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Trump: "I Don't Do Cover-Ups"; Treasury Secretary Clashes With Lawmakers On Trump's Finances; Mnuchin Punts Again On Putting Harriet Tubman On $20 bill. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 22, 2019 - 21:00   ET


[21:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: -- President and - and only time will tell whether this latest move has Grade A meat on the bone or if it's just a bunch of Ground Chuck turning room temperature in the Rose Garden and on The Ridiculist.

The news continues. Let's hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, CUOMO PRIME TIME: Thank you very much, Anderson, another signature Ridiculist. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

Senator Dick Durbin had a front-row seat today to what Nancy Pelosi just called an Executive temper tantrum by this President. The Minority Whip is here to tell us what happened, and more importantly, why he believes this President gave an ultimatum to either stop investigating him or give up working with him.

But maybe it's this President who better make a choice to work with the Congress on these investigations, or else, looks like he's going to be forced to do the same by the Courts. A second Federal judge uphold subpoenas for the President's finances. We're going to bring in a Republican Member of the Financial Services Committee with what this means to him.

And the President says he doesn't do cover-ups. One question. Why does he keep covering things up then? The path forward now seems to go through one man. We're going to argue who he is and why we must hear from him now.

What do you say? Let's get after it.





REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): We believe that the President of the United States is engaged in a cover-up.

DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk in to look at people that had just said that I was doing a cover-up. I don't do cover-ups.

This whole thing was a takedown attempt at the President of the United States.


CUOMO: The Democrats, here's the backstory, they were invited to come to the White House to work with this President on infrastructure. They also happened to come to that meeting fresh from a meeting about an uprising to impeach him.

Senator Chuck Schumer says what greeted the Democrats in that House would make your jaw drop.

We heard what came after. But now, let's find out more from someone who was actually in the room where it happened, the Democratic Whip of the Senate, Dick Durbin.



CUOMO: Senator Durbin, thank you so much for being on PRIME TIME on such an important night.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Good to be with you.

CUOMO: So, really came to a head today.

You had Nancy Pelosi saying that Congress believes this President is engaged in a cover-up. Then, she and Senator Schumer went in to talk infrastructure with the same man that she was accusing. And obviously, he didn't like it. He had this to say about it.


TRUMP: You probably can't go down two tracks. You can go down the investigation track, and you can go down the investment track.

Get these phony investigations over with.

We're going to go down one track at a time.


CUOMO: What do you make of his proposal?

DURBIN: Well I can tell you this, Chris. I was in the Cabinet Room when the President walked in. And I can assure you that what I saw there, I wish you had a camera, would have made the highlight film of the Trump Presidency.

To invite all of us, the Democratic leaders of the House and the Senate, on a follow-up meeting on infrastructure, to put out the name plates, to get us all prepared for a carefully-choreographed five- minute appearance by the President, where he gave a statement, basically wheeled around and walked out of the room.

I've never seen anything like that in politics. It was dramatic. That's for sure. But it didn't get the job done in terms of serving the American people.

CUOMO: Well where's the chicken and egg analysis in this? Do you think that he got hoodwinked by that statement and by what Pelosi said before the meeting, or do you think she - he planned to do this all along?

DURBIN: No, I can tell you, I think it was carefully choreographed. He's been under investigation now for two years or more. Secondly, statements have been made by Speaker Pelosi, by Schumer, by others that were at least reminiscent of what was said this morning. What it came down to, I think, was this. This President cannot come

through with an infrastructure plan that he promised in the campaign.

Mick Mulvaney, who was not in the White House the last time we met three weeks ago, I think, blew his top when he heard the President say $2 trillion in infrastructure, and made it clear today that the President was going to walk away from any effort to build America's infrastructure.

CUOMO: And yet, it was almost superhuman of Bill Clinton to be able to compartmentalize the way he did during the Monica Lewinsky thing. It does make sense that it puts a hell of a lot of strain on the situation and working together when you're also considering whether or not to impeach.

So, let's put the President's noise and any theatrics to the side and talk about the best foot forward for the Democrats to get the answers. The problem for the President's argument there is he's the one who's keeping it from ending, by not going with the cooperative effort of disclosure.

So, what is the next step for you, Senator?

DURBIN: Well let me - your starting point. Politics ain't bean-bag, they once said, and being President isn't another round of golf at Mar-a-Lago. It's a tough job for any President.

And this President has had shares - share of problems that he's created for himself. The question now is whether he wants to govern in the closing two years. He has the power, the opportunity, if he's willing to use it.

[21:05:00] CUOMO: Senator Schumer, Senator Sanders now, big names in your side of the Party, or at least Bernie's in that side of the Party when he's going to run for President, they both say they're open to impeachment. Where are you?

DURBIN: I can tell you the case is obviously strong when it comes to obstruction of justice. Read the Mueller report.

Mueller did not go forward calling for an obstruction of justice prosecution, and use the Office of Legal Counsel opinion as his reasoning. Of course, then Bill Barr run to - ran to the rescue of the President.

But if you read that report, the Mueller inquiry and report, it's pretty clear that his President time and time and time again was involved in conduct that was carefully choreographed, but still crossed the line into obstruction.

CUOMO: So, then you should call for the House to start impeachment proceedings, and you should be ready to make the case for removal?

DURBIN: Well let - let me just be very honest about this. A Whip's job is to be able to count, and I can count, and I don't believe there are 67 Republicans - pardon me, 67 Senators, including 20 Republicans, who would join us in that effort.

Does that mean the investigation should stop at the House? No.

They need to pursue with witnesses and testimony and documents, a completion of the investigation by Mueller. It is their right, maybe their Constitutional responsibility. And the President had better accept it.

CUOMO: So then, the Party would have to be very straight with its members and Americans in general in saying, "We're going down this road of impeachment because it's the only way we believe we can get the President's cooperation, but we are not doing it to remove."

