tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN November 29, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
because it's become this innovative place when it comes to water and they've been planning for this concern about climate change for 30 years now. >> the new farm-to-table. >> that's right. >> toilet-to-tap. thank you very much, sanjay. pretty powerful. thank you for joining us. anderson starts now. good evening. within the past hour, new information about just how badly the trump organization wanted to build a trump tower in moscow. the idea floated was to give a gift to valladamir putin, a pem house apartment for vladamir putin on top of trump tower in moscow. a deal that they were pursuing well into the 2016 campaign. the information comes from one of president trump's partners. did the president know about the $50 million gift idea? we don't know the answer to that. but others involved in the attempt to build in moscow did. it's been quite a day for president trump. he arrives just minutes from now
in argentina for the g20 summit. michael smerconish, h michael cohen stood up in court and admitted about lying. as part of a plea agreement, he admitted the dealings continued far into the campaign up the and including when candidate trump was the presumptive republican nominee. the charging document lays out conversations mr. cohen had with russians, including a close adviser to vladamir putin about the potential trump tower project in moscow. they went on, according to the document, until mid june of 2016, "on or about june 14th," according to the charging document. why is that date important? that happens to be the date that "the washington post" broke a big story that russia had hacked the democratic national committee. the timeline is far longer than what cohen told congress last year. today he said he lied to help the president. i'm quoting, i was aware of
individual one's repeated disavows of political and commercial ties between himself and russia and any contact with russian nationals had all terminated before the iowa caucus, on february 1st of 2016. which cohen now says was not true. the last conversation was on or about june 14th of that year. he went on to say, "i made these misstatements to be consistent with individual ones, political messaging and out of loyalty to individual one. so he's saying he was lying to congress because candidate trump was lying to the american people. the president responded today saying this about michael cohen. >> he was given a fairly long jail sentence, and he's a weak person, and by being weak, unlike other people that you watch, he's a weak person, and what he's trying to do is get a reduced sentence. so he's hiing about a project that everybody knew about. we were very open wit. >> so that's donald trump who
only hired the best people according to president trump. he would have you believe that he was employing as a close confidant and attorney for years a weak person who is also a liar. he's also chaiming thlaiming th been open about his business dealings in moscow. keeping them honest, here is what he tweeted back in july of 2016. for the record, i have zero investments in russia, which may have been ak caccuraaccurate, b one has seen his taxes. but the tweet leaves out the desire for a close relationship with the kremlin. so he wasn't being open about it in july. he was less so after becoming the nominee. >> what do i know about the russians? what do i know about the russians? then they said, he borrows money from them. i don't borrow from the russians. i promise i don't have any deals with russia. i had miss universe there a couple of years ago, but other
than that, no. >> miss universe was there in 2013, so he had had no deals in russia since. we know his organization was trying to. here's what he said a few weeks before election day. >> i know nothing about russia. i know about russia, but i know nothing about the inner workings of russia. i have no businesses there. i have no loans from russia. >> i don't deal there, he said, present tense, not something along the lines of i tried to deal there. at best, you could say he was being untruthful by emission. he said, russia has never tried to use leverage over me, no deals, no loans, no nothing. which is one of the things the mueller team is investigating, did russia try to use the leverage -- oduring the campaig with moscow. it's -- he also has the
president's written answers, covering some the same ground that cohen was. but was the president being truthful? his lawyers say he was. we don't know what the exact wording was. he could release them, he hasn't. keeping them honest, it's well documented the president falls well short, pointing to a presidential tweet this morning. "did you ever see an investigation more in search of a crime," the president tweeted. at that moment, we now know that the president already knew about cohen pleaded guilty about lying to congress. tweeting is easy, truthing, that's another deal entirely. there's much more to report on this. pamela brown joins with us more on the putin penthouse angle. so explain what we know about this, was this an absolute plan, was this just something they were floating, the organization? >> it was an idea that was considered, we've learned, as
part of the trump tower moscow proposal. and the idea was to offer russian president vladamir putin the penthouse suite if there was a trump tower moscow built, which we know never came to fruition. but this is according to the russian real estate developer, who was working with cohen on the trump tower moscow proposal. seder described this concept to my colleague as a marketing ploy. so he claims that he was an idea to bring people, he explained the idea was to enhance the idea and to attract buyers by having the president of russia, vladamir putin, in this building. now, in the court documents today, anderson, he appeared to be listed as individual number two, a number of times as someone seen as intermediary of sorts between cohen and russia. so he was a key figure in these dealings, and of course, again we should reiterate this never came to fruition. but what's significant here,
