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INSIDE POLITICS

Cohen Testifies Before Congress; Interview with John Dean; Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired February 27, 2019 - 12:00   ET

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


[12:00:00] MICHAEL COHEN, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FORMER LAWYER: I did so that you don't have to take my word for it. I don't want you to. I want you to look at the documents and I want you to make your own decision.

REP. STEPHEN LYNCH (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I need my last (INAUDIBLE).

COHEN: Sorry, sir.

LYNCH: That's OK.

Let me just say, I don't think my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are afraid that you're going to lie. I think they're afraid you're going to tell the truth.

COHEN: Thank you, sir.

LYNCH: I yield back the balance of my time.

CUMMINGS: Thank you very much. Mr. Gosar.

GOSAR: The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: I appreciate the gentleman for yielding. I just want to respond to Mr. Lynch. I want you think about this. When have you ever seen a federal agency where this has happened? James Comey, Director fired. Andy McCabe, Deputy Directory, fired, lied three times under oath, under investigation right as we speak. Jim Baker, FBI Counsel demoted then left, currently under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Connecticut. Lisa Page, demoted then left. Peter Strzok, Deputy Head of Counter Intelligence, demoted then fired. That's what happened. That's what we're concerned about and today we actually asked for Rod Rosenstein. Oh by the way, we now know three people have told us Rod Rosenstein actually was contemplating using the 25th Amendment to remove the guy from presidency who the American people put there. And we asked for him to be a witness today and the Chairman said no. and instead we get 30 minutes from a guy who is going to prison - going to prison in two months for lying to Congress.

Mr. Cohen, I got two quick questions before I yield back to my colleague. Mr. Hice asked you who all you've talked to. You said you talked to - you spoke to Mr. Schiff. Obviously you spoke to Mr. Cummings. You've been - you're going in front of both committees. You're here today; you're going to be in front of Mr. Schiff's committee tomorrow. Have you spoken to Chairman Nadler or anyone on his staff or have any of your attorneys spoken to Chairman Nadler?

COHEN: I don't know about my attorneys. I have not spoken to...

JORDAN: You don't know if your attorneys have...

COHEN: ... I have not spoken to Congressman Nadler and I am not aware...

JORDAN: You think your...

COHEN: ... sir, I'm not aware if my attorneys - I can ask them.

JORDAN: You can turn around and ask them.

COHEN: The answer, sir, is no.

JORDAN: OK. And you said at this present time, Mr. Davis is not getting paid. Is that - are you anticipating him receiving some kind of compensation in the future?

COHEN: When I start to earn a living...

JORDAN: He's going to wait three years? Wow.

COHEN: The answer - the answer is yes.

JORDAN: That's a first. I've never known a lawyer who would wait three years to get paid.

COHEN: I guess he thinks it's important.

JORDAN: All right. With that I yield to the gentleman from Arizona.

GOSAR: Well thank you. Mr. Cohen, you know you're a disgraced lawyer. I mean you've been disbarred. And so I'm sure you remember - well maybe you don't remember duty of loyalty, duty of confidentiality, attorney-client privilege. I think the gentleman over your right side actually understands that very, very well and wouldn't do what you are doing here today.

So let's go back at this credibility. You want us to make sure that we think of you as a real philanthropic icon, that you're about justice, that you're the person that someone would call at 3:00 in the morning. No they wouldn't; not at all.

When you saw Mr. Cohen we'll (ph) dissect you. Right in front of this committee you conflicted your testimony, sir. You're a pathological liar. You don't know truth from falsehood.

COHEN: Sir, I'm sorry. Are you referring to me or the president?

GOSAR: This is my time. Hey, this is my time.

COHEN: Are you referring to me or the president?

GOSAR: When I ask you - when I ask you a question, I'll ask for an answer.

COHEN: Sure.

GOSAR: Now are you familiar with Rule 35 of the Federal Rules and Criminal Procedures?

COHEN: I am now.

GOSAR: Oh. Well the committee understands that you've been in contact with the Southern District of New York. Is that true?

COHEN: I am in constant with the Southern District of New York regarding ongoing investigations.

GOSAR: And part of that application is to reduce sentencing time, is it not?

COHEN: Yes, there is a possibility...

GOSAR: Yes, the answer is yes.

COHEN: No it's not, sir.

GOSAR: Yes it is.

COHEN: OK, it's not.

