Answers And Questions; Michael Avenatti Talks About Extortion, Bank And Wire Fraud Charges Against Him; Pres. Trump, Allies Attack President's Critics After He Is Cleared of Russia Collusion; Stiffing Puerto Rico
The bad. This is here NCW March madness. Takes the courses the big, Dan. So miss a moment of the action on TBS CBS TNT and true TV and download the March madness live up to watch every game anywhere at anytime. Live. Good evening of the attorney who made stormy Daniels. A household name and sparked the case that ended with Michael Cohen sentenced to prison is now himself at risk if found guilty of also going to prison. Mike Gaba was charged today with the feds call a multi million dollar extortion attempt, and they said the alleged shakedown was caught on tape on top of that. He was also charged in a separate case involving wire and Bank fraud. He was arraigned just moments ago at a courthouse in lower Manhattan. You're looking at a live shot. We're expecting him to come out shortly possibly speak to reporters. We'll bring you that. When he does. There are also multiple new developments the fallout from the attorney general summary of Robert Muller's investigation big ones, including new reporting that Mr. Muller told attorney general bar three weeks ago. He would not reach a conclusion in an obstruction of Justice case against the president that would be left up to bar. Also tonight, the latest on the efforts by Democrats to make the full Muller report public, but the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell latest afternoon blocked, a move. So there's that and the reality. We now have key answers to some central tenants of the special counsel's investigation. But a lot of questions remain the first big answer being this taken from attorney general boards release. The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities now that is of course, both legally and politically enormous insufficient evidence to make a case against the president or people close to him for criminal conspiracy with the Russian government and the two thousand sixteen election, effectively, no collusion as the president has said all along at least none that the special counsel believes can be prosecuted. There's good news for the president. Arguably better news for the country that the president the United States did not criminally conspire with a foreign adversary to get elected now Democrats and those who disliked the president may be disappointed, but for the country having a president who hasn't conspired with an enemy is certainly very good news. That said the bar letter. Does not say what the president is saying it says. There was no obstruction. And none whatsoever. And it was a complete and total exoneration. Well, in fact, the attorney general who cited very few passages from Robert Muller's ashville report, specifically cited this one with respect to obstruction of Justice quoting now while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime it also does not exonerate him. Now, those were Muller's words, according to the army general the special counsel, quote, did not draw conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. He deferred to the attorney general who decided along with deputy attorney general rod Rosenstein that it did not which leaves the question. Just what did Robert Mueller say about it in the body of his report Watergate conspirator and former Nixon White House counsel John dean, certainly no stranger to moments like these had this to say, Don lemon last night. We haven't really seen underlying report. But I have some suspicions of the reason that he boils down the way he did is because it's not very attractive on while. He didn't find his words are very different than bars. I suspect he suspects and so two plenty of democratic lawmakers. But in truth, we don't know one way or another Democrats have made releasing the full Muller report the to the public their top priority. Something the president today said he's also okay with as it stands. We don't really know the underlying facts that went into the attorney general's decision not to pursue obstruction charges and on the collusion front. We also know if the Muller investigators reached any determination about why so many people lied so much about their contacts with Russians Michael Flynn. Paul Manafort, George popadopoulos, all charged with lying people involved in the Trump Tower meeting with Russians were caught in multiple lies. And we still don't know. Why nor do we know if Robert Muller knows we still don't have as CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein often. Points out a simple factual account of what happened in all of this, nor do we know what's behind the president's willingness to give ladder Putin. The benefit of the Dow time after time on Russia's election interference in Robert Muller, ever theory, or provide any facts that on the question, again, we don't know, and that should be pointed out, nor do we know what if anything the Muller investigation and covered the ties in with or potentially sheds light on any of these other investigations into the president and his dealings. What we do know. However is that the report if accurately summarized by the attorney general dispel, some of the harsher allegations against the president by Democrats by former intelligence officials and others over the years. We have a Senator on the program tonight who says he's seen evidence himself of collusion. He said it before the bar summary came out tonight. We'll ask him. Whether he still maintains that does the Mola report contain any evidence that supports the senator's claim, even if it might not rise level Manelli another unanswered question. As is the president's reaction to it all when asked today with a special counsel acted. Honorably in the investigation. The pres- the president replied, yes, he did. That's really what he believes it certainly a far cry from what he's been claiming for months and Martin saying things like this about the special counsel. The