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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Trump Rails Against Judge And Says There's No Crime In Remarks Outside Courtroom; Key Hush Money Witness Michael Cohen Testifies About Personal Conversations With Trump Over Stormy Daniels Payment; Cohen: Wouldn't Have Paid Hush Money Without Trump's Approval; Full Transcript Of Star Witness Michael Cohen Testimony Just Released; Cohen: Trump Was Only Worries About How The Stormy Daniels Allegations Would Affect The Campaign, Not His Wife; Exclusive: Stormy Daniels' Attorney On Today's Testimony From Michael Cohen. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired May 13, 2024 - 20:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Cheap on the upfront.


BURNETT: Is this more expensive to build?

WEIR: Well, actually I wrote this book because - as a guide to my boy, like where to live, what kind of house to live in as the Earth heats up now. And it turns out that if you live in a place with a lot of swimming pools like Florida, California, the southern part, those are the contractors who know how to blow concrete, shotcrete or gunite it's called.

And so it might be 5 percent more than a stick frame construction, but there's so many saved costs at the end. You don't have to put a roof on it. You don't have to put siding on it. You can do whatever you want with it, but it's just encouraging to see somebody take their anxiety and turn it into action ...

BURNETT: Yes, anxiety and action.0

WEIR: ... to make a safer world for all of us.

BURNETT: Absolutely. And 5 percent more, I mean, that's nothing when you think about it. All right. Thank you so much, Bill. And don't miss the one hour "Champions for Change" special Saturday at 9. AC360 starts now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening and what a day and welcome to a week of testimony from perhaps the most consequential and controversial prosecution witness in the former president's hush money trial, Michael Cohen. A one-time fixer, attorney and according to his memoir, designated thug for the former president. He's now a convicted felon and self-admitted perjurer, but despite that resume, he took the stand today as the single individual who can, should the jury believe him, do what no other witness can, testify to multiple direct conversations with the former president about the then candidate's alleged knowledge and even authorization of every critical step of the alleged hush money crime that forms the basis of the 34 felony charges against him.

Plus, Cohen can testify to the prosecution's allegation that the so- called catch-and-kill scheme was a political move designed to win an election. Cohen today quoted Trump telling him he wanted Stormy Daniels' allegation under wraps until after the election, quote, "If I win, it has no relevance. I will be president. If I lose, I don't even care."

Prosecutor used texts, call logs and emails wherever possible to document Cohen's testimony and tried to front end the credibility issues the defense will certainly use against Cohen. Afterwards, the former president addressed the news media. He had harsh words for the trial itself and the judge, but no mention of the witness, suggesting the gag order may be having an effect.

Joining me now, criminal defense attorney, Arthur Aidala, former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin, and a slew of my colleagues who were in the courthouse on this huge day, anchors Abby Phillip, Kaitlan Collins, Laura Coates and also correspondent Kara Scannell.

Kara, let's start off with you as we often do. What was it like?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, I thought it was just so fascinating how Michael Cohen was so controlled today. His answers were very deliberate. He chose his words carefully. He was measured as he told this whole story from when he first started working for Donald Trump, where he was talking favorably about him, about the experience, to ultimately where we ended up at the end of the day, which is where he said Donald Trump approved this reimbursement to him.

Another thing that really stood out to me was how prosecutors were weaving these call logs in between everything that Michael Cohen was testifying to, to really give the jury something else to look at, not just ...

COOPER: That is not just Michael Cohen's word.

SCANNELL: Right. It's not just Michael Cohen's word because a lot of this is Cohen remembering a conversation he had with Trump, but there's no other evidence of what that conversation was except these call logs show that calls took place. One that stood out to me, right before Michael Cohen went to the bank to create the bank account for Essential Consultants and then wire the $130,000 payment to Keith Davidson, Stormy Daniels' attorney.

He called Donald Trump twice that morning at 8:30. We know he got to the bank at 10 AM and opened the account and began this process. So we were seeing from the prosecutors' - getting to the credibility issues of Cohen, giving the jury something else to look at here, which were these call logs.

COOPER: Kaitlan, you were there in the afternoon. What was that like?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, in the afternoon is really when they got to the heart of why we're sitting inside that courtroom, which is the negotiation of this deal. That was interesting to me. I never heard Michael Cohen say before that he spoke to Donald Trump before he took down that home equity line of credit.

But what was so notable about that moment is what we had heard from Kara and our other colleagues all morning was that Trump wasn't - or that Michael Cohen wasn't really looking at the jury, wasn't making eye contact. When he was answering that question and explaining why he did it, which is because it was paperless, no documents would come in the mail to his home saying that he took out a $130,000 line of credit because his wife didn't know. And he was explaining that he looked directly at the jury for sustained periods of time and was kind of walking him through it.

And then in another moment, he was explaining when - which the prosecution was trying to get at because they know the defense will bring this up on cross-examination, is Michael Cohen wanted a job inside the Trump administration and didn't get one. And Michael Cohen was saying today, he didn't actually think he was qualified to be chief of staff, but he wanted his name to be included ...

COOPER: Why would that stop anybody?

COLLINS: Yes, that's a great - well, this was the before days.

COOPER: Uh-huh.

COLLINS: But he wanted his name to be included because it was essentially an ego boost. He was very upfront and blunt about that. But he was talking about text messages with his daughter and how good of a relationship that they have and where she was texting him and they showed this on the screen, that she was asking, you're not going to get a job after everything you've done for Donald Trump and that was kind of his feeling as well. And he was kind of explaining that to the jury and they were listening very closely.