GOSAR: So testimony here could actually help you out in getting your sentence lessened. Isn't that true?

COHEN: I'm not really sure how my appearance here today is providing substantial information that the Southern District can use for the creation of a case. Now, if there is something that this group can do for me, I would gladly welcome it.

GOSAR: Well, I -- I -- I got to tell you, you know, America's watching you. I've been getting texts right and left saying how can anybody listen to this pathological person. He's got a problem. He doesn't know fact from fiction. And that's what's sad here, is that you didn't do this for Donald Trump -- to protect Donald Trump.

You did it for you. This is all -- no, this is all about you. This is all about this Twitter feed and -- no, let me read one of those (ph). Here's another one (ph). Women who love and support Michael Cohen, strong, pit bull, sex symbol, non -- no nonsense, business oriented, and ready to make a difference ...

(CROSSTALK)

COHEN: One thousand followers.

GOSAR: ... you added a (inaudible) -- ready to make a difference against the law. That's pretty sad. You know, over and over again, you know, we wanted to have trust. It's built on the premise that we're truthful, that we come forward.

[12:05:00]

But there's no truth with you whatsoever. That's why that's important to you. Look up here and look at the old adage that our moms taught us, liar -- liar pants on fire. No one should ever listen to you, and to give you credibility. It's sad. It's sad that we have come -- in fact, I want to quote the Chairman's very words. This is a real -- hold on.

CUMMINGS: The gentleman's time has expired.

GOSAR: Sad state.

CUMMINGS: The gentleman's time has expired. Who's next? Mr. Cooper.

COOPER: Mr. Cohen, several times in your testimony you state the bad things that you did for Mr. Trump. And at some point you apparently changed your course of action. There's a recurring refrain in your testimony that says, and yet I continued to work for him. But at some point you changed. What was the breaking point at which you decided to start telling the truth?

COHEN: There's several factors; Helsinki, Charlottesville, watching the daily destruction of our civility to one another, putting up silly things like this.

UNKNOWN: Oh, that's silly (ph).

COHEN: Really unbecoming of Congress. It's that sort of behavior that I'm responsible for. I'm responsible for your silliness because I did the same thing that you're doing now, for 10 years. I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years.

And the fact that you pull up a news article that has no value to it, and you want to use that as the premise for discrediting me. That I'm not the person that people called a 3 o'clock in the morning would make you inaccurate. In actuality, it would make you a liar, which puts you into the same position that I am in. And I can only warn people, the more people that follow Mr. Trump, as I did, blindly, are going to suffer the same consequences that I'm suffering.

COOPER: What warning would you give young people who are tempted, as you were? Would you encourage them not to wait 10 years to see the light? What advice would you give young people, in particular, young lawyers so they do not abuse their bar license, as you did?

COHEN: Look at what's happened to me. I had a wonderful life. I have a beautiful wife. I have two amazing children. And I achieved financial success by the age of 39. I didn't go to work for Mr. Trump because I had to. I went to work for him because I wanted to. And I've lost it all. So if I'm not a picture perfect -- that's the picture that should be up there.

If I'm not a picture perfect example of what not to do, that's the example that I'm trying to set for my children. You make mistakes in life, and I've owned them, and I've taken responsibility for them. And I'm paying a huge price, as is my family. So if that, in and of itself, isn't enough to dissuade somebody from acting in the callus manner that I did, I'm not sure that that person has any -- any chance, very much like I'm in right now.

COOPER: A recurring theme in your testimony is concern for your family's safety. What, specifically, are you most concerned about?

COHEN: Well, the president, unlike my Cohen for Trump that has 1,000 followers, he's got over 60 million people. And when Mr. Trump turned around early in the campaign and said, "I can shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away with it." I want to be very clear, he's not joking. He's telling you the truth.

You don't know him. I do. I sat next to this man for 10 years, and I watched his back. I'm the one who started the campaign. And I'm the one who continued, in 2015, to promote him. So many things that I thought that he can do that are just great. And he can, and he is doing things that are great.

But this destruction of our civility to one another is just -- it's out of control. And when he goes on Twitter, and he starts bringing in my in-laws, my parents, my wife, what does he think is going to happen?

He's causing -- he's sending out the same message, that the can do whatever he wants. This is his country. He's becoming an autocrat. And hopefully something bad will happen to me, or my children, or my wife so that I will not be here and testify. That's what his hope was. It was to intimidate me. And again, I thanked everybody who joined, and said that this is just not right.

