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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  April 11, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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we're going to send it to washington and jake has a big interview. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> and welcome to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. we begin with a torrent of breaking news and the new york times dropping a major development on the raids on president trump's personal lawyer michael cohen reporting that fbi agents were seeking all records related to the infamous "access hollywood" tape, which i'm sure you remember and in which private citizen donald trump made vulgar comments about women to say the least. and today paul ryan announced he will not seek re-election and will leave congress in january, the 49-year-old ryan denneying to have anything to do with the current political climate calling it a personal decision and noting he's been in congress for two decades and he no longer wants to only see his wife and three children on sundays. that is at a critical time for the gop, a party in danger of losing control of the house come the november mid-term elections.
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we'll call this today. speaker paul ryan will join me shortly and monitoring the white house briefing which may start at any moment. my panel is here. let's start with them, david urban, a big supporter of president trump, what do you make of this? one of the things that the fbi is looking for is information related to the "access hollywood" video, perhaps this hassing to smg -- perhaps this has to do with michael cohen keeping something out of the -- >> and i think the fbi action might be heavy. we heard professor der sh witz talking about there are many, many avenues to find information out without raiding the president's personal lawyer. you get -- i'm sure they could find out information about this "access hollywood" tape through a variety of different channels without kicking down the door of the president's lawyer and rivaling through his stuff. i think it could have been done different.
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and you heard mark meadow saying the house freedom caucus is up -- upset because they're asking for documents and not getting what they need but hearing it from different folks, not just folks who support the president on this one. >> jen, what is your take on this. >> i'm not a lawyer and i don't think any of us are lawyers -- >> david is. >> i think you can validate it is not easy to get a search warrant. so whether you like what they did or didn't get, there is justification and we don't know what it is because it hasn't been made public yet. we don't know what they had exactly and we also don't know what they got out of it because we don't know what mueller has. the most interesting piece is how trump reacted which was to completely freak out and melt down and make it look like he was not an innocent man in this case. >> stand by because right now i want to bring in the house speaker paul ryan. thanks for joining us. it is a big day for you and i do
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want to talk about your retierm -- retirement but "the new york times" is saying they were looking for information about the "access hollywood" tape and possibly attempted by cohen to suppress damaging information about there trump. after the "access hollywood" tape came out in 2016, mr. trump was asked not to appear at an event for you and now it is back in the news in a major way. this must bother you, "access hollywood," stormy daniels and karen mcdougal, at a certain point it must be embarrassing. >> i didn't read the article. i'm familiar with what you are talking about. so we're pretty focused on getting our work done here. and so this is something that i'll let you guys speculate about. right now i'm busy trying to get things done in congress. we have a big agenda and that is where my focus is and i don't have much punditry to offer you on this. and look, i just think the president ought to handle it is
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compartmentalize it and focus on doing your job. we have issues with syria and a budget to pass this week and we have a lot to do and that is what i'm focused on. >> let's talk about your retirement. a big announcement. you said you want to spend more time with wife and kids and very understandable and you've said things to me like that privately but i do want to get your reaction to other speculation. listen to the former republican governor of new jersey talking today about your decision. he said, quote, it is a big indicator that the speaker doesn't think he would be speaker any more, if you are a betting person you're betting on the democrats for the house in the fall, unquote. again, i know family played a huge part in the decision, but isn't governor correct that the odds are you wouldn't be speaker any more come january. >> actually, i don't believe that. that's not true. because we have an excellent track record to run on. look at the economy and wages and bonuses and tax reform and regulatory relief. we just rebuilt the military. that is taking place. and we've actually passed an agenda into law, we are -- one
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of the crazy people that said what we would do after the campaign and we're doing it and it is making a positive difference in people's lives so i think we'll have a good story to tell so i'm confident we could keep the majority and one of the reasons why i was comfortable making this decision, jake. in a funny way, i decided to do this, number one, my kids are now teenagers, they've only known me as a weekend dad because they were born after i was elected to congress. so that's a personal decision but i was able to make the decision because i feel like we have put our majority in a good place because we have gotten a lot done. it is making a big difference in peep's lives so i'm confident i will handle this over to another republican speaker and because of the list of accomplishments i feel content and confident and therefore i feel like i could do what i've always wanted to do which is to be a full time dad with my wife for at least part of my children's upbringing because if i do another term, that is really all they will
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ever know me at home, is a weekend dad. and that is just something i just can't live with. >> there are also a lot of republicans on capitol hill speculating that president trump hasn't exactly made your life as speaker any easier even though he obviously signs your bills as a republican president would. i do know you've had concerns about the way the president has conducted himself. take a listen to john thune discussing your relationship with president trump. >> that is a little bit of a difficult marriage from the beginning. they are very different in terms of temperament and character. >> very different in terms of temperament and character and you are talking about your kids today. what do you tell your children when they ask you about the president's temperament and character? >> they don't ask me about the president's character. we try not to talk about these things. i try to spend my time talking about what is doing on in their lives. but to get to the point you're asking, we're very different people. i'm from the upper midwest. i'm not from new york, we're from a different generation. so we have different styles.
