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Interview with Representative Charlie Dent; Rudy Giuliani Announces Three Americans Detained in North Korea Could be Released Today; Ty Cobb Out, Emmet Flood In. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired May 3, 2018 - 10:30   ET

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


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[10:32:31] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No. No. What else?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Then why -- do you know where he got the money to make that payment?

TRUMP: No, I don't know.

RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER FOR DONALD TRUMP: Having something to do with paying some Stormy Daniels woman $130,000, I mean, which is going to turn out to be perfectly legal. That money was not campaign money. Sorry, I'm giving you a fact now you don't know. It is not campaign money. No campaign finance violation. So --

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: They funneled it through a law firm.

GIULIANI: Funneled it through a law firm, and the president repaid it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Joining us now, Republican Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania.

Congressman, thank you very much for being here. I wish the first question that I had asked you was not about someone lying, but my question to you is, did the president lie?

REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, it's clear that somebody wasn't telling the truth, either Sarah Huckabee Sanders or the president. And I believe what Rudy Giuliani said last night, that in fact Michael Cohen was reimbursed by the president for this hush -- for this hush payment, for this hush money payment. So that's quite pretty clear. And I guess at some point you have to ask the question, how does Sarah Huckabee Sanders go to work every day if she was sent out there to mislead the American people?

I believe she said what she was told to say and so somebody obviously wasn't telling the truth and I saw what the president said on Air Force One, it was pretty clear he more or less denied any knowledge of the whole matter.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So somebody is not telling the truth. Rudy Giuliani was asked directly about that Air Force One comment and he said it is not an issue. It is not an issue. You seem to be suggesting that telling the truth to the American people might be an issue.

DENT: Well, I do think it's -- I do think it's an issue. Look, I don't think there's anybody on the planet who thought that Michael Cohen out of the goodness of his heart wrote $130,000 check to Stormy Daniels without seeking any reimbursement. Who would do that? I mean, tell me a lawyer who would write a check out of his own pocket for his client without a reimbursement. I mean, come on. I mean, we're not -- we're not fools here. And I think Rudy Giuliani simply stated what we already expected was the case.

HARLOW: You think he just told the truth. Look, we do know the timeline here, Congressman, from the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, because after that FOX interview, he told the "Washington Post" that these payments were made throughout 2017 and he told the "Washington Post" that they were all paid back by the end of 2017.

[10:35:08] So those would be the payments made while the president is the sitting president. So I wonder, as a sitting member of Congress, do you think there is a role then for Congress here to step in, in any way.

DENT: Well, sure. I mean, let's put the shoe on the other foot. If the Democratic president had paid off a porn star to keep quiet while he was president, I suspect we'd have oversight hearings and I suspect there probably should be some oversight hearings to get to the bottom of that. Now with respect to whether or not this was a campaign finance violation, I'm not sure about that. I'm not sure any laws are broken, but it appears it was done to assist with the campaign.

I think they more or less admitted that. At least I think Rudy Giuliani admitted that in some of the clips you have just shown. So I think there is certainly a role for Congress. I mean, we'd be -- you know, if a Democratic president had done this, we'd be waving a bloody shirt right now.

HARLOW: So you're saying have oversight hearings?

DENT: Sure.

BERMAN: Let me ask you about something else Rudy Giuliani said it has to do with the special counsel's investigation, it has to do with why the president fired former FBI director James Comey. This is what Mayor Giuliani said about that.

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GIULIANI: He fired Comey because Comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn't a target of the investigation. He's entitled to that. Hillary Clinton got that. And she -- he couldn't get that. So he fired him and he said I'm free of this guy.

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BERMAN: He fired him so I'm free of this guy, this guy who would not publicly exonerate me. Does that seem to be a case for obstruction to you?

DENT: Well, I believe the president has the right to fire the FBI director, whether or not it was a good idea is another matter. But the question is, why he fired the FBI director. If he fired the FBI director to basically undermine or stop the Russia investigation, I think that certainly -- that type of interference could rise to the level of obstruction.

Hey, I'm not an attorney so I really can't make that judgment. But I would have to think that he fired him to basically to interfere with the Russia investigation. Whether that rises to the level of obstruction, I believe that's something Director Mueller is going to let us know about.