COOPER: Have you ever seen Mr. Trump personally threaten people with physical harm?

COHEN: No. He would use others.

COOPER: He would hire other people to do that?

COHEN: I'm not so sure that he had to hire them. They were already working there. Everybody's job at the Trump Organization is to protect Mr. Trump. Everyday, most of us knew we were coming in, and we were going to lie for him on something. And that became the norm. And that's exactly what's happening right now in -- in this country. And it's exactly what's happening here in government, sir.

COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My time has expired.

CUMMINGS: Mr. Armstrong.

ARMSTRONG: Thank you.

COHEN: Mr. Chairman, can -- can we take a break?

[12:10:38]

CUMMINGS: (OFF-MIKE).

ARMSTRONG: OK.

CUMMINGS: Mr. Armstrong.

ARMSTRONG: All right.

CUMMINGS: (Inaudible). You asked for a break (ph)?

COHEN: I did, sir.

So it --

CUMMINGS: (OFF-MIKE).

COHEN: That's OK. Thank you, sir.

CUMMINGS: I thought a member asked (ph).

COHEN: Thank you.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, it's been going on now for more than two hours. A very, very explosive hearing before the House Oversight Committee. We've been hearing from Michael Cohen.

Jake, this is as expected, the Republicans are ganging up on him. He's trying to defend himself. The Democrats seem to be defending him. This is going to continue. It's very explosive. I suspect it's going to become even more explosive.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, the Democrats, not surprisingly, are using this as a way to try to attack President Trump, taking largely, I would say, his testimony at face value and assuming it's true, even though as has been pointed out several times from across the aisle Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty and is going to prison partly because he lied to Congress previously. So Democrats focusing on the way to attack Trump and Republicans almost exclusively using their time to attack Michael Cohen, attacking his credibility, specifically because of the lies.

Of course, Michael Cohen got in a shot at President Trump. Somebody said something to him about all of the lies, and he said are you talking about me or President Trump? President Trump has long been established by many fact checkers not exactly allegiant to the truth himself, although, as far as I know, never convicted of lying to the FBI or to Congress.

BLITZER: Dana, some very, very explosive charges he's leveling against the president of the United States.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, effectively, bank fraud by saying to Deutsche Bank that his net worth is more than according to Michael Cohen, who says he knows these things and it was fraud against -- just generally against the American people. Maybe fraud is the wrong word. I'll let Jeffrey Toobin and the lawyers over there use what is correct.

But again and again and again, as much as and as aggressive as Michael Cohen has tried to be in saying, you know, mea culpa, I realize I'm not the perfect messenger, the Republicans have continued to help him with that in an even more aggressive manner. And the one potential problem that I thought Michael Cohen has is when he was asked if he wanted a job in the White House, and he said no. Our reporting, I know, Pam, you have been told --

TAPPER: Yes.

BASH: I have been told, all of us by people in and around the process, real time, he very much wanted a job in the White House.

TAPPER: He very much wanted one. Yes.

BASH: Very much.

And I'll just say one other thing that he said specific --

TAPPER: That's right. But let me interrupt you for one second just to --

BASH: Oh, great.

TAPPER: Just to show that clip that I think a lot of us here raised our eyebrows because we knew it to not be true.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: How long did you work in the White House?

MICHAEL COHEN, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FORMER LAWYER: I never worked in the White House.

JORDAN: And that's the point, isn't it, Mr. Cohen?

COHEN: No, sir.

JORDAN: Yes, it is.

COHEN: No, it's not, sir.

JORDAN: You wanted to work in the White House.

COHEN: No, sir.

JORDAN: You didn't get brought to the dance.

COHEN: Sir --

JORDAN: And now --

COHEN: I was extremely proud to be personal attorney to the president of the United States of America. I did not want to go to the White House. I was offered jobs. I can tell you a story of Mr. Trump reaming out Reince Priebus because I had not taken a job where Mr. Trump wanted me to, which was working with Don McGahn at the White House General Counsel's office.

JORDAN: No, you --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: And I think the issue there is that one sentence, I did not want to go to the White House.

BASH: Yes.

TAPPER: All of our reporting suggests that's not true.

BASH: Right.