And it was kind of a humanizing moment for Michael Cohen, which he certainly is going to need when the defense tries to obviously eviscerate them as we're expecting.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I mean, there were a lot of those moments.

COOPER: You were there in the morning.

PHILLIP: I was there in the morning for the kind of the ramp up to all of this. And this is where you really saw Michael Cohen, I think, exercising the control that Kara is talking about. We've all at some point or another talked to Michael Cohen, the version of Michael Cohen that most people are used to. He's pretty bombastic. He can be very loud. He was not that person on the witness stand.

When he first got there in the morning, he had his hands to his side, almost as if he was sitting on them. He kind of had - his body language was so close to the vest. And he starts talking about this relationship with Trump, trying to build up this credibility that he was not always this bitter person, even to the point of talking on numerous occasions about how many times he did things for Donald Trump knowing that he would not get paid for it.

He was not paid for a lot of work that he did before he came into The Trump Organization.

COOPER: Right. There was a hundred thousand dollar (INAUDIBLE) ...

PHILLIP: A hundred thousand dollar bill that - and that served in two key ways. And this perhaps speaks to how well he was prepared. One, it showed that Trump, if he didn't want to pay a bill, he wouldn't pay it. But two, that Michael Cohen was willing to kind of do whatever for the simple praise of being in Trump's orbit.

And then again, when - after the election, Trump doesn't give him the job of his dreams, but does make him a personal attorney. He says he knew he wasn't going to get paid for that job. He was going to have the title, but no compensation. The only money that he was going to get were those $35,000 checks that were actually more or less reimbursements for the hush money scheme.

LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: I was really struck by just how puppy-like he portrayed himself for Donald Trump. I mean ...

COOPER: You were there in the morning trial.

COATES: ... I was there in the morning. It was a bit surreal to see him describe himself - his voice would almost be wistful, talking about I was on top of the world - when he would praise him. That he was seeking that praise, that validation.

And that was so important for the prosecution to get out because they want the jury to have a snapshot. They don't want the Michael Cohen of today. They want to have the person who, at that time, what were you willing to do, what did you do, but more importantly, at whose behest did you do so.

We hadn't heard much testimony up until now about the directions that were given by Donald Trump, who he was giving the instructions to. We heard today. I want you and David Pecker to work together; you and Allen Weisselberg to figure this out.

The instructions given in a way we had not seen before. And there was also a moment where they took the wind out of the sale of the defense argument to suggest that, look, he's a liar in all capacities, why believe him. Well, he says, one, I lied routinely for Donald Trump. That was part of my job. He knew that I did that for the media.

The other part was the big question everyone asked. Why did he record that phone call or that conversation between himself and Donald Trump? He says, fronting the issue, I did it because I wanted David Pecker to remain loyal to Trump. I did it because I wanted to show Pecker that he didn't intend to pay the money. And I knew it was going to cut off the phone call at the end or the conversation at the end, but it didn't matter, I already had what I needed at that point. And so whether that's coming across as authentic to the jury or not ...

COOPER: That seems like the biggest bunch of bull. I mean, that ...

COATES: I mean, look ...

COOPER: ... so what he's arguing is that he - Donald Trump's personal attorney, is secretly recording a phone call against ...

COATES: Covers ...

COOPER: ... violating all sorts of ethical things of his own client that he's then going to play to David Pecker, an alleged personal friend of Donald Trump ...


COOPER: ... to tell David Pecker how Trump has his back. If I'm the personal friend of Donald Trump and I'm David Pecker, why wouldn't David Pecker go to Trump and say, your personal attorney recorded you secretly.

PHILLIP: Well, okay, there's more to the story. There's more to the story.

COATES: Yes, there's more, Anderson. They didn't say at the - that's why at the beginning it was so important, were you part of the legal team? No, I was not. Were you part of general counsel? No, I was not. Now we had heard the idea of him being called the attorney all this time. It seemed like he was just (INAUDIBLE) himself.

COOPER: But he's still planning to tell David Pecker ...

PHILLIP: But here's the thing ...

COOPER: ... that he secretly recorded a phone call?

PHILLIP: Here's the thing, Anderson ...


PHILLIP: ... the other part about this is that, yes, David Pecker was a close friend to a degree of Donald Trump's. But according to Michael Cohen, this is his testimony, David Pecker was furious and was antsy. He was nervous that he had put basically $130,000 on AMI's bank account and he couldn't justify it. And he wanted Trump to repay that money back. And on top of that, AMI had that drawer of dirt, alleged dirt, on Donald Trump and Michael Cohen was nervous about that.

And so the money that was supposed to go to Karen McDougal was not just for Karen McDougal, but also for the contents of that drawer. The part that I was the most skeptical of was why all of a sudden that went away.


PHILLIP: It went away pretty suddenly. All of a sudden, David Pecker was like, oh, I made all this money off of Karen McDougal, et cetera.

COOPER: But isn't the more rational explanation, he knew that this was sketchy, and he was recording for his own protection ...


COATES: Yes, yes.

COOPER: ... this conversation with Donald Trump.

PHILLIP: Absolutely, yes. But that's also not to the benefit of Donald Trump either --


COOPER: Right.

PHILLIP: -- I don't think I don't think, but yes.

COOPER: Jeff, did the prosecution accomplish what they needed to today?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the thing that struck me in reading, I was not in the courtroom, but in reading the testimony, is the scaffolding that the prosecution is building around Michael Cohen. Kara mentioned the phone records, but it's not just the phone records. It's how often the prosecution, Susan Hoffinger, the lawyer, either explicitly or implicitly connected his testimony to other evidence in the case, whether it's other testimony, other documents, just building this scaffolding so that if he gets attacked, it's not just his word.

