tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN October 19, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
hello and thank you for joining me. i'm ana cabrera in for brooke baldwin this friday. we begin with major vaechl developments, involving two former associates of president trump. right now paul manafort goes before a judge this hour to find out when he'll be sentenced. more on that in just a moment. but first, trump's personal
attorney michael cohen speaking out where he continued to distance himself from the president and urged voters to send trump a message in november. cnn's m.j. lee caught up with him moments ago. what all did cohen have to say? >> reporter: we did just catch up with michael cohen outside his manhattan home. he had something to say, and that is that he wants the american people to vote donald trump out of the white house. >> reporter: a couple things i'd like to ask you. how are you doing? >> i'm okay. >> reporter: your lawyers said you're now a democrat. what made you do that? >> i was a democrat my entire life. i switched because of the request from the rnc, couldn't be the vice chair of the rnc and be a democrat. >> reporter: and you tweeted over the weekend that the upcoming elections will be the most important in our lifetime. up sa you said people should get out and vote. what did you mean? >> listen, here's my
recommendation. grab your family, grab your friends, grab your neighbors. get to the years and get to the polls because if not you'll have another two to six years of this craziness. >> reporter: you had a meeting with investigators yesterday. anything about that? >> this interview was remarkable for a couple of reasons. michael cohen has not done an on-camera interview in a very long time, especially because he has been in so much legal trouble, he has not done on-the-record interviews and has not been defending himself. now the fact that he is willing and eager to go on camera to deliver this message about donald trump is pretty fascinating. that's also in addition to other things that we have reported about this evolution of michael cohen, right, that last week his lawyer said he changed his party registration from republican back to democrat, that he is willing to now campaign against donald trump if democrats are
wanting him to do that. the fact that we've seen this go full circle, michael cohen, donald trump's fixer, the guy who would defend him at all costs now saying everyone should get out and vote against the president. >> such a fascinating conversation. m.j., stand by. we also want to discuss what's happening right now in a federal courtroom. paul manafort is in court discussing a possible sentencing date with a judge over his conviction on fraud charges. let's go inside the courthouse. cara, we're hearing manafort just appeared in a wheelchair? how did they explain that? >> reporter: that's right, ana. it was a surprise that silenced the courtroom when manafort entered into the courtroom in a wheelchair wearing a green jumpsuit. he has some sort of inflammation in his right foot. it was bandaged in a sock,
slightly elevated in a sock and it relates to his diet. it's one issue that his lawyer raised saying he hoped the judge would sentence manafort as soon as possible. if he gets transferred into a federal prison and better nutrition. that was the big surprise of the day. the judge agreed to sentence manafort but not until february 8th. we have several months before manafort will be sentenced. he is cooperating with the special counsel's office. cnn reporting he's been in there nine times in the past month. prosecutors were asked if they knew when manafort would finish this corroboration. they said they did not have a date where they could pinpoint that he would end that. but, yeah, the big surprise of the day was seeing manafort confined to a wheelchair with his foot elevated, which has to relate to some of his nutritional i guess deficiencies, ana.
>> thank you for that update. joining us to discuss these updates, ellie and m.j. manafort showed up in a wheelchair. apparently there's some medical condition. do you think that is going to be a factor in his sentencing? >> prison is a brutal place. when it comes to sentencing, everything's on the table. if i'm his lawyer, i'd try to make a pitch to the judge he's really suffering, if it's legitimate, which i assume it is. he's 69, 70 years old. it could be part of a sentencing play. >> we're learning that manafort has met with mueller's team for nine separate meetings. does that seem like a lot to you? >> no, it's appropriate for a major cooperator. that tells me mueller is very
interested in manafort and he's giving him very valuable information. you don't spend nine hours and 50 hours with someone unless they have important information and unless you find it credible and believele. a -- believable. essentially prosecutors are sitting there saying tell us everything you know, every crime you participated in, who else is involved, are there other record backing it up? and the prosecutor goes back to his office with 20 pages of notes and says now i have to refine this, what am i going to focus on, ultimately what am i going to turn into a criminal charge. i think it's unlikely they'd sp spend this much time with manafort if they weren't considering criminal charges. >> woe just learne just learne n sentencing date is in february. >> prosecutors want to push off
the date because you want that leverage, that incentive hanging over the cooperator. a lot of times we would set a sentencing date and adjourn it and adjourn it and adjourn it. this judge seems like he wants to get it done. i do think they have big plans for him. >> m.j., cohen is a man doing a lot of talking. he also has been meeting with mueller investigators for hours in the last several weeks and months perhaps since he was initially given that plea deal in august on other charges. this is a guy doing a lot of talking without a cooperation agreement. >> that's right. he's been very busy. when he pleaded guilty in august, there was no cooperation deal. he pleaded guilty and i think it's important to keep in mind what his primary motivation is. his sentencing is going to be in december and from now until
then, he's going to try to fight to do anything possible to try to get some leniency. he has been meeting with investigators as special counsel robert mueller's office, at the a.g.'s office, fdny. what is he actually saying? these are investigators who are interested in a lot of different aspects of donald trump's life and past work life, including the trump organization, the trump foundation, possible tax schemes he and his family might have been involved in. you can imagine michael cohen would walk into any of these rooms and say i i am the guy who knows him, his legal background and anything that might be in his closet better than anybody else, you should talk to me because i can help you. >> did he have anything to say about mueller when you talked to him? >> he did not. as he was quickly walking away back into his house, i tried to ask him about some of has to meetings he's been having with investigators and he walked back inside. we didn't expect he would wade
