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Government Report: Climate Change could Cost U.S. Economy Hundreds of Billions of Dollars by End of Century; General Motors 15 percent of Salaried Workforce in North America; Roger Stone Associate Jerome Corsi Refuses Plea Deal. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired November 26, 2018 - 10:30   ET

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


[10:30:00]

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: The president said just last month, quote, "I don't want to lose millions and millions of jobs. I don't want to be put at a disadvantage," meaning America. I guess what would you like to see from the government, from the Trump administration right now, seeing that jobs and lives and the economy are at risk, if nothing happens?

JAMIE BEYER, V.P. MINNESOTA SOYBEAN GROWERS ASSOCIATION (via telephone): Well, especially in egg, we know that what's good for the planet also turns out to be good for our pocketbooks. So as we continue to make aggressive strides to reduce our carbon footprint, you know we're doing reduced pillage, green cover crops, drought tolerance varieties and using more efficient and precise equipment, family farms are likely to choose and make improvements every year in response to changing environmental conditions.

HARLOW: OK. Jamie Beyer, we wish you and all those you represent across the Midwest a lot of luck. Thanks for being here.

BEYER: Thank you.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: And coming up, will Robert Mueller Mueller's forthcoming report on Russian interference be devastating to the president? One of the president's most frequent and ardent defenders says, yes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:35:36] SCIUTTO: Happening today, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos is set to turn himself in to begin his 14-day prison sentence. It's all part of a plea deal. He negotiated with his lawyers for lying to federal investigators in the Russia investigation.

HARLOW: Shimon Prokupecz, our colleague and CNN crime and justice reporter is with us. So what's interesting, Shimon, here again he's headed to jail at any moment. He had asked the judge - this federal judge to pause his sentence. He did not succeed at that. Do you know why he wanted this and why the judge said no? SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes. So, basically it's because of a Roger Stone associate, who has been subpoenaed by Mueller. Now we've been hearing a lot about Roger Stone and where that investigation is. This associate of Roger Stone is suing the Mueller team essentially, trying to say that they have no authority to conduct this investigation. So, as a result of that, Papadopoulos was hoping and arguing to this judge that until that court makes a decision on whether Mueller has the authority, the court - he should be free. Essentially, he should wait out until that decision is made and once we have a decision on that, then he should be sentenced and then he should finally serve the two weeks that the judge had sentenced him.

Now what's interesting today is that his attorney now finally, Papadopoulos' attorney, has issued a statement this morning saying that they would not appeal this decision and that he essentially would go ahead and serve his sentence. The attorney saying, "Given the immense power of the Special Counsel's Office and the economic costs to Mr. Papadopoulos of continuing to fight, he will serve his sentence and hopes to move on with his life."

So for all intents and purposes, this point is over, Poppy and Jim. I'm sure it's not going to be the last that we hear of Papadopoulos. We expect that maybe he'll speak before he goes in to finally serve his sentence but I'm sure we will hear a lot more from Papadopoulos once he's even done serving his sentence.

SCIUTTO: He's certainly been tweeting a lot despite the fact that he issued a very effusive mea culpa at a sentencing.

PROKUPECZ: That's right.

SCIUTTO: He has been alleging a whole host of conspiracies and so on surrounding these charges.

HARLOW: All right, Shimon thanks. Appreciate it.

SCIUTTO: Joining us now, CNN legal analyst, Shan Wu. So, Shan, get a big picture here, right, because the Papadopoulos is going to go to prison for a couple of weeks here. But in the judge's rejection of Papadopoulos has challenge to his sentence was a larger message about how courts are handling this challenge to Robert Mueller's authority here, right, because you have the second case. But this judge, even though he's not the one hearing that case, he seemed to say, listen, that challenge to Mueller's authority isn't going to happen. You know, deal with it. I mean, is that effectively the message you got there?

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I think so. I mean from a strict, legal standpoint, I mean Papadopoulos did not have a leg to stand on. I mean his attorney's statement is just silly. They're not going to appeal. They don't have a right to appeal. He waived that when he agreed to plead guilty. But from a bigger picture standpoint as you're pointing out, I think if the judge saw a serious challenge or serious issue with Mueller's jurisdiction it might have given him some pause on that. And he clearly doesn't. That's been rejected a number of times, including Paul Manafort tried to make that attack. I don't think there's going to be any successful criticism of Mueller's jurisdiction. And for Papadopoulos, it's just too late in a day -- that's the sort of argument you need to make early, before you plead guilty.

