Return to Transcripts main page
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Rips Cohen, Denies He Knew Of Trump Tower Meeting; Mueller and Donald Trump Jr. Spotted At Same Airport Gate; Report: Trump Repeatedly Sought To Ban Reporters Over Questions; Six Women Accuse CBS CEO of Sexual Harassment; Trump Touts "Historic" GDP Growth, Economists Warn It's a Blip. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 27, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00: JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, OUTFRONT HOST: OUTFRONT next, Trump and Cohen in a war of words. Two men who have troubled telling the truth. One of them lying about the Trump Tower meeting. Which one?
Plus, he predicted months ago that Cohen return on Trump to save himself, but as Michael Cohen the least of Trump's worries. Trump's long-time personal Attorney Jay Goldberg is OUTFRONT tonight.
And the breaking news, six women accusing CBS Chairman Les Moonves of sexual harassment. Reporter Ronan Farrow who broke the story moments ago is my guest tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, someone is lying, and the truth is it's tough to know who, the President or his fixer, after a damning accusation which could change the entire Russia investigation. Sources tell CNN that Michael Cohen claims that then candidate Trump knew in advance about the infamous 2016, June 2016, Trump Tower meeting. And we are told that Cohen is prepared to share those details with the Special Counsel Bob Mueller.
Look, this is an explosive accusation. It opens the door to conspiracy, to collusion, and the President heading back at least on Twitter firing off his most personal attack yet on the guy who used to say he take a bullet for him.
The President today, "I did not know of the meeting with my son, Don Jr., sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of unrelated jam, taxi cabs, maybe. He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary's lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice."
All times change. The President, his allies, have repeatedly, in fact 20 times publicly insisted that the President was unaware of the meeting until just a few days before it made headlines a year ago. In other words, a year after it happened. Here is it just the President.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL SCHMIDT, CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Did you know at the time that they had the meeting?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I didn't know anything about the meeting.
SCHMIDT: But you didn't --
TRUMP: It must have been a very important -- must have been a very unimportant meeting, because I never even heard about it.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: No one told you a word, nothing? I know we talked about this on the plane a little bit.
TRUMP: No, nobody told me. I didn't know -- It's a very unimportant -- sounded like a very unimportant meeting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. Let just go to the details of this unimportant meeting, because team Trump has changed its story many times. Don Jr. originally said he never met with any Russians. Then of course, the e-mails forced him to admit that he did sit down with a Russian lawyer who promised to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. And as the meeting itself grew in significance as we found out who was there and the Russians and their ties to Trump himself, the Russian lawyer at the center that actually admitted to being an informant.
OK. One thing, though, has never changed and that is this one point. Team Trump says Donald Trump himself did not know about it. Could this be about to change?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, is Michael Cohen telling the truth?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, sir, is Michael Cohen lying? Sir is your (INAUDIBLE) lying?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Silence. The President and the unusual position tonight are clearly being surprised by Cohen's allegation, and unsure about how to respond which is kind of stunning, right? He usually always has a response. The truth is when it comes to things Cohen has played a role in, the President of the United States has had a problem telling the truth.
I want to just take, for example, Stormy Daniels, right? The two men in inextricably linked when it comes to that story. Trump, first, insisting that he knew nothing about the $130,000 payment, hush money that was paid by Cohen to Daniels. That is, until Rudy Giuliani admitted that Trump did know about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?
TRUMP: No, no.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why -- Why did Michael Cohen make it if there was no truth to the accusation?
TRUMP: Well, you have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney and you'll have to ask Michael Cohen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?
TRUMP: I don't know.
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: They funneled through a law firm, and the President repaid it.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Oh I didn't know that. He did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And he repaid it, knowing that he repaid it. "The New York Times" reported not only that Trump know about that payment. He knew about it long before he said that he didn't. You saw that, right? April 5th on Air Force One. So that means he lied on that day.
And if Michael Cohen is telling the truth now and sources saying, right, that he is willing to go to Bob Mueller with this to say, the Trump knew about the meeting in Trump Tower, then Cohen would also be a liar. Here's why. Last July, when news of the meeting broke, Don Jr. went on Fox News and said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: A lot of people that are going to want to know this about your father. Did you tell your father anything about this?
DONALD TRUMP JR, DONALD TRUMP'S SON: No. It was such a nothing. There was nothing to tell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. That was a loud and clear answer. No. So then Michael Cohen, that very night after Don Jr. talked to Sean Hannity tweeted, "So proud for Donald J. Trump Jr. for being open honest and transparent to the American people. This nonsense needs to stop."
[19:05:08] So if he tweeted that knowing that Trump Jr., lied well, then he is a liar. I mean, why didn't he say so then instead of calling to Trump Jr., open, honest, and transparent?
