tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN November 28, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. thank you so much. hi, everyone, i'm brooke baldwin. we begin with breaking news that's exclusive to cnn. we are just learning what president trump told special counsel robert mueller in writing about two specific issues that are part of the russia investigation. these are the answers he provided pertaining to wikileaks and the 2016 trump tower meeting. let's go straight to dana bash, who is breaking the story. dana, what did the president say or write? >> reporter: brooke, as you mentioned, we are really getting the first insight into how the president responded to robert mueller's written questions. up until now it's been a big unknown. so sources familiar with the matter tell cnn two things, brooke. number one, that the president told the special counsel that roger stone did not tell him about wikileaks; and, number two, that the president was also not told about the 2016 trump tower meeting between his son,
campaign officials and a russian lawyer promising dirt on hillary clinton. now, the president's answers were described to us. we didn't get any direct quotes, and the president also made clear, we are told, as part of his answer that he was giving them to the best of his recollections. wikileaks, the trump tower meetings, those are really key to what mueller's central mission has been, which is investigating whether the trump campaign colluded with russians in 2016. >> how different is this, these written responses, from what the president has said publicly? >> reporter: we're told what the president has said in these written answers match his public statements. but there is a really big difference. these written answers would be subject to criminal charges if false. that's why it's our understanding that the president made clear his answers were the best of his recollection, which is standard for lawyers as a way to try to shield their client
should their recollections be challenged money. >> how do you think democrats will respond? >> well, we know our manu raju has already gotten to adam schiff. >> there really needs to be a live interview with the president because you need to be able to ask follow-up questions realtime. in terms of whether he was aware of the meeting in trump tower, there is important relevant information we were not allowed to get. one of the key examples are the phone regard that show who was on that phone call that don jr. had sandwiched between his call to set up the meeting at trump tower. >> so adam schiff is referring to an unknown caller. that's what came up on the screen when don jr. was having a conversation with a known caller on the other end.
he might not know about those phone records. you can be sure robert mueller. and the whole notion of a live interview, remember what we're reporting now at the beginning of the at least for the first time we know some of the answers that the president gave in these written q & a sessions that this is and was part of a very extensive negotiation between team trump and team mueller about how to get the president's answers. and at least with regard to collusion, this is what they came up with, written questions, written answers. >> dana bash with the scoop. let's analyze now. joseph moreno is here, a former prosecutor for the justice department. joe, the trump tower meeting, roger stone, wikileaks, both lawyers in the trump case says to the best of his recollection trump wasn't told. wasn't told. your quick analysis on that. >> to the best of my recollection, that is exactly lawyer talk. i would never let a client go in
in any scenario, much less something with such high stakes and make an emphatic statement. you always say to the best of my recollection. it gives you a little wiggle room. >> wiggle room is a good thing depending on your perspective. there's been so much that has happened since the calendar date of let's say the trump tower meeting. do you think it's possible that mueller might have enough evidence to prove trump otherwise? >> wiggle room only gets you so far. to dana's points, these are sworn statements. they're the equivalent of being under oath. so if you're caught lying -- >> criminal. >> surely. does it give you more time to prep? absolutely. but the stakes are extremely high with these written answers. saying to the best of my recollection it was two and a half years ago, that gives you wiggle room. but if you're faced with e-mail, evidence, other witnesses that are contrary to what you said,
you could still be in trouble. >> we have a bit more about the communication between paul manafort who has breached his plea deal and is no longer a credible witness, the fact that as he was talking to team mueller, his lawyer was talking to trump's lawyers. what do you know about that? >> right, exactly. we talked about it on this show yesterday that rudy giuliani told me very explicitly that he was and has been in pretty constant contact with paul manafort's attorney as things were going on. now, they didn't have and don't have a formal joint defense agreement, which can you talk to your esteemed lawyer there on the set about what that means, but they have had an informal ones. they're not the only ones in and and the mueller investigation. what apparently has many eyebrows raised inside the mueller team is the question of whether or not the manafort team was giving information that they