HARLOW: Right. Good point. So, Shan, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff is going to get a whole - likely get a whole lot more power come January. He is expected to be the chairman of the house Intel Committee. He said that he expects that Democrats will try to bring in attorney general -- acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to testify about any actions he may be taking or considering involving the Mueller probe. My question to you is what would occur if that does happen and if he does come, be able to withhold from Congress regarding perhaps his conversations with the president, how much would you protected?

WU: He could certainly try to withhold those and he could argue a couple of bases for that. He could argue executive privilege, which we've heard a lot about. And he can also argue that it is law enforcement sense, meaning it could compromise certain law enforcement investigations going forward. Those are the kind of typical issues that he would rely upon. Executive privilege, of course, is a very murky area here. There has been case law which is upheld, aides gathering information in the Espy case, for example.

[10:40:00] But the problem is if he tries to assert that, it could be a rather protracted argument going on there particularly if they have to resort to the courts. I think in the Espy situation, the actual litigation dragged on for some 40 months. So that would be a very slow-going process. I'll be very curious whether those will be public hearings or private hearings, actually.

SCIUTTO: Shan, before we let you go, Alan Dershowitz, of course, renowned lawyer, often a very public supporter of the president and doubter about the Mueller inquiry. It's a mention to comments on ABC this weekend. He said that his view, the report is going to be devastating to the president. He was speaking from a political sense here. What's your read of those comments? This is someone who the president listens to, listens to his analysis there. What is he seeing and hearing, do you think, that will lead him to that assessment?

WU: You know I don't see that he has any legal basis for making that assessment. I mean he is in the dark as much as we all are because Mueller's folks have been very quiet. He may certainly be picking up on the worries that the president has about it. And I think any sort of organized presentation of what has been going on in terms of the inconsistencies, the guilty pleas in a normal political setting that is going to be very negative for the president. But this presidency is far from normal.

And I actually don't -- if that is all there's going to be to it, a bunch of criticisms, people have covered up small things, false statements, that not going to be a death blow to Trump because we pretty much all know that. I think what we're waiting for is to see, is there something substantive that really puts the blame on him knowing something about the Russian interference and then withholding that or telling people to withhold it? That's the real question.

SCIUTTO: And really it's always been a political question, right, because it will go to Congress -

HARLOW: Right.

SCIUTTO: -- that you can't indict a sitting president, et cetera. It's going to be a political judgement in the final analysis. Shan Wu thanks very much. Good to see you.

HARLOW: All right. So, they're elected to serve in Washington, to speak on behalf of their constituents. But you know when you look at how much members of Congress really represent the diversity within their districts it's not much, an interesting potential solution to that, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:46:37] HARLOW: All right. This is just in to CNN. General Motors the iconic American automaker is cutting staff and closing plants. CNN has just learned that General Motors will cut 15 percent of its salaried staff. They will shutter, close three plants in North America, two in the United States, one of them in Canada. Really significant and you know it's a bump in this otherwise strong economy.

SCIUTTO: It is. Listen, it's about little under one in six workers at GM. That is significant. And look at where these plants are. The one in Canada, in Ontario, Canada but the ones in the U.S., one in Detroit, Michigan, one in Warren, Ohio, two key swing states, ones that you know, a lot of workers in those communities have experienced in the past which shattering plants and lost jobs. And those have political consequences.

HARLOW: They do.

SCIUTTO: This is not insignificant news. We should note that GM stock on the New York Stock Exchange is currently halted so you won't see that necessarily reflected in the Dow at this point.

HARLOW: OK. We'll keep a close eye on this. We'll update you with more as soon as we have it. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:52:02] SCIUTTO: Welcome back. This news is just in to CNN. CNN has learned that Jerome Corsi who is associate of longtime Trump adviser, Roger Stone, who's been suspected, accused of being an intermediary between Stone and "WikiLeaks" on those stolen Hillary Clinton e-mails during the campaign, stolen by Russia. CNN is learning just now that he will not agree to a plea deal with the special counsel. Our Shimon Prokupecz, crime and justice reporter has been covering the story. Shimon, what can you tell us?

PROKUPECZ: Yes. So, you know, Jim, just keep in mind you know we're getting this from our colleague Sara Murray who just spoke to Jerome Corsi. But he did an interview this morning - Corsi did on a conservative outlet where he essentially says that he's not going to take the plea. They're offering him a one count plea to essentially lying. He tells our Sara Murray that they can put me in prison the rest of my life. I am not going to sign a lie.

