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tv   MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi  MSNBC  February 27, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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his direct appeal to russia? >> i am not b with but the call with mr. stone you believe is before -- >> yes, i'm sorry, i thought you were talking about a different set of documents that got dumped. i was in mr. trump's office july 18th or 19th and yes he went ahead, i don't know if the 35,000 or 30,000 e-mail social security what he is referring to but he certainly had knowledge. >> it is now 3:00, michael cohen has been sitting for hours of congressional testimony. we are on a break right now. they're breaking for votes, the first big gun vote in congress. she grilled by republicans and
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democrats, what did he and donald trump know? what was happening in the campaign? and what sort of evidence of crimes does mike ld have. we were just talking about that moment at the july 27th press conference there had is corroborating evidence that he was able to offer. but donald trump's long time assistant may be able to say okay, she may have even heard the call. >> to r so both of these men have been liars in the past. >> roger stone didn't stay under oath. >> i think what the president said was referring to missing clinton private e-mails, but it potentially makes the president
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party to a conspiracy. is there hard evidence of it? that is a harder thing to hear in court. i think what was most striking overall in this hearing was that the gop tactic of disrupting it it was pretty successful. if you're not a member of congress and you have to watch all of that testimony it was hard to follow the through line and lots of questions were dropped. was he there in dwun or not. >> you do need to be an expert like we do every single day, so what is the big take away here david? >> most importantly we have a witness from the inside that told us a group of things that are consistent with other facts we know. roger stone and donald trump
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were in communication to some degree about wikileaks that was act iing as an agent. i think the democrats probably expand on it. it is probably the single most important thing that came out of it and the financial issues about donald trump who has never been any verifiable evidence that he has been a billionaire. he grubs for money in a way that people that spend a lot of cash do, but not the way billionaires act. >> also he never expected to win. it was a marketing opportunity for him. he said it would be the greatest infomercial of all time. >> no doubt he saw it as marketing. when did he stop it. when he got a new contract.
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he certainly fantasized about it. >> it would have to go through donald trump first and he would have to report back to donald trump. he said donald trump knew everything going on in the trump organization. how much trouble could the trump organization be in after this testimony. >> sure, it is a fascinating point. when you do an investigation in a racketeering case, you'll have to find links between people because they're not necessarily in the same place at the same time. you try to prove how the boss runs the operation. his testimony is important here. can i go back to one thing,
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casy, there is cas katie. i want to talk about the phone call that stone placed to donald trump that michael cohen overheard. what prosecutors do is drill in on details. members of congress don't seem to do that quite as much. so was the door open such that they could hear the conversation. is there phone calls to donald trump. did roger stone send any e-mails to friends after his conversation with trump. did donald trump or cohen mention that conversation to other people. did other people walk into the room at the end of the conversation. the point being cohen only knows a small piece of it. he is not overstating, he is not speculating, i'm not hearing conjecture from him. he is like most cooperating
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witnesses trying to sort of help but not overstate their case. they know the information they provide has to be corroborated. i'm not sure this congress is doing a very good job of corroborating with mueller very well. >> let's listen to jim jordan. and an exchange that he had with michael cohen. cohen is generally -- i know him pretty well, he stuck true to the way that he is, the way he talks normally is coming off as very authentic. but he also is somebody that will push back when he feels not fairly characterized. there was a moment with jim jordan that got particularly heated. let's listen. >> we just had a five minute debate where mr. cohen disputes what the judge found that he was gui guilty of committing bank fall. his consciousness of wrong doing, his instinct to blame others is strong.