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but what we learned after we got to know each other because we didn't know each other at all in the campaign and yeah, we had a lot of friction in our relationship. but we learned is we have a common agenda to agree on and we want to get it done and it will make a difference in people's lives and that is what we were elected to do. he got elected president, i got elected speaker and i think it is our job on behalf of the people we represent and the people of this nation to focus on their problems, get things done and make a big difference and that is what we're doing and that is what i'm proud about. >> so i understand what you are saying, but obviously it is more than stylistic. it has to do -- you both have different visions of the republican party. you could come together on issues like repealing and replacing obamacare or tax cuts but in terms of the message of the republican party, you disagree and that has -- the deal you've made to try to get these things done for the american people has subjected you to criticism, ron brownstein wrote today, quote, paul ryan chose to tolerate both trump's
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personal excess and his racially polarizing words and deeds as the advance for his own priorities and cutting spending and regulations and above all taxes and he personified the devils bargon, the gop has signed with trump. what is your response when you hear criticism -- >> i've known ron for 25 years. i don't see getting things done for the country keeping your promises and making a difference a devil's bargain. look, we have a divided -- we have separation of powers. we have three separate co-equal branches of government and many republicans an the secret to success from what i see is getting the different kind of republicans to form a coalition government that could actually deliver. that is what we have right now. i'm grateful for the president to win the election, to give us this chance and opportunity to make a big difference in people's lives. so i'm really proud of the accomplishment here.
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and so i don't see it as a bargain or whatever you call it, but the country said go fix these problems, you get the majority in the house and the senate, here is the presidency, now go do something with it. that is what we're doing. that is not devil's bargain. that is actually doing what the people in this country asked us to do and keeping our word, and i'm very proud of that fact. >> so if a year ago or two years ago somebody asks me what were the two most important things to paul ryan i would say tax cuts -- >> tax reform. >> tax cuts or tax reform -- okay. and entitlement reform or changing the way the social safety net programs and social security and medicare and medicaid exist so they will exist in future generations. one of them you've done and the other you have not. the congressional budget office as you know this week came out with a report projecting trillion dollar deficits will start in 2020 if nothing is done and by 2028 they expect the deficit to top $1.5 trillion. now the cbo said this is
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largely -- not entirely but largely because of the tax cuts, take a listen to republican senator bob corker. he said, quote, this congress and this administration likely will go down as one of the most fiscally irresponsible administrations in congress that we've had. do you disagree. >> i do disagree. if you look at the projections and i've seen them from cbo, i was a budget chair and we knew we would have pressure on deficit hitting because of the baby boomers anden titlement which is two-thirds of the budget. if you look at the forecast, discretionary spending rises about $300 billion. tax revenue still increase, entitlement spending increases $2 trillion over the next ten years. so this is the issue. that is always been the issue when it comes to debt and deficit in the future. and that is one of the things i've talked about forever. and jake, i have to tell you,