It's a tough sell, isn't it?

DURBIN: It is a tough sell. But I also think that the situation is such that asking for witnesses and documents, if this House Judiciary Committee is going to be turned down, and not given this information, that is a dramatic assault on our Constitution.

We have three branches of government. There's interdependence and, of course, checks and balances. At this point, I think Mr. Nadler and the House Judiciary Committee is doing exactly what he has the authority and responsibility to do.

CUOMO: Well he's gotten a couple of wins.

He got a wins on the tax-prep, people from one court. He got wins on Deutsche Bank and Capital One and another subpoena thing. So, it has bought some time before the ultimate decision is made. But one would guess it's going to have to be made soon.

Let me ask you about something else that could be done right now. So, DHS, through the White House, came to you guys with a four-plus billion dollar proposal to give them what they need to get through this emergency situation that is having kids die on our watch.

They say Congress, especially the Democrat side, is slow-walking it. Fair appraisal?

DURBIN: Well I can tell you, we gave them over $400 million in the Omnibus bill to deal with the--

CUOMO: They spent it.

DURBIN: --well they said they spent it. I'd like to see it. I was there three weeks ago in El Paso, and what I saw is no evidence of an investment in this clearly humanitarian challenge that we face at the Border.

Now we're working on the Disaster bill, and I think we are making some progress. As I videotape this statement with you, I was told just a few minutes ago by Senator Schumer there's some glimmers of hope here.

We're not at the end of the day. We haven't got an agreement yet. But we're moving in the right direction. Perhaps, just perhaps, we can reach an agreement on this.

CUOMO: Senator, my concern, if you tie it to the Disaster bill, you get caught up in disaster relief politics, and all of the animus towards Puerto Rico that doesn't make any sense, but exists, and all the other politicking of who gets what in what cup.

This is something that exists independent and urgent on its own. You can quibble with how they spend the money. But the emergency is clear, and this is measured in deaths, not in debt.

DURBIN: Yes, but Chris, let me just tell you. Take a look at how few things we enact as legislation in the United States Congress, particularly in the Senate, virtually nothing. The disaster aid is a vehicle we can use and should use immediately to deal with this humanitarian challenge.

CUOMO: So, you don't think that there's enough goodwill in the Senate right now from Mitch McConnell to put something on the floor to help DHS deal with what everybody knows is a crisis?

DURBIN: I - I'll tell you, if it's money for a crisis, that's one thing. But what we're hearing from the President and administration is they want to change policy in every direction. That is problematic.

And I think they're going to have extreme difficulty in light of the way that they've been treating children, and parents presenting children at the Border, in convincing us that they have the best of intentions.

CUOMO: Senator Durbin, I appreciate your candor on this topic. It should really matter to all Americans much more than it does. And I appreciate you taking it on, thank you, Sir.

DURBIN: Thanks, Chris.


CUOMO: If Congress doesn't move on the funding that DHS is asking for soon, the money is going to run out to keep unaccompanied minors safe. If that happens, and you have nowhere to put these kids, what do you think is going to happen? Time is of the essence. We will keep asking the questions. Now, two months ago today, Mr. Mueller handed in his long-awaited report. He would know better than anyone if this President is engaged in a cover-up.

[21:10:00] Coming next, why there is no need to mull over the next step for Democrats, it's clear.

And, another cover-up, you hear what the Treasury Secretary, Mr. Mnuchin said to Congress today about the promise to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill? You must. Coming up.








CUOMO: I think we had a breakthrough moment today. Now, here's this state of play. Here's where the Democrats are.


TRUMP: I have Nancy Pelosi go out and say that the President of the United States engaged in a cover-up.


CUOMO: Cover-up, loaded term. Pelosi knows what it communicates, and so does this President. Here's the breakthrough. This will only stop one way. There's no reason for the Democrats to be in all this, you know,

investigative declaration, an impeachment inquiry, impeachment, forget it. Forget about the how. Focus on the who.

You have to hear from Bob Mueller. He is the only person who can say whether there is enough in his report to warrant Congressional follow- up or not.

[21:15:00] If he sells the findings short, if he's ho-hum about the need for political accountability, the only real move for Democrats is to use what's in that report in the election.

But if he puts meat on the bones of the five different bases of potential obstruction in the report that most of you have not read, so they are trying to fire Mueller, trying to get McGahn to lie about wanting to fire Mueller, trying to limit Mueller's scope, trying to mess with Cohen's testimony, and Manafort's cooperation deal, if he puts meat on the bones of those, and says those are legitimate questions that he couldn't pursue, but Congress can, then it's time to put up or shut up for this President, not the Democrats.

They will clearly have to get to the bottom of it. And this President will have to change course from this.


TRUMP: I don't do cover-ups. You people know that probably better than anybody.


CUOMO: No. Because you are all about covering up to this point. Fact, POTUS directed Michael Cohen to pay off the women, and tried to cover it up. Those payments were a crime. Cohen is - Cohen is doing time for them right now.

He tried to cover up his son's boneheaded attempt to get dirt from the Russians, dictating a bogus cover story. And I've shown you the proof that the President just flat-out lied when he said this.


TRUMP: I know nothing about Russia.

I don't deal there.


CUOMO: So, it is time to shift from hiding key witnesses and hiding from the truth to acknowledging what even this President admitted.


TRUMP: If you've done nothing wrong, being transparent is better.


CUOMO: True. So, even the President knows that if Mueller speaks and says there is a need to look, the President has to stop hiding and selling you poppycock like this.


TRUMP: Well it turns out I'm the most, and I think most of you would agree to this, I'm the most transparent President, probably in the history of this country.


CUOMO: Key facts, this President didn't testify like he promised. That's what he needed to do. And I doubt history will treat kindly his 19 versions of don't remember or don't recall in just the written responses from his lawyers that didn't even touch obstruction.

