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Trump Faces Third Arrest In Four Months; Alisyn Camerota Interviews Michael Cohen; Alisyn Camerota Interviews Geraldo Rivera; Daniel Dale Fact-Checks Trump's Election Lies; Obama Warns Biden About Trump. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired August 02, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota. Welcome to "CNN Tonight."
Donald Trump is expected to appear in person in a Washington, D.C. courtroom tomorrow. He is facing four federal criminal charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, all in connection to his efforts to undo his election lost. The Secret Service says security will be at the highest levels.
In a moment, I will ask former Trump fixer, Michael Cohen, about the defense that Trump appears to be using and what he thinks will happen next to those six co-conspirators.
Plus, our resident fact-checker, Daniel Dale, goes through the 45-page indictment tonight to break down every one of election lies laid out in it.
And former attorney general Bill Barr tells Kaitlan Collins tonight that Trump knew he lost the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: At first, I wasn't sure, but I have come to believe that he knew well that he had lost the election. What I think is important is the government has assumed the burden of proving that. the government and their indictment takes the position that he had actual knowledge that he had lost the election and the election wasn't stolen through fraud. And they have to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Which is a high bar, of course.
BARR: It's a high bar. Now, that leads to believe that they were only seeing the tip of the iceberg on this.
COLLINS: Do you think Jack Smith has more?
BARR: Oh, yes. I'm -- I would believe he has a lot more.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CAMEROTA: Okay, so let's bring in Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former fixer and attorney. He is now a principal of Crisis X. He's the host of the "Mea Culpa" and "Political Beatdown" podcasts, and the author of "The New York Times" bestseller "Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the U.S. Department of Justice Against His Critics." Michael, great to have you here tonight.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Good to be with you.
CAMEROTA: Okay, so you just heard the former attorney general say that he believes that Donald Trump knew that he lost the election, and what do you think about that being a defense, that his attorneys are going to say he believed that there was election fraud though nobody could ever show evidence of it?
COHEN: Well, Donald will now reach to any defense that he thinks will exonerate him from the charges that are being brought against him. He will lie in order to accomplish that. But I have a whole issue with Bill Barr, to be honest with you.
CAMEROTA: What are they?
COHEN: So, Bill Barr is a man who was Donald Trump's fixer after me. He became the attorney general of the United States as far as weaponizing the Department of Justice. He was the department -- he was the head of the Department of Justice. He was -- it would be no different than "Sammy the Bull" Gravano for John Gotti before.
And before he has the ability to come on whether it's this station or any station and talk about what Donald Trump did, what he needs to do is to come clean himself. Talk about, for example --
CAMEROTA: Say what?
COHEN: -- the weaponization of the Justice Department that Donald told him to do, including like what my book is about, how they, meaning Bill Barr, Donald Trump, etc., weaponized the Justice Department to go against a critic because I refused to waive my First Amendment constitutional rights.
CAMEROTA: It's interesting that you say that because he did talk about Donald Trump weaponizing the DOJ tonight with Kaitlin Collins, and what Bill Barr said was, I think there is no question that he believes these institutions should be used to go after his enemies.
COHEN: Yeah, which is the hope -- that's the whole premise of my book. However, who did he use in order to effectuate the goal? Bill Barr. And again, before Bill Barr gets a chance to sit there, try to welcome himself back to polite society, he needs to own what he did. He needs to be held accountable for his actions the same way I did, for example, when I testified before the House Oversight committee or any of the other six committees.
CAMEROTA: I understand -- I can certainly understand why you have such strong feelings about him. He said something else interesting to Kaitlin Collins tonight, which is about the amount of carnage, this is his word, that he thinks Donald Trump leaves in his wake. So, let me play this for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: He leaves in his wake ruined lives like this, the people who went up to Capitol Hill, these individuals, many of the people who served them in government that got sucked into things, and he just leaves all this carnage in his wake.
COLLINS: Do you think he cares about that?
BARR: No, he doesn't care about that. Loyalty is a one-way street for him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: I feel like you have something to say about that phenomenon.
COHEN: I agree with everything that he said, except for the fact that he was part of the group that was leaving the carnage in the street. He was part of the people who were weaponizing the Department of Justice. He is not an innocent baby in this case. He's, in fact, a guilty party. And again, he needs to come clean.
CAMEROTA: Um, as we -- we believe -- well, I mean, the indictment says that there are six unindicted co-conspirators. We have a graphic of who we know or we have reported on, who we believe they are, and then there's a sixth who we have not yet confirmed who that is. You know some of those folks, particularly Rudy Giuliani. What do you think is in store for these six unindicted co-conspirators?
COHEN: A lot of trouble, because what will ultimately happen is government will come to these unindicted co-conspirators and give them an opportunity to tell the truth, to tell their side of the story. Each and every one of them knows, based upon the allegations, the causes of action that were raised in the indictment, each and every one of them knows that this is me that they're talking about.