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the only thing wrong with that statement is his remorse is nonexistent. he just debated a member of congress saying i didn't really do anything wrong with the false bank things that i'm guilty of and going to prison for. >> that's not what i said. i said i plead guilty and i take responsibility for my actions. >> time has expired. >> shame on you mr. jordan. that's not what i said. shame on you. >> mr. chairman -- >> not what i said, i said i took responsibility and i take responsibility. >> so the republicans you said a moment ago are doing a good job trying to derail this hearing. how are republicans, do you think they're all coming off well? do you think this is working trying to melign michael cohen's credibility. >> they're saying shehe is a phy
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and a liar. dirtying him up more and more they're raising the question more of why did president trump just him for so long and ask him to do so many sensitive things if he is so bad. people are trying to follow along and have the threats krekkrek connect. it is theater. >> let's play another moment of political theater. this is mark meadows. you may have heard another congressman mention this. bringing in lynn patton that it is proof that donald trump is not a racist. >> i'm responsible for lynn p patton joining the trump organization and the position she holds. >> you made very demeaning
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comments about the president that she doesn't agree with. it has to do were your claim of racism. she says as the daughter of a man born in birmingham, alabama, there is no way she would work for an individual who was racist. how do you reconcile that? >> i have not heard one time a racist comment out of the president's mouth in private, how do you reconcile it, do you have proof of them? do you have tape recordings of those conversations? >> ask mrs. patton how many people who are black are executives at the trump organization. >> i don't think we need an introduction, we know who you are, what do you think of that? >> do you want my angry black woman response or my msnbc
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analyst response. >> which ever you have to give. i have to start as a black woman. that was the most defensive thing i have ever seen in my life and to take one person, parade her physically in front of cameras and say she works for trump, therefore he can't -- even though we have a public record during the campaign of several incidents that called into question his racial attitudes, but one woman who works for him who can be physically paraded out in front of the cameras, that was the most irresponsible moment i have seen on tv in a long time. >> that's it? >> i can't curse, it is not hbo. >> and it was amazinamazing, ri her simple presence was a rebuttal. everything that you say can't be true, it takes a certain kind of person to have that equation of racism. >> there is a who section in his
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opening statement where he talks about donald trump using the world s-holes for african nations and according to michael cohen that donald trump asked him have you ever seen a nation that was run well, a successful nation run well by an african-american? he said well president obama was president, he is accusing him flat out of not just being a con man and a cheat, but being a racist. and he said it was much worse hearing him in private than hearing him in public. >> we have reports, she was in public on her book tour, and says he dropped the n word in public. it is not just michael cohen. we have incident after incident from the 1970s when he essentially had a race discrimination housing claim against him. personally i'm still trying to get over the fact that he used the phrase "the blacks" that is
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actually not common phraseology for people who are very far evolved on issues of race. >> and he pointed out his african-american at a rally once. >> yes, the point about someone that worked for one of his hotels that was black who he didn't trust because he was black. this is not -- this is not something where michael cohen is the only person coming forward saying that donald trump has a race problem. i think the bigger issue is that voters voted for him anyway. >> i think the bigger question is here, we can talk legally speaking about what sort of trouble this puts the president in, if you can indict a sitting president. if he committed a campaign violation, what does that mean? did he do it while he was sitting in the oval office, while he was president of the united states. how significant is that. what can you prove when it comes to russian conspiracy and
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collusion. he points to it but he doesn't offer corroborating evidence. we might find out more and what is politically damaging here. i guess the big question from today is what is politically damaging for donald trump. what did michael cohen say today that will convince someone out there that donald trump is not a good guy, and that maybe they were wrong about donald trump. what did they say that will change the game. >> i'm not sure anything that will change the game. a person that thought donald trump was racist thought so already, thought so based on the impac examples laid out. and this is the drama of having someone so close to him, attest to these things. things you heard personally from the government. game changer, perhaps not, this is always something dramatic to have a whistle-blower. i don't know how many people's
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minds are changed by that, i can't tell, but it is always a big telling point. >> he was always on donald trump's side no matter the attention. he was accused of being a racist over and over again in 2016 and michael cohen always said he was not a racist. he said look at who supports donald trump. i will say as someone running his diversity council, he did have a hard time getting him to appear at more than one, two, or three events. i know he was bushing for more.
