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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
NY Times: Maybe Cohen Won't Take A Bullet For Trump Anymore; Despite Denials, Trump Stayed Overnight In Moscow; Reporter: Trump Lied About Wealth To Get On Forbes 400 List. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 20, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just have to go to CNN Go. I hope you have a great weekend. Anderson Cooper 360 begins right now.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Good evening. Thanks for joining us, we begin with breaking news. Stunning news tonight from North Korea, Kim Jong-un says the regime no longer needs nuclear or missile tests. A source in North Korea tells CNN that Kim has committed to denuclearization and will focus only on his nation's economy.
Joining me now is CNN Chief National Security Correspondent, Jim Sciutto. So, Jim, what more can you tell us about it? I mean, it's obviously potentially a huge development. A lot of questions remain of course. Plenty of reason to be cautious and skeptical, but stunning nonetheless.
JIM SCIUTTO, CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, CNN: No question. Of course, it will down to actions, but these words to the Korean people and really to the world, dramatic words to hear from Kim Jong- un who has been in recent months belligerent to the world. More missile tests than his father's combined by a long shot, issuing this statement a short time ago to the Korean people and it reads like this.
"Under the proven condition of complete nuclear weapons we know longer need any nuclear tests, mid range and intercontinental ballistic rocket tests and that the nuclear test site in the northern area has also completed its mission."
So, in that, a message about a testing freeze even closing down that testing site in advance of the planned summit with Trump. What a remarkable distance we have come, Anderson, since the President's comments in August last year about unleashing fire and fury on North Korea. That speech to the UN General Assembly and in just September last year where he referred to Kim as rocket man on a suicide mission, really a remarkable change.
COOPER: Yes what is the President saying about the announcement?
SCIUTTO: Well, very different words from rocket man, the fire and fury et cetera but a tweet very shortly followed this North Korean statement, he said the following welcoming it. "North Korea has agreed to suspend all nuclear test and close-up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the world. Big progress." Exclamation point. "Look forward to our summit."
So, very strong words there and you have a summit coming up. I heard from the man who was going to be the President's Ambassador to South Korea, Victor Cha no longer, but his analysis here was that the most likely scenario, at least offered on the table would be a freeze for freeze, North Korea has offered this freeze tests, nuclear and missile, that the US might offer a freeze of those military exercises with South Korea and the peninsula that North Korea does not like. They think that it is intended to take them down in effect.
And you still have a very long way to go here. A danger with summits like this is the danger of unrealistic expectations. Do they go to that table with loftier goals and ambitions than they can deliver on. That is a question. So, a lot of pressure that they can sit down, but certainly, a very different situation than what we were in just a few weeks ago, Anderson.
COOPER: Jim, stay with us, I want to bring in former CIA North Korea analyst. Sue Mi Terry. Also CNN military analyst, Retired Major General James "Spider" Marks. Dr. Terry, how significant do you think this announcement is?
SUE MI TERRY, FORMER CIA, NORTH KOREA ANALYST: Well, the announcement is significant, but you know, whether North Korea is truly serious remains to be seen. After 90 missile tests and four nuclear tests and a hydrogen bomb test, this is interesting development, but as my colleague, Victor Cha said, they might be looking for freeze for freeze deals.
They are looking for sanctions relief. They are looking for -- and so you know, what are we going to give for this freezing of tests? So, we have to see when Trump sits down with Kim Jong-un. Because there, the North Koreans never give out anything for free. So, they will be looking for something from us.
COOPER: General Marks, are you skeptical about this or do you believe that this is perhaps some sort of new effort by Kim Jong-un to reach across the border?
JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, MILITARY ANALYST, CNN: Anderson, certainly, phenomenal that it is taking place, unprecedented but hugely skeptical. I mean, nothing out of this regime has ever had any semblance to truth. We have followed this regime forever and our insights obviously are from a distance, but we have a pretty good depth and knowledge in terms of how Kim operates.
And I think what we are really seeing is, the pain of the economic sanctions has really begun to start to chip away at the inner circle and that's the key ingredient here. If Kim is himself feeling the pain and if his inner circle, his elites are feeling the pain, then he is going to start paying attention and I think that's what we see.
Now, the second thing, clearly is everything has now come as a result of his quick visit with Xi Jinping just a few weeks ago, and clearly, what that was, Kim coming to Xi, Xi giving him assurance of "Look, you've got to back up, you've got to stop doing certain things. I've got your back. You're going to be okay, but your regime is going to be obliterated if you continue along this path. You have to stop."
And so, I think what we see is denuclearization is probably not a possibility, but what is, is this freeze. And we'll have to take it from there. So, I think it's a really good start.
Few more conditions have to be set before the summit.
