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Rudy Giuliani Denies Wrongdoing After Feds Raid Home & Office; Biden Faces Bipartisan Pushback Over Economic Plans; Daily Beast: Gaetz's Wingman Wrote "Confession Letter" Saying The Congressman Paid For Sex With A Minor. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 29, 2021 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And the news continues. Let's hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, Anderson, thank you very much.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

There's big news on our watch tonight. Rudy Giuliani and the former president that he served are potentially entering the gravest legal jeopardy they have faced. And Giuliani has chosen the most dangerous course, in dealing with it.

He has decided to take the matter public and challenge a Department of Justice that has been looking at him for two years.


RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: Raided in the morning, because - what, I'm going to destroy the evidence? I've known about this for two years.

Evidence is exculpatory. It proves that the President and I and all of us are innocent. They are the ones who are committing - it's like - it's like projection. They're committing the crimes.

And second, I can tell you, I never ever represented a foreign national.

The search warrant is purportedly based on one single failure to file, for representing a Ukrainian national or official that I never represented.


CUOMO: So, he chose to appear on a show that Fox itself has argued is not to be taken seriously. And yet, he made very serious allegations.

He said that the warrant was illegal, that his electronics will exculpate him and Trump that the Department of Justice spied on him. And that this is about the Bidens and politics. And as you just heard, he never represented any foreign entity, or agent, or any of the interests, in violation of the law.

There is a reason that attorneys, for time in memoriam, have not wanted people to discuss a case.

Because not only will those words echo into the ears of people, who are now being challenged, to prove they know what they're doing, but there are implications about why it's being done, though it started under the Trump Administration, and what they can prove.

These are not inactive enemies. Warrants like this, here's what we know, they are obtained usually, deep into a case. Why? Because prosecutors have to be able to convince a judge that they know things, and that they are likely to find a proof of a crime, if they get what they want pursuant to the warrant.

Now, as we saw with other Trumpers, like Manafort and Cohen, charges were not far behind this kind of move. Now, the question becomes charges about what?

"The New York Times" reports tonight that at least one of the warrants was seeking evidence related to the ousting of Marie Yovanovitch, from her role as Ambassador to Ukraine.

You remember how impressive she was when she was discussed during the impeachment hearings, and what she was about in a job, what she liked, what she didn't like.

Trump removed her from her post, why? The speculation was, from Giuliani and others, that she had stood in the way of his shakedown efforts to smear Biden.

And that is what this may all be about, what Giuliani perhaps with the knowledge and participation of Trump and others did for Ukraine and its agents to get information, and assistance, on the Bidens, real or fake.

We also know that Giuliani did not hide these efforts. He openly went to Ukraine, as the President's lawyer, or so he said.

You'll see why I qualify that in a moment.

He said he was going to get information, including information from a man that U.S. Intelligence says is an active Russian agent, a man known as Andrii Derkach.

And we know that Giuliani was completely aware of what U.S. Intel thought of this guy, and that Trump was as well, and that Trump Administration Intel services wanted him to know that what this man was telling him, and what he was repeating, about the Bidens, was known to be propaganda that Russia wanted out there.

And we know that he knew all of this, because we confronted Giuliani about it here.


CUOMO: But why would you even meet with this guy?

GIULIANI: Has nothing to do with Derkach. It has to do with direct witnesses.


I interviewed him, because he had additional information. What he gave me was a - was a document from the Ukrainian government, going back to January of 2017, saying that $5.3 billion in foreign aid is unaccounted for. $3 billion of which is American foreign aid.

CUOMO: Yes, except he is called by our government to be a Russian operative.

GIULIANI: Please, let me finish.

CUOMO: And a propaganda pusher.

GIULIANI: Please! Please let me finish.

CUOMO: Go ahead. All right, go ahead.

GIULIANI: Two people--


CUOMO: He went on to say "Yes, I know. I don't believe them about that." It's a key part of it. So he knew. He didn't believe. He dismissed.

