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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

CNN To Host First Biden-Trump Debate On June 27; Defense To Focus On Challenging Cohen's Claims, Memory Tomorrow; Sources: Giuliani In Palm Beach, Florida As Arizona Prosecutors Try To Serve Indictment. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 15, 2024 - 21:00   ET



DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The number of overdoses, among adolescents, has doubled, over the last several years. So, it's an incredible program, but sad that it has to exist at all.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.

COOPER: Be sure to join Sanjay, this Saturday, May 18th, at 9 PM Eastern, for the hour-long special, "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE," with a look at 12 people making a difference. Again, that's Saturday, at 9 PM Eastern.

The news continues. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS" starts now.


A surprise agreement, to everybody, between Trump and Biden agreeing to debate twice, before Election Day. First, right here on CNN, next month. Donald Trump personally confirming to me that he's in.

Meanwhile, another epic showdown is just hours away from happening, not weeks away, because Michael Cohen will be back on the witness stand, at Trump's trial, tomorrow. We're getting new reporting, tonight, on the plan of attack, by the Trump team.

And we have two inside sources. Michael Cohen's former attorney, Lanny Davis. And one of Donald Trump's attorneys. Both here tonight.

And a big question. Where is Rudy Giuliani? Because that's what law enforcement, in Arizona, is asking, as they have been trying to find the one-time Trump attorney for weeks. Why they need to see him in- person, as CNN is learning where he might be.

I'm Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE.

Mark your calendars, because six weeks from tomorrow, Thursday, June 27th, it's Biden-Trump in a debate rematch, right here on CNN. And it promises to be epic, or at least dramatic. Hopefully, there's less shouting, this time, for all of us watching in the room, and at home. The only president in U.S. history, who has tried to stop the peaceful transfer of power versus the man who defeated him. The current President, who says that his rival is a dire threat to democracy, is facing challenging poll numbers, in critical battleground states as well.

And this Trump-Biden face-off will be their first since 2020, also, their first time in the same room since then, which is remarkable in and of itself.

Trump confirmed to me directly, this morning, that he had accepted CNN's invitation, which came after this direct challenge, from President Biden.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then, he hadn't shown up for a debate.

Now he's acting like he wants to debate me again.

Well, make my day, pal.

I'll even do it twice. So let's pick the dates, Donald. I hear you're free on Wednesdays.


COLLINS: That last remark, if it stood out to you, it also stood out to me. It's notable, because you don't often hear President Biden, weighing in on Donald Trump's legal cases. He almost never does. That reference there, to today, a Wednesday, that's because it's a rare day, not in court for Donald Trump right now.

These debates, the first are going to happen here on CNN in June, and then again in September. These are the earliest general election debates in modern history. The first is happening, before either candidate has formally accepted their party's nomination, at their conventions.

Here's what Donald Trump had to say about this agreement.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, absolutely, I've been trying to get -- you know, he's issuing it. I wonder whether or not he shows up. Because, you know, he also challenged me to golf. So I'm a very good golfer. He can't hit a ball 50 yards.

I really think he has to debate, he might as well get it over with. Probably should do it early so that he can, you know, this -- he's not going to get any better.


COLLINS: Well, I mean, time will tell, and we'll find out the answer to that question, just six weeks from today.

My source tonight is someone, who has directly channeled Donald Trump on the debate stage, Philippe Reines, played him for Hillary Clinton's 2016 debate prep, and by doing so subjected himself to watching all 11 of the Republican 2016 primary debates that Trump participated in, three times at that.

And so, Philippe, it's great to have you here.

I mean, I remember you even wore the long red tie and the dark suit for your prep. Here is some video of you and Hillary Clinton, greeting each other on stage. I mean, how does one prepare to debate Donald Trump?

PHILIPPE REINES, FORMER ADVISER TO HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I mean, my preparation started with just sort of trying to get into character. I mean, I'm not as tall as he is. But at that time, I did have a little bit more weight than I do now.

I went to my tailor and I said, look, I need a suit like Donald Trump, and not because of Halloween. I mean, I literally need a suit, like Donald Trump. And he said, I'd get it. I'm going to make the sleeves too long, and it's going to be too -- too baggy. I bought lifts for my shoes. I went online, I think to eBay, and I got Trump cufflinks.

I did it up. That was to help me, I guess, I'm the equivalent of a method actor if I were to be, in Hollywood. But it's also--

COLLINS: If you were a political nerd turned method actor.


REINES: Yes. I mean, I knew I did it right. Because the first time we did a debate prep session, Hillary walked in, and she saw me, and said, oh, Philippe is ready to be obnoxious. Like she -- she just, at that moment -- I mean, not that she's any happy to see me anytime. But she knew, you know?

I had done my bit. I had, you know, even without the orange hair, I was -- I was ready to do my thing. But, I mean, it's, talk about channeling him.

I mean, it's kind of ironic, listening to him talk to Hugh Hewitt. I mean, that voice that I just heard, that guy is not ready to debate. That was low-energy Donald. That guy's not making any sense. He's talking about golf.

That Joe Biden that we watched in that video, I love that Joe Biden. I think Democrats love that Joe Biden. That's the Joe Biden that comes to play.

