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CNN: Ex-Trump official reacts to his Waco rally remarks: Intent was ‘extremely clear’


CNN political commentator and former Trump White House official Alyssa Farah Griffin reacts to the former president’s remarks about a possible indictment at a rally in Waco, Texas, saying his intention to incite violence, similar to the January 6th insurrection, is “extremely clear.” #CNN #News

Transcript

We want to bring you the latest on a possible criminal indictment of the former president. Late this afternoon, we learned the name of the witness who met with Manhattan grand jury and someone who knew the former president very well. CNN Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Perez joins us now. So talk about the witness

And why they’re relevant. Well, Anderson, the witness is David Pecker. He was he is the former chairman of American Media, the parent company of National Enquirer. And he was key as part of this effort to keep Stormy Daniels a story from becoming public. Back in 2016 in the days before the 2016 election.

He allegedly brokered the the payment $130,000 hush money money payment to Stormy Daniels to try to make sure her story didn’t come out and according to his version and version from what we’ve heard from from Michael Cohen the former president’s fixer. He essentially got paid he got paid from Michael Cohen

That hundred and $30,000 to make sure that that story never came out. The last known witness to appear before the grand jury was a former legal adviser Michael Cohen’s do we know how Pecker fits into all of this? I mean, it seems clearly that Pecker was brought in to rebut

Some of what that attorney had said. Right. Exactly. Bob Costello said that he appeared as a witness to undercut the credibility of Michael Cohen, who is, of course, the most important witness in this investigation so far. Anderson, in the case of Pecker, is believed that he could be somebody who could rebut

Some of the testimony from Bob Costello. Obviously, he was involved in helping broker that payment to Stormy Daniels and to make sure that that story didn’t come out before the before the 2016 election. So presumably he would be there to help at least underscore and help shore up the version of events

That Michael Cohen has told. And despite the fact, obviously, that Michael Cohen has his own credibility problems. So what happens now? Because this grand jury only meets a couple of days who were there right there, said they were scheduled to meet today. And as far as we know,

There was no indictment returned today. They are scheduled to meet again on Wednesday. They also may be able to meet on Thursday, Anderson. What we don’t know is when this case might be wrapped up, whether there is going to be an indictment and whether it’s going to happen any time soon.

We do know that, obviously, the fact that Pecker, who has appeared a couple of times in this case, you know, he’s an important witness because of his central role in it. It does appear that the prosecutors are nearly at the end of their presentation on this case Anderson. Right. Evan Perez, appreciate it.

Perspective now from CNN political commentator Lucifer Griffin, who served as White House director of communications for the former president. And Jessica Roth, a former federal prosecutor. Jessica, clearly he was brought in. I mean, Costello was casting doubt on Michael Cohen’s testimony. Michael Cohen had said this was

Hush money, payment was paid in order to not have some bad news come out that could damage Trump to the election. Costello saying Well, Michael Cohen told me it was, you know, Michael Cohen’s idea and it was to avoid Melania Trump being upset. So this testimony,

I think, was very important to shore up the credibility of Michael Cohen’s testimony that the payments were related to the campaign. I mean, that’s the most significant testimony that David Pecker has to offer. Am I where he worked? Entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the federal government several years ago

When they were initially investigating Michael Cohen for these payments. And in that non-prosecution agreement, am I agreed that these were campaign related expenditures. So as part of that agreement is out, does he have to show up to testify? He has to be cooperative. And so presumably the federal government

Is asking him to be cooperative with other prosecutors as well. I mean, does an indictment I mean, over the weekend, people, you know, this rally Trump held at Waco were saying that an indictment would actually spur them on to support the former president. Do you buy that? I don’t buy that necessarily.

I mean, listen, he’s the front runner at this point. He’s polling above 40%, significantly higher than the next person behind him. I think it’s very likely at this juncture he would get the nomination. The elections far out. But this is what matters in this moment is Donald Trump chose to use specific language

In the last couple of weeks leading up to this possible coming indictment that has once again calling for violence and echoes the language he used ahead of January six. I know the man, you know him decently well liked. His intent there is extremely clear. We know it from January six.

He’s been clearer than ever, ever before and it didn’t materialize. What that signals to me is that he thought that there was a base there that was going to come out. They were going to storm New York, wherever it might be. And people aren’t turning out because this is a Donald Trump grievance.

This is his wrongdoing catching up with him. It’s not the same as lying about the election being stolen and people coming out to rally. So I think it might be a sign that in some ways he is weakened, but at the same time, he’s still the frontrunner.

I just want to read something he said. A reporter for NBC asked him over the weekend the rally whether violence would be potentially justifiable if he were indicted. And he responded, quote. And this is so classic him. I don’t like violence and I’m not for violence at all.

But a lot of people are upset. And, you know, they rigged an election, they stole an election. They spied on my campaign. They did many bad things. Yeah. The but’s doing the heavy lifting there. I mean, it’s just it’s it’s classic Donald Trump. Take him at his word.

He’s not being coy about what he wants to happen, but it’s not materializing because this is a mess of his own making that’s catching up with him. And by the way, you know, from unsolicited and reaching out that I get from Trump world, they’re nervous about this. They really are.

They thought this was a case that was dead up until a few months ago. They thought they were going to get by. And of all the investigations, it was what they were probably least worried about. Now they’re realizing this is the one that’s going to likely come just in terms of the law.

Does it matter if, you know, the former president didn’t want this news to come out because he was annoyed, he was upset. He was worried Melania Trump would be upset. He didn’t want to embarrass his kids. He I wouldn’t say he felt a sense of shame because I don’t think he feels shame.