Sara Murray is OUTFRONT live in Washington for us tonight to begin our coverage. And Sara, you know, this all obviously could be incredibly important for Bob Mueller's investigation. SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it could be, and we don't really know where this is going to lead. We've obviously see sources saying that Cohen is willing to share his version of that of events with the Special Counsel. We don't have any indication that the Special Counsel yet is interested in hearing it. I think the other thing that's worth noting is that Michael Cohen didn't share this version of event when he talked to two congressional committees.
And sources tell CNN he doesn't have corroborating evidence in the form of, for instance, tapes that he might have about some other interactions with President Trump. And so you could get into a situation where it's a he said-he said. And remember Michael Cohen did a little bit of a bind here. He's under criminal investigation in New York. He's basically tried to broadcast through allies the fact that his allegiance no longer lies with Donald Trump and that he is looking to make some kinds of deal. He's in sort of a desperate position here, and so that may be an impact on the sort of shifting stories we're seeing.
We just don't know exactly what Michael Cohen knows and whether there are perhaps other people who are involved in this conversation who would share his version of events. So far, though, they have not come forward, as you pointed out. Donald Trump has denied over and over again that he knew anything about this meeting ahead of time.
BURNETT: Right, right. I mean, you've got those denials everywhere. And then today, you know, sources on Michael Cohen side and well, we just -- no one's corroborated it as of yet. Sarah, thank you very much.
And I want to go straight now to Democratic Congressman Denny Heck of Washington, also a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. So, you're really in the center of this because you've talked to Michael Cohen. So let me just ask you the point-blank question here and we're talking about who is lying because somebody is lying. Who do you think it is?
REP. DENNY HECK (D), WASHINGTON: Well, let's stop and enjoy the irony that this comes exactly, precisely two years to the day when Donald Trump, then a candidate for President, held his last press conference of the campaign, and encouraged the Russians to go hack away and find Hillary Clinton e-mails. What that was, was collusion. And I've been saying for over a year, collusion is hiding in plain sight. But the truth of the matter is collusion is not a crime. It's not even a legal term.
However, there is introduced here the allegation of criminal intent if the then candidate Donald Trump knew ahead of time about this meeting and what its purpose was. So we're into whole new territory here.
BURNETT: So Michael Cohen spent six hours behind closed doors with you and your committee in October. It was described as a contentious exchange. But let me just ask you, what did he say then, you know, when you all could ask me and then, did Donald Trump know about this meeting ahead of time? Did he tell you yes or no? HECK: Erin, obviously, we have pledged not to reveal what was said in those hearings or those witness interviews. But, look, just take it for the facts on the surface. At this meeting was not only the President's son, his name say. The President's son-in-law who's chief advisor, political advisor in the campaign and Paul Manafort, now in jail, who was his campaign chair. It defies credibility to think, frankly, that candidate Trump didn't know about this meeting.
BURNETT: I know you obviously can't tell me what he said, but I mean, do you think Michael Cohen is a truthful person?
HECK: I don't think that Michael Cohen has tremendous incentive to lie at this point. He did before, but I don't think he does now. I think, in fact, what's happening is that the walls are closing in on President Trump. He knows it, and we're going to see increasing desperate rhetoric and behavior on his part.
BURNETT: So when it comes to Cohen proving his side of things which he, honestly, in a sense the burden to me really is on him because he is coming out and saying it a year later when, you know, we tweeted after the Fox News appearance by Don Jr., the opposite. He's never said it until now publicly. So now all of a sudden to say it, it's sort of what happened before, right? So we understand --
HECK: This reminds me the allegations that President Trump didn't know about the payoff to Stormy Daniels, except for his attorney that Michael Cohen did have proof. So I'm just sitting here like everybody else waiting for the next shoe to drop. In the meantime, I have a lot of faith in Robert Mueller.
BURNETT: And, you know, I will say Michael Cohen to me and to many others would, you know, gave a version of the Stormy Daniels story which was mostly true, but it excluded one crucial point which is that the President know. He always said he didn't, obviously, that was not true as we bow know from the tape that Cohen himself released. Cohen that we understand from the sources you say he is willing to tell the story about the meeting to Mueller. Doesn't have audio recordings, he doesn't have any evidence, right? So, to corroborate his claim, someone else in the room would have to do it.
Trump Jr., you know, went on TV to claim his father didn't know about the meeting. And Cohen's tweet that night, I'll just read it again, "So proud of Donald Trump Jr., for being so honest -- open, honest, and transparent to the American people."
[19:10:00] OK, so then if he's telling the truth now, he lied then, right? I mean, either way you're talking about someone who lied.
HECK: Yes. And he said then he was willing to take a bullet for the President and pretty clearly that's not the pattern of behavior of like --
BURNETT: Do you want Cohen to appear before your committee again?