according to buzzfeed, which first reported this news, is that cohen discussed the idea with a representative of putin's press secretary, and that the penthouse that would have been offed to putin was worth $50 million. so it would have been a $50 million gift potentially to the president of russia. >> is there any indication that the president or then citizen donald trump was made aware of this proposed gift of $50 million -- of a $50 million penthouse? >> it's not clear. i think candidate trump was informed of the idea, so it's hard to say what the significance of this is, as it pertains to him. it does give you more insight into what was in the works. we should note rudy giuliani, the president's attorney, said the story is a story the president never heard of this, and the concept never got anywhere yonlbeyond an unfunded letter of intent and never a proposal or draft contract. cohen would not provide a comment for the story. >> do we know what he means by
an unfunded letter of intent? i don't know what that means. i haven't heard that. >> i haven't either. the point he's trying to make is there was a letter of intent signed and it never got beyond that. in other words, there wasn't money going to build trump tower moscow. >> pam brown, thank you. the president is expected to land in argentina's capital. jim acosta is there. the president tweeting a lot enroute to argentina. no single tweet about michael cohen and the mueller investigation, however. >> reporter: that's right, anderson. he's been silent on that subject. he did tweet he's not meeting with vladamir putin at this g20 summit in argentina, and tweeted some book reviews of some books written by conservative authors that he likes, and invited the chair of the rnc to stay on for another term. but silence at this point on the twitter, we should point, about cohen or the russia
investigation. >> wait a minute, sorry. on the way to the g20 meeting, he was tweeting book recommendations? >> reporter: uh, yes. he was tweeting various recommendations of books from conservative authors. some appearing on fox news, that he's suggesting to his twitter followers that they read. sort of a surreal thing for him to be getting involved with, when he just called his former personal attorney a liar on the south lawn of the white house. >> yesterday, the president said a pardon wasn't off the table for paul manafort. what about michaelcoen? >> reporter: i think it's safe to say that's not coming. we should point out, lanny davis, who is an attorney for michael cohen, said previously, and did so over the summer, that michael cohen does not want a pardon from president trump and would not accept one. >> even though one doesn't
refuse a pardon. it doesn't work that way. but i get what lanny davis is saying. >> reporter: that's true, yes. >> what are people around the president and the white house saying about all this? >> reporter: well, i do think that when it comes to michael cohen, the feelings are very clear. when you saw what the president said earlier, calling michael cohen a liar and rudy giuliani putting out that scathing statement, calling michael cohen a liar, this seems to be the talking point. if the president speaks tomorrow when he signs this trade deal with canada and mexico, he may go back to that language. but anderson, i heard one chilling message from a source close to the white house. a source close to the president earlier today who described michael cohen as a rat, and said inmates hate rats. i think that's just the clearest indication i heard from anybody connected to the president that there is no love for michael cohen in trump world any more. michael cohen is on his own when
it comes to how people inside trump world feel about him tonight, anderson. >> jim acosta, thank you very much. michael cohen admitted he lied to the house and senate intelligence committees. congressman, thanks for being with us. i want to remind our viewers, we're showing on the side of the screen the place, the airport where we expect the president to be arriving any moment. if the president does make comments, i know you have to jump in, congressman, and we want to hear what the president has to say. so congressman, i want to start with tonight's breaking news. this idea of a $50 million penthouse to putin as part of -- kind of floated as part of a way to get this trump tower project happening in moscow. does that sound remotely appropriate to you? i mean, is that a bribe? how do you see that? >> well, i guess we have to get the facts behind that. obviously, if a penthouse -- i don't know the details oh of the story, because it's just
breaking. but if a very valuable penthouse, anything of value is offered to a foreign leader to ask for that leader's help on something, that sure looks like a bribe. the story is just breaking, let's see what happens. stepping to the news we heard earlier today, there's been a great deal made about whether it's illegal for the president, when he's the nominee, he's not yet president of the united states, to have michael cohen working with a foreign government on his behalf. look, the destales will need to come out as to whether there was any quid pro quo or anything that looked like a bribe. my god, in terms of inappropriate, that one 06 our chief anning the na antagonists world would have the ability to dangle something in front of our president is disturbing. >> were you aware before today that michael cohen had lied to your committee? >> we weren't aware of that, and, you know, obviously mueller