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i'm particularly proud of the fact that the house, ever since i was budget chairman to this term of congress, has passed budgets that not only balance the budget but pay off the debt, last year we passed out of the house -- now it didn't go to law and that is one of my regrets but out of the house we passed the single biggest entitlement reform bill congress ever considered and lowered health care premiums and shaved trillion dollars off our long-term debt and unfortunately that bill did not pass the senate. but it did pass the house and i'm proud of that fact. so yeah, we got a lot of work to do, but i do really feel that i've helped contribute to advancing the cause of dealing with entitlement and i think we could make it better. i think the entightment, medicare and medicaid and social security, they could work better and get the debt under control but we have to reform the programs. we've not had bipartisan con
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senso census to do that and we were able to get a bill this year and i wished we could have passed that into law because i think it would make a great difference but we've advanced the issues. these issues aren't going away and i think we're closer to a consensus than just a couple of years ago when we started talking about this issues. >> i have two more questions and then i know you have to go. maybe it is early for you to be retrospective and look back at your career in congress and can you think of what your best moment in congress was and worst moment. >> losing the majority in '06 was an ugly time when we lost the major. losing in 2012 election was a pretty tough moment for me. i was on the ticket with mitt. those are tough moments. i think getting tax reform done was one of the best moments, something i've been working on for over 20 years, since i've worked for jack kemp i worked on tax reform and i think it is
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critical for economic growth. i think there are a lot of things in the tax bill that help advance our poverty, like enterprise zones, social impact bonds and things that americans don't know about yet that i'm proud about it and i'm excited about advancing issues i care about that and that is what i'm most proud about. >> and lastly, i find it hard to believe that january will be the last time you're on the political scene. i find it hard to believe that you won't run for senate or governor or president some day. you're shaking your head. you don't think -- there is no chance you'll reenter politics. >> not while my kids are growing up. and not in -- i don't see that. i really thought when i took this job, jake, this is the probably last elected office i would have. i'm not going to run for president. that is not my plan. i will not do that. i want to spend time doing the things that i've just discussed doing. i'm always going to advocate for the causes that i have but right now the last thing i'm thinking about is running for something.
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>> i believe that. but we'll see. i'm going to believe that we'll see. because your kids are teenagers, they'll be out of the house soon enough and that is why you're going home. >> i really don't think i'll change my mind, but thanks, jake, appreciate it. >> house speaker paul ryan thank you so much for your time and best to your family. white house press secretary sara sanders is holding the briefing. let's listen in. >> are they an enemy at this point? that is something that russia needs to play a role in determining. we hope they will continue -- or not continue, i'm sorry, but to be a bad actor and make changes in their behavior but that is something russia will have to determine. >> as you say all options are on the table when it comes to syria and russia, has diplomacy been exhausted. >> all options are on the table. >> and are you saying that -- >> again, all options are on the table. that contains a number of
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different things. >> it could still be in play? >> it could be. but there are a lot of other options also on the table. >> [ inaudible ] to ensure that a special counsel isn't fired for political reasons. does the white house support that bill or does the white house think a bill like that is necessary? >> we don't have an administrative policy on that right now. john. >> thank you, sara. two questions. on monday i asked you if president had contracted president macron and prime minister may about an alliance with france and england, not unlike that -- that president obama tried to forge in 2013. he has had two conversations with both of them. have there been any new developments? has he spoken with any other world leaders, especially those in the central europe about a larger coalition instead of the u.s. going it alone in syria.