HECK: Sure. There are a lot of questions that we would like to circle back and answer. But the truth of the matter is, Erin, there's a long list of people that we thought should have been subpoenaed and been compelled to come before us and answer questions that weren't. That's part of the reason why we were so upset at what we believe was the premature termination of the Russian investigation. After all, we continue to be treated to this drip, drip, drip --
HECK: -- of revelation. And the reason for that is we didn't get to the bottom of it.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Congressman, thank you very much. And I want to make sure I'm clear because I misspoke. The tape obviously was about the Karen McDougal payment not the Stormy Daniels payment. But Giuliani, obviously, made it clear that the President knew about that as it's been corroborated by the New York Times and multiple sources.
Congressman, thank you so much for your time tonight.
HECK: You're welcome.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, too close for comfort. Donald Trump Jr. and Bob Mueller today at the same airport and the same gate.
Plus, long-time Trump attorney Jay Goldberg correctly predicted that Cohen would turn on Trump. But is he more worried about the Trump organization's CFO now testifying? Jake Goldberg is OUTFRONT.
And bombshell allegations of sexual misconduct by the Chairman of CBS, Les Moonves. Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Ronan Farrow breaking that story just moments ago. We'll come back OUTFRONT.
[19:15:05] BURNETT: Tonight, it's a small world. Take a look at this picture. This is why people call it a swamp, guys. This was Gate 35X at Washington's Reagan National Airport this morning.
You see the two bright spots. The guy in the teal shirt, that's Donald Trump Jr., and over there on the left, the guy -- what's he reading? I wonder, an iPad. Anyway, that's Bob Mueller. OK. No mistake about it.
By the way, don't take my word for it. They both confirm they were there. Donald Trump Jr. confirm to the Daily Mail it was him and Mueller spokesperson said -- I just have to read it because I think this is so perfect because for the M.O. (ph) of Bob Mueller. "That is Mr. Mueller waiting to board a flight. If it's accurate that the other person was Donald Trump Jr., Mr. Mueller was not aware of him and had no interaction with him."
OK. This comes amid Michael Cohen's stunning claim that President Trump knew in advance about his son's infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian officials in June 2016. Sources say Cohen is ready to make that claim directly to Bob Mueller. OUTFRONT now, John Dean, former Nixon White House Counsel and CNN Contributor, Frank Bruni, "New York Times" Columnist, and April Ryan, White House Correspondent, American Urban Radio Network. OK. Thanks to all.
So John, let me start with you. I mean, there are some serious questions here about what this would mean. If Michael Cohen is trying to send a message to Bob Mueller, well I guess where I get confused is when you just have the conversation with Bob Mueller's team or with prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, all of a sudden this comes out through the media. Is this the way to do it, John?
JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Well, it's my understanding that the Cohen team did not release this, and they, in fact, were upset that we're not pleased that it was put out. So it doesn't sound like part of their strategy to somehow get favorable treatment from the Southern District or to get in front of the Special Counsel. So that's the first issue is, you know, who and why would Trump leak this? Well, to try to discredit the testimony.
BURNETT: I mean, Frank, that's a pretty stunning thing if true, right? So Cohen is ready to do this?
FRANK BRUNI, COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Right.
BURNETT: Somehow team Trump finds out about it and puts it out. I mean, you know, we don't know who the sources are that are putting this out that is willing to tell to Mueller. We know he's willing to -- you know, we know what he thinks, but --
BRUNI: You know, what John was saying is a fascinating theory and the thing is another context to say, no, that can't be possibly be the case. But with the Trump administration, as you know better than me, that anything can be the case. So that actually makes a certain amount of sense because normally if you want this testimony to have value, you want to tell the prosecutor about this behind closed doors. You don't want it out in public.
If we're going to have a kind of full round of assassination of Michael Cohen's character, well, leaking this testimony and getting into this fight over Twitter, et cetera, it serves exactly that. So it's a fascinating --
BURNETT: Well, it does because Cohen said the opposite, OK, as we've shown, right? Donald Jr. -- I mean, Cohen -- you know, if this is what he's willing to do, Cohen is a liar now or a liar then, right? But he's not telling the truth in both instances.
April, the President, obviously, has said many times that he knew nothing about this meeting. His son has said it. He's press secretary has said it. His lawyer has said it. Hear all of them are just to make everyone understand. This is not a question of ambiguity.
APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS. Yes. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: A lot of people to want to know this about your father. Did you tell your father anything about this?
TRUMP JR: No. It was such a nothing. There was nothing to tell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When did the President learn that that meeting had taken place?
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I believe in the last couple of days is my understanding.
JAY SEKULOW, CHIEF COUNSEL, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE: Let's focus on what the President was aware of, nothing. He was not aware of the meeting. Did not attend the meeting and was only informed about the e-mails very recently by his counsel.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, we know Cohen doesn't have a tape. At least, we understand this from source. He doesn't have a tape. He doesn't have anything to prove his version unless someone else is going to corroborate it.
BURNETT: But you'd have all these people lying or repeating lies they were told, if Cohen is right.
RYAN: And that's the problem, Erin. There's a credibility issue all around, with the attorneys, with Cohen, with the President, with the family and even with the spokesperson at the White House whether she knew or she is shading a facts. We don't know. It's about proof at this point.
