GOP strategist says Cohen investigation 'could be the end of (Trump's) presidency'

The "This Week" Powerhouse Roundtable debate the week in politics, including the legal issues facing President Trump.
17:34 | 04/22/18

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Transcript for GOP strategist says Cohen investigation 'could be the end of (Trump's) presidency'
to be presid a person who sees L equivalence in charlottesville. Who talks about and treats women like they're pieces of meat. Who lies constantly about mas all and S the American people believe it? That person is not fit to be president tstates on moral grounds. O you think we have gotten too used to these tweets? Dulled? Yeah. I think it's a Dan E numb to . The president of the united States is accusieo crimes wit evidence. And pronouncing them guilty and saying they shoue in jail. That should wake all of us up with a start. Several presidential tweets this morning. Asamesey continues his book tour. A lot to talk abth our "Roundtable. Joinedy Jon Karl. Chief white house correspondent. Amy chozick, out with a new book, "Chasing Hillary." Ten years, presideial cagns. Counter James Comey's. Com who? Alex Castellanos and Stephanie cutter. Jon, let's pick up on the LI conversation we had withur legaexs at the Tom. You heard their Lal views. One thing not in queson the president, those this white house,eized by ts quti. There no ques. They do not know what is in Michael Cohen's files. Theye no idea. President'legal team the presids friends. His poll advisers. And the president himself. Obviously, as far as the question of whether or Cohen WOU be pardon, I don't know the answer to that. The question of a pa for Michl Cohen wod gled before him incessantly. The prest is doing everything he can publicly to remind Michael Cohen he has the power to don. He pardoned jack Johnston. He pard scooter bby. Stephan, he's put out a lot of tweets.ta pardons several times.erday afternoon, striking. Come out with T ck Johnson, the heavy weight champ in theinning of E 20th century, saying he might pardon him for his crimes. There I T P out without a reason. They're sending a to mil Cohen. The reason they're srr because theyknow what is in those files. They wouldn't be so -- Thean't B sure. They're worried. They wouldn't be so worried if they believed that the president didn't have some damagings in the files. And he bottom ne. We wouldn't talk about whether Michael hen is going to be flipping if there wasn't some notion of guilt e.his is a tippingnt befoi ldmp tried to fight off the Russian investigation. Becaust was a obstruction to him being a successful presid to be able to get his name on . Rushmorehis could be end of the presidency. This is a man who hasla conventi norms his entire life and business career. It's hard togi his complicated financial history there are not some places where S have beecrossed. Imagine those things locked up in Michael c'snow, on a taate that Robert Mueller serup to a mose next year. Thserious. It doeseeke he sees this as an etial threat. One reason he's going after your colleagues at "The New York Times" yterday, as well. That's ri in area story, my colleagues reported aboutow Michael N was tweeted by Donald over the yrs. He was not Roy Cohn. An hisri fixerrom the '8 he isrying to se valued him. He's worried ahahepaper moreo than theussians. Another tweet from the president this week that C gi us hints with what W to do with all of this. THAs earlier the week. He said, James Comey's memos learly no collusion and no obstron. Sohe leaked sified information. Wow, will the witch hunt continue? Heeted jamesomey Leake classifi documents in the press in order to estah a spia sel. That mes, tpecial C was created as legal act does everybody know whhaans? Thesident sa he's not looking to fire Robert Mueller. Rod Rosenstein was an illegal act. He's tantly laying the groundwork that firing Robert Mueller isal offense I K the bring on of ry giiani. I don't think gan he's downplaying how central a LE he'll py on the defense team. That makes it less likely that muellewill be fi because Giuliani has been so public in saying that Mueller ould be allowed to do his job. Less likely, jonath use James Mey has done Donald Trump ald of good he'sd,eld this - because tht Hillary clwas going to be president. I didn't tell Donald Trump in your intew, who pa for this dossier. Jameme political figure. A lot of people are saying, you know, that old trump was right all along. At theme ti, the president's stance on the Comey mos is kind of -- , it is contradiory. On the hand, he ys, it backs me up. On the other hand, he's a liar, they'rl a hoax. A trovedocuments ere they're talking about Putin and prostitutes. I mean S though a lot of this knn, it is not a G thto add to the swirl of speculation around Russ it's HD to burn down the same house twice, bad newsthat about dorump is rely