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>> we've had regular contact with regional allies and partners, including israel and saudi arabia, france and the u.k. as well as a number of other countries at various levels. we've provided read-outs of the conversations the president has directly had. but both are -- the national security adviser as well as the secretary of defense, the acting secretary of state and a number of others in the administration have had regular contact with their counterparts from a number of other countries. >> and the other thing i wanted to ask, the president has a good relationship with congressman scalise and a good personal relationship with his family. what does he think about the reports that congressman scalise will run for speaker soon? >> the president has a great relationship with a number of members in the house of representatives who support his agenda. and he looks forward to working with all of them over the course of the next six and a half --
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seven years i guess. >> is the president considering firing or in other ways pushing out rosenstein? >> i don't have any personal announcements at this front -- >> and one other thing -- paul ryan said today he's been given assurances by the white house that president isn't planning to fire rosenstein or mueller. do you know where he's getting those assurances, from the president or coming from others? where is it coming from. >> again, i don't have any announcements on that front. >> and a member of the foreign relations committee said today that the president must come to congress for authorization prior to another military strike on syria and others who are also saying that. does the administration intend to do that and if not, why not? >> obviously the administration will follow whatever laws and regulations are necessary for any actions that we take and because we haven't laid out any specific acs i can't tell you exactly what needs we would have to go to congress with.
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>> it sounds like the president hasn't left a lot of wiggle room. you said all options are on the table but when the president said get ready russia, the missiles are coming, how is that anything but an announcement of a pending air strike. >> that is certainly one option. but that doesn't mean it is the only option or the only thing that the president may or may not do. just because he does one thing doesn't mean he can't do a number of other actions as well -- >> [ inaudible question ]. >> and he hasn't laid out the timetable which would be broadcasting his intentions. >> and one thing on speaker ryan's announcement, there were fears up on capitol hill and we understand some in the white house that have democratic wave could sweep the republicans out of power in the house and that could potentially lead to impeachment proceedings that the democrats could bring forward. what is the president's thinking of on that and your thinking on that. >> like i said earlier, we're confident in the record that we have and the very successful
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first year and a half the president had in office and we expect to talk about that a lot. we would love for you guys to talk about that a lot more too and we'd be happy to send you some talking points if you need some guidance on that. >> you think a wave is coming? >> we certainly think we have a great story to tell and we think america will be ready to listen to that and certainly has i think felt the impacts, certainly from an economic standpoint from this administration and we're proud of that. >> next question. >> [ inaudible ]. is there anything syria or russia could do at this point to avoid military action. >> i won't get ahead of anything but certainly like i've said a few times today, all options are on the table. and we'll continue conversations with our allies and partners and move forward from that point. thanks so much, guys. have a great day. you've been listening to the white house press briefing, the white house saying all options remain on the table concerning syria and saying that the president has, quote, deep
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concern about the direction of the mueller investigation. let me get back to my political panel. mary katherine, we need to get your thoughts, the raid and the hotel room and house and apparently looking finformation about stormy daniels and karen mcdougal and the "access hollywood" tape. >> i'm puzzled as to what the underlying federal crime is but i'm mindful of the fact you have to hit pie ohio bars a-- but there had to be a consultation that make this happen. however, if we are in position or end up in a position where an fec violation is what caused the sacking and raiding of a attorney's office who is the president's attorney, despite the fact that the new york times editorial page decided today that attorney/client privilege isn't that important if you are innocent, it is really important and i do think that would be not
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a great development. so i am hopeful there is something larger there. >> now the -- the standard, the rules and regulations for u.s. attorney and you know this better than i because you're an attorney, state -- >> at least on this show. >> say it could be done, a raid on an attorney's office if there is evidence that the person is going to destroy evidence or there is evidence that there is no way that you could get this information, including with a subpoena, without raiding the office. it is a fairly high bar. but presumably, the u.s. attorney for the southe-- the sn district of new york got that permission from a magistrate. >> sure. and i still remain incredulous they couldn't get it from some other source. if there is banking involved, you go to the bank. there is another party involved other than mr. cohen. you go to that source first. that is what i'm saying. i think what mary katherine said is correct.