The President is the father of Don Jr., who was involved in the meeting and he allegedly worked on a letter, you know. I mean, we don't know the extent of this. What he knew, when. It's a credibility issue but it's about proof and how can you prove it. That's something we have to find out from Mueller when he comes back.
BRUNI: You know, you're absolutely right. And one of the problems here is Michael Cohen is not the most credible of characters. But what he is saying absolutely plays, right?
BRUNI: It has the loudest ring of truth. Because when you look at the calls to the blocked numbers, when you look at other aspects of the timeline, Donald Trump -- 2
BURNETT: Which is how Donald Trump's number showed up.
BRUNI: Right. Donald Trump is saying I'm going to have an announcement in a couple of days. When you look at all of that, and you stack it up, it is impossible, I think, for any same person to believe Donald Trump did not know about this meeting at Trump Tower.
[19:20:06] RYAN: And to play it in the court of public opinion, if it go one way or the other, I mean, we know that Michael Cohen -- and even they're saying that the Cohen people didn't do this -- Michael Cohen understands that if he plays to Donald Trump, he doesn't know what Donald Trump is going to do. His understanding is that Mueller -- he's got a better chance to understand that Mueller is his best chance than going with Donald Trump who might dangle something in his face and pull it back.
BURNETT: I mean, John Dean, I'm also curious, though, you know, for Michael Cohen, right? So if this is true now, then what he said before and what he has stood by and been silenced about, right, that's where the lie would be. So he's got a credibility issue.
So for Mueller to even be willing to do a deal or southern district to do a deal with him, right, he'd have to have some kind of proof. And this is where I really get confused because Michael Cohen has made it clear he's the kind of guy who's willing to take people without telling them about it. So if you have this -- that he knew about this and this was a conversation he didn't rolled tape when he did and at least a hundred other occasions according to our reporting. Isn't that a real problem for Cohen?
DEAN: I don't think that whether he gets a deal or doesn't get a deal will turn on this one sliver of testimony. He knows a lot more. He's got there some 4 million documents that were seized from him by the FBI.
DEAN: There's lots of need to explain those documents, I'm sure, to set them up. They have may have negative implications. We just have such a sliver here of knowledge that I don't think attorneys have any trouble rehabilitating him and making him a good witness on this issue.
BURNETT: Which is, I think, a really significant point. When you say it wouldn't have a problem rehabilitating him, I think, you know, maybe not what people would expect and significant obviously, John, for you to say that.
April, I want to -- you know, today we heard the President on Twitter. He came out. But then when he was asked questions about this, he ignored them, which has been something many guys since do he has been doing a lot as of late. In "The Washington Post," they now say, they are reporting the President wants to punish journalists for the way they ask questions, directing White House staff to ban specific people from covering certain events or even revoke their press credentials. Obviously, this happened this week to our Kaitlan Collins, right, who asked some questions about Putin and Cohen.
RYAN: Great questions.
BURNETT: And so then got banned from an event later in the day. The article goes on to say, Two reporters in particular have drawn the President's ire on multiple occasions, Jim Acosta, CNN Chief White House and April Ryan Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Networks and a CNN Contributor. Two people by name. You're one of them.
RYAN: Yes, I am. And I know Jim very well. And I've been doing this job for 21 years within the business over 30. This is my fourth President. This is not the first time that I've had an administration upset with me, but it's never been to this point.
I mean, you know, I remember Robert Gibbs went after me with something, you know, with Desiree Rogers, yes, with Obama. I've been asking questions, tough questions to Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now this President. And this is nothing new. Let's go back a year ago when I was in New Orleans, Louisiana receiving the Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalist for 2017.
That's weekend when Charlottesvilles happened, the Trump campaign put out that ad saying that these are the people, the media people who were trying to forward his agenda, trying to forward his agenda. I was just asking questions, I was the only White House Correspondent in that ad. The rest of them were people from host from CNN and what have you. I was the only one. This is not new.
There's a direct attempt to come after me, and that's why I've got my latest book upcoming about in September called "Under Fire". I'm telling you the story.
BURNETT: Final word to you, Frank.
BRUNI: If you are under fire from this President whether you're April Ryan and Jim Acosta, you're not doing something wrong. You're doing something right.
RYAN: Thank you.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. I appreciate it.
And next, all eyes on Michael Cohen, but will it be Trump's money, the money trail and his financial right-hand man who brings him down if that happens. Long-time former Trump attorney Jay Goldberg is my guest OUTFRONT, next.
And breaking news, the Chairman of CBS under fire tonight facing charges of sexual misconduct. That's Les Moonves you're looking at there. The reporter who just dropped this bombshell article, Pulitzer Prize winner Ronan Farrow is my guest this hour.
