesn't have pardon power here. could that have an impact on what the trump organization officials tell investigators? >> it could. but i think there actually is a stronger argument on behalf of a state prosecution to block it while a sitting president is still sitting, maybe deferring it until after he gets out of the presidency. otherwise you could have a
situation where every state that was a political enemy of a president could start filing and drumming up charges. that isn't as true as the federal situation. but i think that's an argument that will probably come up pretty soon. >> and then afterwards, you know, they say a sitting president can't be indicted, that has yet to be tested. if they wait until after he's president, then he's no longer president so then he can be indicted. >> he can at that point. >> so listen, also tonight, jack, also reported tonight is that "the national inquirer" kept a safe with killed stories that were damaging to trump, candidate trump. since pecker reportedly -- pecker reportedly has immunity, right, that's what "the wall street journal" is reporting. how damaging is this to president trump? >> well, it remains to be seen. but it should certainly be very concerning to the president, because this is more the source of more and more corroboration. and that's what the prosecution
is building up here, corroborators. and, you know, you started out asking about the safe. mr. pecker did not get immunity and retain possession of the contents of this safe. >> exactly. >> okay? >> he's offering something. if he's getting immunity, he's probably offering a lot. >> the contents of the safe are downtown, at foley square. >> you think so? that's what i was going to ask laura, if he's cooperating and apparently this information has somehow been moved, i'm wondering if investigators already have the information that's in the safe. and by the way, i don't know if people are making a big enough deal of this pecker thing, because if the mcdougal and the daniels thing came out of that, who knows what else is there. go on. >> first of all, the idea that someone would think the documents they have in the safe would not be able to be viewed
in any other format when you probably printed it from a source that the grand jury already had oversight over, the computer, for example, is a little remarkable. the other notion, you're absolutely right to make a very big deal of this. when michael cohen recorded the audio conversation between himself and candidate trump, he mentioned david pecker. he talked about we have to do everything we can in case he were to be hit by a bus. >> laura, let me play it. we'll talk about it on the other side. let's play it. >> i need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend david. >> okay. do we have the rest of it? where he talks about pecker? okay, let's play it. >> i need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend david, so that i'm going to do that right away. i've actually --
>> give it to me -- >> and i've spoken to allen weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with -- >> so what are we -- >> -- funding -- yes. and it's all the stuff -- >> you're thinking about that. >> because you never know -- >> he gets hit by a truck. >> correct. so i'm all over that. and i spoke to allen about it. when it comes time for the financing, which will be -- >> what financing? >> well, i have to pay. >> we'll pay cash. >> no, no, no. >> by the way, that doesn't sound like after the fact. that sounds like before. the president having knowledge of it before it happened. regardless of what he said in that interview with fox news. but laura, you were making the point. go on. >> making the point that of course he mentions david pecker in that conversation and used the phrase "all of them." up to that point we believed it was karen mcdougal who had her story caught and killed. then it was stephanie clifford.
but it seem that all of it alludes to far more than that. david pecker is now i'm union -- is now immunized to talk about what all those things are. alan weisselberg was subpoenaed as well several weeks ago. so everybody mentioned in that recording has been subpoenaed in some fashion in connection with the michael cohen investigation. this is an example of the walls closing in. everyone that was mentioned was implicated either explicitly or implicitly. it's interesting the president talked about something in the interview. the president's attorney made his name on corruption, by flipping people, is how he got the cases solved. i wonder what the president's own attorney would say about that. i'm talking about rudy giuliani. we'll be right back. is not a b. it's a revolution in sleep. the new sleep number 360 smart bed is on sale now, from $899, during sleep number's 'biggest sale of the year'.
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and we're back now, breaking news. rudy giuliani walking back comments on a potential pardon for paul manafort. tonight the president's lawyer says trump won't pardon anyone involved in the russia investigation during the investigation. i want to bring back jack, laura, and john dean. since we're on the subject of rudy giuliani, this is what the president said to fox news about flipping.
watch this. >> everything's 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. it's called flipping. and it almost ought to be illegal. >> what do you think, i mean, should be almost outlawed, almost illegal, do you think there's a reason why he keeps adding that word to it? >> it's breathtaking, that particular comment, among some others. you know, he's talking about the administration of justice. he's talking about prosecuting crimes. getting people to turn in order to provide evidence against a criminal organization is what helps keep all of us safe. >> i've got to ask you this. laura, and jack, you can probably weigh in on this. the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani, made a name for himself in new york getting members of the mob like vincent "fish" to flip, they took down fat tony solerno.