And look, Donald Trump has debated five times in the general election, in the last whatever, seven years. He's lost all five.

And boy, is Trump doing Biden a huge favor as long -- along with his campaign, and the whole Republican Party? They keep saying that Joe Biden's going to show up, and fall over that he can't stay awake, that he can't do this.

COLLINS: Yes. They're--

REINES: And then, you know--

COLLINS: They're setting the bar low.


COLLINS: And you said he lost all five. Obviously, that's subjective. Some Republicans, I'm sure, and Trump's allies, would argue otherwise.

But I think the question is, is you prepped Hillary Clinton for the debates in 2016. Now that you saw him in 2016, but also at those two debates with Biden himself?


COLLINS: I mean, you can have a case study of what they're actually like. I mean, what would you advise President Biden after seeing those two debates?

REINES: Well, it's tough because they were very -- they were two very different Donald Trumps, in the sense that in 2016 -- I always have a hard time having this come out of my mouth. But there was a message in Donald Trump. There was a lot of bluster. There was a lot of lying. There was all the things that we see now. But at the core, there was talking about health care. There's talking about jobs leaving America. There was talking about immigration. There was a balance.

2020, he was just an angry guy. He was grievances. There was out of whack. It's all he talked about.

In 2024, who shows up? Is it 2016? Is it 2020? Is it a hybrid? And I'm not so sure.

Because, on certain days, if you listen to Donald Trump, standing outside of the courtroom, it's purely aggrieved Donald Trump. It's exactly what you're hearing him, saying crap about, excuse me -- about his golf game or about Stormy Daniels or whatever. On the trail, sometimes, he's talking about bringing back Master Lock, who has moved south, back to the country.

I think that the lesson for Joe Biden. And look, he's got the best people around him. He's got Ron Klain, who is the master of this, running his debate prep. He's got to be able to -- to be able to see, or be ready for different looks, for different Donald Trumps to show up.

Now, luckily, the guy's most predictable creature on God's green earth. So, it's just a matter of being ready for this whole swath of it.


REINES: You just can't -- you can't just say 2020 is the last Trump we saw. And it will be the Trump we see.

COLLINS: Yes. I mean, I remember preparing for the Town Hall. You can really watch a lot of his interviews, town halls, debates, and know kind of where he -- where he's going to go.


COLLINS: I think that's a lot of politicians.

But, I mean, if the Biden campaign called you, would you -- would you play Donald Trump again?

REINES: They won't need to. But you know what? I was talking to friends about this today. It's not being able to play Donald Trump, which I think I did pretty well.

The reason I was good at it was because I knew Hillary Clinton. It was the combination of the two. If it was just knowing Donald Trump, Alec Baldwin would be the absolute best person to do these things. Because it's you have to be able to bend it, without breaking it.

For Pink Panther fans, I always thought, you're not Cato, the guy, his like, house person that would jump out of the closet, and just attack him, at any given moment, when he wasn't looking. It's more like a baseball-catcher that is knows the hitter, knows what pitch he wants to come from his pitcher, but also can look at his pitcher's eye. He can feel what heat, how much he has. And it's that balance.

And look, I don't -- I don't know Joe Biden. There are people like Bob Bauer, who did it for him in 2020.


REINES: And look, subjective or not, Joe Biden did really, really well in 2020. Or conversely, Donald Trump did really, really poorly in 2020.

COLLINS: Well, we'll find out how they do in 2024, in just about six weeks.

Philippe Reines, great to have you here. Next time, wear that red tie.

REINES: Thank you, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Also here, tonight, we have some of our best-sourced political minds, to talk about this remarkable moment.

CNN Political Commentator, and Author of "The Moment," Bakari Sellers.

CNN's Senior Political Commentator, who served as a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, Scott Jennings.

And also, former Trump White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci.

I mean, Bakari, let me just start with you. Because this all happened really quickly this morning, I mean, even

inside the building, here at CNN, it was kind of this energy, of this is actually happening. We weren't totally sure it would happen.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, no, I was surprised as well. I'm surprised that he agreed to something, these two individuals agreed to something. I'm surprised that they want to do it.

And I think there's a certain element of individual out there, who still believes that Donald Trump will back out. I think there's going to be an issue about terms, mic being cut off, et cetera.


COLLINS: No audience.

SELLERS: And, I mean, listen, I'll be there the day it happens. But there are a whole lot of people to think that this may not actually happen.


SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's going to happen. I think Donald Trump has long said he wants it to happen -- he was the first one that threw out the idea of doing debates. Biden ignored it for weeks.

48 hours ago, we got a spate of terrible polls, in The New York Times. Two days later, voila, Joe Biden is throwing Hail Marys here, and we're not even at halftime at this football game.

So, I think Trump has said he wants to do it. They were happy to -- I thought he had a confident posture, by saying, sure, you set the terms, I'll be there.

COLLINS: I mean, it's such a remarkable moment, and to see what it is coming after. The White House was asked about that today.

Scaramucci, everyone wants to know what you think about this, especially given you worked in the Donald Trump White House.

But first, can I just remind everyone, what it was like, back in 2020, that first time that they were on the debate stage? Here's just a refresher, for those of you. Most of us don't need it. But here it is.


