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White House Press Briefing; Trump's Personal Attorney Under Criminal Investigation. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired April 13, 2018 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:00:03]

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Yes, Shimon is absolutely right. You know, in one sense, it felt a little aggressive, the way in which the FBI went in on Michael Cohen's office and home and hotel.

On the other hand, now it sounds like we have a window into why. And he has all the records and potential electronics and recordings that could have been deleted had they not rolled in when they did.

SARA AZARI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely.

I mean, normally--

BALDWIN: Oh, got to go to a different Sarah. Hang on.

Sarah Sanders.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: -- Opioid Memorial on the Ellipse. It is a moving experience.

President Trump and the first lady encourage you to visit the memorial before it leaves Washington, D.C., on April 18.

Today, at the Summit of Americas in Lima, Peru, assistant to the president and adviser Ivanka Trump oversees private investment, corporation, and the acting U.S. secretary of state announced OPIC's two-time America -- Latin American Women's Initiative -- say that fast -- which will mobilize $500 million in private capital to invest in projects that empower women in Latin America.

This new initiative will break down barriers that limit women's full participation in the economy and reaffirms the Trump administration's commitment to empowering women in Latin America and around the globe.

As you all saw, yesterday's confirmation hearing for secretary of state-designee Mike Pompeo went very well. From his years in the Army to his time as a key member of the House Intelligence Committee, to his successful tenure as CIA director, secretary-designee Pompeo has excelled as one of the nation's key leaders in national security and foreign policy.

As a result of Mike Pompeo's leadership, America has been safer, more secure and more prosperous. There is absolutely no legitimate reason that secretary-designee Pompeo's confirmation process should not be done in a speedy and bipartisan manner.

Even "The Washington Post" editorial board, hardly a cheerleader for this administration, published an editorial yesterday with a simple, straight-to-the-point headline, "Confirm Mike Pompeo."

Democrats and Republicans should do exactly that by coming together and doing what is without question the right thing for our country.

And with that, I will take your questions.

QUESTION: The president came out swinging today, calling James Comey a liar, a leaker, a slimeball.

Is he worried about what he's saying?

SANDERS: Not at all.

The American people see right through the blatant lies of a self- admitted leaker. There is nothing more than a poorly executed P.R. stunt by Comey to desperately rehabilitate his tattered reputation and enrich his own bank account by peddling a book that belongs in the bargain bin of the fiction section.

Instead of being remembered as a dedicated servant in the pursuit of justice, like so many of his other colleagues at the FBI, Comey will be forever known as a disgraced partisan hack that broke his sacred trust with the president of the United States, the dedicated agents of the FBI, and the American people he vowed to faithfully serve.

One of the president's greatest achievements will go down as firing Director James Comey.

QUESTION: And on another topic quickly, if I may, the deputy attorney general was here yesterday. Is the president going to fire Rod Rosenstein?

SANDERS: I don't have any announcements at this time. The president's voiced some frustrations, but beyond that I don't have anything to add.

John.

QUESTION: Sarah, the president a short time ago issued a pardon of Scooter Libby, the former vice president's chief of staff. There are many people who believed that Scooter Libby was the victim of a special counsel investigation run amuck.

The recent statements that we have heard from the White House would seem to indicate that the -- you feel much the same thing about the Mueller investigation. Was the president sending some sort of signal to the Mueller investigation or about the Mueller investigation by pardoning Scooter Libby?

SANDERS: Not at all. One thing has nothing to do with the other. And every case should be reviewed on their own merits.

Pardoning Libby was the right thing to do after the principal witness recanted her testimony. The D.C. Court of Appeals panel unanimously voted to restore Mr. Libby's bar membership after being presented credible evidence in support of his version of events.

And it appears that that key prosecution witness, Judith Miller, changed the recollection of the events in question.

QUESTION: In the statement, the pardoning statement, today, the president acknowledges he doesn't know Scooter Libby. What was it that convinced him that Scooter Libby deserved a pardon?

SANDERS: The president thought it was the right thing to do.

Justin?

QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah. (OFF-MIKE) The president began the week (OFF-MIKE)

SANDERS: I'm sorry. Can you speak up a little?

QUESTION: Sure.

The president began the week and said that he expected a decision within 24 to 48 hours on Syria. On Tuesday, he said a decision would probably come that night. But here we are on Friday. And in a statement last night, he said that no final decision had been reached.