And right now, they're in the honeymoon stage where, all right, there's an investigation, they're looking into me, so far there's nothing happening, but once --
CAMEROTA: And maybe they think that they won't -- maybe they think they won't be indicted. Maybe they're thinking they've gotten away with something.
COHEN: And that's a -- that's a foolish way to think because the government, especially Jack Smith, is not allowing anybody to escape. So, each and every one of them knows that this is me that they're talking about, and I think it's necessary for me to have my attorneys reach out to Jack Smith and his team to ensure that at least I have an opportunity to provide information if they haven't already, like I'm a firm believer that Rudy Giuliani has already spoken.
CAMEROTA: What makes you think that? COHEN: Because I understand Rudy. Rudy has no interest in spending his remaining days on this planet behind bars for Donald Trump. In fact, you know, I think the more important thing in this indictment to look at are not who the six co-conspirators are, but rather who is missing from this indictment.
Like for example, you don't see any mention of Mark Meadows. You see nothing of Jared Kushner. Jared Kushner was the secretary of everything. How is it possible that he is not listed here? He was there. He was on Donald's lap the entire time, from the day Donald entered the White House to the day that he left.
CAMEROTA: So, how do you explain it?
COHEN: I believe he's probably a cooperating witness.
CAMEROTA: Jared Kushner, that's interesting, because people have pointed out that Mark Meadows is conspicuously absent, okay, from the indictment. But Jared Kushner is his son-in-law. You think that his son-in-law would cooperate against Donald Trump?
COHEN: Oh, in a heartbeat. Do you think Jared is any different than Donald? Do you think that Donald wouldn't throw Jared under the bus in order to save himself? The answer is an emphatic yes.
CAMEROTA: And you think the same is true of Mark Meadows?
COHEN: Absolutely. Look, that's the one thing that Bill Barr said that I totally agree with, that Donald doesn't care about anyone or anything other than himself. He's a one-way street. And if that means that Jared has to go down, Mark Meadows or "Rudy Colludy" or Eastman or any of them, he doesn't care. That's just who he is.
CAMEROTA: Speaking of Eastman, Eastman's attorney says that he will -- that John Eastman will not turn on Donald Trump. So, here's what he said earlier tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES BURNHAM, ATTORNEY FOR JOHN EASTMAN: Dr. Eastman is happy to tell his side of the story, to talk about the issues he believes are important to the Constitution and the country. And under the right circumstances, certainly he would share those views and share his recollections of everything that happened in 2020 with the special counsel. But if by cooperation you mean flipping on Donald Trump or providing incriminating information, then absolutely not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: That's interesting. He'll share his recollections of everything that happened, but he won't provide incriminating information. What do you think of that?
COHEN: Nonsense. The lawyers talking gibberish. Let me be very clear. You don't even really need John Eastman to come out and tell the story. Jack Smith already has the story. He has the text messages, the emails, and he has testimony from other witnesses that place John Eastman into the middle of this, you know, scenario.
So, if either he's going to turn around and deny it, which, of course, will be a 1001 violation for lying to law enforcement, or he's going to turn around and corroborate what the other testimony or the other witnesses have made. So, whatever this guy says, it's irrelevant.
Yeah, they're all right now, again, in the honeymoon stage where they're not feeling the full force of what Jack Smith is going to bring on to them. Look, I've been there, all right? And I'm told by the Southern District of New York, 48 hours, to plead guilty or they're filing an 80-page indictment that's going to include my wife. That's on my case.
Imagine what Jack Smith and the DOJ is going to do, knowing that they have the information, knowing they have the testimony, they have the documentary evidence and so on, in order to bring all of these people to justice.
CAMEROTA: Very quickly, Donald Trump's -- one of his defenses seems to be, I was just listening to the advice of my counsel. They're the people who were telling me to pursue all of these, whatever, fraudulent election claims. What do you think of that defense?
COHEN: Well, it's exactly why Rudy, Eastman, Clark, Sidney Powell, all of them, need to come clean, and all of them need to provide testimony because Donald is already telling them what he's going to do. He's going to use them as a scapegoat, like he kind of did with me. He's going to use them in order to exonerate himself. And they're going to be, like me, the ones holding the bag for Donald.
CAMEROTA: Michael Cohen, great to get your perspective. As always, thanks so much for coming in tonight.
COHEN: Always good to see you.
CAMEROTA: Kaitlan Collins just interviewed former attorney general Bill Barr this evening.
As you heard, he had a lot to say about Trump's legal trouble.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: You know, to me, it's amazing that you read through the indictment and his behavior in that indictment, and it's nauseating, it's despicable behavior. Whether it's criminal or not, someone who engaged in that kind of bullying about a process that is fundamental to our system and to our self-government shouldn't be anywhere near the Oval Office.