TRUMP: I'm the least racist person in this room.

BIDEN: Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we've had in modern history.


COLLINS: We're going to talk about all that, what the 2024 version of that's going to look like. We'll hear from Anthony Scaramucci. Back in a moment.



COLLINS: If anyone needs a reminder, about how insane the Biden and Trump face-off on the presidential debate stage can truly be, I can confirm it was insane, nuts actually.

Let me take you back to September 29, 2020. This was the first debate that took place between the two of them. It was at the height of a global pandemic.

You can see then-President Trump looked ill on stage. It turns out that we've learned more than a year later, one of two COVID tests he had taken, three days before that moment on stage, had actually come back positive, something that Trump and his team hid from the Commission for Presidential Debates, and from President Biden's team.

Trump's Chief of Staff, at the time, Mark Meadows, wrote in his own book, quote, "Nothing was going to stop [Trump] from going out there." Even, apparently, if it meant putting President Biden's health, and everyone else in that room, at risk.

In any case, the debate did go on. But whether or not anyone could actually comprehend anything that was said? I mean, see for yourself.


TRUMP: Are you going to pack the court?

BIDEN: Make sure you, in fact, let people know, your Senators.

TRUMP: He doesn't want to answer the question.

BIDEN: I'm not going to answer the question, because--

TRUMP: Why wouldn't you answer that question?

BIDEN: Because the question is--

TRUMP: You want to put a lot of--

BIDEN: --the question is--

TRUMP: --new Supreme Court Justice--

BIDEN: The question--

TRUMP: Radical left.

BIDEN: Will you shut up, man?

TRUMP: Who is on -- listen.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COLLINS: Really takes you back.

And one of the rare moments on that stage, where you could actually hear what was coming from either of the candidates. Trump gave this infamous response, to whether or not he would condemn white supremacists.


TRUMP: I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace.

CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: Well, then do it, sir.

BIDEN: Say it. Do it. Say it.

TRUMP: You want to call them? What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name. Go ahead.

WALLACE: White supremacists and right-wing--

BIDEN: White supremacists.

TRUMP: Who would you like me to condemn?

BIDEN: Proud Boys.


WALLACE: White supremacists and right-wing militia.

TRUMP: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.


COLLINS: I mean, wow. Thankfully, I have a bunch of political sources here to talk about that moment.

And Anthony Scaramucci, we were just about to get your thoughts, before we went to break.

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, I mean, the one thing is that Joe Biden looks at Donald Trump, the same way he looks at Marjorie Taylor Greene. I didn't notice that at the beginning, that startled. But second--

COLLINS: From the State of the Union address.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, the State, yes, yes.

The second thing I'm going to say is that Donald Trump is underestimating the President, because you can just hear it, in his cadence, when he's talking. He's suggesting that the President will get weaker, as he gets older, towards the end of the campaign. That was the innuendo there.

And so, the real question is, is he going to come prepared, like he was on the second debate, in St. Louis, in 2016? Or is he going to come ill-prepared, like he was on that night, when he was bombastic and all over the place? And so, one thing--

COLLINS: And actually ill.

SCARAMUCCI: I know. But one thing for sure is that--

COLLINS: I mean, do you--

SCARAMUCCI: --the President is going to come prepared. And I think the President is going to surprise people, because the expectations are going to be low.

SELLERS: And that's what I was going to comment on. I think there are two things at play here.

The first is that my good friend, Scott Jennings, and many others, are going to come on TV, on all the networks, between now and June, and set the expectation level, for the President of the United States, somewhere right around hill. That's how low they're going to be. I mean, they're going to say that I don't know if he can walk on stage, or he may trip and fall, or is it 9 o'clock--

SCARAMUCCI: It's good for him.

SELLERS: --he may fall asleep.


SELLERS: And so, the bar of level of expectation is going to be extremely low. So that cuts against Donald Trump.

What cuts against Joe Biden is history, because presidents do not do well in first debates.

I mean, George H.W. Bush got destroyed by Bill Clinton, in the first debate.

Barack Obama, somebody I love. You could talk to Axe about it. He got his ass handed to him, in the first debate, by Mitt Romney. I mean, he lost that debate. I mean, you can -- the legendary arguments after him losing that debate are just well, none.

COLLINS: What is that? Is it ego from being in the White House?

SELLERS: It is. It's ego.

COLLINS: You're surrounded by people who--

SELLERS: Because you're not used to somebody talking to you, addressing you.

JENNINGS: Like, no one's challenging you.

SELLERS: No one's challenging you.


SELLERS: And the first time you get challenged.

And so, the expectation levels--


SELLERS: --being President of the United States.

JENNINGS: They're so busy, I mean, right? I mean, they're presidents.

SELLERS: Yes, it's hard to prepare, yes.


JENNINGS: The presidents have job. There's--


JENNINGS: I think there's also an--

SCARAMUCCI: I think the President will be very prepared for this, though, because I think--


SCARAMUCCI: --the President knows, like the State of the Union, these are big moments for him to dispel all the age-related rumors about him.

JENNINGS: It's a high-wire act. I mean, look, Biden, they have got to change their narrative and the trajectory of this campaign. He's been president for 13 quarters. There's never been a president in the history of modern polling, at this point, below 40 percent. He's sitting in the 38 percent range.