So, I'm wondering if you could walk through why the president hasn't met his own timeline there, and specifically if it had anything to do with the sort of Syrian troop movement that we saw after his tweet on Wednesday sort of threatening a missile strike.

SANDERS: No.

We are continuing to have ongoing conversations with our partners and allies. The president spoke with President Macron of France again earlier today.

[15:05:04]

We are continuing to have ongoing meetings and conversations here at the White House. And when we have any further developments, we will let you know.

QUESTION: Because it's Friday, I'm wondering--

SANDERS: Friday the 13th.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

SANDERS: You guys all groan like that's a bad thing. QUESTION: Committed to Senator Gardner in terms of both what the

Justice Department would do and what the White House would do in terms of supporting legislation on states to legalize marijuana.

SANDERS: I can confirm the president did speak with Senator Gardner yesterday and again today.

We're always consulting Congress about issues, including states' rights, of which the president is a firm believer, and a statement that the senator put out earlier today is accurate.

Steve?

QUESTION: You said he has spoken to President Macron. How big a coalition does he have for the expected action in Syria?

SANDERS: Again, I can't talk about anything that may or may not happen, but I can tell you that the president and a number of individuals within his administration have spoken to a number of our partners and allies at various levels across the world.

QUESTION: Is he satisfied now that Syria was responsible for the chemical weapons attack?

SANDERS: Yes. We are again confident that both Syria had responsibility in this chemical weapons attack. But we also hold Russia responsible for their failure to stop chemical weapons attacks from taking place.

Josh?

QUESTION: It was reported today that Michael Cohen, the president's personal attorney, helped negotiate a $1.6 million settlement to a Playboy Playmate. It also emerged today that Michael Cohen is under criminal investigation by the Southern District of New York.

Is the president still associated with Michael Cohen? Does he continue to consider Michael Cohen someone he holds in confidence?

SANDERS: I know that the president has worked with him as a personal attorney. Beyond that, I don't have anything else to add about--

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) these developments, would the president like to say anything about them?

SANDERS: Look, the president has been clear that he has a deep concern about the direction the special counsel has taken.

The investigation started as Russian collusion, of which there was none. The president has spoken on this topic at length, and I would refer you back those comments.

QUESTION: What about Michael Cohen's actions, though? Does the president have any concerns with those? SANDERS: Again, I would refer you to Michael Cohen's personal attorney. That's simply reports right now. But I can't give anything beyond that.

Jill.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Is Cohen still the president's personal attorney?

SANDERS: I'm not sure, Jill. I would have to check.

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: I can only speak about White House staff.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Paul Ryan just endorsed Kevin McCarthy for speaker in an appearance or an interview with "Meet the Press." Does the president believe that McCarthy should be the next speaker?

SANDERS: The president has a great relationship with Kevin McCarthy. But in terms of an announcement about who he wants to sees as the next speaker, I don't have any announcements on that front.

John.

QUESTION: On the James Comey book, some excerpts came out today. He speaks of the president, writes about the president in very personal terms. Were you surprised by that? Was the president surprised by that?

SANDERS: I don't think we are surprised by the fact that James Comey continues to spread false information.

The guy is known to be a liar and a leaker. And so there is not a lot about James Comey that we would find to be very surprising.

QUESTION: Just really quickly on the pardon that came out today for Scooter Libby, the president so far in his time in office has issued three presidential pardons. One of those was to Joe Arpaio. Is there a commonality in terms of what the president looks for when he pardons individuals?

SANDERS: Again, every case should be reviewed on their own merits, and that's what the president has done in each of those.

QUESTION: Sarah, I'm wondering if the administration has reacted with any message to Moscow after officials there today said that the chemical attack in Douma was faked and staged with Britain's direct involvement?

SANDERS: Certainly, our intelligence tells us otherwise.

I can't go beyond that, but, again, we have a very high confidence that Syria was responsible, and once again Russia's failure to stop them and their continued disaction on this front has been part of the problem. April?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: (OFF-MIKE) bring Russia into the Syrian equation now cause for the delay in the strike timeline?

SANDERS: Again, we are continuing to have ongoing conversations with partners and allies, assess the information, and once a decision is made, we will let you know.

Dave?

QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah.

The Justice Department inspector general came out with his long- awaited report this afternoon on former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, saying that he improperly leaked information about the Clinton Foundation investigation to a reporter, and then lied to James Comey about it under oath to two FBI investigators.

Do you have a reaction to that? And does that, in your mind, validate the decision to fire McCabe?

[15:10:03]

SANDERS: I haven't seen the full report, but it sounds like two peas in the pod with McCabe and Comey. McCabe was fired in disgrace misconduct and lying about it.

Beyond that, I don't have any anything at this point.

Francesca.

QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah.

You said that James Comey was a liar, that he is a leaker, that he made false representations or claims. Other than what the president tweeted this morning about lying under oath to Senator Grassley, what exactly has he said that's false or a lie?

SANDERS: Comey claimed reopening the Clinton investigation when he did was based on merit. Now he says it was based because of poll numbers.

Comey claimed the president told him to stop investigating Flynn after he previously testified that no one told him to stop investigations. He also -- even the media has reported that officials have determined that Comey leaked four memos, at least four that we know about with classified information.

I think it's very clear that Comey has a credibility problem. The other thing is clear, this is one of the few issues in Washington that both Democrats and Republicans agree on. He has been criticized by the legal community for leaking sensitive information, and organizations promoting good government found Comey's leaking grounds for firing. Multiple Democrats, including some of the biggest leaders in the

Democrat Party, have also attacked Comey. Minority Leader Pelosi said Comey was maybe not in the right job. Senator Schumer said he was appalled by what Comey did and did not have confidence in him any longer.

Senator Bernie Sanders said acted in an outrageous way. Clinton's running mate, Senator Kaine, said Comey is responsible for the lowest moment in the history of the FBI. Even Congresswoman Maxine Waters said Comey has no credibility.

The FBI should be independent and not led by a political hack. Comey's higher loyalty is pretty clear, that it's only to himself. If you can get this group of people and others like Mark Meadows and a number of others to agree on something, I think that have you to be right.

Joan?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Sarah, what about the dossier? Did he also lie about the dossier in his conversation with President Trump about that?

SANDERS: The dossier is false opposition research that was funded by the Clinton campaign to attack the president. It was used illegally to justify spying on Americans. And I think that's quite the problem.

Jim?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Sarah, about the content of the president's attacks on James Comey, your attacks on James Comey, isn't that all a bit unbecoming of the presidency, of this White House to go after him in such a personal way like that?

SANDERS: I think it's--

ACOSTA: (OFF-MIKE) a slimeball, a liar and a leaker?

SANDERS: I think it's unbecoming for the person that's supposed to be the top law enforcement official in the United States, the person that is supposed to protect the people of this country to lie and leak classified information, certainly to falsify documents.

I think that's a very big problem. And somebody who has created this problem for himself. I didn't encourage Jim Comey to go out and do a P.R. campaign. Congress has asked Jim Comey to come and testify multiple times, of which he has denied being able to do, yet he found time to sit down with George Stephanopoulos for five hours.

I think if anybody has created this problem, it's Jim Comey, and he should be the one held responsible for that problem.

(CROSSTALK)

ACOSTA: If I could ask just a second follow-up question, because-- SANDERS: Well, because it's Friday.

ACOSTA: Well, it's Friday. Yes.

SANDERS: And you would probably get really upset, and I don't need that, if I did.

ACOSTA: Not at all. Not at all.

No, but you probably have seen this tweet as -- it was a tweet that you posted before the election in 2016: "When you are attacking FBI agents because you are under criminal investigation, you are losing."

SANDERS: Yes.

ACOSTA: What do you make of that now? Isn't that--

SANDERS: The rank-and-file FBI are some of the greatest people in this country. We have repeated that time and time again, and certainly have the full support of this administration.

I think that we have been very clear, though, how we feel about some of the leadership at the FBI, particularly James Comey.

QUESTION: But when you go after Comey--

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: Sorry.

I did give you two, Jim. I'm going to keep moving.

(CROSSTALK)

ACOSTA: When you go after Comey and Rosenstein and Mueller, doesn't that mean you're losing?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Comey's book is the president's -- quote -- "disdain for the rule of law and his continued efforts to publicly undermine federal law enforcement officials."

So, how would you characterize the president's attitude towards the rule of law and things that he says publicly about many of his top federal law enforcement officials?

