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CUOMO PRIME TIME

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) Interviewed Regarding Mueller Report; Trump Vows Payback For The Mueller Report; Warren Calls For Impeachment After Mueller Report; Mueller Report Repeatedly Contradicts A.G. Barr. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 19, 2019 - 21:00   ET

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


[21:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: When asked what advice he would give his successor on how to handle the Trump administration, he said, and I quote, "I think I'd prefer somebody who doesn't have heart problems."

That says quite a lot, right there.

Join us again for another edition of - hope you join us again at the 11:00 P.M. Eastern, another live edition AC 360.

News continues with Chris. Want to hand it over, CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, CUOMO PRIME TIME: All right, thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

From total exoneration to total BS, President Trump continues to attack everything and everyone that threatens to expose his perfidy. Now, he wants revenge, threatening to bring justice to people involved in the report.

What does that threat mean? And what should this report mean for him? We're going to take it up in Cuomo's Court.

And if impeachment is not realistic, what's next? Democrats are all over the place. So, let's try to pin them down. My guest tonight, a Democrat on the powerful House Intel Committee.

And last night, Rudy Giuliani told me to stop using the word "Lie." I wish I could. But the House - the White House lied to you, the President can't stop lying to you, and the Attorney General misled you. I will take the evidence from the Mueller report and cut through two years of spin from Team Trump.

It's Good Friday. It's the start of Passover. May all observing be blessed. Let's get after it.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: So, look, the big question is do things get better or worse from here. This President seems to seek to destroy the people and places that pointed out his perfidy, perfidy, bad faith, lying, the facts. He tweeted this.

"It's now finally time to turn the tables and bring justice to some very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even Spying or Treason."

Now the opposite objective is what Democrats are wrestling with today.

You had Senator Elizabeth Warren this afternoon became the biggest name in the 2020 field to call for impeachment proceedings. She tweeted, "Mueller put the next step in the hands of Congress. The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment."

Later today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib's office told CNN that fellow freshmen Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley have indicated they will sign on to her impeachment resolution. They're now among five members on board.

Most Democrats though, way more reluctant, certainly to make a move with that kind of reality. So, where are we headed and why?

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TEXT: ONE ON ONE.

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CUOMO: Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney sits on House Intel. It's good to see you. The best for Easter, blessed Rebirth and Renewal for you and your family.

REP. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY (D-NY): Thank you. And to all those watching, it's a - it's a - it's a beautiful --beautiful season of - of family, and I hope everybody is enjoying it with the ones they love.

CUOMO: And you know what? I think Mr. Barr released this report hoping it would get lost in the occasion. But I actually think it is the perfect occasion giving what we focus on and what we think about to examine what we have learned in this report.

But now let's talk about the political realities. I don't understand where you guys are. Oversight, we have to look, we're going to look, we want to get through the redacted material, fair point.

Then what?

MALONEY: Look, you know, I - I'm not one of those people saying we can't form an opinion about this. I've got one. But there's not going to be one opinion. You know, we're not - we're not some central committee. There's going to be a bunch of - bunch of different views on this. Here's mine. I want the President held accountable, and I want that done in the best way. I'm not sold that impeachment is the best way. But I'm not letting up on him. I want to beat him in 2020, want to beat him badly. And I want him held accountable legally.

If there's other criminal liability, I want that investigated by the Southern District or elsewhere. That can continue past his presidency, by the way, the Trump Organization as well.

I want the President held accountable. But I want to be smart about it and tough. And I want us to use - I want us to use our whole brains and to weigh all the - weigh all the options.

CUOMO: The desire for the redacted material, I get it. A lot of it is on the counter-intel side, may explain something about the President's feelings about Russia, his leniency in terms of his language with Putin.

But it can't be a smoking gun, right? Otherwise, there would have been some action taken by Mueller on the same, no?

MALONEY: Yes, look, it's important that we - we - we - we listen to what Bob Mueller is telling us. I think what he's telling us is that there is no prosecutable underlying crime of conspiracy. That's very important news, and that does put the other conduct in a certain conduct - context, excuse me.

But the President's conduct is appalling. And it is inexcusable. And he must be held accountable for that. But I want to play chess, not checkers. I want to do it in a way that's good for us, not - not that plays into his hands.

And I do think we've got some more questions to ask, for sure. We've got an oversight responsibility. That's right. There's more to do here.

But I do think on the big question how to hold this President accountable, put a stake in the ground for what matters, integrity, honesty, you know, not obstructing federal investigations, not acting like this is something to celebrate when it - when this is chapter and verse, detailing everything that's wrong with this President.