But he also says - hold - that the information he was giving, he was well, well informed that it was coming from Derkach. And he knew the concerns about it, and he did it anyway.

Now, what did Trump know about these efforts? And how did he assist, if so? Trump has changed his story. Not surprising! Most recently, Trump said nice things about Giuliani, on Fox.

But listen to this, and then think about what wasn't said, Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rudy Giuliani is a great patriot, he does these things, he just loves this country, and they raid his apartment. It's like, so unfair.


CUOMO: "He does these things." What things? No detail from Trump. Why? Why nothing specific about what was done or not done with Ukraine and why it's OK. Here's why. Because what Trump knew about he may have empowered and that could be a problem.

OK, now we know that Trump for a while denied knowing what Giuliani was doing there. You remember that phase? "I don't know what he's doing. He went over there. I don't know why."

But eventually, he owned his efforts. Listen.


GERALDO RIVERA, JOURNALIST: Was it strange to send Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine, your personal lawyer? Are you sorry you did that?

TRUMP: Not at all, Rudy was a great crime fighter. You know that maybe better than anybody.

RIVERA: Of course, yes.


CUOMO: OK, so you knew he was there. You sent him. He was working for you. Fine.

The same man, who said in his perfect call, with Ukraine's President, that got him impeached, that the President should talk to Giuliani about the Bidens. "I will ask him to call you."

Remember, it seemed like a quid pro quo, and that what lead to the second impeachment. Now, could it lead to a crime or knowledge of a crime?

Thereafter, Trump went back to saying he didn't know if Rudy was still his lawyer. Literally, those were his words. "I don't know if he's still my lawyer." Think about that. And what that expresses is a state of mind. Ridiculous, but instructive of Trump's wariness of what he may have known was afoot.

So, what did the denials from Giuliani and the relative silence about the substance from Trump mean? Is this just about lobbying? And what does the timing of the warrants suggest about the progress of the case?

Questions that demand better minds, and we have them, Norm Eisen, and Mary McCord.

Good to have you back. Thank you for being with us.

Mary, as I said there, lawyers do not want people talking, when they're being investigated for exactly what we saw from Rudy Giuliani tonight. What is the mistake in coming out of the box hot the way he did?

MARY MCCORD, LEGAL DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL ADVOCACY & PROTECTION: Well, people might say things that might incriminate themselves.

They might leave investigators to have additional questions about them. They might compromise defenses. I mean, you never really want, as a lawyer, your client to be talking publicly about a case, where they are potentially the target of the investigation so.

But Rudy Giuliani speaks when he wants to speak, and obviously we saw that tonight.

CUOMO: Did anything he say fall into the category of "May come back to haunt him," Mary?

MCCORD: Well, I didn't - I actually didn't hear the entire interview.

What actually I - what hit me, just as the prosecutor I've been for, most of my career, but not anymore, was when he said that the search warrant was illegal, because you have to have evidence that someone is trying to destroy evidence, in order to get a search warrant, which is, of course, utterly baseless.

Search warrants are based on probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime may be found on the items that you seek to search. It has nothing to do with whether you're trying to destroy evidence.

So, I was a little bit befuddled at that comment, coming from someone who had been a prosecutor, and thought he was really just trying to impact the public, and make them think that from the get-go that this was an illegal investigation.

CUOMO: The timing, Norm, what does going to the search warrants suggest about where prosecutors are in their process?


NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Chris, thanks for having me back on, a pleasure to be with you, with my Friend Mary.

What the timing suggests is that the waterfall of events is really cascading.

We've seen this once before, with the investigation of Michael Cohen. These warrants are typically executed well along in an investigation. There was about a four-month gap between the Cohen raid and the denouement, the charges against Cohen.

So, I think it's certainly more than days away, but it's not years away. And I think it signals a high likelihood of very serious jeopardy for Mr. Giuliani, because of the standards you have to satisfy to get a judge to authorize this kind of a warrant.

CUOMO: And look, the atmospherics here aren't good, Mary. That's never been your specific interest. You're about the law, and not the politics of it.

