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June 7, 2018

In Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Rudy Giuliani took some potshots at Stormy Daniels, the adult film star and director who says she had an extramarital affair with President Trump in 2006. "The business you were in entitles you to no degree of giving your credibility any weight," said Giuliani, now a lawyer for Trump. "I'm sorry, I don't respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who ... isn't going to sell her body for sexual exploitation."

Thursday morning's cable news shows noticed the fallacy of Giuliani's argument. "Rudy Giuliani has a glass-houses problem here," CNN's John Berman said on New Day. "If he's going to appoint himself the morals police there, that's some pretty shaky ground."

On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) were furious about Giuliani derisively judging Daniels by her looks.

Back on CNN, Alisyn Camerota wondered how Giuliani "feels about ... married men who have sex with porn stars without using protection." Kristen Powers noted that "Donald Trump proudly hung out at the Playboy Mansion." There's more. Watch below. Peter Weber

June 4, 2018

On Saturday, The New York Times published a 20-page letter President Trump's lawyers Jay Sekulow and John Dowd sent to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in January in which they claim almost monarchical powers for the president. But on Monday's New Day, CNN's John Berman focused on one sentence in the letter, and he wasn't shy about using the "L" word. The letter "opens up a huge can of worms for the White House — actually, not worms, it's more like writhing hydra of dishonesty," Berman said. "And just like the mythical creature, you chop off one lie and and two more emerge in its place."

Berman pointed specifically to the part of the letter where the lawyers acknowledge that "the president dictated a short but accurate response to The New York Times on behalf of his son, Donald Trump Jr.," about Trump Jr.'s meeting with Kremlin-linked Russians, then he played clips of Sekulow and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders unequivocally saying Trump had no role and did not dictate the statement. "There's a lot of talk about the difference between lie and a falsehood or untruth," Berman said. "Here, someone is lying," and it's either Trump or Sanders and Sekulow.

New Day co-host Alisyn Camerota asked analyst John Avlon if "the fact that they're admitting that, after lying so consistently about it, does that tell us that someone like, say, Hope Hicks has been interviewed by Robert Mueller and now they have to tell the truth?" Avlon said that "telling the truth is not the first instinct of this crew," and "the whole chronology of this is lie upon lie upon lie, that's what's important. Remember, first this meeting didn't happen, then it was about adoption, then there were incriminating emails that showed it was about getting dirt on Hillary Clinton." Worse, Berman added, "this is dishonesty about something that is crucial to the entire investigation." Peter Weber

May 24, 2018

On Thursday morning, Fox & Friends broadcast an interview Brian Kilmeade conducted with President Trump on Wednesday, on short notice. Kilmeade informed Trump that the NFL owners had just approved a policy that fines teams if any of their players refuse to stand for the national anthem, though players also have the option to stay in the locker room during the anthem. Trump said he didn't like the locker room option but was pleased with the other part — maybe a little too pleased. "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem," Trump said, "or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there, maybe you shouldn't be in the county."

The NFL Players Association was less pleased with the decision, and at least one team owner — New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson, the brother of Trump's ambassador to Britain, Woody Johnson — said he would personally pay the fine of any player who decides to kneel anyway. Also in disagreement with Trump? The New York Daily News.

So. Are you ready for some football? Peter Weber

May 22, 2018

If Trump is "crossing a line" by going after the Justice Department investigation of him and his campaign, "will his own party speak up?" CNN's Chris Cuomo asked Tuesday morning, posing the question to recently retired Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), making his New Day debut. "Forgive me if this seems cynical, call it out if so, but I think that's a rhetorical question: Will Republicans stand up against the president? The answer is no, they are assisting him, Devin Nunes, other members of this kind of formative cabal. ... Your party's going to let him do what he wants to do here, yes of no?"

"Well, for the moment I think that's true, but the midterms will be a seminal test," Dent said. "I mean, this could be a very difficult midterm election and I suspect after that election, I think some views might change. I think we have to conduct much more rigorous oversight, and I've been concerned about this."

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), who is still in Congress and on the House Intelligence Committee with Nunes, said "of course" he's not comfortable with what Nunes and Trump are doing on the investigation, and "nobody should be." Nunes is essentially "sending a signal around the world that some quirky, completely factless investigation may cause you as an informant or you as a CIA asset to be exposed, and that is going to make us profoundly less safe." Watch below. Peter Weber

May 22, 2018

President Trump has been agitating about news an FBI informant approached members of his campaign in 2016, and with help from House Republicans, he's on the verge of getting top secret information on the informant. "Carrie, I need your help understanding the president's position about why he is so exercised about the idea that the FBI would use a confidential informant to investigate a crime," CNN's Alisyn Camerota asked legal analyst Carrie Cordero on Tuesday's New Day. Cordero said using informants is "not particularly unusual" and has a low legal bar, but "what is unusual is revealing the actual identity of sources, publicly for sure and even to congressional intelligence oversight personnel."