not goi -- It's not going to alter our opinion. Anyte you're taking about a president and prostitutes, it's good for anybody.particularly the country. I don't think any new news was Oken in coy' or the release the memos but it doesaise the issues again about whether or not president trump was trying to struct jusce. Isomey completeln in all of this? No. Absotely not. He does come across J making principled decisions based on the law. Heas making princip decisions based on who was going to be president. At the end of the day, you can't argue that he was trying to throw the action to clin in fact, most people believe, andmp trump's own people believe, kellyanne Conway said this week by reopening ion, he T the election against senainton. Seary clinto You can't argue that James Comey was a pitifully weak er at the he was in your intewere he said, look, I could have been wrong. I cohave done is. I should have done that. Who says he doesn'ak but does. That weakness, that martyr comphe seems have where Eeds to nail himself to the cross IST led trumto look him and say, this guy is too weak to ever conclude this vestigatio Does hurting James Comey help nald trump one of T things we have seen later in the we, the president prng for this investigation into Comey whether he leaked classifiednfmation. Do think thaisng here? 'T. I think we saw the president's fratorning. Good luck G Jeff sessions to do this. It was a strange move for the Republicans to push so hard for the release of the Comey memos and to lthon as they got hold of them. If T Republicans have any chce, Alex, I a you agree on this, limit the damage in the midrm elections, it will be to focus heonomy. To focus on the president's recordthe economanytime thtue subject, Democrats win. I'm not even sure that, Y they would be better to focus on E economy an this. Republics at leashave a campaign now. Don't go back. If you put Nancy Pelosi back in charge oe R S wi go up. The economy will shrink. Anthiss not that. That's not a very good campaign. T now, dond trump is -- holding action. He's T tound CEO that's bought the Republican party and the democr by the wa S time somebody has to say, this countra brighter's how we get there. Somebody has to reinvent this. Neherty is doihat. I think the Republicans could lose0 seats, the way they're headed right now. It's portant toember, Alex, and ihi probably agree ths. Republicans control the white house and ss. We control Donald Trump? In one based on at you party. One way they could create change is to disagree with president trp. To separates fm esent trump when they think he's doing somethingng. We have yet to see that. Wseen that haens, it might cause trouble. Onhe things we saw, Amy. Just last night, Mitt Romney, quite critical of president trump, actually lo C to be the Republican nominor senar Utah when the conventi went with the hometown favorite. . To Alex's great column this both parties. As listening as voters ling pretty good a T paychecks, Democrats can't gcent. Ifublicans sft and STA talking about the economy and taxehen, you kw,y're going to have hard time. Voters are not that motivated by Russia. To particular siion, the gerr of that ate lost T cvention been points. Thon the priry by 44 points. E people tt go to ens they Thi trigonometry is a IST plot. This got mikleected. Both parties have activist forces working. Ight now, ey do. On the Republican side, there -- there seem to this conflict over how to deal with trump. On one hand, you have house mes this D red districts who are hugging him hard. Ese senate cdates, it's more complicated. Especially candidates is para ser states that are not deep, deep red. Seeing some Republicans, more inthe senatetrying to inpendence. We you see the move to try to T a billprrt muel Mcconnell put a -- onnell's P stop to I the bill is not going anywhere. You have a number of pro Republican support T bill. Epublicans are not going to disagree with Donald Trump on at. Pus like what he's done. He's running as a whahe dog as a predent is very conserva and very Republican in most cases. It what he sthat's the problem. One of the things we have seen in E last seval weeks. The president's approval rating is inching up a little B and E ric gap Ben Democrats and Republicans are narrow. I wouldn't call dontrump popular. He's still historically unpopular.stg his popularity. He's doing a good job of it. The generic ballot I titening. Maybeat's becau of the tax maybe N they have something else to talk about. This it the solendicator oft will happen in the election. Democrats have almost a 3 to 1 advantage on enthusiasm. They'rtraising rublicans. The mom their side. They're winnine special electis. I don't think Democrats should get cent at Al this is globe a tight election. Our country is poised to have tight Elons. I wod rather be a Democrat right now, where we are, in the than a Republican. I hate to