They have to change the narrative on, is he capable of a second term. They got to change the narrative on the economy. They got to change the narrative of the framing that Trump has successfully put on this campaign. I'm strong, he's weak, and it infects everything.


The debate is a Hail Mary, to try to get that done, because if that hardens, if that is cemented, for too much longer, he'll never dig out of this hole.

COLLINS: I mean, Bakari, they have been spending a lot of money now, on advertising. And Trump has been on trial now, for a month.


COLLINS: And it hasn't shifted the poll numbers. I mean, we don't know. They're just a snapshot.

SELLERS: Well, listen. COLLINS: But--

SELLERS: If you--

COLLINS: --what do they need to do there?

SELLERS: If you care about polling in May, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn, like they don't matter.

JENNINGS: What? Why?

SELLERS: That's but--


SELLERS: Because they don't matter. It's a snapshot in time. Nobody--


JENNINGS: Joe Biden never trailed a poll in 2020.

SELLERS: That -- but they -- it's a--

JENNINGS: He never leads a poll now.

SELLERS: It's a snapshot in time.

JENNINGS: You know it matters.

SELLERS: But it doesn't matter. And let me tell you why it doesn't matter, because the fundamentals are what they are.

Joe -- Donald Trump has a very, very high floor and a low ceiling. Everybody knows that. He's not going to be a 46-, 48-percent candidate. He's going to be a 42-percent candidate from now until the end of time. And so, these polls that show that, all they show are room for growth for Joe Biden.

And let me just refocus and re-prism that this is a Hail Mary. You know what we have every presidential year, every four years, what do we have? Presidential debates. And so, for us to have presidential debates is anything but a Hail Mary. In fact--

JENNINGS: Never this early.

SELLERS: Nick Saban may be calling it a screen pass right now.

JENNINGS: Never -- never -- never--

SELLERS: A little halfback shuffle.

JENNINGS: Never this early, never at the behest of a White House that is so far underwater, that it has no idea--

COLLINS: Well but they have--

JENNINGS: --what to do.

COLLINS: They have never been this early, which is a question of who does it benefit more? Either one, if there is a big stumble. If you know, when Trump had such a bad debate in 2020, if it had been earlier, maybe he would have been able to maybe recover from that.


COLLINS: But what about the fact that there's going to be no live audience, and the demand from the Biden campaign, is that the mics stop when your time expires?

SCARAMUCCI: Well that's going to be a--

COLLINS: So there's not going to be the--

SCARAMUCCI: That's going to be a point of contention for the Trump team, the mic stopping. He's going to run over the mic, even though it's not working. But I don't think that President Trump actually cares. I know people say well, he feeds off the audience, and so on and so forth.

He wants to get in the ring with Joe Biden. He knows he got bested by Joe Biden. He knows he lost the election. The election lie is a bunch of nonsense even to him. He knows it. So, he wants to go back into the ring. It's the way Tyson would go back, into the ring, if he lost a fight, or Ali, if he lost a fight. He wants to be back in the ring, doesn't care if there's an audience or not.

But here's one thing. And with all due respect to Scott, and I do love the Donald Trump presidential--

SELLERS: I'm going to give you one of those.

SCARAMUCCI: You know, yes, I also--

SELLERS: Joseph Banks (ph) has them.

SCARAMUCCI: You know, the right--

SELLERS: They got one back.

COLLINS: The 2024 Halloween costume.

SELLERS: I want to get three free. I'm there.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, let me tell you something.

SELLERS: I'm there for this.

SCARAMUCCI: I used to wear poly, when I was a kid. It looks a little poly to me.

JENNINGS: I'm not as rich as you. I can't afford your suits.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, it looks a little poly. JENNINGS: I'm not as rich as you either.

SCARAMUCCI: It's giving off a petroleum-like sheen. But let me just say this.

COLLINS: Can I throw in -- that's a joke about all the Trump allies, wearing a dark tie--

SCARAMUCCI: Yes. Well, of course--


COLLINS: --and a dark -- a red tie and a dark suit.

SCARAMUCCI: But here's the thing, I will say is that this is a get- out-the-vote election.

SELLERS: No, right, that's a fact.

SCARAMUCCI: These are five-decade entities. Mr. Trump's been in the media for five decades. Mr. Biden, President Biden--


SCARAMUCCI: --has been in politics for five decades. So, it's not like a Barack Obama, let's get to know him, 2008 campaigned for him. This is -- these are two known entities. All the President has to do is show up there, and best him. And I think he's going to handily win the election.

COLLINS: We'll see.

The Trump team feels confident.

Everyone can watch and find out here on CNN, June 27th, on Thursday.

Anthony Scaramucci, Bakari Sellers, Scott Jennings, thank you all for being here.

Coming up. We have new reporting on the other showdown that is happening in court, tomorrow. Donald Trump's defense team, what they are planning for Michael Cohen, when he's back on the stand, in just hours from now.

Also, one of Cohen's closest advisers will join me.



COLLINS: We're getting new details, tonight, about how Trump's defense team plans to attack Michael Cohen, when he's back on the witness stand, tomorrow morning.

