Return to Transcripts main page
CUOMO PRIME TIME
Interview with Rudy Giuliani; Discussion of Russia Probe; Interview with Rep. Adam Schiff. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired June 4, 2018 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: Thank you very much, Anderson.
I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.
It looks like the White House just got the man of the moment, Rudy Giuliani, is here to be tested.
Plus, breaking in just the last half hour, former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort accused of witness tampering. That is a potential felony, by the way. I've got the filing right here -- 30 pages of argument, twice as many pages and exhibits. This could be very bad for the former chair. Top Democrat Adam Schiff here ahead.
And the Philadelphia Eagles, disinvited the day before the White House visit. Why aren't they getting the Patriot treatment?
What do you say, friends, let's get at it.
CUOMO: All right. This is our first official night. So thank you for being here.
And we do have a lot to test. Why does President Trump think he can pardon himself? And why would his attorney say the president could shoot James Comey and still not be indicted?
We talked to Rudy Giuliani about exactly that.
CUOMO: Joining us now, President Trump's attorney, Mr. Mayor, Rudy Giuliani.
Good to see you, sir.
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: How are you, Chris?
CUOMO: So, you went to Jerusalem, but you're trying to invoke the power of the Holy Spirit in this interview?
GUILIANI: Well, I just came from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and from the Wailing Wall. And, you know, I can't tell you what I prayed for or wished for, but -- maybe I'm trying to get a little help. We can use all the help we can get.
CUOMO: Well, let's see how it works for you right now.
You're not here at home in the U.S., but you are big news, sir, and here's why. Let me ask you --
GIULIANI: I am? All right.
CUOMO: Do you regret saying that the president could shoot Jim Comey and not be prosecuted?
GIULIANI: I think I was asked a question, and I didn't say it. I didn't elect to say that. I said, you know, very theoretically the answer is the president can't be prosecuted for anything. There's a constitutional remedy for that, and of course that would be entirely ridiculous.
CUOMO: Right, but you could have made the point --
GIULIANI: It's a hypothetically -- it was a hypothetical that you would entertain in law school, and that's what I tried to say. That's totally ridiculous. The president hasn't done anything wrong. There's no reason for any of this.
CUOMO: I get you --
GIULIANI: If you just want answer a simple answer, the president -- not only that, Chris, almost every head of state has the same immunity. You have to -- the head of state has to be out of office, then you can prosecute them --
CUOMO: No, I get the process. I get the process. I get the process.
GIULIANI: Totally irrelevant in his case, he didn't do anything wrong.
CUOMO: My question is --
CUOMO: -- you could have made that example with any kind of hypothetical you wanted, you chose shooting Jim Comey.
GIULIANI: I don't think -- I didn't -- I don't think I chose it, I think that was the one that was suggested, but maybe I could have said, let's use another one.
CUOMO: Maybe. Well, I'm sure you'll get another chance. It's just, look, the last thing we need is more gasoline on the fire, right, more reason for people to have unduly hostile views of the people in our Department of Justice, and when you set something up like that, you know, a lot of people start talking about it in terms that we don't need, do you understand?
GIULIANI: Well, you know, OK. Probably not the right analogy, although technically, I believe correct, although there's a dispute about it. And I think that was selected by somebody else, not me. And it's been said a few times that way to kind of give you the extreme view.
But the reality is when you say Department of Justice -- I mean, the Department of Justice has not covered itself with glory in this situation. They conduct this spy investigation. It's over.
They complained that they can't reveal the informant, because the informant would be in jeopardy of losing his life. His name has been revealed. Are they protecting him? I don't know, I can't seem to get an answer to that.
So, maybe that was hypocritical. I don't know.
CUOMO: I mean, look, just to go down that road, because it seems to be a little bit of a red herring in your we won't do an interview until argument, but your guys Gowdy and Nunes, they went there. They looked at the information. They came out crickets. You know, Congressman Schiff went in there. He looked at it.
GIULIANI: Well, I don't --
CUOMO: He said there's no wrongdoing.
What is there to look at? Why forward this?
GIULIANI: Well, here's what to look at, every single report. What was the basis of this? Why did they begin such an investigation? If they did, and I think Clapper used the word spying, he didn't like the word, but he said --
CUOMO: He used it because that was the word you were using.
GIULIANI: On the Russians -- no, he said they put a spy in on the Russians --
CUOMO: No, he said spying, and I don't like that word. And Trump then said Clapper said it like he owned the reality. That was disingenuous, but what I'm saying is Gowdy, Nunes --
GIULIANI: I don't know if that -- Chris, I don't think that's right. But in any event, here's the real point, the darned investigation has been over with for over a year. They never -- they concealed it completely. They never revealed it to the president.
There seems to be no reason not to reveal it to the president, that's why I want to read the documents. They can show me a good reason. I'll back off. But I'm not going to let my client go into a setup situation where they concealed things for a year when there's no reason to do it.
I'm sorry. I'm suspicious that if they concealed it for a year there's something wrong. I'm suspicious about their claim of mortal jeopardy for the informant whose name they leaked.
CUOMO: These are arguments -- GIULIANI: Why aren't they investigating --
CUOMO: Who leaked it? But I'm saying these are arguments you've used before. People protect CIA all the time.
GIULIANI: I didn't leak it. I'll take a lie detector test --
CUOMO: Oh, no, I'm not saying you leaked it.
GIULIANI: I didn't leak it.
CUOMO: I'm not saying you leaked it. I'm saying --
GIULIANI: I don't even know who the guy is.
CUOMO: I'm saying -- well, you know --
GIULIANI: The only people that could have leaked it are the FBI --
GIULIANI: The Department of Justice. Not Mueller. I don't know if he knows the guy.