has been very quiet. he has not shared with the intelligence committee on either side of the capitol where he is, wisely, i think. but no, we were not aware, and what's really intriguing about this, two things. one, we're at a point where it looks like everybody around the president has been consistently lying. it started with flynn, papadopoulos, manafort, that kne feels like a million years ago, and now cohen. so everybody is lying. the other thing that's intriguing is when cohen gave that testimony to the committee, and i can't get into the details of transcripts that have yet to be reed, but none of us thought this was inconsistent with other descriptions we've heard about the president's dealings in russia. so that raises the question about whether there's other people, if the transcripting we -- transcripts were out there, that they too were lying to congress. >> we just saw air force one
touchdown in bargentina. they canceled the meeting obviously with vladamir putin and have scaled back other meetings, as well. when donald trump, jr. testified before the senate judiciary committee, he was asked when the trump moscow deal went away, he sent it went away at the end of 2014. so if michaelco seas cohen is t the truth, it would seem that donald trump, jr. didn't tell congress the truth. >> it looks that way. it looks like the president wasn't telling the truth when he told the american people he had no deals with russia. i understand the technicality whether a deal is something signed or ongoing negotiations, but remember, that's the donald
trump, jr., of the famous meeting in trump tower. he's clearly a key point of contact. i would think that he's having a rough day today, because michael cohen would know the answer to the question whether don, junior knew about these ongoing negotiations when he told, as you pointed out, that he did not. >> we know that michael cohen has spent some 70 hours talking to mueller's team. lastly, there are transcripts of cohen and others testifying before the house intelligence committee. they have yet to be turned over to the special counsel. do you know why that is, and will they be given to robert mueller? >> well, the democrats on the intelligence committee made a motion that all of the transcripts be released to the special counsel. that could happen instantly, because the issue is classification, and the special counsel's office has the ability to review classified documents. but that motion was turned down by the republican majority. so subsequently, we did vote to release them to the public. we are, i think, close to having them ready.
we had to remove the personally identifiable information, and all those transcripts or some of them had to undergo a declassification process. but they will be made public soon. when the democrats have the majority in the congress, we would have the power to convey them directly to the special counsel. >> congressman, thank you for your time. we wait for the president to step off of air force one and see if he makes any comments, i want to read another piece of the michael cohen charging document. i'm quoting now, "the moscow project was discussed multiple times within the company and did not end in january of 2016. cohen discussed the status and progress of the moscow progress with individual one, which we know is donald trump, on more than three occasions. cohen claimed to the committee, and he briefed family members of individual one within the company about the project. joining us is cnn legal analyst jeffrey toobin, a former federal
prosecutor. also, rich lowery, paul begala. [ overlapping speakers ] >> rich, let me start out with you. is this, in your opinion, a big deal? >> yeah. i mean, you have to separate the ethics from the legal jeopardy potentially to the president. the ethics are horrible, there's no defense for it. it's gross, widely inappropriate. the whole deal, pursuing this business deal -- >> while running. >> in the capital of a foreign adversary of the united states, in any sort of real estate deal, even here in new york city, is going to immesh you in all sorts of political authorities and maybe not particularly seemly side deals and what not. so it's inappropriate, and not
to have formed the public of this is appalling and it was a conflict of interest. but in terms of the legal jeopardy to the president, there's no indication that he directed cohen to lie. now, perhaps the beauty of michael cohen to donald trump is he never had to tell him to lie, because it's habit and his job was to lie for him. and at least according to rudy giuliani, we'll hearn more eventually, trump answers in his questions to mueller a chord or don't contradict cohen's latest version of events. but both sides always have to remind themselves just because something is unethical doesn't mean it's illegal. just doesn't mean it's he will doesn't mean it's ethical. >> jeff? >> today is the first day i thought donald trump might not finish his term in office. >> why? >> the whole week, you think about what the position is of donald trump in this trump camp
about all these things. his position is, for six months, michael cohen never discussed with him that he was negotiating for moscow trump tower. it's preposterous. second, he says that roger stone never discussed with him that he was negotiating with wikileaks and talking about wikileaks, even though donald trump and roger stone were obsessed with wikileaks. but they stoke repeatedly and never discussed it. third, don junior never discussed with his father the plans for the trump tower meeting in june of 2016. >> and never discussed the -- what he learned in the e-mail, which was that russia is supporting his father's election. >> which all of these are complementary to each other, and all of the stories that trump is telling about them are preposterous. and when you combine them all,
the question becomes when do republicans start to turn on trump? because that's the only thing that is going to get trump out of office, it's not going to be democrats. and it's certainly not now, but there may be a point where it's too much. >> all right. we're going to quickly take a break, because we want to be back when he gets off the plane. also, later, bob woodward joins us. we'll be right back.
