tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg July 18, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: president trump returned to washington from france this weekend. it was his second trip overseas in as many weeks. earlier this month, he was in hamburg, germany for the g20 summit. he sat down with russian president vladimir putin in a widely-covered bilateral meeting. it was revealed earlier today that trump and putin had a informal meeting on the second, sidelines of the g20. my guest ian bremmer broke this news. he's the president of the eurasia group and a frequent guest. i am pleased to have him back at the table. tell me about this. ian: the first thing i thought
of when i heard it was the fact that when sessions was having these meetings with kislyak that weren't meetings, but it turns out that's where they are conducting business, that's what it sounds like. given the extraordinary focus and attention everything involving putin and trump, and the one guy he had not met with -- he met with all the other major world leaders around the world, then he had the meeting with a lot of people not in it. only tillerson, the translators, lavrov, the foreign minister, and putin, it lasts over two hours, we don't have a clear read out on what happened, and on top of that, we have an hour that evening that no one has heard of. we clearly know that trump does not care what the media has to
say about his desire to have a close personal relationship with the russian president and what drives it. charlie: you suggest it is his best one-on-one relationship. ian: it is clearly his best personal relationship. i will also say never in my life as a political scientist have i seen two major countries with a constellation of national interest that are dissonant while the two leaders seem to be doing everything possible to make nice. that is what people don't understand. there are clearly all these ways -- at an objective or read, the u.s.-russia relationship is as bad as it's been since under -- charlie: vladimir putin has said so. ian: and the entire establishment in the u.s. has also said so. everyone says trump is flip-flopping on china, he says they are an enemy, flip-flops on
nato, all these things, yet on russia he is consistent. i want to find a way to work more closely. charlie: is it because he has a grand strategy or something else? ian: i was discussing this with richard haass on the council of foreign relations today. we are both a little flummoxed. you can definitely say trump likes the strong man. he likes erdogan in turkey, he duterte in the philippines, he likes xi jinping in china, he likes people who get things done. you definitely can say about trump that he also is very transactional, so he's willing to put his chips in to see if you can get something done and then see how they fall. that was with obama, when he first met obama in the oval
office, and with xi jinping. also the fact that obama's relationship with putin was damaged in the end, so there's an opportunity. but if you put those things together, they don't add up to where trump is with putin right now. they don't add up -- charlie: so what is missing when you say it doesn't add up? ian: i think there is some strategy. the explanation i think we will learn either through leaks or through mueller's investigation. they had been lying and covering up too much stuff. i have not believed that there has been direct collusion between putin and trump. charlie: you have not. are you more open to the idea of perhaps? it also depends on how you define collusion. ian: true. first, because it is hard for me to imagine that putin plus
kremlin really would have believed they could have swung the election for trump. you have to believe these guys are as cynical as can be. they believe the american system is as brutal and damaged as the russian system. that is the way they see all politics. it's about cash. follow the money. that's the way you figure out policy in russia. from their perspective, hillary was going to win because the establishment was going to figure out a way to ensure their people would win. i think the russians were probably more surprised than the americans that trump actually won. i absolutely believe that. but it's hard for me to imagine -- charlie: but you have no doubt that they hacked and attempted to influence the election one way or the other. ian: no doubt whatsoever. charlie: but where you can't go yet is a collusion between the president of russia and his government and his intelligence operatives, and members of the
trump team providing them something which would have clearly been beyond the pale. ian: and that they would have gotten something in return, some commitment of meaningful offers. charlie: or they wanted to do it because they thought they had some leverage on the president, and if he was elected, they would have an advantage. ian: but it clearly seems there were many people around trump, some quite high-level, that were compromised by the russians. charlie: compromised in what way? you mean michael flynn? ian: michael flynn, paul manafort, the amount of money we are talking about, getting $17 million in one year -- charlie: i mean in terms of the relationship he had -- how was manafort compromised by the russians rather than the ukrainians? ian: the ukrainian party he was supporting was the