Now, obviously his word counts for a lot, especially in the conversations with Trump. But other than that, what - the question I have, and I assume we'll get to this later, is just how are they going to attack him. Because - I mean, they can't say he didn't know Donald Trump, and the checks speak for themselves. He did pay Stormy Daniels. He did get checks from Trump.

I mean, what is - they're going to say he's a liar, he's terrible, but what is it that he lied about?

PHILLIP: I'm going to offer one.

COOPER: If only we had a defense attorney here that we could ask. What would you attack him on?

ARTHUR AIDALA, NEW YORK CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: So everyone's saying, oh, today was a great day for the prosecution. If today was not a great day for the prosecution, Alvin Bragg has to go in there tomorrow and dismiss the charges. I mean, today had to be a great day.

Oh, the first - maybe one of the first - I mean, there's so many ways to attack. But I would say, Mr. Cohen, you testified in direct examination that you didn't take $130,000 out of your bank account because - to pay for this, because you didn't want your wife to know, correct? And what you determined to do - the way to get around that was to take out a home equity line of credit, correct? And that was a way for you to lie to your wife, correct? No, no, I wasn't lying to my wife. Well, you didn't go home and say, honey, we have to make a decision here in our marriage to give $130,000 to pay this off. You didn't do that, correct?

So you deceived your own wife regarding this particular matter, correct?

TOOBIN: How does that make Donald Trump innocent?

AIDALA: It's - Jeffrey, you know this.


AIDALA: I have the charge, we'll read it later on. I have the charge that the judge will read to the jury at the end of the case about credibility. And basically, Anderson, what it says is, you can accept in whole or in part, it's called falsus in uno. So if you find that he's lying about one thing, just one thing, the judge is going to tell him, you can throw out all of the testimony.

And what President Trump needs is one or two or maybe three of those people in the jury to be like, I can't believe - if Abby doesn't believe him about one thing, seriously, then obviously one or two of those people are going to agree with her. Like, this guy's full of it.

PHILLIP: I do have one other thing that I found to just be lacking in Michael Cohen's testimony. I mean, he testified to Allen Weisselberg talking him through how he would be compensated. And then he says, Allen Weisselberg went and basically briefed Trump.

But he wasn't in the room for that conversation. The strong implication is that Trump was then told that he was going to be given - Michael Cohen was going to be given this money on the cover of some kind of retainer, which is the falsification of business records part of it. But Michael Cohen doesn't actually know that. And he testified that maybe that conversation happened, but he can't really prove it and you can't really prove it without Allen.

COLLINS: But he was asked at the end, which is probably one of those critical lines to come out of this, is if Allen Weisselberg showed that document, which is the key document, really, of the whole case to Trump, where they talk about how they'll change it and how he's going to be compensated and then get the extra 50 grand for something that Trump didn't pay him for. And he testified that, yes, Allen Weisselberg did show that document to Trump and that Trump did approve it.

COOPER: And if you're the jury, aren't you wondering where ...

COLLINS: Is Allen Weisselberg?

COOPER: ... is Allen Weisselberg?

COLLINS: Yes, that's the (INAUDIBLE) ... COATES: I think, you - and, of course, you - they've called other people to talk about what he's done and how the accounting works, but that's the real - missing elephant in the room. But one way to get a sense of how maybe the fact finders, the jury, are thinking about this is through the objections that were raised by the defense that were sustained today, when the judge is going along with what they're arguing.

And part of that was every time the prosecution attempted to say and go one step further with Michael Cohen and say - and from - what did you think that person meant when they said that to you or what do you think that person was feeling at the time. It was an objection. It was sustained each time, because you're needing Michael Cohen to go that extra step to suggest it wasn't just intimation. It wasn't just my thought about how and why you were saying it, but could you actually give me the verbatim details of what they said as opposed to him just saying, well, what did he say once you told him things had been done? Fantastic. He kept saying, he said, fantastic. Fantastic is not an instruction, but it could be for the jury indication that he wanted it to happen.

COOPER: Kara Scannell, thank you. We're going to have more. Everyone else, stay with us. We just got the full transcripts of today's testimony, including Michael Cohen admitting to past lies. John Berman is going to go through those for us. Plus the most fascinating viewpoint in the entire courtroom, sketch artist, Christine Cornell, joins us, except for the people on the panel, of course.


Christine Cornell joins us again with her impressions of a place where no cameras are sadly allowed. We'll be right back.



COOPER: We've just gotten the full transcript of the day's proceedings, and John Berman is going through it right now. Before we go through some of the key moments, it's worth noting that it was just over six years ago after months of silence about the alleged payment to Stormy Daniels, when then-President Trump finally answered repeated questions by the media and said he knew nothing about the payment, but pointed to Michael Cohen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is Michael - why did Michael Cohen made this, if there was no truth to her allegations

TRUMP: Well, you have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney and you'll have to ask Michael Cohen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?

TRUMP: No, I don't know. No.


COOPER: Joining us now with transcripts from Cohen's testimony today, CNN's John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So we did just get the final installment of the transcript, and it was at the very end of the day in this last section that perhaps the most important legal moment took place, and it had to do when Michael Cohen testifying about the payment plan and what Trump knew.


He described a meeting in Trump Tower in January of 2017, when Trump was president-elect at that point, with Allen Weisselberg, Michael Cohen and Donald Trump. Michael Cohen says, "During the conversation, Allen turned around and said to me, what we're talking about this, it was - and what we're going to do is, we're going to pay you over 12 months. It was probably better if I get it in one lump sum. No, no, no, no, no. Why don't you do it as over 12 months, and it will be paid out to you monthly?"