And let me just tell you that after he said that I reached out to Reince Priebus, I spoke to him, and his comment was, no comment. He said, I'm not getting involved in this.

But I can just say, and we all, of course, witnessed this real time, that this president probably more than any other, if you want somebody in the White House, they're there. You know, Reince Priebus and John Kelly probably didn't want Omarosa to be working in the White House and other people, but they were there because the president wanted it to be so. So if Michael Cohen and the president really wanted it to happen, more importantly the president, it would have happened. And he wanted it.

[12:15:01] BLITZER: Jeffrey.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: I am struck by the breathtaking incompetence of the questioning. I mean this endless bloviating and not actually getting any information out of the witness. A couple of times there were -- there were some facts disclosed. I thought it was very interesting that he talked little bit about how the Stormy Daniels payment took shape and he mentioned that Allen Weisselberg was deeply involved in that.

TAPPER: The CFO of the Trump Organization.

TOOBIN: The CFO of the Trump Organization. And, of course, that the president was involved at every step in that process, which, of course, the president has denied.

The other thing I thought was interesting, Congressman Clay, it came up, that he says he submitted knowingly false financial statements to Deutsche Bank in order to get a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills. That loan was never given. They never bought the Buffalo Bills. But if he did --

BASH: Right.

TOOBIN: Knowingly submit a financial statement that was false, that's a crime in and of itself. So that, I'll bet, pricked up the ears of prosecutors out and about.

TAPPER: And speaking of questions that I wish had been followed up, and there were several, I found it striking that I think it was Congresswoman Maloney, but I might be mistaken, asked about any other hush money payments made to any other individuals. And Cohen said something along the lines of, I'd have to think about that, which I find a little hard to believe given that this has been his life and I'm certainly -- I'm sure he's been thinking about it for quite some time. And she kind of just let that go. OK, thanks.

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No, that's the answer I would have liked to hear as well.

The other answers that I kept thinking about is, what exactly did he answer under oath to Mueller and how does that line up with some of these questions because I think for the legal jeopardy for the president, that -- those are the only sworn statements he made. So I'm very curious about how that may come to light (ph).

TOOBIN: Do you think Cohen knows what Trump said under oath to Mueller?

WU: I think probably not.

TOOBIN: Yes, I would think not. So, yes.

WU: I'd think probably not. Yes. So it's a little hard to get at that. But I think that (INAUDIBLE).

The overall -- the tenor here is using the old strategy of use a thief to catch a thief, so that's what's going on here and both sides are trying to use that strategy.

MJ LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And I think so much of what was so incredible heading into today was, we knew that Michael Cohen, in large part, was going to be restating things that have already been reported on, particularly on an issue like the Stormy Daniels payments and the hush payments. This has been so thoroughly reported but the incredible thing about today is that we are seeing him say these things in public for the first time.

BASH: And seen the check.

LEE: And he -- right. And he very much went into the details of the inner workings of the Trump Organization. And as all of you know really well, there is a theory in Washington among people who know President Trump very well that the thing that keeps him up at night more than anything else, perhaps maybe even more than the Russia investigation, is the scrutiny on his business and the Trump Organization.

And there was one point that was so fascinating where Michael Cohen described in great detail the conversations that he had with Allen Weisselberg, the CFO of the Trump Organization. And he said -- at one point he said, well, why don't you pay for it, and Weisselberg said, no, I don't want to use my money. And so they brainstormed different ways of using the business, including seeing if someone wants to host a party at one of the Trump clubs and using that as a hush payment or seeing if someone wants a membership at the golf club. That raises a lot of questions about the Trump Organization.

TAPPER: I want to bring in another congressional witness testifying against the president, except it was quite some time ago, John Dean, the former White House counsel for President Nixon and a CNN contributor joins us now.

And I -- probably there is nobody more expert on commenting on Michael Cohen and how he's doing, his credibility or lack thereof, and the questions than you, Mr. Dean. What have you made -- what have you made of it so far?

JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL (via telephone): Well, I think he's been very forthright. He has been very -- taken a lot of contrition and his mea culpa has been excellent. I would have opted that he, after ten years, might have had a longer prepared statement, could have laid out some of the facts, but I think those will come out during the course of the day if the -- if the members keep probing.

I find him a good witness at this point.

TAPPER: What do you make of how partisan it has been, especially compared to when you testified before the House, and the quality of the questions?