HARLOW: Congressman, you have acknowledged that part of the reason that you're not running again, that you're leaving office and leaving office early, is in part because of President Trump. And I'm wondering, as you prepare to walk out of the doors of the capital later this month, what do you think you will think in your head? What do you think you will say to yourself about the past two years with this administration?

DENT: I guess, what I find is that instead of talking about serious substantive issues, whether it is on trade or North Korea or Iran, the economy, taxes, deregulation, we spend much of our time instead talking about payments to Stormy Daniels, to tweets about NFL players. You know, responding to issues on Charlottesville or whatever, you know, is going through the president's mind on -- I'll say on cultural matters that are really not central to my job as a member of Congress in many ways.

I guess that's -- I'm not going to miss that. I really like dealing with the substantive policy. Again, I'm on the Appropriations Committee. I get to touch everything that we spend money on. I really enjoy it. And dealing with veterans issues. And I guess we're just not dealing with the weighty substantive issues of the country. We're talking about all these other very distracting issues and I'm not going to miss it and frankly my party is going to pay a price for it because in the midterm election, this election is going to be a referendum on the president of the United States and his conduct in office.

And I can tell you that if -- as a member of Congress, I had done some of these things, any of these things, or say any of these things, these would have been disqualifying events and I wouldn't be a member of Congress right now.

BERMAN: Congressman Charlie Dent, the one guy who will miss appropriations markups. Thanks for being with us.

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DENT: Yes.

BERMAN: We wish you best of luck going forward.

HARLOW: And thanks for your service, for representing the American people, good luck.

DENT: Thank you. I have a big markup next week on Tuesday. No fun --

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BERMAN: One last one. Pop the champagne cork for that. All right, Congressman, thank you.

HARLOW: All right. So Rudy Giuliani breaking even more news, coming up this morning and saying that three Americans detained in North Korea will be released today. So far, though, the White House has not confirmed that. We're live in Seoul, South Korea next.

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[10:43:33] HARLOW: All right, back now with the breaking news. Three Americans who have been detained in North Korea for months could be released soon. The president's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said they will be released just a few hours ago. And he said it would happen today. But moments after Giuliani said that, the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked if it was true and she didn't confirm it.

BERMAN: Yes. That announcement probably should come from the White House, not the president's lawyer.

CNN's Alexandra Field live in Seoul with all the details -- Alexandra.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And yes, John and Poppy, the White House still has not made that announcement, but you've got three families of three American citizens who have been living a nightmare with their loved ones detained in North Korea. One of those men detained since 2015, sentenced to 10 years of hard labor for espionage. Two others were teaching at a university in Pyongyang detained since just last year.

Their families are all hoping that this moment, the weeks before a summit between Kim Jong-un and President Trump, could present itself as a politically or diplomatically opportune time to see the release of their loved ones from North Korea. And certainly they are hearing words at a very public level that are encouraging them that that could be in the works.

The son of one of those men, Tony Kim, has said that he has been given no indication that his father will be released, but certainly you did hear Rudy Giuliani say that it would happen today. The White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that there was no official statement to that effect from the White House. She only continued to repeat a line that we have heard from top level administration officials before. That certainly it would show some goodwill from North Korea to release these detainees before that unprecedented and historic summit that could happen at the end of this month.

[10:45:08] Certainly adding hope for these families is the fact that one source who have knowledge of the negotiations has said that the release is imminent. This is a source who says that the North Korean Foreign minister proposed this idea some two months ago in Sweden and that it's been in the works since then -- Poppy, John.

HARLOW: In the midst of all of this, though, quite a harsh line out of the State Department, right, overnight about North Korea.

FIELD: Yes, they're reminding the world frankly of the abuses of that regime, of the history of abuses. Now I want to put it in their words directly for our viewers. This is part of the statement that they made, "One of the most repressive and abusive governments in the world." That's what they're calling North Korea. "We remain gravely concerned and deeply troubled by these abuses. In tandem with the maximum pressure campaign, we will continue to press for accountability for those responsible."

Really strong words coming from the State Department at the same time that you have the president preparing to sit down with Kim Jong-un. It isn't clear how the president would seek to -- seek that kind of accountability or responsibility that the State Department is calling for. Instead, what you've seen simply over the last few days and weeks is an effort to create an atmosphere that would be conducive to discussions all about, of course, denuclearization -- Poppy, John.

BERMAN: All right, Alexandra Field in Seoul, thanks so much.