But he's got his son pleading his case, when he obviously he doesn't know what he's talking about. He's got Michael Cohen being a tea leaf reader, one of the least credible people you can find. So, that's not great for him that that's the company he's in, at this point.

But there's also a suggestion that "Well, this is just about registering as an agent." Why do we all assume that that's all this could be? Do you believe that it could only be about registering as an agent? Why would the search warrant involve going after Yovanovitch's seat as Ambassador? MCCORD: Well, a prosecutor does have to list a potential crime that they're investigating on a warrant, because they have to say that - they have to be able to establish that they have probable cause, to believe that that crime is or may be being committed, and that evidence of that crime will be found on the item sought to be seized and searched, so.

But that doesn't mean you have to list every crime, right? And so, it's quite possible there are additional crimes that the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice are investigating.

It's also possible that they will find things on the materials that were seized with rather - whether from Mr. Giuliani or some of the other electronic devices that were also seized yesterday, they might find evidence that leads them to additional crimes. So, I can't tell you whether that's all or not.

But I will say I think it's wrong for people to suggest that a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act is not a significant crime. I know it's something that people don't know a lot about.

But the whole point of registering, when you are representing a foreign principal, and in this case, we're really talking, I think, about a foreign government, is so that not only the public, but also the government here, the U.S. government knows that when you are speaking to them.

And, in this case, presumably we're talking about when Giuliani was advocating for the ouster of the Ambassador that he's do - this is hypothetically, and alleged, that he might be doing that on behalf of a foreign government, and not just based on his own views.

So, it's all about transparency, so that the people, who are sought to be influenced, as well as the American public, understands what is behind that effort. So it's not an insignificant crime.

And I would also say that there's another crime that has an even stiffer penalty, which is acting as a foreign agent, of a foreign government, which is also a potential here, if the evidence pans out. And that is a 10-year offense, and it's nothing to belittle or suggest is not important.

CUOMO: All right, Norm, Mary, I got to leave it there. But thank you very much. As the story continues, I'm going to come back to one, and both, to kind of understand which way this is going.

But I do know this. Everybody who's still in that business, on the Justice side, they say that when you come out, and say that they have nothing, that's the biggest mistake you can make, when you have a federal investigation against you.

Norm, again, Mary, thank you.

So President Biden hit the road today. He wants to try to sell his plans. And yes, they have a big price tag. But is it about value? Or is it just about cost? And he's going to try and take his case to the people.

But is that what this is about? Or is it really about just getting his own party in line, to do this through reconciliation? And if those are the politics, what is the best path?

Yes, I'm showing you Joe Manchin, the Senator from West Virginia. But there are probably more players in this game. Let's talk about it, next.









CUOMO: The President hit the hustings, trying to go right to you, America, and say "Support this nearly $4 trillion pair of economic plans. Let's rebuild the country."

Republicans seem set on not putting their names behind any Democratic legislation. But Biden has to worry about his own. And there is a real game afoot.

Let's get some insight and bring in one of the masters of the magic, Manu Raju.

It's good to see you.


CUOMO: The idea of "All Democrats on board," yes, no?

RAJU: That's going to be hard. At the moment, there are several, not just Joe Manchin, who we'll talk about here, but others, who are also concerned about the level of spending that they're talking about. And they want to see all the details.

What Joe Biden laid out yesterday was a very expansive role of the federal government, and a huge price tag, and just a ton of details that Congress has to fill in.

And top of the $1.9 trillion of COVID relief that's already been approved, we're talking about $1.8 trillion in the American Family Plan, as well as $2.25 trillion for the American Jobs Plan. Those last two measures still need to move through Congress, and there's some negotiation, on a bipartisan basis, to move forward. [21:20:00]

But there's also discussion about Democrats trying to cut out Republicans and move it on their own. If they try to move it on their own, they have to win over West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin.

He has been one of the most effective senators so far and wielding the influence of an individual senator to his - as he wants. In a 50/50 Senate, any senator has power to use leverage. Joe Manchin is doing just that.

