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CUOMO PRIME TIME
Giuliani Contradicted 18 Months of "No Collusion;" Trump Pulls Pelosi's Military Plane before War Zone Trip; Cardi B's Shutdown Rant Goes Viral; Cardi B Blasts Trump Over Government Shutdown. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired January 17, 2019 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The news continues I want to hand it over to Chris for Cuomo Prime Time. Chris.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "CUOMO PRIME TIME": Thank you Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to Prime Time.
Big news. The President said good-bye to there was no collusion by anyone with Russia. We now know his legal team only contests the idea that the President did anything criminal. Not people around him. Not the campaign. Question, could the President really not know what the people around him were up to?
And we're learning more about why his lawyer clings so tightly to the idea that if it ain't a felony, it ain't a problem. More proof of wrong doing that may not be a crime but sure ain't acceptable.
Michael Cohen implicating the President again, this time in a scheme to rig polls in Trump's favor. This as we learn the President actually parroted a Putin talking point to the U.S. media to defend Russia from interference claims. And the President apparently didn't like the State of the Union snub by Pelosi so he cancelled her trip abroad minutes before take off today. Does any of this change the shutdown politics? That's our great debate. What do you say? Let's get after it.
All right, you saw it here in real time, I hope on Cuomo Prime Time, the answer to the central question of Donald Trump's presidency now consists entirely of all I know is, it wasn't me. Everyone else around him, his family, his campaign, here comes the bus.
Now how we got here matters. We have gone from Hope Hicks, remember he, saying it never happened, now that was false. Sarah Sanders couched it with, "to the best of our knowledge." That was false. Then Don Jr. tried, "but no information changed hands." Well that's unknown to us. Then Rudy Giuliani said collusion isn't a crime. Probably not unless we're talking about securities law but the President is likely not going to jail and knowing about collusion could sure add to an impeachment argument.
Now if information was passed, they said it doesn't matter because they didn't use it. That's hard to believe. He also insists it was just the coffee boy. You know, nobody major in the campaign. Then there's the man at the top, the President kept saying this to you over and over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's no collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians.
There's no collusions between myself and my campaign.
There has been no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian.
There was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: That's why my face went from this to this when Rudy said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL LAWYER: I never said there was no collusion between the campaign. Or between people in the campaign --
CUOMO: Yes, you have.
GIULIANI: I have no idea -- I have not. I said the President of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the President of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Look, here's the fact. It's not just about him. It's not just about crimes and Rudy Giuliani knows that better than I do. But don't let his position as a lawyer fool you. This isn't a legal argument. Rudy is too smart to prepare a legal defense on TV. His job is to protect his one client, President Donald J. Trump. So you saw was Rudy circling the wagons to protect his client with the only jury that they believe will matter, Trump's political base, but the idea that only crimes count and that this probe is way outside of its mandate those both need to be tested because they're both need to be tested because they're both demonstrably false and I'll demonstrate that right now. Mueller was ordered to look into, "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump. You don't see the word crime because it isn't there. Individuals associated with the campaign means, you know, the 16 trumpers most of all the campaign main man, Manafort, we know they all met with Russian. Now, that's a lot of links and/or coordination.
Now, Rudy is right, one face you don't see here is the President but what did he know about Flynn, Manafort, and all the others close to him, do you lie about that. And is for this argument too far? Listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: They have gotten so beyond their scope that it's absurd.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Have they? What is the scope? The scope of the jurisdiction of the special counsel is clear, a special counsel shall also include the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence and intimidation of witnesses. Perjury or lying. Mueller charged lots of folks with that. Witness intimidation and obstruction, which Rudy said nobody has obstructed the investigation. Both Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik are accused of that.
[21:05:03] Destruction of evidence, the only report we have that goes there is Trump taking the interpreter's notes. The special counsel has charged 36 people on 192 counts with 7 guilty pleas and four prison sentences. Keep that in mind when Rudy says the only crime here is the DNC hack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: There is not a single bit of evidence the President of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: All right, for all the razzle dazzle, let's just stay clear. If we find out the President knew about what Manafort or his son or Flynn or others were doing and lied about it, he has a political problem that could get ugly fast. There was another point that Rudy Giuliani brought up last night and that you on the right are banging on about today that there must be nothing to the question of POTUS being compromise by Russia and here is why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: The truth about that is that if you're doing a counterintelligence investigation and you find any evidence of breach of national security, you've got to follow up on it. You can't refer it to a prosecutor because you have to quickly report that to people in authority so that they can protect America against the national security breach. They found no such breach. None.