But - but our response is critical because there's a lot at stake in 2020, and I want to win.

[21:05:00] CUOMO: So, you know, look, impeachment to me only seems feasible, if you get something you want very much, and something you probably want nothing less than this, which is he'd have to win in 2020, and you'd have to take so many seats in the Senate that you'd have a shot at impeachment and removal, so you probably don't like that trade.

But what I'm saying is I totally get what you're saying, and I think it's silly for people to say the Democrats can't talk about how to hold him accountable that you got to be afraid of impeachment because it doesn't poll well. Maybe if you show that you're willing to talk about something even if the people aren't begging you to, maybe you get some points for integrity and having a message that says what your party's about. What about that?

MALONEY: Yes, it's possible. I wouldn't - I wouldn't bet that - bet the mortgage on it. I think people are pretty sick of this whole subject. I don't think it has a lot to do with what is important in most people's lives.

And so, I think those of us who do this for a living, who watch these shows every night, you know, talk about this all day long need to have - have some perspective on what is most important to the people we represent, and - and who we want to help, again, where we want to take the country.

And what I'm telling you is, is that if I thought impeachment had any prayer of - of - of - of resulting in accountability, meaning removal from office--

CUOMO: Right.

MALONEY: --then I'd be up here championing it. There's not one Republican senator, let alone 20 that have come out--

CUOMO: Yes, I hear you.

MALONEY: --with any kind of room on that. So, what are we talking about?

What I'm talking about is how do we hold the President accountable, and how do we win it? And - and I think that - that, to me, looks like we - we win this election and we fight it out on the issues that are most important to the people who we hope to lead.

CUOMO: Yes. I'm glad you said that. I mean we both hear the sound of silence.

That's the Republicans coming out, saying they're disgusted by what's in the report. You're not going to hear it. They're afraid of this President. He's strong in party. And he punishes them in their primaries. So, they've made - they've made their bed.

And my concern on your side is testing the idea of well how do you beat him. I keep hearing from Democrats in power, "We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can do this and we can," but I don't see you getting anything else done.

You're not even attacking what's happening at the Border where I see clear opportunity for you guys. You need to show that you move the ball in order for people to believe--

MALONEY: Well--

CUOMO: --you're better.

MALONEY: Yes, excuse me. In - in fairness, Chris, the House has been pretty productive.

I mean you're talking about Violence Against Women Act. We're talking about HR 1, cleaning up corruption in government. We're talking about universal background checks. We - we - we will move a major infrastructure package, I will predict to you, and that can become law, by the way.

We have passed the most important criminal justice reform, the First Step Act, working in a bipartisan way with this President in just the last few months.

And the fact is, is that we can still get some things done while we also approach the 2020 election, which is a - which is our - which is the core of our democracy, right, the future of our country, putting it out on the table for the people we want to lead, and we put our best argument forward.

And I'm not sure driving the country through impeachment when there's no underlying criminal conspiracy, according to Bob Mueller is going to be effective or get us anywhere.

Now, I'm not ruling it out. I'm not totally closing the door. But I'm telling you, I think this is going to be about the election in 2020, and we better put our best foot forward.

CUOMO: I mean isn't that best foot going to be healthcare and show that you have a plan that you've pushed through in the House that's denied by the Senate that does something about cost structure, and that shows that there was hope--

MALONEY: Yes.

CUOMO: --for what you put in place before?

MALONEY: Yes, but not just that.

The fact is, is that our best foot is saying we can make this thing work better for all of us, not just a few of us, that we've got some real ideas, that we can get some stuff done, that we can make this government work again, that we're not just going to have political and partisan conversations till the cows come home.

We're going to build roads and bridges and - and broadband systems and better airports and better - and better - better - a better climate for our kids that we can provide better healthcare at lower cost. We got good ideas on that.

Yes, these are the things that - that matter to the - to the middle- class family, making 40,000 bucks a year in Orange County, New York, the people I hear from every day. And I want to talk to them about that, not just about what's in the Mueller report or what's wrong with Trump.

But I want the President held accountable. I'm not giving up that side of the street. But I want to play--

CUOMO: I just don't know what that means.

MALONEY: Well what it means is that there's a couple of ways to do it. We can spend two years doing impeachment, and that'll put a stake in the ground, you bet. I don't think we're going to win it given what's--

CUOMO: No.

MALONEY: --what the realities are. But we can make a point, and that - and that might - might be the right thing to do. I - I understand people who say that. I'm not - I'm not - I'm not recommending it.

There's another way, which is criminal liability, and that may yet come to - come to bear when the President's out of office.