CUOMO: But again, who leaked the information is one thing, lucky for you the media is providing that protection. Many of us know the identity. We're not putting it out there in deference to the person's protection. But that's not the issue.
GIULIANI: No, no, no, but the -- no, it is the issue. The Wall Street -- it's an issue as to what's going on in the top levels of the Justice Department.
CUOMO: But you had Gowdy and Nunes look at the stuff, and they said there was no wrongdoing.
GIULIANI: Dowdy and Nunes are not somebody's lawyer. I don't know the last time they practiced criminal law. So, tell me -- I like both of them, but they're not the lawyers. They don't have the awesome responsibility of representing somebody who is being treated in a way that you wouldn't treat a common criminal.
So, don't tell me Gowdy and Nunes.
CUOMO: All right.
GIULIANI: I've got more experience than the two of them by 10.
CUOMO: OK. And you are the president's lawyer, fair point. So, let me direct a question to you as such, why do you believe that the White House team/the Trump legal team before Rudy Giuliani, why do you think they chose to lie about his role in drafting the statement about Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russians?
GIULIANI: Chris, you think maybe somebody could have made a mistake?
CUOMO: A lot of mistakes.
GIULIANI: Why is it always --
CUOMO: A lot of mistake.
GIULIANI: Why is it always that somebody -- you think Jay Sekulow lied? Maybe he just got it wrong, like I've gotten -- I got a few things wrong at the beginning of the investigation, meaning my knowledge of it. This is a complex investigation.
The first week or so, I got a few things wrong. And then it was clarified in a letter, and that's the final position. That's the danger of going under oath that you can make a mistake -- please, let me finish.
CUOMO: Please go ahead.
GIULIANI: You can make a mistake -- you can make a mistake, and then if you don't -- if you want to, you can say it's a lie. It was a mistake.
I swear to God, it was a mistake. The guy made a mistake. It was corrected.
CUOMO: I hear you.
GIULIANI: Actually, had he testified under oath before they concluded a grand jury investigation, he'd have a right to recant it.
CUOMO: Sure. Sure.
GIULIANI: You have a right to correct your testimony.
CUOMO: Absolutely, he would. And be careful about swearing to god when you're in Jerusalem. It may carry a little bit more weight right now with these answers that you give.
GIULIANI: I think I heard a little -- I heard something up there.
CUOMO: Yes, a little thunder clap. Be careful.
Let's play the sound of the evolution of this recollection. This isn't sound of you, don't get upset. This is Jay Sekulow and Sarah Sanders. Let's play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY SEKULOW, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: That was written by Donald Trump Jr. and I'm sure with consultation with his lawyer, so that wasn't written by the president.
The president didn't sign off on anything. The president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. It came from Donald Trump Jr.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He certainly didn't dictate, but, you know, he -- like I said, he weighed in, offered suggestion, like any father would do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: And then in a letter, Sekulow says he did dictate it, but it was a reasonable thing. Somebody is lying, Rudy. Here is my argument why: because it's not the kind of information that you would get wrong, that you wouldn't be privy to, that would change.
Assuming that the president told them the truth about what was happening, somebody is lying about this, Rudy, and I don't understand why.
GIULIANI: I don't think anybody is lying. I think -- I think a mistake was made at the very early stages of an investigation. I don't mean an investigation, very early stages of a representation by a lawyer, which happens all the time.
So, I don't think it's a significant fact.
The most important thing is there was no testimony under oath to that effect. And then when a written statement was put in, it was completely accurate.
CUOMO: But you're only worried about the exposure to a crime. I'm not saying -- criminal liability is not the only bar here for a president of the United States and his team. Sarah Sanders is up there and says he had nothing to do with the writing of that.
How did she get that wrong? So Sekulow is wrong, she was wrong. How do these people not know?
GIULIANI: I have -- I have no idea how they got it wrong, but they got it wrong. I don't think either one of them is ever going to deliberately lie. And I -- you know, I know the president isn't. He didn't do anything wrong.
So, why -- you know, a lot of this discussion, unfortunately, is like law school debating.
The main fact is, this began as an investigation of colluding with the Russians. He didn't collude with the Russians. Nobody has found any evidence that he did.
CUOMO: Well, the second part is true.
GIULIANI: All this other stuff about obstruction, and duh, duh, duh, you can't obstruct a crime that was never committed. Come on, that's a really cheap way to try to prosecute.
CUOMO: Well, but that's also a very favorable hypothetical to you with what's going on right now. The investigation is not over. We don't know what they've have.
And while that letter states a 100 different ways that the president can't obstruct justice, you know that there's absolutely no dispositive proof that a president can't obstruct justice. In fact, to the extent that we have had opinions, we have had Supreme Court findings, the opposite is the truth. That is common sense, if not just law. No man is above the law, including the president.
GIULIANI: Chris, I didn't write the letter. So -- and I agree with about 70, 80 percent of it. I disagree with two major parts of it.
I don't think -- I don't think you get to the issue -- the constitutional issue of whether you can subpoena a president, because there's an OLC ruling that binds Mueller, because Mueller doesn't exist other than as a creature of the Justice Department. He has no power like he might have indicted Manafort incorrectly. We'll have to find out. Did he have proper authority?
If he issued a subpoena, it would be immediately dismissed, because the OLC says you can't subpoena a sitting president. That was the Clinton Justice Department. That's been the law since then -- the rule in the Justice Department.
CUOMO: But I thought that ruling --
GIULIANI: We don't ever have to get to all this --
CUOMO: But I thought that ruling was qualified, that in order for there to be a subpoena it refers back to that case, it refers back to that case, the Espy case, from when there was Bill Clinton. And that you need to have a special need.
And that's maybe why Mueller reportedly told you guys in March: I have a special need to interview the president, because of all these changing recollections, different stories, and lies on material matters and the need to develop intent, which I can't get through documents.
