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Washington Post reports Trump Made 3,001 False Or Misleading Claims In 466 Days; Ex-Doctor Says Trump Wrote His Own Glowing 2015 Health Letter; Apple Rewards Investors With Record Giveaway; Michael Cohen Responds To Message Sent By National Enquirer. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired May 2, 2018 - 07:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[07:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We've seen growth in corporate earnings.

RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right.

CUOMO: We've seen a lot of buybacks and we've seen smart --

SANTORUM: And the long --

CUOMO: -- business by corporations.

SANTORUM: And the long --

CUOMO: Give money to workers to justify the tax cuts so they keep them coming, although you guys already made them permanent, which you didn't do for individuals. That didn't go unnoticed either.

But it comes down to the truth of the political dynamic, right, and what do we see in this administration? And Rick, you can push back on it but it's just a fact, OK?

"The Washington Post" did an analysis, all right? Let's put up some graphics that we have on this to help with the numbers.

In 466 days -- this is like their lie-o-meter, OK? President Trump has made 3,001 false or misleading claims, OK, in 466 days. We have never seen a record like this.

You will say well, we've never measured it this way and there's never been the press going after a president like this. Chicken and egg, my brother.

If you give me 3,001 misleading, outright lies and often, ugly invective about things that our democracy is supposed to protect, you're going to get heat -- you know this.

How do you justify this data from "The Washington Post"?

SANTORUM: All I can say is on some of the most important things that the last administration was dealing with the president didn't tell the truth. You can keep your doctor, you can keep your insurance, you can keep -- you know, we didn't pay off the Iranians. CUOMO: You're going to put it on Obama? You believe that President Obama lied --

SANTORUM: No, look. I mean, the reality is every president --

CUOMO: -- more than Donald Trump?

SANTORUM: Every president, unfortunately, doesn't necessarily come forth with the truth.

CUOMO: Do you think President Obama lied more than Donald Trump?

SANTORUM: I think -- I think the substance of the president's -- the previous president's lies were much more important than the substance of what the crowd size was at the inaugural.

I mean, those are the things that I really care about. Is he telling me the truth about the policies --

CUOMO: Moral relativism --

SANTORUM: It's not moral --

CUOMO: -- from a practicing Catholic.

SANTORUM: Look, I'm not being moral -- look, you've seen me -- and I'll say it right here. You've seen me criticize President Trump for his hyperbole. I think it's important --

CUOMO: You immediately talked about Barack Hussein Obama when I asked you about Trump's lying.

SANTORUM: I agree, I did. I did because --

CUOMO: Then what does that tell you?

SANTORUM: -- nobody held President Obama accountable for those lies.

I agree. You shouldn't hold President --

CUOMO: That's not true.

SANTORUM: No --

CUOMO: You banged him over the head with the DACA thing.

SANTORUM: Well, we did but the media didn't.

CUOMO: You banged him over the head about the red line. What are you talking about?

SANTORUM: Well, I can tell --

CUOMO: This is a different order of magnitude.

Imagine being with your kids -- I try to do this more and more now because I can't go by the normal rules anymore that I grew up with.

My pop was in public service, my brother's in public service. We cover them all the time. The rules don't apply anymore.

So I think about what I'd do with my kids. Mario, you lied to me about the test.

Well, hold on, hold on, you lied back when you said that the Easter Bunny was going to double up on me if did my homework faster.

Oh, good point, buddy. Forget about lying about the test.

No, no, no. We don't say that to our children, Rick. Why the hell would you justify it with the President of the United States?

SANTORUM: I'm not justifying it.

CUOMO: Why give him cover for his own mendacity?

SANTORUM: Hold on, Chris. Wait a minute.

I'm not justifying it and I -- on this program and on many other programs on this network I have been very critical of the president and his hyperbole.

CUOMO: The first thing you said was Obama lied, too. Why would you have that as your first instance? Why?

