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Democratic Congressman Jim Himes Discusses Special Counsel Robert Mueller And The War Powers Act; Trump Slams FBI Raid Of His Personal Lawyer As A Disgrace; President Trump Vows Forceful Response to Syria Attack Soon; What Facebook "Likes" Can Tell You About A Person; Michael Cohen: President Trump's Loyal Fixer. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired April 10, 2018 - 07:30   ET



[07:31:25] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: So, we now know that the FBI has conducted searches of the offices of the president's personal attorney Michael Cohen. Now sources tell CNN no one in the White House can predict Mr. Trump's next move. The president himself not guaranteeing that even the special counsel's job security is intact.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why don't I just fire Mueller? Well, I think it's a disgrace what's going on. We'll see what happens.

But I think it's really a sad situation when you look at what happened and many people have said you should fire him. Again, they found nothing and in finding nothing that's a big statement.


CUOMO: Let's discuss with Democratic Congressman Jim Himes. Congressman, as always, good to see you. Thanks for taking the opportunity.


CUOMO: All right. So, the president's peak is largely about this being his personal attorney and this unusual and unusually aggressive move by the FBI to search the offices and take communications that will be segregated and not immediately available to investigators -- but this is unusual, hyperaggressive, and shows that this is all about targeting the president.

Your take?

HIMES: Well, I mean, let's start with the facts and on your clip there the president says they found nothing. Of course, the facts are that the investigation has secured two guilty pleas and close to two dozen indictments. They've got cooperating witnesses. They're still after Manafort. I mean, to say that this is a witch hunt, to say that they've found nothing is to be completely unhinged -- to be completely at odds with reality.

Now remember, the individual who led this raid yesterday is a recent Trump appointee to the Southern District of New York. So this false idea that the president's trying to propagate that this is a nothing witch hunt that is targeted at him, his own people are the ones who are leading this investigation and who led the raid yesterday.

CUOMO: Level of concern that in the president's mind this has gone too far and it is time to act, and that will mean stopping this investigation.

HIMES: Well, this takes us back to where we were a couple of weeks ago. And as a member of Congress, of course, it's an uncomfortable thing because I see nothing in this Congress -- and there's political reasons for this being true.

I see nothing in this Congress to suggest that if the president fires the deputy attorney general, fires Bob Muller in order to stop this investigation -- and again, this is an investigation that's produced indictments, guilty pleas, and is still underway in a lot of different dimensions -- that this Congress would act.

I see absolutely nothing to suggest that that would be the case. So that takes us to a world where, as Lincoln said, public sentiment is everything. So the way public sentiment would play out there, what the public would do, what the public would demand their elected officials to do is I think where this gets a little interesting.

CUOMO: Do you think that we have seen -- that we see the president now on the verge? That this is a new phase of his desire to do something about this.

HIMES: Well, I would go to where my colleague -- Republican colleague -- aggressive Republican colleague Trey Gowdy was when he memorably said Mr. President, if you're innocent, act it.

You know, again, this is not the behavior of somebody who believes that an investigation is going to prove his innocence and I just don't understand why -- I suppose it's a personality thing -- why he can't just can't compartmentalize this, tell himself that this goes away once the facts are out, and proceed with the important tasks of governing the country.

CUOMO: I mean, look, you'd feel the same way if they went into your lawyer's office and got all your communications with him or her over the last decade, there'd be cause for concern. The question is whether or not that is a part of a fair system and a fair process or if it's political in any way.

[07:35:07] Do you have 100 percent confidence that what we're seeing right now is all being done by the book?

HIMES: Before Donald Trump, if you were to ask Democrats and Republicans alike anywhere, including Washington, D.C., who the two most upstanding people -- the two least-tainted people they could think of -- to name them -- they would name Bob Mueller and Jim Comey.

Now, that has changed and Jim Comey obviously got himself in a -- in a complicated situation by announcing the Clinton probe. And remember, he announced the Clinton probe, not the Trump probe which was ongoing when he announced the Clinton probe.

But, you know, we have come a long way and I'd like to think -- you said how would I feel about it? I'd like to think that a minimum I would not respond by trying to damage institutions that are essential to this country. The Americans' trust in their Justice Department, in the FBI -- the guys with guns. The guys that need cooperation from the public.

The fact that the president and his people and right-wing media have turned around -- I mean, what a weird world we live in when the right- wing is attacking law enforcement. I would like to believe that if I were in that position I wouldn't take that tact. That I would say look, this is uncomfortable but the facts will prove me innocent. Go ahead, take a look.

CUOMO: Right.