DEAN: I -- I testified in -- before both the House and the Senate. The Senate Watergate Committee was the first to launch. And it was very interesting. They were -- seemed very unpartisan when the cameras were up, but yet it was a cat fight when the -- when the cameras were off. So they -- the Republicans did their fighting to try to mess it up as best they could behind closed doors and them would come out and say, well, we all agree that we're going to go forward because they were outvoted.

[12:20:05] I was not surprised at what happened this morning. I'm sure Michael was not surprised. They obviously are not happy with this witness. This is a witness that can cause the president trouble and they want to try to do everything they can to discredit him and discredit the proceedings.

BLITZER: Listen -- John, this is Wolf Blitzer. Listen to this exchange that occurred earlier. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARK MEADOWS (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Because Mr. Dean, last night on a cable news network, actually made it all very evident. John Dean, and I'll quote, Mr. Chairman, he said, as a former committee counsel in the House Judiciary Committee, and then a long term witness, sitting alone at the table is important. Quote, holding your statement as long as you can so the other side can't chew it up is important as well, closed quote.

And so -- so it was advice that our witness got for this particular body and, Mr. Chairman, when you were in the minority, you wouldn't have stood for it. And I can tell you that we should not stand for it as a body. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right, John, that was Mark Meadow, the Republican congressman from North Carolina, the head of the Tea Party.

What's your reaction to what he said?

DEAN: Wolf, I think I gave pretty good gratuitous advice that Michael should hold that statement as long as he could so they couldn't chew it up and sit alone at the table and otherwise they probably would have had Lanny Davis under oath by now. They've done a lot of focusing on him. And this isn't the day to do that. This is a day for Michael to put his statement out and they can do that another time.

Those are just the normal pyrotechnics of a minority, desperate to bullock (ph) up a hearing.

BLITZER: Have you been consulting with Michael Cohen and Lanny Davis over the course of these past several months?

DEAN: I've never talked -- I've never -- I've never spoken with Michael. I've known Lanny for many, many years. We first met when we were anchor buddies during the Clinton impeachment proceedings.

TAPPER: All right, John Dean, thank you so much for calling in. We appreciate your expertise.

Let's go to Capitol Hill now and talk to our Capitol Hill reporter, Manu Raju, who was in the room.

Many, tell us what we're not seeing on camera. Tell us about how the members of Congress are interacting.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Republicans are essentially trying to troll Michael Cohen. They've actually put several posters in the room to show those women for Cohen tweets, putting up there essentially making fun of him of sorts saying that people view him as those tweets that, of course, are praising him, that those, of course, became a part of the back and forth.

The Republicans have been very eager to try to go after Michael Cohen. They've been frustrated by his -- by the chairman's decision to, they were saying, limit the testimony to not focus on other issues beyond the ones that he laid out in his initial scope of his hearing. But what was interesting at the beginning of this hearing was, Elijah Cummings had said that virtually all of the topics are -- can be discussed, the Russia investigation and the like. But, nevertheless, the Republicans were eager to try to criticize Cummings and also go after Cohen's credibility.

But coming out of this hearing, I can tell you, Democrats feel pretty good about where things stand right now and they expect a lot more fireworks for the rest of the course of this day.

Jake and Wolf. BLITZER: Michael Cohen is back in this hearing room. You see Lanny

Davis, his lawyer, right in front of him right now. Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, getting ready to convene this session. They've been going on -- it's been going since 10:00 this morning. About a third, I'm guessing -- about a third of the 42 members of the House Oversight Committee have already had a chance to ask questions, five minutes each. This is going to go -- continue now for several, several more hours.

TAPPER: And while we wait for it to gavel back in, John King, let me just ask you quickly. You -- we've heard Republicans really take shots at -- oh, never mind.

Let's listen back in.

REP. VIRGINIA FOXX (R), NORTH CAROLINA: FOXX: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Cohen, you have admitted to lying on your taxes. According to federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York you also lied to banks to get loans but prosecutors wrote, quote, to secure loans Cohen falsely understated the amount of debt he was carrying and omitted information from his personal financial statements to induce a bank to lend based on incomplete information. End quote. Is that correct?

COHEN: That's correct.