And when I talked to him earlier today, I asked him about his concerns, if he had any, about the role of the government that Joe Biden laid out, and he made clear he is concerned.


RAJU: Are you concerned about this push for a more expansive government?

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Almost certainly. Yes, I am. But I want to see the details, as we talked before.

Let's look at what we're doing that can have long-lasting effects.

The tax reforms, I think we need to have tax reform. I thought 2017 was the wrong direction to go. But we can't overreach to the point to where we stymie investments, we stymie, basically, growth, for 2022, 2023, 2024, and on.


RAJU: So, he's sharing a lot of the same concerns that Republicans have. He's concerned about the level of spending. He's concerned that there's already been so much already pumped into the economy--


RAJU: --as the economy is improving here. He says they should talk to Republicans, work with Republicans. And he's concerned about the tax increases proposed by Joe Biden.

So, a lot has to be done to win over Democrats like him, but let alone winning over Republicans, and then getting it ultimately on his desk, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, so let's unpack the two main challenges going forward.

The first one, you just referred to, it is hard to argue that you know the amount that is necessary, when you don't know what the prior amounts that you've put in, have done to the economy.

How do the Democrats and the White House deal with that, that you don't know what the last stimulus did, and where the economy will be in four months, five months, six months? How can you put a price tag on it now?

RAJU: Yes, that is a really difficult question for them to - needle for them to thread. But what they are arguing is that they are in the process of rebuilding.

And there's a way to rebuild, that brings the country back into a place, where they want the country to go, which is why he has laid out this expansive $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal that has beyond - things beyond just road, bridges, and broadband, but other measures as well.

And in addition to that, $1.8 trillion package that includes money for to try to lower healthcare premiums for individuals, to try to enhance jobless benefits, to make the child tax credit, to extend that for an additional five years, things that could help the social safety net of people, and try to not get back into the same situation that we have seen, in this economic crisis, for the last couple of years.

So, the real challenge for the administration is selling the Party on the vision that the President laid out last night, because it's beyond just the relief that was pumped into the economy, to get out of this crisis, but how to rebuild for the next 5 years to 10 years going forward.

And that's the challenge they have, to get Democrats like Joe Manchin on board, who are not quite sure if that's the way to go.

CUOMO: Here is the dangerous game. His best argument to Manchin and the others is time. "We got to get big things done, or we're going to get crushed in the midterms." But I think the only way he gets them on board is something that takes time. Put it in committee.

RAJU: Yes.

CUOMO: Put it on the floor. Have the amendments. Have Schumer do the votes. Show that the Republicans are recalcitrant. Then you have the high ground to go reconciliation. But that takes time.

RAJU: Yes.

CUOMO: Manu Raju, thank you. Appreciate you, pal.

RAJU: Thanks.

CUOMO: Thank you very much.

RAJU: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, so that's on the policy side. That's politics with a small p. What about with a big p in the state of play for the Democrats? Is it just about the policy, talking the talk, walking the walk? How about the talk?

A real big brain of Democrats greatness, James Carville, he says, "Talking the talk is a problem. Woke culture is a problem." And the messaging whiz behind "It's the economy, stupid!" says something now is obvious and stupid. What is it? Next.









CUOMO: Walk the walk, that's what Biden is trying to do, literally, going around the country, and saying to you, "I've got a plan. Let's get this done before the midterms, so you can see the big things that I did, big price tags, big difference, even if it means forcing it through by reconciliation." OK, that matters.

But what about talking the talk? This is politics after all. Messaging matters.

Do you remember the man who came up with "It's the economy, stupid!" during Bill Clinton, about keeping it obvious, to where people are, speak to them, in obvious terms, relate, find them where they are?

Well now, the question is, is all of that anathema to wokeness, and the opposite, in what we're seeing from the Democratic Party right now?

Let's bring in James Carville, author of many of the good ideas of the Clinton administration, messaging, among the top of them.