Question from the prosecutor, Susan Hoffinger: "And did he say anything about how it would be paid out as something?" Cohen: "Yes. It was like legal service rendered since I was then being given the title of Personal Attorney to the President." Then a little bit later, Hoffinger asks, did Mr. Weisselberg state in front of Mr. Trump that you're going to receive $420,000 over the course of 12 months?" Cohen: "Yes." Hoffinger: "And what, if anything, did Mr. Trump say at the time?" Cohen says, "He approved it. And he also said: 'This is going to be one heck of a ride in D.C.'" Question from Hoffinger: "And did Mr. Weisselberg say in front of Mr. Trump that those monthly payments would be, you know, like a retainer for legal services?" Michael Cohen says, "Yes."

COOPER: So why, Laura Coates, is that the most critical testimony from the day?

COATES: Well, because we're talking about 34 counts of falsified business records. The heart of this matter is not whether there was an affair or whether the allegations were true about either Karen McDougal or, sorry, Stormy Daniels. It's about whether or not they intentionally falsified records to suggest that this was more than what McConney talked about, just simple drop-down menu. Oh, our options were this. I had to put legal services down. It was an intentional act, he's alleging.

Of course, you're talking about Allen Weisselberg and Cohen in this conversation, but the defendant is actually Trump. That's the issue.

AIDALA: If you looked at the words that Berman just wrote - read - I'm calling you that because that's what he calls you. I'm sorry.

BERMAN: I answered a much worse.

AIDALA: I don't mean to be disrespectful. I always hear ...

BERMAN: Everybody calls me (INAUDIBLE) ...

AIDALA: All right, sorry.

He says he approved it, but he doesn't use the words that he approved it with. He quotes him saying, this is going to be a heck of a ride in D.C., which has nothing to do with the approval. So that's something that I would focus on as well. When you said he approved it, did he nod his head? Did he say something? You testified direct, he approved it, but he didn't say how he approved it and said, okay, that's great. That sounds good. Allen, get it done. You just said he approved it.

But then you remember him saying, it's going to be a heck of a ride in DC. So why is your memory so clear about it's a heck of a ride in D.C. and not how did he approve it.

TOOBIN: But isn't that statement that he remembers, if he were lying, wouldn't he say, oh yes, make it - be sure to make it look like a legal fee. In fact, it seems like Trump sort of changes the subject and talks about his experience in D.C. Isn't that, doesn't that suggest that he's not lying?

AIDALA: My only point is he doesn't say how he approves it. He just says he approved it. What does that mean?

COLLINS: Well, the other ...

COATES: That was the (INAUDIBLE) ...

COLLINS: ... the other question also is Michael Cohen talked about how he basically never constructed a retainer agreement for Trump because he never was getting paid for basically anything that he did for Donald Trump, including the $100,000 he was owed when he was first brought on a decade ago, and including in this moment when he was changing jobs then.

So I think the other question that I had there was, okay, well, why is he now getting paid, and how often is - if you are getting a legal retainer, is it ever grossed up for taxes?



AIDALA: No, no, no.

AIDALA: Exactly. So that's the primary question here at the heart of this.

PHILLIP: Well, the others -- COOPER: So, I mean, the critical thing about that meeting is if it's to be believed, this is the moment when Trump is informed that the billing is going to be this improper legal services, essentially.

TOOBIN: Well, yes, but also Trump writes the checks. I mean, what is - what possible explanation ...

PHILLIP: I guess ...

TOOBIN: ... for there is there except that it is the deal that he worked out with Weisselberg and Cohen.

PHILLIP: One of the questions that I have, I mean, if - I mean, maybe Arthur, you can speak to this, is there a defense in Trump saying or Trump's attorney saying, well, he was advised by Allen Weisselberg that this is the best way to do it, and he agreed?

AIDALA: That's definitely a piece of it. And also, I mean, it's not that he - it's not that a veterinarian laid out the money and he's giving it to Michael Cohen, a legal fee, and then Michael Cohen's going to give it to him. His lawyer did lay out the money. The money is going to Michael Cohen. Michael Cohen is his lawyer.

So writing a legal fee down there is not, like, so far-fetched. If I'm the - if I'm doing the closing argument, I would say, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, do you think when Donald Trump had constructions done on one of his buildings and he wrote out a check to the construction firm, do you think he broke it down? Well, this much was for concrete, and this much was for rebar, and this much was for window or did he just say, here, here's the big check. You deal with it from there. Here, Michael Cohen, here's the big check.


If some of it is money that you earn, it's yours. If some of it is money you laid out, it's yours. But in my mind, it all goes under legal fees.

TOOBIN: Yes, but your legal ...

COATES: And the prosecution has a different summation, right? And that's why they have book excerpts to talk about how meticulously he managed his money, how he didn't - how he would say, he even had Ms. Westerhout saying, look, he would look at the things, he would void out other aspects of it. He knew where his money was going.

COOPER: He was telling Michael Cohen to pay $0.20 on the dollar.

COATES: Exactly, he was telling him to renegotiate. Part of the testimony today was about Michael Cohen's job being to renegotiate invoices that he didn't like. That was a big part of his job.

AIDALA: But the argument isn't he's not paying Michael Cohen, the argument that you make as defending Donald Trump is it's money going to his lawyer, okay?

COLLINS: But he never paid him before.

AIDALA: It's money - whether, I'm sorry, go ahead.

COATES: Not for legal services, that's the point.

