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Trump Suggests Access Hollywood Tape "Fake" Despite Apology; Has Michael Flynn Cut Deal With Mueller?; "Time" Disputes Trump's "Person Of The Year" Claim. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired November 27, 2017 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: -- getting credit for. I don't think that this is an offhand comment by him. I think he believes this will work with people. If he doubts its authenticity that it him on that tape. He said what he said. Even kind of owned it.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: He did own it.
CUOMO: He kind of owned it. Except he said it was locker room talk. It wasn't truthful. It would make him the largest liar of any guy in the locker room I've ever been around. I've never heard that kind of detail of every scenario, every one of which was b.s. when it proved convenient.
I think that's kind of scary, Alex, because if he will go to that level of saying, yes, that's fake, what else will he say that's not as clear-cut? That's the concern on something like this.
ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Chris, this goes to the debate we've now been having for well over a year about when you're allowed to call something a public figure is saying a lie. That if the president says something that is demonstrably false, obviously false and --
CUOMO: With an intent to deceive.
BURNS: -- on some level he has to know that it's false.
CUOMO: It meets every definition of a lie.
BURNS: But he believes it. It is the George Costanza rule, right? Is it a lie if you believe it? That's a tough call --
CUOMO: He can't believe it unless he thinks that he has an evil twin.
CUOMO: But was running around pretending to him on the bus that day with Billy Bush.
BURNS: And this is in order to get into some of the other reporting in our story. This is a dilemma that the entire Republican Party now faces with the president and with Roy Moore. Sure, the president has made the calculation that he is going to protect his relationship with his most passionate supporters at the cost of a political judgment, a moral judgment --
CUOMO: He wants the seat. He wants the seat more than he wants to take a moral stand. That's fine.
BURNS: But do they want to go along with him on that ride? That's a much tougher question.
DAVID GREROGY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: We have seen the president, whether it's the NFL protests and kneeling, or whether it's this culture conversation about how things have shifted, how women are finally being believed when they are coming forward with their own stories of being victims and sexual misconduct in the workplace, that he wants to be kind of very casually part of that conversation too and say, well, these are old allegations.
You have to believe him too. Just as he asserted that the women who came forward against him that those were all lies, and he was going to sue all of them, and of course, he never did that.
This is a lack of discipline and a lack of restraint for sure, but also a lack of shame. He doesn't care whether he looks in any of these things. He will just keep barreling along.
There are actually enough people, who while they may not approve of it, might even be offended by it. Appreciate his resiliency in the face of all of this in perverse way.
CUOMO: It's a lack of discipline. It's just a lie that he's hoping some people believe to give himself a little bit of cover from something that's embarrassing and ugly.
CAMEROTA: David Gregory, thank you very much. Alex, thanks for your sharing your reporting on this.
CUOMO: All right. A quick programming note, be disciplined and join us tomorrow night for a CNN debate on tax reform. Jake Tapper, Dana Bash moderating a debate with Senators Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Tim Scott, very much in the news right now, and Maria Cantwell. You'll get to see all of that at 9:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN.
CAMEROTA: OK. Meanwhile, for the Russia investigation, is Michael Flynn flipping lawyers? President Trump's fired national security adviser cutting off communications with Trump's legal team raising questions about whether Flynn has cut a deal somehow with the special counsel. We look into all the facts next.
CUOMO: All right. A story that could have very big implications, a source tells CNN fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, his legal team is no longer sharing information with the president's legal team. This was first reported by the "New York Times" and it has a lot of people speculating as to why. Why would they stop sharing? Does this mean that at a minimum there are negotiations going on between Flynn and the special counsel?
Let's discuss the legalities and the national security concerns with CNN national security analyst and former senior adviser to the national security adviser, Samantha Vinograd, and CNN chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.
Information sharing agreements, Jeffrey, not unusual. What are the parameters that people should keep in mind about these headlines?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, when there is a complicated investigation before indictment or even after indictment, and there are several people under scrutiny, their lawyers often agree either formally or informally, let's talk to each other. Let's hear what the prosecutors are asking.
Let's see what documents are available and pool our resources in essence. You have to have an agreement to do that because you need to protect the attorney/client privilege so that these conversations remain privileged.
What happens when one person decides to flip or negotiate about breaking off from the group, that lawyer has to withdraw from the agreement. That apparently is what happened last week regarding Michael Flynn.
And that leads to the speculation which I think is accurate that at least some discussions going on between Flynn and Mueller or a deal has already been cut.