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attorney/client privilege is sacrosanct and there is the crime fraud exception which has been debated and talked about on this network exhaustively and the only time you get to pierce that attorney/client privilege is if there is a crime committed and so this is some pretty high bar stuff and we'll have to see. but it is an extraordinary step to take for sure. >> and jen, one of the things -- and this is all speculation since we don't know anything. but the question is if -- michael cohen has been the -- the accusation is made if he spent $130,000 to keep stormy daniels quiet about her alleged affair with president trump and doesn't report that to the federal election commission, that is an f.e.c. violation. theoretically, my payment that he made and didn't declare as an in-kind contribution to the trump campaign would also be a violation, including theoretically any payment to suppress an "access hollywood" tape or anything else. >> sure. and this goes back to the fact it is speculation and we have
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drips of the -- of the reporting and what the purpose or justification for but we don't fully know. guessing over the past couple of months we'll know more soon because a lot ke-- seems to com out but it is confusing as to why that is the just fiction but we've agreed there is a very high bar to getting -- to being able to get a search warrant and so clearly there is probably more there. >> take a listen to what sara sanders just said a few minutes ago about special counsel robert mueller. take a listen. >> the president certainly has been clear that he has a very deep concern about the direction the special counsel and other investigations have taken. this investigation started off as russia collusion of which there was none. that has been very clear that nothing has come up over the last year and the president spoken at length on this topic. while the media continues to focus on this, despite the fact that there is no evidence after a year, we're going to continue to stay focused on the issues.
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>> some democrats say there is evidence of collusion and there is evidence of cooperation. you have very clearly the russians get incriminating information about hillary clinton illegally and offer it to the trump campaign and they express interest in it. bravo -- voila and it shows up on wikileaks. >> and i think that trump jr. meeting is the most damning thing we've seen. there is not the big smoking gun of a giant global conspiracy and i remain skeptical of -- that that exists. but what she's doing there is the same thing that has been going on for several months which is teasing of the idea, we don't like this direction, there is a possibility that something might happen in the employment status of -- on mueller. look, i think there is continuing to have people around him and her talking into keeping him and we'll have to see because he is a moment to moment leader. >> can you imagine -- obviously the ken star investigation started off as an investigation into a land deal and ended up with the -- focusing on
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president clinton perthery himself about a that is one of the problem with special counsel and prosecutors. >> we've been in town long enough to remember that is the reason the independent counsel statute was demolished and taken -- and pounded with a hammer and thrown in the trash because of the wide-ranging and freelancing never-ending investigations. and i think that is what we're seeing here. >> stick around. we have more to talk about. especially about the breaking news. knew details about the "access hollywood" tape and the raid of michael cohen hotel and office and home. stay with us.
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breaking this afternoon, stunning revelations about the raid at the office and holt and home of president trump's personal attorney michael cohen. "the new york times" reporting this afternoon that fbi agents were searching for evidence related to that "access hollywood" tape. cohen was spotted returning to his hotel in manhattan today and asked about the raid.
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>> are you not worried at all? >> i'm not worried. >> maggie haberman broke the story for the new york times and joins me on the phone. your reporting stems from they sources briefed on the content of the federal search warrant. explain exactly what they are telling you. >> sure. jake, this is a pretty lengthy search warrant as we understand it. among the items in it was a request for communication related to the "access hollywood" tape, the now famous tape that went public in "the washington post" on the weekend of i think october 27th, 2016, the featured then candidate -- or he wasn't a candidate, then private citizen trump doing an interview with billy bush of "access hollywood" where he made all kinds of stark, surprising remarks about women, it appears to be bragging about sexual
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assault and for the president at the time -- it is seeking that plus any potentially -- any communication around negative information related to the president which appears to be any other stories that could have been problematic for the president. but it looks like they're looking for -- either evidence of pressure around the "access hollywood" tape or evidence of a payment of some kind. but it is among the more puzzling pieces. >> and the big question is how might this tape, even if it has to deal with michael cohen trying to suppress it, how might this be relevant to this particular investigation? >> right. look, given that this particular investigation, remember this is the southern district of new york as opposed to the mueller investigation, even though it appears to have begun in part with a referral from mueller. but this is a broader investigation and it looks like into cohen.