Does it? Does that. And he cared about the effect in the election. If there were other reasons other than just the election, does that make him immune? If it’s for the purpose of of affecting the campaign, that’s what matters here. And there’s lots of there could be other there can be other issues

Involved as well. Yes. But as long as the campaign was involved, the question is, would it have been made? But for the election, that is with the legal test. And so it does matter if there were other reasons. But there’s really good evidence that it was made because of the campaign.

Stormy Daniels had come forward before and asked for payment and he refused to pay her. And it was only as things were heating up with the 2016 campaign, and in particular, right after the release of the Access Hollywood tape, which had done considerable damage to his campaign, that he decided now

Was the time that he had to make sure that she didn’t come forward. So I think there is very strong evidence that this was a campaign related expenditure and that’s also where Pecker comes in so prominently because he’s already testified that this was coordinated with the Trump campaign for the purpose of influencing

The election. It was David Pecker who was initially approached by a representative for for Stormy Daniels. Right. And this is something that I mean, as you state, Trump could have dealt with sooner. He waited, too. And because of that, it stepped into the legal murky area of being a campaign finance violation.

I think it’s strains credulity to claim that he was doing it to protect his wife. We that’s not something that I think we’ve seen throughout the course of his public life. I think it’s not it’s I think we know what direction this indictment is going to go.

I don’t want to get ahead of it. But I also want to caution I don’t think this is the strongest case against Donald Trump of the many pending investigations. This is not what’s going to keep him out of office again. How difficult is this case

To actually put it in front of a jury? It’s going to be a very challenging case. I mean, there are a number of legal issues that the district attorney’s office is going to have to overcome with respect to the charge that it seems that they are contemplating related to the campaign

Finance violation, which, of course, would be a matter of federal law incorporated essentially into a state prosecution, which has not been done. This is there’s some precedent for it, but not that actually been tested all the way up through the courts. In other words, they have been pleased that

That reflected a similar charge, but hasn’t really been fully litigated. And then as a factual matter, they are going to be relying on Michael Cohen. And he is a problematic witness, which is why it is so important that he be corroborated by other witnesses like David Pecker

And by the documents in the case And also, Kellyanne Conway, I believe, from the campaign also has testified before the grand jury, who would be another important witness to corroborate that this was coordinated with the Trump campaign to scare off. Appreciate it was fired. Griffin, thanks so much.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. The United States has become a dictatorship by the rotten US Democratic Party Left! All this has changed with the immigrant invasion of the Axis of Evil nations by China, Russia, Islam and Korea! The only thing that can be said is that the United States must realize that only the God-given savior Trump can stop the massacre of Russia's madman Putin! Trump is the one and only savior!

  2. ื’ืšื’ืคื’ื—ืžื’ื’ืฆื’ื—ื’ื—ื’ืžื’ืฆื‘ืฆื’ื ื ื’ื’ื—ื’ืฆื’ืžื—ื’ื’ืื™๐Ÿš…๐Ÿฉผ๐Ÿฉผ๐Ÿ›ž๐Ÿš„๐Ÿš„๐Ÿš…๐Ÿฉผ

  3. When Trump asked Ukraine what Biden was doing saying directly that he was going to withhold US Loan Guarantees if they did not fire the prosecutor who was investigating his son's company…., they tried to impeach him. Ironically, Biden has yet to answer for those lies while his family pockets millions of dollars by Ukraine, Russia, and China. They accuse Trump of colluding with Russia and you have 10 foot high piles of proof that in fact Biden may be guilty of that very act. Fact is, the Democrats should be very afraid that their own acts may get them the same treatment. The very people that say no one is above the law may face their own statement. We wait for that day. Funny part is that they don't realize Trump will benefit from this. Why, because once again you make an accusation against him and it's garbage. This isn't the first time Democrats have gone after someone for campaign violations. Ok, so I guess facebook giving 350 million to the 2020 election would be a crime too? Right. No because if you funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into fake charities operating to indirectly fund the democrat campaigns, in my opinion, violate the deductibility of those said contributions as "not" being a violation. This is of course my opinion. But you don't see the Democrats running around trying to investigate or change those laws. And one might go so far as to wonder…., did facebook make those contributions so they would not be broken up which was the Democrat mantra at that time. But of course just an opinion and thinking out loud. Who knows right? But we should know.

  4. If you are telling me to shut up so I can be killed, okay. I'm a CIA agent you don't want to mess with. I can take information to another nation.

  5. The fact that CNN and the rest of the lamestream media has spent every waking moment for the last six years trying to get Trump arrested should be the number one reason why you support him and want him as your president. You unbelievable morons.

  6. It's obvious at this point that Trump just announced his "arrest' to create a buzz around his campaign speech, and CNN fell for it like a child.

  7. Trump doesn't even pay is normal bills half the time, so obviously he wouldn't pay Daniels if not for the election. Trump is notorious for not paying his bills, so the fact he wouldn't pay her before the campaign became a thing totally makes sense. Many of us independents are done with him and the the GOP because of all these shenannigans. It's not does he think we're suckers, but what kind of suckers does Trump think we are? Asking everyone to believe yet another one of his flimsy damn lies!

  8. Trumps Pecker is a major part of this story. Have Stormy ID Trump's pecker in a line up of possible peckers. Jimmy Kimmell has already had Stormy ID the pecker on his show in a line up. Do it in the courtroom.

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