problem with the Muller destination is everybody's got massive conflicts highly conflicted. In fact, Komi is like his best friend. Please people have the biggest conflicts of interest. I've ever seen go on to thirteen angry Democrats could go into conflict after conflict, but sadly missed the Muller's conflicted Muller was not Senate confirmed because of all the conflicts they didn't wanna bring him before the Senate because he's very conflicted. He's conflicted. And I know that his best friend is call me who's the bad cop. The put thirteen highly conflicted, and you know, very angry. I am angry Democrats in more now on the president's reaction McCaw says the White House for us tonight has the White House seen the full report yet. According to White House officials spoke with earlier this evening Anderson. No, they have not seen the full report and ask to this. This notion that Robert Mueller the special counsel, inform the attorney general William bar three weeks ago that he would not be bringing an obstruction case. I asked the White House just a short while ago got an answer to this. And they say the president the White House did not know about that that Muller informed bar that he would not be seeking any obstruction charges. And so over here, you know, they seem to be as much in the dark as to what's contained in the full molar report has everybody else, and it's in the dark as to whether or not they'll push for a full release of that report. We still don't have a straight answer on that as you were saying if you moments ago, the president said in the Oval Office earlier today, he's he's okay with that idea of releasing the report of what he's leaving it to the attorney general decide what ultimately to do about that. In terms of the president declaring full exoneration. Obviously, the vast majority of the summary was a huge victory for him. There's no doubt about it full. Stop. Is there any concern about that narrow bit of nuance between Muller and bar on obstruction? Now at this point Anderson, and honestly, they were too busy celebrating today to to appreciate the nuances of of just about anything. I I will say at one point in the driveway of the north lawn of the White House. I saw the White House counselor Kellyanne Conway almost dancing and the driveway as I approached her. She was beaming. Multiple officials behind the scenes were were jubilant over this news because they see this cloud being lifted over the president that's been there since the two thousand sixteen campaign Anderson, and who can blame them that cloud has been there for some time. But as you mentioned just a few moments ago, they're all of these other investigations looming. The question is how the White House how the president responds to all of that. But but obviously the question moving forward, you know, is still a why is the president? Why does he have this situation where every time we go, I don't know foreign trip. He seems to align him so. With over Putin. When it comes to this issue of interference in the two thousand sixteen election that obviously is a question that we may have some answers to in the full report. It is it's hard to imagine a situation Anderson where the public never gets a full understanding of the answer to that question. But as you were saying if you moments ago, we just don't know the answer to a lot of questions around here, with the exception of these answers that the president and his team have been desperately seeking for the last two years now, Tim Mukasa, Jim thanks very much just moments ago. We learned where the democrat congress stands on all this unions maharaja joins us with that. So what more speaker Pelosi sank tonight motto? Well, stick oppose they had a private meeting with our leadership team just earlier this evening, and she made it pretty clear that she believes the focus of caucus going forward should not be on the Russia investigation should not be on the Muller probe, but should be instead on these economic issues. Pocketbook issues on their agenda. She believes that is how the party should focus on. Going forward. It's in line with what she's been saying for some time. But in the aftermath of the Bill bar letter, she wants to make it pretty clear to her caucus that it makes sense to not focus on the all the fallout in the messy followed from this, particularly in light of the finding that the Trump campaign of Cording to Bob Muller. He could could not find a cannot establish. The Trump campaign was involved in a conspiracy with the Russian government. Now, I asked Nancy Pelosi about this leaving a meeting earlier this evening, whether she believes they're still collusion, and she didn't want him gauge. Speak oppose. Are you ready to say that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in light of the mother finding? I think that mother report was clear the president. So the end she said, I think the mother report is clear he was not exonerated. We tried to press a little bit further. She said, I'm not going to be having a press conference about the soul of our democracy in the hallway of the basement in the capital. So it shows you Anderson where she wants to keep her focused, but still several other committees plan to push forward. Of course, they demanding by next week to provide the report to the house and the Senate also Adam Schiff, the house intelligence committee, chairman told me earlier this evening, he still plans to investigate rushing furans. He said the criminal investigation that mother launch is much different than a counterintelligence investigation that he's launching. He said he still wants to know if Trump has been compromised anyway by the Russians by financial interests at all that's going to be still focused for Adam shifts. So while Pelosi wants to move forward in to talk about these issues, at least some of our committees still playing a probe these Russia matters is gonna probably keep it still in the news Anderson. All right on a Roger Monmouth action, Richard. With all democrat of Connecticut, and a member of