COOPER: Jim Sciutto, I mean, certainly President Trump came under a lot of criticism for some of the rhetoric he was using months ago against this regime...
COOPER: ... tonight, I mean, has got to feel pretty good about this. At least, it seems like some sort of movement again with the caution in mind.
SCIUTTO: No question. It is marked progress both in rhetoric and in steps because, you had a feverish pace of North Korean missile tests early in the Trump administration far faster than you even saw in previous administrations under Kim. That has stopped now. That is a good thing, no question.
Of course, it will come down to the delivery going forward and we haven't heard what the US concession is. So, what is the US offering? You've had public pronouncements from the North Koreans on this freeze, on the possibility of denuclearization although they define it differently than we do. But we haven't heard from President Trump, what is he willing to give here and will North Korea consider that as sufficient concession.
COOPER: Dr. Terry, does this show some confidence by North Korea in their nuclear capabilities, their missile capabilities as they now stand? If they feel -- if in fact they feel confident not to continue doing tests.
TERRY: I think about 90% to 95% down with their nuclear program, but to be honest, they have more technical hurdles they have to cross, like showing a successful reentry capability before they really truly complete the program. So, I think what they are doing is they are looking for sanctions relief and they have been watching Washington and everything coming out of Washington very closely, so they were spooked by this talk of military strike against North Korea and I think they are truly waiting out the Trump administration.
But we will see what Washington will be put on the table because again, North Korea will be looking for something, looking for concessions.
COOPER: General Marks, I wonder also if -- you know, we've talked about the trip to China, if the strike in Syria also has been on their radar.
MARKS: We hope so. They are certainly students of what is happening currently both the United States and as this administration continues to assert itself in a number of different ways. I think what also is very significant is the proclamation that the
regime up north is okay with the continued presence of US forces in the south. That was another one of the potential quid pro quos that was going to be offered up. The United States would never abandon the south and I can promise you it would be a very, very tough discussion. It would be discounted immediately were that to be a precondition.
So, troops will remain, economic sanctions is really what we are looking at here and he if the pass is prolonged, he is looking at what took place with Iran with (inaudible) and he is going to try to make a similar consideration for himself.
SCIUTTO: And you know, Anderson, on that point, in May just a few weeks away May 12th, the President has the opportunity to decertify the Iran deal. There are a lot of signals that he is going to do that. Signaling the US departure from that agreement, for the President to do that, move out of a deal with Iran which has some of the ingredients that you might offer in a deal -- verification, relief on -- economic sanctions relief et cetera, to pull out of that deal in advance of a summit where you are discussing a nuclear freeze agreement would be interesting timing to say that the least.
COOPER: Jim, also, you know, we are talking about a freeze for freeze, stopping joint exercises. I think the last joint exercise, there was less criticism or no criticism from the North Korean regime which is something -- which was somewhat unusual, correct?
SCIUTTO: That's right and I believe if I had this right that the US and South Korea shortened those exercises. They were a little shorter. Spider Marks might know more precisely, but there was some signaling there in advance and listen, you know, if the US were to give that up, you might just say, oh, those were just exercises.
But keep in mind, very important exercises to our partner, our ally, South Korea which of course stands face to face with North Korea, in range of its missiles and its artillery et cetera. They face the greatest risk here. So, you have to be conscious of who is closer and of course, Japan as well, much closer to the threat as the President noted in his press conference with Prime Minister Abe earlier this week.
COOPER: General Marks, you talked about it, US Presidents, how important are those joint exercises? The US and South Korea?
MARKS: They are huge. I mean, it's all about readiness, but that is a place on the globe -- that is a place on the globe where you have to fight tonight and exercises are a matter of routine. That is the life blood of this coalition that's existed on the peninsula for you know, over 60 years.
They are extremely important and if you will recall in advance of the Olympics, there was a little bit of a backing off of on that one exercise that was taking place. But it is essential because also, this coalition is completely integrated.
You've got a US Commander, his deputy is a South Korean and that exists throughout the organization as a matter of routine, those folks change out and you have to maintain these exercises in order to maintain that pool of readiness.
COOPER: General Marks, Sue Mi Terry, Jim Sciutto...
COOPER: ... thanks very much. Coming up, new information tonight about James Comey's memos. How he handled them and who saw them and when and whether any classified information was improperly shared. The latest on that next.
Also breaking news tonight from the "Washington Post." Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently told the White House that if the President fired Rod Rosenstein, Sessions might have to leave as well.
We have new reporting coming in tonight on the memos former FBI Director James Comey wrote detailing his conversations with the President -- the Justice Department watchdog is investigating whether any classified information was improperly shared.
Our justice reporter, Laura Jarrett joins me now with more on that. So, what are you learning, Laura?