[19:27:38] BURNETT: New tonight, the top Democrat on a House Intelligence Committee warning President Trump could be in deep trouble if Michael Cohen's claim, according to sources, proves true that Trump knew in advance of Don Junior's meeting with Russians at Trump Tower. Here's Congressman Adam Schiff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: But effectively brings the issue of collusion or conspiracy right to the President's feet. It would be I think part of the -- certainly the conspiracy case that Bob Mueller is investigating. It might also be part of the obstruction case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now is Jay Goldberg, former long-time Attorney for Donald Trump. Now, you, Jay, back in April told me that Cohen would turn on Trump. You used that word very explicitly term because you said that he would lie to the Feds, tell them what they wanted to hear to avoid prison.
So, let's get straight to this news now. Sources telling CNN Cohen witnessed Don Jr. tell his father about this meeting with the Russians, including this Russian lawyer who says she was an informant for dirt on Hillary Clinton, tell him before the meeting. Trump, of course, has insisted, as you know, time and time again that he did not know. Who do you believe?
JAY GOLDBERG, PERSONAL FRIEND AND LONG-TIME ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it wasn't tape recorded and we know that he wasn't against tape recording things that he considers to be important. So it has to give Trump the benefit of the doubt because this was not recorded.
BURNETT: So, as you're saying, Cohen what -- as we've reported, he's got at least 100 tape. So you're saying --
GOLDBERG: That's right.
BURNETT: -- this would have been one of them.
GOLDBERG: This would be one of them. This was a very important point in the case or in the proceedings between Don Jr., the Russians, and knowledge on the part of the senior. So it would have been tape- recorded.
BURNETT: So Cohen, though, you know, obviously, he has said he'd take a bullet for Donald Trump.
BURNETT: The President used too speak very highly of Michael Cohen, and after the FBI raise, when the FBI went and got right these millions of 2documents, more than a million documents, and all these tape-recordings, all the stuff, when the President knew that all this stuff was now in the hands of the Feds, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani praised Michael Cohen. Let me play it for you, Jay.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: The man is an honest, honorable lawyer.
Michael is not going to lie. He's going to tell the truth. (END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLDBERG: Well --
BURNETT: Giuliani is saying believe Cohen.
GOLDBERG: When I was questioned by Donald as to whether to hire Giuliani, I was not in favor of Giuliani because I didn't see Giuliani knew how to handle a case from the defense perspective.
[19:30:14] He was a long-time prosecutor and he didn't know how to set a case up from the possible impeachment of a witness such as Cohen. Now, we don't know that Cohen would tell the truth. It's entirely likely that given precedent, a person who was in Cohen's position would tell the government what he believes the government wants to hear.
And for Giuliani to say that he'll tell the truth strips the defense of its main weapon of claiming that he is coloring his testimony to pay to the government so he can get a letter of cooperation.
BURNETT: So, obviously, you disagree with what Giuliani says there, because you're saying Trump is telling the truth and not Cohen.
GOLDBERG: I knew as soon as Giuliani spoke that he was damaging Trump's case immeasurably.
BURNETT: How bad could that be?
GOLDBERG: It ranks near a hundred in term of damage. And in other words, the testimony would be, you're claiming that Mr. Cohen is not telling the truth, (INAUDIBLE) on a certain day you said that Cohen would tell the truth, that he is an honorable person, and the jury would hear that. And that would be terribly damaging to someone who is trying to impeach the credibility of Cohen. It's -- no defense- oriented lawyer would say that.
BURNETT: So, have you told the president this now? I mean, obviously, you are saying you told him before, don't go this route. He did. This is what's happened. What are you telling him?
GOLDBERG: You know, I haven't said it. I don't rub in, and it's something to a wound, an open wound. I indicated to him at the outset the danger of Giuliani as a spokesman, as a witness with no experience in setting the case up in a defense posture.
BURNETT: Well, look, as we said, nobody looks good in this, OK? Because when it comes to payments --
BURNETT: -- everybody, by their own voices at this point, has lied at some point.
BURNETT: Congressman Denny Heck, Democrat, obviously had interviewed Michael Cohen as part of the intelligence, to the investigation.
BURNETT: He says he thinks President Trump and not Michael Cohen is the more desperate of the two legally right now. Here's what he just said a few moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DENNY HECK (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I don't think that Michael Cohen has tremendous incentive to lie at this point. He did before, but I don't think he does now. I think, in fact, what's happening is that the walls are closing in on President Trump. He knows it. And we're going to see increasing desperate rhetoric and behavior on his part.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLDBERG: I think he has a strong motive to favor (ph) what he thinks the prosecutor wants. He never wants --
BURNETT: Which in your view is a lie, I mean --
GOLDBERG: He never wants to see the inside of a jail, and he is counting on favoritism from the prosecution. Who looks bad in this case is Lanny Davis from releasing this material prematurely. The prosecutor is not going to take kindly to the release of these tapes early on, because the government would have surreptitiously tape- recorded Trump, but now Trump knows that Cohen has given the tape recording.