the judiciary committee, sir Blumenthal. Do you agree with speaker Pelosi? The Democrats should focus on their agenda and message and not the Miller probe and Russia interference Democrats essentially move on. We should focus Anderson on challenges they had to our country infrastructure that has rebuilding our roads and bridges healthcare making it more widely available and reducing the cost of pharmaceutical drugs veterans issues and our national defense, which is increasingly complex and challenging. But at the same time, we need to protect our nation against the continuing threat of meddling in our election. And that was the purpose of the Muller probe at the very outset. It began as a counterintelligence investigation, and we need to know and see that Muller report. All we have right now is the bar summary. So we can establish. How close the wrongdoing came to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether there was non-criminal wrongdoing by the Trump campaign. Clearly, there is evidence of some cooperation there and also very very importantly the statement by Muller one of the few statements that quoted in the bar summary that the president is not exonerated on the issue of obstruction of Justice. You said earlier today that quote, there is evidence of collusion. No question. Do you stand by that claim because sure seems like Robert Muller's conclusion is very different? We don't know what Robert Muller's conclusion is because we haven't seen it always seen is the bar summary. But even if the mullahs report says that he could not establish that's his word proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That's a very high bar. There may still be evidence. In fact, there is already in the public realm. And that evidence is what I was citing for example. The president's encouragement of the Russians to provide more hacked information his knowledge of the WikiLeaks release and his encouragement there his negotiations on the Trump Tower Moscow at the same time that he was praising lag Miro Putin. A string of highly significant public evidence of cooperation it may have only been tacit without criminal intent but his own campaign manager shared polling data sensitive private polling. Data with the Russians while they were checking this country, isn't that to a campaign of misinformation? I mean that is all things that Robert Muller likely looked at and yet still came away. I mean, it's one thing. Yes. The president said in a press conference Russia of you're listening can. I can't remember the exact quote, find the emails. But Moeller knew that looked at it and still said no crime here. And that's why we need to see the report. I can't emphasize enough. How important transparency is we have the bar summary. We do not have the Muller report. We have no idea what his reasoning was absence of criminal intent on the part of some or all of the Trump operatives who engaged in cooperation and what looks like conspiracy. But maybe not without that couple intent, but also on the issue of -struction after all obstruction is an effort to hinder an investigation. The fact that there was insufficient. Evidence of conspiracy may be due to the hindering the investigation, and that's the essence of obstruction. That's the crime where Muller did not exonerate, the president, the Trump campaign as you know. Send out a memo to the media today accusing you and others of lying to the American people about claims of collusion. They clearly see you as ripe for attack. What about that? Are you a worried your credibility has taken a hit? Do you feel? You have anything to apologize for well in that letter. Apparently, I haven't actually seen it. But they took a part of a quotation without the whole of it and the second part of it said in effect, whether there are going to be criminal charges remains to be seen. So I am by the contention that there is evidence. It may not rise to the level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I know as a former prosecutor that sometimes that prove comes very close, but it has to be beyond a reasonable doubt. And particularly when it's the president. It's a very very high bar. So the effort to discredit critics is certainly not a new phenomenon for. This administration, and I'm going to continue to speak out. I won't be deterred where silent but shouldn't the bar Barbie high. I mean, if if I know in a court of law is beyond a reasonable doubt, a given the seriousness of this given that is the president the United States. And and you know, it's a serious as it gets shouldn't the bar be that hot. Absolutely. It is under the law. I respect the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard. But at the same time in order to prevent wrongdoing of this kind in the future. Congress continues to have an oversight function. We have a responsibility independent a special counsel to devise new legislative reforms that will safeguard against this kind of Russian interference in the future. And that's where there is bipartisan agreement as well. As on the need for transparency after all the president himself said today that he was in favour of transparency if he's serious about it. He'll back the bipartisan Bill that I've introduced with Senator. Grassley that would require Senator Blumenthal. Appreciate your time. Thank you wanna make you get a paralegal opinions now on some of what the Senator said joining us for that CNN legal analyst carry Cordeiro and former White House excuse me, whitewater, independent counsel. Robert ray. Carrie, what do you make of Senator Blumenthal claim that there was absolutely clues? But it didn't rise to the level of crime. Well, I think there's probably something to it Senator Blumenthal sitting on the Senate Judiciary committee should be in a position to know. Some information that perhaps is not available to the public and the crime of conspiracy. Which is what the theory of collusion is would be high level that would be a high bar to meet to be able to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that