kremlin-supported party. where did he go when he was forced out? to moscow. given the amount of attention this investigation is getting, the number of lawyers with serious capability on the financial and anticorruption side, they clearly believe these connections are meaningful. i expect we will learn something. whether that goes directly to president trump i don't have any , view. at this point, we can't look at all of this happening and say it is just smoke. it doesn't make sense. the good thing about our system is we will find out what it is. charlie: you just had a significant victory in mosul. we had a kind of encirclement over raqqa. the caliphate is being shrunk. already in iraq, that's one of
the biggest issues there is, what is next? or as tom friedman likes to say, the day after the day after. ian: let's start with at least some positives, which is that people can now go back to mosul and start to rebuild. charlie: it is one of the most destructed places, it has been ripped down. ian: having said that, these people want to be in their homes, and humanitarian aid from the u.s. and others will be forthcoming. given that is one of the things that seriously was destabilizing jordan, this crush of migrants, having an opportunity for them to return is a positive thing. also the fact that the caliphate was established by isis. they had land, they had a capital, they could put their flag up. that did raise money and get people to join isis. that didn't make it more plausible you would become a lone wolf in support of this organization.
i think there are people now that aren't going to die because isis has been, is being destroyed, in its capital. charlie: but isis arose after the iraq war, from remnants of al qaeda that were there because, in fact, the sunni didn't feel like they were getting a fair break. therefore, there was a whole portion of iraq not willing to oppose them because of the bad deal from the baghdad government. what's to say that won't happen again? except it won't be isis, but somebody else? ian: it is happening again. it is hard to imagine everyone that was in isis has either fled or is killed or imprisoned. there are still villages that need to be cleaned up. they will still perpetually violence. they are operating in southeast asia. they are operating in yemen and other countries. i don't for a second believe we
are out of the woods for isis. when you destroy saddam hussein, you destroy the party, and all the infrastructure, both military and civil and political around the leadership in iraq, and now the shia and iran are going to be much more in charge of everything but the kurdish region. charlie: i want to stay with the kurds and then go back to another point. with respect to the kurds, is there going to be an independent kurdish state? ian: i think there will in iraq. they have a referendum coming up. i think they are willing to wait because they know they have to, but they want a marker that
says, we are in favor, we have voted. the turks cannot say they want -- charlie: but they are less resistant? ian: i think they are, because they have a state that some of the turks have been able to do business with. you have satisfied a level of kurdish independence without doing anything, as well as kurdish separatism in turkey. the problem is that president already one can never say this publicly because of his challenges with the kurds in southeast anatolia. charlie: groups he considers revolutionary terrorism. ian: yes. so you have that issue, and the iran issue, who will also have bigger problems with the idea of kurdish independence in iraq, that the iranians have more influence over. overtime, i don't think either of those things can stop -- charlie: what influence does
iran have other iraq? ian: they are the dominant power influencing iraq right now. and the united states have the most influence. ultimately, the iranians are spending more money, calling more shots, developing more infrastructure. they have the direct religious influence and ties with the shia population there. they will do everything possible to ensure there's never again going to be a war. charlie: how much influence do they have over bashar al-assad, because of the influence over hezbollah? ian: and because the iranians have military capabilities on the ground in syria, too. charlie: but mainly hezbollah. ian: yes. but the answer is, a lot. there had in incidents and political negotiations with the russians have been frustrated.
the russians and iranians are working closely right now on syria, and they are sharing military bases. keep in mind the russians supported u.s. sanctions against iran. charlie: they supported the nuclear deal. ian: absolutely. i don't feel like the russians -- i feel like they had a long-term strategic alignment necessarily -- charlie: when you look at this deal that took place when the president went to riyadh, and said, i'm joining with arab countries in an effort to isolate iran in the battle for supremacy in the gulf region, and then later you have this deal in which the saudis and tis launch a huge deal against the qataris. what's that about? ian: i think there are a couple of things at play here. the first, let's not forget that we have a new crown prince in saudi arabia. capable and strong. he wants to prove himself.
