Return to Transcripts main page


Greenberg: Trump on Tape Lied to Get on Forbes 400 List; Ted Cruz's About Face, Praising Trump; 2 Sheriffs' Deputy Killed in Florida. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired April 20, 2018 - 14:30   ET


[14:30:00] JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know. It's a 35-year-old tape. I think the whole thing is a little bit kind of funny to begin with. I'm not sure why this reporter didn't have this back during the election. It seems kind of low energy to not have this story back in 2016. But, look, everybody games the "Forbes" list. I did some work for someone 10 years ago who was upset that they were only rated as being worth $900 million and not a full billion.


MILLER: There's a little bit of posturing that goes into all of these lists.


Rick, Jason says he's not so sure it was Trump. What do you say?

RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: This is the question of the day. This is Donald Trump doing his sort of magical realism, self- aggrandizing act of I'm worth whatever I say I'm worth, I'm worth this hypothetical number of my brand's value in my head every day as opposed to ever releasing his taxes or an actual financial statement or anything that would give anybody an actual read on where he is. It speaks to a bigger thing about Donald Trump and American politics. People voted for their reality TV character that they saw on "The Apprentice," voted for the guy who pretends to be a multi-billionaire super effective CEO and manager as opposed to a guy who has gone bankrupt repeatedly, who has a kiss of death on a million different beneficials, universities, vitamins, water, everything else. It's a combination of the character he played of day and for 13 years on "The Apprentice" that they bought into.

BALDWIN: You can call it a character and say it's kind of funny, but it also demonstrates a disturbing pattern, lying, deception, working in a world without rules.

Jason, why should this ever be tolerated?

MILLER: Brooke, this was 35 years ago. This is not something from last week that magically popped up and it is something literally from decades ago.

BALDWIN: Does one's character change? (CROSSTALK)

MILLER: Hold on. When you're talking about posturing and talking about a business rating in some magazine, the only debate here is President Trump really rich or really, really rich? That's really the only thing that --


BALDWIN: Jason, you understand --


BALDWIN: Hang on. Hang on. You understand if he's willing to lie about properties and what his dad gave him to get on the "Forbes" richest list --


BALDWIN: -- why should we believe that he's not -- why should people believe he's not lying about other things?

MILLER: Let me make a more serious point here, Brooke. We're taking this reporter as if they have the facts exactly dead to rights here.

WILSON: They have a tape, Jason.

MILLER: Hold on.

But that's an interview you're talking about possibly the president, possibly someone else, talking about a little bit of the posturing. But the article where this is written up, I don't think we can take this reporter and say this is absolutely 100 percent the gospel for something that was 35 years ago. Clearly the president has been successful over and over with his developments and all different things he's built around the world. This seems like a really, really silly thing for us to even be talking about.


WILSON: This is a president who is a known serial congenital liar and fa fab fabulist. He's been rated as telling over 2,000 lies in his first year in office. There's nothing you can take as a ground truth. Everything is filtered through this bullshit prism of his -- sorry -- where he believes everything he says about himself is an actual fact and it just not the fact. Donald Trump has a long, 35-year pattern as a tendency to do this. It's one of the reasons that Donald Trump can't get a bank loan in his life. He's had to go to lenders of last resort because he's lied so many times about his businesses and they've gone belly up.

BALDWIN: You said this word "pattern."

Jason, this is a pattern of folks speaking on behalf of Trump, these conversations of what he had or didn't have, you're dismissing it because, oh, that was 35 years ago, 10 years ago. MILLER: Doesn't matter. There a come of completely different things.

Stormy Daniels, where the president has been very consistent, his answer has always been the same thing, that there was never any aware there, that there was never anything going on.

BALDWIN: When did he ever say that?


BALDWIN: When did he ever say that himself publicly?

MILLER: He said over and over.

BALDWIN: When? When has he said this over and over?


MILLER: The White House has said it. On the campaign it was denied.

BALDWIN: No. Jason, Jason, not on Stormy Daniels.

WILSON: Not Stormy.

BALDWIN: No, he hasn't.

MILLER: The president is the only one who has had a consistent story. I don't know that these tapes have anything to do with Stormy Daniels and the made-up sketch that look like Tom Brady or William Defoe (ph).


BALDWIN: Jason. Jason.

MILLER: They're completely different things.

[14:35:01] BALDWIN: We're functioning in a world of the truth. You're not telling the truth. The president has never publicly said I didn't do this. The only thing we've seen of him was when he was on Air Force One and he asked about the money he said go ask Michael Cohen. And he retweeted about Stormy Daniels about something he would never know an answer to about being threatened six or seven years ago and he basically calling her story a lie. Never once did he say I didn't do it.

