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Daniels Speaks Out, Promises Sketch; Daniels & Attorney Release Sketch of Person Who Threatened Her; Joe Lieberman Talks Comey/Trump & Syria. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired April 17, 2018 - 11:30   ET



[11:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED HOST, THE VIEW: Stormy, we want to talk about the physical threat you say was made against you in 2011. Can you remind everyone what you claim happened that day?

STORMY DANIELS, FORMER PORN STAR: Sure, yes. I was recovering from having my daughter and taking mommy and me workout classes and I had pulled into the parking lot, and, I was running late, my daughter was, you know, still very young, in the rear facing car seat and all that. I actually did notice the guy walking when I was parking. And he stood out to me because it was a women's center, they had prenatal yoga and Lamaze classes. I noticed him because he was sort of well- dressed and nothing about him alarmed me. I really thought he was someone's husband that was, like, not wanting to be in whatever his wife was doing. And as I walked around the car -- I remember it so clearly, I'm getting her, he walks up behind me, I saw his reflection and I turned around and thought for sure he was going to say, do you know where such and such class is or what building, whatever. And he had his hands at his pocket and he looked at my daughter and I just remember him saying, like, it is a beautiful little girl, it would be a shame if something happened to her mom.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Stormy Daniels speaking right there on "The View," sitting with her attorney, Michael Avenatti as well.

Let me bring in Caroline Polisi, attorney, white collar crime specialist. And she's here with me.

So, Caroline, we're both hearing that together for the first time. They promised to release the sketch of the person that had threatened Stormy Daniels. I'm not sure if they have done that quite yet. What do you make of just in general Stormy Daniels speaking out? She's now on a publicity tour of her own.

CAROLINE POLISI, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: She is. You heard Meghan McCain grilling her hard about whether or not she was just doing this as a publicity stunt. She made an appearance in the SDNY case this past week.

BOLDUAN: Just there -- just there yesterday in court. POLISI: Just there yesterday in court. I think they're playing this

hand to their advantage and Avenatti is a shrewd lawyer and in this instance, he's done everything right. They played that tape about the $130,000 payment. Trump saying he had no idea about it. The key issue in the civil case in Avenatti and Stephanie Clifford, the Stormy Daniels case, in California federal court, the key issue there is the issue of the nondisclosure agreement and whether or not President Trump knew about the $130,000 payment that Michael Cohen said, you know, he took out a home equity line of credit to pay out of the goodness of his own heart. Contract law dictates that a contract between two individuals, one person needs to know what they're signing up for. The fact that Donald Trump stated to the press that he didn't know about the agreement, and that he didn't sign the agreement, in fact, I think their case in federal court in California --


BOLDUAN: Is that the through line to what Michael Cohen is facing in court now, which is that is one of the things that could -- that would be a very big deal if it came up in e-mails or any kind of communications is a conversation between Michael Cohen and Donald Trump about Stormy Daniels?

POLISI: It definitely could be.

BOLDUAN: We have no evidence.

POLISI: We know this was a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office to the southern district of New York. We know that it all stemmed from that issue. I think it goes way beyond this $130,000 hush money payment. I think it goes way beyond potential campaign finance violations. The SDNY is not the in practice or business of executing search warrants on lawyers' offices if they don't have really strong evidence of really serious crimes. So, yes, I also think the issue of leverage could come into play here, leverage over Michael Cohen, potentially flipping to give information to the special counsel's office in the Russia investigation at large. He knows so much about where the bodies are buried in Team Trump over the past decade that it could be very dangerous to President Trump.

BOLDUAN: Caroline, stick with me.

All of you, stand by.

We'll be right back after this. I'm being told that they did release the sketch of -- Stormy Daniels and her attorney, they are releasing the sketch of who the man that she says threatened her and her daughter years ago to stay quiet about the alleged affair that she says she had with Donald Trump, we're looking at this right now for the first time together.

[11:34:13] Much more on this, clearly, right after a break.


BOLDUAN: We are following breaking news, Stormy Daniels and the sketch. Stormy Daniels and her attorney have promised for quite some time now that they would be releasing a sketch of the man that Stormy Daniels says threatened her, years ago, to stay quiet about her alleged affair with Donald Trump. And threatened her, while she was with her child. She is now speaking out, they're releasing the sketch. Let's watch this bit together.


UNIDENTIFIED HOST, THE VIEW: Stormy, you recently sat down with a forensic artist, a well-known one, who created a sketch of the alleged suspect based on your memory from that day and now you're ready to reveal that sketch for first time. Can we take a look at that?




UNIDENTIFIED HOST, THE VIEW: And to your recollection is that the person that threatened you?

DANIELS: Absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED HOST, THE VIEW: Looks exactly like that person?

UNIDENTIFIED HOST, THE VIEW: Stormy, why did you feel like you couldn't go to the police originally when you were threatened?