GIULIANI: I'm not sure the Espy case applies.
CUOMO: Me either.
GIULIANI: Even if it did, this would be a very bad -- this would be a very bad case for special need, because he's gotten 1.4 million documents. He's interviewed 28 witnesses, none of which we raised executive privilege. We could have raised executive privilege all over the place, as prior president's have, and probably won on some of them, maybe not all.
And finally, they have his explanations. They're all out there.
CUOMO: They're all different. It's different than having him in a room.
GIULIANI: No, it isn't different.
CUOMO: Because they change so much, Rudy. They change.
GIULIANI: No, no, no, it isn't different unless, as Judge Ellis pointed out, maybe, just maybe, they're trying to trap him into perjury. CUOMO: Maybe he just changes to story -- he changed his story about why he got rid of Comey, about what they knew about Flynn, about what happened with his response.
GIULIANI: No. Maybe what they'll do is what you did before when you decided that somebody was lying. Maybe somebody made a mistake. But if you come in --
CUOMO: Everybody made a mistake.
GIULIANI: -- with the idea that somebody is lying.
CUOMO: Your theory is everybody made a mistake. Sekulow made a mistake, who is his lawyer.
GIULIANI: Not everybody.
CUOMO: Sarah Sanders made a mistake. Maybe the president made a mistake. Didn't he tell them what his role was in drafting a letter that happened maybe right in front of at least one of them?
GIULIANI: But it was corrected -- but it was corrected before any -- any conclusions were drawn based on it.
CUOMO: I don't understand that. I don't understand it that way.
GIULIANI: Totally immaterial.
CUOMO: They gave a false story and then wound up changing it over time. That's not the same thing as correcting a mistake necessarily.
GIULIANI: No, no, no. All you know or I know is if you're willing to give anybody the benefit of the doubt, which you're supposed to do under the law, right, the worst criminals get the benefit of the doubt, they gave a mistaken story, which was then corrected for the record. It's like I look at a transcript of a deposition, I get a chance to change it, because even the law is more tolerant than that.
CUOMO: Well, but again it goes to -- it goes to one of the risks that seem to be pretty evidence in this situation is about the ability of the president to tell the truth.
GIULIANI: This is why -- you know, Chris, you can't find a criminal lawyer that you can put on the screen, Democrat, Republican, pro- Trump, anti-Trump that would ever let their client testify in a situation like this.
And the only reason we're having this debate at all because he wants to. And you know that's true. I mean, a lot of people think you're just saying that. President Trump wants to be interviewed.
CUOMO: Right, I hope that's true.
GIULIANI: Because he believes he is innocent. He says to me, I didn't do anything wrong.
CUOMO: I hope that's true.
GIULIANI: He didn't do anything wrong, but the world isn't that simple.
CUOMO: I hope that's true.
GIULIANI: The criminal justice system isn't as fair as you think.
CUOMO: I hope that's true.
GIULIANI: And these guys aren't so darned fair.
CUOMO: Well, look, I don't know about that. I think that this has been outwardly a very fair process to this point. And I hope you're right.
GIULIANI: I'm not talking about Mueller. I'm talking about the spygate investigation, which they concealed.
CUOMO: You had your guys go in there. They said there was nothing going on with spygate, as you call --
GIULIANI: They're not my guys. They're not my guys.
CUOMO: Well, but they're from the parties --
GIULIANI: And I don't know what document --
CUOMO: One of them has been very helpful to the president.
GIULIANI: So what, they're from my party.
CUOMO: The other one is from your party.
GIULIANI: They're not my guys. I'm sorry. So, if they let them see it, why don't they let me see it?
CUOMO: All right, but let me ask you --
GIULIANI: Why won't they let the president see it?
CUOMO: Well, because he was under investigation while they were actively looking at it. Why would Rudy Giuliani, back in the day, ever go to the people he was looking at and tell them I'm looking at you. You never did that.
GIULIANI: Because the investigation is closed. It is now over with over a year. They should have told him, as president of the United States.
CUOMO: He can find out with a phone call. If he picked up the phone, they would tell him whatever he wants. He's not doing that, Rudy, and you know why.
GIULIANI: Chris, Chris, he's not under -- he's not the target of the investigation. He wasn't the target.
CUOMO: I understand that, but I'm saying if he wanted to know what was happening --
GIULIANI: So now you've got to show him.
CUOMO: He can just pick up the phone. They're not saying they won't. He could pick up the phone and get the answers.
GIULIANI: I tell you what, I tell you what, we will make a gentleman's agreement --
GIULIANI: That one of us will buy the other dinner if I'm wrong and they're not concealing this because they did something seriously damaging things to themselves.
GIULIANI: Including Clapper -- not necessarily Clapper -- Brennan. I don't think Brennan could do something right if he tried.
CUOMO: Oh, come on.
All right. Look, let me ask you something else. You've done a very good job of making this debate, at least on television, about why the president's exposure should be limited. But isn't the opposite argument equally, if not more, compelling? That under the law, and as a matter of political policy, the president should be more transparent?
We shouldn't have to subpoena him. He shouldn't have to plead the Fifth. He is the highest elected official in the land. He should sit down and do the interview.
GIULIANI: We haven't reached a question of pleading the Fifth. It was a whole other issue.
But let's address it -- yes, if we lived in an ideal world you're absolutely right. But we got 13 angry Democrats investigating a president who happens to be a Republican. One of them donated $35,000 to Hillary Clinton. Most prosecutors don't donate $35,000.
And then you're not -- most people are impartial enough in a role like that not to hire that person to investigate Donald Trump. Excuse me if I'm a little nervous.
CUOMO: Look, I've heard this before. But one, the idea of painting the FBI as a Democrat institution really flies in the face of everything I've known for 20 years in this business. All right? And remember Jim Comey didn't talk about Trump and talked
about Hillary Clinton right at the end of the race.