A source telling us that Trump's lead attorney, Todd Blanche, is going to challenge statements that Cohen made, in his direct testimony, with prosecutors, including his recollection of a conversation that he had with Donald Trump.

Basically, they're going to also argue that given he's made past false statements under oath, the jury can't trust what he is saying under oath now. Cross-examination could be quite lengthy.

And we know that we believed Cohen's testimony could wrap up this week. But it may now go until Monday.

Here to talk about all of that, and what Michael Cohen is going to look like, and what he'll hear on the stand tomorrow, his former attorney, Lanny Davis; along with attorneys, Bernarda Villalona, and Renato Stabile.

Great to have you both here.

Lanny, let me start with you.

Because, obviously, Michael Cohen, there was no real knockout blow that happened on the -- on Tuesday. How's he feeling going into tomorrow? What do you think is the most important thing for him to do, on the witness stand, tomorrow?

LANNY DAVIS, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL COHEN: Well, first of all, I haven't talked to him since the night of Mother's Day dinner, where I stepped outside and wished him well.


DAVIS: Secondly, the most important thing for Michael is to do exactly what he's doing. And I would remind everybody that it's not about Michael Cohen personally, even though that's the only thing the defense really has, is to attack Michael, personally. To change the topic is what the case is about are documents and other witnesses.

So, the issue of whether there was a political motivation, in paying the hush money, which makes it a crime? That testimony came from Hope Hicks and David Pecker. So, you don't have to rely on Michael Cohen. You can rely on two people, who are close friends of his that it was about the campaign.

Even more so is this not really newsworthy leak that they're going to attack, Michael, that there wasn't an arrangement for legal fees. You just have to look at Allen Weisselberg's handwritten notes that literally prove, the document proves, the jury is going to look at it. And it proves that they weren't about legal fees. It was about math.

Allen Weisselberg wrote, in this document, that is in evidence, because it was verified to be his handwriting, that the money that Michael advanced for Stormy Daniels payment, which was 200 -- $130,000, another $50,000 for a bonus, and another $60,000 that he paid for the paper, the crowd when Donald Trump came down the escalator, and to pump up his Forbes 500 numbers.

That amount was $210,000 on that piece of paper, multiplied by two is $420,000. Divide that by 12. That's the $35,000 check that a sitting President, in the Oval Office, wrote to Michael Cohen. Nothing about legal fees. That's about math.

COLLINS: So you're saying because--

DAVIS: So what Michael should say--

COLLINS: Hold on, Lanny, because just to -- for everyone, I want to make sure everyone at home understands what you're saying.

You're saying that because on that document, it's clear that they were basically doing what they are -- adding up what they needed to pay Michael Cohen, dividing it by 12, that's not typically how a retainer would work.

DAVIS: And--

COLLINS: You're saying that's evidence in and of itself that it's?

DAVIS: In fact, it's totally contradictory of the notion of legal fees. It's about math. It's about repaying, reimbursing.


And the reimbursement word was used by the federal prosecutors, working for the Donald Trump administration, referred to this as reimbursements, and contradicted the assertion of legal fees. Those are federal prosecutors.

And then, Rudy Giuliani, on live television, said they were reimbursements.

But the actual proof is the document. It's about math. It's taking the total number that Michael advanced, multiplying by two, so that he gets his taxes back, and dividing by 12. No reference to legal fees, they come out to $35,000, in checks, personally written out of Donald Trump's personal bank account, not company bank account.


DAVIS: So, as a company expense, it isn't even a company expense.

That document speaks for itself. So, the prosecutors leaking what they -- what we all know they're trying to do is to change the subject, make it a personal attack on Michael Cohen, and try to forget about the documents. The jury will be looking at those documents.

COLLINS: Well, we'll see what the jury, what they hold in higher regard.

Lanny Davis, I know you'll be watching it closely. We'll check in with you, after tomorrow. Thank you, for joining tonight.

DAVIS: Thank you, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: We also have Renato and Bernarda back here with me.

I mean, what do you make of what you're hearing from what the Trump team is planning, and how that could play out with the jury?

RENATO STABILE, ATTORNEY & JURY CONSULTANT: Look, there is a different kind of math that we've talked about, which is that Michael Cohen was getting a salary of $375,000, from the Trump Organization.

His last check from the Trump Organization, we've had testimony from Jeff McConney, was in January of 2017. His first check from Trump or the Trump Trust is in February of 2017. And it's for $35,000. As I've said, if you divide $375,000 by 12, you get $31,000, and change. The math works out. The timing works out.

The problem is Michael Cohen says I didn't do anything, I didn't do any legal work. And the Trump team has taken on the burden--


STABILE: --that they're going to what, prove you did do legal work?

COLLINS: Yes. He said no legal services. And also, it's so grossed up.

But when you look at this, and there were no -- there was no big knockout blow from the Trump team on Tuesday. Obviously, they were only there for a little bit. They've got -- they had all day today, to kind of prepare. What do they need to accomplish tomorrow?

BERNARDA VILLALONA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, I think the cross- examination, the way they started out, they completely went flat. It was completely underwhelming.

So, their strongest points should have come out on Tuesday, when once they started out, because you got to think it's the beginning of cross-examination, you got to come out swinging. And that did not happen.