Now, he won't let people who already did testify come forward to stand behind their words. But here's the problem. What if there is no Mueller? He's still at the

Department of Justice. That's troubling. We don't know why. And the pattern of blocking participation by this A.G. and by the White House does not bode well.

If the President blocks Mueller, if he does that, then the only thing that is transparent here is this President's fear of being exposed, and he deserves whatever the Democrats bring his way, next.

This President said the Mueller report is the Bible. He should let its author speak to the American people now.

So, back to the politics, is Pelosi right? Is the President engaged actively in a cover-up? She says that alone is an impeachable offense. Let's start off there with a Great Debate, next.








CUOMO: Question. Was what Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House called a temper tantrum actually a set-up?

How much of this spontaneous reaction by the President today to the Speaker and to the Democrats, how much of that was actually strategy to avoid having to talk about how to pay for $2 trillion in infrastructure?

After all, what's the proof here? Takes a minute to print up signs like this on the podium, right? That doesn't have anything to do with infrastructure.

Let's use that as the start of tonight's Great Debate with Amy Kremer and David Urban.




CUOMO: What do you think, David?


CUOMO: Do you think that the President had one in his back pocket today?

URBAN: Look Chris, I think he had every intention about talking about infrastructure. I - I've heard him speak about it in the past few days. I'm talking about a serious effort.

And - and just as - to your point, exactly, you know, if - how it's going to be paid for, what was going to be done, so I - I think you heard the Speaker today, you know, come out and basically throw the gala down, and say, look, if - if she believes that he's engaged in a cover-up, as you earlier stated, she should move forward with - with impeachment.

If she doesn't, then she should move forward the people's business, and - and get working on infrastructure bill.

CUOMO: Why not do both like happened under Nixon--


CUOMO: --like happened under Clinton?

URBAN: Chris, because I just heard you say, like you said earlier, it's very difficult to compartmentalize. It's very difficult to keep that animus under wraps. It's very difficult to work through those things.

I think Bill Clinton was extraordinary in his ability to (ph) compartmentalize during that incredibly difficult time. But realistically, this is a much more partisan Congress than it was back then. And - and I think - I think--

CUOMO: You think so?

URBAN: I - I - listen, I heard some of - I heard, you know, some of the Clinton administration staffers even says - admits so today.

CUOMO: But I hadn't.

URBAN: Earlier on TV.

CUOMO: Well, let me ask you this then, Amy. Let's get Amy in here.

URBAN: It wasn't a setup.

CUOMO: Let's get Amy in here.

URBAN: Sure.

CUOMO: The sign, that sign has nothing to do with infrastructure. What was that sign doing there on the podium, Amy?

AMY KREMER, CO-FOUNDER, WOMEN FOR TRUMP: Well, I'm not sure, I'm not part of the Administration, Chris. But I would imagine that he had planned on doing a press conference at some point, and they had that sign made up. And so, he was obviously angry today. And I - he has every right to

be. I'm glad he's fighting back. At some point it's human nature, when you're attack repeatedly and accused of crimes that you did not commit, you eventually fight back.

He allowed the Mueller investigation to go on and play out. How many millions of dollars, subpoenas, questioning, so on and so on--

CUOMO: Nothing compared to Benghazi.

KREMER: --and - and nothing, Chris, nothing.

CUOMO: Not a drop in the bucket compared to Benghazi.

KREMER: If there was obstruction - if--

CUOMO: You never complained about that.

KREMER: Chris, I mean, why are you pushing back with Benghazi? We're talking about the President of the United States--

CUOMO: Because it was a sham, and took years and--

KREMER: You know, this is a thing.

CUOMO: --seven different hearings. And it was a political charade that--

KREMER: And American lives were lost, Chris.

CUOMO: That's right. And you guys took advantage--

KREMER: American lives were lost.

CUOMO: --of that and played on those--

URBAN: Well--

CUOMO: --lives, and pretended that that was your intention--

URBAN: So, so, Chris--


URBAN: So, so--

CUOMO: --when your intention was to smear.

URBAN: So, so, Chris, let's talk about--

CUOMO: And that's why you did it.

KREMER: No. Chris--

URBAN: --let's Chris, let's talk--

CUOMO: Now you want to pretend you're high ground--

KREMER: Chris--

URBAN: Well let - let's talk about--

CUOMO: --when you were playing lowball.

KREMER: Chris--

URBAN: Well, Chris, let's talk about this --

CUOMO: Yes, Dave.

URBAN: --let's talk about this President. Let's just talk about this, and kind of focus back here on the issue. Talk about - listen--

CUOMO: Probably a good move for you, go ahead.

[21:25:00] URBAN: --unprecedented cooperation. You know, this President is - was as many of the - the networks have noted, when the Mueller report came out, you know, unprecedented cooperation. The President didn't exercise or exert--

KREMER: Exactly.

URBAN: --Executive privilege once during the entire Mueller investigation. There were 200 and - 2,800 subpoenas issued, 500 people went before the Grand Jury and testified. 47--

CUOMO: He didn't.

URBAN: Listen, 47 White House and campaign staffers.

CUOMO: Right.

URBAN: About 1.5 million document - pages of documents were turned over.

CUOMO: Right.

URBAN: I mean really unprecedented cooperation. When? When?

CUOMO: He didn't testify.

URBAN: Listen, Chris, when it mattered?

CUOMO: He didn't testify. That's all that matters.

URBAN: When it mattered? When it was not for pure political game.

CUOMO: Read the report.

URBAN: No, Chris, listen--

CUOMO: Mueller said we had a lot of other evidence to work with.

URBAN: Chris - Chris, you're - listen, Chris, you're - you're, Chris--

CUOMO: But we needed that. We couldn't figure out where he--

URBAN: Chris, you're - you're - you're a very smart lawyer, Chris. And you would never, in a million years, let your client testify if he didn't need to. And he didn't need to.