And the third way is to hold him accountable at the polls, to beat him and beat him big, so we send a message that this kind of conduct and this kind of leadership is not what we're about as Americans, and we're going to go on a different direction. And that, I think, is the best way to send a message.

At the worst thing we could do to Donald Trump is to beat him big in 2020. So, I want to be smart about how we approach the - the next few months.

CUOMO: Congressman, appreciate the candor, appreciate you being with us on Good Friday. I know that this is not an easy sell to the family, so thank you for taking the opportunity. It matters.

MALONEY: Thank you, Sir.

CUOMO: All right, so look, that's where the Democrats' heads are. You're going to hear different takes. They're going to have to figure out, get on the same page.

The pragmatism you're hearing from Maloney there, if they're thinking about how to win in 2020, that may be their best bet. But it may not feel the best for a lot of people right now in that party.

[21:10:00] Sources close to Attorney General Bill Barr say he's not in the pocket of the President. Let's do this. You judge that proposition after I show you what he has said and done in this process.

And, you know, there is a part that we still haven't seen that I was just talking about with the Congressman. What is behind Mr. Barr's black bars? The redaction's largely in the counterintelligence portion. Could there be an answer in there into why POTUS plays so nice with Putin?

Let's take it up in Cuomo's Court ahead.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

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CUOMO: Here's what we know. The Attorney General stood in front of the nation and parroted this President.

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WILLIAM BARR, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Special Counsel found no collusion.

No evidence of the Trump campaign collusion.

No underlying collusion.

There was in fact no collusion.

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CUOMO: Why does he keep using that word? Because the President wants you to think about things in terms of that, but it's deceptive. Collusion, I'm sorry if you've heard this from me before, but it bears repeating, it's shorthand for potential bad behavior.

[21:15:00] Mueller doesn't even use the word because he says, he actually goes into it, he was looking for crimes. Collusion is not a crime nor is it a term lawyers use.

Why did the A.G. use it? Because he's playing Trump's game. That's also why Mr. Barr cherry-picked this line.

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BARR: Investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

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CUOMO: Now, that is true, and it cleared the President and his campaign of criminal conspiracy. But context is key. Mr. Barr ignored the first half of the line.

"The investigation also identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign."

And this line, "The campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts," to that point, contacts to try to benefit, those would be collusion, and Mueller found plenty. Many of the same acts were lied about repeatedly. On obstruction, Barr's four-page letter made it seem like this was a close call. Instead, we get into exhaustive detail of various attempts to mess with the investigation, get people to lie, and fire Mueller himself.

The report says if investigators had anything that could clear POTUS, they would so state. The A.G. doubled down on this theory that the President might somehow be immune to the law on this issue. Listen.

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BARR: The Special Counsel's report goes on to consider whether certain actions of the President could amount to obstruction.

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CUOMO: No. That's what he wants to consider. The report is clear in a different way. "The Constitution does not immunize a President from obstructing justice."

Instead, what were Mueller's hands tied by? Rules from the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel against indicting a sitting President, something that Mr. Barr repeatedly tried to downplay.

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BARR: He was not saying that but for the OLC opinion he would have found a crime.

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CUOMO: That can't be less accurate. Page one of the Mueller report says point-blank, "This Office accepted OLC's legal conclusion for the purpose of exercising prosecutorial jurisdiction."

What does that mean when you strip out the lawyer speak? Mueller knew he couldn't indict the President. He went into this knowing he couldn't indict a President.

Also, the A.G. bent over backwards to pat his boss on the back for being transparent.

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BARR: The White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel's investigation.

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CUOMO: Now, he is saying that because it would make it harder therefore to subpoena the President under what is believed to be controlling precedent. But how do you say he fully cooperated?

When the President said I don't remember one way or another 30 times in just 10 pages of written answers, answers, by the way, that Mr. Mueller called inadequate. Fully cooperating doesn't sound like refusing to sit for an interview, which this President did.

Now, as for where we go from here, Mr. Barr says--

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BARR: Special Counsel Mueller did not indicate that his purpose was to leave the decision to Congress.

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CUOMO: Then why did Mr. Mueller say, "Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President's corrupt exercise of the powers of office according with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law."

The Attorney General showed his no-holds Barr style in trying to defend this President, choosing to mislead, mischaracterize, and misdirect, all in an effort to protect his boss.

Now the question is what does he do next?

The President and his A.G., they're pointing a way. "Let's go after the investigators. Let's investigate them. Let's talk about spying. Let's attack the institutions that attacked us."

What will it mean? How righteous is the cause? Cuomo's Court, next.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

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CUOMO: The President of the United States is promising to turn the tables and take his revenge, talking spying, treason, both extremely loaded words that he hated being used about him.