GOLDBERG: So, that weapon is gone from the prosecutor's arsenal.
BURNETT: Before we go, I want to ask you with Allen Weisselberg mentioned in the original, the recording that we have from Michael Cohen, right, about the payment to the playmate. Weisselberg, you know, some people said this is not going to be about the Trump Tower meeting. If anything happens here, it's going to be about a money trail.
BURNETT: Allen Weisselberg knows more about Donald Trump's money and payoffs whether it'd be the playmates, or for deals, or whatever it is than anyone else.
Is that true? GOLDBERG: It's true. I have known Allen in the context of his relationship to Donald for 20 years. He knows everything about Donald. Next to a family member, and perhaps even more than a family member, he knows everything about Donald. And in terms of the money trail, Donald can be hurt, I believe, a great deal by Allen Weisselberg.
Allen is an honorable guy. He is not own by anybody, and he will tell the truth.
BURNETT: All right. You sounded a lot like Rudy Giuliani there, talking about a person.
GOLDBERG: Yes --
BURNETT: Jay, thank you so much. I appreciate your time tonight.
GOLDBERG: And thank you.
BURNETT: And next, President Trump bragging about amazing economic growth today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These numbers are very, very sustainable. This isn't a one-time shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:35:01] BURNETT: Is that true?
And stunning charges alleging decades of sexual misconduct by the chairman of CBS. The report on Les Moonves out moments ago, and the reporter who broke the story, Ronan Farrow, is next.
BURNETT: Breaking news: "The New Yorker" tonight reporting serious and extremely disturbing allegations from six women who say they were sexually harassed and intimidated by the chairman and CEO of CBS, Les Moonves.
One woman, actress Illeana Douglas -- so, look, some of these people, a lot of courage here to go out by name. She is putting her name and her face on this. Known for her roles in "Goodfellas" and "Six Feet Under" which aired on HBO, describes one encounter with Moonves in his office this way, quote: in a millisecond, he's got one arm over me pinning me, she said. Moonves was violently kissing her, holding her down on the couch with her arms above her head.
Quote, what it feels like to have someone hold you down, you can't breathe. You can't move, she said. The physicality of it was horrendous. Now, these allegations, which Ronan so carefully goes through, against
Moonves, took place over a long period of time, between the 1980s and the late 2000s.
The reporter who broke it, Pulitzer Prize winner Ronan Farrow, is OUTFRONT with me now.
And, Ronan, thank you. I know you've had --
RONAN FARROW, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, NEW YORKER: A pleasure to be here.
BURNETT: I know you've had a crazy day getting this through. When you do reporting like this, you got to get people willing to put their names on it, you got to corroborate it all, you've got to get through lawyers. You've got to deal with the company that doesn't want it out there.
There was a pattern, though, that you found here. Harass and intimidate, and you go through example after example.
FARROW: And there are these -- as you say, very disturbing allegations against Les Moonves. I think what is so significant here, Erin, is you're dealing with both an individual who is at the top of his game, and on who many, many other powerful people depend or for their livelihoods --
FARROW: -- and also a corporation that is at the apex of our culture, that shapes our news, that shapes our fiction that we consume.
And as it turns out within this, in many facets of the company, and we're careful not to over generalize, but we do say that there are a string of examples manifested in litigation and complaints inside the company where people said this happened to me too. This wasn't just Les Moonves. It was a culture of protecting powerful people.
BURNETT: And, look, I want -- as I said, you go through many examples. Illeana Douglas's account that was part of it tonight, I found very disturbing and sort cringed, I had to stop reading for a couple of minutes when I read this. But I think it's important for viewers to hear it because this is what she's saying happened, and, by the way, as you say, she told people at the time, multiple people. So that is the corroboration.
FARROW: And there's also a paper trail in this case. She did secure a settlement from CBS.
FARROW: We talked about all of the back and forth about how explicitly that was about a sexual assault, as she alleges. The company says it was not about that, that she was fired for unrelated reasons, but other people involved, including her attorney at thee time and Marin Scorsese, who is her partner at the time, who referred her to that attorney. BURNETT: Right. And obviously, she told Martin Scorsese at the time, so obviously a name that everyone watching would know as well.
So, this is from your article and her account, Illeana Douglas, again, quote: She recalled lying limp and unresponsive beneath Moonves. You sort of black out, she told me. You think how long is this going to go on? I was just looking at this nice picture of his family and his kids. I couldn't get him off me.
She said it was only when Moonves aroused, pulled up her skirt and began to thrust against her that her fear overcame her paralysis. She told herself that said she had to do something to stop him. At that point, you're a trapped animal, she told me. This is you writing. Your life is flashing before your eyes.
That is really disturbing and disgusting. And what happened next?
FARROW: So, I think what's significant here is exactly as you are suggesting, not necessarily just these very disturbing details, but the fact that she says this seemed to be part of a pattern of retaliation. She alleges in this case that he backed her against a wall shortly after this encounter as she tried to leave.