CUOMO: I have a different analysis--

URBAN: He didn't need to.

CUOMO: --that I'll offer when you're done.

KREMER: Chris?


CUOMO: No, no, finish your point, Dave.

URBAN: No, let's go - go--

CUOMO: All right, my analysis is this. I agree with you a 100 percent. The Raskins, Sekulow, Giuliani, good job. You saved his skin. But he's not me. He's not you. He's not Amy, all good people, and I'm happy to have you on this show.

But Amy, he's the President of the United States. He said he wanted to go there under oath. He said he owed that as being President, he had nothing to hide. He owes the people of this country a debt of service. He serves them.

And he should have sat down if he had nothing to hide and answered the man's questions. Even the written questions, Amy--

KREMER: So, you're--

CUOMO: --her turn, even the written questions didn't handle obstruction. How is that transparent?

KREMER: Chris, so you would advise the President of the United States to go against the legal advice from his team? I find that hard to believe. He did what his team wanted him to do, and he didn't go under oath.

He answered the questions. The Mueller report played out, and there was no collusion, and there was no obstruction. End of story. Guess what?

CUOMO: There was no finding of criminal conspiracy.

URBAN: Hey, you know--

KREMER: Chris--

CUOMO: There was collusion and attempts to collude.

KREMER: --Chris, can I please - let - can I tell you something?

CUOMO: And they couldn't make a determination about obstruction because he--


CUOMO: --didn't testify, and Mueller's hands were tied--

KREMER: You know what this is?

CUOMO: --by the OLC opinion. Go ahead.

KREMER: This - this is the thing is that this is sour grapes. The Democrats have been having a temper tantrum ever since Hillary Clinton lost. They cannot get over it. They cannot move on. Every time they look at Donald Trump, they see what could have been.

When they had the Women's March, those women weren't there because Donald Trump had done something to him - to them. They were there because they already had their airline tickets and their hotel rooms booked.

CUOMO: He's trying to take away their right of self-determination of their own bodies.

KREMER: No, they weren't.

CUOMO: What do you mean he hasn't done something?

KREMER: No, they - no, no.

URBAN: You know--

KREMER: That is absolute BS, Chris.

URBAN: So, so, so, Chris--

CUOMO: What are you talking about?

KREMER: That is not true.

CUOMO: He wants to get rid of Roe v. Wade.

KREMER: This - this--

CUOMO: He made up a position to get people like you to like them.

KREMER: Chris, come on, come on.

URBAN: So, Chris, again--

KREMER: No, Chris, I'm sorry. But if you think that I base my opinions on Roe versus Wade or one thing like that, you're wrong. I mean I elected this man because--

CUOMO: So, if he were pro-choice instead of anti-choice, you'd be for him.

KREMER: I'm not - I - that's not my issue that I vote on.

URBAN: Hey - hey Chris, so, so--

CUOMO: Is that a yes?

KREMER: I am pro-life.

CUOMO: Go ahead, Dave.

KREMER: But that's not my issue.

CUOMO: Go ahead, Dave.

URBAN: So - so - so - so back to the - back to the cooperation aspect of this, right? I - I look at this and say, you know, there - there's a fundamental question that underlies this. Do you at your core trust Bob Mueller?

My - my statement has always been Bob Mueller's a great - is a patriot, served this nation--

CUOMO: Understood.

URBAN: --in uniform, and as - as a - as - in other capacities, and from the very get-go, from his appointment, I said, listen, I'll - I will accept what Bob Mueller says good, bad, or otherwise, because I believe that he's an honest man.

CUOMO: Agreed.

URBAN: And he's a patriot.

CUOMO: Agreed.

URBAN: And so, after undertaking all of this analysis, his report says that what it says. And it's been black and white for every American--

CUOMO: That's right.

URBAN: --to read. And, listen, and I'd urge - and I'd urge the Members of the House Judiciary Committee to - to, you know, put away their silliness, and go read as much as they can before--

CUOMO: No, no, no, no, no.

URBAN: --listen, Chris--

CUOMO: No, it's not enough.

URBAN: Chris, well - well listen--

CUOMO: You got to have Bob Mueller on the stand.

URBAN: Well in order - in order to start, Chris-- KREMER: Chris?

CUOMO: Would you agree with that?

URBAN: It would be - Chris, you know, it'd be a good start for them to read the--

CUOMO: Bob Mueller on the stand.

URBAN: Chris, no. It'd be a good start for the - read the document to begin with.

CUOMO: We don't know who's reading what and who doesn't.

URBAN: It's - no, Chris, it's already--

KREMER: Chris?

URBAN: Listen, the Chairman has said he hasn't read it. He refuses to go ahead and read it--

CUOMO: Bob Mueller should be on the stand to--

URBAN: --as a matter of principle.

CUOMO: --answer to the American people--

KREMER: Chris?

URBAN: Well, Chris - Chris, you know what?

CUOMO: --about what he found, what he didn't.


URBAN: And - and - and - and if - and if--

KREMER: Can I get in here?

URBAN: --and if - and if Bob Mueller wants to, he will - he will go and testify. I don't believe--

KREMER: Chris, can I--

CUOMO: But you don't think he should be blocked?

URBAN: No, I don't think he should be blocked.

KREMER: Let me - I want to say--

URBAN: I think Bob Mueller should be allowed to testify.

CUOMO: Go ahead, Amy.

KREMER: OK. I want to say that I just came from Pennsylvania spending several days there. I was outside of that rally on Monday night in Montoursville, Pennsylvania. Those people aren't waking up worried about collusion, obstruction, impeachment.

Those people are waking up across America worried about how they're going to feed their families, clothe their families, do they have jobs, can they put a roof over their children's head, those are the things.