has a lot of opportunity among leading princes. i don't believe that succession battle is through. another prince, running internal security forces, many believe he's next on the chopping block. if you are trying to consolidate power, and the big thing that prince salman has done in the region under his authority when he was running defense was this very ill-fated war in yemen. now he's leading the charge with a bunch of countries in the region and more broadly against qatar. he put these demands in place on the qataris that clearly were not meant to create a negotiation or a deal.
they were meant to isolate, and force capitulation, or basically unwind the gulf cooperation council. i think there was a domestic -- factors that play. anyone who is trying to calm the situation, it is difficult. charlie: when you talk to the saudis or emirates, they think it is a severe effort by the qataris in order to support groups within their own countries that were intent of overthrowing their government. that's what they say. ian: that's what they believe. the first component is the saudi component. the second is the fact that trump went and said anti-iran, anti-iran.
no matter what tillerson or others would have said, suddenly crown prince salman thinks, i have an opportunity. the third is what you said. this is not the first time that the saudis and others have had problems with qatar. it looks like they actually leaked a document, from before, from 2014, when there was an agreement the qataris were going to stop supporting the brotherhood and be more cautious and temperate in what they used al jazeera for. the contents of that secret deal were made public, and saudis that it was correct, which means they leaked it, probably. these countries have had serious problems with qatar. charlie: so why does qatar do it?
because they want to play above their weight? they also do it because they have a lot of money. they feel it we are the junior party here. ian: partner in the region. that's right. that's been the case very long time. they feel like balancing and hedging between the iranians and other -- charlie: and the gulf countries at the gcc also feel like al jazeera had been on the one hand stirring up things against their own autocratic power. ian: correct. with the exception of al jazeera's treatment of qatar itself, pretty much everything else in the region, if they see something else in the region to criticize, they can. that is not the way saudi news runs. the qataris have seen the muslim brotherhood as the future of the region. even though qatar is a monarchy,
they think long-term the monarchies are not going to work. the future will be more democratic, more religious and national. they have made that bet. the saudis have not. trump has come in and said the saudi bet is the right want to make. so qatar is on the wrong side of this. as you know, they now have a serious relationship, not just with iran doing much better, but also with erdogan's turkey, who has sent troops into qatar to support them. when i was with richard haass earlier today, we were talking about turkey. he said they are a member of nato, but they are not a partner of the united states in nato right now anymore. charlie: how is trump getting a -- along with chancellor merkel? ian: i think of the traditional american allies, the merkel relationship is by far the most challenged.
that is because merkel is the one that is not focused -- you have macron, he's transactional. he invites putin, he invites trump, he can find a way to work with you, disagreeing on climate, but finds a way to work. so far, he has popularity, he's charismatic, everyone is coming to him. that has been positive for the french. in the case of germany, merkel, leaving aside her election -- charlie: and aside from the fact that she loved obama. ian: she had a good personal relationship with obama. clearly the way obama handled snowden shook her. and the listening on the phone. and the fact that when she took refugees, obama didn't help, and
she was personally disappointed -- charlie: rhetorically or any other way. ian: right. i think intellectually and personally they got along very well. charlie: he said to me in an interview in germany that she was the foreign leader he most admired. i said, why? he said temperament. just like it used to be called no drama obama. , she's the same way. ian: let's put it this way. if trump were being honest with us, merkel is probably the foreign leader that trump has the hardest time with and is least comfortable with. charlie: did the poland speech hurt? ian: absolutely. but it was legitimate. it just came out that trump gave a speech, he did not mention the work democracy in the speech once. for poland, this was a masterful
speech. it was nation, it was civilization, it was family. charlie: there's a lot of people who believe the west is being destroyed. ian: and in poland, that plays. that speech was written very well. it was all of the things that are a part of the western judeo thing. charlie: unraveling. ian: right. but none of them have to do with democracy. for merkel, those things are critical. she would argue they are more important than the things trump was bringing up. these are two personality types that if they were on a spectrum,