gleaned from the questions they were getting during a plea agreement negotiation to the president. what i do know from rudy giuliani is one of the things that the manafort legal team was complaining about to the trump team was the fact that according to giuliani, they felt he was getting squeezed, railroaded was the word giuliani used with me, to try to force him to say, for example, that the president knew about the trump tower meeting in 2016 when, according to at least manafort's lawyer, he didn't believe that or didn't have that information. it wasn't something that he maybe knew about. so that's kind of an example of the talks. they're not, as we talked about yesterday, it's not illegal -- >> it's not illegal, it's important to say. but it could -- go ahead. what are you going to say? it doesn't look good. >> yeah. and one of the things that some of the attorneys who have been
involved in cases like this before have said it could put some of the lawyers in a position where they might be called as witnesses because of the goings on. >> i want you to jump in on that. as i was listening to her and you think about it, it's hard because we're so in the weeds of all this but the 30-second view is hang on a second. the muanafort team is talking t the trump lawyer, they're talking to mueller, all around the same time, trump has submitted his written answers to mueller. i know you're with me. what do you make of the timing of all of this? >> "the new york times" characterized this whole arrangement as highly unusual. this is borderline bizarre. the idea that -- maybe it's not illegal but it's so contrary to the spirit of cooperation, that you're cooperating supposedly completely truthfully but at the same time then running information back through lawyers to the very individuals that might be the subject of what you're cooperating on.
the optics are terrible temperatuterrible. it might not be illegal but really, really bad position. you'd never want to be put in the position as a lawyer to be a factual witness. any lawyer whose client is going in for cooperation, the first question you should ask is what, if anything, can i do with this information? the prosecutors would say nothing. you tell it to us and keep it to yourself. we're way behind usual here, borderline bizarre. just in, a senate bill designed to protect robert mueller's investigation has just been blocked on a floor vote leading to a contentious reaction. sunlen, what happened? >> reporter: the republicans in the senate blocked this bill from going forward. there was a small group, store
cory booker, chris coons and jeff flake, they went to the floor trying to protect this from being blocked. they're trying to do this through unanimous consent. the rules say that one senator can block it so it does not go forward. it will not have a vote on the senate floor. republican leadership here in the senate has been essentially against this bill. mitch mcconnell as recently as yesterday said he doesn't think it's necessary, he said he doesn't see any indication that president trump is moving towards or inching towards firing robert mueller. this is a point that republican senator jeff flake when he was giving his floor speech proposing them to move to this bill, he argued against it. he said president trump's tweets just in the last few days, here's what he said. >> somehow it warranted a tweet from the president earlier this week, one of several, calling special counsel mueller a,
quote, conflicted prosecutor gone rogue and claiming that the, quote, $30 million witch hunt is doing nothing but ruin lives. to be clear, this is the same investigation that brought indictments for more than a dozen russian nationalists for attempting to influence the 2016 election. why shouldn't we be up in arms about that? why does that warrant a tweet from the president? many tweets. trying to go after special counsel. >> reporter: and trying to use leverage, senator jeff flake has vowed to withhold his vote on judicial nominations they're trying to work on during this lame duck session, brooke. as of now republican leaders have indicated they will not pull this for a vote. so no immediate path forward for this bill to protect the special counsel. >> got it. sunlen, thank you. coming up next, no smoking gun. senators have just been briefed on u.s./saudi relations in the
death of journal jamal khashoggi. my next guest was in the rule and discuss what was said and talk to jean shaheen. and why senator gina haspel was not in the briefing. a leading senator said he's not voting on a spending bill until he hears straight from the cia. ♪ ♪ the new capital one savor card. earn 4% cash back on dining and 4% on entertainment. now when you go out, you cash in. what's in your wallet? now when you go out, you cash in. ♪ can you feel it
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jamal khashoggi. the details come at a critical juncture as the senate is weighing whether to pass a resolution that would pull the united states out of any involvement in the saudi-led war in yemen. a number of senators, including republicans, are urging the pull-out in response to the cia assessment that the saudi crown prince ordered the hit on khashoggi, a vocal critic of his. but president trump sent his secretary of state and his defense chief to capitol hill today to convince senators to side with the saudi royal family. the saudis are critical in keeping iran's interest in the region in check and senators also took note of who the white house did not send -- the head of the cia, the director gina haspel. secretary pompeo was asked about her absence after walking out of that briefing. >> reporter: why wasn't the current cia director here briefing senators as well? >> i was asked to be here and here i am. >> reporter: the senators were very frustrated.