And I saw a woman walk several miles on crutches, I have a picture of her, to see this President, women with their walkers going to see this President.

I predict this goes on, this is going to be a landslide for this President because the Democrats, I mean, what is that saying? If those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

CUOMO: It's saying that they were going to a Trump rally and he is one who is not going to benefit--

KREMER: And they--

CUOMO: --from any further investigation here.

URBAN: Chris, you know, I just say--

KREMER: No, they don't care, Chris.

[21:30:00] CUOMO: And did any of them say to you--

KREMER: They're sick of it.

CUOMO: --"I'm happy if the President doesn't do infrastructure? I'd rather him fight his own fight of political self-interest and deal with the investigations and not deal with infrastructure?" Did anybody say that to you, Amy?

KREMER: Yes. Actually, you know what? At a luncheon yesterday, they said they were tired of the attacks on this President. They were tired of the witch-hunt, and they wanted it to end.

URBAN: Chris - Chris, let--

CUOMO: So, they didn't want him to do infrastructure? Final word, Dave, go ahead.

URBAN: Chris - Chris, this is--


URBAN: --incredibly political. Look, impeachment's a political--

CUOMO: It is.

URBAN: --undertaking. And I--

CUOMO: Inherently.

URBAN: Listen, and I - and I think the American people - and look, Speaker Pelosi's very intelligent. She knows that if she goes down that path, it's going to cost him at the ballot box. And so, she's - she's trying to death by a thousand cuts.

CUOMO: The President shouldn't force her--

URBAN: Death by a thousand--

CUOMO: --to go down that path, Dave.

URBAN: Listen, and, you know, Chris it's a binary--

CUOMO: He should stop blocking--

KREMER: But this is - this--

CUOMO: --the investigations.

URBAN: --it's a - it's a - it's a binary choice, Chris. Either--

CUOMO: If he just puts up the people who already--

URBAN: --either she--

CUOMO: --testified and puts up Bob Mueller--

URBAN: Chris--

CUOMO: --this is over.

URBAN: If the - if the Speaker believes that the President is currently engaged in obstruction of justice and all the things that she articulated today, she should file articles of impeachment tomorrow and move.

CUOMO: If he just cooperates--

URBAN: If not, she should move on.

CUOMO: --with the investigations then there's no need for that.

URBAN: Chris, Chris it's a--

KREMER: But Chris - Chris, let--

URBAN: Chris, he already did cooperate when it mattered, not in a political spectrum like it is that.

CUOMO: What are you talking about?

KREMER: And - and--

CUOMO: He wouldn't testify, Dave.

URBAN: Chris, Chris, I just--

CUOMO: He didn't do the one thing that would have shown-- KREMER: He--

URBAN: Chris, Chris, he--

CUOMO: --he was different.

URBAN: Chris, he did. He did not exert Executive privilege--

KREMER: Let me--

URBAN: --over any of the people.


URBAN: They were asked to testify before - before Mueller.

CUOMO: Until it became politically significant.

URBAN: No, no, Chris--

CUOMO: Like you just said.


URBAN: No, Chris, it's not--

CUOMO: Now he won't let McGahn come on because--

URBAN: Chris, he--

KREMER: Chris?

CUOMO: --he says it's privilege--

URBAN: They cooperated.

CUOMO: --when he waived it.

URBAN: Chris, they cooperated when it was important.

KREMER: Chris?

URBAN: It wasn't a political circus.

CUOMO: All right.

URBAN: Mueller, it was not a political circus.

KREMER: Chris?

URBAN: This is a political circus.

CUOMO: All right, I got to leave it there.

URBAN: Completely different.

CUOMO: I appreciate the arguments--

URBAN: Completely different.

KREMER: Let them impeach--

CUOMO: --from both of you.

KREMER: --let him impeach - let them impeach the President. It's not going to bring--

CUOMO: I don't know why.

KREMER: --make false on (ph) the President.

CUOMO: I don't know why it has to be brinksmanship.

KREMER: It's not going to--

CUOMO: Just work with the investigations. There's no reason for everything to be taken like this shutdowns.

KREMER: He did cooperate.

CUOMO: We don't have to shut down everything all the time. Just cooperate if you--

KREMER: He could have fired Mueller at any point.

CUOMO: --have nothing to hide. Amy, David, appreciate the arguments, love having you on.

URBAN: Chris - Chris, thanks.

CUOMO: Be well.

KREMER: Thank you. Have a good night.

CUOMO: All right, another showdown today between the Treasury Secretary, Mr. Mnuchin and Democrats. Now, look, they're still waiting for the Trump tax returns. And there's a problem with this situation, and we need some help.

So, we have Congressman Sean Duffy. He was at the hearing. He knows the law. What's going on here? What matters to you? Republican from Wisconsin, next, good to see you.








CUOMO: So, in the face of legal advice from IRS lawyers and the IRS's own manual despite a ruling this week by a Federal judge just hours before today's second ruling, the Treasury Secretary still insists he's on solid legal footing when it comes to the President's finances.


REP. ALMA ADAMS (D-NC): Are you aware then that by denying this that that - that you are in direct violation of the law?

STEVEN MNUCHIN, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: No, absolutely not. I have been advised I am not violating the law. I never would have done anything that violated the law. And, quite the contrary, I've been advised to the - had I turned them over, I would be violating the law.

ADAMS: All right.


CUOMO: I don't know that he's taking the right person's advice. Now, our next guest is on the Financial Services Committee. He was in that room. Republican from Wisconsin, Congressman Sean Duffy, it's good to have you on PRIME TIME always.

REP. SEAN DUFFY (R-WI): It's good to be with you, Chris. Thanks for having me on.

CUOMO: Why not just give over the taxes? The law is pretty clear. They stated their purpose. That's all that's in the IRS manual. Just give them over.