they would be off the charts. the fact that merkel was under so much pressure to make europe work, get brexit done, now be the leader of the free world, it's not happening. i think this is a really challenging relationship for trump, and it's not going to improve anytime soon. charlie: great to see you. ian bremmer of the eurasia group. back in a moment. stay with us. ♪ >> chris eisgruber is the 20th
president of princeton university. he has held a job for four years after spending the previous nine as the second in command. he is also a supreme court scholar. as president he has tried to , engage princeton university with american society, welcoming navy rotc back campus, and increasing economic diversity. welcome to charlie's table. i want to read something you said it princeton graduation, which was a couple weeks ago. "we live in a time when confidence in our shared institution is ebbing. not only government but business, journalism, nonprofit organizations. it is tempting to complain about our institution's failures but , we need institutions because they enable us to pursue larger purposes together." first, why is confidence in all the institutions ebbing? chris: it is a great question,
david. in the best i can do is so. it is a worldwide trend. there may be different causes in different places. if i look specifically at the united states i think about , political polarization that leads us to disagree systemically with one another, and at times, as an article last week showed, even to dislike one another across political lines. that just pushes the question back at a level. why are we seeing distrust in institutions and one another? i think the growing inequality has something to do with that. perceptions of procedural unfairness have something to do with that. if you read stories about people are not only fabulously wealthy but do not seem to deserve that, or if you see a lot of evidence of corruption in the public sphere, it make you distrust the inequalities. it seems like the game produces unfair outcomes. and that the game may be rigged.
i also think there's another reason, which has a more positive side to it. we are becoming very plural as a society. our institutions are becoming more plural. they are becoming more diverse in terms of the people who are represented. that means some of the old fallbacks that some of us may have in terms of who we trust and who we don't have to be reimagined and reinvented. we have to learn how to work in a society that is more diverse. david: how do you think about what higher education needs to do, both to ensure faith in american society at large, but also higher education? chris: there are a number of answers. it is an important challenge and tough challenge. one of the things we have to do is know what our values are, stand by those values and stand by them so we can build trust in what it is we're doing, to help people understand institutions that sometimes may look different from what we are familiar with.
we have to look critical with ourselves. that is where we are falling down with that regard. you mentioned by bringing the navy rotc back to princeton. i think some of the diversity missing from ivy league institutions has been the diversity that rotc programs bring to our universities. we are fortunate at princeton, we had the army rotc with us throughout a period when it was absent from other ivy league institutions. looking at political diversity more generally on college campuses is going to be important if we are perceived, rightly or wrongly, as blue dots were arguments don't get vigorously engaged. that is a problem in terms of building trust in what we do. i think it's important at places like princeton that we increase socioeconomic diversity of the
student body, which is something i worked very hard on as president. david: i want to get to the economic diversity. let's spend a minute on free speech, which you sort of alluded to. there have been all sorts of incidents recently in which it seems like free speech is under attack. the one at middlebury, violent incident at berkeley and elsewhere. how much is this something that is really a concern, and how much is the campus free speech issue a creation of the fox newses of the world? chris: biggest arguments and free speech are indispensable to high-quality universities. those are issues that all this -- all of us on university campuses take seriously. incidents like the one that middlebury or when heather mcdonald was prevented from speaking at claremont college, those are appalling incidents.
the protest was not physically violent in the way that the one at middlebury was, but she was prevented from speaking. that is inconsistent with what it is we need to stand for as institutions. on the other hand, i do think it is the case that whenever you have an incident like that, understandably, it is reported. when charles murray came to speech at princeton -- there is no reporting on that. when our students at a debate with rick santorum, he complimented the students on their respectful behavior. there is very little reporting on the type of debate. there is exaggeration around the incidences that are taking place on college campuses and i find that our students and faculty and university leadership are dedicated to the importance of free speech on the campus, but these are fundamental values and we have to be attentive to making sure that all people with viewpoints are able to speak on our campuses.