president's christmas list, unless there's a special spot under the tree for a weak person and not a very smart person. there's the president and the first lady. cohen certainly doesn't fit either of those descriptions. again, there you see the president arriving for g20. paul, this g20, it's very different than i think what the white house initially or what we have traditionally seen a president do at the meeting like this. >> and they truncated the time the president is going to be there. they slimmed it down, which is also a verb we think about with our president. but i think that's a mistake, although i think this guy is different. he's having a presidential panic attack. you know, with the starr investigation going on with bill clinton, he fouled lose himself in the work.
the best thing for clinton, if he was upset about the starr investigation, we would have a two-day conference of children's health care, and he would love that and dive into that. this president, i worry is too distracted and obsessed and is having a meltdown. it was wise to cancel the meeting with putin, because i don't think he's up for it. >> we're watching to see if the president does make any comments. he often sometimes will just go towards reporters or will answer to yelled out yeses. what stood out to you from a legal stand point today? >> it stood out that mueller has a lot of information that he's able to corroborate exactly, for example, this timeline about the moscow -- trump tower moscow. he has information to corroborate a number of other things. and this puts other people in jeopardy. it also stood out to me, and we haven't stdiscussed this today, that the acting attorney general whitaker wasn't able to stop this. and you know, this was the big
fear, and i was one of the whitaker optimists that said i think this is too big, and the wheels of justice are rolling, and he won't be able to stop it. i think that's been, at least this has been shown to be true. i worry that the president is going to become even more unhinged if he was banking on that being the brakes. and it's not happening. >> i want to hear your thoughts, paul, today. one of the interesting things, about the documents that mueller put out, he put a lot of details this this document that he didn't need to actually put in. there's some belief that there's a concern is a report ever going to be made public. this is a way for mueller, and correct me if i'm wrong, to put in details that might end up in a report that gets shelved or isn't seen by the public. it allows him to get information into the public sphere. >> we're going to know, we are. i think through the speaking indictments, real lawyers call them, and through other mech
anymo -- mechanisms, the democrats will have subpoena power, and even defenders of donald trump, want the report made public. it is our report. we are paying for it. he is our president, our employee. and i think that covering it up would be a catastrophe. it will be impossible. i just don't think -- >> do you agree with what jeff said, he was saying this is the first day he actually thought the president might not complete his term, which -- >> not there yet. but the defenses he has, that is all he has to do is hold 34 senators, and he's president. and i do believe, and i know this from talking to democratic leaders in the house, they will impeach donald trump when republicans ask him to and not before. you can't not make this partisan at the takeoff and not at the landing. neither party should undertake impeachment unless there's a bipartisan vote. >> i heard that from nancy pelosi and jerry nadler.