CUOMO: All right. Look --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Now we went at it about this and then I said, look, I accept your point. Here's why. Rudy is right if you think about the rules when he was one of the highest ranking members of the Justice Department. There was a big demarcation. It wouldn't have transferred that case but the Patriot Act and 911 Act, they changed a lot of the ways that that works. Mueller's order say, the special counsel is supposed to pick up the investigation that Comey told the House Intel Committee about. So the question is did Comey tell the House there was a counter intelligence investigation? And the answer is yes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FORM FBI DIRECTOR: I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Links, coordination. All right, so they're supposed to look at it. Let's clear that to the side. And just one more piece of proof that it doesn't have to be a crime to be wrong, all right, reports just today that the President spoke to Putin and then echoed his defense of why Russia didn't do any interfering directly to U.S. media. That stinks and could loom large in the only court the President is likely to face. That of public opinion.
So does the are facts, what do they mean in the scope of the probe? We'll bring in Cuomo's Court in session, next.
[21:11:34] CUOMO: The latest Trump defense is this was never about whether anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. It's always been about whether the President himself colluded in a way that amounts to a crime or so his lawyer would have you believe. But what about what the President knew about what all of these other people in his campaign and elsewhere were doing? What will Mueller do with all of this?
Let's discuss, boy the right great guests for you in Cuomo's Court, Asha Rangappa and Michael Zeldin. Real life experience and exactly these matters. Thank you. Thank you.
So what stuck out to you in terms of, did you perceive a change last night in terms of the legal disposition of the President's team?
ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL & NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, after my head spun around three times. You know, look, what I heard with him essentially conceding that there could be collusion or there was collusion in the campaign which not only contradicts everything that he has been saying but we've been hearing for the last year and a half that the Mueller investigation was a witch hunt. And what he's gone is he's vindicated the core purpose of the investigation. And remember that investigation was later expanded and Rod Rosenstein authorized that. They'd -- That was a complaint also, looks like there was a basis.
And then finally, if you remember, spygate (ph), the whole idea that there was no reason to go into the campaign, if they are conceding that there was a reason to believe that members of the campaign were colluding with Russia, clearly the FBI had a basis to use a non- intrusive tactic which is to use source to discover more information about what Russia might be up to.
CUOMO: Now, I've been very hard, Michael, on saying don't get stuck on this, it's got to be a crime for it to be wrong basis because if it comes into whether politicians want to act on it, high crime and misdemeanor means as Gerald Ford taught us, whatever Congress thinks it means. But you say I shouldn't surrender so quickly. That we don't know that there weren't any crimes even going up to the President himself. Why you're confidence?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I'm not confidence that there were crimes. I'm just confident that we don't know whether there were crimes. Giuliani said, the only crime the President could commit is if he conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC. That's just not true. There are whole host of campaign finance coordination crimes that he have committed. He could have done accessory after the fact. Aiding and abetting crimes. After the hack he could obstructed justice, interview with witnesses.
So there's a host of things that are available to prosecutors. So all I'm saying is when Giuliani says there's one and only one crime that the President of the United States can commit, is just not correct.
RANGAPPA: And I just want to add in there. I think that that's also a distraction because we know that one of the crimes that has been charged against the Russians was a social media disinformation campaign and Manafort's passing of internal private polling data would most likely be relevant to that, if anything. And as you know, Chris, if you facilitate any part of that operation which is a conspiracy to defraud the United States even in the social media disinformation campaign that would still be a crime also.
CUOMO: The bad information there or the bad fact for the President side of ledger is that when the Senate Intel did some digging the places and faces that the campaign were targeting seemed to be very similar to the ones that the Russian trolls work.
CUOMO: How did they get that information? Was it a consequence or was it the fruit of the polling data that Manafort somehow got to them? And then there's something else that is going away against the President's favor in the analysis. He didn't know anything. All right. Well, lets assume what would have he done if he did know, Michael? OK, because that's one of the basis of analysis.
[21:15:11] We're always talking about Mueller. The man you work with and what would he do, would he really act this way? You know in people like you come forward, not this guy, this guy is an integrity maven, he would have.
The President has shown time and again how susceptible he is to bad actors and bad acts, whether it's the payments to the women. What Michael Cohen revealed today, that they were paying off somebody to fix polls? That he would meet with Putin and be secretive about it and parrot Putin's talking points about why they didn't interfere. That shows a susceptibility to somebody who might hear that you're up to no good and they're OK with it.
ZELDIN: And also it means to me that it's pretty hard to imagine that the President was just totally in the dark about what was going on around him. His son Don Junior said once of his father, my father is a very hands-on manager. He knows --
CUOMO: Everybody says that.
ZELDIN: He knows these things. And so that then has to be measured against the -- you know, sort of defies credulity to think that he didn't know about the Trump Tower meeting. He didn't have anything to do with the writing of the false exculpatory statement by Don Junior after the meeting and he didn't know about the internal polling data on and on and on.