LAURA JARRETT, JUSTICE REPORTER, CNN: Well, Anderson, according to multiple sources, the Inspector General at the Justice Department has interviewed several individuals who saw copies of former FBI Director James Comey's memos detailing those conversations with President Trump prior to their release to Congress last night.
Now, those memos cover a four-month period last year when Comey was still at the FBI and he has said many times that he shared the memos with top officials at the FBI as well as his friend Columbia Law School professor, Daniel Richman, but we've now learned of additional close associates of Comey all outside the FBI who have seen these memos and we're told, Anderson that investigators have been questioning these witnesses about precisely which memos they have seen and when Comey shared them with them.
COOPER: The classification is the key to all...
COOPER: ... of this.
JARRETT: Exactly. The tricky issue comes down to how these memos were classified both when Comey wrote them and potentially after he left.
We know that there are seven documents in total. A combination of both notes and e-mails but don't know exactly which ones these people, outside of the FBI have seen and during Jake Tapper's interview with Comey last night, Comey said that he couldn't recall exactly how many memos in total were classified, but the memos we obtained last night show redactions on at least four of the seven memos that Comey wrote last year, Anderson.
COOPER: Do we know when we can expect to get a report from the Inspector General's office?
JARRETT: Well, that's been a bit of a moving target, but the latest indication is sometime in May. It is expected to be a comprehensive report on how the FBI handled politically sensitive investigation on both Trump and his former rival, Hillary Clinton and Comey is already expected to figure pretty prominently in this report for his conduct announcing the reopening of the Clinton e-mail investigation just before the presidential election in 2016.
But this issue with the memos certainly adds a new dimension, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, Laura Jarrett. Thanks very much. Appreciate it. Some more breaking news and now this from the "Washington Post." Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently told the White House that if the President fire Rod Rosenstein, he might have to leave as well.
This was in a phone call to White House Counsel, Don McGahn last weekend. According to the reporting, with you now, CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger; chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin and law enforcement analyst, Josh Campbell, former special assistant to Jim Comey at the FBI.
This is fascinating, this new reporting by the "Washington Post," Gloria.
GLORIA BORGER, CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: It really is. I mean, and it shows you that Jeff Sessions is defending somebody who works for him who he appointed and who have then appointed Mueller, and I think what it says is that it is sort of a shot across the banner. The President, you know, you lose him, you lose me.
Now, maybe the President would think this was good news.
COOPER: Like given what the President has said about him over the last several months.
BORGER: Yes, he doesn't actually like either one of them, but what it seems to say is that if you fired him, this could cascade. Not only with Session, but perhaps within the entire Department of Justice.
But as we know, the President met with Rosenstein last Friday and during which, Rosenstein apparently assured him that he wasn't in any jeopardy in the Michael Cohen case, so that meeting seemed to go pretty well with the two of them.
COOPER: Jeff, I mean this reporting, I mean, certainly, it underscores political consequences and potential domino effect for the President. Sort of, I mean, it is a potential sort of Saturday Night Massacre. JEFFREY TOOBIN, LEGAL ANALYST, CNN: Well, it is. Although, look, I
mean, the President has been wanting to get rid of Jeff Sessions for months. I mean, he has done nothing but diminish him and embarrass him and insult him. So, you know, this threat may be to the President, oh, break my heart, you know, I am so sorry.
You know, he might be like, good, don't let the door hit you on the way out. But, you know, yes, it would be a drama, but you know, does Donald Trump care about drama? I think he just wants his guy -- he wants this Attorney General out of there, so I am not sure this threat the President will see as much of a threat.
COOPER: Josh, what message do you think it sends the FBI, the Department of Justice you know, at large at a time when they are consistently being criticized by the President?
JOSH CAMPBELL, LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, CNN: Well, that's a very good question and you know, I am with Jeff on this one as far as no level offs obviously between the White House and you know, the current leadership structure over at the Justice Department.
I was actually communicating with some of my former colleagues who are still currently in the FBI on the way over here tonight, and you know, one of them mentioned that it is very curious that here you have an Attorney General that is now, you know, going out and saying he is going to protect someone who works for him, which is kind of new for him. It's a new step because you really haven't seen him out here protecting the men and women of the FBI for example, you know, when they were under attack.
So, I think they are giving him points for you know, stepping up and you know, doing what a leader should do.
COOPER: Gloria, what -- you have CNN reporting on the Comey memos, I mean, in fact the Inspector General is looking into how he handled these memos, whether he shared them with more people what the classification was?
BORGER: Yes, look, I think it's perfectly legitimate. I mean, if there is classified information in memos that Comey shared and he shared it inappropriately, that is what Inspector Generals do, and we know from the memos that we were talking about last night, the President and Comey had a specific conversion about leaking and classified information and Comey made it very clear that he was not in favor of that.