SANTORUM: Because I -- because I don't think we're putting it in the context that it needs to be put in, which is the media has focused a lot more on this president than it has on President Obama.

I'm not saying that this president is not subject to hyperbole and exaggeration and other things. He is, and it's one of the --

CUOMO: What other things? Does he lie?

SANTORUM: I don't like it.

CUOMO: Does this president lie?

SANTORUM: I don't know. I mean --

CUOMO: Oh, come on, Rick Santorum. We've got to be better than this.

SANTORUM: The answer is he certainly says things that don't comport with the facts. You're right.

CUOMO: We've got to be better than this. You campaigned on this. You were known for this.

I'm going to stand by my principles. I'm going to stand by my faith. My politics comes after that. I heard you say it 100 times.

SANTORUM: Well, you just heard me say that the president says --

CUOMO: You're not doing it right now.

SANTORUM: Well, no. I said the president says things that don't comport with the facts.

CUOMO: What does that mean?

SANTORUM: If you want to call it a lie, call it a lie. I don't like calling people --

CUOMO: What does that mean not comport with the facts?

SANTORUM: -- liars but the reality is this president has a problem, and I've said that over and over again. I wish he wouldn't do those things. I wish he wouldn't go out and say things that don't comport with the facts.

The reality is that most of the time he's doing that they're on things that are frankly, not central to anything he has to do with --

CUOMO: And that makes it OK? Of course, it does.

SANTORUM: No, it doesn't make it OK.

CUOMO: Right. That's a --

SANTORUM: All I'm saying is that we had -- we have an example of other presidents --

CUOMO: Right.

SANTORUM: -- and the last president doing that on the most critical things that he was trying to get the American public to support him on.

CUOMO: And we just went over health care and tax cuts, two of his biggest moves to date, and they were both based on political foundations that were, in part, fictitious and they're both coming --

SANTORUM: No, no. I -- that --

CUOMO: -- they're both coming home to roost right now.

SANTORUM: That I'm going to disagree with. I mean, President Trump --

CUOMO: You can but, you know, that --

SANTORUM: -- said that he -- this tax cut was to grow the economy and it was a large tax cut to get economic --

CUOMO: You said it was a middle-class tax cut.

SANTORUM: And the -- and a lot of folks in the middle of America are benefitting a lot. I mean, that's the reality.

CUOMO: Seven out of every 10 cents goes to people like me and corporations, not the struggling --

SANTORUM: Half the people in this --

CUOMO: -- middle-class families. We both know it.

SANTORUM: Half the people in this country do not pay federal incomes taxes, and so it is much harder --

[07:35:00] CUOMO: OK.

SANTORUM: -- to provide a federal income tax break to people who don't pay federal income tax.

CUOMO: But that's -- look, I -- here's the good news, OK?

The reason I'm pushing this point is you and I just talked about important things and I'm pushing back and testing your opinion. There is more common ground than there was different but we got distracted by what? The fact that there's so much B.S. that goes into the sale of this.

You have to call it out Rick or we -- to use the words of Matt Schlapp, inappropriately -- we are doomed. The common ground has to matter more than the distraction and we can't get past it if we don't call B.S. for what it is.

But, Rick Santorum, you I appreciate being on the show and making the case here, as always.

SANTORUM: All right. Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: Alisyn --

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I hope Mario isn't watching.

CUOMO: Well, I hope he is, actually. What time is it? Yes, he's not at school yet.

CAMEROTA: That's an -- that's an object lesson.

CUOMO: Yes.

CAMEROTA: OK. That was --

CUOMO: Don't be like everybody else. Be better.

CAMEROTA: I got that illustration perfectly, OK. All right.

Meanwhile, the president's former doctor is telling CNN exclusively that Donald Trump dictated his own glowing health report. A medical ethicist joins us next to tell us what this means for the doctor's future.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:40:00] CAMEROTA: Now to a CNN exclusive. President Trump's former doctor, Harold Bornstein, now admits that Mr. Trump dictated that glowing letter about his own health back in 2015. You'll remember that letter read, in part, "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."