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he is paying now for his sins. how, when we look at this in the larger picture, politically it may not move the voices that loved donald trump, but this is a seminal moment in american history, i don't know if we can even go back and say john dean is a bigger moment, this is massive. >> he didn't accuse the president of being array cy racn man, and a cheater. i agree with nick. he speaks in very trumpian
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language opinion it is the way they understand facts and stories. if i can go back to one more legal issue that is one we have not really covered. the issue of the trump tower moscow project. michael cohen said he was asking about it repeatedly, and donald trump didn't think he would win the election and stood to gain hundreds of millions of dollars from the project. it is one that vladimir putin would have had to approve. michael cohen say that he briefed the family on it more than ten times. when he was asked what he knew about it, he said i was aware of it but most of my knowledge has
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been gained recently. let's listen to michael cohen's testimony on trump tower moscow. >> so be clear he knew about the trump tower prospects because he never thought he would win. he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the moscow real estate project. >> i want to ask you, in your filing with the special project, they discussed the project with
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individual one and briefed family members of individual one about the project. mr. cohen, who are you referring to here when we say refer to individual one. >> donald j. trump. >> the company? >> the trump organization through a subsidiary. >> he said it was business as usual when it came to trump tour moscow. >> one of the things that caught my attention is when michael cohen said he informs con stand contact with prosecutors from the southern district court. i imagine that many of the
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questioning will focus in on others. and who else could tell us about that. who else participated. again michael cohen did not overstate things here. he said that donald trump did not direct him to lie, he just understood. he is coming across quite credibly and he continues to work with prosecutors inman hat ton get to the bottom of this and other transactions. >> from everything in the public record, are you surprised that don junior has not been involved, are you surprise there'd is no filing directly related to don junior. are you surprised that he has not sat for an interview? >> yes and no. >> if donald trump union is a
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target, someone in the scope of an investigation and likely to be charged, i expect they would leave him for the very end. you don't tend to talk to targets early in the investigation. under very rare schisms you put a target in the grand jury. or to invite a target to the grand jury. you leave targets until the end. you can talk to other people about other targets. to me he has not been mentioned in court pleadings or to our knowledge interviewed or to our knowled knowledge. he is suggested to maybe be a target. he has criminal exposure. he is not mentioned in a favorable way down the road. >> carol, one last question to
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you, michael cohen was not supposed to talk about russia, but he talked quite a bit about russia when it comes to trump tower in moscow. why was he able to talk about that and what does that mean for the special council investigation that opened the door. i have to say i suspect that the prosecutors are not delighted that michael cohen is testifying today in congress and in this manner. it is very tough for prosecutors to have parallel investigations going on. there is different circumstances. sometimes the questions are inartful. sometimes emotions are running high. and it can come back as more
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material that muddies things up. so i think the special council's office is probably not happy with it. >> so because that part is over and they don't really care if he talks about it or not. >> i suspect not. >> prosecutors don't rule the world. this is bigger than any one or multiple prosecutions. the american people are thinker city. to get answers about what in the world, their president, their administration, their white house has been part of. >> we need a quick break. it has been a very full hour of conversation and a full day of
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testimony, everyone is sticking with us. nick and mya, glenn, chuck, ken, carol, i will still be here. stay with us, a couple more guests coming up to talk about the comparisons between michael cohen's testimony and that of john dean during watergate and two attorneys coming up next, stay with us. two attorneys coming up next, stay with us ♪ ♪ 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?
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>> we are back as we await for michael cohen's testimony on capitol hill. the house judiciary committee. comparisons have been made, gentlemen, to michael cohen to john dean in the watergate hearings and there has been talk about how this could potential i will be bigger than john dean. do you think michael cohen might help end up bringing down this president. >> not in the john dean league. he had tapes and his own involvement in the white house.