And that puts him in a very difficult position. I think it was Clark Clipper (ph), who once said when he was under investigation the BCCI. They put me in the position of either being a criminal or a fool. And I think that that's where Donald Trump finds himself and Giuliani isn't helping him.
CUOMO: So ultimately what do you see as exposure here? Because I'm not sold on this, it's got to be a crime. It's going to wind up being in the court of public opinion, Asha. We're going to wind up relying on polls that we never have before. You know, what percentage of the American people believe that what is in the Mueller report, you know, and we'll start breaking it down, this is going to be really thick, you know my assumption is. We're going to be watching polls. What's the exposure?
RANGAPPA: I think the exposure here is really the national security risk versus whether the President committed a crime. He is sitting in the Oval Office right now. We know that the FBI was worried and had a basis to believe that there may be a relationship with Russia and they open an investigation.
Here's the thing, Chris, if they were trying to suss out whether he was, in fact, a risk that would have likely have been what's called a preliminary investigation which would have been -- which could have lasted no longer than six months. At that point they needed reasonable factual basis to keep it going. So nobody is asking was that investigation ever closed? Because if it wasn't then we know that there was something serious there and if it was --
CUOMO: Was that answered by what Comey said to Congress which is we opened a counter intelligence investigation into any possible links including into the President? And that was part of the mandate of transfer in the special council formation document from Rosenstein. Is that the answer?
ZELDIN: Yes, absolutely. What Comey said on March 20 which you played before we got on air was this was a counter intelligence investigation and it involved collusion and coordination, et cetera. Also we learned from the New York Times in that story that said that the FBI was looking at the President as a possible asset that they also believed that it was a criminal investigation worth opening.
And so they opened simultaneously a criminal and counter intelligence investigation and that's what Rosenstein gave to Mueller to investigate and that's what he is investigating and then we'll see in his report whether he determines the President to have committed a crime but he's unindictable because of the OLC opinion and/or whether he believes that he engaged in such corrosive actions that it warns the efforts of the Congress to look at it from a high crimes and misdemeanor for each of those --
CUOMO: I'll tell you what --
ZELDIN: -- offenses.
CUOMO: -- playing out the strategy, I don't know why the President does things like pushing to relieve the sanctions on one of the guys that they're looking at in the Russian probe and why he takes the interpreters notes and why he's being so secretive about Putin. Why would he do these things if he's only worried about the politics of perception and not crimes?
ZELDIN: And there was a great piece in wired magazine about exactly that hoping if you will that the President is an asset because otherwise we're in a terrible situation because he's such a, you know, playable player.
CUOMO: Bad or worse. Asha, thank you so much.
RANGAPPA: Thank you.
CUOMO: Brother Zeldin, I appreciate it.
ZELDIN: Thank you.
CUOMO: All right. So the President may have gotten a key talking point on Russian interference from Putin himself. This is straight under the category of you can't make it up. Why parrot and protect the Moscow meddler? There's a lot of alliteration but this man can take it on. Mike Rogers, next.
[21:23:02] CUOMO: The President's lawyer insists there is no proof the President is or could be compromised by Russia. But we just learned, the President did reportedly talk to Putin and then parrot his talking points defending Russia directly to the press more than once.
Let's bring in Mike Rogers on this. In fact, not only did he parrot it and wind up becoming the official position of the administration. Have you ever heard of anything like that?
MIKE ROGERS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY COMMENTATOR: Well, no, frankly, no. The fact that the President went back to old soviet talking points on Afghanistan was a head scratcher, certainly for me. And it -- again, it's just something that just doesn't smell right about this whole thing. I don't believe that the President was an agent of the Russians, I just don't. But all of these facts, certainly mean that there's some lack of judgment happening somewhere in his organization. And maybe it is inside the White House-- the Oval Office.
CUOMO: I mean, look, I've always been with you step for step in terms of -- look, it can't be. It can't be. It's got to be that he's just hyper defensive. It's got to be that he just doesn't trust other people but Mike, the consistency of the weirdness with this, taking the interpreters notes, not telling his own staffers about what happens with Putin, that yuck, yuck session with Lavrov in the Oval Office, only letting Putin's guys be at a meeting. I mean, this -- we have never ever seen this type of pondering to Putin anywhere. And they can cite the Obama sound byte of him saying to Medvedev, I can be more helpful after the election all they want. It does not size up to this not a by long shot.
ROGERS: Yes, I mean, I was upset by that comment. I'm certainly upset when Obama said that to Medvedev but I'm equally concerned about the policy that I see today because it's completely consistent with what defense and intelligence services know about the activities of the Russians including targeting the United States and their allies. That's what's so frustrating to me, about this is the fact that they keep looking for permission to do something different with Putin.