there's another thing about today that is very important, is that it establishes a motive for something that was a mystery, which was, why was donald trump so solicitous of vladamir putin? why, throughout the campaign, was he always saying such nice things about him? someone the republican party has not liked historically? why did they change the platform to take a more pro russia position on putin, on ukraine? the answer is, i think, because there was money to be made with russia. he was negotiating for a business deal with putin's russia. so the way you make money in putin's russia is to make nice with putin. that's what was going on here, this was about business. and i think that's a chilling thought, because this guy was running for president of the united states. no one knew he was negotiating while the campaign was going, the primary campaign. but it -- the pieces fit together. >> we should point out, our
reporting does not say that michael cohen -- that donald trump knew about like the $50 million apartment idea per se, that was something, according to felix seder, a business partner, that was a marketing idea. but it's not clear if donald trump knew about that. >> that's right. but he certainly knew about the project, and the money to be made was on the project, not in giving vladamir putin the $50 million condo. the money was -- and you know, i went to moscow. i reported this. he's been going to moscow since the '80s, donald trump has, trying to build trump tower moscow. this is an obsession of his. he went in the '80s, the '90s. he did miss universe in 2013. >> we should point out, being friends with vladamir putin has been something of an obsession. during the miss universe thing, he was tweeting, wow, i wonder if putin is going to come. >> why? because he wanted to make money there. and the pieces fit together that way. >> to the point, and let's
remember that that same summer, even though by this point the deal might not have been in progress any more, when the fbi had a security briefing with the trump campaign, and the clinton campaign to say look, russia is trying to get in and until trait and effect this election, let us know if anything is relevant, they didn't say a word. coming up, echoes of watergate. his agitation and his insistence that everyone is out to get him, how does it compare overall to nixon's moment in time? we'll talk to bob woodward who has been there for all of it. he'll join me next. we'll be right back. what's the worst part about paying for things you don't want? the-- paying. and what's the best part about getting things you do want for free? free stuff. that's why verizon now comes with six months of free apple music. i like music. i like popcorn. how dare you! (vo) get $300 off our best iphones, on the network you deserve.
the president halashing out insisting over and over again he didn't do anything wrong. richard nixon and watergate, we know what happened, and we know it largely because of the reporting of woodward and bernstein. bob woodward joins me now, author of "fear, trump in the white house." bob, so much to talk about. i just want to begin with this reporting about the trump tower penthouse in moscow, an idea floated within the trump organization, according to felix seder, who was involved with the deal. that it would be earmarked as a gift for vladamir putin. does that make sense to you, given again, the president's insistence that he had no deals with russia? >> maybe somebody was working for the cartoonist, because you
can see the cartoon of a trump tower in moscow with putin at the top, waving to everybody. i don't know. and spending two years on the trump white house and trump -- all kinds of things bounce around. i think jeffrey toobin is a little ahead of himself by saying now this is so significant, it's the first time that he can see the end of the trump presidency. but i think there are two important components that need to be emphasized. first, it's not what cohen has corrected about the plan to build a trump tower in moscow and so forth. that's meaningful, but what really is significant is that cohen is now mueller's witness. and you talk to people who know and work in this world, to get
the number one lawyer for the person that you are really trying to -- that you're aiming at is worth getting ten other witnesses. not only that, but cohen is angry. he's turned on trump. he's known to make tape recordings. as a witness, he may not be that significant, but if he has tapes and documents, big deal. >> we also know, not only is it michael cohen, there's the chief financial officer, who is not as well known, but mueller has -- there's a deal made that may be limited, but there's a deal with him, as well. >> yes, and it sends the message to everyone in the trump organization or who was there. you know, we've got trump's lawyer helping us.