david: that is a new wants to message. it sounds like you are saying that you are a strong believer in free speech and you are bothered by the attacks on free speech, which tend to come from the political left. but at the same time, you think it is not the existential problem that the political right has made it out to be. assessment?ir chris: free speech is in good shape on most campuses and we are having robust, sometimes noisy arguments about things we should have robust arguments. people will point to a protest or to people speaking rudely to one another and say that is a sign of a free speech problem, but that is a lot of speech taking place. the righth protects of protesters to stand up, as long as they are not keeping someone else from speaking. david: do you have concerns that basic values are under more question today, including from younger citizens than in the past?
chris: i am optimistic about our students and the young people in general. i find them inspiring and find that they have an extraordinary commitment to service and a strong sense of democratic values. there are times where you ask the question of what it means to act on those democratic values and how do we express them through the electoral system right now. they are growing up at a time when many of them believe, as do i, that climate change is extraordinarily serious problem that has great urgency for the planet. they are looking at the legislatures and seeing them unable to react to this and seeing deadlock in washington, where there are regular arguments about whether or not
we should authorize our own government to pay its debts. polarization. one reason i spoke about institutions in the way that i did at the commencement address i gave was to try to urge this generation, who i think are very engaged and cynically-minded to have respect for institutions. i have confidence that students understand that free speech is important to a democracy and i think they are struggling with the question of how it is that you operationalize that commitment in a diverse set of surroundings. on the one hand, they want students to feel included and respected and they also understand the importance of vigorous argument. they invited, as the class day speaker somebody who, in her
remarks to them, because we had a lot of tumult on the campus and an occupation of my office, she said that there were uncomfortable discussions on campus and said that whoever said the discussion should be comfortable. picoullet said you have had uncomfortable discussions at this campus, but who said a conversation has to be comfortable? they applauded that statement. there are some who field of they want to be protected from uncomfortable arguments. most of them do not. david: what was the occupation of your office about? chris: it was about the way princeton chose woodrow wilson and the memory of woodrow wilson who is kind of a second founder , of the university. he was not only a princeton alum nus who went on to become the president of the united states and he transformed the university into a great research university. we honor him and we talk about him.
the protesters ask that we take the name of woodrow wilson off of the school of international affairs and the residential college. we convened a trustee committee that consider that issue. we had a campus-wide discussion and a community-wide discussion that involved a lot of input and we came out, saying that we are going to keep that name on both the college and the school of public international affairs. but we are going to change the way about week -- the way we talk about woodrow wilson to recognize both his serious flaws on the issues of race and more generally the aspects of our history that we need to own up to and have not talked enough about. david: is it fair to say that woodrow wilson is a racist? chris: i would say that. i might characterize it differently, but thing i learned is that woodrow wilson re-segregated the civil service as president. it wasn't just that he failed.
he re-segregated. he was a man operating in different times and some historians, and we asked a lettersf them to write and they pointed out he was a moderate on the issue of race at the time he lived. but there are acts that cannot be characterized that way. david: woodrow wilson is a to thexa and segue subject of economic diversity. he went on the campaign to make princeton less elite. he was not in favor of racial favorwas clearly not in of racial diversity or in terms of sex, but he pushed to make princeton feel less like a country club. he failed, but it launched his
political career. chris: it took the university on a trajectory that changed it, including hiring our first catholic. david: and it made the school more academically rigorous. you have made a cousin of the subject integral to your presidency. it is an interesting kind of diversity. it is not the one that often gets talked about. for decades, we have talked about racial, ethnic and religious diversity. we have had conservatives talk about political diversity. but this is different. this is saying, while many campuses have achieved some kind of diversity, the student body has remained remarkably affluent. chris: we look at our numbers and we have a financial aid program that we think of as "best in class" and makes the university of affordable. -- extraordinarily affordable.