CUOMO: So at a minimum there had to be some reason that the lawyers pulled out of the information sharing agreement otherwise they wouldn't. What that reason is open to interpretation.
TOOBIN: But the only possible reason as far as I'm aware and there's my experience in these things is that Flynn is talking to Mueller. It's not like, you know, there could be other explanations.
CUOMO: The value of Flynn to Mueller, the speculation, Sam, is that he would somehow be valuable in lending and understanding the special counsel about the nature of the campaign. But is that necessarily so? Because they seem to be chasing him for a lot of things that happened before his Trump involvement.
[06:40:03] SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think what we probably do know is that the west wing is very uneasy this morning. Here's why. The west wing is a really small place. I worked with national security advisers, and the truth is the national security adviser, and this would have been true on the campaign as well, is not a one-man show.
Someone schedules his meetings, staffs his meetings, and typically, the national security adviser provides a readout to senior staff and the president. So, if Flynn was up to something illegal, someone probably knew.
And at the same time, the national security adviser's part or part of his job is to prepare the president and other senior staff for meetings with foreign officials and probably to participate. So, if there was ongoing contact with Russian officials, Flynn would have been involved.
TOOBIN: Well, but remember, a lot of what this investigation is about is about what went on in the campaign before President Trump was inaugurated. Remember, it was in December 2015 that Michael Flynn went to Russia and sat next to Vladimir Putin at a dinner where he was paid by Russian government affiliated news organizations. So, his knowledge of what went on between Russia and the Trump campaign is at least as important than the 24 days before he was national security adviser.
CUOMO: People are going to wake up and one of their headlines is going to be that Mueller, the special counsel, is looking into a documentary or film that was never finished by Flynn's lobbying team, his consulting team, about Turkey and restoring its image in the wake of what seemed to be a military coup. Why is that relevant?
VINOGRAD: Well, this is just the latest in a long list of strange engagements and legal engagements that Flynn has had with the government of Turkey. We know that he registered as a foreign agent for Turkey only after he was fired.
We know that he stopped in operation during the transition that the Turks didn't support in Syria and allegedly he was offered $15 million to kidnap this Turkish cleric. So, he has a long track record here of illegal activity with the Turkish government.
Now, the ironic point is under any other scenario the Turkish government would be worried right now that if Flynn flipped, he would talk about other illegal overtures that the Turkish government made to him.
Typically, this kind of thing causes issues in bilateral relationship. Unfortunately, Erdogan, who Trump spoke to on Friday, has no reason to think that Trump is upset, let alone that Trump will even confront him over this.
TOOBIN: Let's not convict Michael Flynn yet --
VINOGRAD: I agree.
TOOBIN: -- illegal activities. We don't know that it was --
VINOGRAD: He did register as a foreign agent after leaving office.
TOOBIN: But he hasn't been convicted of anything yet.
VINOGRAD: That's true.
TOOBIN: But it is worth noting that what he is under investigation for in terms of his lobbying is precisely the same thing that Paul Manafort was charged with, with regard to Russia so this is something that obviously the Mueller team is very interested in and it is something he could be charged with.
CUOMO: But Sam's point is also interesting in terms of what the state of play can mean in terms of influencing the investigation. Turkey has that no reason to fear President Trump right now. If anything, he would be a dedicated defender of their interests because he wants to help Flynn.
TOOBIN: He is another authoritarian figure like Putin, like the head of China, Erdogan in Turkey, these are the people that Trump likes.
CUOMO: That's your take.
TOOBIN: That's my take. That's why I'm here.
CUOMO: Jeffrey Toobin, Sam Vinograd, thank you very much. Appreciate it -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK. Chris, a bitter NFL rivalry turning ugly. The Auckland Raiders and Denver Broncos broke out in a brawl. We have all the details in the "Bleacher Report" next.
CUOMO: A brawl breaks out during the Raiders/Broncos game over a piece of jewelry. Coy Wire -- I was trying to think of my insult. I was going to try to make a jewelry joke, but I couldn't get it out and your name at the same time.
Tell me, Coy, I remember watching you. You always played with the highest character. Why take off your helmet and then punch me in mine?
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Sometimes is that adrenalin gets to you, Chris, and these two fierce competitors, both former first rounders going at it. They were just doing early holiday jewelry shopping. He yanks a chain off of Auckland's Michael Crabtree in the middle of the game.