there's evidence supporting a prosecution. So I think that they're probably there could be some information available to those in a position of access that is something below a criminal prosecution. Standard and above nothing. They're rubber degree. I think that might be trying to parse things to Finally I mean, the more important distinction is that what Senator Blumenthal's talking about would be what standard he might consider appropriate to pass upon an article impeachment. And obviously there as Gerald Ford. Famously said, you know, an impeachment is whatever a majority of the house of representatives says by by way of an article of impeachment. I do think though that we were the standard still would be at a high crime Anthony on the word crime and the Justice department now through the office of special counsel has made a determination both with regard to collusion. And with regard to obstruction that there's not sufficient evidence that a crime was committed. It seems to me that by the president. I it seems to me that that finding has consequence. And that not only has consequence insofar as the criminal laws concern, but it certainly. Although it's not determinative. It does bear upon the question of what the the congress intends to do about it. Curate anything? I mean last night you accurately guessed that attorney general bar did not take only forty eight hours to reach his decision regarding obstruction. I'm wondering what you made the new say the bar had a roughly three weeks heads up from Muller that Muller wasn't going to make a decision on on obstruction that it was going to be left up to bar. Well, I'm glad that we were able to get that reporting today. And I think it makes a lot more sense than the narrative that appeared to some over the weekend, which was that perhaps he decided within forty eight hours that just didn't make sense to me. And I think the reporting today indicating that he had been briefed on it that he had some time to think about it. I'm sure he was briefed on what the special counsel was going to put in the report before it was delivered. And so I think that reporting made a lot more sense and is consistent with how an attorney general. What handle a significant decision like this one Robert the to the American people have the right? To know what the facts are that lead Muller to not exonerate the president on obstruction. I think they're entitled to context, and that would include facts, obviously to understand the prosecutorial decision making. I don't believe that. It is correct. As some Democrats have suggested that that means that the congress is entitled to what amounts to the entire investigative file the documents. Right. Just the report by Muller. But but I mean, I understand. I mean, I think as a practical matter it's incumbent, by way of disclosure of the the final report in in some fashion to provide the American people with context in connection with the facts that were gathered during the course of the investigation to understand the basis of the prosecutorial decision. That was made. It seems Carrie also I mean, just the just for learn. Earning. The actual narrative of what our Kurd in terms of Russia's involvement in in trying to influence the election. The molar port would have more details in that that would be beneficial for everybody to learn Democrats Republicans I think in order for the public to be able to put together the entire narrative of what transpired around twenty sixteen election. It's gonna take piecing together. Several parts part of that is looking at the charges that the special counsel brought already in terms of particularly the indictments of the Russian intelligence officers, and their activities part of it will come from the special the special counsel report, whichever portion of it however, much of it is able to become public part of it will come from the Senate intelligence committee's investigation, which is ongoing and which they presumably we'll wrap this year. And then there may be another part that will come from other investigations perhaps out of the house. And I don't think that there's going to be one document that summarizes it all I think it will have to be an assimilation of all of those different inquiries and investigations are might add also that I think is going to be amplified in part by testimony that you're likely going to see from the attorney general if not from Bob Mueller himself, I imagine sometime probably as soon as April rubber. I mean, if if you believe the mole report should be released to the extent possible. What is the extent possible? I mean, obviously anything classified would have to be scrubbed rag redacted anything about you know, directly re grand jury related. I guess would also have to be redacted. Well, they do not. I mean, I can also imagine insofar as the president is concerned that if there's a question about disclosure of necessary grand jury material in order to provide appropriate context for the congress and the American people, I could imagine the Depa. Front of Justice going to court to get a court order to open up some of that. I think where you're going to see the department resist too much disclosure is with regard to uncharged other individuals. Fascinating rubber right? Thank you so much carry darrow's. Well, quite welcome. Thank you. Michael Abernathy is just stepped out after being charged us. Let's take a look statement. But I will not be accepting any questions. First of all I wanna thank the federal agents for their professionalism, and courtesy today, they were outstanding throughout the process. And I wish to thank them for everything. They get today could actually, but this matter. As all of you know, for the entirety of my career. I have fought against the powerful powerful people and powerful corporations. I will never stop fighting that good fight. I am highly confident that when all of the evidence is lay bare in connection with these cases when it is all known when due process occurs that I will be fully exonerated and Justice