we have a great undergraduate education. we had thought if we put those in place we would get socioeconomic diversity in the undergraduate student body. about a dozen years ago we , looked at how we were doing and we found 7% of students were eligible for federal pell grants, that go to the least of -- the least well-off families. david: just to interrupt, it is not just the very poor. pell grant go to the bottom 40% or 50% of the bottom income. you are looking at a in underrepresentation of a factor of six to seven. from our standpoint, that was something we needed to change for a number of different reasons. we wanted to be extraordinary in what we do, seeking talent from every sector of society. if we are going to bridge the divide that exists that we were talking about, we need to bring people together from different
backgrounds. we need to change it because the of a college education at a place like princeton, for a student coming out of a disadvantaged background, it can be transformative in their life and all of the data suggest that. if they have the ability to do the work this can be , transformative to their prospects for the future. david: we have also seen stories. there may not have been many, but one of them was named michelle robinson, now michelle obama. sotoms so to mayor -- ayor. chris: a great example of this. they talk about what a struggle it is to come to princeton and enter this environment that in the 1970's and 1980's, was a very foreign environment. they also talk about the extraordinary impact that had on their lives and the way it set
themselves up for the leadership careers that they pursued. david: the schools like princeton are known for having engaged alumni. you have heard from some alumni who have said, wait a what is second, wrong with the kids that we already have? are you lowering your standards to admit more low income kids? have you heard that? what is your response? chris: we have alumni that are engaged in under -- love the institution and understand that, in order to be faithful to the ideals, it has to change. i talk about what we have done -- and, to finish that story i told earlier -- we have tripled the number of pell candidates on campus. when i talk about that to our alumni, i get some of the biggest applause lines. they understand if we are going a country where if you are talented and hard-working, use -- can succeed regardless of who
your parents were, places like princeton have to take more students from a disadvantaged background. i will get the question you mentioned. i will tell people that we are not lowering standards and we -- in order to take these students. they're are making a huge difference on our campus and beyond our campus after they graduate. the tell them i love all different students we bring to our campus. our trustees want to further expand the student body. i don't think that we can be focused on just one thing. david: and you are able to give more opportunities to more kids, it is not just a percentage. chris: people often talk about it in terms of percentages and i get that. the real question is about how many kids we can educate well and allow to flourish. david: let's spend one minute on your personal history. you have grappled with issues of
diversity and identity and you grew up thinking you were another protestant american and then you discover through one of your son's history projects it was different. chris: my parents sent me to catechism classes. a catholic father. my mother told me she had been born into a german protestant family. only after she died and i was working on a history project with my son, i discovered by looking at online records that she was jewish and i now identify as jewish. once i started putting the pieces together i wondered how , it was possible that this had never occurred to me to explain some questions about the family history that were a bit mysterious or cloudy. when i discovered it, it felt like a missing puzzle piece coming into play. -- place. david: how have you explored it? by reconnecting to a set
of cousins i never knew i had. my mother had cut us off from contact with any relative who might tell the story of her background. i grew up thinking that i had relatively few cousins in this country and found out that i am surrounded by them and i have another set of cousins to whom i am close now in israel that i never knew about. part of what this has done for me, and addition to connecting me to an extraordinary group of people, it has given me another set of resources to draw upon as i try to understand my own ideals and values. as it happens, what i wrote about in constitutional law, more than anything else, was religious freedom and the question of religion and religious identity was always an important one for me, despite the effort to raise me catholic. i grew up thinking myself as a