Now -- and there can be patience on that with a measure of common sense except for one element, Syria. I do not think it is a coincidence that the language from the White House and the president has ramped up at the same time that so did this search in the FBI. Yes, they had said we were going to do something but it's getting hot.

Congress -- you know that this is a pet peeve of mine. Congress has over iterations of administration seeded authority on this issue. You now had Adam Kinzinger just come on -- Republican -- gave his -- you know, literally protected our country with his life, OK, so much respect for him.

War Powers Act, fine. The president can go into Syria. You know, that's fine. If he comes to us that's great, but he doesn't have to.

I don't see that in the War Powers Act. I didn't see it the last time in Syria. I didn't see it when Obama went into Libya.

You know, we talked about Clinton going to -- is it time for you guys to step up, take your duty, and say no, no, no, don't do this until we debate? You have to debate.

HIMES: Absolutely -- it absolutely is.

And I like Adam Kinzinger a lot and you're right, he served the country. He's wrong about the War Powers Act.

There should be no ambiguity about this. Read the War Powers Act. It gives the president the authority to respond militarily and then report back to Congress in a matter of weeks when the country or its interests are attacked. This is not the case in Syria.

Now, that's doesn't mean that I or other members of Congress wouldn't support a robust response.

CUOMO: Right.

HIMES: We have the use of chemical weapons. We have a leader who is now a war criminal supported by the Iranians and the Russians. That demands a strong and risky response.

If the West won't stand up when a leader uses gas multiple times against his own people, we live in a very dangerous world.

Now, Chris, what's important here is the War Powers Act is clear as can be but members of Congress weasel out of their constitutional responsibility. You know why? Because if I vote to approve an aggressive action against Syria and its goes wrong -- and boy, could it go wrong. We saw that in Libya, we saw it in Iraq and elsewhere -- I am held accountable.

That's why we get paid as members of Congress. And a refusal to say yea or nay to presidential action is a terrible abnegation of our constitutional duty.

CUOMO: Well, let's see who -- how this goes and who stands up. Life is choices and you guys are down there to make them.

Congressman, thank you for joining us.

HIMES: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Appreciate it -- Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Chris, Facebook's CEO will testify on Capitol Hill in just hours as researchers reveal what your Facebook likes say about you. The surprising information you're putting out there, next.


[07:42:55] CAMEROTA: In just a few hours, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress in the wake of that Cambridge Analytica data scandal. He is expected to explain how his company collects and failed to protect the data of its users. But what do your Facebook likes reveal about you?

CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us with more. Sanjay, what have you learned about this?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I've learned quite a bit. I think the Facebook likes probably tell you a lot more about yourself than you realize -- certainly more than I realize. And as you watch this piece keep in mind that this whole thing started as an academic project looking at big data and what we can know from big data.


GUPTA (voice-over): What do country music singer Jason Aldean and curly fries have in common? They can both offer clues about how smart you are.

TIMOTHY SUMMERS, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND COLLEGE OF INFORMATION STUDIES: The studies have shown that people who like curly fries have a higher intellectual capacity. They're more intelligent. Whereas people who like Jason Aldean have a lower I.Q.

GUPTA: That may seem arbitrary but science backs it up. This 2013 study by big data scientist Michal Kosinski and others found you can learn a lot about someone from how smart they are to how satisfied they are, even if they're more likely to be outgoing and active or shy and reserved, just be looking at what they like on Facebook.

Timothy Summers, who was not involved in these studies, is a professor at the University of Maryland's College of Information Studies.

SUMMERS: Facebook is a really amazing place to give data and not really think about the data you're giving because you're just sharing it with family and friends, right? But you're actually sharing it with every company that utilizes Facebook.

GUPTA: And those companies can predict someone's personality better than a coworker with just 10 likes, better than a friend or roommate with 70 likes, better than a parent or sibling with 150 likes. Once they know 300 of your likes, big data knows you better than your spouse and it can accurately pick your political party 85 percent of the time. After that, it's all about tweaking your thinking.

[07:45:03] GUPTA (on camera): So you're saying you could take somebody who may have a had a certain worldview --


GUPTA: -- and a certain personality type, and actually persuade them --


GUPTA: -- to think differently about a candidate or an issue.

SUMMERS: Absolutely, absolutely. With the right imagery and the right content, context, and nuance, and with the right social media campaign and Internet marketing campaign you can get just about anyone to click on just about anything.

GUPTA (voice-over): And once they click they're subjected to a micro- targeted whisper campaign -- a digital version of the Old Town Square.