Now what's interesting is in this interview that he did with - the conservative outlet. He says that he knew about the Podesta e-mails that Julian Assange was going to release just base off of his own work. Work that he had done in trying to figure this out, he claims he did not have any knowledge that Julian Assange had this e-mails but that he had done some work and he connected the dots. And through that, it's how he knew that Julian Assange had the Podesta e-mails. And obviously, this is a big part of the Mueller investigation, questions that he has been asking himself when he's appeared the special counsel about how he knew about these e-mails. That he communicate his knowledge of these e-mails to anyone particularly to Roger Stone and did Roger Stone then communicate knowledge of these e- mails to the campaign.

So that seems to be what the issue here is for Corsi, he's saying no way I am agreeing to any kind of a plea deal. So we'll see what happens. We'll see if the special counsel moves in to indict him, to arrest him now that he has refused any kind of plea agreement.

HARLOW: OK. Shimon stick around. Shan Wu back with us for the legal aspect on all of this. Look, Corsi said just las week, I believe that he - and he said this publicly, that he expected a potential to be indicted by Mueller's team for quote, "giving false information to the special counsel or to a grand duty. I find his comment stunning that Sara Murray got. They can put me in prison the rest of their - of my life. I'm not going to sign a lie. Shan, what do you think his calculation is here? If he'd be facing one count, if you know be indicted, found guilty on this. What would he be looking at in terms of potential prison sentence?

WU: Well, the statutory time for false statements, which I assume is what he's talking about, the 1001 violation is five years. And of course, if he has multiple ones that could quickly add up. If you run the guidelines ultimately, I don't think he'd be looking at that. He has no criminal history. Legally, though, I'm not sure where he's coming from on this because if it's true that he has been in, talking with the prosecutor for many, many hours, that leaves a defendant with absolutely no defense or nothing they don't already know.

[10:55:01] So the idea that he can mount the defense to it is just you know, completely without merit. I mean you could try to make an argument that all of these were sort of technical lies. I didn't really mean it. I'm trying to cultivate some sympathy with the jury but when it's false statements based on hours and hours of interviewing, based on documents, there's just very little you can do in terms of defending that. So I'm not sure where he's coming from on that.

SCIUTTO: And we should keep in mind relatively small player when you think of the others who have taken deals, Michael Cohen, among them Michael Flynn of course, Rick Gates who you represented as well. Shan Wu, Shimon Prokupecz thanks very much. loo k at those who have taken plea deals.

HARLOW: Thanks, gentlemen. So this just in to CNN, General Motors, the iconic American automaker is cutting jobs, a lot of them. They will cut 15 percent of their salaried workers. They're going to close down three plants in North America.

Alison Kosik is with us, Cristina Alesci is all over this story. And Cristina, let me just begin with you and then we'll get to the reaction from the stock, two Midwest big plants and one in Canada.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This is huge. And local press is estimating that this impacts about 5600 workers. This is an enormous restructuring, an enormous blow to President Trump's plan to bring manufacturing jobs back and it kind of confirms what every auto analyst has said for years, the global supply chain is here to say. It's cheaper to produce, in some cases, some cars overseas, especially in the growth markets when it comes to smaller vehicles.

SCIUTTO: That's interesting, though, it's 5,600. There was a time in America when 15 percent of General Motors workforce would be much larger in America, would it not?

ALESCI: Yes.

SCIUTTO: So this is in terms of 5,600 in a country of 330 million people with 3.7 percent unemployment, how significant is it?

ALESCI: It's very significant especially because all economics and all economy is local. And when you look at Ohio, it's really the center of Trump country, especially where this plant is located. Detroit, again, you know an area that was hoping to see domestic manufacturing really bolster the local economy. But just to put that into perspective, you know we're still sorting out the numbers. This is new news. That 15 percent, we're not exactly sure what that refers to if it's referring to workers or executives because the only official numbers that GM put out there was really trying to highlight the reduction in the executive ranks. The 5,600 number I'm pulling from local reports of how many workers may be impacted by this.

SCIUTTO: It's salaried staff there.

ALESCI: Exactly. They're really highlighting like hey it's not just you know impacting the average person but we're taking some, you know, executives out in this restructuring as well. GM is saying this will free up $6 billion of cash flow. That is a lot of money. That means the company needs that money. More importantly, one thing I noticed in the release was talk of reducing capital expenditures. That's investment.