And for him to be attacking a prosecutor who is investigating that, uh, with all the epithets and so forth, which he has no basis for, as far as I can tell, you know, is ridiculous.
Now, he's an aggressive prosecutor. He's the kind of prosecutor, in my view, that if he thinks someone is committed a crime, he zones -- he, you know, homes in on it and really goes, uh, to try to make that case. There's no question he's aggressive. But I do not think that he's a partisan actor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Here to discuss all of this, we have Jessica Washington, senior reporter for "The Root," CNN senior political analyst John Avlon, former U.S. Senate candidate Joe Pinion, and former U.S. attorney Harry Litman. Friends, great to have all of you here tonight.
Okay, so Jessica, Bill Barr, it was fascinating to hear everything that he said to Kaitlan. Kaitlan did an incredible interview tonight. One of the things -- I mean, as we all know, we'll remember, Bill Barr is a big believer in presidential power, okay?
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah.
CAMEROTA: And yet he thinks Donald Trump should be nowhere near the Oval Office again, he said tonight. Your thoughts as you listened to some of what he said.
JESSICA WASHINGTON, SENIOR REPORTER, THE ROOT: Yeah, I mean, I think the fact that Bill Barr was his biggest defender, one of his biggest defenders, and now he's saying, look, I don't think he should be, like you said, anywhere near the presidency, I think we should listen to that.
I know that there have been other reports. I believe NBC spoke to, I think, dozens of folks within Trump's cabinet who said, we do not think, and it was anonymous, which to be fair, but we do not think this man should be president. And I think that matters. I think the American public should probably pay a little bit of attention to that.
CAMEROTA: Your thoughts, John?
AVLON: You think? I mean, look, this is part of a pattern. Not only -- I mean, it's striking to see that his former attorney general is such a strong advocate, as you say, of the unitary executive, pro-Donald Trump saying this man should be nowhere near the Oval Office because he'll weaponize this against his enemies.
And you add that to all the former cabinet members and administration officials who are warning his supporters and the American people about the danger of a second Donald Trump term. And yet his hardcore supporters believe that they know this man better than the people who work with him day-to-day who are warning him. That's an unprecedented situation, the people who know you best are warning about you the most. Listen to them.
CAMEROTA: Joe, what jumped out at you in this indictment, this 45-page indictment?
JOE PINION, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, FORMER SENATE CANDIDATE: There's behavior that I think was already outlined in the January 6th investigations on Capitol Hill. So, for me, I don't think there is anything that was particularly shocking or new rather.
Certainly, there's some things in there that are shocking. But if you're looking in a broader context of the conversation, I think that many people have pointed out there is no explicit quid pro quo.
I think that if you look at the charges that were brought relative to the actual actions taken by the president, I think it is very difficult, a high burden, to prove that the president was knowingly making those statements.
So, I think there are many people who are better equipped than I am, many attorneys who have come and made those same statements. People who have worked at the Department of Justice have made those same statements.
So, I think we just can't be picking and choosing. I think it's a difficult road to hoe, but I think everyone can agree that the president conducts himself in ways that are not necessarily becoming of the Oval Office.
CAMEROTA: Harry, before I have you respond to that, I do want to play for you some of the defenses that Donald Trump's attorney on this network and others appears to be trying out. Okay? So, here's a mashup of those.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN LAURA, ATTORNEY FOR TRUMP: You had one of the leading constitutional scholars in the United States, John Eastman, say to President Trump, this is a protocol that you can follow, it's legal. That eliminates criminal intent.
Our focus is on the fact that this is an attack on free speech and political advocacy. And there's nothing that's more protected under the First Amendment than political speech.
They want to go to trial so that -- so that instead of debating the issues against Joe Biden, that President Trump is sitting in a courtroom. How is that justice?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Okay. So, what I got from that, Harry, he listened to his lawyers, this is a free speech issue, he is allowed to say whatever he wants, and this is to distract from whatever the Biden family's problems are. Which one of those will fly?
HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Speed round, huh? The last one won't even come up in the courtroom. The free speech is just gibberish. Look, he's in charge with making agreements to do things that are unlawful. Yeah, he uses words to do that. That doesn't make it a free speech issue. He's not in the political fray. He's trying to, in fact, upend the political process.
[23:15:01] And lawyers, there are six reasons, it won't fly, but the first one is they are co-conspirators. You cannot get -- rely on advice from someone who is conspiring with you to break the law.
CAMEROTA: But wait a minute, they are his attorneys. Before they were his co-conspirators, they were his attorneys. Why can't he rely on the advice from his attorneys?
LITMAN: Okay, well first, because if the advice is given in furtherance of a crime, that's just black letter law. But even if it weren't, in order to do it, you would need to have -- they would need to come forward and say, yeah, I told him it's okay to have false electors. Yeah, I told him it's okay to obstruct, not I told him you can do your free speech. It's the actual charge that they have to be able to go for.