To emphasize yes, that Michael Cohen is obsessed that yes, he's a huge fan of Donald Trump, he's willing to do anything for Donald Trump? But that's the exact issue that the prosecution has. Because he's willing to do anything and everything for Donald Trump, is the same reason why he put out his money for Donald Trump, to try to save the campaign.

As much as you dirty Michael Cohen, guess what, that's the same ride- or-die guy that Donald Trump wanted to be able to clean up his dirt, to be able to fight for him. So, I'm not concerned about that.

In terms of what the defense has to do is what they should have been doing from the beginning, attack the inconsistencies, and that way you can sell it during closing argument. Because he was inconsistent on material facts, you can disregard his entire testimony.

Because the two parts that are not corroborated, that's important, is the meeting from January 2017. Allen Weisselberg was there. He's the only other person that can corroborate it. He's not coming to testify.

COLLINS: And the jury has heard nothing for -- about him. He's in prison at Rikers, of course, right now. VILLALONA: And then, February 2017, from the Oval Office, all you have in terms of corroboration is that it's in his planner, that Hope Hicks said yes, he had a meeting with him, on February of 2017.

But you don't have the content of that meeting. So, you really have to go out to his credibility.

STABILE: I mean, two things that they need to do tomorrow, the defense, I think, going after Michael Cohen.

Emphasize his hypocrisy. He was -- remember, he was a lawyer, when he's committing all of these crimes. If anybody knows better, it's him. It's why we get so upset, when police officers commit crimes. It's the hypocrisy that will really get to people. That's number one.

Number two, he was a fat cat getting fatter. With all of his tax evasions, his fake HELOC loans, he's charging a taxi operator 12 percent interest, when he's paying 5 percent interest, all of these things, lying to his accountant? And that is what is going to get people angry at him.

And if you get people angry at him, and emotional, and disgusted with him, then they're going to disregard his testimony.

COLLINS: We'll be watching closely, especially for that first question from Todd Blanche, tomorrow.

Thank you both.

We'll keep everyone updated, with our special coverage, of course here, tomorrow morning.

For now, when we return tonight, a member of Donald Trump's legal team is here, with insight, on how much they believe the defendant and the strategy that he is playing, and what is going to happen on the stand tomorrow. That's next.



COLLINS: The last time that Donald Trump's defense team had a day, in between the middle of cross-examining a witness, a key witness, it was Stormy Daniels. We saw what happened then, when they returned to court, a noticeable shift in their questioning of her.

That's what CNN's new reporting says we are also in, for tomorrow, as Trump's lead attorney, Todd Blanche, is expected to focus on Trump's reputation with money.

My next source is an attorney for Donald Trump, Will Scharf. I should note he's not working on the hush money case. Also, I should note, you are a Republican candidate for Missouri's Attorney General.

And Will, it's great to have you back here on THE SOURCE.

But obviously, you know what it's like to be an attorney for Donald Trump.

Todd Blanche is the one handling this. His first two questions during the cross-examination on Tuesday were met with sustained objections, from the judge, and also got a scolding from him, who accused Todd Blanche of making it about himself.

How do you think Todd Blanche is doing? And what does he need to do tomorrow?

WILL SCHARF, LAWYER FOR DONALD TRUMP: I think Todd's an outstanding attorney. I think his conduct, throughout this trial, has been exemplary.

I think what we're dealing with here is a witness, who's made out-of- court statements that are utterly reprehensible, about both President Trump and members of his legal team, including Todd Blanche. And I think Todd was within his rights, in terms of calling into question, the witness' credibility, to ask the questions that he did.

I think we're going to continue to see aggressive cross-examination when trial re-commences tomorrow, as we've seen with many of these witnesses.

But overall, I give President Trump's trial team an absolute-A here. I think we're heading frankly, for a directed verdict, in any fair court, in the country, because the prosecution hasn't come close to meeting their burden, on crucial elements of the crimes alleged. And I think that any fair jury would acquit rapidly, and without much question.

So, we'll see how trial concludes. We'll see what happens after the conclusion of Michael Cohen's testimony, tomorrow.

But I give President Trump's trial team--


SCHARF: --an absolute-A.

COLLINS: Obviously, it's up to the jurors to decide, if they've met the burden here.


But on that point, if you were in there, doing that cross-examination, would you have made the first two questions though, about what Michael Cohen has said about you, the attorney, and the other attorney on the team?

SCHARF: I think, first of all, whenever you think about cross- examination, you're looking to establish a cadence and a narrative. And I think Todd's cadence and narrative were right on.

The narrative is that this is an uncontrollable witness, who said numerous false things, who's obviously perjured himself numerous times, as came out in testimony on Tuesday. It's about undermining the credibility of the witness. And I think Todd did that very effectively.

COLLINS: The one person, when you talk about what the corroboration here is, and what Michael Cohen has testified. Michael Cohen has testified that these weren't legal services that he -- none were rendered. It wasn't a retainer.

And he's also talked about his private conversations with Donald Trump, saying that he acknowledged this reimbursement plan. I mean, it essentially, if Trump denied it, it would make it Cohen's word against his.