We've got a great group to help us understand the legal and security implication.

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TEXT: CUOMO'S COURT.

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CUOMO: Ryan Goodman, Susan Hennessey, and Phil Mudd, welcome.

First, let's discuss what we believe there is to find. Now, we know the I.G. is looking over at the DOJ about how the investigations were conducted.

We know that it is unusual for Mr. Barr, as A.G., to start a contemporaneous probe while that probe is going on, let alone to come to a conclusion that we're spying before they've even undo it.

But this is - these are uncommon times. And Mr. Barr, we get what his agenda is, OK.

So, when we look at what we think there is there, Mr. Goodman, do you expect that there are issues of this investigation, this probe, this counterintelligence effort starting as rotten?

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL, DEFENSE DEPARTMENT: Not really. In some sense, the Mueller report already kind of indicates to us what the origins of the investigation were.

And it was National Security Adviser, George Papadopoulos having been approached by the Russians, and then revealing that information to foreign governments, and that's what then led to the information being fed into the FBI, and they launched the investigation.

So, I don't think anything in terms of the origins of this are going to spark anything. The idea that Carter Page was some kind of precursor to this is also a deep problem for them, if they're going to think about that.

CNN reported before as well, as a bunch of other news networks, that Carter Page was already under a FISA warrant in 2003 - sorry, 2013, 2014. There's no there, there as far as we really know.

But, of course, if there's an I.G. looking after it, then that's a potentially good process. But not to politicize it with the A.G. stepping in with already suggesting that he has preconceived ideas about it.

CUOMO: Right.

[21:25:00] Now, Ms. Hennessey, they say that the basis for it is one of the few French words I can pronounce, the dossier that that's what this was.

"Hillary Clinton paid some people to go and play with Russian sources and get a bunch of poison against Trump. And that's what they used. That's what started it. And they weren't honest with the FISA judges about it. And it will all become clear when the FISA application is revealed."

Do you believe it?

SUSAN HENNESSEY, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY ATTORNEY: So, I think that the one thing that the Mueller report is a pretty thorough investigation of is that this was a properly predicated investigation from the beginning, that this was an investigation not into the Trump campaign.

This was an investigation into Russia. This was an investigation that established a conspiracy on the Russian side to the extent that it ever looked at the Trump campaign, it was only because that campaign was the target or - or the - the subject of those efforts and because they were so receptive to it.

And so, I - I do think that the report itself lays out with - with quite a bit of detail, and should put to rest the notion that - that a dossier or - or - or anything untoward sort of was - made the basis of - of why this investigation was opened in the first place.

CUOMO: So, you have the substance and then you have the players. Phil Mudd, "Comey didn't like the President. McCabe, he's got that wife who's a Democrat. Strzok and Page, they're part of the Deep State brother. They're probably in your - in your basement playing Dungeons & Dragons. You're all out to get them because you're all Democrats."

PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: Yes, yes.

Yes, I think we're missing a point here. We're confusing what we see as investigators, and I would agree with what everybody said here, with what will happen politically. Let me give you one specific example, and this is only a judgment, it's not a fact.

There's going to be an investigation and there is an investigation, I think, into whether - into the legitimacy of the Carter Page FISA, something we heard about a couple years ago that was significant.

If you look at the report, the Carter Page FISA was not significant in the report. I'm going to predict though that, Chris that the Inspector General says that some of the intelligence activities like the Carter Page FISA were not that well done.

That's going to then become for Republicans, "Look, this was all predicated on bad stuff," forgetting that none of it was the basis of the report. The I.G. is going to come after some of this. That's going to become the center of a political debate. I don't think it's significant.

CUOMO: But--

MUDD: But it will be.

CUOMO: But, Phil, help me understand this because you and many others, you know, who you know - and, you know, we joke, but you know how much I respect and I trust your judgment on these things, have said "You know how hard it is to get a FISA application? They keep calling it a secret court. You know how many layers you have to go through? FISA applications are as thick as my huge pinata head, and it's because you have to have such great documentation. And they didn't just have the original one on Page. They had subsequent ones. So, it would have had to been a massive conspiracy."

Well is that true or is what you're saying now true that they could have botched it?

MUDD: It's neither. Look, Chris, if you are looking at an investigation that has maybe thousands of pages of documents, think of it when the IRS looks at any tax return, and says, "Look, on page 36, we got a mistake here."

I'm not suggesting there was a conspiracy. I'm suggesting and - that in the look to the origins of some of these efforts by the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Inspector General will find ugly stuff, and the White House will say, "Look, we told you all along, this was dirty."