HARLOW: Yes.

ALESCI: And this is something that President Trump and all of his economic advisers wanted to see go up. That was the purpose for these tax cuts. And now you have a company, one of the major automakers saying they're reducing capital expenditures.

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: Such a good point, such a good point. When you look at indicators of where this economy is going, I think Jim and I are watching things and concerned that we talked about this because it's been a bull run for so long, longer than historically we see. But this is an indicator.

ALESCI: That's right.

HARLOW: This is an indicator when you look at the depression we've seen in some auto sales for months now. Interest rates are rising. It makes those loans more expensive for cars. What does it tell us big picture, Cristina?

ALESCI: You're absolutely right. This is where the rubber meets the road.

HARLOW: Literally?

ALESCI: Yes. We start to see the cracks in the economy. This is what the stock market has been telling us all year. We are on track to have the worst stock market return since 2009.

HARLOW: For the year.

ALESCI: Yes.

HARLOW: Interesting.

ALESCI: That means that the stock market sees something about the economy going forward and that is a slowdown and this is what we're seeing today, impacting average people. This is not going to play well for Trump. That's why he's going to do everything possible to distract from the economy, to distract from this. So look for more boogie men on the border, in the media and other places.

SCIUTTO: And we should note -- it is five plants, actually. You've got three assembly plants, one of those in Canada, two in the U.S. and then two propulsion plants -

ALESCI: propulsion plants, right.

SCIUTTO: those in Maryland and Michigan.

HARLOW: Yes, that's five.

SCIUTTO: You can't underestimate Michigan and Ohio, two swing states.

HARLOW: It's a good point, five. Let's just correct that. Closing five plants in North America, one in Canada, looks like four of them here in Maryland, Michigan as well. Quickly, if the president points to interest rates rising as the driver of this, if he does, he hasn't been happy with interest rates rising. They do affect auto loans. Is that the whole story here?

ALESCI: It's not the whole story. Look, there have been several economists who have said now is not the time to rise but at the same time the fed really does has justification to raise interest rates at this point.

HARLOW: OK. Thank you.

ALESCI: Of course.

SCIUTTO: Cristina Alesci thanks very much. It's certainly a story we're going to keep on top of.

HARLOW: Thanks for being with us today. We'll see you back here tomorrow morning.

[10:30:00]

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: -- economic interest and the president said just last month, quote, "I don't want to lose millions and millions of jobs. I don't want to be put at a disadvantage," meaning America. I guess what would you like to see from the government, from the Trump administration right now, seeing that jobs and lives and the economy are at risk, if nothing happens?

JAMIE BEYER, V.P. MINNESOTA SOYBEAN GROWERS ASSOCIATION (via telephone): Well, especially in egg, we know that what's good for the planet also turns out to be good for our pocketbooks. So as we continue to make aggressive strides to reduce our carbon footprint, you know we're doing reduced pillage, green cover crops, drought tolerance varieties and using more efficient and precise equipment, family farms are likely to choose and make improvements every year in response to changing environmental conditions.

HARLOW: OK. Jamie Beyer, we wish you and all those you represent across the Midwest a lot of luck. Thanks for being here.

BEYER: Thank you. JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: And coming up, will Robert Mueller Mueller's forthcoming report on Russian interference be devastating to the president? One of the president's most frequent and ardent defenders says, yes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:35:36] SCIUTTO: Happening today, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos is set to turn himself in to begin his 14-day prison sentence. It's all part of a plea deal. He negotiated with his lawyers for lying to federal investigators in the Russia investigation.

HARLOW: Shimon Prokupecz, our colleague and CNN crime and justice reporter is with us. So what's interesting, Shimon, here again he's headed to jail at any moment. He had asked the judge - this federal judge to pause his sentence. He did not succeed at that. Do you know why he wanted this and why the judge said no?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes. So, basically it's because of a Roger Stone associate, who has been subpoenaed by Mueller. Now we've been hearing a lot about Roger Stone and where that investigation is. This associate of Roger Stone is suing the Mueller team essentially, trying to say that they have no authority to conduct this investigation. So, as a result of that, Papadopoulos was hoping and arguing to this judge that until that court makes a decision on whether Mueller has the authority, the court - he should be free. Essentially, he should wait out until that decision is made and once we have a decision on that, then he should be sentenced and then he should finally serve the two weeks that the judge had sentenced him.