Do you think that Donald Trump should take the stand, to say, under oath, what he says outside the courtroom that Michael Cohen is lying?

SCHARF: I think that's going to be a question for the trial team, after they -- after the prosecution's case concludes tomorrow.

But I think it's really important to note, Kaitlan, that the media pays a lot of attention to Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels.

I think the two most important witnesses here, with respect to the actual crime alleged, which is business records fraud, were Deb Tarasoff and Jeff McConney, whose testimony is essentially completely exonerative, of any fraudulent intent with the way that these records were actually entered. I mean, I believe that those two -- those two witnesses alone, their testimony is absolutely fatal to this case.

COLLINS: Why do you think--

SCHARF: So this case in many--

COLLINS: --Jeff McConney's was, was so helpful. What part of that? He was the Trump Org. controller, for people--


COLLINS: --who are paying attention.

SCHARF: Well the--

COLLINS: But why was -- what was his -- that was so important that you believe?

SCHARF: Well, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the way these records were entered, the fact that they were entered as legal payments, demonstrates fraudulent intent.

Jeff McConney testified that for the 30-plus years he'd been with the Trump Organization, every single payment to a lawyer, had been denoted -- had been denoted in essentially exactly the same way.

If anything, that shows that this was a bookkeeping error, not business records fraud, two very, very different things, in the eyes of the law. So, I think his testimony was very helpful, to the defense, and hasn't gotten nearly enough attention in the news media. COLLINS: Will, you're an attorney, obviously. Have you ever gotten a legal retainer that was grossed up by hundreds of thousands of dollars?

SCHARF: I mean, I've received payment for legal services, in many ways before. Contingency fees -- fee per hour. I think different people come to different agreements with their -- with their lawyers.

COLLINS: But have you ever gotten--

SCHARF: But -- but Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Sorry. Have you ever--


COLLINS: Have you ever been owed a certain amount, say $100,000 that you did in billable hours, and you got $330,000?

SCHARF: Kaitlan, I -- respectfully, the point here is that the payments are ancillary to the case that the prosecution is trying to prove, which relates to the records of the payments, not the payments themselves. Hush money, reimbursement for hush money, none of that's a crime.

What the prosecution is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that business records. In this case, entries made in President Trump's personal ledger were fake, and were made with an intent to defraud, and were made with an intent to cover up another crime. I don't think they're close to meeting that burden here.

COLLINS: Well, we'll see what the jury decides here, of course. And first, we'll get through the cross-examination of Michael Cohen.

Will Scharf, thank you for joining tonight.

SCHARF: Great to be with you, Kaitlan. Thanks for having me.

COLLINS: Speaking of Trump attorneys, or former Trump attorneys, a big question tonight, where is Rudy Giuliani? That's what Arizona prosecutors are asking, as they have been trying to serve him for notice of his indictment in that state, for weeks.

CNN has new reporting, on his whereabouts, next.



COLLINS: Where in the world is Rudy Giuliani? That's the question that Arizona prosecutors have been asking for weeks now, after trying multiple times, to serve Giuliani an indictment notice, related to that alleged scheme, to overturn the 2020 election results in that state.

Tonight, sources are telling CNN that Rudy Giuliani is actually not here in New York, but in Palm Beach, Florida, staying at his condo that he has, not far from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club.

Here tonight to discuss, someone who has covered Rudy Giuliani, for three decades, Andrew Kirtzman, the Author of "Giuliani: The Rise and Tragic Fall of America's Mayor."

And tragic, it certainly is.

I mean, the idea that agents are trying to track down Rudy Giuliani so closely that we're told he live-streamed, they matched the background, to a real estate listing, an old one, and showed up at his New York apartment, and tried to serve him. But they were told he wasn't there.

ANDREW KIRTZMAN, AUTHOR: Right. Well, it's out of the Trump playbook that Giuliani would try to turn the criminal cases against them into a circus, right? That's what Trump has done. And this is what Giuliani has done.

And, if he leads prosecutors on a wild goose chase so much, the better he loves the attention. The difference is that Donald Trump is probably on his way to getting the Republican nomination for president, and Rudy Giuliani is going nowhere, except perhaps jail.

COLLINS: I mean, just since the last time, I saw you, and we talked about, everything that was happening, with Rudy Giuliani, he's been indicted again.


COLLINS: I mean, he hasn't gotten his actual notice, here in Arizona.


COLLINS: But he's now been indicted in another state.

KIRTZMAN: Well, he's in trouble. I mean, Giuliani is all about principles, right? His principles have made him, you know, to him, in his mind, a great mayor. He's America's Mayor. He's stuck by his principles.


The problem is that ever since he fell in with Trump, his principles have led him to do terrible things, right? He's defamed these two election workers, right? He tried to overturn an election. And the Ukraine scandal, he led to an impeachment. I mean, Giuliani is -- he's a singular -- he's a singular force. He's a man, who believes in what he's doing, even though what he's doing is wrong.

COLLINS: Well, and he still owes those two election workers a handsome amount of money, which they may never see.


COLLINS: And just this week, I mean the idea of whether or not he's learned his lesson, we know the answer to that, because he just got fired from-- KIRTZMAN: Right.