And then you look and - and at what happened in the report and none of that stuff will be significant to the report, it doesn't matter, the White house will play it up.

CUOMO: So, Ms. Hennessey, in terms of this type of review, we're waiting on the I.G. But Mr. Barr has his own thing going on, and says that there was spying. The President wants to go after the investigators. What do you see as likely potential steps?

HENNESSEY: Yes, so, I think Attorney General Barr's comments were really pretty shockingly irresponsible. Whenever he used this term "Spying"--

CUOMO: Especially for a by-the-book guy!

HENNESSEY: Exactly.

And - and in front of Congressional testimony, to use this term "Spying," and then later in his testimony to sort of walk it back, and say, he was talking about maybe unauthorized surveillance, maybe he was just talking about ordinary investigative techniques, it's really hard to believe that somebody, as sophisticated and experienced as Bill Barr is, didn't understand that by using that kind of loaded term, a term that lawyers do not use, that people within the Justice Department do not use that what he was effectively doing was fueling a set of conspiracy theories.

And - and to the extent that there was any question about whether or not Attorney General Barr sort of used himself as - as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States or the President's personal attorney, I think those questions were pretty definitively put to rest by his performance at that press conference yesterday morning.

CUOMO: Two more quick things.

[21:30:00] Mr. Goodman, the idea of - one of the most surprising things to me, in looking at the report, where I didn't know that there were this many other cases that had been referred, and we don't know what they are, do you have anything that you can kind of glean from what may have been farmed out, and what it may involve in terms of, are we thinking about the President, we thinking about people around him, or is this about Russia's and other satellite organizations that got caught up in this? GOODMAN: So, it's difficult to know. It's really in the realm of speculation. But there's one thing that we can think about that there's a bit of a preface to the list of blacked-out referred cases.

And the preface says that the Special Counsel referred these cases out because they did not fit within the scope of his jurisdiction.

CUOMO: Right.

GOODMAN: So there's - there's - so some speculation could be shut down for the idea that some think "Oh, it must be Jerome Corsi because how could this guy walk free after he was given the draft statement of offense, and entered into a plea agreement, which suggested that the prosecutors were ready and primed to indict him, maybe it's him."

But Jerome Corsi fit within the four corners of the jurisdiction of the Special Counsel. So, it's - that's why it's very hard to predict or speculate about it.

It seems as though it wouldn't be about anything that you would otherwise think would be Russia-related, and it might be things like Michael Cohen with hush-money payments.

CUOMO: Right.

GOODMAN: That's one of them that's not redacted.

CUOMO: Right.

GOODMAN: So, something that's unrelated.

CUOMO: And, Phil, you've got a much better eye in this - for this than I ever will. I was trying to figure out what the redactions may be about. And there was a significant amount of Russia talk going on in there obviously--

MUDD: Yes.

CUOMO: --seeing how they're the main malefactor in all this.

But in terms of what has been redacted, what do you want to set as a level of expectation for what happens if Congress does get its hands on it, and we wind up learning what it is as well?

MUDD: I think the stuff is interesting. But I don't think it'll change judgments at all. Look, a lot of the redactions, I think, relate to the fact that we heard. The President talks about this is - and the President's team talks about this is Obama's fault.

We heard in last midterms that the Russians are still meddling. There's a counterintelligence investigation. That's redacted in the report. There's private information about U.S. citizens who should not be public in the report. That's redacted. There's ongoing investigations like Roger Stone.

But the stuff about Russia, and the fact that they're still intervening in the U.S. electoral process, I think that's a lot of the blackouts, Chris, because the investigation is ongoing, and they'll do it again next year. You can't reveal what you know because they're still doing it.

CUOMO: Two - two quick things I want you to clean up for me, Phil. One, the idea from Rudy Giuliani is, "Hey, the President's not denying Russian interference. He just has a difference of opinion. He may know things that you don't."

Your take?

MUDD: Excuse me! Can you explain to me how many times the President and his role as the Speaker to the American people has told us how we have to be cautious and looking at social media information before an election?

You fault President Obama for not doing enough, and you can't speak once in 2.5 years about how we need to protect ourselves against Russian interference?

You tell me, Chris, he's a spokes - Spokesperson-in-Chief, he says nothing.

CUOMO: Mr. Barr, talking to some of the people around him, now they're saying, "Hey, go easy on Barr. You know, this was about whether or not the President committed crimes. He didn't commit crimes. Mueller couldn't make the call. It's a no-brainer that he can't obstruct justice. Because he's President, you can't indict him anyway. This is just about cleaning this up and moving the country on."

MUDD: I trusted this guy. And now I question what I said on CNN and to my friends in person. Let me give you one specific example.