so that opens up potentially the flood gates. i think in all of this, the other significant element is what mueller has done. it's very strategic to make the change of testimony unwise to the senate and house intelligence committees. as you well know, they kind of -- those committees have been ridiculed and belittled somewhat. for mueller to say no, this is a big deal to lie to the senate and the house, kind of gives him some support up on the hill, which he may need very soon. >> a number of legal scholars have pointed out the level of detail that mueller put in the documents that were submitted. do you believe it's a way for
mueller to get information in the public domain that might otherwise just be in a report that the future of which, whether it's published or whether who gets to see it is in question? >> yeah. that may be part of the strategy. but i think he's sending a message to trump, people close to trump, and to the senate and the house. and he made the senate and the house players in a significant way today, and their investigations, though they've been substantial, have all of the emphasis, all of the discussion and mystery is, what's mueller going to do and can he deliver? so what you see is absent in the trump operation, in the trump white house, some sort of planning and thinking how can we
help by doing certain things? and mueller clearly in this case has found a way. >> yeah. >> trump, i mean, we're going through a crisis of governing now. let's not side step it. and trump continually does things and says things that are not in his own interest. >> yeah. i'm wondering, having been so, you know, in the epicenter and leading the way during the reporting on the nixon administration, how did the nixon administration, how did president nixon deal with the pressure, you know, people are saying that president trump is feeling the walls coming in, things like that, that's up for debate. how did nixon handle that sort of pressure? and how did it impact his leadership? >> at the end, it got pretty bad, the emotional toll was very
dramatic, and understandably. but, again, if you go back to the nixon case in watergate, you need evidence of high quality. you need tapes, you need documents, you need witnesses like john dean. if you listen to those tapes and go through what dean testified to, it wasn't just oh, yeah, we talked about something. it was dean saying in the tape, proving in one meeting, president nixon authorized, ordered, paying blackmail money to the watergate burglars 12 times in just a single meeting. and the power of that led to nixon's demise. does mueller have something like that, or is he headed in that
direction? i think jeff toobin jumped a little ahead of the facts. >> bob woodward, it's always great to have you on. thank you so much. after the cohen news broke today, the president announced on twitter he denied not to meet with vladamir putin at the g20 after all. he said it's for reasons other than the cohen plea. we'll look at that ahead. ( ♪ )
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after the news broke about michael cohen pleading guilty about lying to congress, the president announced on twitter that he wouldn't be meeting with vladamir putin at the g20 summit after all. supposedly, not the reason the meeting was canceled. he said "based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to ukraine from russia, i've decided it would be best to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in argentina with vladamir putin. i look forward to a meaningful summit when the situation is resolved." joining me now is david gergen and max boot, author of "the corrosion of conservatism, why i left the right." david, do you buy the president's explanation that it's about ukrainian sailors? >> no. the ukrainian sailor story has been out there for a few days and he decided he was going to go. it's clearly, what happened on the plane after he heard about
his lawyer, cohen. michelle kaczynski of cnn reported on the plane he was talking to white house aides, he was in a terrible mood, he was spooked and distracted. that i think drove the decision. it's also true, i think, that they saw this be a pr disaster to be meeting with putin at the very time his relationships with russia are in question. he's much better off to keep his distance. >> particularly with this story of a $50 million penthouse offer. the visual of him -- >> just $50 million? >> max, you know, it's not just a meeting with putin. basically, a number of the president's meetings have now been scaled back to kind of just shorter meetings now with the leader of turkey and south korea. >> he's obviously in a foul mood, and for very good reason. just in the last few days, i think the case for both collusion with russia and the case for obstruction of justice
have both been strengthened. and obviously, the collusion case has gotten stronger, now that michael cohen admitted to this plan to build the trump tower in moscow, even in 2016. of course, just yesterday, you had trump saying that he was not going to take a pardon off the table with manafort. we learned that manafort also had an arrangement with trump's lawyers to feed them information, all of this stuff would strengthen a case for obstruction of justice. so you can see why the president seems to be freaking out on twitter and in person. >> david, it seems like this president does not like these kind of summits. i'm not sure why that is. i don't know if they're boring or he feels disrespected. how important, though, are these? i think a lot of people say okay, another g20, it's a photo-op, how important can it possibly be? >> it's important for a sense of continuity in the world.