into that because this is so sensitive. he did not comment. >> elie, he's not talking about the investigation but he's making political statements against trump. does that make him a less credible witness. >> it does. i don't like this whole political thing he's on. the best cooperating witnesses are the ones who don't have any ax to grind. you never want your cooperator to be accused of you have a personal or political gripe with this person. i don't think this political thing is a particularly helpful look for him or for the prosecution. by the way, he can't vote himself because he's now a con vbd fe convicted felon. >> you can imagine the average public person is saying can i really trust this guy who now says he's against donald trump when for so many years he was so loyal to the president and was the guy defending him in every
turn, saying very flattering things, calling him the smartest, most talented person. >> in many ways that plays right into trump's hands. thank you very much, both of you. >> new details on how turkish agents tailed is saudi hit squad. we have the latest on the investigation just ahead. and the president is touting his closing argument for his party ahead of the midterms, praising a tax on the press and even threatening to send the military to the southern border. will this messaging pay off at the polls? we'll discuss. billions of mouths.
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as thousands of honduran immigrants journey closer to the united states, president trump is reigniting his demands for a stronger border. he sent secretary of state mike pompeo to mexico city. he meets with president pena nieto next hour. as you know, i'm willing to send the military to defend our southern border if necessary. all caused because of the illegal immigration onslaught brought by the democrats because they refuse to acknowledge or to change the laws. they like it. they also figure everybody coming in is going to vote democrat. meantime as the white house
faces pressure to find out what happened to khashoggi, the president praised a congressman who assaulted a reporter. >> any guy who can do a body slam, he's anyway gumy guy. >> joining us, julie, san antonio yesterday, nevada tomorrow. president trump is on the move. can his closing argument help republicans save the house? >> i think he's certainly going to do as much as he can to try to make that happen. what we're seeing now is the same donald trump that you saw on the campaign trail in 2016, the same donald trump who we've
seen at rallies throughout this year, but he's really stepping up the pace of them now. and clearly enjoying being able to be himself, being able to talk tough about things like body slamming a reporter, things like cracking down on illegal immigration at the border. i think to some degree republicans need for him to be doing this. they need for him to be activating the conservative base, they need to be activating the, you know, sort of trump coalition that came out to elect him if they have any hope of holding on to the senate and the house. what's not as clear is whether the backlash from some of this kind of rhetoric in some of these places might swamp whatever advantage the republicans are getting from it. we know that this kind of message doesn't really resonate with a lot of the voters that republicans who are trying to hold on to competitive districts need to turn out, you know, women, college-educated white voters, younger voters,
certainly voters of color are not going to respond well to this and might be even more motivated to turn out for democrats if the president is making this case. but i think republicans really have no choice looking at the map other than trying to use the president and the president is enthusiastically pushing that line. >> as we point out, these rallies have been more than just a ticking through of his successes. we've seen the president return to the issues that drove candidate trump in 2016, immigration, and attacking the media. >> absolutely. these are lines that worked for him then and that his base really loves. it's interesting when you look at these rallies how little, for instance, he talks about the tax cuts. that's sort of the signature legislative achievement he's been able to put in place through his two years in office. we hear very little about that. we hear a lot about how good the economy is. i think with an eye toward really trying to reawaken that
spirit of fighting back and trying to retake the country that's a little harder to do now that the republicans are in control of the white house, the house and the senate. so i think he's trying to push those wedge issues in a way that he thinks can be helpful to turning out republicans. >> the president likes to attack, that's part of his m.o., part of his brand, but were you surprised he was actually praising physical assault? >> yeah, well, you know, he does like to talk tough and all of his rallies all feature a pretty sizable section of booing and jeering at the press. you know, his crowds often will chant, you know, derisive chants at the press. we haven't seen since the campaign him seeming to egg on violence. when he was running for president, he talked about getting rid of the guys who were protesting in the back of one of his speeches. that came pretty close to
seeming to exort people on to take violent action. he clearly was praising this member of congress who did that to a journalist. at the very least it's unfortunate timing given all the attention that's now being paid rightly to the murder -- the apparent murder of jamal khashoggi. >> i want to turn to the democratic message right now. in recent days a lot of democrats have been tempering their calls for the president to be impeached. but last night presidential candidate beto o'rourke said this -- >> i would liken impeachment to an indictment. there is enough there to proceed with a trial for a full vetting of the facts and to make the best informed decision in the interest of this country and our future. as you know, under the constitution as a member of the senate, it's a far different bar. >> julie, were you surprised to hear him say that? and does that actually maybe work to the president's advantage in some way?