So, I don't know how strong -- we'll wait for the inspector-general report to come out, and we'll look at it.
But let me ask you --
GIULIANI: About Comey?
CUOMO: Yes, and everything else.
IULIANI: About Comey?
CUOMO: And everything else that the IG is looking at.
GIULIANI: I doubt.
CUOMO: Let's wait for that.
GIULIANI: I doubt if it's going to support -- I think Comey's credibility is completely shot, and I think the last nail in the coffin is going to be that report.
CUOMO: We'll see.
GIULIANI: But in any event, all I have to know about my former assistant U.S. attorney is that he disgraced himself when he leaked that memo illegally.
CUOMO: Well, look --
GIULIANI: And one of his agents will be prosecuted for that, and would be in jail right now.
CUOMO: That is -- you're entitled to your opinion. Let's see what the IG report shows.
Let me ask you something else: the president says I absolutely can pardon myself. You know that if we were looking at it in an absolute sense, he absolutely could not, because a man cannot be their own judge. There is no Supreme Court precedent. There is no advisory opinion from any agency that goes near it.
Why would you let your client offer up that kind of suggestion?
Grassley, Senator Grassley says boy, oh boy is that crazy. And if he were my lawyer, listen to what he says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY, (R) IOWA: If I were president of the United States and I had a lawyer that told me I could pardon myself, I think I'd hire a new lawyer.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: You don't -- you don't think the president -- you don't think the president can pardon himself? You don't think it's right? And you don't think it's right under the law. Be honest.
GIULIANI: I can tell you, as a lawyer, the pardon power is complete and there is no limitation on it. Would somebody impose a practical limitation on it? Absolutely.
CUOMO: Section II puts a limit on it.
GIULIANI: The practical limitation is -- the practical limitation is it would be suicide to pardon yourself.
CUOMO: That's a political limitation, that's a political limitation.
GIULIANI: So then we'll never reach it.
CUOMO: The practical one, if you don't pardon in the case of an impeachment, and that's what he would be doing.
GIULIANI: It's not going to happen.
GIULIANI: And pardon doesn't -- pardon doesn't get you off impeachment, so you can't pardon yourself from an impeachment. So, pardoning is not -- he's not going to pardon himself.
If you want to have a nice issue, you know, about this very, very hypothetical point, is that power so broad? There's nothing that says yes, and there's nothing that says no. Nobody ever thought of it. Maybe that's a good argument he can do it. Maybe there's a good argument that he can't.
CUOMO: I think if it were a law school exam, you would want to come down on the idea of "no, he can't" based on what we know about the law and justice. But the president is saying he can.
GIULIANI: I wouldn't do that.
CUOMO: If he's not going to do it.
GIULIANI: If it was a law school exam -- Chris, Chris, Chris, if it was a law school exam, I would say this.
GIULIANI: The pardon power is complete. Nothing in the Constitution says that he can't pardon himself. Nothing in the Constitution says that he can pardon himself.
GIULIANI: So, I would -- if a law school exam I'd give you an A if you said it's an open question. If you came down on either side of it, I'd give you an F.
CUOMO: Well, but the president came down on one side of it, so he gets an F.
GIULIANI: He's not a lawyer.
CUOMO: Oh, come on. He's the president of the United States.
GIULIANI: He's not a lawyer. He is not a lawyer.
CUOMO: He says experts tell me I have absolute authority to pardon myself. Another bad recollection?
GIULIANI: I bet there are.
No, there are lawyers who believe that. There are lawyers who believe the opposite.
COMO: An absolutely ability to do it? And why is he bringing it up if he'll never do it?
GIULIANI: I think to probably illustrate and create the discussion about how complete the pardon powers. He hasn't done a Marc Rich. I mean, you want to talk about pardons, that stink up -- the whole system of justice is Bill Clinton's pardon of Mark Rich.
CUOMO: Good segue, good segue.
GIULIANI: I used to be in charge of the Pardon Attorney Office.
CUOMO: I know you did. I know you did.
GIULIANI: I used to be in charge of the Pardon Attorney's Office.
CUOMO: I know you did.
GIULIANI: And the reality is the pardons he's given so far are highly justifiable.
CUOMO: Rudy Giuliani would pardon Joe -- not within his power, let's talk about justifiable. We know he can do it, he can pardon a ham sandwich if he wants to. Joe Arpaio, Scooter Libby, Dinesh D'Souza, maybe even Martha Stewart, Rudy Giuliani pardons these people?
GIULIANI: I recommended pardons probably in worse cases like that to Ronald Reagan.
CUOMO: Would you pardon all these people?
GIULIANI: Ronald Reagan did over 900 pardons.
I would -- each one of them, yes.
Martha Stewart's prosecution by Jim Comey was a publicity stunt. Never would have happened if it wasn't Martha Stewart. You don't indict on a trapped perjury case where the person didn't commit the underlying crime. That's a damn game to get yourself in the newspapers, which may have been the beginning of the Jim Comey who eventually illegally leaked the memo.
Arpaio, I don't know the case that well, except it seemed to me it was highly, highly political, as was D'Souza.
And Scooter Libby had already been commuted. That investigation is completely wacko because they knew who the leak was when they started the investigation.
CUOMO: Rudy --
GIULIANI: The investigation existed for the purpose of creating perjury on somebody and maybe, just maybe that's what Mueller is doing.
CUOMO: Rudy, Arpaio openly flouted the law on purpose, even when he was told no to. Dinesh D'Souza signed a plea agreement admitting that he broke the law, admitting that he lied. Martha Stewart I covered every day of that trial, she was a convicted liar.
It seems like you want to send the message lying is OK. Lying is OK sometimes. That's why we're pardoning these people.