We know that when he gave these memos to his friend at Columbia University, he did it with a reason. Because he wanted a Special Counsel appointed, so we know that he leaked those on purpose, but we don't know what else was in them and who else he shared them with.
So, I think it is reasonable.
TOOBIN: Hey, Anderson...
COOPER: Yes, Jeff. TOOBIN: And can we talk about karma here for a second. I mean, you
know, remember, Comey has been saying these memos weren't marked classified so they weren't classified, this is what Hillary Clinton said about her e-mails. But just because something isn't...
TOOBIN: ... marked classified, after the fact, the classification authorities who are wildly overzealous can mark things as classified and in fact, based on what was released yesterday, it appears that some of the Comey memos do contain classified information.
So he could wind up getting in trouble for precisely the kind of thing that Hillary Clinton was tortured about which might well give satisfaction to Hillary's people long after the fact.
CAMPBELL: You know, I was looking at my watch trying to figure out how long it would be until there was a Hillary reference, and I know it is going to be irresistible to make this comparison and obviously, you know, you looked, there are a lot of similarities here, but I think the main thing we should focus on is that when you look at the role of the Inspector General, the Inspector General should be fired if he didn't look into this.
And here we are almost a year after, and so, although this is now coming to life for us, this is obviously something that was made -- they were made aware of early on based on Comey actually coming out and saying at his Congressional hearing that he provided that information.
So, this is something -- they are doing their job which is what they are supposed to do. It is also reassuring to note that you know, with the President, in kindling this suspicion, calling James Comey a leaker and calling him a liar, you know, you wonder if they are trying to get out in front of whatever this report is going to say, which you know, I think all of us would be better served if we step back and let the IG do their work.
BORGER: Well, but you know, they are also looking at Andrew McCabe, right.
CAMBPELL: That's right.
BORGER: They are looking at -- it seems the leadership -- the leadership of the Justice -- of the FBI, they are looking at Andrew McCabe, now, they are looking at Comey. This is a problem for them.
COOPER: It is interesting, Jeff, though, I mean, you know, in one of the memos, Comey recounts his conversation with President Trump in which he is attacking leakers and criticizing them.
You know, he had been leaking documents and leaking information. I mean, albeit you know, maybe once he had left the FBI.
TOOBIN: I mean, I thought, you know, when Comey testified before Congress last year, when he talked about giving these memos to Dan Richman, who is a very honorable professor at Columbia Law School, but Dan Richman is a private citizen. Like, why was he giving these extremely sensitive -- we don't know if classified, but certainly, you know, he doing it as kind of protection, because he wanted it leaked, but I mean, who was he to do that? I just think Comey has a real problem here.
BORGER: But, you know, Jeffrey, maybe they could say he is his attorney at this point.
CAMPBELL: Right, and so we have one attorney on this panel, Jeffrey, you tell us, I mean...
TOOBIN: But he's never said that.
CAMPBELL: ... when we look at classification, when you look at the term leak, I mean, is leaking sharing information about a personal observation that you had in a meeting or is leaking, once it is later determined that that information is classified, what actually constitutes a leak?
COOPER: Well, leak is I mean, it is giving a document in order to have it released, in order to effect some sort of change or get a story.
CAMPBELL: Correct, but if it is not classified, is that considered a leak? I mean, I share information -- we all recount conversations that we have with people every day, is that a leak or is a leak considered once it is determined classified and sensitive?
BORGER: Well, but as Jeffrey was mentioning earlier, the documents we saw last night, the Department of Justice redacted substantial amounts.
CAMPBELL: Correct, but we don't know that those were the documents that were shared with his friend. That is what I am saying, there is so much that we don't know, I am in total favor of transparency here. I think we should hear from the IG.
BORGER: I think we do know that some of these documents were shared with his friends because that is the ones that ended up in the "New York Times."
CAMPBELL: Right, but I mean, the portions...
TOOBIN: And you know, the dirty little secret is that you know, what is classified is often a moving target. I mean, you know, it's very hard to know in advance what is classified and what is not an Comey has said, oh, none of these was classified. Well, the classification authorities may disagree. This is what happened to Hillary Clinton. Is that she said well, none of it was classified.
(CROSSTALK) CAMPBELL: The same thing that you are saying, that they are saying
that maybe they were classified...
TOOBIN: It is a big problem.
COOPER: Yes, let's leave it there. Appreciate it. Coming up, new reporting in the "New York Times" about the First Lady, Michael Cohen and his payment to a porn star, as well as whether Michael Cohen may flip on the President. Some fascinating details ahead.
