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Michael Cohen's Lawyer Just Fired Back At President Trump's Attorney Rudy Giuliani After Giuliani Said The President's Former Fixer, Michael Cohen Should Cooperate With Federal Prosecutors, Disgraced Movie Mogul Harvey Weinstein Back In Court This Morning, The Deadline Looming For The Administration To Reunite Separated Children With Their Parents, President Trump Lashes Out At NATO Allies Days Before He Heads To Brussels To Meet With Them. Aired: 9:30-10a ET
Aired July 09, 2018 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
POPPY HARLOW, HOST, NEWROOM: Michael Cohen's lawyer just fired back at President Trump's Attorney Rudy Giuliani after Giuliani said the President's former fixer, Michael Cohen should cooperate with Federal prosecutors. This is what Giuliani said just yesterday with Dana Bash.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: If he believes it is in his best interest to cooperate, God bless him. He should cooperate. I think the man has been horribly treated by the people he's going to cooperate with, but that you know, sometimes, you have no other choice. I do not expect that Michael Cohen is going to lie. I think he is going to tell the truth as best he can given his recollection and if he does that, we're home free.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: We're home free. Well moments ago, Lanny Davies, Cohen's attorney wrote this, quote, "Did Rudy Giuliani really say on Sunday's show that Michael Cohen should cooperate with prosecutors and tell the truth? Seriously? Is that Trump and Giuliani definition of truth? Trump-Giuliani next to the word truth equals oxymoron. Stay tuned. #thetruthmatters." MJ Lee is with me now with another response from Rudy Giuliani on all of this.
MJ LEE, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, CNN: That's right. A lot of back and forth in this public feud between Michael Cohen and Donald Trump through their respective lawyers starting with Rudy Giuliani going on the Sunday shows making the rounds, and essentially saying, "We're not going to be bothered if Michael Cohen tells the truth. We have nothing to be afraid of," and of course, Lanny Davis responding in that tweet that you just read. We do have a response to that from Rudy Giuliani. Here is what he told Dana Bash just this morning. He said, "The truth will set you free. The President did nothing wrong with Michael Cohen. Everything has been a dead end because there is nothing there."
Now, this back and forth sort of game of chicken is really interesting because for the first time, we're really seeing Michael Cohen respond to what Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump's lawyer is saying and that's a really big difference and a shift in public posture from before. It started with the ABC news interview last weekend when Michael Cohen sort of spoke out for the first time and essentially said, "My loyalty is not necessarily going to be with the President." And then also just keep in mind, the hiring of Guy Petrillo, this very experienced trial lawyer as well as of course Lanny Davis who seems to want to engage in this sort of public battle and we know that he is very experienced in sort of handling the PR side of things.
So, it's clear that both Michael Cohen and Donald Trump, they want to win over - win in the court of public opinion, but keep in mind, the criminal investigation of course will continue regardless of what these lawyers are saying in public.
HARLOW: Exactly, MJ. Thank you for the reporting and let's go back to our chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin on that. I mean, winning in the court of public opinion, Jeffrey, matters not to Michael Cohen in any criminal proceedings, it matters not to the southern district on how it proceeds, right?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST, CNN: And that's what's peculiar about this whole back and forth is that the prosecutors in the southern district of New York, the Federal prosecutors who ordered the search of his office, and the Mueller office here in Washington, I mean, they are not affected by these sorts of things.
I mean, the evidence is going to be the evidence and the back and forth between the lawyers, I don't think matters much. What it does suggest though is that Michael Cohen is taking out an independent position and suggesting that his truth, his testimony maybe incriminating to Donald Trump, and that is potentially significant. That's what I interpret from Lanny Davis' tweet, but I think the facts matter here more than the spin.
HARLOW: Well, for sure. Do you obviously, the President and Michael Cohen who used to talk probably daily are no longer speaking to one another, that's sort of a given, but do you see this as a way of them, or at least Michael Cohen trying to speak to the President through the airwaves and trying to really gauge his temperature?
TOOBIN: I think that's part of it. I think it's been clear that Michael Cohen feels somewhat betrayed by the President cut loose, ignored, demeaned and the one issue that's hovering in the air is the possibility of a pardon. Rudy Giuiliana pooh-poohed the idea, I think certainly, it would be deeply politically controversial to give Michael Cohen a pardon.
But that's really the only thing that Trump can do for Cohen at this point. These prosecutors do operate independently, unless they are fired and that's what I think they're going to keep doing.
HARLOW: Just to be very brief though on the pardon issue. The President could only pardon Michael Cohen if he were to do so if Cohen were found guilty of crimes on a Federal level, right? But that doesn't protect him from state charges?
TOOBIN: That's true, although he is only under Federal investigation and it's sort of mythology has arisen that Donald Trump could be prosecuted by a state - you know, there is a reason why most white collar crime in this country is prosecuted by the Feds. It's because the laws and the resources are all focused in that direction, and people who have the hope or fear that somehow state prosecutors are going to make this case, I just think they are deluding themselves a little bit.