[21:25:08] And here, I mean, Chris, here is the thing, if the President really said, "Hey, listen I know he's a bad guy. I know he's doing bad things. I want to cut a deal for the betterment of national security for the United States on x, on missiles, on fill in the blank," that's one thing.
CUOMO: 100 percent.
ROGERS: But we don't seem to be getting to that policy side. We still -- we were still in this notion that we're just going to continue to defend that bad practices and I'll tell you, I'm doing more than our President.
By they way, they did do some really important things when he took office Trump did. Arming the Ukrainians and doing some other things and of sanctions in place, that was all really good but the policy seems to have stopped dead in it's tracks and you have this weird narrative coming out of the --
ROGERS: -- administration not just, again, for me, it defies logic. And I will tell you, there's an old saying in the FBI, when you're talking with fraudsters and liars and criminals, listen to what they don't say. That'll tell you a lot. And so, when I think people are going to start to do is go back and say what isn't he say? Why isn't he saying we're going to push back on Putin? Why isn't he saying Putin is doing some bad things? That worries me that he hasn't gotten to that point. CUOMO: That's why I'm chasing the President on Steve King not to digress. Let me ask you about Rudy Giuliani's interview last night. Would you take away from it because the reason I came to you on bended knee, they begging you to come on the show is because this is going to be a political process, Mike. That's what it's going to come down to. I don't see a prosecution of the President in the court system. So, what struck you last night?
ROGERS: He was preparing, I think, for a political fight of impeachment. That's what I saw yesterday. He separated the President away from his campaign in a way he hasn't done before. And by the way, Rudy Giuliani is a smart lawyer.
CUOMO: Yes, he is.
ROGERS: I don't think anyone ought to walk away think the guy is doesn't know what heck he's doing. He's separating the President from the campaign, but what's interesting about that is that all -- there's a lot of people on that camp -- including his family --
ROGERS: -- who have had engagements with the Russians. So, this is going to be an interesting play here legally as they move forward and what we know is that there were contacts with the Russians.
Now, we don't know and, I mean, I think there's a lot of wiggle room here if they were going to -- if the administration was going to come back and say, hey, this is a bunch of who we had one bad guy. Manafort was a bad guy who had dealings with the Russians, got himself in financial difficulty starting in about 2014 was committing bank fraud as fast--
ROGERS: -- as he can print up the paperwork. You know, was he selling information to the Russians? Was he acting as an agent to the Russians? That's a question that I'd certainly want to know but I do think that's why Mueller pulled a stop on any notion that he was going to be a good witness for the prosecution and say we should put this guy in jail. I think --
ROGERS: -- there's a lot more to that story.
CUOMO: Yes -- No, no. I think there's a good reason for that suspicion. And look, you've been in the business a long time. You know what Paul Manafort is, and you know that they did when they hired him. So, the idea of we didn't know any of the stuff, you know, if you know, if you know Paul Manafort. You know his past and you know what he's done to make his money. And the idea that the President -- because Manafort didn't do all of these things by himself. So --
ROGERS: Right. CUOMO: -- who knew and how did the President not know? That may not lead you to any criminal analysis but it sure can lead you to a lot of stinky water that could mean something in a political analysis.
ROGERS: Well, no doubt. It gets back to that fundamental question. Were they providing this information? Poll numbers for the purpose of targeting of certain areas by a foreign power or foreign influence. Well, that's a whole different matter.
CUOMO: Why did they campaign? And the Russians target the same places and phases.
ROGERS: I'll tell you. That's a whole different matter and the FBI, Chris, we would call that a clue, right? So they're going to start looking at this and say, all right. If we're going to tear this apart, we have to understand were that's the coordination piece that, I think, that they could prove in that the campaign was working with him. If, in fact, even supplying those poll numbers were to say, hey in this day we're a little weaker than we are and in this state it would be really nice if you could do something about propping up these numbers in this state. If, you know, we're -- and that's all completely 100 percent speculation.
But, there's a pattern here that would lead you to believe somebody in that campaign either for their own self-service financially or for the benefit of the campaign was engaging in conversations with the Russians for something of value. And it even goes back to -- when Flynn who was talking to the Russians, and remember everybody that you all put on that chart with there's, you know, all of the people who have been interviewed by the investigation or indicted or have pled guilty, all of them have told the wrong story on Russia and that's why they're getting -- finding themselves in trouble with the law.