GIULIANI: Lying is not OK. Pardons are perfectly appropriate. It sure beats the terrorists that Clinton pardoned.
CUOMO: That's our new standard? Anybody is better than a terrorist?
GIULIANI: No. These are political cases. I mean, there are law review articles being written about how highly politicized the criminal justice system has become.
CUOMO: Dinesh D'Souza signed an admission of guilt, Rudy.
GIULIANI: Oh, but the only reason he was prosecuted for a situation, campaign finance, that usually results in a fine to somebody that isn't a conservative activist.
CUOMO: They tried to put on evidence that this was selective prosecution. It didn't fly. If it didn't fly, then, why does it fly now?
GIULIANI: Selective prosecution -- because pardon is different than the ability to get evidence in. Selective prosecution is an extraordinarily difficult thing to really use as a defense. It almost never works, even though it might be justifiable.
And the pardon power allows the president -- if people did something that's marginal, and I would say each one of these crimes in marginal -- Martha Stewart couldn't get prosecuted for insider traded, so they prosecuted her for perjury. I mean, you do that with Frank Castello, who used to be the head of the mafia, by the way. I'm getting older.
But she's not the head of the mafia. The lack of proportion should have been a warning that something wrong -- CUOMO: They offered her a deal, she didn't take it.
GIULIANI: That's the same guy that leaked illegally.
CUOMO: They offered her a deal. She kicked them out of her office, figuratively, and almost literally. She lied. They went to trial. She lost.
Dinesh D'Souza admitted that he lied and broke the law. Scooter Libby lied. Joe Arpaio flouted the justice system.
I can't believe Rudy Giuliani would pardon these people.
GIULIANI: Everybody who is pardoned, the only reason you get pardoned is you committed a crime. Pardon doesn't exist to wipe away the crime --
CUOMO: Oh, no. You could pardon even before he's adjudicated, or she's adjudicated. He's choosing to do this now, and it seems that the president wants to send a message -- I'm doing this early on, during an investigation, where maybe lying will become a commodity.
GIULIANI: Chris, every single one of these cases, at the time, was highly controversial. You can -- I can give you "Wall Street Journal" editorials about each one of them, including one with Martha Stewart, in particular, which they saw as a real perversion of justice, because she was trapped into perjury.
Scooter Libby, the investigation never should have taken place. They should have moved to have that case dismissed on the grounds that if there was perjury, it was immaterial. They have caught -- it would be like conducting a murder investigation after you caught the murderer, knew who he was, but didn't tell anybody, which sounds a little bit like spygate, but, you know I won't --
CUOMO: Rudy --
GIULIANI: -- that will take us the rest of the night.
CUOMO: Let me ask you something else while I have you, OK, because you are putting yourself out there on this case. You don't need to do this. You are plenty busy, as anybody who knows you understands. But you're doing this.
And you are at Yankee Stadium the other night. You get booed at Yankee Stadium. I've never heard that happen before. It certainly wouldn't have happened before you got tangled up in this. You got a Yankee ring on right now.
GIULIANI: See my ring right there?
CUOMO: You're a huge Yankee fan. People in New York love you. I'm a Yankee fan. You're not going to get any testing on me from that.
GIULIANI: -- most of them. They were booing.
CUOMO: But that is only happening because of this. Are you worried about your legacy that the mayor of America --
GIULIANI: Oh, I am. Every night --
CUOMO: -- the man who carried our heart through 9/11 is now tangled up and saying it's OK to pardon people like Dinesh D'Souza?
GIULIANI: Every night I stay up all night worried about that.
No, I have a clear conscience. I'm doing my job as a lawyer. This is what I --
CUOMO: You're more than just a lawyer, though, Rudy Giuliani. You're more than just a lawyer.
GIULIANI: But I am a lawyer, and it's my job to defend my client. I am proud of what I'm doing. I'm proud of my client. He has done nothing wrong.
And this is a horrible -- not only a horrible perversion of justice, this has got to come to an end, this pursuit of presidents.
I thought the impeachment of President Clinton was terribly wrong, even though my party did it. I thought it was entirely political. And you have to stop this.
Look, we do a lot of fighting politically, but I know the power of the criminal justice system, and it should not be used in these political situations.
CUOMO: Oh, that's fine. Then tell your client to stop saying that all the Clintons need to be investigated by a special counsel, if it's so bad. You know, if you want something to stop usually you've got to be the change you want to see. We don't get a lot of that from this White House.
GIULIANI: I think -- I think if you destroy -- let's not go over the Clinton case again.
CUOMO: No, let's not.
GIULIANI: Thirty-four thousand emails.
CUOMO: I don't want to keep you from the Holy Land that long. For you to come to us from Jerusalem, I appreciate it. Say a prayer for all of us while you're over there.
GIULIANI: After this, I have to go to early mass now.
CUOMO: Yes, you better. You better. Take care, sir.
GIULIANI: I'll see you in New York next week. And good luck with the new show, Chris.
CUOMO: Thank you for being my first guest.
GIULIANI: You know I enjoy this.
CUOMO: I do too. I think it's important for people.
GIULIANI: I think everybody on the air should know that we're friends.
CUOMO: Look, it's --
GIULIANI: And this is what happens at an Italian Thanksgiving dinner.
CUOMO: It never comes from a bad place. I'm testing power because the people need o hear it. And the next dinner is on you, that's my guess.
Be well, Rudy Giuliani, thank you.
GIULIANI: I think it's on you. OK, take care.
CUOMO: Now you know why I wear black, it's tough out there. And there's going to be a lot to talk about in that interview. We're going into dig into what the implications were of everything that Rudy just argued will be, along with breaking news.
Paul Manafort may be tampering with witnesses. We have the filing and it's 90 pages thick.