DUFFY: Yes. So, but - but the - but the law is clear that Presidential candidates and Members of Congress, we have to do financial disclosures, Chris. We're not required under law to turn over our taxes. Now, as a matter of practice--

CUOMO: That's true.

DUFFY: --Senators have - or people who are running for - for - for President, they actually, well as a matter of practice, turn over their tax documents.

CUOMO: That's a tradition.

DUFFY: But it's not by law.

CUOMO: Not by law.

DUFFY: So, Donald Trump did not turn over his tax records.

CUOMO: Right.

DUFFY: But he did do a financial disclosure.

CUOMO: Right.

DUFFY: And there does have to be a legitimate legislative purpose. To investigate and harass the President is not a legislative purpose that I think falls under that category. And so--

CUOMO: But that's an opinion. It's not in the law.

DUFFY: But it is good.

CUOMO: And in the IRS manual, it lays out how you're supposed to deal with requests from Congress. And there's nothing in there about some ancillary analysis about whether you like their reason. They gave you a reason.


CUOMO: They have the power. You've got to give it over. This is dangerous stuff for you, Sean.

DUFFY: So - well so that's an opinion for you too, Chris. It's--


DUFFY: --it's - it's - it's the opinion of - of the Treasury Secretary that it doesn't meet the standard. And so, what's going to happen is it'll go to the courts. We'll let the third branch decide whether those records have to be disclosed or not. But I think--

CUOMO: But why did the IRS draft memo--

DUFFY: --I do think Mnuchin--

CUOMO: --from their lawyers say the opposite?

DUFFY: Well that - we don't know where that came from, Chris. So, that was not an official memo.

CUOMO: Didn't come from me or you.

DUFFY: It doesn't - wasn't an official memo of - of the IRS. We don't know who wrote it. We don't - it could have been--

CUOMO: But it was an exact echo of what's--

DUFFY: It could have been--

CUOMO: --in their manual.

DUFFY: --an intern within the IRS. And so, it wasn't a--

CUOMO: You really think it was an intern?

DUFFY: Do - well, who was it, Chris?

CUOMO: Probably one of their counselors who was asked to give an opinion--

DUFFY: But - now you're speculating. Now you're--

CUOMO: --about what to do.

DUFFY: Now you're speculating. And we don't know who--

CUOMO: Hold on a second, Sean.

DUFFY: --who - who - who - who it came from.

CUOMO: It's not on me to tell you who wrote it. The document is legitimate. It comes from the IRS. It echoes what's in their manual.


CUOMO: The onus is on you or anyone who wants--

DUFFY: And what the - and what--

CUOMO: --to protect the President--

DUFFY: No, the onus is - the onus is on--

CUOMO: --to say it's bogus. It's not on me.

DUFFY: --the onus on - the onus on you is to report the official stance of the IRS, which is not contained in that memo.

CUOMO: No. But it's in the manual.

DUFFY: The IRS doesn't--

CUOMO: And it's the same as the memo.

DUFFY: And - and - and - and what we're told is that you have to have a legitimate legislative purpose. And to harass the President of the United States because you want to, you know, continue the - the - the Russia forest investigation, have at it.

But here's my point, Chris. Let's stop moving the goalposts.


DUFFY: You know what? Let's abide by the law.

The President is not required to disclose his taxes. He does a summary. He did that. You all said when I was on your show, and - and I listened to your last segment, you said "Bob Mueller's the gold standard. Whatever he says, we got to abide by."


DUFFY: Well Bob Mueller did his reporting. Now, you look, well - but I don't - I can't believe it because - because Donald Trump didn't testify. CUOMO: He didn't find anything on obstruction because the President didn't testify.

DUFFY: Donald Trump didn't testify or--

CUOMO: His hands were tied. And he left it to Congress.

DUFFY: So but - but you didn't say - that was not - as we talked over two years, you didn't say, "I'll only abide by Bob Mueller's report, if Donald Trump testifies." No, you said, "We'll abide by Bob Mueller's report."

CUOMO: Because I was told by the President of the United States--

DUFFY: And you - and - no--

CUOMO: --that he would testify.

DUFFY: And you - no. And you did not also say that if I don't like the findings of the Mueller report, I'm going to go to Jerry Nadler to try to investigate it a second time.

CUOMO: There was no--

DUFFY: Everyone's moving--

CUOMO: --finding on obstruction.

DUFFY: Well the - he didn't find a crime, Chris. There was no crime that was found.

CUOMO: They did not find a crime either.

DUFFY: There's no need for - Chris--

CUOMO: He left it to Congress.

DUFFY: So, I was a former prosecutor. You're a lawyer. We don't exonerate. We actually say is there enough--

CUOMO: No, you don't. And that was weird language. And I need to hear him--

DUFFY: --is there enough is - is - go on.

CUOMO: --explain why he used it.

DUFFY: Is there enough evidence to prosecute this case? That's my decision that I make. He didn't find it. He didn't make a referral for a criminal prosecution.

CUOMO: He said he couldn't.

[21:40:00] DUFFY: He's not in the business of exonerating. And, by the way, this was an investigation that was total bogus. There was no Russia collusion. And so, now, Democrats are trying to say, "Yes, there was no Russia collusion. But we think that he attempted to obstruct."

He didn't obstruct the investigation. He fully cooperated with the investigation. Don McGahn--

CUOMO: Did not fully cooperate. He didn't testify.

DUFFY: Don McGahn - Don McGahn - Bob Mueller did not say "I didn't find Russia collusion. But for the fact I could, if Donald Trump had testified," that was not his finding.

CUOMO: No. He actually said that I had enough--

DUFFY: His finding was there was no Russia collusion.

CUOMO: --evidence to look at this.

DUFFY: He said there was no--

CUOMO: And then he said my hands were tied--

DUFFY: Right.

CUOMO: --on the first page. I can't prosecute a sitting President.