I mean, something is going on here. Again, I still haven't seen anything, Chris, that would tell me, the President is an agent of a foreign power --
ROGERS: -- but there is a lot of information here that I know that Mueller and his team are kind of sifting through. And I bet we're going to see a lot in that report and I think what you saw with Giuliani, was that he was preparing for that report. That report is probably going to be a little more damning than they are saying it was and now what Giuliani coming out that kind of confirms to me that there's probably -- they know what's coming in that report.
[21:30:10] CUOMO: Right.
ROGERS: And that's could be troublesome.
CUOMO: And one thing, you know, you said, what they don't say. One of the things that nobody picked up in the media today, Rudy was talking last night about how long it's has been since they heard from the Mueller folks on the Trump legal team. Silence is not golden when it comes to that kind of dialogue. Mike Rogers, I'll take you ten times out of ten. Thank you so much.
ROGERS: Thanks very much.
CUOMO: For helping my audience tonight, I appreciate it.
ROGERS: Appreciate it Chris, thanks.
CUOMO: So what happened today in the shutdown show? The President grounded the house speaker's jet cancelling her trip. Why? Because she snubbed him on the State of the Union. Petty politics while people suffer in the shutdown. Who must own this and how do we solve it? Great debate, next.
CUOMO: Trump's move to deny Pelosi of military plane for her trip to the war zone at the last minute. Pelsoi's public request for Trump postpone the State of the Union, tit for tat as nearly 1 million Americans are still facing financial strain. How does this help. What will help? Great debate.
Jennifer Granholm and David Urban. Do we agree on the tit for tat and that it's not helping anybody?
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I agree, Chris.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I would say --
CUOMO: So Dave is with me, how about you?
[21:35:02] GRANHOLM: I agree somewhat, Chris. I think that --
URBAN: Oh come on Governor, it's easy.
CUOMO: Hold on, what do you got?
GRANHOLM: Let me just finish what I'm saying.
CUOMO: Go ahead, go ahead. What do you got?
GRANHOLM: To say that it's -- to say that it's equal I think is wrong because I do believe --
URBAN: Right, what she did was way worse, what she did was way worse.
CUOMO: Hold on, let her make the case. Go ahead.
GRANHOLM: No what -- the point that I am making is that this both sidesism suggests the Democrats and Trump are equally to blame and that's not true because Democrats have voted nine times to open the government and Mitch McConnell will not take that up. And, let me just say, one other fact that has -- I think has been lost in all of this which is Trump himself asked in his budget for 2019 for $1.6 billion for the wall and the Democrats said OK, we'll give you 1.6 billion for border security, for bollard fencing, et cetera, and he said no. So they have been willing to do this. They have offered numerous --
URBAN: No, they haven't, Governor.
GRANHOLM: -- we have 14 different -- yes, he say had 14 difference approaches to this and --
URBAN: Governor, Governor, Governor, OK, listen --
GRANHOLM: -- he has said, no.
URBAN: Governor, if they were serious, if the Speaker was serious she would stand up in front of the American public, it say I'll give the President exactly one dollar for the wall. She would show up when the Vice President invites her and her colleague to come to the White House and negotiate, she send staff, you're not serious. You are not serious --
GRANHOLM: She was in the White House.
URBAN: If you said staff --
GRANHOLM: Come on--
URBAN: No, she wasn't Governor. She did not show up. She snubbed the Vice President.
GRANHOLM: They said they would give him $1.6 billion for border security and that's --
URBAN: Governor, you know as well --
GRANHOLM: -- what he asked for in his budget and he said no.
URBAN: Listen, the budget is a working -- the budget is a working document. The President asked for $5 billion. Listen we know --
GRANHOLM: No, no, initially he asked for 1.6.
URBAN: -- this is not about policy. Listen, we know this not about policy --
GRANHOLM: We know it's about his campaign promise --
URBAN: -- because we know that Democrats --
GRANHOLM: -- that he wasn't able to keep.
URBAN: No, listen we know.
GRANHOLM: And --
URBAN: We know that Democrats have agreed for a fence wall, call it whatever you like on the southern border on numerous times. Lots of high profile Democrats have voted for it, have spoken out for it.
CUOMO: Right. URBAN: But when President Trump asks for it, all of a sudden it becomes an anathema. We can't find the money. We're going to shutdown the government.
GRANHOLM: I'm telling you.
URBAN: That's what the real saying right here.
CUOMO: All right, so hold on. So let's establish the fact. Jennifer, your right. Let me help you out here. And just to clarify, I wasn't saying both sidesism I know the left has been jumping on me today, the right it's been jumping on me. How about it, that's why I live so many weights.
What I'm saying is these cheap tricks that span over this State of the Union, the pull and plain at the last second, its cheap theater (ph), we don't need it on either side. I'm not saying the shutdown --
CUOMO: -- is equal because the President --
URBAN: So they should shut up and negotiate it.