MILLER: The White House made clear that's all Stormy Daniels making that up, so --


BALDWIN: The White House did. He didn't. I just want to be truthful.


BALDWIN: He did not. The White House did.

MILLER: But the White House speaks for the president.


BALDWIN: But you said it was the president, and I just all want to be on the same page. I want to be on the same page.


MILLER: The president has issued blanket right across that these allegations are complete junk and made up across the board. Specific to Stormy Daniels, the White House has said it. The president has said across the board all of these allegations were ridiculous. That's exactly where I think they are.

BALDWIN: Go ahead, Rick.

WILSON: Which is why Michael Cohen randomly wrote her a $130,000 check, right? Just randomly --


MILLER: You know what?


MILLER: I have no idea why Michael Cohen did that.

WILSON: Like anybody who comes over the transom to Michael Cohen's office, as you know, don't dig yourself in the hole any deeper, brother, as you know Michael Cohen's role in Trump world is to handle the bimbo eruptions and the NDAs and the girlfriends and the porn stars and everything else. You know that's Cohen's role. Don't embarrass yourself by defending the indefensible. It's going to all come out --


WILSON: -- and you're going to be holding the stinky end of the stick, brother.


BALDWIN: I don't like the word "bimbo" either.





Let me ask the two of you to stand by. I do want to get to this Ted Cruz news today.

Coming up next, their campaign spats. Some of the most heated moments of the 2016 race. Why Ted Cruz is now pulling a total 180 and swooning over his former foe.


[14:41:20] BALDWIN: A tribute to President Trump in "Time" magazine's 100 most influential people of 2018 is raising some eyebrows because of the man who wrote it, Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz penned a glowing review of the president, despite the jabs the two exchanged in the 2016 campaign. It was Trump who called Cruz a liar, not so subtly suggested Cruz's wife was much less attractive than the president's and floated the possibility that Cruz's father might have had a role in the assassination of JFK.

Still, Cruz praises Trump in "Time" magazine writing, "While pundits obsessed over tweets, he worked with Congress to cut taxes for struggling families while wealthy celebrities announced they would flee the country, he fought to bring back jobs and industries to our shores. President Trump's strong stand against North Korea put Kim Jong-Un back on his heels."

A much different tone than this.


SEN. TED CRUZ, (R), FLORIDA: Donald is a bully. This man is a pathological liar. The man cannot tell the truth, but he combines it with being a narcissist. A narcissist at a level I don't think this country's ever seen.

The man is utterly amoral. And Donald Trump is a serial philanderer.

Donald had no substance behind him.

Real men don't try to bully women. It's an action of a small and petty man.

I don't make a habit out of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my family.

It is not acceptable for a big, loud New York bully to attack my wife.

Donald, you're a sniveling coward. And leave Heidi the hell alone.



Back with me, Jason Miller and Rick Wilson.

Jason -- Rick, let me come to you first. Because, I mean, we point out politicians, hypocrites. How is this not a hypocritical with a capital "H?"

WILSON: You have the two versions of, at the time, Cruz that I'm going to call you out and now you've got the would you like a latte and foot massage, Mr. Trump? How do you wake up every day and say to your wife, hey, it's cool by the way that I'm now kissing the ass of this guy who called you hideous? And how do you say to your dad I know he said you killed JFK? But we're cool, right? Somebody once called Ted Cruz a dumbest smart guy in the world. Does he think he's going to get something out of Donald Trump or out of Donald Trump's supporters by playing this game? It's baffling to me. But then again, Ted Cruz is kind of a baffling dude.

BALDWIN: Jason, you -- we should point out you served as an adviser to the Cruz campaign as well as the Trump presidential campaign. Can you defend Ted Cruz at all?

MILLER: Absolutely. I think it shows ted is playing this pretty smart. The Republican Party very much is the party of Donald Trump now. Ted Cruz is up for reelection, I think he has a very bright future in politics ahead of him --


BALDWIN: So this is totally political?

MILLER: No, but it's also, too -- President Trump has been very good to Ted Cruz ever since he's gotten in the office. Ted has had a front row seat when it comes to working on Hurricane Harvey release, NASA reauthorization, tax cuts. The two work together very well. Stylistically, they're completely different, but I think they have a lot of the same vision of what they want to go and do here. I think also, too, for Ted to step up and do this, it shows it's a two-way street and we can work together on these things. I give Ted credit for doing this.

[14:45:16] BALDWIN: How then -- help people, Jason, who are watching who is never been in politics and let's rip the band-aid off and say Ted Cruz wants to be president whether it's '20, '24, he needs Trump's voters and base. How do you get past the fact that Trump criticized his wife, accused of father of being part of the JFK nation? How does this, poof, go away?