CAMEROTA: Quickly Joe, I know you want to respond.
PINION: I mean, look, we're playing pretty fast and loose. I just listened to a disbarred attorney say that one of -- one of two men who have been attorney general more than once is effectively a hit man for the president, but also at the same time saying that we should agree with --
CAMEROTA: I know you were referring -- he was referring to Michael Cohen. He's referring to Michael Cohen because Michael Cohen's point is that he feels that Bill Barr weaponized the Justice Department against him. So, he has that beef with Bill Barr.
PINION: Look, certainly, he's got his own animus, but I certainly think that at some point, we just have to follow the facts wherever they lead, but I think that we just keep going back and --
AVLON: So, let's do that, Joe. I mean, you know, you said earlier, you know, we -- there's all this conflicting evidence and we can't possibly know. What the indictment, I'm sure you've read the indictment, lays out very clearly, a pattern of behavior that would suggest that Donald Trump was repeatedly confronted with the facts that he had lost the election by his closest aides.
He was told again and again that the conspiracies he was spouting were not true, and then would go on ahead and spout them. And so, that's a fact pattern that clearly, they're going to rely upon. But you need to take that into account when you're coming up with the, you know, it's impossible for us to know because they've laid out a pretty clear fact --
-- that he knew.
PINION: I never said it was impossible for us to know. I said that there are certainly many attorneys who have gone to many prestigious institutions, who have been appointed by both Republicans and Democrats, who have said unequivocally, this is a very difficult case to prove. I don't see how somehow you want to put words in my mouth and say that I've somehow --
LITMAN: Can I make one quick point?
CAMEROTA: Quickly, but then I want to get Jessica on that.
LITMAN: Yeah, all right. It doesn't matter if he thinks this, whether or not he believes it fairly. You cannot go and do false electors. You cannot go and obstruct a proceeding.
CAMEROTA: Jessica, one thing that was interesting to hear is Mike Pence. Former Vice President Mike Pence today spoke out. He has been remarkably consistent since January 6th. And he has always said that the Constitution did not allow him to do what he was being asked to do, even after all of the pressure that has been put on him. So here he is today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At the end of the day, history will hold Donald Trump accountable for his reckless words and actions on that day. The American people deserve to know that President Trump and his advisers didn't just ask me to pause, they asked me to reject votes, return votes, essentially to overturn the election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: I feel like that's even stronger than some things he has said in the past. He was asked to overturn the election.
WASHINGTON: I agree. And I think that it's -- I mean, it's so hard to argue that this behavior wasn't at least potentially illegal. I mean, the fact -- but very much illegal.
WASHINGTON: I mean, the thing is, and I -- you know, it's -- it's so hard not to come out with political on these things but, I mean, we're looking at repeatedly, Trump was told, okay, this did not happen over and over and over again in that indictment, and then Mike Pence is saying, I was told to do something that was unconstitutional, that Donald Trump had the knowledge to know that it was unconstitutional.
And we can say that maybe a few people who were listed as co- conspirators in this indictment said that it wasn't unconstitutional. But he was told repeatedly over and over again. And he had every -- we have every reason to believe that he should have understood that.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. And we're --
PINION: We're not living on a should have kind of a --
CAMEROTA: We're out of time. I just want to say that I understand why you're struggling with it, Jessica, because it hasn't been adjudicated yet. But we saw it with our own eyes. So, we're all trying to do this verbal gymnastic of, it hasn't been proven yet, he's not been convicted, but we did see a lot with our own eyes.
AVLON: And the first-person witness with contemporaneous notes, the former vice president, is telling us that he told him to overturn the election.
LITMAN: And he'll tell the jury that, too.
PINION: Look, I think most Republicans have come out and said that not only was trying to have a separate state of electors disastrous, but if it had actually proceeded, we would have had absolute chaos in bedlam. So, I think --
CAMEROTA: -- saying that.
PINION: I think the preponderance of Republicans are saying that.
AVLON: Okay. I look forward to the measurement.
AVLON: I don't know how you figure the preponderance --
CAMEROTA: Which Republicans in Congress are saying that?
PINION: I think there are plenty of Republicans who said that if we actually had a separate slate of electors who had gone in there -- I think, even if you go back to the Supreme Court, had said, what is the legal remedy for this? Even if what was alleged actually did occur, they could not come to conclusion. I think there are plenty of Republicans who have agreed the same thing.
CAMEROTA: Okay. Friends, thank you very much.
A lot of Republicans think Donald Trump is getting a raw deal, and a lot of those people are Fox viewers. Our friend, Geraldo Rivera, recently left Fox, but he knows how the network and how Donald Trump operate. So, he's going to share his thoughts on all of it, next.
CAMEROTA: Donald Trump's attorney general just sat down with our Kaitlin Collins to talk about this latest indictment. Bill Barr says Donald Trump does not belong anywhere near the Oval Office again.