CUOMO: The President told the American people I own this shutdown. They -- he owns it. And Jennifer is right --
URBAN: It's pretty clear Chris, he does.
CUOMO: They offered him 25 billion for the wall first, right? Over five years. He said yes, then he said no. Then they made another offer to him to give him what he wants and an exchange for DACA, he said yes then he said no. Now you guys say they're not offering a dollar because Pelosi let say bungled the talking points but she is giving 1.3 plus for physical barriers. So they're not just giving one.
GRANHOLM: There's one other thing Chris --
CUOMO: Hold on, one at a time.
GRANHOLM: There's one other thing --
CUOMO: Go ahead. Dave, respond to me, and the Jen get in. Go ahead.
URBAN: No, no, I was going to say, listen the President could request what he likes. And --
CUOMO: But don't say to respond --
URBAN: This shutdown. No, Chris, they offered a billion dollars, right? The President wants more.
CUOMO: That's fine. So negotiate it. Don't shutdown the government. See, that's my problem.
URBAN: I agree, negotiate, you can't negotiate, Chris, you can't negotiate if the Speaker doesn't show up to negotiations. You can't negotiate with someone I'll give you a buck.
GRANHOLM: That's ridiculous.
CUOMO: She didn't but she's giving you 1.3. Go ahead Jen.
GRANHOLM: There's a really --
URBAN: OK 1.3, Chris.
GRANHOLM: -- important fact here was that Congress has appropriated in the past two years $1.7 billion --
GRANHOLM: -- for border security and there 680 million of it that is left unspent. So spent that money to --
URBAN: Governor, I guarantee you that money is obligated to being spent.
GRANHOLM: No, it is not, it is not obligated. It is not obligated. It is one -- 60% of the $1.7 billion is obligated.
GRANHOLM: But 40% is not, $680 million.
CUOMO: Right, so let's say you right, Jen --
GRANHOLM: $680 million.
CUOMO: Let say Jen is right, just for the sake of argument. We know what this is about.
CUOMO: The President promised a farcical wall. He sold people on the idea that he was going to build something --
URBAN: Not farcical Chris.
CUOMO: -- yes, yes, because he was exaggerating what it was always and Mexico was never going to pay for it, but you guys conveniently forget that part. And he said I'm going to build this big concrete wall all the way across and we'll finally be safe from the brown menace. So he needs the big price tag of $5 plus billion to justify that big promise. That's what this is about, Dave. URBAN: No Chris, it's not a big -- you know, it's about building several hundred miles of fencing along our southern border to secure the border. Listen, do you not think the way that in this country has the right to secure its border?
[21:40:02] CUOMO: Of course it does.
URBAN: That's what it cost Chris.
CUOMO: But Dave, you don't think the law is a panacea to the problems on the border do you?
URBAN: No, I do not.
CUOMO: Not a wall away.
URBAN: No, Chris, I don't. And that --
CUOMO: So why spend all the money on that?
URBAN: Oh I don't think it's a panacea, Chris. They're not spending all the money on that, Chris. They're asking for money for other things as well --
CUOMO: I know that the 5 billion is the biggest chunk.
URBAN: -- for technology. Chris, well, there's hundreds of millions of dollars for technology, for beds, for more agents, for more judges.
URBAN: They're not saying -- the media fixated --
CUOMO: His priorities are upside down. He never mentioned any of those points. And you're right to mention them, Dave. Thank you for doing that. Because they want those things more than --
URBAN: Chris, the border is a large -- is large --
URBAN: Listen, it is large and it is porous. And to think -- listen, I agree, most of the folks that are coming on the southern border are -- they're coming here for economic reasons. They're fleeing terrible conditions in their countries --
URBAN: But listen, do not think, do not think that there aren't people coming across the southern border who harbor ill will to this country.
CUOMO: Nobody would say otherwise if they know the facts.
CUOMO: Here's the thing. And let me go to Jennifer.
URBAN: And so, Chris, Chris, do you think -- no, let me just -- Chris, one quick point, do you or the governor think that it is OK to have a porous border. I don't think you do.
CUOMO: Nobody does but it's about priorities.
GRANHOLM: Nobody is saying that.
CUOMO: And, Jen, you said the last time you were on the show, if you're worried about illegal drugs give them the infrastructure at the ports of entry to catch the cars that are binging the bulk of it across. The bulk of it being --
URBAN: I agree.
CUOMO: -- a description of DHS. But that's not what they're arguing about. So where do you think this goes from here, Jen?
GRANHOLM: Well, here's what I would say is that this is a terrible precedent to suggest that Democrats should cave to a hostage taker and the hostages of course are 800,000 people.