Well, now Dr. Bornstein tells CNN's Alex Marquardt "He dictated that whole letter. I didn't write that letter. I just made it up as I went along."

Joining us now to discuss is the head of medical ethics at NYU School of Medicine, Arthur Caplan. Dr. Kaplan, thank you very much for being here.

There were --

DR. ARTHUR CAPLAN, BIOETHICIST, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Thanks for having me.

CAMEROTA: There were a few other gems in that letter about the future president's health that I just want to read to people.

"Mr. Trump has had a recent complete medical exam that showed only positive results. Actually, his blood pressure, 110 over 65, and laboratory test results were astonishingly excellent." OK?

And then there's another one. "His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary."

Back when this was released, OK, so many of us said hmm, this seems to have the hallmarks of some Trump rhetorical flourishes in it and people thought that Trump had perhaps written it or dictated it. Now it's been confirmed.

What happens to a doctor who misleads the public about a future president's health?

CAPLAN: Well, I think his license gets challenged. I think there has to be an investigation by the state board. I think this doctor's licensed in New York.

So if you're letting the patient write his own self-evaluation and then you sign it, that's fraud and you can't do that.

Also, this doctor was talking about Trump's prescriptions -- you know, that he had prescribed Propecia. A doctor doesn't have the right to talk about that or mention it or say anything to anybody. Trump gets the presumption of privacy.

So for the second time now, after his White House physician got in trouble, we've another doctor acting in a completely unprofessional way.

CAMEROTA: And just to tell people what you're talking about, Dr. Bornstein talked to "The New York Times" about a year ago where he, for whatever reason, disclosed what medications the president's on. Here's a list.

Propecia, as you said, for baldness. We're quite certain that President Trump would not like that disclosed. Crestor to lower cholesterol, which we did hear in his White House physical as well. And then, Tetracycline to control rosacea, a skin issue.

So yes, that's not allowed for the doctor to be disclosing all that.

CAPLAN: It's not allowed.

On the other hand, as we have now learned too, Trump, upon learning that the doctor was inappropriately discussing his meds sent his lawyer and a goon to come pull the chart out of the doctor's office, which isn't allowed either.

CAMEROTA: I want to ask you about that.

So it has been revealed by the doctor who said that he feels totally violated, that President Trump's personal security detail showed up at his office. He says that they raided the office and seized Donald Trump's records.

Here is Dr. Bornstein talking about how he felt after that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. HAROLD BORNSTEIN, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FORMER PHYSICIAN: I feel raped. That's how I feel. Raped, frightened, and sad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But what exactly were they looking for?

BORNSTEIN: Well, all of the medical records, his pictures -- anything that they could find. They must have been here for 25 to 30 minutes. Well, it created a lot of chaos.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: He was -- Donald Trump was that doctor's patient for 35 years, OK, so there must be a lot of records.

But who does own those records? Aren't patients allowed to take their own records?

CAPLAN: Well, the doctor has to keep copies of everything. I think there's a legal requirement in most states, five to six years. It's partly there to make sure that if someone sues for malpractice they have -- the doctor has records. If some insurer says you didn't bill appropriately.

There are a lot of reasons why you're supposed to keep records. So, it's shared property.

Yes, you can certainly say I want to see a copy of my record or I'd like to keep a physical copy. But you can't go in like the Bulgarian secret police and raid this doctor's office and yank everything out. One other thing Alisyn, I'm not sure that there aren't electronic copies. You know, if this was a hospital-based program we might have written things, but we usually keep everything electronic.

A private practice doctor like this, I'm not as sure. But I'll bet there are electronic versions of this. So, maybe they didn't get everything that they thought they were.

CAMEROTA: OK, but the upshot is why do you think Donald Trump's people went in to grab all of those records in that way?

CAPLAN: So I'm suspicious. I don't have any inside knowledge.