COOPER: New reporting, the "New York Times" says the President's lawyers have and advisors have resigned themselves with a strong possibility that Michael Cohen could end up flipping and cooperating with Federal officials.
Cohen as you know is under criminal investigation. The new report also says that Cohen tried to apologize to First Lady Melania Trump for the pain he caused her by paying off porn star, Stormy Daniels to stay quiet about the sexual encounter she says she had with the President.
Joining me now is political analyst and "New York Times" White House correspondent, Maggie Haberman who wrote the article, this is a fascinating, fascinating article. I urge people to read it because it just has got so many interesting details about the sort of tortured relationship Michael Cohen has had with Donald Trump for years.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, NEW YORK TIMES WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump is very good at being responsive to people when he needs something from them. So, you saw that when he called to check in with Michael Cohen the other day.
COOPER: And invited him down to Mar-a-Lago.
HABERMAN: Invited him -- he had dinner with him at Mar-a-Lago, before that Michael Cohen had been at Mar-a-Lago for an RNC fundraiser where he tried to apologize to the First Lady for the headlines that had surrounded this controversy about Stormy Daniels and the payments.
Michael Cohen has over the years done all kinds of things at the President's urging because the President wanted him to. Because he came to a sort of in-to-it, what he thought the President would want. It didn't always work out, sometimes those things were handled in a way that was either hand fisted or that came back to bite the President later, the Stormy Daniels case would be one of them.
But Cohen was basically trying to do right by his boss and was seeking his boss's approval and Trump, time after time treated him, you know, Trump is very fond of using the phrase like a dog.
He treated Cohen quite cruelly over a period of time. He also...
COOPER: And seemed to know, he could get away with it. He seemed to have the sense that. I mean, nobody treats somebody like that if they are not confident that this person, A, that they think pathetically about this person and that this person is going to continue to come and try to eat out of his hand.
HABERMAN: Everything about Trump is about dominance, about people around him. And we have seen this over and over in the White House. He had to dominate Reince Preibus the chief of stuff, he had -- he entered this test of wills with John Kelly. The current chief of staff. He wanted subordinates to feel like they were subordinates. I mean I think one of the interesting things about somebody like Roger Stone who advise Trump the longest (INAUDIBLE) of Stone never went on the inside. He always maintained some distant that usually helps people.
I think one of the things that was very hard for a lot of people around Trump who saw Trump's approval or things or what have you was watching how comparatively well he treated Corey Lewandowski, his first campaign manager, who was ultimately fired. But that was another instance where Cohen have gone to Trump and said that he believed that Corey had planted a negative story related to Trump's kids and in Cohen's mind (INAUDIBLE) the people that he was protecting the Trump family. And Trump sort of didn't listen to it saying, you know, you're just essentially acting out of jealousy.
COOPER: And so -- it's not just behind closed doors that it seem to ridicule or (INAUDIBLE) Michael Cohen, it was in front of other people, time after time.
HABERMAN: That's right. I mean, it was a continuous threat. And look, Cohen was not given the job on the campaign first because he clashed with Corey Lewandowski. And then because Paul Manafort starts to keep him out. If Trump had ever said that any of them, you need to give Michael, it would have happened as if -- as it was though, Cohen did raise a fair amount of money for the President. He found ways, because there were voids that no one else was spilling, he formed this diversity coalition which was essentially African-American, Hispanic, Muslim supporters of the President, it was -- it got ridicule at the time, but in reality it ended up putting a lot of people in television, who softened at minimum, you know, or maximum maybe, but soften some of the edges at the time when the President was under a lot of fire over his racial comments.
COOPER: And you point out now though, the leverage that Michael actually now has potentially over this President. This is -- on the tables have turned.
HABERMAN: Yes, it was -- every person I spoke to, I mean, that somebody and Sam Nunberg who, you know, it was a former Trump aide who also has been called by Mueller the special counsel spokes, said to me that, you know, the irony is that now the relationship to switch and it is Michael who has the leverage in this relationship. I mean I think that is just undeniably the fact, whether he would use it is a different question, but he does have it.
COOPER: You have the reporting on Michael Cohen approaching Melania Trump attending to apologies (ph), do you know how that went? HABERMAN: I don't -- my understanding was a very brief conversation. I don't think that the first lady was unpleasant or unkind to him. I think that's it uncomfortable conversation as a one person characterize, and brief.
COOPER: Well again, it's a fascinating article in "New York Times". Maggie Haberman, thanks very much.
HABERMAN: Thank you.
COOPER: Appreciate it.
Up next, the revelation from the Comey memos, Mr. Comey says President Trump told him twice that he never spent a night in Moscow, Keeping Them Honest, there is evidence that he actually did. Details ahead.