it is very common. again, this is how rudy giuliani made his name. isn't this how the justice system works? >> it is, and he's being very flippant about flipping. if you have unique knowledge because you were somehow associated with somebody, that somehow you're always going to feed them what they want to hear as opposed to the truth. there are measures that a prosecutor has to take to make sure the information they receive from that person who is providing information is in fact verifiable and can be corroborated in some form or fashion. they don't just say please tell me all the things i would like to hear. it would make your job a whole lot easier, trying cases. but you have to be in furtherance of justice, and there are parameters there. the idea that flipping is synonymous with lying, that's what the president and giuliani want you to believe. giuliani forgets most prosecutors require the assistance of people who are unsavory and people who may have
a vested interest in saving their own hide to give us information that is truthful and verifiable. >> and who go to great length to make sure those people who are flipping are in fact telling the truth to the prosecutors, because they don't want to go out on a limb with rotten evidence. >> and by the way -- >> hold on, laura. john dean knows a thing about cooperating with investigators. this is a conversation between john ehrlichman and president nixon, from april 8th of 1973, and they're talking about you, john. >> john dean thinks that that's mitchell's frame of mind on all of this. he doesn't really know much about preparing himself. so, uh -- >> what does dean think about everything? >> he says it's not going to go away, it's right on top of us, and the smartest thing dean can do is go down there and appear
cooperative. >> appear cooperative. what nixon didn't count on is that you would tell the truth and not lie. are you seeing history repeat himself? >> there is some of that. i must tell, don, one of the great metaphors of watergate came out when i testified about that conversation, because i had called haldeman, first i told him earlier, i hired a lawyer, and we were going to meet with the prosecutors. and his line was, he called me from air force one, was that, remember, john, once the toothpaste is out of the tube it's very hard to get back in. that was the origin of that comment. but i did go into the white house and reported to haldeman and ehrlichman, and that's what he's reported to the president on. >> that's got to be the last word. a report asks national security adviser if president trump is a security risk. you've got to see his response, next.
national security advisor, john bolton meeting with with his counterpart in geneva and insisting the u.s. won't tolerate any interference in the midterms. james clapper the former director of national intelligence. i've got to ask you, the chaos in this white house causing headaches for his staff overseas. i want to hear what bolton was asked. >> given the events of this week and admissions of pay offs and you've mentioned election
meddling. were you ever concerned that your own president is a security risk? >> of course not. i mean that's a silly question. and i just spoke to him literally a few minutes ago and we have performed here in exactly the way i think the two leaders would have expected us to and honestly have a little faith in the american people who elected him president. thank you very much. >> not the topic he wants to be addressing, especially overseas. >> it clearly upset him. with with all the lately about security clearances, there are are 12 or 13 specific critearian that are used to make judgments about people and whether they're trustworthy enough to have access to classified information. and you know, if you use those 12 or 13, i think our president
would have a hard time. the thing that struck me about that is just the fact the question was asked and it was a serious question. and by the way one of those things you worry about is vulnerability of blackmail tprrbgs example. and recent revelations certainly revealed at least the potential for that. and certainly if the american can people were -- had access to the same data that a security clearance ajudicator would have, if the president had been subjected to that, the voting might have been different. >> i want you to listen, mr. director, to this moment from a meeting with law makers today. >> i believe that china represents the foremost national security and economic challenge to our country of any other country in the world.
>> not russia? >> -- in the long term. >> not russia? >> in addition it's military transformation. . >> do you have confidence he's taking the threat of russian interference seriously? >> i don't think he takes that seriously nor do i think he takes the threat of russia seriously. in my opinion and it's just my view i believe that as long as putin is in power, our primary adversary is going to be russia. for lots of reasons. not only because of the meddling, which continues but because of the profound strategic threat they pose in the modernization of their nuclear arsenal and they only have one adversary in mind and that's us. i think he's right. long term i theubg china pose as great threat to us. tprrsz but the fact our two
economies are so intertwined i think does serve to somewhat moderate chinese behavior. >> you yourself have become subject of the president's aoeur. ire. "even skwraeupl clapper hassed a monished john brennan to having gone totalally off the rails. --" >> someone on cnn notified me about the tweet and i actually don't pay too mup attention to them anymore and just to be clear i wasn'ted a monishing john. i'm in support of him. i think this illustrates just how political this security clearance is when he things i'm trying to curry favor to keep my clearance which has nothing to do with anything.
the tweets sort of amising. >> you have the same response to his tweets about you as i do to his tweets about me. just brush it off your shoulder and -- >> exactly. >> thank you, always a pleasure. when we come back, what could he say full of secret said? what could it mean to the stormy daniels case?
his boss in paying hush money. he was awake in the we hours this morning tweeting his favorite refrains about witch hunts and collusions. today began with counterpunching interview with his favorite network. differing accounts of when he knew what, not to mention giving himself an a-plus as president. then frequently attackedturny general jeff sessions decided he's had enough saying the department of justice would not be influenced by politics. and then the president's -- well, his day got even worse. david picker has flipped. he