SANDERS: The president has a great deal of respect for the rule of law. But the president does not have a lot of respect for people whose sole job is to carry out the law and they leak classified information and they lie to the American public about it.

Charlie.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) It's his own are going to. It's his own deputy attorney general. It's special counsel. It's the FBI. It's judges who make decisions that he doesn't like.

SANDERS: I'm sorry. I'm not -- what was the question?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: It's a whole list of sort of federal law enforcement officials that he has undermined. It's just not people who have proven to leak information.

SANDERS: The president hasn't undermined them in any capacity just because he calls out things that he finds to be problematic or concerning.

I think that he should do that. If members of the FBI are leaking classified information, the president should absolutely call that to question.

[15:15:01]

You guys spend hours upon hours every single day praising James Comey, propping him up, giving him the biggest platform. We shouldn't be praising him. We should be putting him down. We should be taking him off of air, instead of giving him minute after minute. This country has a lot of real problems.

We should be talking about the economy. We should talk about Syria. We should talk about the drug crisis, but instead we are going to talk about James Comey. You guys will cover it endlessly all day today, all day tomorrow, and my guess is every day next week, with very little time given to the issues that people care about.

So the president has every right to call out that individual that you guys are propping up and say that there are problems and we should be concerned about this.

Charlie.

QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah.

This morning, James Comey admitted that he didn't tell the president about the political--

SANDERS: I'm sorry, can you speak up?

QUESTION: This morning, James Comey said that he didn't inform the president of the political source of the dossier. Was the president surprised to hear that? Did Director Comey ever tell him about the sourcing of the political dossier against him?

SANDERS: I'm not sure about that specific conversation, but I know that it's been documented many times over now that the dossier is false opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign and used to attack the president. I think--

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) question because it's Friday. Did the president speak to former Vice President Dick Cheney about the Scooter Libby pardon either before or after?

SANDERS: I'm not aware of any conversations on that front.

John.

QUESTION: Yes. Thank you, Sarah.

Three Republican state senators from Missouri wrote the president yesterday saying that the embattled governor, Eric Greitens, should resign from office. He has serious charges of sexual abuse against him, faces impeachment and refuses to resign.

They concluded that, as a former Navy SEAL, he would salute and resign if his commander in chief asked him to. Did the president receive the letter? What is his response? And will ask Governor Greitens to step down?

SANDERS: I don't have an official response at this time.

But, certainly -- that is something very concerning and something that we are taking very seriously. And I will keep you updated as we have something.

Sarah.

QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah.

So, concerning the summit with Prime Minister Abe (OFF-MIKE) Florida, the president plan to push for a bilateral free trade agreement with Japan?

SANDERS: I'm not going to get ahead of the president's conversations with Prime Minister Abe.

But trade will certainly be something that is discussed, as well as the ongoing conversations around North Korea.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Does the president have another NSC meeting today on Syria?

SANDERS: I'm sorry?

QUESTION: Will the president be having another NSC meeting today on Syria?

SANDERS: There is another national security meeting later this afternoon at the deputies level.

Ayesha.

QUESTION: I wanted to ask about the pardoning process. It seems like we have had these three pardons. They were all somewhat high-profile or had gotten the media's attention. How is the president deciding when to take action on a case? It was Arpaio hadn't -- he hadn't even been sentenced yet. The

Scooter Libby case was very old. So -- and so how are you deciding when to take action on these cases? And can a normal person who feels like they have been, like, unjustly convicted, can they get their case to the White House?

I mean, there's a Justice Department process, but it seems like the president is taking special interest in certain cases.

SANDERS: Again, the president has exercised his constitutional authority, and he determines when and how he is going to use that when it comes to the pardon process.

He looks at each one individually and makes the decision and we make that announcement.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Brian?

SANDERS: Sorry. I was calling on Nadia (ph), and then I will go to Brian.

QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah.

The OPCW is sending in inspectors to Syria. Do you think this is a futile exercise, since you already have the evidence that (OFF-MIKE) chemical weapons?

SANDERS: Once again, we are confident in the intelligence that we have and in the fact that we know that Syria is responsible for these actions.

I will take one last question.

Brian.

QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah. I will do two, one on Syria and one on the Department of Justice.