There's the no helmet Chris is talking about. This is actually the second time Crabtree had a chain taken by Talib (ph) in less than 11 months. Three players ejected including Crabtree, who appears to have watched the rest of the game from a suite. The Raiders end up winning 21-14. Both players can expect a hefty fine I'm sure -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: I don't mind the name Joy Kyer, if that is what Chris was doing.
CUOMO: I was trying to make a joke about it and couldn't get the name out. Look at that smile.
CAMEROTA: Thank you, Coy. All right. President Trump says he was probably going to be "Time" magazine's person of the year. "Time" magazine says, huh? Brian Stelter has the details next.
CAMEROTA: "Time" magazine accuses President Trump of, quote, "total b.s." after President Trump claims that "Time" was considering choosing him as person of the year. "Time" says there is, quote, "not a speck of truth to it."
CNN's Brian Stelter is here to separate facts from fiction. Hi, Brian.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I'll try.
CAMEROTA: OK. So, do we know if "Time" called and floated the idea that he would be person of the year?
STELTER: The magazine won't officially say, but it certainly makes sense that those phone calls would go out at this time of the year. Trump has been a contender in the last two years. Of course, last year he was the person of the year.
So, it would make sense the magazine would ask for an interview. Maybe try to win an opportunity for a photo shoot. I doubt there was an explicit quid pro quo the way Trump is implying, but certainly, they were to smoosh him, trying to get an interview, and what's interesting about this I think is --
STELTER: -- we are not seeing the president give interviews to magazines like "Time" or outlets like CNN.
CAMEROTA: I mean, maybe if they were really smooshing him because that what he is saying, but they are saying there is not a speck of truth to it.
STELTER: Right. And they don't want to talk about it until December 6th when they announce person of the year. Now, I wonder will Trump still be the person of the year or will it go to some other category, foreign leader or perhaps will there be an acknowledgment of this tipping point we are seeing in the country, recognition of women who have spoken out against sexual harassment.
CAMEROTA: That would be interesting.
STELTER: That's what I would do with the cover of "Time" magazine, but we're not the editors.
CAMEROTA: Here's another interesting thing, it seems very important to President Trump to be on the cover of "Time" magazine because as we know, he created fake covers of himself as person of the year before he was ever named, and hangs them -- here it is. This was the fake cover that he hangs in his golf clubs.
STELTER: It might be real until you take a close look at it, and then you realize the fonts are not quite right. (Inaudible) other piece with President Trump doubting the "Access Hollywood" tape, retweeting "The Conspiratorial" website. All of it is somewhat related. You know, that he does buy into fake information or conspiracy theories when it is convenient for him to do so.
CAMEROTA: So, what you are talking about in terms of retweeting this purveyor of fake news and conspiracy theories, he just doesn't check this stuff.
[06:55:09] First of all, he likes these websites that have fake news. He somehow gets his information there and then he doesn't do any quality control of his retweets.
STELTER: This is a conspiracy theory president. This time last year as president-elect, he talked about the millions of alleged illegal votes that don't actually exist and that continues now that he is in office. This website (inaudible) promoted over the weekend, he said this is what the media should be reporting. The website talks about satanic rituals, falsified terrorism, deep stake conspiracy theories, et cetera, et cetera.
CAMEROTA: That's what he would like to see the press really dwell on and talk about.
STELTER: I guess, he didn't read that far down the website. He liked that list of accomplishments and wanted to leave it there. But I think a presidential figure, whether in the White House or any other foreign capital. What that person will be doing is promoting (inaudible) literacy and encouraging an informed citizenry, but what we get from President Trump sometimes is that opposite, that the desire to just promote whatever makes him look good.
CAMEROTA: He was going after CNN again. Here is what he tweeted, "Fox News is much more important in the United States than CNN. But outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of fake news and they represent our nation to the world very poorly. The outside world does not see the truth from them."
STELTER: Interesting to see CNN's response to that, by the way. Within minutes the network said, "It is not our job to promote the U.S. to the world. It is your job. Our job is to report the news." And I was struck by this, Alisyn, CNN's response actually got more than twice as many shares and faves and retweets as the president's message.
CAMEROTA: That's really telling, Brian. I'm glad that you point that out because so many people obviously around the world do rely on CNN. I'm sure you had the same experience I have had, people coming up and thanking us for still bringing the facts, for still being the press, still being there. It is nice to know that people are spreading that word.
STELTER: And that is not a partisan position. CAMEROTA: Brian, thank you. Great to talk to you -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right. So, there is a legal battle brewing over who can lead the country's top consumer watchdog. There's an Obama-era official now suing President Trump. Who has the legal upper hand? Answers ahead.