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he is not in the john dean league. >> i think there are three important details. when john dean testified to the senate committee, his testimony was uncorroborated. it was doubted by many people, it was only after the tapes came out later after they identified the taping system that it turned out he had an incredible memory. the second thing is that if this politics national attention to this issue. to have this televised all day long, just as the sam irvin committee hearings did, it increases the level of public awareness, and the political pressure on congress to act. and the third thing is that congress is not privy to the prosecutors examination of
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michael cohen. this is creating a factual record not just today, but yesterday and tomorrow before the intelligence committees. when we worked on the impea impeachment inquery many of time came from the previous if was not as partisan, we're seeing democrats on one side asking a particular set of questions and trying to malign the credibility. >> right, it was not as openly partisan. it was partisan behind the scenes more than this is. it was partisan until a certain moment was reached, certainly
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the saturday night massacre changed things massively. and i think obviously the tapes and what butterfield revealed changed things mass i havelivel. and john dean was not considered necessarily very credible but he did become so. his memory was more exquisite than anything we have seen in this case. i agree it brings attention to the people watching in the middle of the day. to the extend that happens it brings it to the attention of people in another dramatic way, but in my opinion it is a little like a test, 90% or so have made up their minds and they will read into it that it confirms
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various crimes or likely leads to crimes or they will say we have seen all of this before, he has not said anything new, he said some things that are important, but it is not new. >> he wasn't really thinking the president knew anything. it was a more subtle device to protect the president. i'll assure you there was very, very ardent supporters of president nixon. when the committee voted it is class half full and glass half empty. there is six, seven, or eight republicans. and they voted for the articles of impeachment. other people, even after the committee voted, supported president nixon until the tapes were released. >> the laelallegations as well. the allegations being levelled against donald trump. the allegations against nixon do
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not compare. >> yeah, this is an ala carte of misconduct. >> but there is so much there is it just hard to focus. you can't focus on all of the things and this is just an effort by his detractors or his critics to tear him down ko men may have turned a couple minds, but i this the the turning point will be when bob mueller shares with the american people a report, a time or both.
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>> i think it will come to roost in 2020. will the american people take what they have seen in the first three, four years, and do they want to start with someone cleaner. someone that has not been mired in controversy day in or day out. >> you're calling it a buffet, a box of chocolates. is he a racist, is he ordering cohen to pay off his mistress, is he involved in a criminal conspiracy, there is that. there is a lot going on in this hearing. what really truck me is that we were not worrying about a lot of it, it was seeding a lot of the factual basis of his testimony.
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>> supporting robert mueller. everything was going back to the extend they were going back to things, some things they were using from robert mueller to try to undermine michael cohen like the buzz feed story, but robert mueller had a statement being prepared for jerome corsi where they literally laid out fact that roger stone in their view, in the mueller probe's view, was acting as an agent of the campaign. >> let me jump in, finish your sentence and thenly jump in. >> acting as an agent of the campaign, having contact with wikileaks, and now the peace of informing donald trump. it is the knowledge that is knowledge of donald trump. it sf a different side of the story than hearing indirect
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unsubstantiated news reports that there may be indications. no, we're past that now, and there will be a public trial of roger stone. it doesn't matter on the mueller report because that will be public. so roger stone says that assange hold him about a dump of e-mails coming, wikileaks has now responded as well. they say julian assange has never had a telephone call with roger stone. wikileaks publicly teased their pending publication of her e-mails, and published the e-mails on 16 march 2016. what do you make of this statement? >> it is plausible that he was puffing, right? telling trump he was in touch
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with assange when he was only indirectly in the contact with assange. but the question is what does that get us. it is a wikileaks dump. donald trump was openly embracing wikileaks. and you know better than anyone that he urged the russians to find e-mails. this does not get us to a conspiracy with russia, it is a scandal and it will be him getting reflected. >> should we play the donald trump news conference on july 27th, 2016, to remind ourselves what donald trump was saying and how he sounded and how much he pushed back. the answer is yes, we're going to play it.
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>> it would be interesting, russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightly by our press, let's see if that happens. that will be next. >> do you any qualms about asking a foreign government to interfere? to hack into a system of anybody's in this country? >> let the president talk to him. here is the problem. >> no no, you just called for them a moment ago mr. trump, you said -- you said i welcome them to find those 30,000 e-mails. >> they probably have them, i would like to have them released. >> no. >> to have a foreign government hack into a person e-mail server. >> a person in our government, katie, would delete or get rid of 33,000 e-mails.
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that gives me a big problem. after she gets a subpoena. she gets subpoenaed and she gets rid of 33,000 e-mails, that gives me a problem. if russia, china, or any other country has those e-mails, to be honest with you, i would love to see them. >> did not give him pause. what do you think? >> first to say there is information in the public fear is not the same as exonerating. roger stone literally according to jerome corsi, was trying to get him to lie and cover up the communications he was having, why? why? and remember that we have michael flynn. there is a difference between
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the press core, to prove a crime in a court of law, there is another though that i'm seeing as a lawyer that says there is so much smoke here. i see that charge sheet, and i see it -- >> but why are we seeing a draft of a charge sheet and not an indictment of corsi. >> they may not need it. corsi is now saying and cooperating in the sense of pub lib lick licly saying it is a difference between politics of understanding what is in the public record right now and understand tlg is enouthat ther enough smoke that any lawyer could establish the facts.