SUMMERS: And then they say huh, this is interesting. Tell me more about this, and then you show them some more. And the more and more they're willing to go down that rabbit hole, the more and more influenced they are.

GUPTA (on camera): Are there some people who are just going to be more persuadable if you will than others?

SUMMERS: Absolutely, and that's what -- that's where the psychographics comes in.

GUPTA (voice-over): Psychographics -- it's the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria.

The number one way to profile someone is to figure out how they score on the so-called big five personality traits -- openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism -- OCEAN.

GUPTA (on camera): They collect this data on me and they all right, now we know enough about Sanjay to say this is who is and this is how we can influence him. Is it so insidious that I don't even recognize that it's happening?

SUMMERS: You don't even realize it's happening.


GUPTA: Well, if this sounds familiar or makes you a little worried, people are going to be asking how do they protect their data -- what can they do?

First things first and you're going to see this possibly at the top of your newsfeed. Facebook is rolling out this privacy tool. You'll get a notice basically saying look, are you one of the 87 million whose data may have been harvested? If so, what you can do about it.

Or are you not, but still you want to limit your apps and Websites. We sign into a lot of other apps using our Facebook data. Those are the big concerning ones.

But you can also download your data which is really interesting. You download your data and it gives you all this information about you on Facebook. But also, you can figure out what ad categories, for example, you're placed in. What things they think will appeal to you.

It's pretty fascinating stuff. These are sort of the steps that people should be taking to protect their data and their privacy -- Chris.

CUOMO: Doctor, that was a very, very informative piece. I didn't know any of that.

Thank you very much. Always good to see you, pal.

GUPTA: You got it. Good morning.

CUOMO: All right.

So, Michael Cohen, he's in the news, OK, and he is not just the person who's involved with Stormy Daniels. This man is fundamental to an understanding of what President Trump has been about and what he is worried about. We will give you a deeper insight, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:51:43] CAMEROTA: The FBI raided the office and hotel room of President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen. CNN has learned that authorities seized information relating to Stormy Daniels in the raid. Mr. Cohen admitted he paid $130,000 in exchange for Daniels' silence about an alleged affair and that's just one of many moves that Cohen has made to try to protect his famous client.

CNN's Gloria Borger has more on President Trump's loyal fixer.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): In the soap opera in which a porn star accepts a payoff to keep quiet about her affair with Donald Trump there's got to be a guy who gets it done.


Where's Mr. Cohen?

Where is this guy?

Where is this guy?

BORGER: Michael Cohen is where he's been since 2007, standing behind Donald Trump or closer, in his back pocket.

SAM NUNBERG, AIDE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Michael was -- I'd always like to say the Ray Donovan of the office.


NUNBERG: He took care of what had to be taken care of. I don't know what had to be taken care of but all I know is that Michael was taking care of it.

DAVID SCHWARTZ, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL COHEN: He's the guy that you could call at 3:00 in the morning when you have a problem.

BORGER (on camera): Do you know stories of Donald Trump calling him at 3:00 in the morning?

SCHWARTZ: Donald Trump has called him at all hours of the night. Every dinner I've been at with Michael, the boss has called.

BORGER (voice-over): But, Cohen did not call the boss, he says, when he decided to pay Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket 11 days before the election.

AVENATTI: I think it's ludicrous.

BORGER (on camera): So you believe 100 percent Donald Trump knew.

AVENATTI: One hundred percent.

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, TRUMP BIOGRAPHER: There's not a meeting that takes place, there's not an expenditure that is authorized that he doesn't know about it. BORGER (voice-over): Cohen wouldn't go on the record for this piece but his friends claim it's all part of his job in Trumpworld, giving the boss deniability and protection.

SCHWARTZ: If you know the relationship between the two people he took care of a lot of things for Mr. Trump without Mr. Trump knowing about it. That's part of the overall structure is that Michael had great latitude to take care of matters.

BORGER: In Michael Cohen, Trump hired his consiliari, a version of his longtime mentor, the lawyer Roy Cohn, a controversial pit bull and aggressive defender of all things Trump, no questions asked.

After D'Antonio finished his book on Trump he got the Cohen treatment in what turned out to be an empty threat.

D'ANTONIO: Then he got mad and it was well, you just bought yourself an f-ing lawsuit, buddy. I'll see you in court.

BORGER: In 2011, Michael Cohen described his job this way.

MICHAEL COHEN, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: My job is I protect Mr. Trump. That's what it is. If there's an issue that relates to Mr. Trump that is of concern to him it's, of course, concern to me and I will use my legal skills within which to protect Mr. Trump to the best of my ability.