>> well, he certainly is somewhat unique in that you don't hear democratic candidates really campaigning on this fall and in fact they go generally to great lengths to avoid talking about it. they don't want to be pigeon holed as the party that just wants to take down the president at all costs. >> especially in a place like texas, right? >> exactly. but you have to look at what o'rourke needs to do to win. if you look at the polls, it's an uphill slog for him. but what he does need to do is signal to this groundswell of grass roots supporters that he's going to be at least willing to go there and consider that because there is such antipathy among a lot of his voters and the democratic base for the president. i haven't talked to anyone in his campaign but my guess is that he's made the calculation here that to rule something like
that out when he has a chance to really intensify democratic turnout and what he will need to be even close to defeating his republican rival ted cruz, he's going to have to signal he's at least open to those things. we've seen him be successful really appealing to the progr s progressive base. they don't want to hear that's off the table. he's approached this in a different way than most democrats have i think for that reason. >> julie, thank you. good to see you. we have new details on how turkish officials tried to stop a suspected saudi hit squad they believed killed jamal khashoggi, even dressing up as airline workers to inspect the plane they were traveling in. we'll ask a personal friend of khashoggi why jamal feared for his life. un-stop right there!
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it all has to do with the same type of creating fake media accounts in particular and trying to disrupt and sow discord, particularly on issues that affect minority communities. i want to read a little bit from the complained and how it was described. it sis begays beginning around december 2016 and may 2018, members of the conspiracy used social media and other internet platforms to inflame passions on a wide variety of topics including immigration, gun control and the second amendment, the confederate movement, lgbt issues, the national anthem debate. you see all the hot-button issues being discussed now.
this woman, she is a 44-year-old russian national. she is not here. we will not see her in court today, ana, out there in the eastern district of virginia, but she served as the chief accountant of a project called project latfa that was funded by concord management, that same russian firm indicted by the special counsel's office earlier this year, ana. >> laura jarrett that, is new information. thank you for bringing that to us. i want to bring back elie honig who help us die jugest what we learned. >> it's similar to the first group indictment that mueller returned on the 12 russians, who were accused of stealing identities and creating false accounts to harbor discord. and the connection to concord management makes it a concrete connection. there's now a play book for doing this.