DUFFY: He says the investigation--

CUOMO: And I leave this to Congress.

DUFFY: --did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russia government in this election interference activities.

CUOMO: Right. And he says in the other part of that same sentence--

DUFFY: No Russia collusion.

CUOMO: --but, boy, did they try to get benefit from it?

DUFFY: No. But here - but he - look - look--

CUOMO: And they just didn't succeed. They certainly did things--

DUFFY: But--

CUOMO: --that were wrong and lied about it. You know that, Sean.

DUFFY: But here's what's - here's what's frustrating to me, Chris.


DUFFY: I - I look at Don McGahn, works as a counselor to the President in the, you know, as his lawyer--


DUFFY: --in the White House. He testifies for 30-plus hours-- CUOMO: Yes.

DUFFY: --with Bob Mueller.

And so now, Jerry Nadler doesn't like the findings, and says, I want you to come and testify for three hours in front of our Committee, and we're going to get more evidence than Bob Mueller and his professional investigators and prosecutors would have gotten from in 30 hours of testimony, this is all political charade.

Let's get beyond the business of politics. Let's root for the American people. The people that sent us in--

CUOMO: Well if that's what you want to do, then you must not like what the President said today, him saying "Let's do infrastructure or investigations." Nixon didn't say that. Clinton didn't say that.

DUFFY: Listen, let's stop riding the little bike, take our hands off the handle-bars, and look at what - what Nancy Pelosi said. You know this. When you cut a deal, whether it's in Congress or in business, it's about trust in relationships.

And so here, Nancy Pelosi is going to come over and cut a $2 trillion deal on infrastructure with Donald Trump.

CUOMO: That was never going to happen.

DUFFY: And before she comes over, she says it's a cover-up.

CUOMO: You know that they don't have the money.

DUFFY: But she's--

CUOMO: You know that.

DUFFY: --she's - listen - listen - but you're going to come over, talk about it, and say there was a cover-up going on, and think that Donald Trump is going to love you for that? It was actually Nancy Pelosi who blew this meeting up.

And I wish you would have asked your - your previous guest, "Hey, listen. What's the cover-up?"

CUOMO: Sean.

DUFFY: "Why do you lay the cover-up for us?"

CUOMO: All I'm saying is this.

DUFFY: And you know--

CUOMO: Being President is tough. And having people--

DUFFY: Oh, it is.

CUOMO: --come after you is tough and you got to be tough to have the job. And someone like you--

DUFFY: I agree with you.

CUOMO: --who represents where you do in Wisconsin, this infrastructure matters, and it shouldn't be an either/or.

DUFFY: It does.

CUOMO: It should be a both.

DUFFY: But - but - but you know--

CUOMO: They got to figure a way to work together.

DUFFY: But you know that Donald Trump's a builder. Donald Trump, the first thing--

CUOMO: No, I don't.

DUFFY: --he want to do when he got in office, he's built - in New York, he's built a ton of things--

CUOMO: I know he's a marketer.

DUFFY: --in New York City. No, is he - has he built buildings in New York City? Of course, he has. You know that. Come on.

CUOMO: He's had other people build some things.

DUFFY: He's a builder. No, no, no, he's a--

CUOMO: He's developed some things.

DUFFY: He is a builder. And he - the first thing he want to do--

CUOMO: I would not call him a builder.

DUFFY: --when he got to Washington, he actually wanted to do infrastructure.

CUOMO: He did.

DUFFY: Now, he was convinced to do other things, like tax and healthcare--

CUOMO: All right.

DUFFY: --but he wanted to do infrastructure. That's where his heart's at.

And I think the American people look at Nancy Pelosi and say, "You don't want to work with Donald Trump. You - you won't work with him on the Border. You won't work with him on USMCA. And you will not work with him on infrastructure. You're just obstructing because you can't give Donald Trump a win even if it's a win for the American people."

CUOMO: Well that will be the question for the next election.

DUFFY: It will.

CUOMO: And I appreciate you being here to litigate it all the way through. You're always welcome, Congressman.

DUFFY: You do (ph), Chris, thanks for having me on.

CUOMO: Sean Duffy from Wisconsin. Pleasure. Come back soon.

DUFFY: Right, thanks.

CUOMO: All right, so why is the Treasury Secretary backing away from this plan to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill? It's one of the few things that we got national buy-in about. They did this whole national survey, and this is what people wanted.

What's going on? Supposed to be the first African-American woman to appear on U.S. currency. What's going on? D. Lemon and I will take you through it, next.








CUOMO: All right, this is one of those stories that deserves more attention. This was a push years in the making. Harriet Tubman, we all know who she was and how important she was to this country. Putting her on the $20 bill, but don't plan on seeing it during the Trump administration.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confirmed that today in his exchange with Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. Listen to this.


REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA): Do you support Harriet Tubman being on the $20 bill.

MNUCHIN: I've made no decision as it relates to that.

Right now, my decision is focused on security features.

PRESSLEY: And what about imagery? What about the representation?

MNUCHIN: Again, it's not a decision that is likely to come until way past my term, even if I serve the second term for the President. So, I am not focused on that.


CUOMO: He's focused on security features, D. Lemon, like protecting the President's taxes from getting into the hands of Congress. Why do you think he was doing the duck and cover about Harriet Tubman?

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: Why was he? Because he was speaking to an audience of one. And plus, it just doesn't appeal to his base. He said he thought it was political correctness.

I don't understand what is politically correct about putting someone who is a hero to the country, not just for people of color. Of course, she's a - a hero of people of color. Putting a hero to the American people on currency, at some--

CUOMO: And there was big buy-in on this--

LEMON: Big - people were--

CUOMO: --all across the country.

LEMON: Yes. People were already calling it Tubman's, right? Listen, at some point, someone had to decide who goes in all of our currency.