agree with stephanie,ut I think she right. The suburbs are doing well that's where suburban, E, college-educated women, are coming out in droves to vote against Donald Trump. It's not about aracter.itut who he is and hat he he's done. That was AIG part of Hillary Clinton's message. Before we go, Amy, I want to talk to you and ybody Abou the retions you have in your book about the 2016 campaign. Including reflons about E press. There are some second thoughts about the way we all handlhe e-mail matter. About the way we all dealt with those hack Russian e-mails at got so ch coverage.tiene en Su LI Right. Absolutely. I foe that her supporters have trouble with the way we covered her e-mails. That understanble. The bigger issue is the hacks. Do we dealit?ter the election, it kept me enemigo queus patidari up at night to think I did what we all did. By covering those podest e-il we became shlgy -- we , as M newspaper intelligence. We were throughout. We though, let's confand contextualize them. It's a good question. Jon, I was ting about at this morning. We showed more restraint when the nortan S there wasejarnos conitial coverage. After that,ont terms to be a collective decision. We were nog CI the ivate e-mas stolen. That did not happen in the 2016 campaign. En you're vering a campaign, it's difnt that private company. I think so muc the damagwith hilla Clinton wt the substance of the podesta ils. It was the fof her prite server D the F whats secretof state. But, you know, it is a difficult preun de you have hacked e-mails. About them. They're everywhere. Can you -- Inot that difficult, is it? That a -- secretary of state running for preshid those e-mails, put them on a pri server so the media 'T see because -- there were questions about the Clinton dation, clton globalostula pinitiative. Ions of dollars, pay to play. There are millions of aning why thck we so much time tal about Hillary's when wh she was doing was same as other secretaries of state. It really wasn't. It really was, Jon. Instead of talking about issues. What other secretary of S had prserver -- That Hillary Clinton and her e-mails overmed that Campain terms of the coverage. Amy, you admit, I have not read ur book. But ieadhe excerpt you questi whether "E new yoime" was cering trump the right way. Putting a TV reporter on him N a political reer inially. That all influenced the caaign. Ere were lots ofoshs discuss INT campaign. Whether or not she had a privatesein -- according the law, aloud her to do, really did not pa She was supposed to turn over R she DI do it unt the story broke. It was dit to get any other stories to break through. And infairness, we kefred all of her policies. I tried to W sympathet biphical features. Perfect example. I wrote the this sympathetic,phical speech feature about moving to Arkansas and this feminist mentor trying to talk her of it. I spent a year oe story. The campaign didn't want it. Ngress. It didn't make the paper. I couldn't get anyth break through.ttodos influyeron en la But the question there is, are Y writing to make mething bakthrough? Reou riting what you think the news is? Is a queson that I think E to ask going into the next election. It's a big question fll of us.u look back and say, listen, there were things done wrong. Que the e-mails. Nostthat. There's something structurally in media where we have equazerything. If you point out a wrong doing on side, youavoint oua wrongdoing on the other. They automatically become equivalent. Been not enough equalization. How much we covered. How mu tss coveredhe mails. How much investigative work wis done on Donald Trump particarly during E praries? Not enough. He was portrayed as a phenon. The excitement. The attacks. The latest outrageous thing. Or whatever. Much investigative reporting going on until it was frankly too late Andwas click it he would not be president fferent media roque contin??a hasta que fuera THA of Twitter and live-streaming. A candidate Hillary and distant from the press. It was -- known. And well known. Would look at this and say, you know what? Dot forget Hillary Clinton was a pitifully bad candidate, who a horribleampaign, who ran a corrupt foundation while she S secretary of state and that was not covered. I disagree she was a terrible ndidate. I ha T look at the deba And, byway, now a Democrat P -- -- Sure S that with. The empire is one big mess. Haas covered he democraparty -- That isll trump talked about. Doesn't mean it's true. Where is E about a democratic party that laundered thrgh a Lawe. Firm to pay a rsian spy for dirt on trump?it stself. Republicans initially funded? - Enough 2016. We'r. Thank you that was great. Thank you all very much. N can presi trump make the ultimate deal with ton the nuclear program? Senator Bob corker is going to

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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