Chris Cuomo took a whack at making Trump's argument. The FBI is on firm legal ground, he said, but "this isn't about law, it's about politics and ... it feeds a narrative that Donald Trump wants the American people to believe, which is that they're out to get you in the Deep State of government, and I'm going to fight them." Trump definitely has "a persecution complex" and the White House's official strategy "in all but name" is "investigate the investigator," political analyst John Avlon said. "Presidents who have attacked prosecutors — in particular, Nixon, Clinton — it's because they've had something to hide," he added. One "surreal" thing that isn't helpful to Trump's "Witch Hunt" argument "is that both campaigns were being investigated by the FBI. We only knew about one." Peter Weber

May 14, 2018

"The Trump administration, following the president's lead on apologies — which is: Never give one," Chris Cuomo said on Monday's New Day. White House communications aide Kelly Sadler reportedly told Meghan McCain she would publicly apologize for "joking" about Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) opposition to CIA nominee Gina Haspel not mattering because he's "dying anyway," but she hasn't.

"Help me, fellas, I don't get this one," Cuomo told Weekly Standard chief Bill Kristol and American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, whose wife, Mercedes, works in the White House and, according to a leaker, told colleagues she stands with Sadler. Why not publicly apologize and move on? "Because Donald Trump doesn't want to," Kristol said, making a "fish rots from the head down" argument. Schlapp defended Sadler, saying "it showed character on her part to immediately call and to apologize."

The "real problem with the Trump White House" is that "certain staff" members "leak almost everything in almost any meeting they can get in," and "it's a big threat to the agenda," Schlapp said. "I'm glad they're leaking," Kristol said. "We get a little window into what kinds of people are working in that White House."

Cuomo asked Schlapp "why the president didn't own this and why the White House didn't do what administrations would do in this case." "And why she said it — you're being too nice here, Chris," Kristol cut in. Schlapp said Sadler is his friend, he feels "bad that she's going through this," and "she's also a little bit of a victim here." Those of us not in the meeting "don't know what Kelly meant by that term," he added. "She could have meant it very matter-of-factly, she could have meant it in a different way." Peter Weber

April 23, 2018

President Trump attacked New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman on Twitter Saturday — which happened to be Haberman's daughter's birthday, she told CNN's Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota on Monday's New Day. Trump was reacting to an article Haberman co-wrote about Trump's reportedly abusive treatment of lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen and speculation on whether Cohen would flip on Trump if prosecutors threaten him with a long jail term.

Trump's tweets drew special scrutiny because of the bizarre Haberman attack and because it wasn't clear who he was calling a "drunk/drugged-up loser" — Haberman guessed it was Sam Nunberg, not Roger Stone, because Trump is "too aware of what Stone could do to him to be that direct" and has been scared of Stone "for years." The topic is clearly "hitting a nerve" with Trump, and he and his lawyers "are very anxious" about the Cohen investigation, Haberman told CNN.

"The story was really not about destroying their relationship — the president has destroyed their relationship pretty handily on his own over a long period of time," Haberman said. Trump "is abusive, according to almost everybody I speak to, to most people in his orbit, and family not excepted from that. But he is particularly abusive to Cohen over the years, and then the question becomes, does that come back to haunt him?" Cuomo jumped in to point out that nobody knows what charges, if any, Cohen faces, but "everybody knows" Trump's description of Haberman's skills and sources "is silly. There are few reporters that he's given more access to."

Cuomo and Haberman went on to analyze the "drugged-up loser" part of Trump's tweet and how it fits in with his compassionate campaign rhetoric about the opioid crisis. "This is how he really feels about addicts," Haberman said. "We know that he had a brother who died of alcoholism, we know that he considers addiction to be weak." Peter Weber

April 17, 2018

On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota tried to get a handle on the bombshell that dropped on their cable news competitor Fox News on Monday, when a lawyer for Michael Cohen reluctantly revealed in court that along with President Trump and Republican fundraiser Elliot Broidy, Cohen's third client was Fox News star Sean Hannity. Hannity and Cohen's team had different interpretations on whether Cohen was really Hannity's lawyer, and Hannity himself offered a confusing mixture of explanations.

"Fox isn't saying a word about this, and it's going to be a mystery for both Hannity's viewers, as well as for his critics, as well as for his bosses," media critic Brian Stelter said. "I think this story tells us how Trump World really works and how tight knit the relationships really are. It's a reminder about all of these men and their relationships going back decades."

Political analyst Chris Cillizza said that the normal conflict-of-interest rules at Fox News don't apply to Hannity, who is "bigger than Fox," in some ways. But despite Hannity's protestation, "this has nothing to do with your right to privacy!" he added, using sandwiches to explain why Hannity was clearly out of line. Camerota noted that Bill O'Reilly was bigger than Fox News, too, but not big enough to keep his job when his settlements with multiple women became public. That made Cuomo nervous. "This is very different than that," he said. Hannity "said it's never involved a third party. We don't know anything different. I wouldn't put him in the same basket with Bill O'Reilly, not by a big stretch."

Also on New Day, legal analyst Carrie Cordero said that "if the statements that I saw from Hannity yesterday are accurate statements, I don't think it looks like there is any legal privilege between" him and Cohen. Peter Weber