BURNETT: Once she finally got up to leave.
FARROW: And said, you know, this has got to stay between us, and she was very frightened. But more significantly, she then gets fired not long after from the show that she's working on and from her overall deal with CBS. And there's a long narrative about the settlement that she secures, but her feeling was this was covered up, that she had few people to turn to, that everyone was telling her he is too powerful to confront, and that everyone else went on with their life.
But she had a career that suffered. Every woman in here tells a story that mirrors that component of it.
BURNETT: When you talk about CBS and as you point out, the difference between Les Moonves and Harvey Weinstein, obviously many details about the things are different, but in terms of where they are in their careers and a significance of CBS in the entertainment industry obviously right now, it is at the apex one could say, right?
FARROW: It's a very different prospect for us to confront these kinds of serious allegations when someone is to use that word at the apex.
BURNETT: So, Janet Jones, another person that you talk about here, trying to break into the industry as a writer, 1985. She meets with Moonves for a pitch meeting. He -- she comes in I guess later in the day, assistant lets her in but then the assistant turns (INAUDIBLE) and leaves. He gives her a glass of wine.
Suddenly, Jones told me he came around the corner at the table, threw himself on top of me. It was very fast. Moonves, she said, began trying to kiss her. Jones said that she struggled, and then shoved him away hard, yelling, what do you think you're doing? Moonves, appearing startled, got up, well, I was hitting on you, I wanted a kiss, she recalled him saying. That allegation is extremely powerful because that shows it was a pattern and a pattern perhaps of not great significance to him just how he did business.
FARROW: That was the feeling of several of these women that this seemed practiced. They all continued to fear retaliation. You know, Janet Jones, the writer, he just mentioned describes him calling her afterwards and threatening her and saying things that appear to be cliches to us, but obviously coming after a work meeting and after an alleged assault like this are very, very serious and frightening, like you're never going to work again.
And she and these other women were still frightened to come forward but said they were doing so because they wanted to expose what they feared was a culture of impunity that could protect other women if it's reversed.
BURNETT: So, Les Moonves, in some of these cases, has said, I remember an interaction. Obviously, he denies any sort of threats or retaliation.
BURNETT: He has put out a statement in response to your reporting. I want to read it.
FARROW: And this is in our story as well. I just want to point out.
BURNETT: Yes, you did include it.
[19:45:00] You didn't -- you're not trying to mask this at all. But I want to make sure we put it out there as well.
Throughout my time at CBS, this is from Les Moonves, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. I recognize there were time decades ago that I -- when I may have made someone uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely, but I always understood and respected, and abided by the principle that no means no, and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone's career.
So, this came out a few hours ago. You're going to start getting a whole lot of phone calls. And perhaps you already have from some people. This allegations go from mid-80s all the way through the 2000. Has this alleged behavior topped stopped to your knowledge?
FARROW: You know, I can only speak to the examples we report on, and you accurately describe the period that they're in. It's very important to us that CBS and Les Moonves have a very ample opportunity to engage in this, and their input is really reflected in here.
Look, I think you make an insightful point there. These are allegation says that are very, very heavily corroborated.
FARROW: The facts are on the side of these women, or it wouldn't be in print here. And they're back through paper trails and multiple witnesses and support. But you're right. Perspectives can vary, and sometimes a pattern of behavior can be less significant for the alleged assailant than for the alleged victims.
And I think that what was important here in the minds of these women was not taking down Les Moonves or the effect on Les Moonves. It was bringing light to these kinds of stories, which I think will resonate with women and men in so many industries.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Ronan, thank you very much. It's incredible piece of reporting. As you say, 8,000 words. Everyone, take your time. Read it. I have read it. I'm going to read it again and read it even more slowly because it's some really powerful work. And thank you so much.
FARROW: Thank you, Erin. Good to be here.
BURNETT: And next, the GDP report today was pretty darn great, but was it this great?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think it's going to be outstanding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And Jeanne Moos on Trump, caught on tape ordering up his personal obsession.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: Give me a Coke, please.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
[19:51:04] BURNETT: New tonight, a victory lap. President Trump touting the U.S. economy growing at a 4.1 percent, that's an annualized rate but it's a second quarter number. It is the strongest growth since 2014.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think the most important thing, and Larry Kudlow just confirmed to me along with Kevin Hastert that these numbers are very, very sustainable. This isn't a one-time shot. We've accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, the former senior economics adviser to the Trump campaign, Steve Moore, now and former White House adviser. So, Steve, the president making it very clear this is sustainable.
It's not a one-time shot. Some economists don't believe that. One of them, Greg Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford, says, quote, we believe Q2 will represent a growth boost as global growth moderates, inflation rises, the fed tightens monetary policy, and trade protectionism looms over the economy.
Is it possible that he sees something that the president is missing?