will be done. Thank you. As Michael up appearing alive in downtown New York after spending at least several hours in court. We're gonna have more on the charges against him. But it's on both coasts in New York and California as well by different. Prosecutors. We'll have that in just a moment. Also later, the president saying people did evil things treasonous things that launched the Russia probe. He's seems to be talking about top intelligence officials at the end of the Obama administration. Just ahead. We'll talk to one of them. Former director of national intelligence, James Clapper. Hiring is challenging, but there's one place you can go. We're hiring is simple fast. And smart that place is ZipRecruiter with their powerful matching technology. Ziprecruiter scans thousands of resumes to find people with the right experience and invite them to apply to your job ZipRecruiter is so affective that eighty percent of employers who post on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate through the site within the first day and right now listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free at this exclusive web address ZipRecruiter dot com slash A, C three sixty. That's ZipRecruiter dot com slash AC. Three six zero. Ziprecruiter, the smartest way to hire. As you saw just before the break attorney, Michael Albany has just left a federal courthouse. Not as an advocate as a defendant. He's charged here in one case in New York. And a second case in California since canal joins us now with the latest on both. So can you just explain what these cases are? That's right understand. So the US attorney's office in Manhattan charge, Michael naughty with extortion. Saying he in an unnamed co conspirator tried to shake down ninety alleging that they were telling Nike. They were going to release damaging information about the company at a sensitive time. Just ahead of its quarterly earnings announcement unless they were paid as much as twenty five million dollars. Now, prosecutors said that when Nike learned of this and the lawyers from Nike they immediately brought it to the thirties attention. They work together and had audio and video recordings capturing some of Michael avenues threats in one of these threats of an ATI said, I'll take I'll go take ten billion dollars off your clients market cap. I'm not effing ING around of ATI told Nike's attorneys, according to the. Plane. He added, and I'm not continuing to play games, you guys know enough now to know, you've got a serious problem. And it's worth more in exposure to me to just blow the lid on this thing now across the country in Los Angeles at about the same time of ninety was charged by prosecutors there with wire and Bank fraud in that case, prosecutors allege that Ave Nadi tried to embezzle more than a million dollars from one of his clients to pays expenses. They also alleged that he summited phony tax returns to a Bank in order to get more than four million dollars in loans. Anderson how does more gear goes fit into this. He was seen in contributor up until today. Yeah. That's right. So a source familiar with the investigation tells me that Mark arrogance was the unnamed unindicted co conspirator in this case now goes has not been charged with any wrongdoing so far, and he was a scene and contributor until today or Kursk. Appreciate I want to go deeper on this to CNN legal analyst Paul Callan joins us and woo as well shin. Looking at the New York as I what do you make of these Georgia's? Very unusual. I expect a very robust defense will have an ATI claiming he was just zealously representing his client and trying to get a settlement. It sounds like he's asking for a hush money, not necessarily illegal, and he's familiar with that kind of case. So it's not illegal to ask for a hush money. Well, when we talk about his hush money. It sounds more illegal. But when you reach a settlement, there's usually a nondisclosure clause, and they non-disparagement clause, and that's basically the equivalent of being paid to be quiet in the future. Paul how strong do you think these this? These charges are the I mean, the federal prosecutor's case the New York case, I mean, does not saying things like I'll go take ten billion off your clients market cap. Does that go beyond, you know, a normal lawyer, you know, in a tough negotiation. Well, the us attorney for Manhattan Anderson called this the use of a law license as a weapon of extortion. And the claim is that avenue was claiming that he had to be paid as much as twenty five million dollars not to give a press conference, which would have embarrassed Nike. But it's it's an it is an unusual set of charges in New York. I have to think by the way that his California case might be even more serious and possess a greater danger to everybody was that. Well, the California charges alleged that he embezzled one point six million dollars from one of his clients, and he took that money, and he used it to fund his law firm and a coffee company that apparently was having financial problems during that time period. In addition. He borrowed four point one million dollars from a Mississippi Bank using fraudulent copies of tax returns. Now in these tax returns he claimed that he had made multi millions of dollars per year. In fact, federal prosecutors say for several years, he didn't even file federal tax returns. And he never made the amount of money that he claimed when you put all of those things together. Federal prosecutors say he faces fifty years in prison as a maximum sentence in California. So those are dangerous charges. Yeah. I mean, Shan, the unnamed co-conspirator referred to in the complaint said to be Mark era goes who again was CNN contributor. No longer is as of today. What role? Do you think he could have had an all this? Because at this point. He hasn't been charged with with any crime, very interesting. He was not charged. That's generally frowned upon to use his unindicted co-conspirator idea. We're familiar with it from Nixon, and of course, President Trump's been talked