normally in your role as cia director, you would be here briefing the senators on an issue this sensitive. why isn't the cia director here? >> i was asked to be here and i'm here. >> and defense secretary mattis
just spoke with reporters moments ago. >> reporter: just the other day you said there still needed to be work done on accountability on what you called the murder of jamal khashoggi. >> right. >> reporter: now the administration's position is there is no direct link to him, no link to the murder. what has changed? do you believe it's a closed issue, that he is not involved and what makes the administration believe that? >> i don't think there's any change at all, if i heard your question correctly, barbara. we have no smoking gun that the crown prince was involved, not
the intelligence community or anyone else. there is no smoking gun. we have not changed that accountability for the murder is our expectation of everyone involved in the murder. accountability is our position, has not changed at all. and, by the way, i have read all the intel. i have personally read all the intelligence. i have read all the translations. >> reporter: sir, is it correct the cia has not come to a conclusion on these matters but expressed high confidence? >> there you need to go to the cia. >> reporter: and have you listened to the tape? >> i cannot understand that language, but i have spent more than enough time in service of our country. i know what grim circumstances could be. i needed to see what was said. i read the translations of what is alleged to be the tape. we do not have the tapes. we do not have the tapes.
at least i'm not aware that we do. but i have read the translation twice the day they were given to me and -- excuse me, barbara. and i have already read about two weeks ago, ten days ago, i reviewed once again all the intel we had. i will just tell you there is no smoking gun,
but our position has not changed, we expect accountability -- >> reporter: no smoking gun with regard to the murder of jamal khashoggi. >> that's correct. warrant near, including senator lindsey graham, who has threatened to stall the spending bill. >> if that briefing is not given
soon, it going to be hard for me to vote for any spending vote. >> moments ago jeanne shaheen spoke to me about what she was told about why the cia wasn't present. senator shaheen, welcome. >> thank you. >> reporter: were you told why gina haspel wasn't present today? >> i inferred from what was said the white house said she was not going to be allowed to join us. the request was made and it was denied. >> so you're conforming the white house blocked her briefing you all? >> i don't know if it was the white house but i inferred from what was said to us that it was the white house that said she was not going to be there. >> was there any explanation provided as to why? >> no.
>> okay. in this briefing what was revealed about the u.s. assessment of who is responsible for jamal khashoggi's murder? >> obviously it was a classified briefing so i can't talk about what specifically was said in the briefing, but i think it's fair to say that there was a lot of discussion about what has been in public reports about his murder. and i think what secretary pompeo and secretary mattis heard was a great deal of frustration on both sides of the aisle about the failure of the administration to take -- and the president to take a stronger stand against khashoggi's murder. >> we saw secretary pompeo walk up to the microphones after he briefed you all. one of the headlines to come from him was he said there was no direct reporting connecting mohammed bin salman, the crown
prince to jamal khashoggi's death. do you believe mbs was responsible or even aware of khashoggi's murder? >> yes. i think when you have an organization, a security organization that reports directly to the prince, that has a number of its representatives who are implicated directly in the killing of mr. khashoggi, that you have to hold the prince accountable for that. i think it's fair to say that people who are in positions of authority and power like mohammed bin salman is, that nothing happens in an agency that is as close to him as the one that's been implicated is. nothing happens there without his knowledge and consent. >> so just to be specific, when you say you believe the two are linked, that he was aware, do you have specific evidence, or are you basing your conclusion
on the cia assessment? >> i'm basing my conclusion on the reports that i have seen about the intelligence on the murder. >> okay. ambassador bolton answered some questions yesterday from the white house press corps precisely on this. he was asked if he had listened to the audio of khashoggi's murder and this was his respo e response. >> no, i haven't listened to it. i guess i should ask you why do you think i should? what do you think i'll learn from it? >> reporter: you're the national security adviser. you might have access to this intelligence. >> how many in this room speak arabic? >> reporter: you don't have an interpreter? >> you want me to listen to it? if he speaking korean i wouldn't -- >> reporter: you could get an interpreter. >> president trump over and over has dismissed the cia's
assessment that mbs was involved. what does this say to you? why do you think the white house is dismissing its own intelligence? >> i think you have to ask the white house about that. i can tell you that i have spoken to someone who has seen video that has been on the internet of what's purported to be the dismemberment of mr. khashoggi, and his reaction was if the american public could see that video, they would be outraged and they would force a different response from this white house. so i think -- >> is this a credible source who you're referencing? >> he is a credible source. i can't tell you if the video is a credible source because i haven't seen it. but i can tell you that when there is as much information as has been released by our own intelligence community, by other -- by the turkish government about what has happened here, that it is