MILLER: Well, he's a pretty big man. I think he can look past --


BALDWIN: He was pretty irked during the campaign.

MILLER: He was irked. If we were talking about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, if they this a knockdown, drag-out fight and one came out and supported the other one --


BALDWIN: We'd be having the same conversation.

MILLER: No. We'd be saying these people are so genius.

BALDWIN: We'd be having the same conversation.

MILLER: You would say these people are so genius. I've never seen geniuses like this. But the fact we had a very competitive primary. Donald Trump kicked our ass. I was working for Ted Cruz and the party rallied and we beat Secretary Clinton. That's the way it's supposed to work. You come together in the general election. The primary was completely different from anything we've seen in American history before. I'm proud of Ted for going and doing this. I have to give the president a little credit. You look around his cabinet and the people he has, Mike Pompeo or Nikki Haley or other people, the president has brought in a lot of people who maybe even worked for other people in the primary. I think that SOS the president --


BALDWIN: He's gotten rid of some people along the way.

MILLER: Yes, but he's brought in people. That shows a maturity on President Trump's end as the leader as well. We'll be united here. I'm glad to see both of them getting long.

BALDWIN: Rick, this is your party, too.

WILSON: The question that voters -- we see this in focus groups over and over and over again, they hate inauthentic people. They hate people that say one thing and do another, hate people whose views are locked in stone on one thing and turn around and do the opposite. With Cruz, it hurts him in the long run. It relates to how he treats his wife and family and, for political purposes, he's willing to go, it was nothing, no big deal. Can I shine those other shoes for you, President Trump?


BALDWIN: Welcome to politics.


BALDWIN: Who needs a back bone when you just need to win.

WILSON: It tends to be.

BALDWIN: I'm just saying.

Rick Wilson, Jason Miller, thank you guys so very much.

MILLER: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Just ahead here, a small Florida sheriff's office reeling today after it would have their own were killed at a local restaurant. What investigators are revealing about the deadly ambush. We are live in Florida next.


[14:52:32] BALDWIN: A north central Florida community is devastated today after a gunman ambushed two sheriff's deputies. Investigators say Gilchrist County Sheriffs' Deputies Taylor Lindsay and Sergeant Noel Ramirez were eating at a restaurant when a gunman walked inside and shot and killed the two of them. The deputies didn't even have time to pull their guns or return fire.

A makeshift memorial is growing outside of the restaurant where they were murdered.

Surrounded by his law enforcement family, the local sheriff paid tribute to his fallen comrades.


BOBBY SCHULTZ, SHERIFF, GILCHRIST SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: They were the best of the best. They were men of integrity, they were men of loyalty, they were God fearing, and they loved what they did. And we're very proud of them.


BALDWIN: Nick Valencia is live there for us in Trenton.

Nick, I know this is a tight-knit sheriff's office, 11 full-time deputies and three sergeants. It has to be absolutely devastating.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not just devastating for the Gilcrest County Sheriff's Department, but for the neighboring departments as well, Brooke. It was a Noel Ramirez that was murdered yesterday that started in neighboring Leady County (ph). It was the lieutenant from that department that gave an impromptu press conference a short time ago. He said he was Noel's supervisor when he started on the job seven-plus years ago.


LT. SCOTT THURMOND, LEADY (ph) COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Please bear with me. I have a lot of history with Sergeant Ramirez. It can get a little emotional.

Right now this community has a lot of healing to do. Sheriff Schultz, his main focus is on the members of his agencies, their families and the families of our fallen heroes. I expect Sheriff Schultz is probably going to spend the remainder of today with his family.


VALENCIA: The officers were in uniform and armed at the time of the shooting but didn't have a chance to return fire. In fact, I spoke to an eyewitness who says the gunman wasn't in any hurry. She saw the gunman after she saw the shots casually walked out of the restaurant with having enough time to peer inside the sheriff deputy's car before making his way behind the building here and taking his own life.

We're 24 hours since that happened and the scene inside is still very fresh, Brooke. The Styrofoam cups that the deputies were using at lunch are still resting on the table. Where they were when they were shot and killed.

Noel Ramirez, 30 years old, had seven-plus years of experience. Taylor Lindsay was 25. He had about three years of experience. No word yet on their viewing or when their funerals will be -- Brooke?

[14:55:16] BALDWIN: Nick Valencia, thank you.

We want to take you back to our breaking news. The DNC now suing Russia and the Trump campaign, alleging a conspiracy during the election. What evidence do they have? Those details for you ahead.

A judge right now deciding whether to delay the Stormy Daniels civil case involving the president and his lawyer. Hear what happened in court just moments ago.


[15:00:05] BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN on this Friday afternoon. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.