HARLOW: Jeff Toobin. Thank you.
HARLOW: All right, breaking news this morning in New York, disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein back in court this morning. He is set to be arraigned on three additional sexual assault charges. He faces six felony charges in connection with three women. The charges include two counts of predatory sex assault, two counts of criminal sex assault in the first degree and one count each of first degree rape and third degree rape. If convicted on these newest charges that he is being arraigned on today, he could face a sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
The deadline looming for the administration to reunite separated children with their parents. That deadline is tomorrow, but will a court hearing from now change all of that what the Trump administration is asking for?
HARLOW: A Trump administration official tells CNN this morning, they are quote, "working tirelessly towards a shared goal of reuniting families." The official says they plan to show their progress at a court hearing in just a few hours. That is when a district court judge will decide if the Trump administration should get an extension, should get more time to reunite children under five years old with their parents who were separated at the southern border.
The deadline for that of course is tomorrow. With me now is Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat of Washington state and she sits on the subcommittee on immigration and border security. Thank you for being here.
PRAMILA JAYAPAL, US REPRESENTATIVE, WASHINGTON, DEMOCRAT: Thank you, Poppy.
HARLOW: You have been vocal about this. You were even arrested last week in Washington, DC participating in one of these immigration protests against the administration's policy and practice. Given the fact that the deadline is tomorrow, for the youngest of the children to be reunited with their parents, you were on the phone call with HHS on Friday, I believe asking a lot of questions about this. Did they give you any answers as to the process for reunifying?
JAYAPAL: No, and this is what has troubled me from the very beginning because of the stories that I heard personally from the women and men that I visited in the Federal prison where they told me that the names of the children that were listed on a piece of paper that they were given were not their children.
So, from the beginning, I've had deep concerns that the Trump administration does not know which parents go with which children ...
HARLOW: And just to be clear ...
JAYAPAL: ... and increasingly reports show ...
HARLOW: To be clear so our viewers know, you visited some parents including some mothers in Federal prison in South Seattle, right? And they were handed pieces of paper ...
JAYAPAL: That's correct.
HARLOW: ... saying these are the names, these are your children, we're working on it and they said, no, those aren't my kids. You've got the wrong ones.
JAYAPAL: Correct. They weren't told they were working on it. They were just given a piece of paper that had their name, their A number, which is the number that is used for immigration purposes and then supposedly, their children except they said, these are not my children.
And so, I asked Secretary Azar - well, actually not him, he delegated it to a deputy to answer, very, very few questions. I got one of the few questions and I said, how many children do you not know who the parents are? They did not give me answer to that. We immediately followed up. They said, "Please follow up with us." We immediately followed up. We still don't have that answer. We know that there is at least 19 kids and parents that are not matched under five, but there may be more than that and I think that that is a deep concern for us.
HARLOW: What recourse do you and fellow Democrats have though? I mean, let's say that the judge today in a few hours doesn't grant the Trump team an extension and they can't meet this deadline, what recourse is there though at this point for Democrats? I mean, you can't throw HHS officials in jail for this?
JAYAPAL: Well, I think the judge is going to have to decide what to do from the court side. I think public pressure has to be kept up across the country. We know that the majority of Americans think this is outrageous that kids are being kept in cages and parents seeking asylum in prisons, and now these families are separated and can't be reunited and I think the American public has to continue to keep this pressure up to force the Trump administration to take care of a problem that they created and that they have not been able to fix yet.
HARLOW: So one of the rallying cries that has gained a lot of momentum and that you've joined in is to abolish ICE. You've called for it. We've seen Senator Bernie Sanders call for it, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and many, many other Democrats, but former Homeland Security Secretary Jay Johnson who served under the Obama administration wrote an op-ed in opposition to that in "The Washington Post" this weekend. Let me read you part of it, quote, "The outright abolition of ICE would compromise public safety," he writes. He goes on to say, "Calls to abolish ICE only serve to sow even greater division in the American public and in its political leadership, damaging any remaining prospect of bipartisan immigration reform." Do you think he has a point?
JAYAPAL: Well, with respect to Jay Johnson, and I think that he has some important credentials, but prior to ICE, there was immigration enforcement and post ICE, there will be immigration enforcement. The bill that I am working on would actually establish a commission that would look at what responsibilities should be transferred to other departments.
There have been numerous studies and reports done including by the DHS' own Office of Accountability - Government Accountability Office that show that ICE is misusing taxpayer dollars ...
JAYAPAL: ... that ICE is an agency that is a rogue agency out of control with no accountability or transparency and I think the American public deserves to have these functions conducted in a way that really pay respect to taxpayers, but also to our own national security. You know, 19 agents from DHS have actually set some ICE - some ICE have said that the focus of ICE has been so transformed in a bad way that these important investigations around sex trafficking, around drug smuggling, that these are not getting the attention they deserve.