His - his repeated focus on cooperation by the White House, cooperation. How many lies did we have here? Manafort, Cohen, Flynn convicted of lying.

We had Sarah Sanders, not significant, admit she lied to - repeatedly, which she called a slip of the tongue.

The President, he didn't cooperate. For a year-plus, he said "Let me talk." He told us publicly he wanted to talk. He didn't.

The report specifically talks about evidence that was eliminated, erased, for example, from hard drives by people who didn't want to see investigators read it. And that's cooperation?

Are you - why did he say that? Why did Barr sacrifice his integrity? He didn't have to. Why? I don't understand it, Chris.

CUOMO: Sarah Sanders said slip of the tongue.

MUDD: Slip of the tongue!

CUOMO: Tongue can't slip that much if you were using it as a Zamboni.

Ms. Hennessey, let me ask you this.

In the wall, we just laid out all the contradictions. It is pretty clear that Mr. Barr gave a representation of what we would see in the probe that didn't match up with the actual matters asserted. Why would he do that and what do you take from it?

HENNESSEY: Yes, so, look, Barr's statements, I don't know, they might have been technically accurate in a - in a very narrow sense, but they were unbelievably misleading.

And - and he had to have known that the report was going to come out just a few hours later, and everybody was going to see it. You know, I think that does raise, you know, sort of the - the specter that what he was doing was attempting to get out and shape a narrative early.

You know, one the - the more that you read sort of, particularly the obstruction section that Mueller lays out, you know, it's quite clear. Mueller says that the President cannot be indicted but that he can commit this crime of obstruction of justice in at least a few instances.

He walks through 10 separate episodes. Some of those, he says, it - with - with clearance and - and quite specifically, it meets every single statutory element of the offense. He refutes any possible rebuttals to that or defenses to that.

[21:35:00] The only thing he doesn't do is - is have that final statement "And - and therefore the President has committed a crime," because he says he doesn't want to - he doesn't want to even accuse the President of committing a crime, even walk down that path in a situation, in which the - the President because he cannot be indicted, is not going to be able to defend himself.

And so, it's quite clear that the OLC decision that the President cannot be indicted was essentially the most, the single most significant sort of animating feature to Mueller deciding not to render that judgment.

And - and so, for Barr to come out so strongly and saying, you know, that Mueller did not rely on that in forming his--

CUOMO: Right.

HENNESSEY: --his opinion, it really does read as close to a lie as one can possibly get.

CUOMO: It is literally on page one of the Mueller report that "Hey look, in laymen's speak, I - I can't indict this guy. So, we're going into this knowing I can't do this to a President."

You three are very generous to be with me on such a special night for so many people all across the country. Thank you for doing it.

Phil Mudd, remember the really ugly rash you get from the jelly beans. Be careful with how many jelly beans you eat this weekend. I tell you that as a friend and a colleague. MUDD: Don't worry. I'm sure you're in the peeps. I don't do that.

CUOMO: You're actually wrong. Thank you very much to all of you.

The 2020 race is likely in for a big shake-up next week. There may be a big name, the biggest name is getting in, or not, we'll see.

But the messengers have to be matched with the right message. You heard me talking about that with Sean Patrick Maloney. Where are we? Are they close to having a winning combo?

A rising Democratic name, Andrew Gillum, here with his perspective, next.

Not a peeps guy, it's not true.

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CUOMO: So, what do we know about what could - we can expect from the Democrats at this stage of their kind of vetting for 2020?

Well we know that the Democrats see the Mueller report as damning, pointing to Trump's lies and all the ways this President tried to subvert the investigation by pressuring those around him.

But the party is of a mixed mind about what to do with this information, how to shape it into what they want their message to be.

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CUOMO: So, let's discuss that with one of the young, bright lights, Andrew Gillum. Good to see you, Sir.

ANDREW GILLUM, FORMER MAYOR OF TALLAHASSEE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey, Chris. Man, you must be on hour 40 of - of being on the air. You've been doing a terrific job and appreciate you sticking through it.

CUOMO: Thank you. That's why I look like me and you look like you because one of us is getting sleep, and the other one is me. So, wish you a blessed Easter for you and the family.

I don't know if you got to hear me with Sean Patrick Maloney.

GILLUM: Thank you so much. You too.

CUOMO: I get the outrage of this, 100 percent. I just don't know what you do with it.

Because we see in polls, the American people are not on tenterhooks about whether or not the President's going to be impeached. The polls are much higher for what you'll vote about on other topics than this. So, what do you do?