Now what's interesting today is that his attorney now finally, Papadopoulos' attorney, has issued a statement this morning saying that they would not appeal this decision and that he essentially would go ahead and serve his sentence. The attorney saying, "Given the immense power of the Special Counsel's Office and the economic costs to Mr. Papadopoulos of continuing to fight, he will serve his sentence and hopes to move on with his life."

So for all intents and purposes, this point is over, Poppy and Jim. I'm sure it's not going to be the last that we hear of Papadopoulos. We expect that maybe he'll speak before he goes in to finally serve his sentence but I'm sure we will hear a lot more from Papadopoulos once he's even done serving his sentence.

SCIUTTO: He's certainly been tweeting a lot despite the fact that he issued a very effusive mea culpa at a sentencing.

PROKUPECZ: That's right.

SCIUTTO: He has been alleging a whole host of conspiracies and so on surrounding these charges.

HARLOW: All right, Shimon thanks. Appreciate it.

SCIUTTO: Joining us now, CNN legal analyst, Shan Wu. So, Shan, get a big picture here, right, because the Papadopoulos is going to go to prison for a couple of weeks here. But in the judge's rejection of Papadopoulos has challenge to his sentence was a larger message about how courts are handling this challenge to Robert Mueller's authority here, right, because you have the second case. But this judge, even though he's not the one hearing that case, he seemed to say, listen, that challenge to Mueller's authority isn't going to happen. You know, deal with it. I mean, is that effectively the message you got there?

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I think so. I mean from a strict, legal standpoint, I mean Papadopoulos did not have a leg to stand on. I mean his attorney's statement is just silly. They're not going to appeal. They don't have a right to appeal. He waived that when he agreed to plead guilty. But from a bigger picture standpoint as you're pointing out, I think if the judge saw a serious challenge or serious issue with Mueller's jurisdiction it might have given him some pause on that. And he clearly doesn't. That's been rejected a number of times, including Paul Manafort tried to make that attack. I don't think there's going to be any successful criticism of Mueller's jurisdiction. And for Papadopoulos, it's just too late in a day -- that's the sort of argument you need to make early, before you plead guilty.

HARLOW: Right. Good point. So, Shan, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff is going to get a whole - likely get a whole lot more power come January. He is expected to be the chairman of the house Intel Committee. He said that he expects that Democrats will try to bring in attorney general -- acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to testify about any actions he may be taking or considering involving the Mueller probe. My question to you is what would occur if that does happen and if he does come, be able to withhold from Congress regarding perhaps his conversations with the president, how much would you protected?

WU: He could certainly try to withhold those and he could argue a couple of bases for that. He could argue executive privilege, which we've heard a lot about. And he can also argue that it is law enforcement sense, meaning it could compromise certain law enforcement investigations going forward. Those are the kind of typical issues that he would rely upon. Executive privilege, of course, is a very murky area here. There has been case law which is upheld, aides gathering information in the Espy case, for example.

[10:40:00] But the problem is if he tries to assert that, it could be a rather protracted argument going on there particularly if they have to resort to the courts. I think in the Espy situation, the actual litigation dragged on for some 40 months. So that would be a very slow-going process. I'll be very curious whether those will be public hearings or private hearings, actually.

SCIUTTO: Shan, before we let you go, Alan Dershowitz, of course, renowned lawyer, often a very public supporter of the president and doubter about the Mueller inquiry. It's a mention to comments on ABC this weekend. He said that his view, the report is going to be devastating to the president. He was speaking from a political sense here. What's your read of those comments? This is someone who the president listens to, listens to his analysis there. What is he seeing and hearing, do you think, that will lead him to that assessment?

WU: You know I don't see that he has any legal basis for making that assessment. I mean he is in the dark as much as we all are because Mueller's folks have been very quiet. He may certainly be picking up on the worries that the president has about it. And I think any sort of organized presentation of what has been going on in terms of the inconsistencies, the guilty pleas in a normal political setting that is going to be very negative for the president. But this presidency is far from normal.

And I actually don't -- if that is all there's going to be to it, a bunch of criticisms, people have covered up small things, false statements, that not going to be a death blow to Trump because we pretty much all know that. I think what we're waiting for is to see, is there something substantive that really puts the blame on him knowing something about the Russian interference and then withholding that or telling people to withhold it? That's the real question.

SCIUTTO: And really it's always been a political question, right, because it will go to Congress -

HARLOW: Right.