there's sort of an established way that people looking to interfere with the election can go about it. this is not hacking, that's separate. this is utilizing social media and fake accounts to sow discord. this i think the first time we've seen this relating to the upcoming midterms. the prior relate to the 2016 presidential elections. >> they turned this quickly, did this investigation quickly. this indictment happening and apparently as recent as may of 2018, this year, that this was taking place. we didn't see many, many months for this to happen. >> that's a pretty quick turn around. it may be the prosecutor saw getting this out there before the election. perhaps when people go on facebook and social media and see wild claims and accounts out there, maybe they'll think twice. >> charged with information warfare. have you heard of that? >> that's not a legal term. i imagine the charges are
something along the line of what we saw out of mueller, identity theft, wire fraud that, kind of thing. this is stealing people's information and misusing online accounts in order to put out false information, divisive information for an electoral advantage. >> thank you very much. new details into the disappearance of "washington post" columnist jamal khashoggi. cnn has learned turkish suspected within hours that he had lightly been killed. we learned members of the saudi consulate staff are now giving statements as witnesses to the public prosecutor's office in istanbul. this is according to turkey's state-run broadcaster. the workers include a consulate driver and a phone operator. clarissa ward is joining us live now in ankara, turkey. what details are you hearing now, clarissa, as it stands
right now? >> reporter: i do think there is a sense that the turkish investigation is finally starting to gain momentum after being allowed into the consulate and into the consulate's residency and being allowed finally to talk to employees of the cans lonsulate. the justice minister said he hopes the investigation will conclude soon and the results will be made public to the worlder senseworld essentially. we're learning some new details. essentially turkish officials new within hours that something very bad had happened to khashoggi. they rushed to the airport and got on the plane that was going back to the saudi capital. they searched thein pla plane, didn't find anything. they even asked the x-ray operator if human remains would
show up in the luggage that was being put through the x-ray machine. he said yes, it would show up. the turks had heard that audiotape within hours of it happening but they still waited five days until they went public. one has the sense behind the scenes that they were trying to give saudi arabia a grace period, some time to explain what had happened. of course what did saudi arabia do during that period? they continued to push this lie essentially that jamal khashoggi had walked out of the consulate, that they had no idea where he was. it was only after five days continuing that narrative that the turks finally doo siee sid public. the question is when did they decide to go with the nuclear option, to go public with the actual recording.
clarissa ward, thank you for that reporting. i want to bring in someone who personally knew jam khashoggi, he struck up a friendship with khashoggi in the summer of 2017. first, omar, this must be a difficult time for you with all of this. how are you holding up? >> honestly, it's really difficult. it's not only about me. it's also about jamal's family and jamal's friends. it's shock and till now i don't want to believe that something happened to jamal. i don't want to believe that he was killed that way as we learned. >> when was the last time you spoke to jamal? >> 28 september.
>> you say jamal was afraid. what did he tell you about being afraid? >> can you repeat that, please? >> forgive me, we have a bad connection. when you talked to jamal, he expressed he was afraid. what did he tell but that? >> i was asking him if mbs is going to change his behavior because for the last few months he was -- i asked him do you think that this guy is going to change his behavior? he told me, no, that's not going to happen. he's going to be more violent. i said so what do you think? he said okay, i'll pray for you that you're not going to be harmed because of gadhafi craziness. what did he mean by gadhafi
craziness? when we saw what happened to jamal, now i understood what did he want to say. >> and you said "he" in terms of he felt threatened by a man of some sort. did you know who that person was that was threatening him? >> honestly i cannot give you a name but jamal was contacted by so many saudi officials. he saw the ambassador in washingt washington. they called him. they were trying to -- they were trying to send him back. they were trying to convince him but he didn't cooperate. he didn't believe that they're going to change the way that they're dealing with the problems that they're having. so he said no thank you. they wanted also to fund one of his organizations. he said no, thank you very much, i'm going to work by my own, i don't need any help. but here's the thing, when he
refused and when he started to work with dissidents or when he started to criticize mbs in "the washington post" or started to work on some other project, they didn't like that. so they said, no, you're not going to go forward with it. >> why would the saudis risk an international crisis if they did in fact murder him? he is one person and it's triggered international scrutiny at the very least. >> honestly that shows how weak they are. you know, they did the same to the prime minister of lebanon. i don't know what did they do to him. yes, he wasn't killed, yes, but they did something stupid. so maybe they thought that they would do the same to jamal khashoggi and nobody know anything about it but here's the thing, his fiancee was waiting
outside and maybe the turks could hear everything. >> omar, thanks very much for your time. and our condolences in what you're going through in missing your friend jamal. thousands of migrants making their way to the u.s. president trump threatening to close down the border. what kind of a deal, if any, will they reach on how to handle this? plus the university of southern california says it is tentatively offering a $215 million settlement to former pas patients of a university gynecologi gynecologist. this is after 93 more women came forward with allegations just yesterday. we have the latest on the allegations and the lawsuit just ahead.