about in that realm as well. Because the person doesn't really get a chance to defend themselves in court. They're not actually indicted. It sounds to me like ghosts may have been a co counsel. Or also working on the matter legally with the question is why is he not indicted, immunity as a possibility or perhaps they feel the evidence against him is a little bit more ambiguous. Very extraordinary have two attorneys being charged in the case where the two of them can both argue that the representing clients, Shan, if he got immunity, again, we don't know what would that indicate that he was cooperating? Yes. That would indicate that he was cooperating and that they would be the prosecutors would value that cooperation a lot in order to give them the immunity so cooperating with that. The sort of while the investigation would it be afterward or while the investigation was going on both it could be both it wouldn't both. It's hard to know right now, Paul if I mean, it's obviously remarkable turn of events given sort of how Michael came into the spotlight the allegations. He was making against Michael Cohen and others. If true you said this is for both is it fifty years for for for both. If you're adding up both indictments. No, actually Anderson the California federal prosecutors said the statutory maximum for the charges. He was facing in California was fifty years. Now, of course, that doesn't mean he'll get fifty dollars. However on top of that, you would have the New York charges. So that's the maximum sentence. He would face he wouldn't get a sentence that high. But this is a very serious charge. That if convicted he would go to prison for these charges, almost certainly obviously continue to follow Paul Callan. Thank you Shehu as well. Just ahead more on the president blaming former intelligence chief. So the Russian investigation from director of national intelligence James Clapper will join us. I'm Biagio Messina. And I'm jokin soon. We're the producers behind HSEN television documentary series unmasking killer. Join us as we explore the identification capture and arrest of Joseph James, Di Angelo the alleged Golden State killer in a special ten part podcast series unmasking killer, all new episodes premiering Tuesday. February twelfth subscribed today at apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. When other Robert Muller is investigating the president White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is calling on congress to investigate former top US intelligence officials. If congress is so gung ho to call people up to the hill, the list, I would start with our Komi Clapper Brennan and other people in the FBI who perpetuated this absurd lie in this absurd idea that the president of the United States was somehow a foreign agent and colluding with another government going now is former director of national intelligence James Clapper, author of facts and fears hard truths from a life of intelligence and was the name thereby Sarah Sanders director, Clapper, what is your reaction to it. Andrew said, well, I wonder if she was conflicting or confusing, collusion, whatever that is with the Russian interference. And certainly those of us achie- named John Brennan, and Jim Komi I or part of the group that were tasked by President Obama to put together all the reporting we had on the Russian interference. And which we did President Obama directly and personally confronted. Putin about the Russian interference in September. And did not accept at face value of Putin's protestations. John Brennan directly did the same thing with his counterpart on October seventh of sixteen. We put out a statement when I say, we Jane Johnson and sector homeland security, and I put a statement pretty forthright went about warning of the Russian interference in our elections this month before the election, which enforcement got drowned out by the access Hollywood tape revelation, December twenty ninth the administration of you know, issued a series of sanctions PNG thirty five Russian operatives close to dodges at cetera. And then of course, on January six we issued our intelligence community assessment documenting the Russian interference in which we had very high confidence in the evidence that we presented to then President-elect Trump at Trump Tower. I think what gives rise now. And I will once again emphasize that in that until commutes segment, there was nothing about collusion because we didn't have sufficient evidence of of that to include it, and I so I have so stated publicly starting with Moore's fourth of twenty seventeen when I appeared on meet the press. And I consistently said we didn't have the evidence at the time contemporary, sleet, and it was my great hope that the Muller investigation would resolve that once and for all and apparently it did and regardless of your political stripes with your opponent or proponent of President Trump. That's a good thing for all of America. I would just note that my former general counsel Robert lid has written a excellent treatise on the nuances of the language in the bar memorandum, which without going into just say emphasizes the importance of transparency and having access public. Access to the entire report. In terms of things, you have said on television, subsequently just over, you know. However long you've been talking on on on television. Do you regret anything you have said in terms of raising questions about the president's behavior or some of the things? The president's Downer said. No, I don't and I have put that writing in my book as well. I I have I've have concerns in. As do others. And I have tried to be factual intemperate monitor about it. But but I do have concerns, and no I don't have any grits. And do you still have the same concerns about, you know, the president his relationship with Vladimir Putin? The his tendency to side with light over Putin against, you know, former intelligence officials or even his current intelligence officials. I do have concerns about the in the president's unwillingness or