And I'm not kidding you. If the President had stood up and said I'm not going to open the government until I fund this priority, this priority being like let's put guns in all schools to arm teachers and the Democrats said no --
URBAN: This is about 2020.
GRANHOLM: -- then we'll be back at it. Why do we want to continue to incentivize --
URBAN: This is about Speaker Pelosi.
GRANHOLM: -- bad behavior. No it is about bad politics.
URBAN: She is fearful.
GRANHOLM: And she's not kind of fond of bad policy.
URBAN: She is fearful.
GRANHOLM: She is not fearful. I think she's in the driver's seat.
URBAN: She feared the left wing more than she fears --
CUOMO: Oh come one, Dave. The whole reason we're in this situation is because of the President's fear of the far, far right side of his. That's why -- URBAN: That's wrong, Chris.
CUOMO: But, Dave, look, I'll tell you what --
URBAN: No, that's wrong.
CUOMO: Dave, you argued compellingly tonight. Always happy to have you on the show. Jennifer Granholm same to you.
URBAN: Thanks for having me.
CUOMO: Both of the made the show better. Take care.
All right. So who's going to step up and get people to demand an end to the shutdown? A big shot from the left? From the right? How about a voice that carries more weight with Americans than all the politicians put together. I guarantee you know who she is. Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar, right? Oh, I'm sorry. I mean Cardi B. Here's a taste.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARDI B., RAPPER: This [ bleep ] is crazy. Like our country is in a hellhole right now. All for a [ bleep ] wall. And we really need to take this serious -- I feel like we need to take some action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Who is going to listen to her? Twelve million views and counting on Instagram. Could she be an echo of the people demanding change? Next.
[21:47:05] CUOMO: Can you believe we're almost a month into this damn shutdown? So we are looking for voices that are going to somehow spark a change. Cardi B. is all riled up and she's put out a call to action. Here it is with a lot of beeps.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARDI B.: Trump is now ordering, as in summonsing, federal government workers to go back to work without getting paid. I know a lot of you all don't care because you all don't work for the government, or you all probably don't even have a job, but this is [ bleep ] really [ bleep ] serious, bro. This is [ bleep ] crazy. Like, our country is in a hellhole right now, all for a [ bleep ] wall. And we need to really take this serious -- I feel like we need to take some action. I don't know what type of action [ bleep ], because this is not what I do. But [ bleep ] I'm scared.
This is crazy. And I really feel bad for these people that got to go to [ bleep ] work to not get [ bleep ] paid.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: No, let's bring in D. Lemon. I told people before the break, nearly 12 million views. Now, here's the thing. Here's why I wanted to do this tonight. Now some people say who cares what she says? She's a singer, an idiot. I don't care about her. She doesn't know about anything.
Hold on. This is about caring about people who are in a bad way. The people who are being affected by the shutdown. And it's not going to be politicians that drum up the outrage. It's going to be regular people and you get somebody who identifies with people like Cardi B. She could start people thinking about something that they're not thinking about right now. And if people get loud and proud about, hey, stop the shutdown, we're against it, politicians act out of fear of consequence more often then conscience.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: But why wouldn't people care about what she had to say?
CUOMO: I'm saying that's cynical view, I care.
LEMON: Well --
CUOMO: That's why she's on my show.
LEMON: Well, that was rhetoric.
LEMON: What I'm saying is she started as a reality TV star, right? She has 40 to 50 million followers on social media, on Instagram. She's on love and hip hop and she put out a mix tape and then she became an Instagram star and now she's probably the number one -- the most popular music star in the world right now.
CUOMO: Well, it's in my house. My 8-year-old sings her stuff all the time.
LEMON: It's all about Cardi B. Oh yes. And she's saying I don't dance now I make money moves. If you see me and I don't speak, that's because I don't you know what with you, right?
So that's Cardi B. from the Bronx. Of course you should care about --
CUOMO: The Boogie Down Bronx.
LEMON: The Boogie Down Bronx. Of course you should care about what she says because she's speaking for a lot of people. And, listen, I'm going to go out and I was going to say, I may not agree with her language. That's not necessarily the language that I would use on television, maybe in person, I might use some of that. She is absolutely right. This is ridiculous. If you are being summoned to work without pay, what is the synonym for that?
CUOMO: And for no good reason.
LEMON: For no -- what kind of people pay -- work without being paid? Either you're an indentured servant or you're a slave, right? That's what's happening right now.
CUOMO: So I'm just saying the voice of outrage can often be the voice of reason.
[21:50:02] LEMON: Yes.
CUOMO: And it's going to be regular people. I know she's now a regular people. I know she's a big celebrity, but what I'm saying is who knows. It should be those kinds of voices that could spark people to care.
LEMON: But she is -- she's real regular and then people who know what I'm talking about.