GILLUM: Well, I mean in - in - in all honesty, you get elected to Congress, a co-equal branch of the United States government not to do the bidding, not to get there and do always what it is that's popular, but to do your job, your Constitutional duty.

And so, this idea of sort of playing and gaming the politics of it, I understand. We want to get rid of Donald Trump and - in 2020. But the truth is, is this man ran around the country, running for President, saying he wanted to put Hillary Clinton in jail.

And what we're simply saying is that we would want our Members of Congress to follow the Constitution executed to its fullest extent. He's already demonstrated he has obstructed justice in this investigation. And, quite frankly, that's cause enough for impeachment.

CUOMO: But if you go down that road--

GILLUM: I just want us to make sure that we stand for our values.

CUOMO: --you don't get the removal because you don't have the numbers. And we don't see consensus.

And let's just be a little cynical for a moment, politicians have a tendency to act out of fear of consequence more than out of good conscience, and if there's not that kind of motivation on the Right, you shouldn't expect consensus.

So, can you win in 2020 if the thing that people have heard most from your party is the functional equivalent of "Lock her up," which is "Throw him out?"

GILLUM: Well, listen, Donald Trump is not a threat just for the next two years and beyond. Donald Trump is a threat to democracy.

So, we know that the President breaks the law. He breaks his Constitutional oath. But we're going to sit this one out because we may have some fear or trepidation around what it means for the outcome of an individual election.

Listen, 50 percent of the people who are registered in this country aren't voting. Those folks haven't heard a voice. They haven't seen the kind of champion that will move them to action, move them from the couch to purpose, to voting and delivering wins in these elections.

I think we leave too much on the field with a bunch of political calculations that don't reflect honesty and trust and faithfulness to their duty, and to their responsibilities to the American people, not just to an individual election cycle.

CUOMO: So, do you think that Senator Warren played it right, saying today, I think he should be impeached, and we should go down that road?

GILLUM: I would say anyone who is speaking up, and looking seriously at what their job and their responsibility is, they can't help but draw that concept - that conclusion.

And I don't mean just for Democrats. I also mean for Republicans. If you run to be patriots to your country, you take an oath to the job that you're - you're there to do, and then you cower from the task.

CUOMO: Well--

GILLUM: This - this is not good (ph).

CUOMO: But you know what? You got to - you have to look at it from their perspective.

You don't even have a felony. You don't even have an indictment. And yes, high crime and misdemeanor doesn't have to mean either of those things. It's a non-existent legal standard. It's about votes.

But they've gotten good clearance. They've gotten better clearance from the Mueller report than the President did, frankly, in terms of what it means, and because his (ph)--

GILLUM: Well, the truth is - is and--

CUOMO: --lying is clear.

GILLUM: Well you've - you've reported about this. Mueller did his part of the job, followed guidelines of the department around whether or not a President--

CUOMO: Right.

GILLUM: --can be indicted and delivered what he could by way of the facts that were made available to him--

CUOMO: Right.

GILLUM: --which at least on 10 separate occasions, and my opinion would come - would reach that standard.

[21:45:00] CUOMO: Right. Now, the big news of potential, next week. Let's say that Joe Biden, former Vice President gets into the race. How big a change?

GILLUM: I mean we've - we - we - we've been watching for him for a long time, Chris. I think very few, if anybody, will be surprised with regard to his entry. But there are a lot of people that have been waiting for Joe Biden to enter this race.

We're all watching to see, is this going to be the Scrappy Scranton Pennsylvania Joe Biden that gets out there, tells the truth, speaks like it is, but will also cast a big vision for the future that - will also introduce policies that there are moonshots and some - to some extent to win.

CUOMO: That sounds like a move to the left.

GILLUM: Aspire a generation of people who want to believe in him.

CUOMO: Is that eloquent Gillum speak--

GILLUM: Well, I - I - I--

CUOMO: --for move to the left?

GILLUM: No. It's the same--

CUOMO: It's a little bit. A little bit it is.

GILLUM: --Joey Joe.

CUOMO: A little bit it is. It's a little bit of Gillum speak for you got to move to the left.

GILLUM: We want you to--

CUOMO: Moonshot, that means--

GILLUM: We want to - we--

CUOMO: --move to the left.

GILLUM: I just mean he's got to make sure that he's showing he's up with the times that he recognizes the Democratic Party that he wants to lead and is willing to lean into that in a way that allows for those voices throughout the party and a sizable constituency within the party to be heard.

CUOMO: Move to the left. Now, look--

GILLUM: Move closer to me.

CUOMO: Now, listen, Andrew, you have done such good work in establishing that you understood where your party would be in a state that was never supposed to be, even close, to accepting you in that Florida Governor's race.