canceling these meetings just underscores how much the investigation is now interfering with the conduct of his presidency. you know, he's absorbed by it. these meetings are -- this meeting with putin was going to be important, but the meeting with south korea was extremely important. and it's now shortened, and he has a short meeting with turkey. they've gone into this whole thing with 6s and 7s with the meeting over china. the same day you had "the new york times" and "the wall street journal" -- or "the washington post" and the financial times also reporting their approach to china differently. one side saying that he's going there because he thinks he can get a deal. the other side saying no, larry kudlow says we'll never get a deal. i can't remember an administration going into a big international meeting at 6s and 7s. >> max, do you agree with david
on that? have you seen anything like this? >> no. i've never seen a president so inept at the part where he's supposed to represent the entire country. donald trump really views himself as being the president of about 40% of americans, and he's most comfortable at he does not like any kind of peer to peer conversations with other world leaders unless they're being completely sycophantic to him like the king of saudi arabia has been in the past. i think he shies away from these uncomfortable confrontations, you can imagine another president reading putin the riot act and telling him to knock it off, if he doesn't stop filing international law, he's going to face massive consequences. but you can't imagine donald trump actually doing that, because he among other reasons, shies away from confrontation in person, and he also seems to be hopelessly compromised in his
dealings with russia and putin. >> any meeting with putin now, besides what broke today. it's going to remind people and bring back the fact that we have no idea who he discussed with vladimir putin one on one behind closed doors in helsinki. >> exactly, we don't know, he has the private telephone, he's talking to putin from time to time. the white house i'm sure is not telling us when he makes the phone calls he does. you have to wonder, what are they plotting out, is he telling vladimir, here's what i'm handling and so forth and so on. we're not going to know. i'm not sure dweer evwe're evero know. other nations notice this, and they will take advantage of us. if they see us in america as he is distracted now, that's when we begin to misbehave, we say they get in and do things to you when you're not watching carefully, and it makes a
foreign policy that is completely unpredictable. >> i think -- >> david's point, what you saw a few days ago, with russia firing on ukrainian vessels, was a test of american will. and they found the will lacking. because donald trump will attack allied leaders like justin trudeau or angela merkel. he will attack american leaders like maxine waters. he will not say one bad thing about putin. the signal that he's getting back is that donald trump is not going to do very much about this aggression, and so he's basically getting a green light to do more of the same. >> that's exactly right. >> when he was working for bill clinton. clinton was able toll -- with all the drama going on, he actually sought out policy meetings and things, because he could immerse himself in it, and it would take his mind off all
the drama swirling around him. >> i agree with that, and most presidents are pretty good at compartmentalizing. they can move from one rough session to something that in american tradition. i saw nixon fire one of his big cabinet secretaries. walk out the door and light the christmas tree. here's this really angry guy cursing out his secretary, walked through the door and he's a different person. i want to check in with chris, see what he's working on for the top of the hour. >> going deep, anderson, i've been making phone calls all day, have spoken to people on all sides of this story. no two tell the same story. the closer you get to the president, the more precious a commodity the truth becomes. bob mueller says he believes michael cohen lies about something important. and at a minimum it exposes a
pattern of lying to the american people. we're going to get into that what the 3r0eb could take from here and what the exposure is to the presidency. >> i was thinking about how rare it used to be, for reporters to use the word lie. and now it's just every day. >> don't want to over use it, obviously, you are a good example of someone who uses it judiciously, you can't ignore it. when you see something that is the willful and won ton deception on a material fact, you have to call it out, the relevance of truth, the value of truth matters right now, have you to call it out about. >> about five minutes from now, we'll see you. up next, what the president could face tomorrow.
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the end of what could be a very important day for his presidency and after a flight, in which he was said to be in a terrible mood, was spooked and completely distracted, president trump and the first lady have arrived safely in buenos aires. however much the michael cohen plea is weighing on him, didn't show tonight walking down the steps of air force one. he got straight into the limousine, didn't talk to reporters, didn't make any further news tonight. might not be a bad thing that he didn't make so much news tonight. it's worth remembering how much is at stake in the next two days in argentina. we will have complete coverage throughout the day tomorrow, if you watch that -- finally a reminder, don't miss full circle, our daily interactive
newscast, you get to watch all the stories we cover. watch it at 6:25 eastern on facebook. it's a fun show to do. it's probably a bigger variety of stories than we do a lot of times now on the evening program. the news continues right now, i want to hand it over to chris for prime time. >> i'm chris cuomo, and welcome to prime time. robert mueller believes michael cohen's assertion was lying to you, when he said he had no business dealings with russia during his campaign it did the president lie to mueller in his answers about the same russia deal? if so, are we seeing a pattern that may persuade congress to act? i can confirm the president was asked about this russia deal. today he said something that blows the idea that he barely waew about this deal out of the