[20:37:04] COOPER: More now on the newly released Comey memos, in two of the memos, President Trump pushes back on claims that he could been compromise by Russian prostitutes as alleged in the from a Steele dossier, when he visited Moscow from Ms. Universe pageant in November of 2013.
According to Comey's notes, the topic came up during a private White House dinner just a week after President Trump was sworn into office. Comey writes that the President insist the claim by Steele was a total fabrication. Comey also says, the President told them that he had quote, "Spoken to people who'd been on the Ms. Universe trip with him and they've reminded him that he didn't stay overnight in Russia for that. He said, he arrived in the morning, did events then showered and dress for the pageant at the hotel, didn't say the name of the hotel and left the pageant.
Afterwards, he returned only to get his things because they departed for New York by plane that same night.
Now, according to Comey the President repeated that claim a little more than a week later. Comey writes, he then explained as it did over dinner that he hadn't stay overnight in Russia during the Ms. Universe trip.
Keeping them honest, there is evidence the President spend at least one night in Moscow. We found social media postings, other photos and a video from different events in Moscow that proven actually. There's also testimony at Capitol Hill from Mr. Trump's former body guard that contradicts the President's claim.
I just want to show you the timeline Trump arrive in Moscow in November 8th, 2013, according to a book written by journalist Michael Isikoff and David Corn about Trump's dealings in Russia. Here's a Facebook posting from that day that -- that's Mr. Trump at the Nobu Moscow Sushi Restaurant, posing with Russian-Azerbaijan pop star Emin, the son of the pageant's host.
Seems he did stay the night, because the very next day Saturday November 9th, Mr. Trump went on Twitter and wrote I'm in Moscow from Ms. Universe tonight, picking a winner is very hard, they're all winners, total sell out of arena, big night in Russia. Less than an hour later, he added I was just given a great tour of Moscow, fantastic, hardworking people, city is really energize, the world will be watching tonight. It seems it was a busy Saturday from Mr. Trump according to Bloomberg, that very same day he was back with the pop music star Emin starring in a cameo role for one of his music videos. Take a look.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you Emin? Emin, let's get with it. Your always late, you just don't have a pretty face, I'm really tired of you. You're fired.
COOPER: Well, later that day, came the big event. The reason he was is Moscow, the Ms. Universe pageant was held. Here's the video he took part in -- too -- at the after party that's him with the newly crowned Ms. Universe. Not clear whether Mr. Trump spend a second night in Moscow or flew home directly after the parties. But, the next night November 10th, Mr. Trump tweeted, I just got back from Russia. Learned lots and lots. And Moscow is a very interesting and amazing place.
As for Mr. Trump's former and long time body guard, how we place into all this, last November, Keith Schiller testified before the House Intelligence Committee. According to Republican and Democratic sources with direct knowledge of the testimony, Schiller to lawmakers about guarding Trump's hotel room in Moscow for few minutes before he turned for the night, but he did, so to deny that Trump met with any prostitutes, saying that a Russian offered to some women up to the room was rejected earlier in the day. And that he and Mr. Trump laughed about it while walking back to his hotel room.
[20:40:01] The claims made by the President to Comey about not spending the night may have no significance, could have been a mistake or could be a meaningless lie not to -- not meant to hide anything. But the claim it is clear itself is false.
Lots to discuss with CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Steve Hall retired CI chief of brush operations, both join me now.
So Jeff, I mean for the President to claim allegedly for Comey that he didn't stay the night in Moscow in 2013, I mean it seems obvious he did. Does that -- it doesn't necessarily mean he's trying to hide something.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it doesn't necessarily mean that, but if you lie about one thing, you might be lying about something. And it's also, you know, it's all relevant to the same question. I wrote a piece about for the "New Yorker" about the 2013 Ms. Universe pageant, and there is absolutely no doubt that the President, or then -- then -- not he wasn't president then, but Donald Trump definitely spent the night at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Moscow. As you point, it is somewhat unclear when he left the night after the pageant, whether he went back to the hotel and spent that second night there. But the idea that he never spend the night there, is just not -- not true. It doesn't mean that this, you know, notorious incident with the prostitute took place. But, the fact that he lied about not spending the night, certainly raises more suspicion.
COOPER: Steve, I mean as we said Trump's personal body guard Keith Schiller testified to Congress that, you know, he and the Russians offered to send to five -- five women to Mr. Trump's hotel room, Schiller said he thought he was a joke, and Mr. Trump laugh it off. It is the modus operandi in Russia, I mean attempt to compromise VIP guest.
STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Sure Anderson, it's not just the matter of whether it's, you know, prostitutes or frankly whether its, you know, Donald Trump or somebody else. That sort the thing goes on with, you know, high ranking businessmen. It just sort the standard Russian operating procedure. But, when you have a target like Donald Trump and I think it's probably undeniable at this point that Donald Trump would have been a target for the Russian Intelligence Services at that time, not necessarily because he was an up and coming politician, but because the Russians would have simply considered him to be sort of an American oligarch. And you never know when you're the Russian Intelligence Services, when you're going to need that kind of information on somebody like Donald Trump. And it turns out that appears to be true.
So yes, pretty much standard operating procedure in Russia for that thing to happen.
COOPER: You know, Jeff, as you said before, we don't know what Robert Mueller's team knows and there's much more in that Steele dossier besides the salacious allegation some of which has already been confirmed.
TOOBIN: That's right I mean Steele, for a brief investigation seems to have done enormously competent work. You know, another episode that remains under investigation is whether -- also in the Steele dossier, is whether Michael Cohen met in Prague with Russian officials. He has denied that up and down. But there was a report from McClachy the other day, that suggested he did go to Prague and meet with Russian officials.
So, you know, Steele's record is pretty darn good. It is true that this salacious accusation about the prostitutes is unproven at this point. But the fact that Steele made it, you know, he is not some flake or irresponsible person. He has done very good work. And you know, just because it hasn't been confirmed, doesn't mean it is not true.
COOPER: But Jeff, I also -- I mean in fairness to the President, he does bring up to Comey in these memos that he is well aware of these surveillance in Russia and that's part of his I guess defense and he couldn't have been compromised that he was, you know, aware of their M.O. TOOBIN: Absolutely, and that may be -- you know, and that maybe the end of the story that, you know, he didn't -- he wouldn't have done it, he didn't do it and of all -- and certainly he wouldn't do it Moscow where he knew he was under surveillance. But, the fact that he lied to Comey about not having spent a night there does raise suspicions and of itself.
COOPER: Steve, I mean the President (INAUDIBLE) when he was a candidate with all over the place about his relationship with Vladimir Putin, either, you know, said he did speak to him before he became president or he didn't speak to him once famously saying, they were this table mates on "60 Minutes" which makes no sense because there's not like there's a green room at "60 Minutes". Those things are taped, you know, separately.
Now, according the Comey memos, the President claimed Putin bragged to him about how great the prostitutes are in Russia, but the Kremlin denies the conversation ever took place.
HALL: You know, one of the things Anderson that struck me when I was reading the memos -- the Comey memos, is Comey's description of discussions with the President being jigsaw puzzle like. You know, you go from one piece down to another. You set a piece down and you forget where it is and you go back to it. That seems to me the way that this President also sees to be formulating foreign policies, specifically with regard to Russia. You have him congratulating Vladimir Putin on what is clearly not a legitimate election in his own country.
[20:45:04] And his administration P&Gs, you know, expels a whole bunch of Russian diplomats from the United States along with our western allies. And then Trump comes back and says wait a minute, I'm upset about the numbers. So you do get this idea that it is all sort of happenstance and just what springs into his mind and what neurons fire inside the President's brain sort of dictates what his policy or perhaps even when his perception of reality is, depending on how many nights he think he spend in Moscow. A hard thing to follow Anderson.
TOOBIN: Well I mean -- that's one possibility that it's all, you know, just happenstance, and whatever pops into his head. The other possibility which Comey he's also mentioned is that Russia, Putin has something on Trump. And that's why he's been so solicitous of Putin. You know, why they change the platform to make it more sympathetic to the Russian position on Ukraine. Why he hired -- you know, Paul Manafort who was close to Putin
I mean, the enormous sympathy that Trump has shown towards Putin over the campaign and during this year, the explanation could be that the Russians have something on him.
COOPER: Jeff Toobin, Steve Hall, appreciated it.
Coming up next, new tapes emerge of President Trump's alleged alter ego John Baron, will he hear what John Baron, meaning then citizen Donald Trump pretending to be John Barron and told the reporter to get on the Forbes list of richest people. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[20:50:34] COOPER: There's a new report tonight, that President Trump may have lied his way on the Forbes Magazine, the annual list of riches Americans back in the 1980s. A former Forbes reporter had shared the audio tapes of what he says was then citizen Trump posing as his alter ego John Barron. 360s Randi Kaye has the tapes.
JONATHAN GREENBERG, FMR FORBES REPORTER: OK, what's your first name by the way?
TRUMP: John. John Barron.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Does that voice sound familiar? That was Donald Trump posing over the phone as an executive from the Trump Organization. He called himself John Barron.
TRUMP: Most of the assets have been consolidated to Mr. Trump.
KAYE (voice-over): The call was recorded back in May 1984 by then Forbes Magazine reporter Jonathan Greenberg who is now shares it first with the "Washington Post". Greenberg says the fictitious Trump Organization executive John Barron was trying to convince him that Donald Trump was rich enough to earn a higher spot on the Forbes 400, a list ranking America's richest people.