STEPHEN MOORE, FORMER SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISOR, 2016 TRUMP CAMPAIGN: You know, one of the things I've discovered since the last two and a half years that I've worked with Donald Trump on economic policy is he has this amazing capacity to prove all of these economists wrong. I remember during the campaign when he said we could grow 3, 4, 5 percent, and almost the entire economic faculty of Harvard and Yale and people like Larry Summers said it's impossible. I remember, they said stuff like secular stagnation. The economy can't grow faster than 2.
Now, look, I think there is no reason we can't get two, three, four, five years of 4 percent growth. It is true, by the way, Erin, that, you know, there are a couple of dark clouds on the horizon. One of them is a trade war, that would certainly hurt the American economy.
MOORE: I think we made some progress this week on that. The other is maybe where we're going to find the workers to keep this economy going. That's what I hear employers complaining about now. They want to expand, but they don't have the workers to do it.
BURNETT: And of course immigration point.
BURNETT: You know, you mentioned a trade war. I think that's really important because obviously taxes and what's happening with that is important. But the trade war first and foremost right now.
BURNETT: So, the administration is this $12 billion aid package that they're going give to farmers, primarily in the Midwest to, you know, try to make up for retaliatory tariffs China is putting on soy beans in response for Trump's tariffs.
BURNETT: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says this is not a bailout, not a bailout. That's insane talk. However, the Republican Congressman Jeff Hensarling, right, very conservative, fiscal hawk, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, says he is worried about a global trade war, and Mnuchin is dead wrong on the bailout issue.
Here he is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JEB HENSARLING (R-TX), CHAIRMAN, FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE: My dad was a farmer, my granddad was a farmer. We want trade, not aid. I believe this is still a bailout. It is a bailout from these policies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: I very rarely disagree with Jeb Hensarling. He is one of my best friends.
But, look, the way I see it is very simple. We've got a high-stakes showdown right now with China. We have to win this for the good of our economy and our security. And, Trump has basically said we're going to punish you unless you start behaving. China is now engaging in their own tariffs that are directed at trying to disrupt our elections, by the way. Where is the investigation on that?
And look, it's a very fair thing --
BURNETT: Steve, Steve, Steve, hold on. But he put tariffs on them so they retaliated.
MOORE: No, no, no, no. Look, with all due respect, Erin, that's not what happened. China has been stealing and cheating for 20 years, and we finally got serious about taking and punishing them for that. They should be punished. And so, now, they want to retaliate --
BURNETT: Via tariffs? Are you Steve Moore now for punishing via tariffs?
MOORE: I think we have to do whatever it takes to get China to stop -- look, they're stealing $300 billion a year from us. You think, Erin, we can just continue to allow that to go on year after year after year?
I mean, I think Trump is right to take very -- and, by the way, I think the American people are with him on this. China is a big problem.
[19:55:00] They -- it's very difficult for American companies to do business there. What we want to see is China to stand down and buy our stuff.
BURNETT: All right. Steve Moore, thank you very much. I think that you're right on one thing. Everybody would agree, we've got some big problems with China on trade. Thank you.
And next, Jeanne Moos on Trump asking for a Coke, even on the secret recordings.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: The price of a can of coke is on the rise, part of the fallout from Trump's aluminum tariffs. But that may not stop Trump from slugging down a dozen a day, as he once said.
Here is Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Talk about grasping at straws, have you heard the juiciest part of the Trump/Cohen tape?
TRUMP: Get me a coke, please.
MOOS: Incontrovertible evidence of a thirsty president.
TRUMP: Get me a coke, please.
MOOS: Living up to his reputation for daily consumption of --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twelve Diet Cokes, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's 144 ounces of president fuel.
MOOS: You'd be surprised how many commenters tweeted: my favorite part is when he quells get me a coke, please.
Others ranked it up there with mom, the meatloaf from wedding crashers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, mom, can we get some meatloaf?
MOOS: There were comparisons to JFK, my fellow Americans --
JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask --
TRUMP: Get me a Coke, please.
MOOS: But there was one thing that got the most comments, that even critics found pleasing.
Wow, he said please. He said please, must be a fake? Trump says please to the help? That's my president.
He hasn't always been complimentary about his favorite beverage, tweeting I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke, and I'll still keep drinking that garbage.
Jimmy Fallon once chronicled the president's behavior as he downed his daily dozen.
TRUMP: The American dream is dead. Bing bing, bing, bong and that. And God bless the United States.
MOOS: Now he has a red button on his Oval Office desk to push when he wants a Coke. But when he was a candidate, he actually had to speak. TRUMP: Get me a Coke, please.
MOOS: As one commenter noted, things, including hush money, go better with Coke.
COCA-COLA AD: Things go better with Coca-Cola
MOOS: Jeanne Moos --
TRUMP: Get me a coke, please.
MOOS: -- CNN, New York.
BURNETT: And thank you for joining us. Have a great weekend.
"ANDERSON" is next.