And I, you know, I - I think making a decision about that it's not necessarily political correctness. It's who you think the best person is. And Harriet Tubman is certainly, you know, worthy of being put on--

CUOMO: This took years.

LEMON: --American currency.

CUOMO: And it is interesting, you know, you - when you say, he called it political correctness, that's not this Treasury Secretary. That's this President said that back during the election.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: And he is known for having a picture of Andrew Jackson, obviously, currently on the $20 bill.


CUOMO: And he is - it's interesting why he likes Andrew Jackson, seventh President from South Carolina, a man who was known for being self-directed, had the kitchen cabinet.


CUOMO: He only picked his friends who agreed with him to be around him. He was very controversial in ways that's similar to this President whether he knows it or not.

LEMON: Yes. A lot of - listen, a lot of our forefathers were controversial. And you can't - you can't take that back. But you can do what you can to mitigate it and try to correct it.

Listen, for as - as - as much good as Andrew Jackson did, there were some things that he was not perfect that he did own slaves.

And I think that, you know, taking him off of the $20 bill, which would be in circulation for a while, he will have had his place on the $20 bill, and he'll still have his place in history, and putting someone on who was a hero to people who were fighting against slavery, I think that is - you can't get any more America - American than that.

[21:50:00] I think that we should take steps to mitigate the terrible parts of our terrible history. Doesn't mean that we should forget it, doesn't mean that we shouldn't teach it, doesn't mean that--

CUOMO: Put it in the museum.

LEMON: And some of it should be in a museum, right.

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: But doesn't mean that I have to - you have to walk around with a slave owner's, you know, picture in your wallet or in your currency. That's all I'll say.

CUOMO: What do you got, D. Lemon?

LEMON: That meeting today at the White House--

CUOMO: The Room where it happened.

LEMON: Front and center, Room where it happened, you know who was in the room where it happened?


LEMON: Chuck Schumer.

CUOMO: What?

LEMON: He's up in just a few minutes.

CUOMO: Stop.

LEMON: He's going to explain what happened. He's in the Room, as you said, where it happened. He's going to tell us all.

CUOMO: Strong, strong get, strong get. All right, D. Lemon, I'll check with you--

LEMON: See you.

CUOMO: --in just a second. All right quite a show today outside the White House. Now, we've seen it before, The Trump Show, episode Me, Myself & I.

Here's the problem. Asking Congress to make a decision what to do is really making a decision for himself. What about putting the country first? It would actually benefit him to do so.

Some advice, and an argument, next.








CUOMO: This President is getting criticism for telling the Democrats to pick one, infrastructure or investigating him.


TRUMP: You probably can't go down two tracks. You can go down the investigation track, and you can go down the investment track, or the track of "Let's get things done for the American people." I love the American people.

Get these phony investigations over with.


CUOMO: First, he's not telling the truth about what circumstances are keeping him from doing infrastructure. The reporting reflects what Senator Durbin told you here tonight.

The President's budget folks don't think they can swing it because of how costly the tax cut was. They don't think they have the $2 trillion that they would need. So today was all petty penny theater.

Second, it's a tough job being President. And in that position, you have to be able to take a beating, and keep fighting. You have to be able to surrender the Me to the We.

Like who? Well Richard Nixon. He was up against it, right? First of his kind that we saw with all this, kept working with Congress.

Bill Clinton, all right, he dealt with a lot more intense scrutiny than what's going on with this President right now over something far less important than what Mueller cites in his report, and he was able to compartmentalize.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of the past seven months, to repair the fabric of our national discourse, and to return our attention to all the challenges and all the promise of the next American century.


CUOMO: When he was in the deepest of the doo-doo, Clinton had bipartisan accomplishment - accomplishments. He balanced the budget. CHIP, welfare reform, adoption legislation, and that's just a few. And several months after he was almost removed from office for lying about an affair, his popularity was higher than ever.

So, that takes us to number three. This President holds the key to getting the investigations to finish because he's the one holding up the process. The argument has not changed since this all began. If he and his folks did nothing wrong, why did they lie about what they did?

Now, same concept, new context. If you have nothing to hide from the American people, why won't you let the faces and facts come out for all to see? POTUS isn't even following the script he started reading from just two months ago, when he was all about exposing Mueller's findings.


TRUMP: The Mueller report came out. That's the Bible.

It was a complete and total exoneration.


CUOMO: Then why hide? Why not let the American people see the Bible? Let's extend the metaphor. Why not be the Moses confronting the Mueller morass and set your people free to testify?

Now, of course, this President would be more like the Pharaoh in that metaphor. And that, I guess, we could dupe in the Attorney General for being the Pharaoh just for the sake of argument, and I'm nothing if not an optimist, even if it does reduce my biblical reference, so I'll let the President be doing the good thing in this.

More and more reasons here. You have now had separate courts and judges say, "You can't block subpoenas for taxes and for lending documents." The decisions came pretty quickly. So, this President may want to get ahead of where he may wind up by force.

Second, disclosure is the best way to get the closure this President says he wants. If you diss disclosure, there is no closure. People will never clear you of what must be answered for.

And third, manning up, giving the investigators what they need is also the best way to show that this President is in office to do something for other people, not just himself.

And, at the end of the day, that has to be what it is about for a President of the United States. He holds the key. He can either go along with what they want. He knows what everybody's going to say. He should have nothing to fear. He just said he's the most transparent. Put them out there, most importantly, Bob Mueller. He's still at the

DOJ, and I don't know why. They should put him out there. They should offer him up right now. I don't care if he wants to do it or not. It's his duty.

Let him tell Congress and the American people whether there is something there that Congress should look at. Everybody says he's a man of integrity. What will he say?

Surrender the Me to the We. This President holds the key. Must be right, it rhymes.

Thank you for watching. CNN TONIGHT with D. Lemon starts right now.

LEMON: Listen, you always say that facts first. We always say on this network that the facts come first.