Another big story this morning, Bill Clinton suggesting he's the victim in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Really? Next.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Welcome back. We've got a lot to unpack from our interview just moments ago with Rudy Giuliani. So, let's have the great debate with Jennifer Granholm and Rick Santorum.
Good to have you both here on the first show. Thank you very much for doing it.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, of course. Great to be on. Thank you.
RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think I can speak on behalf of Jennifer to say we are both very pleased and honored to be on, and congratulate you on the show.
CUOMO: Rare agreement. Hopefully, a sign of things to come.
GRANHOLM: For sure. That's the only time Rick will be able to speak for me.
CUOMO: All right. Let's get after this, then. You heard the Rudy interview. I think one of the big things, Rick, he swears to God, in the Holy Land, that what is going on with the explanation of Trump and his role in that response to Trump junior's meeting with the others there in Trump tower with the Russian, is a mistake.
How is this a mistake? Would you swear to God about this being a mistake, Rick?
SANTORUM: Well, look. I mean, it was obviously a mistake. The question is whether it was a deliberate mistake or planned mistake or was it just a simple mistake.
I can understand, if that's what Jay Sekulow told him, that he had it wrong, that the information was passed along to him, or maybe he made assumptions that he didn't know, I don't know. Rudy didn't give any details out. No one is giving details out as to they, you know, what the facts are behind it.
But I mean, Rudy has certainly come to the conclusion that it was a mistake, and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
CUOMO: You know, Gov, fair disclosure here, I asked Jay Sekulow several times to come on the show. I'm leaving him messages. I'm sending e-mails. So, I'd rather speak to him than about him.
But he said multiple times that Trump had nothing to do with it. Sarah Sanders echoed that. You know, it's very easy for her as we saw today's briefing to knock things aside and say I have to refer you to this person or that person or I don't know, or I'll get back to you.
She didn't on this. She said he certainly didn't dictate it but maybe he had some kind of other involvement. And then the letter in January comes out, Jay Sekulow says he dictated it.
Does that sound like a series of mistakes, or lies?
GRANHOLM: No. I mean, really what is the key issue in this investigation? It is collusion. What is the biggest piece of evidence in the investigation that there was collusion, if not having Russians visit the Trump Tower to talk about so-called adoptions, which means sanctions?
I mean, I don't know, I mean, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck. It is -- it was, I am sure, at the time an effort to try to get to remove the president from this meeting. In fact, he ends up dictating it, and who knows whether that's to try to save his son, perhaps, because initially it was supposed to have been his son's statement.
I don't know. But it is the most -- I mean, to say it's a mistake, swear to God it's a mistake, Rudy wasn't there, this sounds to me like an after-the-fact correction. And let me just say -- I mean, we know this president is an inveterate liar. I mean, as of this week, the fact checker has 3,251 lies so far.
I mean -- but this isn't really about just lying, because he's lying 6.5 times a day. It is about what that lie was intended to do. And it's further evidence of trying to zhush (ph) over, to cover up the meeting. CUOMO: Look, you know the old expression, it's not the crime, it's
the cover up, right? I don't know that anything that we heard, that we've heard about the Trump Jr. meeting, Rick, with everybody else who was there, amounts to anything conspiratorial. I don't know that they have proof that he conspired to commit a crime. Obviously, for conspiracy, you don't have to commit the crime.
But I don't know that it gets that far. But it certainly creates a case for special need -- that's a defined term under the law that they defined in the Espy case -- for the special counsel to need to interview the president, because there are too many competing stories. I can't get to his intent with all these different threads. I need to hear him, look at him, process him.
What do you say to that?
SANTORUM: Well, what's material about whether the president dictated a statement or he didn't to whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians? That's where these thing sort of falls apart.
GRANHOLM: Because it's a lie.
SANTORUM: Well -- OK. It may --
GRANHOLM: Why would you lie?
SANTORUM: It may have been a lie, it may have been a mistake, we don't know. The point is, what's -- there's no material evidence that's being presented that that statement had anything to do with collusion with the Russians.
This is well after the fact. This is about shaping the media's response to it. And as you heard Rudy say, you know, once it sounds like people got their act together and actually sat down and said what really did happen, they found out that, hey, the president actually --
CUOMO: They never said it to us. They put it in a letter. But, you know, in the law, they have an expression, Rick. Falsus in uno, falsus in toto. You know, if you're lying about one thing, you can be assumed to be lying about a lot of things and it makes investigators curious.
But let's switch topics here. The Philadelphia Eagles, full disclosure, Santorum is from Pennsylvania, not Philly. So, let's take a look --
SANTORUM: But a Steelers fan. But a Steelers fan.
CUOMO: All right. Good. Good to have it on the record. So, the Eagles are the world champs. They're supposed to go to the White House.
The day before, Trump disinvites them. Here are the statements: The White House says the Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House where their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their president, odd language, because he insists they proudly stand for the national anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.
The Pennsylvania mayor answers this way: Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our president is not a true patriot but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend.
Is it right for the president to disinvite the Eagles and blow a day for their fans as well this way, Santorum?
SANTORUM: Yes, in my opinion, there's blame on both sides here. You know, I think the Eagles did not handle this well. I mean, it wasn't until I guess a month ago that they actually had a meeting to decide whether they were -- they were interested in coming.
There were all sorts of reports as to people not coming and coming. And it looked like they said they were going to send a small delegation or a smaller delegation.
You know, the bottom line is, if there was going to be a celebration of a championship, and it's being used by some to wage a political protest against this president, the president doesn't have to be complicit with it. At the same time, on the other side, you know, I think, you know, the president could have risen above that and made the best out of a bad situation by inviting and receiving those --
CUOMO: He could have been the bigger man. He could have done what he did with the Patriots.
SANTORUM: He could have been the bigger man.
CUOMO: Why did the Patriots get better treatment? You know, a lot of them didn't show up either, including Tom Brady. He said he had family issues. But he let them come in.