Joining me now is award-winning journalist, lawyer, and former Fox host Geraldo Rivera. Geraldo, great to see you. GERALDO RIVERA, AWARD-WINNG JOURNALIST, LAWYER, FORMER FOX HOST: Hi, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: So, as I mentioned, you are a lawyer. I'm sure you've read this 45-page indictment. So, what jumps out at you?
RIVERA: Well, I believe everything that Jack Smith alleges is true. I believe that as he alleges President Trump incited a riot, unleashed it with the intent of derailing the electoral process, he stabbed the Constitution in the back, I think it's very obvious.
I also think that he, if not hatched the bizarre alternate-elector scheme, he certainly embraced it. So, I think that he is facing, you know, the abyss. I think it's tragic. I think many people, from my former audience at Fox, feel aggrieved by it. They feel that it's unfair.
Three-quarters of Republicans in this country believe that this is bogus, that this is the weaponization of the Justice Department and so forth, and that it's not -- it's just, you know, an affront to democracy.
RIVERA: I think they've got it backwards. But you can't doubt the intensity and the ferocity of their loyalty for Donald Trump.
CAMEROTA: You know, I do want to ask you about that, Geraldo, because it's very interesting, that sort of, you know, mirror image that you're describing about the weaponization of the DOJ because, as you say, many Fox hosts beat that drum all the time, as though Jack Smith is somehow doing something at the behest of President Biden when in fact he is completely independent and there's no evidence of that.
However, tonight, Bill Barr, the former attorney general, did talk about former President Trump weaponizing the DOJ and that he would do it again. And so, here is what Bill Barr said tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: I think it's so ironic all these people are getting huffy about weaponization, which they should, because we can't go tit for tat. But Trump, as you say, I mean, he's very clear about it. I think there's no question that he believes these institutions should be used to go after his enemies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: What about that, Geraldo? Why -- why don't Trump -- I mean, why don't Fox hosts and Fox viewers worry about that?
RIVERA: Well, I think that, first of all, Bill Barr is, I believe, the most honorable man to come out of the Trump administration. He has been absolutely right. He came into the Trump administration to save the president from himself and from people who wanted him impeached the day before he even took office. I really believe that Bill Barr saved the 45th president.
What he is saying about the weaponization and so forth, I could not help but note when you were interviewing Michael Cohen. Michael Cohen was saying all of these pejorative things about Bill Barr, the attorney general, and saying that he was in on the various schemes and so forth. Michael Cohen can't hold a candle to Bill Barr in terms of who is honorable and who is, you know, a law-abiding --
CAMEROTA: Yeah, but my point --
RIVERA: -- Michael Cohen.
CAMEROTA: My point, Geraldo -- look, Michael Cohen obviously feels as though he was victimized by Bill Barr. I get it. That's Michael's personal feeling. But my point is that Bill Barr is saying that Donald Trump has talked about and will -- to quote him -- "go after his political enemies." That's what I'm talking about. That's weaponizing the DOJ.
RIVERA: But I think that -- first of all, I do not believe that the DOJ is weaponized. I do not buy the big, deep state conspiracy notions at all. I think the DOJ is relatively straightforward. However, there were, you know, options in going after Trump for these allegations.
I argue that impeachment was enough. He was acquitted by the Senate. To now go for indictments for the first time in 247 years, I think that is, you know, perhaps excessive.
CAMEROTA: I want to ask you about that.
RIVERA: I believe that --
CAMEROTA: Hold on. Let me ask you about that, Geraldo, because they're two separate things. I mean, obviously, a Senate trial is the political arena, and a criminal arena is the criminal, you know, arena. The court, you know, our judicial arena.
And so, how can -- why are you saying it's redundant? I mean, for instance, the Senate trial and impeachment doesn't carry any possible jail term. There's sort of no teeth to that. It's about whether or not you're going to fire the president. This is totally different.
RIVERA: I appreciate that, but impeachment is what I thought -- the Constitution made it very clear that impeachment was the instrument by which to remedy malfeasance in office. Of course, indictment is always possible. It's illegal. Obviously, that's what's happening right now.
But this is the first time a president has ever been indicted. I mean, there's a reason why, for 247 years, it has never happened, even though presidents have been all over the map.
Why didn't they indict Richard Nixon, for instance? Maybe that's why my idea that Donald Trump should be pardoned has legs. Maybe we need to take a deep breath and say, do we really want to see the president -- the former president of the United States, the man half the country believes is the right man for the job, do we really want him to be re- elected in jail?
What happens to the country going forward? What happens now if these -- all of these indictments go forward and they might, as I said at the very top of this presentation, I believe that everything that the special prosecutor has alleged is true? Are we going to now watch Trump be on trial then in a primary?