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if i'm a democrat in congress right now, one of the crimes i would be trying to find predicates to establish is that the engagement with russia on e-mails, there is collusion. there is also additional campaign finance violations of get ug things of value from foreign government. that is a separate crime, so that is something they should be asking michael cohen. >> you added another dish to our buffet. >> stanley michael, what would you do with the information and the evidence that we have seen up until now? what would you do with a news conference like that. something akin to that. >> michael you go first. >> thank you, i think miya is right, he was asking people to commit a crime. if wikileaks could not get the
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e-mails, they will get them and make them public, that is a conspiracy, that is a crime. i think with the connection between russia -- >> but is asking inducing. >> slously nabsolutely not, and do it. >> absolutely not, you're asking him to commit a crime. it's like saying please rob this bank for me. if you say rob this bank and we'll split the loot, you conspired to rob a bank. if you had nothing to do with the hack, you can publish the information and it's not a crime. that is a u.s. supreme court case. but if you had something to do with inducing or encouraging the hack, you have committed a crime. >> my problem with this is that we have so many ifs, every one
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of our conversations involve ifs. and i think there is a lot of smoke here. smoke is generally not created without fire, but i think have a huge mash up here between this committee between an effort to undergo a claharacter examinati and the literal evidence of what would constitute a crime. the evidence that i can see is the bob mueller report. that gives us the size of the fire. is it a raging bonfire, we don't have anything new but conjecture and speculation. we don't have any new hard evidence today. we will get it from mueller when he releases his report. >>. >> let's go back to the issue that michael brought up, you said that donald trump was inducing russia to commit a
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crime. we have a filing on that, robert mueller when he was charging 13 russians and two entities with hacking into two systems, said that on that very day that donald trump asked russia to find hillary clinton's e-mails, june 27th 2016 on or around after hours that evening, it says, those hackers tried for the very first time to get into hillary clinton's private servers, who wants to take that? no one. >> no, circumstantial evidence. i mean i agree that you know we don't have the proof of a crime yet that donald trump will be convicted by a jury, but let's remember that impeachment doesn't require a proof of a crime. if he continues his collusion, maybe maybe not, is it
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conspiracy. >> did we hear anything that you would see as an impeachable offense? my ifb just fell down, there it is. >> high crimes and misdemeanors. >> i have seen many from the firing of comey to the effort to get the charges dropped against phili flynn there has been plenty. it is the same as richard nixon, and the other ak pespect is tha congress and the judiciary committee determined that abusing your power was also impeachable. so it will be up to congress to decide. i think it will be time for congress to begin their investigation and look into this. >> let's ask a member of congress about this. joining me is eric smallwell.
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his committee be having a closed door meeting with michael cohen tomorrow. have you heard anything that would lead you to believe the president committed a high crime or a misdemeanor? >> yes, but evidence is not a conclusion, but it is a reason to keep looking and testing other accounts. katie i'm going to focus on russia. i don't care much about the payoffs to the women. the president was in contact with roger stone. we saw in our information that all of the evidence points in that direction and it would have been unnatural if he didn't share his conversations with wiki le wikileaks, and that matches what we learned throughout our investigation. they were so close they talked so often that it would have been unnatural not to read into it. we're seeing more color filled
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in. >> i know michael cohen was asked who he would call in. don junior, other members of the organization, who else? >> you just nailed it right there. the trump organization is not that big. he presents himself being a massive empire and a billion nana billionaire, and had t is ae pretty small office. so probing them there, that will have to happen. >> will you bring her back gi givegiven michael cohen's match? >> katie, i kept hearing these attacks on michael cohen's credibility, but he has watched what happened to paul manafort.