So James, it'll be a good test of your political currency, to see how you deal with the beating, coming your way, for messing with wokeness.

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST, CO-HOST, "POLITICS WAR ROOM" PODCAST: Well, thank you for the kind words, Chris. Unfortunately, the only thing I'm going to get cancelled by is the actuarial tables.

I think there's an issue in our messaging. And I think that I don't want to help rewrite dictionaries. I want to help rewrite laws.

And the way that we help President Biden do that is by talking about things that are relevant to people in a way that they can understand it, in a clear, distinct and certain voice. And I believe that. And I'm at a place in life where I can say it, while other people are terrified to say it.

CUOMO: Why are they terrified to say it?

CARVILLE: I don't know that they - is this brings up too much trouble. [21:30:00]

They watch people that get fired for the most trivial offenses, or retweeting a piece of academic research, or something like that. And I don't know how many hundreds of people have said "James, it's just I just can't do it. It's just not worth the grief I'm going to take."

And I sat (ph) and I've had a fortunate life in politics. And if I just don't say something about this, I'd never forgive myself.

CUOMO: Why do you think it'll hurt the Democrats if they stay the way they are?

CARVILLE: Because we're talking about something that doesn't - well it's not - didn't come in the intersection of people's lives. It's just faculty lounge jargon. And it's counterproductive.

It gives the aura of cosmopolitan smugness to the rest of the country that somehow or another we think we're smarter, and better, than other people, and we're going to lecture them, where we are, people agree with us on the issues.

They like our tax plan. They liked - they believe in - they think climate is an issue. They think that racial inequality, and inequality, as I do, is a terrible issue in American politics.

But the way that you solve that is through power. You don't solve it in a faculty lounge. You don't solve it by having arguments back and forth. You go out and you win elections. And that's what I'm trying to help my Party to do, and my President do.

CUOMO: So they'll say - so you say, "All right, so Biden got the most votes ever. But Trump got the second most ever, and that should have never happened. And the proof that you didn't get it done is the slim majority in the House and no majority in the Senate." Fair point?

CARVILLE: Well, I haven't talked to a lot of House members and senators. And they almost to a person think that "Defund the Police" and the "Open borders" talk was terribly harmful.

You don't have to do anything. Look at Starr County, look at those counties down in the Rio Grande Valley, look at Miami-Dade, to see the effect that all of this is having electorally.

We beat a world-class buffoon, I mean, I mean, world-class, historical buffoon. And we lost House seats at the time, and we came within 42,000 votes, of not winning the presidency, that we got to learn to talk to people better, and clearer, and more distinctly, about things that are relevant to their lives. And that's what I'm trying to do.

And I don't - like I say, this whole thing is, is about language. And I think the best language is the most direct simple language of people. And that's what I think we need to engage in.

CUOMO: So, the reverb is this. "No, James, we're not going to talk the language of the ignorant and

the bigoted. It is time that you speak about people, who are diverse with respect for their diversity. And that really being woke is about being decent.

And it's not OK to be disrespectful, and to talk down to people, and just because you're scared that you're White, because you're believing some BS that somebody's selling you.

We have rules about how we want people treated, and we can enforce them now, because we're not in the shadow of just a White majority anymore. This is a diverse country."

What do you say?

CARVILLE: Well I would say this, that somewhere around 68 percent, or probably 69 percent of the people that are going to vote in the next election is going to be White. So, I think it's utterly stupid, to attack 70 percent of the country, when you're trying to get a majority.

And by the way, in order to win a House majority, we have to probably - went back to redistricting, and we get clobbered, because we didn't pick up any state legislative seats.

I didn't - in just normal sorting we probably got to win by six points or seven points. So our urban strategists say, "Let's start out by attacking all White people," I don't think it can get any dumber than that. I really don't.

CUOMO: But they, well first of all, let--

CARVILLE: Don't think I'm ignorant by the way, I don't think.