AIDALA: Okay. But - and I think you could argue to a jury that this is minutiae and it's a political, it is a political hit job on this guy because that guy sitting in the front row, Alvin Bragg, who's not sitting in a murder trial right now, who's not sitting in a robbery trial right now, he's sitting here because he doesn't want him to be president of the United States. It's called selective prosecutions, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, and your justice in this courtroom and justice dictates that you walk him right out.

COATES: Well, let me raise it with my (INAUDIBLE) ...

AIDALA: Sorry.

COATES: Well, I'll raise it with this ...


COATES: I got to go trial attorney with you on this because I would then say, thinking about sitting in different rooms, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the president of the United States was in the Oval Office, not managing the free world. He wasn't talking about diplomacy. He wasn't talking about congressional action. He was thinking about writing checks to Michael Cohen because of Stormy Daniels.

So if you want to talk about the rooms that we're in and why we're there and how long we stay there, do you - are you telling me that the person who is now the president of the United States was doing this? It is fair.

COOPER: He was also concerned about Karen McDougal.

COATES: You're right. You're right. But she's a very beautiful woman, he said, according to ...


PHILLIP: But isn't - I mean, do words not mean anything? I mean ...

COATES: No, they don't, Abby.

PHILLIP: ... they weren't legal services. That's a fact.

AIDALA: But it's going to his lawyer. It's money going.

PHILLIP: Like Michael Cohen wasn't ...

AIDALA: Look, I know we're going to make a big deal that he watched every penny, I get that part. I think that's been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. I don't think they've proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he is involved without how it gets written down in ledger books or how it gets - how it goes down to his accountant. That's clearly Allen Weisselberg.

COOPER: But Jeff, does that - what level of detail matters for this?

TOOBIN: Well, what you're leaving out, Arthur, understandably because you're making the case for the defense is this is not an ordinary legal fee because as Donald Trump knows, this lawyer laid out $130,000 of his own money.

AIDALA: That he hid from his wife, by the way.

TOOBIN: That's for the campaign.

AIDALA: Right. Well, that's what he did well today.

TOOBIN: Right. For the campaign.

AIDALA: That's what he did well today is, I think he made it clear that this had - well, if you believe his testimony, it that had nothing to do with Melania, this had nothing to do with his family, this had everything to do with the campaign and that's an essential element.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, that was one of the most brutal moments of Michael Cohen's testimony.

COLLINS: It was incredible. I think Berman has the transcript of ...


COLLINS: Well, no, you have the transcript of the locker room talk ...

BERMAN: I - well, I have both.

COLLINS: The other where he ...


COLLINS: Okay, that one is (INAUDIBLE) ...

COOPER: Well, you know what, let me just play the soundbite because this was in the interview I did with Melania Trump in 2016 about the Access Hollywood tape. I think, if memory serves me, it was her first interview after the Access Hollywood tape.


COOPER: He described it as locker room talk.


COOPER: To you - I mean, you sort of alluded to that as well. Is that what it is to you, just locker room talk?

M. TRUMP: Yes, I - it's kind of two teenage boys - actually, they should behave better, right? He was not ...

COOPER: He was 59.

M. TRUMP: Correct. And sometimes I said, I have two boys at home, I have my young son and I have my husband. So - but I know how some men talk and that's how I saw it, yes.


COOPER: What's interesting that we learned today, according to Michael Cohen, Melania Trump had a role in shaping her husband.

BERMAN: Cohen says it was her idea.

COLLINS: Which we've never heard of.

BERMAN: Cohen says it was her idea.

COOPER: The locker room ...

BERMAN: Cohen says it was her idea. Hoffinger, the prosecutor, says, "What, if any, discussion do you remember with Mr. Trump about the Access Hollywood tape?" Cohen says, "He wanted me to reach out to all of my contacts with the media. We needed to put a spin on it. And the spin that he wanted to put on it was that this is locker room talk, something that Melania had recommended, or at least he told me that's what Melania had thought it was."

Now, to your point, Kaitlan, about Melania, in a little bit of later point here, Michael Cohen goes on to say, Donald Trump really didn't care that much about what Melania thought. This is a little bit of an excerpt that also has a zinger about the timing here. Cohen says, "During the negotiation of purchase and acquire the life rights, what he had said to me is, what I want you to do is just push it out," This is the Stormy Daniels payment, "as long as you can, just get past the election, because if I win, it has no relevance. I will be president. If I lose, I don't even care."

Then, the prosecutor says, "Did you bring up at the time the topic of his wife Melania in one of those conversations?" Cohen says, "I did." Hoffinger: "What did you say, in substance, to him?" Cohen says, "I said to him: And how's things going to go with the upstairs?"


Hoffinger says, "Were you concerned about that?" Cohen says, "I was." Hoffinger says, "And what, if anything, did he say to you about that?"

COOPER: By the way, the upstairs meaning what's happening in the --

BERMAN: We believe what's happening with the family --

COOPER: Right.

BERMAN: -- what's happening with the Mrs. (ph).

COOPER: Upstairs in Trump Tower. BERMAN: Yes. So then Cohen says, "Don't worry, he goes. He goes, how long do you think I will be on the market for? Not long." Hoffinger says, "What did you understand that to mean?" Cohen says, "He wasn't thinking about Melania. This was all about the campaign."

COLLINS: I mean, this was a remarkable moment. You know, we're getting these updates from reporters inside the room. And this is kind of one that makes you pause for a moment because it was essentially Michael Cohen, who was very enamored by the former first lady and went to apologize to her actually later on at the White House.

They had a lunch after he lied to her about the Stormy Daniels affair and the allegation and the cover up of it. But this moment to hear -- I mean, and it's Michael Cohen's word that we're going off of. But to hear him say that Donald Trump was essentially saying he could get married again so easily that it wasn't a problem if she was upset by this.