SCIUTTO: -- that you can't indict a sitting president, et cetera. It's going to be a political judgement in the final analysis. Shan Wu thanks very much. Good to see you.

HARLOW: All right. So, they're elected to serve in Washington, to speak on behalf of their constituents. But you know when you look at how much members of Congress really represent the diversity within their districts it's not much, an interesting potential solution to that, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:46:37] HARLOW: All right. This is just in to CNN. General Motors the iconic American automaker is cutting staff and closing plants. CNN has just learned that General Motors will cut 15 percent of its salaried staff. They will shutter, close three plants in North America, two in the United States, one of them in Canada. Really significant and you know it's a bump in this otherwise strong economy.

SCIUTTO: It is. Listen, it's about little under one in six workers at GM. That is significant. And look at where these plants are. The one in Canada, in Ontario, Canada but the ones in the U.S., one in Detroit, Michigan, one in Warren, Ohio, two key swing states, ones that you know, a lot of workers in those communities have experienced in the past which shattering plants and lost jobs. And those have political consequences.

HARLOW: They do.

SCIUTTO: This is not insignificant news. We should note that GM stock on the New York Stock Exchange is currently halted so you won't see that necessarily reflected in the Dow at this point.

HARLOW: OK. We'll keep a close eye on this. We'll update you with more as soon as we have it. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:52:02] SCIUTTO: Welcome back. This news is just in to CNN. CNN has learned that Jerome Corsi who is associate of longtime Trump adviser, Roger Stone, who's been suspected, accused of being an intermediary between Stone and "WikiLeaks" on those stolen Hillary Clinton e-mails during the campaign, stolen by Russia. CNN is learning just now that he will not agree to a plea deal with the special counsel. Our Shimon Prokupecz, crime and justice reporter has been covering the story. Shimon, what can you tell us?

PROKUPECZ: Yes. So, you know, Jim, just keep in mind you know we're getting this from our colleague Sara Murray who just spoke to Jerome Corsi. But he did an interview this morning - Corsi did on a conservative outlet where he essentially says that he's not going to take the plea. They're offering him a one count plea to essentially lying. He tells our Sara Murray that they can put me in prison the rest of my life. I am not going to sign a lie.

Now what's interesting is in this interview that he did with - the conservative outlet. He says that he knew about the Podesta e-mails that Julian Assange was going to release just base off of his own work. Work that he had done in trying to figure this out, he claims he did not have any knowledge that Julian Assange had this e-mails but that he had done some work and he connected the dots. And through that, it's how he knew that Julian Assange had the Podesta e-mails. And obviously, this is a big part of the Mueller investigation, questions that he has been asking himself when he's appeared the special counsel about how he knew about these e-mails. That he communicate his knowledge of these e-mails to anyone particularly to Roger Stone and did Roger Stone then communicate knowledge of these e- mails to the campaign.

So that seems to be what the issue here is for Corsi, he's saying no way I am agreeing to any kind of a plea deal. So we'll see what happens. We'll see if the special counsel moves in to indict him, to arrest him now that he has refused any kind of plea agreement.

HARLOW: OK. Shimon stick around. Shan Wu back with us for the legal aspect on all of this. Look, Corsi said just las week, I believe that he - and he said this publicly, that he expected a potential to be indicted by Mueller's team for quote, "giving false information to the special counsel or to a grand duty. I find his comment stunning that Sara Murray got. They can put me in prison the rest of their - of my life. I'm not going to sign a lie. Shan, what do you think his calculation is here? If he'd be facing one count, if you know be indicted, found guilty on this. What would he be looking at in terms of potential prison sentence?

WU: Well, the statutory time for false statements, which I assume is what he's talking about, the 1001 violation is five years. And of course, if he has multiple ones that could quickly add up. If you run the guidelines ultimately, I don't think he'd be looking at that. He has no criminal history. Legally, though, I'm not sure where he's coming from on this because if it's true that he has been in, talking with the prosecutor for many, many hours, that leaves a defendant with absolutely no defense or nothing they don't already know.

[10:55:01] So the idea that he can mount the defense to it is just you know, completely without merit. I mean you could try to make an argument that all of these were sort of technical lies. I didn't really mean it. I'm trying to cultivate some sympathy with the jury but when it's false statements based on hours and hours of interviewing, based on documents, there's just very little you can do in terms of defending that. So I'm not sure where he's coming from on that.