CUOMO: Well first of all you--

CARVILLE: I might not be a - I might not be the sharpest--


CARVILLE: --knife in the drawer. But I don't - you know, I don't--


CARVILLE: --I don't think you are either.

CUOMO: Listen, you are here because of what you know, and what you've proven campaign after campaign. And you better be smarter than me, James. I mean, that's like, that's about--


CUOMO: --as low a bar as we can get on this show. If you're not smarter than me, literally, you should never be on anywhere again.

CARVILLE: Right. CUOMO: But here's the point. They'll say this.


CUOMO: They'll say this.

"Yes, the numbers are changing in the country. And the Democratic Party in the future of this country is in the diversity. And the Right is playing to White fright. And that is a losing game over the long- term.

And we are betting on the long-term of diversity. And we believe in the gentility of our purpose. We're not out to hurt the Right. We're out to not be hurt anymore by the Right."

CARVILLE: OK, if you want to get - throw everything over the fence to win the election of 2042, then, go ahead.

I'm going to be 77 in October, all right?


And I know how much a difference, if these proposals of President Biden, I know that if they're enacted, most of it is enacted, I think it's going to make people's lives infinitely better. I think he needs to have a Democratic Congress for the last two years of his presidency.

I'm not here to argue with you about 2042. And I'm, by the way, the Democratic Party is a real party of diversity. You look at what we did in Georgia, one of the most beautiful elections I've ever been associated with. So, I don't - yes, they say that.

And another thing I would point to you, Chris, is this, 18 percent of the United States elects 52 senators. Let me repeat that. 18 percent of the United States elects 52 senators.

The Senate and the Constitution gives Whites, in particularly rural Whites, a largest say in the electorate than they actually represent. I don't like it. I wish we could change it. I would love to. But I don't see any chance of that happening, over the immediate horizon.

CUOMO: Well that's - that's the holder effort in all those fights on redistricting. We'll see how that goes.


CUOMO: Especially if they don't get S. 1, H.R. 1 passed.

CARVILLE: So far, S. 1, I'm the most for S. 1, than any human being on the face of this earth, all right? That has nothing to do with the faculty lounge.

I'm for addressing inequality through taxes, and social spending, and programs, and everything else. I believe in a really aggressive way to tackle climate. I think what they're doing over there, they're starting to do it, is very encouraging. I have the same goals as most of the people in the faculty lounge.

But the way that you accomplish the goal is to acquire political power in the form of congressional seats, Senate seats, presidencies, governors, state legislatures. That's the way it's done. And it's not going to get done attacking 68 percent of the people, who are going to vote in a national election. It just doesn't make any sense.

CUOMO: James Carville, I respect you talking about this, and I really appreciate you speaking about it here. I look forward to being in touch.

CARVILLE: Thank you. Hope they don't cancel you, Chris.

CUOMO: I'm like a cockroach. I'll be around. I'll be around.


CUOMO: All right, there are new pandemic concerns.

CARVILLE: Right, bye.

CUOMO: Listen, you know what this show is about. People do the wrong thing. They go too far. There are going to be consequences.

But here, we talk. We talk about things we like. We talk about things we don't like. And that's how we understand ourselves. And that's what we need.

I got some new poll numbers out there, about where we are, and you're going to want to hear them, next.









CUOMO: First, we are just getting a handle on new reporting about the case against an investigation into Congressman Matt Gaetz that could change the state of play. We're going to have that coming up.

But right now I have some perspective for you that you need about vaccinations. And it goes to my point that the CDC guidelines really should have shown people, who are hesitant to get this vaccine, not just the science, OK, but the practicality. "If we can get to this number, this is what life looks like. And then if we can get to this number, this is where," OK?

And here's why. Look, the way, the rate is going, right now, Biden's going to live up to his promise. You have enough vaccine for every adult in the United States, by the end of May. He kept his word.

All right, but here's the question, what about the people who don't want to take that vaccine? More than half of American adults have now received at least one shot. But we are already seeing demand drop.