I mean, that was remarkable because also we know this turned into Donald Trump did win the White House. Melania Trump renegotiated her prenup and refused to move to Washington until it was done. And he is, if you talk to people, he's kind of terrified of Melania Trump.

She's the one person whose opinion he actually holds in high regard. And when she's mad at him, it really bothers him. It's why this trial is so personal to him, because it gets him in trouble at home a lot. So that was a remarkable moment to hear Michael Cohen shed that insight.


Coming up, Stormy Daniels and the payment to her, obviously, also at the center of this trial. Up next, an exclusive interview with her Attorney Clark Brewster. We'll be right back.



COOPER: Stormy Daniels was, of course, the focus of a lot of today's direct examination of Michael Cohen. Back in early 2018, she signed a statement denying any affair with Donald Trump, a statement that was subsequently released to the public by Michael Cohen. I asked her about it during an interview I did with her for 60 Minutes.


COOPER: So you signed and released a statement that said, "I'm not denying this affair because I was paid in hush money. I'm denying it because it never happened." That's a lie?


COOPER: If it was untruthful, why did you sign it?

DANIELS: Because they made it sound like I had no choice. COOPER: I mean, no one was putting a gun to your head.

DANIELS: Not physical violence, no.

COOPER: You thought that there would be some sort of legal repercussion if you didn't sign it.

DANIELS: Correct. As a matter of fact, the exact sentence used was, they can make your life hell in many different ways.

COOPER: They being?

DANIELS: I'm not exactly sure who they were. I believe it to be Michael Cohen.


COOPER: Joining us now in an exclusive interview is Stormy Daniels' attorney, Clark Brewster. I want to get your impressions of Michael Cohen's testimony today, and specifically how his statements tracked with things your client has said. Do you think that they have corroborated each other?

CLARK BREWSTER, STORMY DANIELS' ATTORNEY: You know, it's interesting. I mean, Stormy has never met Michael Cohen.


BREWSTER: The first time they talked was in a podcast for Cohen. But -- so, obviously he has facts that she's not privy to with regard to the negotiations behind the scenes, how the money was allocated and dealt with. But I don't think there's anything that Michael Cohen had knowledge of involving Stormy that was inconsistent with what she testified to.

COOPER: Did Stormy Daniels realize at the time how big a deal this was unfolding behind the scenes? I mean, did she know about the Michael Cohen factor?

BREWSTER: I don't think she fully appreciated that.

COOPER: Was it Keith Davidson just handling stuff?

BREWSTER: Yes, Keith Davidson, who was representing Karen McDougal as well.

COOPER: Right.

BREWSTER: And Stormy was aware of that, I think, at some point. But obviously the nuances of how this was going down, she knew it was significant for the campaign, and that was the pressure point, basically. But I don't think she knew all of the machinations behind the scenes.

COOPER: How do you think she came out of her testimony?

BREWSTER: I think --

COOPER: And the cross-examination?

BREWSTER: Yes. I think, first of all, the prosecution team is outstanding. We spent a lot of time with them, very careful dealing with the facts and circumstances and the corroboration of her testimony. The defense is dealing with a very, very hardworking, smart, careful prosecution team. But I think Stormy did a great job.

COLLINS: You know, she hadn't come face-to-face with Trump since 2007, I believe, until they were in that courtroom together. When there were moments where Trump -- we found out later, was actually his attorney was being scolded by the judge, he was cursing audibly, could she hear any of that, or did -- what did she say about what it was like to be in the room with him?

BREWSTER: You know, she was pretty nonplussed by him. She really didn't pay much regard to him. She did hear the statement that he made a couple of times to some of her testimony, but pretty much --

COLLINS: She heard him cursing in the courtroom?

BREWSTER: I don't know if she heard him cursing, but she heard him responding audibly, but I don't think she -- that impacted her at all.

COATES: They were clearly trying to make her feel shamed in some way by her profession. She seemed completely unfazed by that, entering the courtroom saying her name was to be addressed as Stormy Daniels. Were there moments that she had been prepared that they would attack her in that way? And do you think that her response was in line with how she truly felt?

BREWSTER: I think Stormy was Stormy on the stand. And she's genuine. She's very bright. She's quick-witted. And I think she came across as genuine and open and exposed as she intended to be. And I think the jury saw that.

TOOBIN: Clark, there was a lot of talk in the testimony about Stormy's finances. And one of the things in her finances is because Michael Avenatti filed this failed lawsuit against Trump, the judge assessed attorney's fees against her. She now owes Donald Trump something like $670,000. What's going to happen? Is she going to pay that? Can she pay it? Is there any way to fight it? What's going to happen in that?

BREWSTER: Well, I think it's a non-issue for this trial. They tried to impeach her with it.


But keep in mind the story that she told in that courtroom factually was before there was any judgment. The judgment was inconsequential with regard to trying to impeach her testimony. With regard to that judgment, it's patently unfair. But that's what happens in a defamation case when the SLAPP statute is applied. The attorney's fees are almost automatic. They weren't appealed timely. Before I got involved, the main case was, but not the attorney's fees. So we were hampered in trying to deal with that. But in the NDA case, which is really the subject of her testimony in the courtroom, she won across the board. We were awarded attorney's fees every step of the way.

We didn't get Avenatti's billing because he wouldn't cooperate. So the fee was less. It was about $100,000 that came off that. But we'll fight in Florida. And I think that we'll get some relief there.

COOPER: Was she aware of that potential, that if she didn't -- that was not informed --

BREWSTER: Never explained.