BORGER: Cohen, a sometimes-Democrat, first came to Trump's attention after buying apartments in Trump developments. Then went to the mat for Trump against one of his condo boards and won.

SCHWARTZ: Trump loved him for it. I mean, that was the beginning of it. And then after that they became close.

[07:55:00] It was much more than an attorney-client relationship. It was certain -- it was something much deeper, almost a father and son kind of -- kind of thing.

Always hot and cold. They -- Donald Trump could be yelling at him one second and saying he's the greatest person in the world the next second. Donald Trump knew that Michael always had his back.

BORGER: For Trump, it wasn't about pedigree. Cohen, who is 51, got his degree from Western Michigan's Cooley Law School and had some initial success in the less than gentile world of New York taxicab medallions.

NUNBERG: If you look where Michael came from in his legal career before he started working for Trump board, it wasn't like he came from a white-shoe law firm. He came from a hardnosed -- a hardnosed New York trial firm.

Trump has an eye for talent and this was somebody that -- I mean, he used to call him his bulldog, his tough guy.

BORGER: At The Trump Organization, he'd done a bit of everything, running a mixed martial arts company, securing real estate branding deals, and even taking care of transportation.

NUNBERG: You know, the famous Trump plane? There was an engine issue that he actually took care and got a really good deal on.

SCHWARTZ: Watching him is -- it's like a -- it's like a reality show. He's got three phones, he's got the hardline, he's got two lines he's texting, he's on the computer.

D'ANTONIO: You can almost say this is Donald Trump's mini-me. For a guy who started really in the middle-class on Long Island to now be quite wealthy himself, known internationally, and yes, he's in a bit of jam with the Russia scandal.

BORGER: In the eye not only of Stormy but also of interest to the special counsel Bob Mueller and Congress.

COHEN: And I look forward to getting all the information that they're looking for.

BORGER: During the campaign when Trump said he had no contact with Russia, Cohen was privately trying to cut a deal for a Trump Tower Moscow. It never happened but Mueller has asked about it.

NUNBERG: And the sad reality is that Michael pursuing that Trump Tower deal in December is just another factor that goes into this whole Russian narrative.

BORGER: Cohen's name was also in the infamous dossier which alleges he traveled to Prague to meet with Russians. He's completely denied it and is suing "Buzzfeed" which published it.

SCHWARTZ: It's immeasurable the damage that has been caused to him, to his family.

TRUMP: I will faithfully execute.

BORGER: When Trump became president he did not bring his brash wingman to Washington.

BORGER (on camera): Do you think he wanted to be in the White House? Be White House counsel or --

D'ANTONIO: There must have been a part of him that was dreaming of a great job at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But he's also the guy who not only knows where all the bodies are buried, he buried a lot of them himself and that, ironically, disqualified him.

COHEN: They say I'm Mr. Trump's pit bull, that I am his -- I'm his right-hand man. I mean, there's -- I've been called many different things around here.

BORGER (voice-over): Now he may be called to testify with the Stormy Daniels case in federal court.

SCHWARTZ: I've known Michael Cohen for over 21 years and I know that he will not rest -- he will not sleep -- he doesn't sleep anyway, right, until he recovers every single penny from Stormy that's due the LLC.

AVENATTI: I've seen a lot of attorneys use intimidation tactics. The problem is if that is your speed and if you are a one-trick pony and you use that in every case, when all of a sudden you run up against somebody that doubles down and that isn't intimidated well then, you're lost.

BORGER: Cohen flew to Mar-a-Lago to dine with the president the night before Stormy Daniels appeared on "60 MINUTES" because if you're Michael Cohen, you're the ultimate loyalist --

COHEN: The words the media should be using to describe Mr. Trump are generous, compassionate --

BORGER: -- and you still believe Donald Trump will be loyal --

COHEN: -- kind, humble, honest --

BORGER: -- to you.

Gloria Borger, CNN, Washington.


CAMEROTA: We are following a lot of news so let's get right to it.


TRUMP: This is the most biased group of people that I've ever seen. Why don't I just fire Mueller? We'll see what happens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone involved are all people who have basically been handpicked by Donald Trump.

AVENATTI: It appears that the noose is tightening around Michael Cohen. The president has considerable reason to be concerned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of this stuff is way beyond the mandate of why the special counsel was created in the first place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the president said is that he believes he should be able to determine who is investigated in this country. That's what dictators do.

TRUMP: We are studying that situation extremely closely. We'll be making some major decisions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not confident that this president is getting a thorough counsel from the right sources.

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: The United States is determined to see the monster who dropped chemical weapons on the Syrian people held to account.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.