On Syria, the president publicly said that he wants to get out of Syria. Has this strike changed his mind on that? And is he considering other options other than a plan to pull out U.S. forces from Syria? And, if you could just answer that.

SANDERS: I'm sorry. What was the last part?

QUESTION: Is he considering other options other than a long-term strategy to get out -- get U.S. forces--

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: I don't have any additional changes to policy in Syria at this time.

And in terms of options, all of our options are on the table. We are continuing to look at those and we will make an announcement then.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) question about the Department of Justice.

What does the president have to say to Republican lawmakers who believe that firing Mueller would be suicide, as Grassley has said, or firing Rosenstein could mean the end of the president's -- the presidency for Donald Trump, as Lindsey Graham has said?

[15:20:12]

SANDERS: I'm not going to get into hypothetical situations.

The president has taken no action on that front. And I'm not going to get into a back and forth on a hypothetical.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) response for Republican lawmakers who are counseling him not to take an action like that?

SANDERS: As with a number of issues, the president talks to lot of different lawmakers on a number of topics.

He is going to continue consulting with them, not just on this, but on some very big issues that our country is facing. And that's what his focus is actually on.

Thanks so much, guys. Happy Friday.

BALDWIN: All right. Got a lot of voices.

Let me bring in Gloria Borger.

I'm coming to you first, because what I jotted down off the top, a sort of full-throated assault, prepared notes on all things James Comey.

This is she just said: "The American people see right through the blatant lies of a self-admitted leaker. Desperate P.R. stunt," and referred to his new book out looking to pad his pockets with a book that belongs in the bargain bin of the fiction section, Gloria.

She was ready for that today and then Jim's question. Isn't this becoming of the president to respond back, calling him a slimeball, a liar and a leaker?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.

Look, I think they hate him. And I think the president has made that very clear. And I think that is one thing that is going on. But the other thing that is going on that, honestly -- and I see Shimon standing out there outside the courthouse -- is going on should be actually of more concern to the president right now, which is the question of Michael Cohen and his -- the raid of his office, and why they raided his documents and the fact that these attorneys are now saying that there is no attorney-client privilege in the Stormy Daniels case. And that at one point in their document, they say that, absent their

search warrant, the records could have been deleted without record and without recourse for law enforcement.

And then the reason for this belief afterwards is heavily redacted. These are very serious developments, not only for Michael Cohen, but I would argue also for the president of the United States. So they can throw stones at each other, Comey and Trump.

And that will continue. However, that may really be a sideshow at this particular moment. I think where Shimon is, is the main action right now.

BALDWIN: Sure. And we have talking to Shimon in really the last hour, really been focusing on the criminality or the fact that Michael Cohen, his personal attorney, AKA, fixer, AKA, pit bull, is under criminal investigation. And we will get to that. We will get back to that in a second.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: But I do want to stay on James Comey.

And, Asha Rangappa, to you, because we have talked a lot about this investigation and his firing. And what did you make of how Sarah Sanders characterized this? And, to Gloria's point, they hate him.

ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: They hate.

But I agree with Gloria that a lot of this is just going to end up being some mudslinging. One thing that is important to highlight here, Brooke, is that a way they're discrediting Comey's book is that it's written after he was fired, that this is all about revenge, and, you know, getting back at the president.

And this is why his contemporaneous memos before he was fired as he was having those meetings take so much weight, because you can't accuse him of having those motives at the time he did that, and the fact that he conveyed it to other people.

We know that Dana Boente, who is now I believe the FBI general counsel, also has his own version of what Comey told him at the time. So I just want to make sure that we put those things in context. This book is his personal recollections of post-firing.

But there are also recollections that he had at the time.

BALDWIN: Yes.

And, Shimon, because you have reported a lot on James Comey. Didn't he admit in this book that he did have political calculation when deciding on announcing the reopening of the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's -- yes, he has. But it's sort of been -- whether it's this conscious or unconscious calculation, whether he was concerned about how it would be perceived.

All along, you know, covering that case, certainly covering this case, Comey has always been concerned about that, about the political look, about how the FBI would be viewed, how he would personally be viewed, though he's never certainly expressed that to any of us.

But there are people that we have talked to that have been close to him through the years and that he was always concerned. He was always mindful of appearances. And he was always even concerned sometimes about how he looked and whether he should wear a jacket in certain situations or roll up his sleeves in certain situations.