COLLINS: --WABC radio, here in New York, by an ally of Donald Trump's, over the fact that he wouldn't stop talking about the election, on his radio show, when they said, you have to stop talking about the election.

KIRTZMAN: Right. It's a principle to him, right? It's important that America knows that that election was stolen, even though it's been proved a 1,000 times that it wasn't stolen. And he was willing to kind of cut off the last major platform that he has.

I mean, Giuliani lives for relevance. But he is really scrounging for the last drop of relevance, right now. And he cut off also probably his last major source of income, all in service of his beliefs.

COLLINS: Yes. And, I mean, the idea that America's Mayor, as he was once considered, has now been fired from a radio show, because he's spreading conspiracy theories about the election.

He's also selling coffee. I mean, we saw this today. This is on his website.


COLLINS: It's a message, you could see these old photos of Giuliani, says it's quality you can trust. You can pre-order it. He's signing the bags of coffee.

I mean, just as someone, who's covered him for so long, did you ever think you'd see an image like that on his website?

KIRTZMAN: No, I never thought I would see that image. I never thought he would be selling cameo appearances on video for $300 a pop. I mean, he's bankrupt. He owes $150 million. He's selling properties.

And if you remember, this is a guy who after 9/11, cashed in, opened a firm that made $100 million in five years. He flew on private jets, right? His speaking fees were $200,000 a pop. I mean, now for him to be selling coffee, under his name, is an American tragedy.

COLLINS: I mean, a $150 million. That's a lot of cameo videos for Rudy Giuliani.

KIRTZMAN: And a lot of coffee.

COLLINS: Andrew Kirtzman, great to have you as always.

KIRTZMAN: Thank you.

COLLINS: To document just what we are witnessing and how remarkable it is.

Up next, we are shining a light on a special American, doing extraordinary things, a Champion for Change, providing hope to some people who need it the most. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


COLLINS: CNN's "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE" is saluting the unsung heroes, who are improving people's lives.

Tonight, CNN's Laura Coates has a personal story, about a dentist, who is providing both dental care, but also hope for the people who need it the most.


DR. DONDRE SIMPSON, DENTIST: Dude. How are you doing man?


SIMPSON: Doing good?

KATRINA UPTON, NEW FOUNDATIONS HOME FOR CHILDREN: He does so much more than clean teeth.

SIMPSON: Awesome.

UPTON: He teaches. He motivates. He's like a therapist. He's so much more than a dentist.


You have a demonstrated philosophy of providing care and respect and dignity to anyone who needs your help.

SIMPSON: I do what I do, because this is what God put me on this earth for.

COATES (voice-over): I'm actually the daughter of a dentist, who really devoted his life to public service, and ensuring dental care was given to people, who are most in need. He would go into the prisons.

COATES (on camera): He really believed in meeting people, where they were.

COATES (voice-over): You also wanted to go into the prisons, I understand, as well. Not only to provide that service.

COATES (on camera): But you recognized in many ways that why should they be denied the dignity of care.

SIMPSON: There's a shortage of dentists, in prisons, around the country. Most inmates, say, 99.9 percent of them, they really are grateful that they get to get out of pain. If I can be courteous, and kind, and respectful, and do my job, and treat you good, regardless of who you are, where you are, that's my goal. UPTON: This is New Foundations Home for Children. We have kids in the foster care system. And we have kids in the juvenile justice system. He serves an underserved population. He's not making a lot of money off of these kids. He comes because he feels led to be here.

JEROME PRICE, DENTAL PATIENT: I got here around 2019, because I had a other foster home that I was at. And that didn't work out. As he cleans my teeth, he talks to me about my ambitions. He remembers everything I tell him. And I'm not his only client.

SIMPSON: So that's mind-blowing to know that if I could plant a seed in somebody, unknowingly, but just doing my job, doing the way that I do it, it will influence them to make good decisions, and being more productive citizen.

UPTON: He's absolutely creating a brighter future for these kids.

DR. HAZEL HARPER, DENTIST: After he graduated from Howard, he practiced with me, for about nine years.

SIMPSON: My aunt, Hazel, she's the reason that I am a dentist today.

HARPER: And I wanted to make sure that we were treating Medicaid population patients that had public insurance. And my goal was to make sure that Dondre knew that in life, everyone needs to be treated with dignity and respect.

COATES (on camera): My father's work inspired me to be a champion for social justice. He is someone, who could have done anything, with the mind that he has, and he always chose to reinvest into the communities.

I used to work for him in his office. Now, he did fire me, because I talk too much. I never forgot the smiles in that office.


And, you know, I am a Black woman in America. Intergenerational wealth has often eluded intergenerations. But what has not eluded us is the passing down of the knowledge of the community service that imparts a sense of morality and justice within us.

And so, to hear that he was inspired by his aunt, and to feel compelled, within himself, to pay it forward, is the highest form of intergenerational wealth. And in that, we are family.


COLLINS: And you can see the rest of that story, and others. "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE" will air Saturday night, here at 9 PM Eastern, on CNN.

Thank you so much, for joining us.

We'll see you, for a special coverage of Trump's trial, starting early tomorrow morning. For now, "CNN NEWSNIGHT WITH ABBY PHILLIP" begins.