Supply is soon expected to outstrip demand. Doesn't bode well for getting where we need to be, which is where? 70 percent to 80 percent, OK?

Polls show 58 percent of American adults, who have not gotten the shot yet, don't want one. Politics? Yes, probably. The majority of those people, who remain skeptical are Republicans. Now, ironically, the head of their party got it himself. In fact, he said that the vaccine was the best thing that's ever happened.

We've shown you the science. You've heard the nation's top doctor encourage you to take the vaccine and why. And the dropping cases that we're seeing, even with the variants on the march, is more proof.

But if that's not enough to convince the vaccine-hesitant, let me turn your attention to India, OK? Yes, they may be far away. But the reality is what we just missed here.


CUOMO: This is them burning bodies, OK?

It is the worst COVID outbreak in the world. New cases are rising to record levels each day. You're familiar with that story, but not this kind of consequence. Families are counting their dead, overwhelming wave of death. It is literally a makeshift cremation. That's what they have to do.

Hospitals are at their breaking point everywhere. No beds. No oxygen. They're having oxygen depots in the side of the road.

The most basic human need is now a scarce commodity, oxygen. Why? Because you have incredibly dense population, and vaccinations are key to stopping the spread, but you don't have the supply.

And also, they have a huge class struggle there, all right? It is so bad that the Biden Administration and other countries are sending over raw vaccine supplies, and oxygen machines, to help, all right?

And we got to keep our eye on it, because it could boomerang back. This situation is not over. And we are going to be measured by how we help others as well. So that's some perspective.

Now, as I said, there are new developments in the Matt Gaetz investigation. There is a reported confession letter that has incriminating or insinuating information about Gaetz. And it comes from someone who could know what they're talking about. What is the reporting? What could it mean? What are the questions? Next.









CUOMO: All right, there is new reporting from "The Daily Beast" about the investigation into Congressman Matt Gaetz. Here's the reporting, that his friend and wingman wrote a "Confession letter," saying both he and the Congressman paid for sex with several women, and a 17-year- old girl.

The letter was part of Joel Greenberg's bid, reportedly to get a presidential pardon from Trump, and sought the assistance with the letter from one Roger Stone.

CNN has not seen the letter. I cannot confirm the details in "The Daily Beast" story. We have reached out to Greenberg's attorney. He has no comment, cites attorney-client privilege.

We just got this statement from Congressman Gaetz's PR group.

"Congressman Gaetz has never paid for sex, nor has he had sex with a 17-year-old as an adult.

Politico has reported Mr. Greenberg's threats to make false accusations against others, and while The Daily Beast's story contains a lot of confessions from Mr. Greenberg, it does not add anything of substance and certainly no evidence for the wild and false claims about Representative Gaetz.


In fact, the story goes some way to showing how Representative Gaetz was long out of touch with Mr. Greenberg, and had no interest in involving himself in Mr. Greenberg's affairs."

Now, we have the Reporter, who helped break the news, joining us now, Jose Pagliery.

It's good to have you back on PRIME TIME. What do you make of the Gaetz response to your reporting?


Well, what I make of it is that, I mean, it addresses part of it. But it doesn't address the fact that this is the first time that we are seeing in explicit detail, from his own wingman, what the Congressman allegedly did.

And let me tell you, this letter is pretty explicit. It states very clearly that Joel Greenberg got paid by Matt Gaetz to acquire young women for sex, and that they had sex with a teen.

Now look, I've been on your program talking about Venmo transactions that we also acquired independently, that show that Matt Gaetz was paying Joel Greenberg.

There were insinuations there, right, instructions to hit up one of the girls, and a love motel emoji. But this is the first time that we are seeing it, word for word, explained what exactly they did.

And the thing that really jumps out at me at this damning letter is the idea that he goes, "I did see the acts occur first-hand." This is going to be pivotal for prosecutors, as they go after Matt Gaetz.

CUOMO: If he is to be believed!

Let's just check some boxes. One, the letter, do you have the letter, or did you hear about the letter?