RIVERA: You know, on trial in a debate in a primary, on trial in a primary, on trial --
CAMEROTA: Yeah. But if not, I mean, then aren't we talking about two different tiers of justice? If not, aren't we talking about -- I mean, if you believe everything in the indictment is true, then you are saying that somebody is above the law?
RIVERA: Well, you know, maybe I am, but I think that they've got it backwards. I think the six unindicted co-conspirators, they're the -- I would argue and I believe that these six unindicted co-conspirators are the -- are the architects of these schemes.
I believe that these -- you know, I love Rudy Giuliani up there, 9/11, everyone did, America's mayor and so forth, but he led these crackpots, in the words of Vice President Pence. Vice President Pence, parenthetically, I believe is an American hero, has demonstrated throughout this process, this sordid process --
RIVERA: -- that he does put the Constitution ahead of the interests of his political party.
RIVERA: I know that he is reviled because of that, but I think that he has done a great service to the country.
CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, he's reviled by the, you know, extreme Trump supporters and maybe some Fox viewers. Speaking of Fox, one last thing, Geraldo. There's reporting that two Fox executives on the night that Trump was indicted met with him at his Bedminster golf club to try to convince him to be part of the upcoming presidential debate this month that they'll be holding in Milwaukee.
It's just interesting to see -- well, let me ask you this. Do you think that they are still very dedicated and devoted to Donald Trump?
RIVERA: Well, that's a separate question. I think, first of all, when Jay Wallace, who's in charge of newsgathering, and Suzanne Scott, who is the chief executive of the news division, when they meet Donald Trump, it is because what is a debate when you don't have the person who is attracting 75% of the vote? What is a debate? What is this debate? A bunch of little guys and Nikki Haley running around looking for -- to go from 1% to 2% to 3%?
I mean, come on. It's no debate without Donald Trump. You know, when he missed Iowa, I covered the 2016 when he missed Iowa, everyone was, you know, the whole angle of all the reports were, where's Donald Trump? If only Donald Trump was there, it would have been different, you know.
And now, when he's bigger than ever, larger than life, and a former president, to think of having a debate when he's running for re- election under these bizarre circumstances -- and let me also -- I just quickly want to say, for Trump, this is win or die.
Trump wins the election, he can pardon himself, he can put all this behind him. Trump loses the election, then we go through all of these bizarre scenarios where, you know, he's in jail, he's in orange jumpsuit, handcuffs, and my fellow Americans, the state of our nation -- I mean, come on. Is this really -- what do we do if he wins? He will pardon himself, I believe.
CAMEROTA: Great point.
RIVERA: If he does win.
CAMEROTA: Geraldo, thank you. Always great to get your perspective. Great to see you.
RIVERA: Okay, Alisyn. Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Okay. Talk to you soon.
RIVERA: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: How many lies about the election did Donald Trump actually tell? According to prosecutors, a lot. Daniel Dale is here with our fact check, next.
CAMEROTA: Special Counsel Jack Smith says the January 6th attack was caused by lies told by Donald Trump, and the indictment includes a litany of those election lies.
Here to take us through them, our fact-checker extraordinaire, Daniel Dale. Okay, so Daniel, you have counted up the lies that prosecutors say they've caught Trump in. What's the tally?
DANIEL DALE, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: I counted 21 listed in that 45-page indictment. I think if you counted slightly differently, there's some subjectivity here. You could go as low as 18 or as high as maybe 25. But I made a list of 21. CAMEROTA: Okay, take us through them.
DALE: Okay, here we go. Lie number one is Trump's overarching election lie that he was the real winner of a stolen election, that fraud changed the outcome. The indictment says numerous Trump officials, Trump himself appointed, had told him this narrative was baseless, groundless false, but that he kept deploying it anyway.
Lie number two is the lie that fake pro-Trump electors in states won by Biden were real electors. They obviously were not. Lies number three and four, I thought, were two remarkable lies related to Trump's pressure on the Justice Department.
Number three, Trump allegedly tried to get DOJ to give a government stamp of approval to his lies by sending an official letter to key states saying DOJ had identified major concerns with the election, though, of course, it had not.
Number four, Trump allegedly urged top DOJ officials to falsely -- quote -- "just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressman." Line number five is that Vice President Pence had the power to reject Biden electoral votes.
On January 6, 2021. Pence and White House lawyers had repeatedly told Trump that Pence did not, that this would be illegal, unconstitutional, but Trump still kept declaring that Pence did have that power.
Number six, another lie about Pence. Trump allegedly had his campaign issue a January 5th statement saying Pence totally agreed that the VP had the power to act, even though Pence told Trump just hours prior that he still actually totally disagreed.
And then number seven, Trump allegedly told Pence at a January 4th pressure meeting that they had won every state in question by hundreds of thousands of votes. Again, obviously false.
Number eight and nine are conspiracy theories about Dominion voting machines. Number eight, the lie that swing state machines had switched votes from Trump to Biden. Trump repeated this claim even though his AG, William Barr, and others had explained to him it was wrong.