inability or whatever to call out the Russian interference in the election. And I would just point out that one of President Obama's objectives. In tasking us to do that report on on the Russian interference was handed off to the next administration. So the Trump administration would have that as as a basis for taking action against Russia, which sort of hasn't happened in some ways. So I mean, just lastly, you said you've said before that you don't understa. What you say or the strange personal deference to Putin by the president does bars summary mother's findings because that's all we've seen clear that up for you at all or you certainly want to see the full report. Well, like everyone else I would very much like to see what Muller actually said in his report and hopefully answer some of the unanswered questions of that. I think still linger that the three and a half page summary that the attorney general. Provided which was you know, it's kind of like headlines details at eleven sort of thing doesn't cut it down. Start your Clapper. Appreciate you being with us. Thanks. Thanks. Coming up next new reporting from Washington Post says President Trump recently as some of his top aides for ways to limit federal funding from going to Puerto Rico still struggling in the wake of the devastating hurricane back in the fall of two thousand seventeen we'll have details from the Washington Post ahead. Remember to create an ad like this one visit pure winning dot com slash CNN. Ever since hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico back in the fall of two thousand seventeen the Trump administration's response. The disaster has been controversial certainly you might recall these images, President Trump tossing paper towels into crowd after visited the island while the mayor of San Juan was criticizing the administration's relief efforts today. The Washington Post says the president asked top advisors for ways he can limit federal funds to still struggling Puerto Rico during an Oval Office meeting earlier this year on the byline is Josh doc-. Who's also CNN political analyst? Josh can you just explain your reporting about what the president has been saying about Puerto Rico. Sure. So the president has gone frustrated with the Puerto Rico aid. He is wanted to women the amount of housing urban development grants, also known as HUD grants. It go there as long as well as food stamp assistance to the island. Obviously the island was wracked by hurricane Maria and has struggled to get back on the ground people still without power. Lots of folks there in disparate need of government assistance, and the president has instead of that he prefers money to go to its others Astor's in the United States. He thinks that poor because visuals are misusing the money are not giving it to their citizens properly. He he really does only more money to go there. And it's told his aides that and this is a battle going on over the next round of of disaster funding and food stamp money. And and the president's putting his finger on the scale here to say he thinks Puerto Rico as received enough doesn't need any more. I mean, is it a is there anger towards Puerto Rico and the prisoners part or? I mean is it as you say that he just feels like they're misusing the funds, and we know how it's going to any federal aid headed to the island. Well, that amalgamation of both Anders then the president certainly grew frustrated with political leaders after storm you remember his public tiffs there with the mayor of San Juan, and and can have grew to believe that Puerto Rico's officials on the ground were not particularly competent. He also has been concerned that he doesn't think Puerto Rico's spending its money correctly. He read a Wall Street Journal story from late two thousand eighteen that showed how some bond odors, and folks in the private industry were benefiting from federal government funds and that really set him off by the accounts of several different administration. Officials we've spoken to and and since then there's been a desire to really cut back on the funding that goes to Puerto Rico, the kitchen food stamp benefits Puerto Rico how much that impacted residents of the what my guy Jeff Stein went to Puerto Rico weekend. It's been it's been several days on the ground. And he. Found that there were a lot of people in desperate need more than a forty percent cut and food stamps likely people who run social safety net programs nursing homes people who are of living on the cusp of of trying to just even get back to somewhat where they were near before the storm a really still struggling Puerto Rico and the the portrait he painted. There was pretty Graham, and it's a place where all the advocates elected officials residents. You talk to them Puerto Rico say if anything they need more government assistance than they're getting not a slash in government assistance, and what role if any is congress playing in this is there any legislation on the rise in that could plausibly be passed and signed into law right there. There's legislation that could come up as early as this week on Puerto Rico assistance, and a number of Democrats who are pushing heavily for it. You have some Republicans even quietly behind the scenes are pushing for the country to get a bit more. But there's also a number of other states that are affected as you well know from tornadoes and hurricanes and other kinds. Of damage fires that are part of the package. So it's kind of a melting pot of money that goes and with the president in the White House wants certainly matters quite a bit in these discussions Jess dossier. Appreciate it. Thanks very much. Thank you. All right. Chris back see what he's working on for Cuomo prime time the top of the hour. Welcome back. Now. He's going to see you, my friend. Some things are simple. Something's a complex Puerto Rico simple. They've been shunned by this administration. They got the numbers wrong there. They got the importance wrong there, and they've been carrying it through as some type of