All right. Very shortly the president's showdown with the special counsel, the president has shaken up his legal team and tapped an impeachment lawyer from the days of Bill Clinton. What does this say about the new approach to the Russia probe?

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[10:51:06] BERMAN: All right, this morning, the president has a brand-new legal team in the Russia probe. Ty Cobb is out.

HARLOW: Emmet Flood is in. He's an attorney who represented former President Bill Clinton during the impeachment proceedings.

Our Laura Jarrett is with us to talk about -- I mean, this is a huge job to take on. Tell us about Emmet Flood. What does he bring? What does it say about the strategy changing?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Poppy, Flood's arrival here as someone with significant experience in high profile, high stakes investigations, but it could also potentially signal a more adversarial or aggressive approach is on the horizon. He's a veteran Washington lawyer who spent the bulk of his career in private practice. But he's perhaps best known for his role in representing President Bill Clinton in those impeachment proceedings, in the late 1990s. But he also served for the White House Counsel's Office, a brief stint for President George W. Bush, helping him navigate the investigations into the controversial firings of U.S. attorneys at the time.

And finally he also represented Vice President Dick Cheney in a civil lawsuit brought by CIA officer Valerie Plame after her identity was leaked to the media. But, you know, his colleagues say this is someone who is unflappable, a steady hand, someone who is quite adept at navigating the tricky and political terrain here in a situation like this. But, of course, the big question is whether Flood will allow President Trump to sit down with Special Counsel Robert Mueller for a voluntary interview or whether he'll decide it's simply too risky and potentially setting up a legal showdown -- Poppy.

BERMAN: Laura Jarrett for us at the Justice Department. Laura, thanks very much.

HARLOW: Thank you.

BERMAN: So diamonds on the diamond. One New York Mets player may have just hit the most expensive double of his career. "Bleacher Report" is next.

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[10:57:33] BERMAN: All right. The Utah Jazz with a pretty shocking win last night. Dominating the NBA's number one team, the Houston Rockets.

HARLOW: Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Good morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, guys. You know, it was this kind of a round night all around in Downtown Houston. The Rockets lost and the Astros are shut out by the Yankees down the street. So lots of sad fans walking around there. But for the Jazz, this was a huge win.

This "Bleacher Report" brought to you by Ford, going further so you can.

And rookie Donovan Mitchell continues to lead the way for Utah. He looked like he was back in the slam dunk contest last night. Check it out, fourth quarter, misses the shot. But then just flies back up slamming it home. Mitchell won the slam dunk contest, just happened to be up there. So why not slam it home?

Australian forward Joe Ingles had himself a career night making seven threes on this one. Jazz finished the game on 16-2 run to win it 116- 108. Series now shifts to Utah for game three tomorrow night.

While rookie Donovan Mitchell leads the Jazz in the playoffs, Colorado Rockies rookie Noel Quevas is being sent out on Starbucks runs. Check it out. Before the Rockies game with the Cavs the team sending Quevas out to buy $111.55 worth of coffee. Quevas using a three-decker cart to push it all through Wrigleyville to get it back to the visiting clubhouse. Now the Rockies ordering everything from normal brew to caramel frappes. 26 orders in all. Wonder how the baristas felt with that kind of order when Quevas handed it over. Probably not too great.

All right. Finally the Mets' Yoenis Cespedes with a very expensive double last night. As ball is going to drop into shallow right Cespedes is going hustle into second base. And when he slid, his diamond necklace burst and all the diamonds went over the infield. You see Cespedes not very happy about it. But he just left all the diamonds out there. You see one of his teammates, between the inning, started to pick them up. An umpire did the same.

And guys, my question is, you know, since he left them there, are they fair game? Do you pocket those diamonds or is that something you return to him when you go back in the dugout?

BERMAN: Finders keepers is the official baseball rule.

HARLOW: Losers weepers, I supposed.

SCHOLES: He makes more than $25 million a year, what's a $50,000 necklace?

HARLOW: There you go. All relative.

BERMAN: He's just a giver. All right. Andy Scholes, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

HARLOW: And thank you all for joining us. I'm Poppy Harlow.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. "AT THIS HOUR" with Kate Bolduan starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. Welcome to the department of contradictions today. This morning, radical changes to what the president knew and when about the secret hush payment to Stormy Daniels. One of his lawyers blowing up the old narrative --