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he wasn't from a coop rerator. i have a very hard time believing that michael cohen as a coop ray tocooperator. that's why i think we have more to pursue and -- >> do you expect to see any evidence that michael cohen was not able to give to the committee today in this open hearing? any evidence that might pertain to what happened with russia or donald trump's relationship with russia? >> we expect to have additional evidence that is not presented today. michael cohen, you see he is going to respect the jurisdiction, but also is the president's denders saying this is cohen's word versus trump's word. it is important to know is not cohen's word versus trump's
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word. we have all of their word versus nothing. so the state of the evidence is cohen's world. unless he goes under oath to cohen or not committee. >> will the democrats all get behind articles of impeachment. >> i don't think we're there yet. we have evidence of wrong doing, but we have all of the reason in the world to keep looking and do the work that we were not able to do two years ago. we would not be here right now but republicans were protecting the president, not our democracy. >> congressman, thank you so much. we'll be right back. congressmao much we'll be right back. tte skingua. it has a unique guard between the blades. that's designed to reduce irritation during the shave. because we believe all men deserve a razor just for them.
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flat out does not know of any direct evidence collusion of donald trump's campaign and russia but had suspicions. then he described the situation between don jr. and the president before the trump tower meeting in 2016 where a russian lawyer offered dirt on hillary clinton. let's listen. >> some time in the summer of 2017 i read all over the media that there had been a meeting in trump tower in june of 2016 involving don jr. and others from the campaign with russians. including a representative of the russian government, and an e-mail setting up the meeting with the subject line "dirt on hillary clinton," something clicked in my mind. i remembered being in a room with mr. trump, probably early june 2016, when something peculiar after. don trump jr. came into the room and walked behind his father's desk, which in and of itself was unusual. people didn't just walk behind mr. trump's desk to talk to him.
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and i recall don jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which i could clearly hear, and saying, the meeting is all set. and i remember mr. trump saying, okay, good. let me know. >> glenn, what do you think of that? >> i think the factual portion of what he saw and heard is fine. i think i recall him saying i assume this may have something to do with what i later learned was the trump tower meeting with the russians. and what i always tell my witnesses is don't assume anything. tell me what you saw, tell me what you heard but keep your assumptions to yourself because you might be wrong. >> he's going too far out on a limb? >> he might be. >> what do you think, maya? >> i don't think he damaged his credibility because was being explicit about the fact what he knew and heard versus what he was assuming and didn't know. on the credibility front, i think preserved his credibility on that but i definitely agree
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with glenn. it's not sufficient to establish that knowledge. >> but if anyone knew anything about the trump organization the way donald trump works and nunberg has said this publicly, others have said this to reporters, michael cohen said this today, everything goes through donald trump. he told, i believe it was carolyn maloney, if he had a meeting of consequence, he had to run it by donald trump first. and then he had to go and report back about it a little bit later. so it would be keeping in line with the reporting and the descriptions of the trump organization as we have heard it. again, i don't know if it's true, but that is what was said. >> it was cryptic, it was totally fascinating. as a reporter, i would call it a lead. so it kind of raises the questions of the president's own nojz knowledge of these meetings and what don jr. could eventually tell investigators about them. it's true the trump organization was not this global behemoth. it was a relatively small family
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business. it was basically a branding company at this point. but i think all things float eventually through the president, and i think we know from his testimony that the president did not think that highly of his sons' ability to make decisions all by themselves, therefore, yes, everything would go through him. that's a big hanging open question. >> guys, it has been a tremendous hour and a half, i think, we've been on the air talking about this. michael cohen's testimony will resume soon on capitol hill. thank you all so much. glen k glenn, i have been with you all afternoon. to everybody joining us, thank you very much. in the meantime i will leave you in the very capable hands of nicolle wallace, who's next. lla.
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if you see wires down, treat them all as if they are hot and energized. lla. stay away from any downed wire, call 911 and call pg&e right after so we can both respond out and keep the public safe.
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pg&e wants you to plan ahead by mapping out escape routes and preparing a go kit, in case you need to get out quickly. for more information on how to be prepared and keep your family safe, visit new york. welcome to our ongoing breaking news coverage of the michael cohen hearings. it's been a blockbuster day on capitol hill. the president's former lawyer and fixer, michael cohen, delivering hours of explosive testimony today in front of the house oversight committee, in which he alternately defended his own credibility and detailed his first-person account of donald trump's corruption, criminal conduct and racism. cohen describing himself as remorseful about the lies he told and explaining many of the things he did wrong were things he did in service of this president. the headlines from today include, michael cohen's accusation


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