Return to Transcripts main page


Documents on Cohen's Raid Released; Warren Calls to End Electoral College; Captured ISIS Fighters Linked to Suicide Bombing; Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired March 19, 2019 - 09:30   ET



[09:30:34] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's go back to my colleague, Kara Scannell, who is poring through these documents regarding the search warrants from Michael Cohen's homes and office.

I think it is many hundreds of pages, but what stands out to you the most in terms of the importance of what we're learning this morning?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: Well, I think, Poppy, we're getting a little bit of a timeline here of how this whole investigation evolved. What we learned from the filing is that the special counsel's office had initially asked a judge for and received search warrants for Michael Cohen's cell phones. They had received three search warrants and -- for e-mails and for an iCloud account and that they were looking back to -- as far back as the summer of 2015 was when they started looking at some of Michael Cohen's dealings.

You know, the special counsel's office was tasked with looking at the election and Russian interference in that. And they started going back way far into Michael Cohen's history with the Trump Organization and with the president, which was right around the time that these deals were reached for these hush money payments to be made to the women who accused -- who accused that they had affairs with the president many years ago.

We're also learning that after the special counsel's office had -- looked at this, they had referred the materials to the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan. That prompted them to seek additional search warrants that seized hundreds of pages of materials here outlining what they believe to be many perspective crimes ranging from the financial crimes to the campaign finance crimes.

What we're not learning is more about the campaign finance violations because that section is still redacted because of an ongoing investigation, Poppy.

HARLOW: OK, Kara, thank you very much. Let us know when you get more updates.

Also this morning, Democratic hopeful Elizabeth Warren with a big pitch that is drawing big cheers. Watch this from her CNN town hall last night. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My view is that every vote matters. That means get rid of the Electoral College and every vote counts.


HARLOW: All right, with me now, political anchor of Spectrum News, Errol Louis.

OK, it's clear how the audience felt about that. But, you know, there are also many arguments for the Electoral College, Errol, right, in terms of equal representation with a very populous state like California versus Alaska, et cetera.


HARLOW: What do you make of what Elizabeth Warren said and do you think other Democratic candidates will follow in her lead there?

LOUIS: The other candidates will probably follow her lead if -- and also make their own somewhat unusual or even extremist proposals because that's how you get the big applause line, that's how you get on television. We're talking about Elizabeth Warren. That's what she wants. And that's how you try to win the early primary states that could start you on the road to the White House. So I think that's what we're going to see.

On the other hand, when it comes to the details of a proposal like this, you know, the logistical problems, the vote fraud issues, the tremendous destabilization that would be presented by having a massive popular vote is something that I don't think she has necessarily thought through. I mean --

HARLOW: Can you talk for a moment about what those risks are?

LOUIS: Oh, yes, sure. Look, in any given state -- New York is not an exception -- it's done at the county level. So you're talking about 5,000 simultaneous mini elections with boards of election that maybe are appointed, maybe are honest, maybe are less honest. What do you do in the event of a recount? Anybody who remembers the 2000 recount knows that it's not a simple matter, even if you're just going to the 67 counties in Florida to try and figure out county by county what's being done. They have different hours. They have different machines. They have different protocols. They have different rules. They have different ballot structure.

And then, you know, the underlying issue that the framers were concerned about, New York City alone, New York City, where we are right now, would be the 16th largest state. And so what you don't want is for people to just say, I'm going to campaign in the five biggest cities and see if I can win a national election that way. That's not how you gain the kind of consensus and the kind of stability that the framers wanted when they created the Electoral College. HARLOW: YOU know, Errol, she also made headlines and was a first in

terms of Democratic presidential candidates to say that she would like to see that bill on potential reparations to descendants of slaves. You know, it's been put forth yet again and really considered. She stopped short of -- when Jake asked her about, you know, do you supports financial payment, she stopped short of putting her full support behind that. But I mean it's a significant moment, right, especially given the fact that you do have two other candidate, senators, sitting on the Congressional Black Caucus.

[09:35:20] LOUIS: Yes, that's right. And, look, this is an issue that's been kicking around for decades. And the specific proposal, Poppy, let's be clear, is to create a national commission that would explore the question.

HARLOW: Right.

LOUIS: This is not any kind of a rush to judgment or certainly no financial consequences would come from it.

But Elizabeth Warren knows, as Bernie Sanders does, he also waffled at a recent town hall on this -- on this question. What they know is that it is a tremendously controversial issue that can spur a level of backlash that even the most liberal Democrat is not prepared to try and face. It's an -- it's an unusual question for a lot of people. Those of us who were around in the '70s, you know, when this question was first being really sort of put forward at the tail end of the civil rights movement know that it's a -- it's a conversation that's just worth having.


LOUIS: And the reality is, it becomes an excuse to explore a lot of the different questions that are out there about whose family owned slaves, what happened to the wealth? Who's owed what? What kind of stolen labor can we actually track down and compensate descendants for? It's an interesting kind of a question, mostly as an academic exercise, but the large black base of the Democratic Party wants to hear it talked about, not just skipped over, not just sort of waved away. And so Elizabeth Warren, I saw, as giving some lip service to that reality.