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into roles that cohen played with trump and into cohen's own finances and it also asked among other things for information about any official -- or unofficial role on the campaign and he know he didn't have a role in the campaign but he certainly did raid money for it. this is more about cohen. whether the goal is to pressure michael cohen so he will at some point testify potentially against donald trump, i can't know what the investigators are going for. but this really is about a broader investigation about him. >> according to your reporting, we know that fbi agents were now after evidence related to the "access hollywood" tape and records about cohen's hush payment to stormy daniels and records on the deal between the national inquirer publisher and playboy play mate of the year karen mcdougal. and is there any information about how they could all be related beyond michael cohen trying to protect donald trump? >> there could be a number of different issues at play.
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and again i don't want to get ahead of the reporting and suggest we know more than we do. but it does appear it is about potential campaign finance violations, whether things were in-kind contributions and wire transfers, bank transfers, and then i think a pattern they are in is what you are seeing related to "access hollywood," related to karen mcdougal, related to stormy daniels. they are looking at a broad spectrum in how these things weave together as part of a larger package. >> maggie haberman from "the new york times," thank you for joining us. >> thank you. so how might the infamous tape tie into the investigation into the alleged hush money and cover up. stornl attorney will join me to respond next.
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that fbi agents who raided michael cohen's office were looking for records tied to the "access hollywood" tape and documen document -- in evidence that he tried to bury potentially damaging information about mr. trump during the 2016 campaign on top of information related to the alleged hush money payout to stormy daniels and joining me now is michael avenatti, stormy daniels's lawyer. so what is your reaction to the news that the "access hollywood" tape and information about that is part of what the fbi is looking for? >> well, jake, i'm surprised quite honestly as it related to that angle but not surprised they are looking at the f.e.c. violations and the other issues. those are the same issues we've been talking about now for the better part of five weeks. i do want to comment, one of your last panelists seemed to down play the seriousness of potential fec violations. i would like to remind your viewers, we're talking about felonies. felonies. not misdemeanors, not some bogus charge, these are very serious
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matters. and so any effort to down play a potential felony or felonies associated with the fec, i think that is a dead bang loser. these are very serious martes. >> do you think there could be any connection between your client stormy daniels and what was said on the "access hollywood" tape or might this be another kind of possible cover-up, money that should have been declared as an in-kind contribution to the trump campaign being used to suppress information? >> well, my speculation and it is just that, but my speculation relating to this "access hollywood" tape is that it may lead to additional thuggery conduct on behalf of michael cohen or others. if these individuals knew about this tape and threatened individuals like they did my client, and others then that may be what they are looking at. attempts to intimidate people and keep that "access hollywood" tape under wraps. that is my best guest. >> i want to get to that intimidation but talk about the breaking news that today a judge ordered your legal team and
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michael cohen's attorneys to meet and work out your differences by friday. what might that mean? >> well, that is not exactly what he ordered. what he ordered was for us to conduct what is called a meet and confer which is a common occurrence related to various motions. we're supposed to have a meeting and talk through the issues and see if we can reach agreement. hope springs eternal but i doubt at this stage -- the two sides are staked out as to their position. we want discovery and an expedited jury trial. we want to avoid a secret arbitration hidden from the american people. and the other side feels just the opposite. but we're going to comply with judge otero's order and do what is requires of us and if we are not able to work out our differences we'll have a hearing in may and hopefully the judge will make a decision at that time in our favor. >> you say you and your client are cooperating with federal investigators. what does that mean? have you met with investigators and what do they want to know. >> i'm not at liberty to get into the details of that but we'll do everything in our power
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to cooperate and be as user friendly and possible to the southern direct of new york office of the u.s. attorney. it is an exceptional office as you know. some of the best and brightest u.s. attorneys in the nation. it is an aggressive office and i'm confident that with that office at the helm, they'll get to the bottom of what happened here. >> you said that there is a sketch drawing of the person who allegedly threatening your client and you said you would release it. but this morning on cnn you said you wouldn't be released it because of events over the last 48 hours events, and coen's office was raided during that time period. how does that impact the release of the sketch of somebody who allegedly threatened your clients? >> well, my client met with lois gibson, the foremost forensic artist in the world and happens to be based in houston, texas. she met with her at length and this composite sketch was created. we were on the verge of releasing it in connection with a reward that we were going to call for. there is some information that has come to light in the last 48 hours that has caused us to pause the release of that.