COOPER: Her attorney did not tell her that?

BREWSTER: I don't want to speak for Michael Avenatti, but he never appreciated the risk of a SLAPP defense and never really informed her of it and really exposed her.

AIDALA: Mr. Brewster --

BREWSTER: I think it's terrible.

AIDALA: -- if I could ask, I'm just curious, if you feel comfortable telling us, about how many times would you say Stormy was prepared by the district attorney's office?

BREWSTER: I don't have to say about. I can tell you exactly but they -- I will just tell you that they were very diligent, very careful in their examination, wanted corroboration with everything she told them and found it. But there were a number of sessions that were lengthy. And, you know, being a trial lawyer and doing a lot of criminal cases, I can tell you this prosecution team is first-rate.

AIDALA: A number is more or less than five? More or less than --


PHILLIP: Between the direct and the cross, Stormy's demeanor on the stand was different from, you know, an outsider's perspective. How did she go from kind of that first day of testimony, first day and a half, to when she knew she was going to get grilled by the defense? I mean, how did she take that? What did you -- did you tell her anything to kind of get her ready for that moment?

BREWSTER: Sure. Yes, we spent -- as you remember, we had Tuesday, then there was a dark day Wednesday. We came back on Thursday. But I knew her time to shine would be on cross because she's very, very a quick thinker. She's very, you know, seizes in on facts of the question and was very responsive.

I think the direct was careful, and I think the cross was right up her alley, and she dealt with it well.

COATES: Is she afraid now?

BREWSTER: Yes, she has a lot of fear, and she really does. I mean, she was concerned about the security coming into New York. She wore a bulletproof vest every day.

COATES: Under her clothes?

BREWSTER: Yes, until she got to the courthouse. I can tell you that before she came on Sunday, I mean, she cried herself to sleep. I mean, she was very -- she was paralyzed with fear. Not of taking the stand or telling her story, but what might -- some nut might do to her. And I'm genuinely concerned about it as well.

COATES: She had her daughter's necklace on in the courtroom. Was that some kind of a good luck charm for a mom?

BREWSTER: Yes, it was a feeling that she had her daughter with her, and it was really cute that she did that. The daughter made that necklace.

COOPER: The defense moved for mistrial during your client's testimony, arguing -- they tried to do it twice. What did you think of their argument?

BREWSTER: Well, it really came into play with regard to the detail, some of the detail, and establishing her credibility and why she did certain things. And she said, I was fearful. And she was told by a lawyer, you need to hide in plain sight. The story's got to be memorialized one way or the other.

And if something happens, they'll know who was motivated to do it. So that was the motivation, and I think the defense didn't like that. But keep in mind, in the court of public opinion, Trump has constantly said, she's a sleazebag, she's a liar, I only met her one time.

And so that laydown, those facts, he thought were important enough for the court of public opinion. Why wouldn't they be important enough for a jury in this case?

COOPER: When she was on the stand, she talked about feeling like she was going to black out, and she talked about the feeling in her hands. I think she talked about her head sort of swimming. That was sort of a level of detail she hadn't said before, to my knowledge.

The prosecutor, in questioning her, said, is that a recovered memory? And I think she intimated that, yes, it was sort of a memory she'd -- that had come to her. Is that something -- was that something new that you had heard before?

BREWSTER: No, no. You're talking about the time she came out of the bathroom and he was on the --

COOPER: Correct.

BREWSTER: -- bed, right? Yes, she's always said that. You know -- COOPER: The defense made a big deal about -- clearly was upset by that

and was accusing her of, you know, changing the story from the 2011 In Touch article, which she, Stormy, understand, said, you know, that was, look, it's In Touch magazine, you don't go into a level of detail with them essentially.


BREWSTER: That's right. And so the questions asked by the prosecution were very detailed and very delving into very specific issues. And, you know, some of the gossip magazine interviews that had been done before were just pretty superficial. But she's always said that. I heard it from the first occasion I spoke with her in depth on this matter.

PHILLIP: Does it matter to her if Trump is convicted? And if so, why?

BREWSTER: You know, she's -- privately to me, she feels bad for the guy because she's just empathetic. But publicly, I mean, she's been so damaged by him in the statements he's made about her that any person would feel some degree of revenge motive. So I think that she would be more inclined to hope that the jury does the right thing and finds him and convicts him.

COLLINS: Well, and on the fear part, I mean, there was a moment where she had to turn to the judge because her address was on a piece of evidence that she was worried they were going to show to the courtroom and to have out there. I mean, is she concerned that they do have her address?

BREWSTER: Well, honestly, she's very concerned about that. And because she lives in an area that might not have the level of security that she'd feel comfortable with.

COOPER: Clark Brewster, thank you for your time. Appreciate it.

BREWSTER: My pleasure.

COOPER: Yes. We return with one of the sketch artists who was inside court today capturing history, her perspective on Cohen's testimony and Trump's demeanor next.



COOPER: Well they may despise one another, but Michael Cohen and Donald Trump appeared to both be on their best behaviors today. Who knows what could happen tomorrow? Cohen apparently appeared relaxed on the stand earlier. It seemed like Trump tried to zen out or zone out as best he could, often closing his eyes again.

One of many scenes my next guest captured for us while in court today, veteran courtroom sketch artist Christine Cornell is with us again tonight. So you spent the day looking at Michael Cohen. Was there a certain detail you noticed most about him while he testified? CHRISTINE CORNELL, COURTROOM SKETCH ARTIST: Well, his face is really long and thin, kind of shockingly so. Yes, I mean, I think he's gotten smaller.