Granholm, what's your take?
GRANHOLM: Yes, I mean, I do think that the mayor is right. He is an egomaniac.
But I don't know if it was just about them not showing up in great numbers. He created this problem. He loves it when there is division out there in the country, which he sows on a regular basis.
This is one other attempt on his part to wave the flag, to or whatever, and frankly probably distract, again, from the Mueller investigation. Anything he can do to divide the country is something that he does.
CUOMO: Well, let's see how it plays. Hit me on Twitter, we'll look at it in the break.
Let's switch topics, quickly. Bill Clinton makes news, and the wrong kind of news from the perspective of what's going on with "Me Too" and the movement that's supposed to advance our culture in this country right now, Jennifer Granholm. He says, I wouldn't do anything different than I did in handling the Monica Lewinsky situation and he wouldn't say that he should apologize to Monica Lewinsky personally. Are you OK with that?
GRANHOLM: No, no. I think it was not a great answer. I wish he would have said, but she started to say, I apologized then. I felt about it then. And at the end of the system, and I do to this day, I apologize, full stop.
I don't know why he felt the need, although I know it's caused him enormous pain over the years, to continue to go on. He should have stopped. He should have apologized and stopped.
CUOMO: All right. Let's leave it there. Jennifer Granholm, Rick Santorum -- Rick, you get last word last time. (INAUDIBLE)
Thank you for joining me on the first night. I appreciate it.
GRANHOLM: You bet.
CUOMO: All right. We have this big breaking news tonight, that's why we're moving it along. Shocking new allegations. Did Paul Manafort attempt to tamper with witnesses in his tax fraud case?
Bob Mueller's team is pointing the finger. I have the filing on my desk. It's 90 pages thick, 60 of it is filled with all these different messages that he was sending people. He could lose his freedom.
We're going to put it to Adam Schiff. He's the Democrat leading the charge in the House demanding answers from Trump. He's deep in the Mueller investigation. Perfect guest, next.
CUOMO: All right. Breaking news tonight, a very serious new accusation against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort. The special counsel, Bob Mueller, his office is accusing Manafort of trying to tamper with potential witnesses while on pretrial release to influence their testimony.
By doing so, Mueller's team things Manafort may have violated the conditions of his release. They're calling for a hearing to revise or revoke it. The special counsel wants to see him sent to jail.
That brings in the lawmaker who has been following the Russia probe every step of the way, Democrat Adam Schiff.
Good to have you, sir.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Thank you. Good to be with you.
CUOMO: First night of the show, so special thanks, especially for being here in the studio.
How big a deal?
SCHIFF: It's a very big deal. It's unusual to seek these kind of remands into custody for witness tampering to begin with. But you can imagine that in a case of this significance, watch this closely, that the special counsel team is not going to do this unless they have pretty darn ironclad evidence that Manafort is trying to essentially corrupt or co-opt these witnesses.
So, it's a big development. And I think a sign that Manafort is willing to try anything, do anything, and he's facing some serious time.
CUOMO: I mean, that's -- look, the quick read on it is that there were two people who were contacted by Manafort that he repeatedly contacted with them, and he worked for them previously, and he was trying to shake testimony, that's what they say, secure materially false testimony concerning the activities of what they were doing.
They have a lot of his communiques. I got through two-thirds of them. It's not good stuff for him.
But what does it mean to us in terms of the larger picture of the Russia probe? This seems fairly limited to the lobbying and the tax fraud case, not about the bigger questions about Russian interference and who on the Trump team may have helped.
SCHIFF: Well, to me, what it says is that Paul Manafort must have some concern that he won't get a pardon by Donald Trump. Up until now, it looked like everything Manafort was doing was to send a love letter to Donald Trump. When Gates agreed to cooperate, Manafort said, hey, don't worry, I'm not going to do that, I would never do that. Hey, don't forget me when you're thinking about pardons.
This kind of a desperate action to try to violate the terms of your release and interfere with other witnesses says to me that he is really concerned about his jeopardy, about going away for a long time, willing to risk being caught witness tampering in a case where they're watching every move. So, it tells me that he's not certain he'll get a pardon, and frankly I think a pardon in these circumstances would be another act of obstruction of justice by the president. But clearly, Manafort also has his own concerns about that.
CUOMO: Well, let's pivot from this to what we heard from Rudy Giuliani. You say that a pardon could be obstruction of justice. So, I've been doing a lot of research on this.
And there is an ability to review the motivations but they're very specific and tailored categories, where there's a bribe involved, there's something like that, a pardon can be reviewed. Is that what you think is going on with these recent pardons by the president? Do you think he's trying to send a message?
SCHIFF: Oh, there's no doubt about it. With the pardon of Joe Arpaio, and the cases you were pointing out, it wasn't even finished, he hadn't even been sentenced yet. This was a fellow traveler in the whole birther business. He announces it at a political rally, basically saying you stick with me and I will stick with you, I won't even let the criminal case come to an end before I pardon you.
And then with the pardon of Scooter Libby, somebody he doesn't know, doesn't have any reason to reach out to. This is someone convicted of obstruction of justice and lying. Similarly with Martha Stewart, someone convicted of obstruction of justice and lying.
CUOMO: If he does that.
SCHIFF: If he does that.
He's basically saying obstruction, lying, I don't think that should be criminal or I'm willing, where it would protect me and my friends to abuse the pardon power.
Now, some people like Giuliani claim the pardon power is absolute. He can do whatever he wants. That's nonsense. You don't interpret one section of the Constitution as nullifying other section of the Constitution, which you would have to read if you believe the pardon was truly absolute.
The president could instruct people to willy-nilly violate the law or instruct his own Justice Department or FBI to violate the law and simply say, if you're ever apprehended in this, I will pardon you. That cannot be. That's not our system. And that would violate the part of the Constitution that charges him with faithfully executing the law.