HARLOW: All right, both really important consequential moves if they happen.

Errol, thanks very much on all of it.

LOUIS: Thank you.

HARLOW: And tomorrow, Democratic presidential candidate, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper takes part in a CNN town hall moderated by our Dana Bash at the CNN Center in Atlanta. That airs at 10:00 Eastern only right here on CNN.

We are staying on top of the breaking news regarding Michael Cohen and all those search warrants. Stay with us. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:41:24] HARLOW: All right, we are back with our breaking news, as our teams are poring through hundreds of pages of documents just released to the public by a judge. These are regarding the warrants to search Michael Cohen's properties.

Kara Scannell is back with us.

I mean I think one thing, Kara, that sounds out to me most that we've learned this morning from this is about the e-mails and how far back Mueller's team went in terms of searching Michael Cohen's e-mails. I think it was 2015 to 2017 and then later, subsequently the next year, referred it to the SDNY.

How significant is that?

SCANNELL: That's right, Poppy. I mean it shows that the -- Mueller's team, which was formed in May of 2017, just two months later, in July of 2017, had sent an application to a judge in D.C. which gave them a search warrant to search for Michael Cohen's e-mail addresses, his e- mail accounts, looking back as far as June of 2015.

So, right at the outset of the launch of the special counsel's investigation, they started looking at Michael Cohen and looking at his e-mails going back several years at that point. And Michael Cohen, of course, at that point Donald Trump's still, you know, one of his closest allies, his personal attorney, his, you know, quote/unquote fixer. So this right out of the gate the special counsel's office is looking into Michael Cohen's e-mail communications.

And what we also learned is that it wasn't just limited to the e- mails. That Mueller's team was also getting these -- what are called pen register warrants, where they were looking at the calls that were incoming and outgoing to Michael Cohen over a period of time. So they -- they were really watching his communications both on his electronics, but also who he was talking to.


HARLOW: Kara, thank you very much for the reporting. We'll get back to you soon.

Meantime, we want to bring you this important update. U.S.-backed forces in Syria have captured several ISIS militants they believe are linked to a January suicide attack. Of course you'll remember the attack because of the four Americans that it killed, Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Farmer, Navy Chief Cryptologist Technician Shannon Kent, Scott Wirtz, a Defense Department civilian, and Ghadi Taher, who was working with the Army as an interpreter. They were killed in that explosion.

Our Barbara Starr joins me this morning from the Pentagon.

This is very significant. What do you know?

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Poppy.

You will remember that horrific video that shows the suicide attack unfolding that day in January in Mambij in northern Syria that killed the four Americans and several Syrians, of course. And now a U.S. defense official confirming to CNN that the U.S.-backed fighters in northern Syria have, indeed, captured up to five militants they believe were part of the planning and execution of the attack. The suicide bomber killed in the blast, of course.

This apparently -- the capture happened back in February. And, since then, the U.S. has had access to these detainees that are being held by the Syrian democratic forces, has been able to interrogate them. And there is a belief that they were very much involved in the attack.

One of the key questions, what will happen now? Will the Syrian democratic forces continue to hold them? Would there be enough evidence to turn them over to the United States and engage in some kind of credible federal prosecution? We don't know the answer to that.

All of this, Poppy, coming as the debate continues about how many U.S. forces will remain both in northern Syria and in the south to continue to wage the fight against ISIS. This now showing how important it is to keep that intelligence flowing about the organization.


[09:45:01] HARLOW: Of course, Barbara. And I'm glad you brought up that point. So relevant because that attack happened just days after the president had announced that withdrawal plan, sparking a lot of questions over it.

Thanks, Barbara, at the Pentagon, for that update.

STARR: Sure.

HARLOW: Ahead for us, why arguably the most powerful banker on Wall Street wants to hire more ex-felons. This is part of a new push to improve the future of work.


JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JP MORGAN CHASE: They've got families. They've got kids. They can't get credit. They can't get a home. They struggle to get a job. And they deserve a second chance.


HARLOW: My exclusive interview with JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is next.


[09:50:03] HARLOW: He is arguably the most powerful banker on Wall Street. He runs the biggest bank in the world by market cap. But Jamie Dimon is worried -- not about his bank or the state of the economy, but about the state of America and the future of jobs. He says way too much emphasis has been placed on getting a four-year college degree and not enough on training people for the good jobs out there.

I sat down with him here in New York to find out why JP Morgan is putting 350 million to work to try to fight that.


HARLOW: JP Morgan just rolled out a huge initiative, $350 million investment, in the future of work. What have you seen happening without this investment that you think makes it so necessary now?

JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JP MORGAN CHASE: Yes. So if you look at America, we've grown at 20 percent in the last ten years. It should be 40. We've identified one of the reasons is that kids aren't getting the education they need to get a job. And I'm talking about a real job. It could be at a high school, it could be at a community college, it could be at a college. What we've seen is the local level -- and you were with us in Detroit --


DIMON: That if you actually work with the local companies, like in Detroit, that need machine tools or welders, the whole country needs automotive or nursing or something like that, but done right you create kid to job, you create dignity. It's that first job, that first rung of the ladder. So we just think it's a critical thing to do.

HARLOW: Well, just -- let's just hang on that word dignity for a moment. Has America forgotten about the importance of the dignity of work and a path that doesn't necessarily mean an Ivy League or any four year college degree?

DIMON: Yes, I think you're absolutely right. Dignity creates household, better social outcomes, household information, et cetera. And we did kind of go too far that you've got to get a college degree. So 70 percent of Americans don't. That's true, by the way, in Switzerland, Germany, France. Thirty percent go on. For the 70 who don't, they need jobs. They need the skills at the community college level, the apprenticeship level. We know it works. We just have to implement it at the local level with community organizations and governments who want to kind of get on board.

HARLOW: Did JP Morgan ever make that mistake in terms of sort of the job description, saying four year college degree when you didn't need it?

DIMON: Yes, we've been asking. And our head of HR has removed it from a lot of jobs. But even where it's removed, even where it's removed --


DIMON: My guess is the bureaucracy locally can easily say, well, it's easier -- it's easier screen to say jobs required. And we should eliminate that. HARLOW: You also are tying this announcement about the future of work

to the inmate population here, the prison system. What do you think this can do to actually reduce, you know, recidivism and re- incarceration rates?

DIMON: And so we have 20 million ex-felons here. And a lot of those people probably never should have been felons or they've paid their price and their right to return and try. I actually met with some ex- felons in Chicago. They've got families. They've got kids. They can't get credit. They can't get a home. They deserve to get a job. And they deserve a second chance. So, one of the things we're trying here is we do hire ex-felons but --

HARLOW: Are you saying, Jamie, you want to hire more convicted felons at JP Morgan?

DIMON: Yes. Yes. And we're going to. And we're doing to develop specific programs for specific jobs. Now, these are not necessarily violent, you know, lifelong criminals.


DIMON: These are people who, you know, made a mistake when they were young. And I tell my friends, you made a lot of mistakes when you were young too, you just didn't get caught.

HARLOW: And a lot of them are drug offenses.

DIMON: Yes. And that was probably the biggest mistake of all.

HARLOW: What do you mean?

DIMON: They -- we shouldn't have made -- we shouldn't have criminalize every single kind of activity. And, you know, there's one, two and three and look at specific cases. So, if you dig into it, it was just unfair. And it becomes I guess even more unfair when you get out.

HARLOW: You recently wrote a CNN Business opinion piece with Melody Hobson (ph) about the disparity when it comes to income for black Americans. Has the American economy been fundamentally racist?

DIMON: You know, I think you can say yes or no, but I think it's been fundamentally anti-poor. So that, you know, if you live in certain parts of town, whether you're white or Hispanic or black, you can pretty much be left behind. So I think minorities have been hurt more by the flaws we just mentioned than other people, the inner city schools, et cetera. So, you know, is that deliberate? You know, maybe not. And -- but it -- we've got to focus on it and fix it. I mean, you know, and that's one of many issues we have that we need to focus on and fix.

HARLOW: Yes. I was struck hearing Fed Chair Jerome Powell. He said that essentially even with this booming economy and low unemployment, that we're essentially losing a generation, especially of young men, because of the opioid crisis. DIMON: And he's right. So, 70,000 people died. I think 25,000 out of

fentanyl. It's an absolute, utter disaster. It's an emergency. It's more than died in Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan like every year.

And, remember, it's not just that. If you look at the workforce participation, (INAUDIBLE) in this case, 17 to 24 is still a couple of percentage points below where it would be in recovery. It dropped dramatically. So it's not just the people dying, it's the people unable to work because they're addicted. It's a lack of programs to get people off of it. And it often afflicts the same parts of the town. We have a national emergency. The government is actually ringing this alarm bell now, but, you know, we've got to learn to be a little more responsive when these things happen about how to -- how to go about and fix it. And so they need to be ringing the alarm bell and then come up with policies that actually work.


[09:55:11] HARLOW: All right. So next hour more from that exclusive sit-down with Jamie Dimon. Of course we talk politics and 2020 and how strong he actually thinks the U.S. economy is right now.

Also, his argument that might surprise you about those Trump tariffs on China, ahead.

Also, another big bank is taking steps to increase diversity. Right now women only make up about 38 percent Goldman Sachs' U.S. employees. The company is trying to change that. They're trying to make half their workforce female globally in the next few years and hire more African-Americans and Hispanic employees. This is all from a new memo from the CEO, David Solomon, obtained by CNN, where he says the bank must tackle diversity at more senior roles at Goldman Sachs by requiring that at least two diverse qualified candidates are interviewed for every single open position.

All right, we're getting a closer look at what led up to the FBI's raid at the home and office of former President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Stay with us for that.