important for the united states to reflect our values and show the outrage that people in this country feel and members of congress feel on both sides of the aisle about what has happened here. and we have not heard that kind of outrage from this president and this white house. >> and you have no idea why that is. you don't want to jump in on why they would be ignoring -- >> i can tell you why they say they're not reacting in the way that many of us in the senate think is appropriate, but i can't speculate on what the reason is. >> as we continue asking those questions of the white house, let me move on and ask you, do you support the resolution? we heard secretary pompeo refer to it as poorly timed in ending u.s. support in saudi arabia in yemen? >> i do support the resolution. and i think it's important to
point out that i think secretary pompeo has misjudged the frustration that exists in the senate of a series of actions by the saudi government. he and the other briefers made the case very well for what's happening in yemen and the importance of the united states in playing a role to try to get all the parties to the table. that's one of the things we tried to push in the legislation that senator young and i got through congress earlier this year. but it's important to understand at this point given the string of events by the saudis, the eruption with qatar, the kidnapping of prime minister hariri and the others in saudi
arabia, the consistent bombing of yemen that at this point has taken the lives of 85,000 children and puts 14 million people at risk of starvation, that it's important for us to send a very strong message to the saudi government that we are not going to accept the kinds of actions that they have undertaken. they have been an important ally, i appreciate that. yemen is a very important country strategically and we need to address aqap, the al qaeda and the arabian peninsula. but we also need to stand up for american values and say the murder of an american resident who is a journalist at one of our newspapers is not acceptable. >> senator jeanne shaheen, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> more on our breaking news this afternoon. cnn learning specific details about president trump's response in writing to two questions for special counsel robert mueller
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at comcast, it's my job to develop, apps and tools that simplify your experience. my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. and it was so inspiring to hear my colleagues place my name in nomination once again for speaker of the house. how moving it was to hear joe
kennedy place the name in nomination to be seconded by kathy caster, a colleague who has been in the lead on climate change issues and the rest. of course joe, a friend for many years but a leader in the congress making his own mark. and then to have joyce speak in her right but to quote president obama, it was very moving. the emotion demonstrated by my colleague adam schiff when he talked about leadership and the challenges facing our nation was a joy to behold. and the new members, to have the new members speak out with us now is congresswoman veronica escobar, one of the new members who spoke and placing my name in nomination about our shared values. >> the votes are under way for
nancy pelosi to perhaps again become the next speaker of the u.s. house of representatives. chris cillizza. do we think she has the votes? >> yeah, i do. there's nobody running against her, brooke. that's the easiest race she'll probably ever run and win. that's step one. step two is when the democrats take over the house formally. presumably pelosi will win. the question is can she keep enough democrats, get a majority, 218 democrats do vote for her so she secures it or does it have to go to a second or third ballot. i think in the last five, six, seven days you've seen why nancy pelosi has gotten to where she's gotten. she knows how to play smart
politics. she got marsha fudge off and she has a new member, veronica escobar behind her. nancy pelosi didn't speak in her own favor. she was nominated by joe kennedy iii as she mentioned in a bunch of other members including adam schiff, the incoming house intelligence committee chairman and others spoke on her behalf. in this clip she talks about how this is not about her, this is about the party in the country. very smart, make it less about nancy pelosi, quote unquote, make it more about the democratic party and who can most effectively lead them in the final two years of donald trump's first term. this is why she got to where she is, this is why there isn't a serious challenger to her. she's likely to get those 218 votes she needs. >> as we've been talking, we've been getting some statements in from the more anti-pelosi democrats, statements from
representative kathleen rice. moment ago we met with leader pelosi and tried to engage her and unfortunately our concerns were dismissed outright. we remain united behind our goal of new leadership and intend to vote against leader pelosi in caucus and on the floor of the house said representative rice. there's that. chris, i'm going to bet my bottom dollar you're right on all of the above and that she will be the next speaker of the house. thank you very much. >> thank you, brooke. >> coming up next as the president attacks his hand-picked federal reserve chairman, the fed has dropped a report on the u.s. economy, including president trump's trade war with china and news it has the market.