PAGLIERY: No, we have obtained the letter. We've gone through it.

In fact, we actually asked a handwriting expert to go through this letter, and compared it to samples of Joel Greenberg's handwriting, in public records, that he was forced to file, when he was running for office. And we got a match. And so, we know that Joel Greenberg wrote that letter.

CUOMO: And do you know that it reached Roger Stone?

PAGLIERY: So, the communications that we have indicate that they were sent. There are pretty in explicit detail, we know that this document was described. And so yes, that does seem to be the case.

But again, this letter is an extremely long and detailed confession letter, essentially, that goes into explicit detail about Matt Gaetz, their friendship, and what they did together.

CUOMO: Roger Stone tells me, he doesn't buy this. He didn't help. He never took money from anybody. He doesn't recall any letter. And he never has heard of Greenberg, implicating Gaetz.

What do you make of that?

PAGLIERY: I would strongly advise all of your viewers to check out the story that my partner on this story, Roger Sollenberger, and I had just published on "The Daily Beast." It goes, in explicit detail, through all of that. We've got the receipts. We've got images. We've got conversations. CUOMO: So now the big question becomes is Greenberg to be believed?

Whoever he was soliciting, whether it was Stone or anyone else, what is the chance that he was putting it out there, about Gaetz, to help himself, hoping that people would want to help cover for Mr. Gaetz, against the allegations in this letter?

PAGLIERY: Now, that's what's fascinating. So, part of our reporting was, understanding the context of this letter. And this is where - this is actually pretty pivotal.

This letter wasn't written for prosecutors. This wasn't part of a deal for Joel Greenberg, trying to get out of trouble, through the prosecutors, in their attempts to go after Matt Gaetz. This actually was written in an attempt to secure a pardon for himself.

And so, in describing what Matt Gaetz did, he wasn't really doing Matt Gaetz any favors, and he was actually putting himself in some significant harm, in actually writing this down.

But the fact is this letter has existed for months. And there is a lot of detail in there that is sure to come up in any future trial.

CUOMO: And do you think it rests solely on the credibility of Greenberg? Or is there anything in the letter that can be independently corroborated?

PAGLIERY: I mean, there are a lot of details in that letter. And it does mention the activities of the women that were in their circle.

And so, we know that prosecutors and investigators are going after so many of the young women, and some of the women, who actually were actively part of this group that so - there are other people there, who witnessed this, who are also implicated.

And let's talk, you know, we can talk about the person, who was 17- years-old at the time, she's now of age. And prosecutors can talk to her and use her as well.

And so, this isn't just about Joel Greenberg. I mean, there is value in this letter because it was written by him, and comes from him, given the fact that he was Matt Gaetz's friend and his wingman in all of this.

But there are girls that were involved, and they could provide testimony that backs a lot of this up.

CUOMO: That is true.

Jose Pagliery, thank you for providing pieces to the puzzle. Thank you for answering the questions about your reporting. And that's why you continue to get a platform on this show. Appreciate you.

PAGLIERY: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. I have good news on the other side of this break, arguably two good pieces of news. But the best? CUOMO PRIME TIME family, growing! Next.









CUOMO: Good news! Myles Sebastian Morgan. That's the name of brand-new son of Khisha Jarrett, the glue on the team, our Business Coordinator. She's been part of the program from day one.

He was born last week, 7 pounds, 6 ounces, younger brother to Amira (ph), Aiden (ph), and Evan (ph). Myles and mom are doing well. We miss her. But she's doing the best job that there is.

Look at that onesie, "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Let's get after it! The babies!

Our congratulations to Khisha and Jha (ph). We are so happy you brought Myles into the family. This is great. It's good news. And it's good to have good news.

More good news. Tomorrow night, I'm off. The show goes on. The show has grown to the point, thanks to you, where it stays on the schedule, whether I'm here or not. And you will have an upgrade in the form of Michael Smerconish, all right?

Time for the big show, "CNN TONIGHT" with the big star D. Lemon right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: That is definitely an upgrade!