But as soon as the doctor started talking about Propecia, Trump got nervous. I think there may be something in there.

We've now got, again, a pattern of a White House doctor, Ronny Jackson, who was clearly doing the president's bidding in the hopes of advancing his own career. This guy, Dr. Bornstein, wanted to be the White House physician and made no bones about it.

[07:45:12] What are they covering up? What are they not telling us?

You know, we had these physicals reported on -- remember that?

CAMEROTA: Of course.

CAPLAN: He underwent his physical. None of that is trustworthy. We have two doctors lying.

It's clear that this isn't the best way to assure the president's medical care or give us the right information about the health of the president.

CAMEROTA: It certainly begs a lot of questions.

Art Caplan, thank you very much. Always great to get your perspective.

CAPLAN: My pleasure.

CAMEROTA: Chris --

CUOMO: All right.

So we know that big companies are big winners in the tax plan and Apple just made some investors very happy. The Wall Street record that the company just set and what it means for you, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: It is time for "CNN Money Now."

The new tax plan slashed the corporate rate and made it permanent. That was a gift to big corporations. The question is what would they do with it? Apple is giving back to shareholders.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans in our Money Center with more. Good morning, Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, "EARLY START": And these numbers, Chris, are just eye-popping. Apple is turning its tax savings into a record reward for Wall Street.

It lavished investors with $23 billion during the first three months of 2018 by buying back its own stock -- the most of any company ever. And that's more than the value of most S&P 500 companies overall, by the way.

Now it will reward shareholders with $100 billion more, making Apple investors the biggest winners yet of tax reform. The new tax bill makes it cheaper for Apple to bring home its foreign cash and it's got a lot of that -- a quarter of a trillion dollars.

Corporate America has showered investors with $246 billion this year and their workers, about $6 billion in bonuses and wage hikes. That difference is why critics of the Republican-led tax reform still say the biggest winners so far, at least, are Wall Street.

And some analysts warn that just paying shareholders could hurt long- term growth if companies aren't investing more in things like new factories and equipment -- Chris, Alisyn.

[07:50:03] CAMEROTA: Christine, isn't this exactly what critics of the tax cut predicted --

ROMANS: It is.

CAMEROTA: -- would happen?

ROMANS: It is. They also complained that the middle-class tax cuts were temporary and the corporate tax reform was permanent.

But it is still early. To echo Chris from earlier in this segment, it is still early. You could see corporate investment pick up. That's what we'll be watching for.

CAMEROTA: OK, I'll hold my breath.

ROMANS: OK.

CAMEROTA: Christine, thank you very much for all of that.

So, Michael Cohen, the president's longtime personal attorney -- well, his face is now on the front page of the "National Enquirer." Is President Trump sending a message through his allies in the media?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: Is President Trump turning against his personal attorney Michael Cohen? Cohen is on the cover of the "National Enquirer" this week with the headline "Trump Fixer's Secrets & Lies."

[07:55:06] Hmm, how did that happen? The president is a longtime friend of the head of the "National Enquirer."

When asked if he thought a message was being sent, Michael Cohen told CNN "What do you think?"

Let's discuss this with Stu Zakim. He's the former senior vice president of corporate communications at American Media, Inc., which own the "National Enquirer." And, Lloyd Grove, editor-at-large of "The Daily Beast."

Great to have you guys here.

So, Stu, peel back the curtain for us. How does this work? How is it decided at the "National Enquirer" who's on the cover and what the storyline is?

STU ZAKIM, FORMER SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, AMERICAN MEDIA, INC.: Well, historically, the cover's topic is based on previous sales of who was on that cover. AMI has a very detailed tracking system where they can show who has sold better than others.

CAMEROTA: OK.

ZAKIM: And clearly, when there's an appetite for politics like there are in the country today, putting politicians or people connected to the president helps sell magazines.

CAMEROTA: OK. So it's not the way normally news runs, which is news is the cover. You don't sort of use the metrics to decide what will sell the most.