chairman, the president said about jerome powell, quote, i'm not happy with the fed. they're making a mistake. i have a gut and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can tell me. we'll talk to the editor of the financial times and global economic analyst. the markets are going gang busters but there is this dire warning. what do you make of the two? >> for starters, we're seeing a little bit of movement around the president's discussions with china. it's possible he's going to cut some kind of a deal. i think it's going to be a short-term deal. on the fed, which is more of what we're talking about now, we thought the powell speech was going to be more negative than
it turned out to be. that said, he did warn about corporate debt. there are a lot of companies that have taken out a lot of debt. the worry is ivf the rates go u, a lot of those company may be underwater. you could see bankruptcies, a spiraling dcom domino effect. they like that we have a fundamentally strong committee right now. you see consumers not buttoning up their wallets as much as you might think at the end of a ten-year cycle. we're actually on track for a recession. we're due for a little bit of a slowdown. the fact that people are still spending and that you haven't seen more trouble in the market is perhaps one reason why they're robust at the moment. >> you said a second ago about
the potential of larry kudlow and this deal, you said if there is a deal it would be a short-term deal. how do you mean? >> i think it's going to be a head fake where you're going to see the president go in and promise china something minor so he can walk out and say, hey, i got a deal. this is classic trump behavior, right? but if you look at the things that the u.s. and china are actually fighting about, they are existential, they're long term. >> not going to be solved over dinner? >> not over several dinners. >> thank you very. just ahead here on cnn, this photo has become this iconic image of what has been happening down at the u.s./mexico border. a mother and her two children racing from the tear gas. where they are now. we found her. and a risk of full-scale war. ukraine issues a dire warning over growing tngss wiensions wi
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a new study calls in question president trump's claims of growing numbers of undocumented immigrants living among us. that new study finds a number of undocumented immigrants living in the u.s. is at a decade low. see the numbers there for yourself. in 2016 pew puts the number at 10.7 million people. that down sharply from the peak in 2007. let's go to lela santiago.
she has been to the border with mexico. we'll get to this mother you tracked down in a second. you looked at this pew study. what jumped out at you? >> reporter: it's pointing out what many of us who have studied immigration for a while already knew. you're seeing an all-time low in terms of unauthorized immigrants from mexico. if you look at the last ten years, more mexicans have been returning to mexico than those who are going to the u.s. so what are we seeing in terms of rising numbers? that is the number of central americans and we have been seeing that steadily rise now for years. we're seeing more central americans, more unaccompanied central americans and more family units coming in from el salvador, guatemala. some say they're fleeing violence, some fleeing poverty, all saying they are looking for a better life, brooke.