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migrants are continuing their journey to the united states and cnn special correspondent bill weir is traveling alongside what is being called a caravan at the mexican border. bill, are mexican officials letting these migrants pass through? >> reporter: no, ana, they are not, despite literally a wave of humanity that essentially broke open the gates of mexico. we're on a bridge that separates guatemala from the southern tip of mexico here. there's about 400 riot policemen, fedralis, and for some reason on the guatemalan side, there's this huge sea of humanity. children, toddlers. they came streaming up to the fence. at first they tried to form a
single-form line because they were told they'd be let in one at a time in a humane, orderly way. but the crowd was too powerful. they were greeted by the cops. the policemen are forcing the gates back after firing either smoke canisters -- i didn't smell tear gas. an incredibly frightening scene to be in the middle of this scrum of people. now people have backed off, there's a little more space and you can see all the shoes that have been lost in the trample. there's a man in front of me suffering from heat stroke, maybe having a heart attack. it's so hard to tell. the majority of the crowd is from honduras. in fact, they're waving honduras flags. most of the people i've talked to say they just are so desperate that they have no other choice than to come north and look for work.
some told me they were going to mexico and some to the united states. i asked if they were deterred by president trump, by separating families and they said they have no choice. some say they'd be willing to stay on montmonth months -- streets for months if that's what it takes. the new president takes over in december, who has a much more humane, sympathetic attitude toward migrants than his predecessor. but so far it looks like mexico is holding the line here at this river, ana. >> we did know that mexico had isn't troops to the southern border, but they said it was to provide aid and to care for migrants. i'm quote hearing in an orderly manner and full roo expect for the human rights of migrants. it sound lis like what you're
describing, bill, is chaos. >> reporter: whoa, whoa, whoa. somebody just threw -- maybe it was a water bottle. people literally scattered in panic thinking it was smoke. false alarm. this is really just an exercise in crowd control. imagine if they threw open the gates to a concert, as we've learned that lesson in years past and people are trampled. that's what happened when they opened up the guatemalan side. oh, tear gas. tear gas. the canister landed literally two feet from me. no, no, no, no, doesn't throw rocks! oh. >> bill, if you need to go, we understand. we understand if you need to go. stay safe. >> reporter: all right. i got to get to safety. i'll check back in. >> get to safety. we'll take a break and let you get where you need to go.
please do be careful out there. bill weir reporting from the mexico border, the border with guatemala, southern border, traveling with this caravan trying to make their way to the united states. they've now been confronted at that southern border in mexico. it sounds like there has been tear gas now deployed to try to do some kind of crowd control. we'll check back in with bill as we get an opportunity to talk to him, make sure he stays safe. in the meantime, i want to tell you what's happening at the university of southern california. the university is now tentatively offering a $215 million settlement with former patients of a university gynecologist after 93 more women came forward with allegations. we have the latest on the accusations and the lawsuits just ahead. face the world as a face to be reckoned with. only botox® cosmetic is fda approved to temporarily make
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more break beiing news thisr in the sex abuse case of southern california and one of its gynecologists. usc is offering a $215 million settlement against claims about dr. george tyndall. 93 more women came forward. >> he took pictures of me when i was completely naked. >> i couldn't believe it when i
found out that the lapd has boxes of photos. >> he molested me. he made me feel less than. >> some of these date back to 1988. he just retired after 30 years at usc. sarah, we mentioned this $215 million settlement offer but what are the accusers looking for? railroad look, this offer according to one of the attorneys involved in the case that you just showed there that had those 93 more women that came forward just 24 hours ago does not pertain to the majority of the women who have brought cases against this doctor and against usc. there are at this point about 463 women who have accused either this doctor and usc of hiding information or accused the doctor of sexual misconduct. and we've spoken to the attorney, john manly, who is representing these women that you met yesterday with all of
their stories saying that this does not pertain to them. usc says that this is a settlement of $215 million made with some of the women and this has to be approved by a court. so it is a tentative settlement. both sides have agreed to the numbers and have agreed to the details but this does have to be approved by a judge, making it basically a settlement in principle is how they put it. but having talked to this other attorney who is representing these women, many of his cases are actually in state court. the settlement appears to be only those cases that have been provided in federal court. and he says in looking at the settlement, he believes it is a slap in the face to many of these women, to many of these victims who have come forward and they are vowing to fight on. they are in state court and will continue their cases against both usc, which they say has been hiding information, has not been forthcoming about this, and
they call these students part of the usc family but they say they have not been treated as such and against dr. tyndall as well. he basically said, john manly, that this was actually a protection for the doctor, not for the victims. so serious fight still ahead for usc. >> thank you for that update. >> two breaking news stories we are following this hour. a russian national is being charged with trying to interfere in the 2018 midterms, part of a propaganda effort to hurt american democracy according to the indictment. what cnn has just learned. plus cnn's bill weir is in the middle of a chaotic scene along the mexico/guatemala border where thousands of migrants are trying to cross into mexico. you see all of these police officers, troops from the national guard of mexico, who are on the border. we'll take you there in a moment. - i get headaches.
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