HARLOW: And look, Jay Johnson who ran DHS, I mean, he called for reforming the agency, but he is saying calls from Democrats like you to abolish it actually puts this country in jeopardy. Before you go, I want your reaction to how some that oppose the policy, oppose Republican lawmakers on this front are choosing to deal with it. "The Washington Post" is reporting that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was followed to his car on Saturday by a group of protesters chanting at him, screaming at him, "Abolish ICE," and some other just personally demeaning things, let's play this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GROUP: Vote you out. Vote you out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Abolish ICE.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Abolish ICE.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: So, they yelled "Vote you out" "Abolish ICE," someone else called him a quote, "turtle head" following him to his car. Is this the best way for Democrats to get their message across? Is this productive? JAYAPAL: Look, I think that people are deeply angry about the fact
that kids are in cages, and parents have been separated from their families and I think that people - to me, "Vote you out" is - it's not what I am chanting at Mitch McConnell, but if people want to say that somebody should be voted out because they are doing things that undermine America's core democracy, that to me is a part of democracy.
If you really want to take on people who are saying terrible things, I think we should take on the President of the United States who has said some absolutely horrible, demeaning things to all kinds of people. Do I think that at the core, we are talking about American democracy? And about making sure that families can stay together? About making sure that the United States remains a place that we are proud of for upholding human rights, a leader in the global fight for justice, those are the kinds of things that I am focused on and I think that we should keep the focus where it should be, which is on the fact that the Trump administration and Donald Trump himself put into place a policy that has gone completely out of control that his administration cannot even meet a court order that says that these families should be put together, that these kids should not be put into detention.
Over 3,000 children who have been detained and separated from their families as young as six months old, that is an outrage on US soil. I think that is where the attention should be.
HARLOW: Congresswoman, thank you for being here and please let us know if you do get any update from those that you did visit in the Federal prison there in South Seattle. Thanks for being here.
HARLOW: President Trump lashes out at NATO allies days before he heads to Brussels to meet with them. This could be awkward. Next.
HARLOW: So just days before President Trump heads to the NATO Summit this year, he is lashing out this morning at NATO allies. He writes in part, "It's unfair and unacceptable for the United States to be spending far more in NATO than any other country." With me now is CNN military analyst retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. Look, this is not a new line, General Hertling from the President. We heard it. He basically said it to our NATO allies last year in Brussels, but he is doing it again this morning and he also says that by some accounts, the US is paying for 90% of NATO, other NATO members are nowhere close to their 2% commitment for some of them. Is he right? Because as I understand, a number of these NATO allies have actually increased their spending as a contribution to it.
MARK HERTLING, MILITARY ANALYST, CNN: They have, Poppy, and this is a falsehood. It's a lack of understanding of what the 2% means. That is a goal put in place in 2014 to be met by 2024, a couple of years from now, and many of the NATO allies have been doing exactly that. They've been ramping up their contributions to their own defenses, that's what this is all about. It's their defense budget, it's not paid into a pot and the President is actually incorrect in everything he is saying.
It's a lack of understanding of how this works. The NATO budget is very complex. The US does certainly pay the majority of the share, but it's nowhere near 90%. That's just an outright factual lie. So, all of these things are interesting and this is going to be one of the more important summits that NATO has had in many years.
HARLOW: Let's turn to North Korea because you have very different messages from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after being in North Korea and North Korea, the Kim regime calling the US gangster-like in terms of its behavior, calling it regrettable, Pompeo and the State Department maintaining progress was made, but then you do have an interesting tweet from Pompeo after meeting Shinzo Abe in Japan, and he talked about quote, "maintaining maximum pressure" on North Korea and the reason that it's significant is because that's a term that President Trump himself said ...
HARLOW: ... he would no longer use just a few weeks ago. What's your read?
HERTLING: Well, my read is that it's a complex situation. First of all, and there is internal confusion within the administration and I am not saying that from a biased perspective. It's just flat out factual. There are some things that have happened, not only with the United States and North Korea, but with the allies of the United States - Japan, South Korea, China, Russia - this kind of governments are basically doing different things now than they were six months ago in terms of the pressure.
We can never walk it back. It would be the US alone if we attempted to do that because the other nations have gone a different direction, and in fact, we've given up some things already like the potential for this exercise, although we could regenerate that, but it's going to be very hard to walk back some of the things in this situation.
HARLOW: Some have said this is the spinach, sort of the dessert came first, right? Saying things are going well, but this is the spinach. This is the real work that goes into it. Thank you very much, General. We appreciate it.
HERTLING: You're very welcome, Poppy.
HARLOW: It is a race against the clock and frankly, the weather in Thailand. Rescue divers pull out four more boys from that flooded cave. They are not at the hospital being treated. We have the latest developments for you.