>> perhaps like the mother that you found. we've all seen this image of the mom and the two children running from the tear gas. how did you even find her? where is she now? >> reporter: well, unfortunately, i didn't get too much time to spend with her. i was on live tv talking to our anderson cooper when i noticed that she was coming my direction. i had spent all day walking around the shelter with her photo saying do you know this woman? so while we were live on facebook with anderson, i spotted her walking toward us and i asked -- i stopped her and just said are you okay? she said i'm fine. she had the two little girls with her but she was on her wave o -- way outside. i suspect she was on her way outside because it was meal time. she was heading just outside the shelter where the navy is feeding thousands of people a day. she is one mother of many.
i spoke to another mother by the name of jessica who actually was recording when the tear gas was released, and you can hear her coughing. i guess what stuck most with me is you could hear the screams of her two children that really demonstrated the fear. i know that the white house has said there were a handful of children only. that's not exactly what i'm hearing on the ground from mothers who were showing me video and telling me their experiences at the border. jessica said she's going to have to find a way to ask her child for forgiveness for being there in that moment. >> my goodness. keep asking them questions, sharing their stories. that is incredible that you recognize that woman. thank you so much. more on our breaking news now. what president trump told robert
mueller in the written answers about wikileaks. a cnn exclusive next. ♪ can you feel it there's endless fun with great toys and games for everyone at amazon, with low prices and free shipping on millions of items. for everything you need this holiday, visit amazon. ♪ whenshe was pregnant,ter failed, in-laws were coming, a little bit of water, it really- it rocked our world. i had no idea the amount of damage that water could do. we called usaa. and they greeted me as they always do.
this is cnn breaking news. you are watching cnn on this wednesday afternoon. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with me. there have been a lot of headlines this week with regard to president trump's former campaign manager paul manafort, the fact he lied repeatedly to the mueller team, lied repeatedly to them. we know he and his lawyer were in communication with the white house while they were apparently communicating with the special
counsel. the fact that his plea deal has been breached. here's the news from the president himself through all of this. he just spoke with "the new york post." he's never discussed a pardon for paul manafort, president trump said wednesday, but it's not off the table. kaitlan collins is with me. translation -- a pardon is on the table. >> reporter: that's right. despite sarah sanders saying there were no conversations she was aware of about pardoning paul manafort, president trump is saying he is not going to rule it out, asking "the new york post" why would i rule it out? jerome corsi, roger stone and paul manafort, he considers them
to be very brave. he said this is like the mccarthy era. he's comparing the investigation t to the era of joe mccarthy when hundreds of americans were accused of being communist sympathizers. yesterday during an interview with the "washington post" in the oval office, they asked him about pardoning paul manafort, if there was going to be anything in this for paul manafort and the president didn't want to talk about it on the record. he went off the record, discussed this with them. then they asked if there was any version of what he said off the record that he wanted to put on the record about potentially pardoning paul manafort and he said no because he didn't want to get in the middle of this. brooke, that doesn't seem to be a problem today. now he's telling "the new york post" a pardon for paul manafort is not off the table. >> kaitlan, stay with me. i want to stay on this.
chief correspondent dana bash is with me, who just broke the story on the written responses and trump to mueller and shimon prokupecz is with me as is dan whitney, attorney general. dana, it's fast and furious this week and it's only wednesday. but the notion that the president would on the record say pardon's not off the table, why would he do that? >> look, he's angry. that has been blatantly obvious for a while. it's escalated this week with his tweets. as we talked about yesterday, the motivator for that anger has been the fact that he was informed by his attorneys that they were informed by paul manafort's attorneys and have been for some time, that they feel that manafort is being railroaded. now, just keep in mind here if you take a step back, that all is part of kind of a kabuki
dance, they're trying to figure out how to send messages to robert mueller in a manafort world because they're going through their issues with regard to a plea deal falling through, and then you have the president hearing about the way that at least he is told robert mueller is being overzealous, trying to get manafort and maybe even roger stone, we're not sure but particularly manafort to say things that he doesn't know the answers to, to say things that he doesn't know necessarily to be true all as a way to get at and get to the president. these are the things that the president is being told by his attorney rudy giuliani, who told me that yesterday morning, okay? >> okay. >> so there's that. and i know what you're going to ask, i'm sure, is the pardon. why would he even say that? because he's very transparent in what he's thinking. he's not thinking about the next step, thinking about is this a political problem for me to say? he's angry and he's spittin