DANIELS: Two things. I was scared. It was expressly what he told me not to do. I went home and, like, regrouped and was -- I was going to, I always feel like you should stand up for yourself and you should report it. But the problem with that, in this particular case -- instance would -- I would have gone to the police, would have gone, OK, a man approached me, this is what he said to me, told me, you know, leave Mr. Trump alone, and their very next question they would have asked me, why would somebody tell you to leave Mr. Trump alone and I would have had to answer that question, which was not public at the time and I would have to tell an entire police department and police reports are public record, I know that for a fact, I had sex with Donald Trump. And then the whole world would have known, and I was in the process of trying to quiet that or figure out what to do and honestly, I was afraid, and I didn't want anyone to know, I didn't want my family to found out that way, I didn't want my life turned upside down.

[11:40:23] UNIDENTIFIED HOST, THE VIEW: When you were talking to news organizations and Michael can talk to this, too, including ABC, you never brought up the threat. So why now?

DANIELS: I knew I would be asked the question you asked me, why didn't you say anything. I did tell a few people from back then and --



DANIELS: I told family members and two friends and people I worked with.


MICHAEL AVENATTI, ATTORNEY TO STORMY DANIELS: And it is obvious she just didn't sit down with the sketch artist and, I mean, fabricate this. This is a very detailed sketch, created by a woman by the name of Lois Gibson, has the world record for the most identifications. She works with the FBI. And --


AVENATTI: -- law enforcement all around the country. And she found -- she found Stormy to be very credible and highly confident in the sketch. We hope it is going to result in a --



BOLDUAN: They released the sketch just now. And also, I'm being told, they're offering a $100,000 reward, Stormy Daniels, her attorney, for anyone who can positively identify this man, the man in the sketch.

CNN's M.J Lee is here. Caroline Polisi is still with me.

M.J., you've been following this very closely. Now this moment plays out, what happens now?

M.J. LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think that we all didn't think that all of this could get more theatrical and dramatic, but there you have it. We have the sketch now, we have this announcement of $100,000 award for somebody who can provide information about this man that is being described. Just to remind everyone, this is going back to an incident in 2011 when Stormy Daniels says a man approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot and threatened her and told her to leave Donald Trump alone. The context here, of course, she had agreed to tell a magazine her story about her alleged affair with Donald Trump. And this is when the man came, she says she had her infant daughter in the back seat, so obviously she says this threat was very scary and serious.

I don't know if everyone can see the inscription on the top of the sketch, just for everyone's information, it says the man is described as being between 5'9", six feet tall in his 30s to early 40s. Lean but fit. I just want to remind everyone that this is seven years later. Stormy Daniels is insisting that even though many years have passed, the memory of his face is really burned into her memory and she could I.D. him even to this day. But I think another sort of legal context, very important to keep in mind, is that this sketch, and this man actually has nothing to do with the lawsuit.

The lawsuit that she has filed against Michael Cohen, that Donald Trump is involved in, has nothing to do with this threat. It has to do with her wanting to get out of this NDA.

The reason she's doing this is, one, I think because they very much want to stay relevant and want to stay in the headlines. In the bigger picture, they want to paint a picture of a woman who is a victim, something nefarious going on with either Donald Trump or some of his associates, that is sort of the image she would like to paint as this lawsuit is sort of going on a parallel track.

BOLDUAN: That's what I was going to X how does this man, this sketch, how does this -- how is this key to the puzzle that we were looking at.

POLISI: We heard from Michael Avenatti on and off over the course of the past few weeks playing coy. He was set to release this image earlier and he stated kind of somewhat coyly on the network news stations that he had been asked and he couldn't say --

BOLDUAN: To hold off.

POLISI: -- to hold off on it. He intimated that he's working with federal investigators in the southern district of New York. Then he went on to praise the southern district of New York prosecutors and investigators.

BOLDUAN: How does this play then?

POLISI: Well, certainly, it seems like there is more to this story. I think it has Keith Davidson's fingerprints all over it. I think that's going to be the next guy to go down in this investigation. There is -- prosecutors don't believe in coincidences. The fact that Keith Davidson was a lawyer for all of these women in the hush money agreements on the other side with Michael Cohen, that's not a coincidence. I think that's where it is going next.

BOLDUAN: The media, what does law enforcement do with this sketch? A sketch, detailed sketch, one that is seven years -- from memory seven years ago and they're putting it out in the public.

POLISI: Right. This is not a law enforcement sketch, just to be clear.


POLISI: So Avenatti and Stormy Daniels took this on themselves. Now, it is not to say that, you know, state investigators and, you know, Las Vegas, Nevada, if you will, would be interested in this. This isn't a federal issue. This is more of a state criminal issue.

BOLDUAN: That's interesting.

What else now?

LEE: I think you bringing up Keith Davidson is really, really key. I remember this is the lawyer, who is involved in both the Stormy Daniels case, and also Karen McDougall, and last week we found out he had a role in the Elliott Broidy case, the Republican fund-raiser who -- a woman accused him of impregnating her and she was paid to not speak about this affair. You're starting to see in all of these cases a pattern of behavior and potential pattern of certain people being involved in all of these issues. Whether it is Michael Cohen, whether it is Keith Davidson, and so you start to wonder, people that are close to Donald Trump, for how many years were they sort of regularly involved in this practice of trying to keep certain people quiet about information that they would find not flattering or not helpful either to their political careers or their public lives.