LEMON: The people who know what I'm saying, she's real regular.
LEMON: She understands what's going on. As a matter of fact, she's going to be on the show tonight. I'm kidding. She's not going to be on the show.
CUOMO: I would have actually watched if that were true. All right, let me talk to you after the show.
LEMON: Good-bye. See you.
CUOMO: Yes, I'll see you in a second. See my neck moves, my neck's getting better finally.
All right, so when we come back we're going to talk a little bit about what we've -- the big thing. The President only a crime, he never knew. Then what's going on with him and his confounding mimicry of Putin? The denial of election interference that the Trump administration took wound up mimicking Vladimir Putin's. What does that mean? What can it mean? I'll make the argument to you next.
[21:55:15] CUOMO: His lawyer says the President is fine as long as he didn't commit a crime. Maybe, if we're talking about a possible prosecution. My argument is what if we're not at trial? What if we're talking about the standard for judgment for an impeachment? Then it's about what makes enough lawmakers to feel the President has violated his oath of office that he should be removed.
High crimes and misdemeanors is not a legal standard. It comes down to what they want to do, and that would likely be a reflection of what they hear from you and what we tell them about how you feel about it. Remember politicians are more likely to act out of fear of consequence than out of good conscious.
So now we're not just talking about crimes. We're talking about things that are wrong like lying to you about things that matter again and again. Not a crime, if not under oath or to a federal agent, but pretty damn wrong. What if he knew about Manafort in what could turn out to be his coordinating with bad Russians? What if he knew about the Trump Tower meeting and of course lied to you about those things every chance he got?
Now, would he do that? Well, we know he would lie about a lot of things including pay offs. Tonight, the same agent of that deception, Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer says the President also directed him to pay an outfit to fix polls to boost his status pre- campaign. We also learned that he's not only OK talking to Putin and not letting anyone else know what they talked about, but that he will parrot Putin's defense against election interference to U.S. meeting and make it his own.
Now, this is likely not a crime but it's all kinds of wrong. Here's the timeline. So he meet with Putin in July. The next day, the President calls "The New York Times" reporter and CNN political national security analyst David Sanger from Air Force One, wanting to describe his first encounter with Putin.
Now, this is from David Sanger's book, right? Here's the quote. "Trump had asked if he was involved in election meddling, he said. Putin denied it and said if we did, we wouldn't have gotten caught because we're professionals. Trump told me he believed that explanation. I thought that was a good point because they're some of the best in the world, he said."
Now, remember the President likely doesn't know anything about who is good at what when it comes to espionage as he rarely pays attention to briefings and he certainly didn't come into the job as an expert although he may thinks he is. But what he is doing is just accepting Putin's opinion. He then talks to more media and hides that Putin told him these things.
A few days later in July Trump does an interview with Reuters and says somebody -- now, by somebody he's referring to Putin not say his intel chips. "Somebody did say if he did do it, you wouldn't have found out about it. Which is very interesting point." And then a week and a half after that Anthony Scaramucci who would just been appointed White House Coms director said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR: Somebody said to me yesterday, I won't tell you who, that if the Russians actually hacked this situation and spilled out those e-mails, you would have never seen it. You would have never had any evidence of them.
I don't know who this anonymous person is that said if the Russians had actually done it we wouldn't have been able to detect it. But it is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about it was the President.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: Way to keep secret. Big surprise. It only took 16 days for Putin's defense to become the position of the Trump administration. You know what it reminds me of? This.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: From everything I see has no respect for this person.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, that's because he'd rather have a puppet as president of the United States.
TRUMP: No puppet.
CLINTON: And that it's pretty clear --
TRUMP: You're the puppet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: I don't know. No puppet, no puppet. If not a puppet maybe his parrot. The President doesn't have to commit a crime to do you wrong. And do you wrong in ways that could well jeopardize his position and there could still be much more wrongdoing to learn about.
Here is the key consideration. If he doesn't want to be perceived as being in the pocket of Putin, why does he keep sending signals that he is? I'm not saying that he's some asset or agent, Manchurian candidate, anything like that. We have no basis for that type of suggestion. But he talks to the President again and again, won't let people know, doesn't want to share it, takes notes from an interpreter.
There's a probe going on that's targeting certain of these oligarchs as they're called and he now wants to relieve sanctions on one of them and keeps fighting to do so. Why? Why would you take Putin's word for why he didn't interfere. Why would such a savvy smart man do that? As Mike Rogers said and many others, something smells weird. It doesn't have to be a crime to be wrong.
Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT WITH D. LEMON" starts right now.
LEMON: I were in -- I really want to meet with Chris right now and then close the door, I don't want anybody to --
CUOMO: What does that mean?
LEMON: You don't want anybody --