indebted against the island. I was just there on vacation with my family. And the help is real the need is real. It always has been. It's even worse. Now, they're not back that simple complex is why I'm here in Washington. DC I came here to get the president's two main lawyers Jay Secolo and Rudy Giuliani. We're going to have them both on tonight. Anderson. Listen to this have never heard of this before their tag, teaming my show with Sean Hannity show tonight. It's such a statement of where we are as a culture right now that literally they're going to be switching mid. Show going back and forth on the two shows preaching to the converted on one preaching open minds on the other. It's a really weird time. But we need to have an understanding on what this report means. And what we still need to know. And we're going to get deep on that tonight. All right about seven minutes from port to a Chris. Thanks, very much still had the father of her. First grader killed on. The sandy hook massacre has died of suicide, sadly, his is just one of three apparent suicides this past week or so with possible ties to school shootings Moorhead. The cases we gotta find who wrote this. No, we do that. We find the killer. This science defined out. Police used Luminol a chemical which close when it comes into contact with the iron component in blood that drama, but where was the rifle, and which man was telling the truth forensic files. The legendary true crime show is now a podcast. Join investigators they take on the toughest cases with cutting edge scientific tools. Subscribe now with apple podcasts with new episodes every Monday and Thursday, you'll never miss out on getting your renchik fix. There sat in difficult news to report tonight news that reminder to us all about how fragile human life is. And how important it is to whenever possible reach out for help. Or reach out to help those need the father of a little girl who was murdered in the Newtown massacre was found dead early this morning. Jeremy Richmond was his name. And he was forty nine years old. His daughter Arielle Richmond was six when she was killed along with nineteen other children and six adults at sandy hook elementary school in two thousand and twelve after the massacre, Mr. Richmond co-founded, the AVI L foundation, a nonprofit name for his daughter focused on violence prevention through research and community engagement. I spoke to Jeremy and his wife Jennifer about their daughter and their lives in two thousand and thirteen for CNN documentary. To such a wonderfully fun child, and she she would light up. You know? I wish that you got to meet her you would've just been blown away. She's fun. She was funny. She would have made you smile, you know, every day we need to. To get out of bed and Jen Jenna came up with distributional idea of to to get us out of bed. And everyday we try to find something of beauty something that makes you feel the world that good place. And then every day we wanna make sure that we try to really strive to give back something of beauty something to the world striving to give back something viewed each the world. Jeremy Richmond is forty nine years old and the cause of death is an apparent suicide. It's often impossible to know for sure what may be in someone's head or hard that leads to depression and sometimes to death by suicide, but there have been several other recent deaths that we wanna make you aware of in Florida mourners, grieving the death of Sydney. Yellow she was two thousand eighteen graduate of Marjory stoneman Douglas high school who died by suicide last week. She survived the attack on Valentine's Day last year. The killed seventeen people that school in parkland, her mom told CNN affiliate W F O R that Sydney suffered from survivor's guilt and had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder on Saturday night. Another parkland student apparently also died by suicide the student has not been publicly identified, but as a sophomore, according to the Miami Herald, again, we don't know what caused these three people to have these thoughts into unfortunately act on them. It is important to note that help is available reaching out for it can be hard, and it's made harder by the stigma, which unfortunately, still surround suicide, and it's made harder by the silence that also surround suicide it's not easy to talk about it. If you're having thoughts of suicide, and it's really not easy to talk about if someone you know is suffering, and you wanna help them it's often hard to know what to say or. How to help but reaching out in both cases and talking that is essential. There is help out there. And it's just a phone call away if you or someone, you know might be at risk of suicide you can call the national suicide prevention lifeline or showing you the number right now at the bottom of your screen, the number one eight hundred two seven three eight two five five one eight hundred two seven three eight two five five. There's also text line, and you can text home to seven four one seven four one to have a confidential techs conversation with a train crisis counselor from an organization called crisis text line. It's very popular among young people in particular who may be or anybody who may be more used to or comfortable with texting and talking to a counselor than on the phone counselors or veil by the crisis text line twenty four hours a day seven days a week. We had an important and extensive conversation about suicide prevention with Dr Christine Mucci, who's the chief medical officer of the American found. -ation for suicide prevention earlier tonight on our show Facebook on full, circle, it's our daily interaction newscast on Facebook, and that's posted right now, and it's important conversation with a lot of detailed information that could help you or someone you love. It's at Facebook dot com slash Anderson Cooper, full circle. And that's where you can watch us, obviously every weekday night at six twenty five. The news continues one hundred requests for Cuomo primetime. Chris.