SCIUTTO: And we should keep in mind relatively small player when you think of the others who have taken deals, Michael Cohen, among them Michael Flynn of course, Rick Gates who you represented as well. Shan Wu, Shimon Prokupecz thanks very much. loo k at those who have taken plea deals.

HARLOW: Thanks, gentlemen.

So this just in to CNN, General Motors, the iconic American automaker is cutting jobs, a lot of them. They will cut 15 percent of their salaried workers. They're going to close down three plants in North America.

Alison Kosik is with us, Cristina Alesci is all over this story. And Cristina, let me just begin with you and then we'll get to the reaction from the stock, two Midwest big plants and one in Canada.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This is huge. And local press is estimating that this impacts about 5600 workers. This is an enormous restructuring, an enormous blow to President Trump's plan to bring manufacturing jobs back and it kind of confirms what every auto analyst has said for years, the global supply chain is here to say. It's cheaper to produce, in some cases, some cars overseas, especially in the growth markets when it comes to smaller vehicles.

SCIUTTO: That's interesting, though, it's 5,600. There was a time in America when 15 percent of General Motors workforce would be much larger in America, would it not?

ALESCI: Yes.

SCIUTTO: So this is in terms of 5,600 in a country of 330 million people with 3.7 percent unemployment, how significant is it?

ALESCI: It's very significant especially because all economics and all economy is local. And when you look at Ohio, it's really the center of Trump country, especially where this plant is located. Detroit, again, you know an area that was hoping to see domestic manufacturing really bolster the local economy. But just to put that into perspective, you know we're still sorting out the numbers. This is new news. That 15 percent, we're not exactly sure what that refers to if it's referring to workers or executives because the only official numbers that GM put out there was really trying to highlight the reduction in the executive ranks. The 5,600 number I'm pulling from local reports of how many workers may be impacted by this. SCIUTTO: It's salaried staff there.

ALESCI: Exactly. They're really highlighting like hey it's not just you know impacting the average person but we're taking some, you know, executives out in this restructuring as well. GM is saying this will free up $6 billion of cash flow. That is a lot of money. That means the company needs that money. More importantly, one thing I noticed in the release was talk of reducing capital expenditures. That's investment.

HARLOW: Yes.

ALESCI: And this is something that President Trump and all of his economic advisers wanted to see go up. That was the purpose for these tax cuts. And now you have a company, one of the major automakers saying they're reducing capital expenditures.

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: Such a good point, such a good point. When you look at indicators of where this economy is going, I think Jim and I are watching things and concerned that we talked about this because it's been a bull run for so long, longer than historically we see. But this is an indicator.

ALESCI: That's right.

HARLOW: This is an indicator when you look at the depression we've seen in some auto sales for months now. Interest rates are rising. It makes those loans more expensive for cars. What does it tell us big picture, Cristina?

ALESCI: You're absolutely right. This is where the rubber meets the road.

HARLOW: Literally?

ALESCI: Yes. We start to see the cracks in the economy. This is what the stock market has been telling us all year. We are on track to have the worst stock market return since 2009.

HARLOW: For the year.

ALESCI: Yes.

HARLOW: Interesting.

ALESCI: That means that the stock market sees something about the economy going forward and that is a slowdown and this is what we're seeing today, impacting average people. This is not going to play well for Trump. That's why he's going to do everything possible to distract from the economy, to distract from this. So look for more boogie men on the border, in the media and other places.

SCIUTTO: And we should note -- it is five plants, actually. You've got three assembly plants, one of those in Canada, two in the U.S. and then two propulsion plants -

ALESCI: propulsion plants, right.

SCIUTTO: those in Maryland and Michigan.

HARLOW: Yes, that's five.

SCIUTTO: You can't underestimate Michigan and Ohio, two swing states.

HARLOW: It's a good point, five. Let's just correct that. Closing five plants in North America, one in Canada, looks like four of them here in Maryland, Michigan as well. Quickly, if the president points to interest rates rising as the driver of this, if he does, he hasn't been happy with interest rates rising. They do affect auto loans. Is that the whole story here?

ALESCI: It's not the whole story. Look, there have been several economists who have said now is not the time to rise but at the same time the fed really does has justification to raise interest rates at this point.

HARLOW: OK. Thank you.

ALESCI: Of course.

SCIUTTO: Cristina Alesci thanks very much. It's certainly a story we're going to keep on top of.

HARLOW: Thanks for being with us today. We'll see you back here tomorrow morning.