PHILLIP: He said recently that he's been having trouble eating, so you've hit on something there.

CORNELL: Say last but -- yes.

COOPER: You first, I think, sketched him when he first pleaded guilty in 2018 to a variety of federal crimes.

CORNELL: Actually, when he first pleaded not guilty.

COOPER: Oh, really?

CORNELL: Yes, yes.

COOPER: So did you look back at those old sketches to prepare for today, or did you just go in fresh?

CORNELL: Honey, I keep them up on my wall.

COLLINS: Just Michael Cohen everywhere.

COOPER: That's Cohen in 2018.

CORNELL (?): Yes, so did I.

COOPER: Yes, he looks younger there, obviously. So the last time we talked, you had talked about how the art of a sketch artist brings a lot of humanity to cases. I'm wondering, when you heard Cohen today, did you -- did the humanity of him come across?

CORNELL: I started to think about that he was 57 years old, that Trump is 20 years his senior, that there must have been an incredible attraction to this, you know, mentor type, powerful guy, you know, kind of giving him, you know, the bolts of Zeus. You know, he could threaten to sue people, and they'd knuckle real fast because of what was behind him, you know?

COOPER: I found it fascinating that he used to dress like Trump, you know, that he would wear the same, you know, flat colored tie. I mean, in a lot of the videos, they're basically wearing identical black overcoats. I mean, there was clearly a lot of sort of hero worship there.

CORNELL: Yes, yes. And I think that was -- this betrayal was very, very deep. I mean, there was a time when Trump actually had all of his contacts in his phone shifted into Michael's phone.


CORNELL: I mean, what greater trust is there than, you know?

COOPER: Has Trump changed over the course of this trial in terms of how you sketch him?

CORNELL: Well, his hair isn't as golden.

COOPER: It was very golden like two weeks ago when I was there.

CORNELL: It was.

COOPER: I was surprised.

CORNELL: It's right now, it's down into the range of what happens to people's hair when they kind of fade a bit.

COATES: Aside from the appearance of Michael Cohen becoming thinner, did you notice, in terms of drawing him in 2018 until now, a change in his demeanor? I mean, you talk about Zeus versus now.

CORNELL: Yes, golly, he was so much bravado.

COATES: In 2018?

CORNELL: Yes, yes, way back when. And -- but then I also had the honor of drawing him when he was weeping and feeling very, very terribly sorry for himself as he pled guilty and saying he made terrible mistakes.

You know, I was thinking today about the evolutionary thing on Michael Cohen. He's not evolved yet because he's still blaming Trump for everything that he did, you know? So that's just --

COOPER: And how much do you follow the testimony today? I mean, when you're -- we talked about this a little bit last time, but when you are in this, you know, you're doing the sketch, how much are you actually listening to the content?

CORNELL: Oh, I'm listening to everything. Yes.

COOPER: And that informs how you're doing it?

CORNELL: I wish more.

COOPER: Because it seems like you start a sketch and you can erase parts of it early on. And, I mean, how -- once you start it, are you set with what you're doing?

CORNELL: Well, sometimes you might say to yourself, gee, you know, he's a little more agitated than that, and you want to get that across if you can. I mean, some crazy things happen with his eyebrows. One of them is just really up here and the other is really down here. And you can't exaggerate it, frankly. I mean, I get afraid of doing a caricature, but nope.

TOOBIN: Christine, you are not sketching the jury, but you're in there with the jury, and you've seen a lot of juries. Can you make any observations about this jury compared to others?

CORNELL: They're very intentive. They're very serious. They don't look at him when they walk into the courtroom.

TOOBIN: You mean look at Trump?

CORNELL: They do not look at him. And --

COOPER: Is that unusual in your experience?

CORNELL: I think we only really think about that stuff when you're waiting for the verdict --


CORNELL: -- you know?

AIDALA: Tell them (ph). When your heart is in your throat, and I'm like, I just hope Christine's going to draw me a picture that I want to keep, because this is going to be a good memory, not a bad memory.


CORNELL: Yes. Well, you know, they won't look at the -- at somebody they've convicted. They will look at you if they still have a connection to you and like you. So I just think this is, you know, I know we've talked about how a win for Trump would be a hung jury. Is there anybody on this jury, you know, who's not -- who's going to think for some reason or another that this isn't something they should convict on or can convict on. I don't know.

PHILLIP: There were all these other characters also in the courthouse today, and Alvin Bragg showed up in some of the drawings, but there were the senators as well. I mean, how did that affect the vibe in the room for you?

CORNELL: Well, they come in like a little power team. It's really like a ballet, you know? I know it all by the clicks of their heels. First come in the characters who set up the electronics, you know, and then here come the prosecutors, bl-bl-bl-bl-bl into the front.

And then, you know, I mean, then the front row in front of me fills up with Alvin Bragg, and then the lawyers for whoever the witness is that day.

COOPER: Yes. And then the prima ballerina not there?

CORNELL: And then here comes, you know, Mr. Trump and his entourage.

COOPER: What does he sound like coming in?

CORNELL: He's pretty quiet himself, but the rest of them are very noisy.

COOPER: I noticed he was quiet. He walked down the hall past me. I didn't even know he was walking past me.


COLLINS: Anderson was looking at the sketch artist.

COOPER: I was watching you. I was. I honestly was. Nobody told -- I was like, he was silent. Suddenly, there he was.

Christine Cornell, it is great to have you. Thank you.


COOPER: Love talking to you.

Laura Coates will be back at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Her special coverage continues with Michael Cohen's former attorney, Lanny Davis, who's now his legal adviser. What he has to say about today's testimony next.