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we were requested not to release it at this time. and we're going to follow that request. i don't know how long the delay will be. it ultimately may not need to be released because we may have a positive identification but we are not in a position to announce that quite yet. >> so just to clarify here, somebody said please don't release this and there might be a reason because it is clear who the person is and we might find out who the person was? was the person who asked you not to release it with law enforcement? >> i don't want to get into -- i would like to get into the details but i'm not at liberty to do so, jake. >> michael avenatti, thank you. the white house giving an unexpected answer about russia and military confrontation. that is next. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations
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>> once again, all options are on the table. and i don't have any further announcements about -- >> i want to be clear -- >> it sounds like all options are on the table and a final decision hasn't been made but we'll keep you posted once it is. >> earlier today, the president stunned many in his own party when he tweeted russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at syria, get ready russia, because they are nicing and new and smart. you shouldn't be partners with a gas killing animal who kills his people and enjoys it. barbara starr from the pentagon and the white house further called out russia in the briefing moments ago. >> reporter: they did, indeed, the spokesperson, sara sanders, just said she has nothing to say on a decision but making it clear a decision it going to be made one way or the other, our understanding the person deciding on when, if, how, he wanted to strike inside of syria, the big question now is can they lockdown all of the intelligence and get everything lined up on a fairly quick
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basis. she had more to say about this at the white house briefing. >> so what has changed over the last handful of hours from when the defense secretary said we're still assessing the intelligence and now to where you clearly point the finger at russia and syria. >> as i just stated to both jeff and jonathan, russia holds some responsibility in the fact they guaranteed that syria wouldn't use chemical weapons again and they did. they've also hold some responsibility in the fact that they have the six u.n. resolutions that they vetoed to protect assad. both of those things lie at russia's feet. >> you are seeing a lot of signaling here from the white house directly to vladimir putin that they are holding him responsible. they are going to lockdown what kind of chemical agent they believe was used here so they could speak to the world about this if and when the air-strikes happen of course. to try and prove their case. but making it very clear -- and what they are really telling
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vladimir putin, missiles are coming and get your troops and equipment out of the way. we are not interested in striking you, we hold you responsible but they are going after assad and whatever has been used to conduct those chemical attacks, jake. >> thank you so much. and we're back and continuing the conversation with the panel. jeb psaki from the obama white house, isn't sara sanders correct, russia is responsible for protecting as yapd and guaranteed there would be no kml weapons and any confrontation with syria might also clue russia. >> look, i agree on the first two absolutely and i think they've been a bad actor who should have been held accountable longer with more implementation of sang-- sancti and which only the united states can do. i think the issue that i have and others will have with her comments and the tweet of trump today is that it is treating military action very flippantly. military action is a very serious decision.