Number nine, Trump retweeted Lawyer Sidney Powell's lie about supposed -- quote -- massive election fraud involving Dominion, even though the indictment said he had privately said that Powell sounded -- quote -- "crazy."
Now lies number 10 through 13 are about Georgia, one of the swing states he lost. Number 10 was Trump's lie that Georgia had tens of thousands of ballots from dead people. The Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, had told Trump directly on that infamous phone call that they'd found two dead voter cases, later up the number to four such cases. Number 11 is Trump's lie that Georgia had tens of thousands of ballots from people who lived out of state. Raffensperger's officials explained to Trump directly on that call that these were actually legitimate voters who'd moved back to the state.
Number 12 was Trump's lie that two Fulton County elections workers had been caught on video stuffing the ballot box. Raffensperger and top Trump DOJ official told him this was false and that workers were just doing their jobs. But Trump would not stop. He actually continues to repeat that lie this year, 2023, still going.
Number 13 is Trump's tweeted lie that Raffensperger was -- quote -- "unwilling or unable to address his various fraud claims on that wild, infamous call." In fact, Raffensperger debunked those claims at length and in detail on that call.
Lie number 14 is Trump's false claim about a supposed nefarious vote dump in Detroit, Michigan. Trump repeated this dump nonsense in remarks the day after Barr directly explained to him that what had happened in Detroit was just normal standard vote counting.
Lines number 15 and 16 were that Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, two more swing states. Each had more votes than actual voters. DOJ officials told Trump that this clearly untrue claim was indeed untrue. But he still used the Pennsylvania part in his pre-riot January 6 speech.
Lie number 17 is Trump's lie in that same speech that Pennsylvania wanted to recertify its election results, showing a Biden victory. Some Republicans of the state did. But the Democratic governor in election sheet, the people who actually had the certification power, did not.
And lies number 18 through 21, finally, are assorted false claims about various states. Eighteen, that Nevada had tens of thousands of double votes. It didn't. Nineteen, that a substantial number of dead people and nonresidents had voted in Arizona. Wrong again.
Twenty, that over 36,000 noncitizens had voted in Arizona. Trump's own campaign manager told him this was wrong. And finally, 21, that Wisconsin had major fraud and tens of thousands of unlawful votes. Once again, all baseless.
CAMEROTA: Daniel --
UNKNOWN: The crowd goes wild.
CAMEROTA: The crowd here has gone wild. I really hope --
DALE: I've taken a breath.
CAMEROTA: -- the Guinness Book of World Records was just watching that because --
DALE: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: I don't believe you took a breath for all that time. DALE: I tried my best.
CAMEROTA: Your breath work is impressive, Daniel. That is so -- so, is that everything?
DALE: Well, that -- in all seriousness, that is not -- that is not all of the election lying that Trump did. In my own fact checking, I counted dozens of additional lies about the election that the indictment did not mention. Of course, the indictments don't mention everything. Maybe some of the others will come up at a potential trial.
CAMEROTA: Daniel, you're remarkable. You are remarkable. That was --
DALE: Thanks, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: I can't believe you just fit that into one live shot and one breath, as far as I can tell. Thanks so much for doing that for us.
DALE: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Okay, next, what former President Obama told President Biden about President Trump.
CAMEROTA: Former President Obama had lunch with President Biden in June and reportedly delivered an urgent message. According to "The Washington Post," Obama told President Biden that Democrats are underestimating Donald Trump's political strengths in the 2024 election. Mr. Obama also promised that he would do everything in his power to get President Biden reelected.
My panel is back with me. Jessica, doesn't Joe Biden know? Okay, well, here's what apparently President Obama told President Biden. He said that Donald Trump's political strengths are included in intensely loyal following, a Trump-friendly conservative media ecosystem and a polarized country. Doesn't Joe Biden know that or does he perhaps not take those things as seriously as he should?
WASHINGTON: I'm not inside the White House, so I don't know exactly what Joe Biden is thinking. But I do think that sometimes, there's this idea that it would be better to run against Trump. Here is, at this point, a thrice indicted, you know, presidential candidate.
But Donald -- like Obama said, Donald Trump is still a threat. It is scary to think that he could be indicted three times and still be a threat.
But there is no doubt that we have a massive political divide and that Donald Trump has a following that, if anything, seems emboldened by these indictments. So, it doesn't seem to be hitting a wall that maybe, you know, a typical candidate like Joe Biden who has been in politics forever might expect.
CAMEROTA: Such a great point because I think that -- I think that Obama was trying to say not only is Donald Trump a threat, he's a big threat, and maybe Democrats don't know that.
AVLON: Yeah. I mean, they should figure that out by now, right? It's the exact same logic that happened in 2016. Trump will be the easiest to beat. New York Times-Siena poll showing -- come out just a few days ago showing a dead heat.