[15:25:06]

So he was always mindful of the optics of any situation that he was going into.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: If I can, just Douglas Brinkley here in New York with me, we were talking listening to Sarah Sanders, and you were saying there's a lot obviously in some of these quotes and sound bites that are coming out from this Comey conversation and the Comey book.

And you were noting how he compares the president to, you know, the crime Gambino family, mob bosses who he once put away. Right?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Absolutely.

And this is all interconnected. Michael Cohen and, you know, the criminal investigation is tied to the Comey book. And this is about the Trump White House at war with the FBI. And the FBI is a bureaucracy. The FBI is a culture.

And they feel that Donald Trump is unethical, that there are a lot of laws that are being circumvented, potentially broken. And, you know, there's no coincidence that Cohen is getting raided and today charged with criminal, you know, is going to be criminally investigated, the same time that the Comey excerpts came out.

Comey leaked these excerpts in a very coordinated fashion. If you're Donald Trump right now, you're besieged. You really have to be feeling that this could be the beginning of the end here, because lord only knows what Cohen has in his documents and maybe even tape recordings.

BALDWIN: Let's get to that. Let's get to that, to the other huge piece of news that we have been discussing for much of the show is Michael Cohen, the president's, you know, everyone keeps talking about this a man who knows where the bodies are buried, who buried the bodies for Donald Trump.

This is Michael Cohen. He's officially under criminal investigation in the wake of this FBI raid on his home and office and hotel from earlier in the week. And Shimon has been outside this hearing, has been in this hearing, at the federal courthouse down in downtown Manhattan, where this hearing has been under way.

And if the people, Shimon, are just tuning in, catch them up on all things Michael Cohen.

PROKUPECZ: Look, it's been certainly a busy day here.

I think we have a very good indication today of where the Michael Cohen investigation is going and where prosecutors here in New York are going with it. In the end, this really is -- this really does involve the president, his lawyer Michael Cohen.

And really we have learned so much from these court documents that were released just moments ago here and that what the FBI, what the prosecutors here have been looking at and looking for are these communications, documents or relating to Michael Cohen and the president, some of their dealings perhaps.

We also learned, really significant here, that if the FBI and prosecutors are saying that if they had not gone in the way they did with these search warrants, they had concern that evidence would be destroyed.

I mean, that would be a crime in and of itself. That is a significant, significant development here. The other thing we have learned, that Michael Cohen was under surveillance already by the FBI.

They had covert surveillance on him of his e-mails where they found some indications that his only client was the president, Donald Trump.

There's a lot of argument that's going on in court behind me here today, and we're going back in 4:00, because the judge wants to know exactly the question. What other clients did Michael Cohen have, where he's asserting all this privilege and that the FBI has thousands and thousands of documents, and it's going to violate all this attorney-client privilege.

And so the judge is asking his attorneys, OK, who are those clients? Tell me. And so far, we have not gotten an answer. I mean, he's not been able to tell -- the lawyers have not been able to tell the judge so far who these other clients are that they're perhaps concerned their privilege could be violated.

But we have really learned a lot here on this investigation and where things are going here just how serious this is.

And the other thing, Brooke, just simply is that the FBI and the prosecutors here are have not even begun to start going through the information that they obtained in these search warrants because of some of the action that's going on right now, this emergency relief that Michael Cohen's attorneys are seeking to prevent the prosecutors from looking through those documents.

So they don't even know what they fully have yet. They have some idea because they have had a surveillance on him. It is covert surveillance. They were able to read some of his e-mails, so they have some glimpse into what information they're dealing with. But we don't even now, and they don't even know entirely yet what they're dealing with.

BALDWIN: What we do know -- and then, Gloria, I want you on this, because on one of Shimon's points -- and you pointed this out earlier -- coming back to the president's words haunting him.

This was a moment. I want to play this, this clip. This is quick, but it's president on Air Force One. This is when he's being asked about that hush money, the $130,000 that Michael Cohen admitted paying.

And Michael Cohen has said, the president had nothing to do with this. The president, as you're about to hear, saying: I don't know anything. Ask Michael Cohen.

BORGER: Right.

BALDWIN: Roll it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION: Did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No.

QUESTION: Then why did Michael--

TRUMP: What else?