GILLUM: It's all right.

CUOMO: I was wrong about you during that primary. I didn't think that what you were doing on the ground would resonate against the money you were against, and the people with the networks of contacts they had, I was wrong.

I trust you when you say--

GILLUM: Well--

CUOMO: --you think you know where your party is. So, we'll see.

GILLUM: Well, listen, I - I - I came closer than any Democrat in 24 years.

CUOMO: No question.

GILLUM: I don't hold it against you that you didn't believe. But the truth is as I ran, and - and was one of the first out saying that we needed to impeach Donald Trump.

CUOMO: Yes. No, look, you've been strong on it. You've been consistent. Let's see how the field follows that advice. Be well, Mr. Gillum.

GILLUM: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: Again, blessed Easter for your family.

GILLUM: Thanks.

CUOMO: All right, it's a night heavy with meaning for millions of Americans. And the A.G. was hoping that that Mueller report would be lost in our observance. But I argue the timing for the release was perfect, next.

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CUOMO: Tonight, we mark Good Friday, the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, loved mercy enough to give up his life of his own free will, then rising from the dead on Easter, the epitome of Rebirth and Renewal.

To my Jewish brothers and sisters, on this start of Passover tonight, you ask why tonight is different than all others. And the four questions or four answers relate the significance of moving from slavery to freedom.

Let's extend these ideas to where we are and apply their significance and lessons to our current condition, and what to do about it. This was never going to be decided in a court of law. Even Mueller

knew that and said as much on page one. This is about you and what your representatives demand from here.

This President is not a Russian agent, according to Mr. Mueller. Good! His campaign was not part of Russia's massive efforts to mess with our election. Good!

But they did collude. Read the report. Mueller explains. He doesn't even use the word. Why? He was looking for crimes. But if you want to talk bad behavior, what collusion can be, he spent a 100-plus pages laying out facts of the same.

Be clear, this campaign did sneaky things that they knew they shouldn't, and the proof is that they lied about the same, repeatedly, all the way up to the President, repeatedly, calling fake what you now know was all too real.

He lied to you about his business, about his payoffs, about his efforts to obstruct, about his efforts to get the fruit of Russian interference, about what people around him did, and what he knew about what they did.

How has he handled it? As expected! First, he accepted the report as good because he wasn't being charged with a crime. But as the other aspects have come out, he says, "Total BS."

He may not be a felon. And I say "May" because it's pretty clear Mr. Mueller believes that if he weren't President, his actions were actionable under law.

But he's not acted like a man of integrity or a leader. You can't read the report and think he has behaved as we should want. So, what? Too many of you will shrug "Not because you like what he did, but because you just don't expect any better."

I get it. I'm 48. I've been steeped in the best and worst of politics since I was seven. I was raised by a man who believed serving his state meant being his best, a three-term governor.

People didn't agree with everything he did. He had his fights and his weaknesses. But he was a man of integrity. He told people the truth. And he did not try to multiply his support by dividing people.

There are others like him in public service, but the culture has changed. We reward the wrong things. And we have stopped demanding better.

My argument is that with the Mueller report, we should make a change. We cannot allow criminality to be the bar for acceptable conduct. We can't tolerate any one, Democrat, Republican, to abuse the truth and condemn any that call them out for the same.

Service is about doing for others, not serving yourself. And yes, this applies to this President. He tried like hell to mess with the search for truth because he didn't like where the answers may lead and what they may mean to him.

So, now what?

All this talk about impeachment, I don't see that as a realistic outcome. The Democrats would have to win the Senate in the next election to even have a chance of removing this President, if he were to win again.

[21:55:00] They can and should dig. They should demonstrate the depths of deception. But ultimately, this has to be about you, and what you demand.

Ironically, as I said, Mr. Barr released this report, I believe, to let it get lost in our vacations and Holy Days. But I think the timing is perfect. This is the time we get with family. We get deep. We examine articles of faith. And I argue it is the time to do the same about our politics.

As I said, Christians define this time as about rebirth and renewal. So, let's do that when it comes to our political culture. Let's think about wanting the best from these men and women, picking the best of these men and women, surrendering nothing of value to us, as we weigh in on other aspects of our life.

Don't have the person you vote for be someone that you wouldn't want at your dinner table that you wouldn't want around your kids. You're not hiring a hit-man. You're hiring someone to harness the strength of our government to advance your efforts.

We can do better. That's what this time of year is about. And I think that's what we should be about now more than ever.

All right, now, I'm going to bring in a Democrat who conquered one of the best-known conservative strongholds in the country, and took out a Trump-backer who spent decades in office.

What do you think of that? Next.

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