GREENBERG: Are you saying that tax or tax purposes its been -- the ownership has been transferred to Donald Trump.
TRUMP: Correct. That's correct.
GREENBERG: OK. And that you say, you know, in excess 90% of the ownership.
TRUMP: I'd say in excess of 90 -- in fact, well it's really closer to even the ultimate. But it's in excess of 90%, yes.
GREENBERG: He figured out the what he had to do in order to deceive me and get onto that list. And he did it very well.
KAYE (voice-over): In the end Forbes estimated Trump's 1984 net worth to be about $400 million, earning him a higher spot on the list.
GREENBERG: He lied about his father that he owned all of his father's assets. He didn't own any of them until his father died in1999.
KAYE (voice-over): Greenberg said Trump posing as Barron spoke with a slightly stronger New York accent and switched up the rhythm of his voice.
TRUMP: I'd like to talk to you off record if I can just to make your thing easier.
KAYE (voice-over): CNN has reached has out to the White House for comment about this recording, but so far no response. Trump meanwhile has been hiding behind fake names for decades. Back in 1980 Trump apparently also acting as John Barron gave the "New York Times" this quote after Trump the developer had smashed two sculptures at a demolition site in New York instead of giving them to a museum as promise. Notice the source is John Barron.
It turns out the in a 1990 lawsuit Trump himself reportedly admitted under oath that on occasion he has used that name. In the heat of the 2016 campaign another alter ego resurfaced. The "Washington Post" published an old interview with Trump posing as a publicist name John Miller, a name he appeared to use for media calls like this one with a People Magazine reporter asking about Trump's break up with girlfriend Marla Maples.
TRUMP: He's somebody that has a lot of options. And he frankly, he gets called by everyone. He gets called by everybody in the book in terms of women.
KAYE (voice-over): Trump later told People Magazine it was just a joke. But then on NBC, this.
TRUMP: It was not me on the phone. And it doesn't sound like me on the phone.
KAYE (voice-over): An audio forensic expert disputed that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm confident that it's Donald Trump.
KAYE (voice-over): John Miller, John Barron, whatever the name seems they all lead back to Donald Trump.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Palm Beach, Florida.
COOPER: Joining me now is Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio.
I mean Michael, I mean this is just kind of bizarre that he would have gone this, I mean it shows the extent to which he wanted, you know, to be seen as being incredibly rich and getting his name in the paper and bragging about, you know, women he'd been with and stuff. I mean the blunt lying though by citizen Trump from owning the family business, to his net worth, towards some of his buildings were actually located, it goes beyond just embellishment to outright fabrications.
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN COMMENTATOR: Well right, and I guess this is how we get to a President who's now told 2,000 lies during his time in office. You know, listening to that, you wonder if John Barron and John Miller were separated at birth, because they sure do sound like the same guy. And he'll present this -- people will present him with these audio recordings. And he'll deny that it's him. Even after he admitted it's him. It's really impossible to follow and kind of crazy making.
COOPER: It's interesting, though, I mean because a lot of the lies he has told in the past and even, you know, nowadays, they require you to be an idiot. I mean they're sort of based on the idea that the person listening is just dumb and doesn't put the pieces together.
[20:55:09] I mean, they're so sort of obvious at times that, you know, saying he wasn't making fun of a disabled person when he was -- you know, people you could see with your own eyes what he was doing.
D'ANTONIO: Well, and he was determined to convince James Comey that he wasn't making fun of the reporter. It's -- it is him almost demanding you believe something so fantastic and so ludicrous that i think the listener winds up thinking with well am I crazy to be thinking about this? Did he really just stay that his father gave all of his wealth to him and now instead of being worth 5 million he is worth 400 million? Here, you got to give the guy credit for audacity. He's got incredible amounts of chutzpah and he is not even Jewish.
COOPER: Has -- I mean as long as you -- you know, were, you know, profiling him, has he always been like this?
D'ANTONIO: Oh, yes, this is Donald really going back to his school days when he was a boy. He insisted to others that he had hit home runs he had never hit in ball games. He left the New York Military Academy declaring himself the greatest baseball player in New York State. And it just went on and on and on. He was named the ladies man at a school that had no young women at it. So you tell me, he has been doing this forever.
COOPER: Right. That's impressive. Michael D'Antonio, thanks very much.
Up next the breaking news out of North Korea state run TV reporting that Kim joung -- Kim Jong un had set the country no longer needs nuclear or missile, this comes ahead of a summit with President Trump. We'll talk about that. Some skepticism of course, some caution. But it is a stunning development. We'll get all the latest on it when we continue.