Now, if you look at his Republican support, 37% of Republicans say they'll support him no matter what. Literally no matter what. Twenty- five percent of Republicans say they will not support him no matter what. The remainder are persuadable. So, that's actually a bad number for Donald Trump. But Trump is -- but Obama is saying to Biden and I think to Democrats generally is, don't cheerlead for Trump to be the nominee, don't assume this is an easy win, we're a deeply polarized country, anything can happen, care for what you wish for, compete, take it seriously. That's smart.
PINION: There is such a thing as a law of diminishing returns. I think that there is a flip side, the court of public opinion, when you have had so much of a focus on President Trump, that the first indictment felt almost like, you know, O.J. Simpson, now Collins, driving down the road in the white Bronco. By now, it's barely a blip for most people as they're trying to go through their everyday lives, specifically the coverage of it.
And so, I think if you look at it from that perspective, as we get closer and closer to an election cycle, as we realize that Bidenomics, as many reports are saying, you know, follow -- it kind of in some ways falling on deaf ears --
AVLON: The exact opposite is true. The economy is actually doing incredibly well. What strikes me is that he's not getting credit for it.
PINION: -- because you say it doesn't --
AVLON: No, no, no. This isn't -- this is just -- look at the number.
PINION: Today, we just had the actual ratings for America just got --
AVLON: -- ratings aside which, by the way, we're --
(CROSSTALK) PINION: Put aside the fact that we have half a million Americans that are 60 days behind their car payments. Put aside the fact --
AVLON: No, no, no --
PINION: -- that we have people with --
AVLON: We got record-low unemployment. We got inflation decrease. I'm just saying don't just trot that out. You're right, by the way, you can credibly say Biden is not getting credit for the economy.
PINION: I could --
AVLON: But it is not true that the economy is bad right now.
PINION: I do think he's getting credit for an economy he should not be getting credit for, particularly when you look at the amount of money that we printed to try to have an economy that now, right now --
-- GDP growth. So, I don't want to get into this whole thing, but this becomes -- this is actually the problem, right, that we have a country that is effectively seeing the world through two completely different paths.
AVLON: No, no, no. I'm trying to say let us have (INAUDIBLE) common fact. That is actually precisely --
PINION: What have I said to this fact really accurate?
AVLON: You said Biden -- that the Biden economy is going down.
PINION: I said that we have half a million people who are 60 days behind their car payments.
PINION: Is that accurate or not accurate?
AVLON: That is maybe one point of the overall.
CAMEROTA: Gentlemen --
PINION: Do we have a trillion dollars in personal credit card?
PINION: But this is the point, right? The issue is just because somebody says it, you can have a perspective on the facts, that does not mean that it makes the facts themselves actually null and void.
CAMEROTA: Harry, last thoughts?
PINION: It does make perfect sense.
LITMAN: I'm a lawyer and former prosecutor. There are two boxes out there. All I can say is we have to focus on this and it's paramount for the country. I don't know if this is a 20% box, an 80% box. It's a disaster box and very possibly the end of democracy. I'm all about this box.
CAMEROTA: You mean in terms of this adjudication coming up, this trial coming up. Okay, thank you.
LITMAN: Even the campaign. Everything goes by the boards. If Trump wins, it's a disaster. I'm focused here on the rule of law. It's all a lawyer can do. It's what Jack Smith is doing.
CAMEROTA: Got it. Okay, up next, "Tomorrow's News Tonight," how law enforcement is gearing up for Donald Trump's appearance tomorrow in federal court.
CAMEROTA: In just a matter of hours, Donald Trump is expected to appear in person in a Washington, D.C. courtroom to be indicted on four federal charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States. The Secret Service says security will be at the highest levels tomorrow. Brian Todd has more. Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, this city, very well versed in the kind of highly-charged atmosphere that Donald Trump can create, is in an enhanced security posture ahead of his arraignment. CNN is told that multiple agencies are combining forces to secure Trump's appearance, including the Secret Service, the D.C. Metropolitan Police, the U.S. Marshals, the Capitol Police, and the Federal Protective Service.
Sources tell CNN law enforcement has been looking very closely at potential online platforms where threats could come from. So far, sources tell CNN there is nothing to indicate an active threat to the U.S. District Courthouse where Trump is going to be arraigned.
But because of the January 6th experience, just a few blocks from that courthouse, law enforcement agencies will be watching for pro-Trump and anti-Trump protesters, and if they show up, they'll work to keep the two groups separated.
And a former Secret Service special agent we interviewed, who ran security for that courthouse, told us that it's likely that when Trump does arrive, he will be taken into an entrance that is not visible or accessible to the public. Alisyn?
(END VIDEOTAPE) CAMEROTA: Okay, Brian, thank you very much for all of that. And thank you for watching "CNN tonight." Our coverage continues now.