CUOMO: So, meaningful distinction becomes between the people he's pardoning as external versus internal, you want to excuse and pardon and give clemency to Dinesh D'Souza, go ahead. But if it's Paul Manafort, now you're going to have an issue because you're so close to him. That could get sticky legally, but we'll have to see because the -- Rudy Giuliani said he doesn't think pleading the Fifth is a big deal. He doesn't think self-pardoning is a big deal, meaning he doesn't think they'll happen.
So, maybe this will be more traditional than we think.
SCHIFF: This is the thing that -- you know, honestly, it's sad to watch Rudy Giuliani, to see what he's become.
CUOMO: The president says he's doing great.
SCHIFF: Well, the president loves people out there making the most ludicrous of arguments as long as they're in the president's favor. But here is someone who's saying the president of the United States is above the law. That is basically his Justice Department to do it as he will. And in the case of this false statement about the Trump Tower meeting, which is a clear part of the cover up after that meeting.
First, they deny meeting with the Russians. Then they get caught and the president dictates a false statement about that meeting, as part of covering up what really happened. Giuliani says, well, that was a mistake. That's nonsense.
CUOMO: He swore to god in Jerusalem.
SCHIFF: You know, that's not the place to be making false statements in front of the Almighty. But it's nonsense to believe the president's own lawyer didn't know what the president's role in that statement was.
Now, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the modus operandi seems to be: they mislead me I mislead you. That's just our way of doing business. That's the most charitable explanation of her telling the country that he did not dictate this statement.
CUOMO: But, again, well, you got to be a little bit more forgiving in the analysis I think in this one way. Somebody well lied here, OK? Somebody lied in this situation. Was it the president? Was it Sekulow? Was it Sanders?
She probably least likely to have lied in the scenario, because she's the mouthpiece. She's putting up the communique. She wasn't there. She wasn't part of the strategy. She's not part of the legal team.
But it seems really farfetched that something as simple and obvious on what he did on that plane with this group could be misunderstood. Fair point?
SCHIFF: Yes, it's a fair point. And I don't think there's any misunderstanding here. And you can see from the e-mail and text train that's already public, how much of the discussion of the Trump legal team was involved in trying to prepare this statement, this false statement.
Now, whether Sarah Huckabee Sanders knew that he dictated it or not, the statement that she made, it gives the appearance of trying to dump down the president's role in it. He did whatever a father would do for their son. Well, that's a nice non-answer.
I don't know how much Sarah Huckabee Sanders knew or didn't know, but what I have seen in the pattern that I think is really corrosive to our democracy is you see fabrication after fabrication from this president. You see Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway taking these false statements and turning them into some form of alternate truth. It's just what Rudy Giuliani is doing tonight.
CUOMO: Well, look, the spin is something that needs to be tested. That's why I'm sitting here.
Congressman Schiff, thank you very much for making the case. Appreciate it.
SCHIFF: Thank you.
CUOMO: All right. So, Don Lemon is standing by. There's a lot of news for you tonight and he's got a preview of "CNN TONIGHT".
How are you doing? DON LEMON, CNN HOST, "CNN TONIGHT": I'm doing great. I just want to tell you how proud I am of you and what a great interview you did with Rudy Giuliani. I'm going to talk about that in a second.
But, of course, Chris, we're going to talk about this news of Paul Manafort. I mean, this guy ran the president's campaign and could end up going to jail before there's a trial.
And also that shocking interview with Bill Clinton today. He -- you know, he said I got hot under collar, that's his latest statement. But, boy oh boy, was that tone deaf? Especially you live here in New York. You know the life that Monica Lewinsky led, almost as a hermit while Bill Clinton has been celebrated for the past 20 years.
So, we're going to do that and talk about the president. His strategy on the flag controversy and uninviting those Eagles players to the White House.
Plus, discuss your interview.
CUOMO: Big topics Don Lemon. It's good that that I can actually stay up and watch you tonight. I don't have to watch the morning like I was.
LEMON: I'm glad I can watch you because I'm usually asleep when you're on. So, it's good that you're here.
CUOMO: But now we're in sync, my brother. Now we're in sync.
All right. Thank you very much, friend.
CUOMO: Everybody will be watching soon.
LEMON: I want to tease something up for you.
All these new argues that Rudy Giuliani was making that we're hearing from the president about his defense in the Mueller probe, there is one number that you need to keep in mind that will make it all make sense. I'll give it to you when we come back.
CUOMO: Before the break, I told you there's one number that you need to know tonight, that number is zero. Why? Because, zero times has the Supreme Court ruled the president cannot obstruct justice.
There's another zero. What is it? Zero cases where a president has successfully challenged a subpoena in these circumstances. And really, other than Nixon, zero times we have ever even seen a president talk about trying to do that. OK?
There is also zero support in the law for President Trump's notion that he can pardon himself absolutely. Even Rudy Giuliani told you tonight, there's a zero percent chance that the president will even try it.
But here's the biggest number for me tonight, it is one. I'll do it twice because it's so nice. This is our first official CUOMO PRIME TIME, thank you for being apart of it. It means everything to me to get this opportunity.
Now, I hope tomorrow you come with me to get after it again. And we have another big guest for you tomorrow night. We're going to have former White House communication director, Anthony Scaramucci. That will be 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CUOMO PRIME TIME.
Well, you know what comes next. Don Lemon the man is going to be here. We're very happy to be with him. I said to him earlier, usually I have to watch him in the morning, because I was on "NEW DAY" and I had to go to sleep at night. But now, I get to watch it live like the rest of you, he's big news for you tonight.
He's already smiling because we've got breaking news about Paul Manafort. He's got the big interview with Rudy Giuliani to digest.
So, take it from here my handsome friend.