[12:25:00] FOXX: You lied on financial documents. So you lied to financial institutions in order to secure loans. So we've established that you lie on your taxes, you lie to banks and you have been convicted of lying to Congress. It seems to me that there's not much that you will not lie about when you stand to gain from it. In fact, the prosecutors from the Southern District of New York noted that each of your crimes, quote, they are commonsense characteristics which each involving deception and being motivated by your personal greed and ambition. Is your appearance here today motivated by your desire to remain in the spotlight for your personal benefit?

COHEN: No ma'am.

FOXX: You have sought out ways to rehabilitate your image from tax evader, banks swindler and all-around liar to an honorable truthful man by appearing before cable news. I'm concerned you could be using your story and this congressional platform for your personal benefit, such as a desire to make money from book deals. So can you commit under oath that you have not and will not pursue a book or movie deal based on your experiences working for the president?

COHEN: No.

FOXX: You cannot commit to --

COHEN: I --

FOXX: -- making money off of a book or movie deal based on your work?

COHEN: No, what I just -- there's two parts to your question. The first part of your question you asked me whether or not I had spoken to people regarding a possible book deal. And I have and I've spoken to people who've sought me out regarding a movie deal.

FOXX: No, I didn't ask you if you'd spoken to anybody --

COHEN: That was the first part of your question --

FOXX: -- I said can you commit under oath that you will not -- that you have not and will not pursue a book deal.

COHEN: And I would not do that, no.

FOXX: OK. Can you commit under oath that you will not pursue opportunities to provide commentary for a major news network based on your experiences working for the president?

COHEN: No.

FOXX: Can you commit under oath that you will not pursue political office in the state of New York?

COHEN: No.

FOXX: So you don't commit to changing your ways, basically, because you want to continue to use your background as a liar, a cheater, a convicted liar to make money. That's what you want to do.

COHEN: And that's going to get me a book deal and a movie deal and television -- and a -- a spot on television? I don't think so.

FOXX: Well, it appears that it will. I yield my -- remainder of my time, Mr. Chairman, to Mr. Jordan.

JORDAN: Thank the gentlelady for yielding. Mr. Cohen, in your sentencing statement to the court in -- in December of last year, you said I want to apologize to the people of the United States, you deserve to know the truth. Approximately a month later BuzzFeed news ran a story that was the story in the country for a couple days. BuzzFeed story ran January 17, 2019, on January 18th your counsel went on TV and wouldn't confirm or deny the story. The next day the special counsel's office did something that's never happened. Never happened. They said the description of specific statements to the special counsel's office and the characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office regarding Michael Cohen's congressional testimony are not accurate.

Why didn't your lawyer the day that he's on TV, when this story is the biggest thing in the news in the country, why didn't he deny the BuzzFeed story?

COHEN: Because I didn't think it was his responsibility to do that. We are not the fact-checkers for BuzzFeed or for --

JORDAN: He's on TV to talk about the very story. You committed to the court when you were trying to get your sentence reduced that you -- that the American people deserve to know the truth. You had the golden opportunity to give them the truth on a false story, the BuzzFeed story, and your lawyer didn't say a thing. He -- actually he said this. I can't confirm, I can't deny.

You had an opportunity to do exactly what you told the judge you were going to do one month after you said it and you didn't do it. Why not?

COHEN: Again, it wasn't our responsibility to be the fact checker for the news agencies. They're --

JORDAN: This is the biggest story in the country.

COHEN: Sir -- sir, please let me -- the president says so far approximately 9,000 --

JORDAN: Hold on, let me just say one thing and then I'll let you finish.

COHEN: You asked me --

JORDAN: I got eight seconds. I got eight seconds. I'll let you finish.

COHEN: Chairman, may I please finish?

JORDAN: The special counsel said --

COHEN: Chairman, can I please finish?

JORDAN: -- something they've never done. They said that story was false. Now you can respond.

COHEN: OK. My response. The president has told something over 9,000 lies to date. Do I ask Mr. Davis or Mr. Monaco or do I go on television in order to correct his mistakes?

JORDAN: When Mr. Trump goes on --

(CROSSTALK)

COHEN: The answer -- sir, the answer is no.

JORDAN: -- to talk about that specific subject, you should (ph).

(CROSSTALK)

COHEN: And I would like to --

CUMMINGS: Gentleman's time -- listen up. The gentleman's time has expired. You may finish answering the question and then we're going to go to Mr. Connolly.

COHEN: All I wanted to say is I just find it interesting, sir, that between yourself and your colleagues that not one question so far --

[12:30:02]