So the fact that Michael Cohen and his picture is on the cover with that headline, what does that tell you about what was countenanced at the magazine and whether Donald Trump was involved?

ZAKIM: Well, look at -- there's, once again, a long history of politicians who have made friends with people who own media properties.

In fact, when you own a media property one of the motives behind you, whether you are Hearst or (INAUDIBLE) or you're Murdoch or David Pecker is you have the power to really influence public opinion. You control a lot of eyeballs and in this case, you can set the tone for the discussion.

Look what we're talking about this morning --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

ZAKIM: -- the "Enquirer" putting Michael Cohen on the cover. There you go.

CAMEROTA: Yes. By the way, I wanted to talk about what was in the article and it sold out. We've been looking to buy the "National Enquirer." You can't get it online but maybe you -- it must be this.

ZAKIM: Well, there you go.

CAMEROTA: Excuse me. Look, can you take over while I research this?

LLOYD GROVE, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE DAILY BEAST: I paid $4 -- $5 for that.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh, price gouging.

So -- but, Lloyd, explain this. I don't understand the logic.

If you want Michael Cohen not to flip on you why humiliate him publicly? Why alienate him?

GROVE: What do you think?

CAMEROTA: No, I really don't understand the answer to this. I mean, why are they using these strong-arm tactics with Michael Cohen instead of being nice to him so he doesn't flip?

GROVE: Well, it really makes no sense on that level. And I've got to say the headline on the cover, it's really bait-and-switch because if you go and actually read what's in there --

CAMEROTA: Yes, what is in it?

GROVE: It's just a rehash of previously-published stories and at 10 cents a page that's a bit of -- not a bargain.

CAMEROTA: So in other words, how do you interpret that? This really is just a telegram to Michael Cohen?

GROVE: I think so and I don't know whether Donald Trump would have to tell that to David Pecker to do that. I mean, he's a longtime friend of the president. And so, you know, Pecker sees that Michael Cohen might be a problem so maybe he does this as a shot across the bow of buy and sell.

CAMEROTA: What's the answer to that, Stu? Is there an explicit message or an implicit message?

And what is the relationship, by the way, for people who don't know, between David Pecker, the head of "National Enquirer," and Donald Trump?

ZAKIM: Well, let's start with that question first. So, Pecker and Trump have been friends since magazines really ruled the roost in New York City in the nineties. You've got to remember, David Pecker launched "George" magazine with JFK, Jr.

So at that time when Trump was on the rise as a media -- as a real estate mogul in New York City, logically, he went after a media owner who's going to help him advance his career. The two hit it off and they've been friends ever since. As far as your first question, it really is a -- it really doesn't have anything to do with what you asked about. It's setting the tone -- putting that image out there so no matter what -- and Lloyd made a really good point. The story itself is just a rehash of old information so the bait-and-switch is a logical tactic because it's going to move copies off the newsstand and to your point, it sold out.

So there's really a -- you can see perfectly what motivates David Pecker to do these kind of things. It's not -- yes, he wants to help his friends but he also wants to make money, and look what's happening this week.

CAMEROTA: That is an interesting insight.

Here is what AMI, the company that owns the "National Enquirer" says. Here's their statement.

"Donald Trump has never been consulted on editorial decisions, has never requested that a story be written or on a given subject or angled in a certain way, and never requested a story be killed, period."

So, Lloyd, to your point, maybe he can just -- maybe David Pecker can just channel him well enough that Donald Trump doesn't have to explicitly request it.

But, Michael Cohen, as we reported -- CNN has exclusively -- certainly got the message when he said "what do you think" about this message.

GROVE: Well, certainly, and Michael Cohen knows everybody at the "Enquirer" has dealt with him in the catch-and-kill area -- you know, stories unfavorable to Donald Trump. So he would know what kind of message was being sent.

CAMEROTA: And we just don't know if that will affect anything --