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if he takes a strike -- limited strikes on syria, i don't think there is an outcry of opposition to that. i could be wrong. but even from democrats. but it is going to an entirely new place to threaten military action against russia as well. there are a lot of things that we can do, no question they are a bad actor. they haven't even done all of the things we can do. >> david urban, you were once in the u.s. army and do you believe it is flippant. >> i don't think it is flippant. i spent time with the president and he takes the military seriously and sending our young men and women into harm's way extremely seriously. i know that from discussing it with him on a -- numerous occasions. so i take umbrage with that and what he's saying to the russians, if you had a hand in this and if we can find it, you'll be punished in a very serious way and we complain about the president not being tough enough on russia and now he is too tough on russia. you can't have it both ways. and in this case, they've done
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some horrific things and crossing a red line in the sand that your former boss' red line in the sand and which was crossed andner responded to and this president will with a bigger hammer this time. >> do you want to respond? >> i would say the pick for national security adviser john bolton did not want military action and congress couldn't act on it and people out there advocating against it. there was a lot of politics involved. i think on jake's show i said the targeted military action in syria, there are many people i worked with in national security team that didn't speak out against them. in fact, supported them last year. it doesn't have to be a partisan thing -- >> you went farther to your credit. you said you wish president obama had done that. >> sure. and then i think many other people also said that. but i think there is a difference. it doesn't have to be either/or. military action is a very serious issue and you have to have a more nuanced answer when you go to the podium. >> nobody is talking about
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putting troops in red square. there is a wide range of options presented to this president and with general dunford, secretary mattis and folks -- >> but we don't know that. >> of course they do. >> you may know that because you spent time at white house today but the american public and other people don't know that and it is important to be specific and take away options. >> i want to ask you a question, speaking about having things both ways, president trump both as a regular guy, regular business developer and as a candidate said one of his hallmarks was going to be you don't telegraph when you are going to take military action. i could list 15 tweets for you right now, but just take my word for it. they are there. he is telegraphing military action. is this hypocrisy, is this the world looks different from the oval office, how do you see it? >> i wish it was the world looks different from the oval office. i'm not very con fins-- convinc
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there is a cohesive strategy and the reason he's doing this. he could telegraph or not and if he doesn't there needs to be a rational and discussion and in a case made for american interests if this gets deeper involved ab my issue with the former administration is not so much whether to go in or not because that is a huge decision and it doesn't have to be partisan, but it was the victory lap about the idea we had gotten all of the chemical weapons out out of john kerry's deal and when most of us knew and said that was naive and not the case and it turns out that is not the case. we still have this problem that is tricky and i'm afraid that we are not having the right discussions especially with russia being so -- >> and the assad regime, the assad family, this isn't something new, right? his father wiped out the entire city of hamad in 1982. to think this will go away, this is a bad actor and regime. it is not going away any time soon. think about changing the leadership there. >> i do wonder if there is a boy who cried wolf quality to this. listen to president trump about
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48 hours ago talking about the decision he was going to make. >> we are meeting with our military and everybody else. and we'll be making some major decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours. >> that is about now. there should be a decision made. and one of the things that i heard a republican member of congress say was that he's more concerned with the fact that there might not be follow-through from the tweet this morning than the actual tweet or the idea the president does a lot of bluster on twitter and doesn't follow through. >> and we've seen this as a pattern in how he's been out there on national security issues without really consulting with all of the right people about -- internally about how this would work and how the military would implement it and how the state department would approach it and that is a problem. because either -- it is hard to deliver on it. your allies might around with you as you need them to be or the military can't deliver on it if he does limited strikes they could but there are other options throwing out there --
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>> so the president made the comment surrounded by -- his war cabinet for lack of a better word. so i doubt that he was ill-informed at that point in time. and a decision may be made. maybe we're waiting for zero visibility, no moon. we don't know that the tactical and operational as pecks being laid in place. ships are steaming to srn places and things have to be moved and the president may be truthful but we don't know in that case. >> stick around. we have a lot more to discuss after this quick break. ever you, behr through it, in one coat. behr marquee, #1 rated interior paint. find it exclusively at the home depot.
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and accessories for your mobile phone. like this device to increase volume on your cell phone. - ( phone ringing ) - get details on this state program call or visit so it turns out we're out of time. so thank you to our great panel. be sure to follow me on facebook
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and twitter at jake tapper. tweet the show at the lead at cnn. and woif is right next door in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news, "access hollywood" records, we have new reporting tonight that the feds who raided the president's lawyer were looking for information about the notorious and lewd tape. what might prosecutors be hoping to prove. stand by for new details. bad blood. the president opens a new front in the war with robert mueller blaming the russia investigation for souring relations with moscow and the president is looking to fire the special counsel. get ready russia, the commander-in-chief taunts the kremlin, warning that u.s. missiles will rain down on syria soon. how does his jaw-dropping tweet