[11:45:41] BOLDUAN: So Stormy Daniels speaking out there, releasing this long-awaited sketch now. And $100,000 for any information that would lead to the identification of the man in that sketch. Don't you think for one second this is the end of it.

We'll be right back.

Coming up, fired FBI Director James Comey's new book is out. And coming up with me, we'll talk to the man who could have replaced James Comey at the top of the FBI, former Senator Joe Lieberman.

We'll be right back.


[11:50:29] BOLDUAN: His tell-all book is already a best-seller just a few hours after its release. And his sparring match with President Trump appears to be far from over. Day three of the media blitz for fired FBI Director James Comey, a day after the commander-in-chief called him a leaker and a liar and that he should go to jail. Comey fired back this morning.


JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: That is not normal. That is not OK. First of all, he's just making stuff up. But most importantly, the president of the United States is calling for the imprisonment of a private citizen as he's done for a whole lot of people who criticize him. That is not acceptable in this country.


BOLDUAN: Here with me now, former Independent Senator from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman, and chairman of no labels.

Thank you for being here.

JOE LIEBERMAN, (I), FORMER SENATOR: Thank you very much. Congratulations.

BOLDUAN: Thank you very much.

With all this playing out, everybody will remember you were on the short list to replace James Comey at the FBI. You took yourself out for concerns over conflicts of interest. You see this playing out between James Comey and the president of the United States, and you think what? LIEBERMAN: I think that this is yet another example of two things.

One is the way in which everything in Washington today is partisan. Also, that political campaigns never seem to end. I don't know James Comey personally. I know people who I have high regard for who know him well, and they think well of him. I think he was trying to do the right thing every time he entered the campaign, really, by reporting what he had found. But I think one of the great lessons of this is that as the FBI director chief investigator, if you will, for federal law in the country, nonpartisan office. No matter how nonpartisan you are, no matter how much you think you're doing something to protect the integrity of the FBI, once you step into the political arena, wow. You're going to be politicized. And his two reports on Hillary Clinton, or three, in a way, were and now it continues. In American history, campaigns have always been spirited. But for most of our history after the campaign, the politicians actually stop campaigning and try to get something done for the country. That doesn't happen anymore.

BOLDUAN: The brand you're talking about, getting past partisan politics, that makes me wonder when it comes to this, where we are right now, do you think we'll ever get to the truth?

LIEBERMAN: In this case, you know, I think there is a good chance that there is a process set up here that can get us to the truth. By that I mean the special counsel Mueller. Some of his work may end up in court. We still believe in the independence of the judiciary in America. That will get to the truth. People will be able to defend maybe he will be able to submit a report to Congress. Congress will have to decide what to do about it. If it implicates the president, the president will be able to defend himself. But you know what the problem is?


LIEBERMAN: Where our system is today, nobody is going to accept the end result unless it's from, for instance, the Supreme Court. And even then, there will be political partisan argument over it.

BOLDUAN: As you watch this, any regrets not staying in and taking the job to be director of the FBI the president had offered? Any regrets pulling out?

LIEBERMAN: Not at all. I had a sense of duty when he asked me, and after extended conversation with my wife, I was going to do it. But there was a conflict of interest when the lawyer who founded the firm I'm with was asked by the president to defend him in the Mueller investigation. I'm very happy with my life right now.

BOLDUAN: Even more happy now as you've seen how things have played out since?

LIEBERMAN: How everything in life is relative, and it's good to be out here rather than in there where I was for 40 years.

BOLDUAN: On Syria, Nikki Haley says more is coming. The White House undercut her immediately. What do you think of there? LIEBERMAN: There are several occasions in the last year and a half,

almost, with Ambassador Haley, she's gone out and said something early, and it appears it was cleared by the White House. And then the president agreed with her. They seem to have an agreement on policy. I like the way she's handled herself at the United Nations. Something happened here. I don't know whether there was a change of mind at the top from the president or maybe there was a confusing signal to her. Personally, I wish we had -- we were applying tougher sanctions on the Russians because they're acting in a very bad way.

[11:55:23] BOLDUAN: Senator, can I ask you, Senator McCain's office announced that he is recovering now from the surgery, and of course, he continues also to battle and fight brain cancer. He is a dear friend of yours. How is he doing and what is it like without him there?

LIEBERMAN: Being a friend of John McCain is one of the great blessings of my life, honestly. We talk about once or twice a week. I was out there a month ago in Arizona to see him. I'm going out this weekend. You know, the actual cancer treatment is succeeding, as I understand it, from the doctors. He's hurting now from the treatment in other parts of his body. But he's got the best care in the world. He's a tremendous fighter, and the Senate misses him. His voice is needed now more than ever. Fortunately, he's still able to put out a statement every now and then. That to me is a statement of truth. God bless him.

BOLDUAN: Please send him our best when you see him.

LIEBERMAN: Thank you. Will do.

BOLDUAN: Thank you, Senator. Thank you so much.

Coming up for us, we have new developments in the stunning legal connections we're watching play out between the investigations engulfing the president and FOX News. Stay with CNN.


[12:00:11] JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. Thank you for sharing your day with us.