members of the campaign, including jared kushner and paul manafort. according to emails released by donald trump jr., it was presented as an opportunity to receive damaging information about hillary clinton that would -- could possibly influence the campaign. on friday it was revealed that a russian lobbyist named rinat akhmetshin was also present and he has been described as a former spy who advocates for russian interests in washington. julia yaffe offers a picture of the russian attorney at the center of the story in a new article for atlantic magazine. she joins me from washington. i did not do justice to the russian names that they deserve. let me begin with the question of who was natalia, and why was
she in the meeting? julia: as a veteran russia-watchers said, this is like a real estate lawyer from hoboken showing up in an international scandal. she comes from the moscow region, the suburbs of a military town. very rich and very corrupt with organized crime. that is where she cut her teeth as a state prosecutor and private attorney. clients then brought her to new york. that is why she was in new york. she was not necessarily there to meet with trump junior, but she got a meeting. she was there to defend one of her clients, who was being sued by the now-fired new york attorney, preet bharara. it is complicated, lots of names. she is a hard-nosed, tough, provincial attorney, who is very well-connected to the prosecutor general of russia, who is
mentioned in the donald trump jr. emails as the crown prosecutor of russia. he is the one who want to do the damaging information. charlie: is there skepticism about her and that she had exaggerated her possibilities? julia: nobody had heard of her really in moscow. she is a really obscure figure. she is a real estate attorney, really, who has dealt with fixing problems between the organized crime world and the official russian legal world and the business world. that was her purview. then she got involved in lobbying against the magnitsky act. it is a lot passed in the fall of 2012 sanctioning russian officials involved in the death of lawyer -- a lawyer. charlie: you quoted bill browder, who is talking to us tomorrow, as saying that she was vindictive, ruthless, and unrelenting.
julia: a good russian lawyer. the thing that makes a good russian lawyer is not necessarily what makes a good american lawyer. it is not about how you present you legal arguments or what find in discovery. whos about who you know, you bring the briefcase full of money to, who you are connected to, who your clients are connected to, and that is how the judge determines how he or she will rule. charlie: what led up to this meeting? julia: she was defending a man who is a businessman from russia and is very well connected and his father is a very well-connected businessman in russia and a former regional minister. he was sued by preet bharara for allegedly laundering money that he allegedly stole from bill
browder and laundered in new york real estate. that natalia to new york over and over again. she was granted a visa exception to defend her client. she was also involved in lobbying against the magnitsky act. chairpublican senate chuck grassley filed a complaint in saying that she should be march, investigated, along with , who was at the meeting at trump tower last summer, for lobbying for the russian government but not registering as foreign agents. charlie: how does her description of the meeting -- what does it say and how does it differ from what donald trump jr. says? julia: in some ways, both of their explanations align. if you just look at their descriptions of the meeting, it looks like it was kind of a bait-and-switch.
she got in the door by saying, i have damaging information about your political opponent. let's talk. she gave him information he did not find -- she gives him information he does not find possible or satisfactory. she tries to saint -- change the subject to the magnitsky act and he gets bored and doesn't want to hear about it. you talk to other participants in the meeting like rinat akhmetshin, who said she passed documents to donald trump jr. and jared kushner and paul allegedly detailing illegal payments to the dnc on behalf of hillary clinton. she denies that. there is a lot we don't know about this meeting. charlie: why did jared kushner and paul manafort leave early? julia: i don't know. i think just jared kushner left early.
according to veselnitskaya's description paul manafort was , just looking at his phone and was kind of board. who knows if that is what really happened? so many self-interested people trying to cover their derriers. apparently, nobody thought that this would be a huge deal and it is a huge deal. charlie: where is she now? julia: she is trying to win back the land under the first ikea in moscow. she claims it was fraudulently sold and people are charging her in using another corporate raid. charlie: for someone experienced seeing smoke and fire, what are -- what do you see here? julia: i think we need to know more facts about what happened in the meeting. on one hand, it is plausible
that she went in there to talk about the magnitsky act and pulled a bait and switch, knowing the trump camp wanted to talk about hillary clinton and wanted damaging information. on the other hand, there is the original email where rob goldstone says that the crown prosecutor of russia is -- with closeeselnitskaya is very and she admitted as much, that he has damaging information he wants to pass through to her. we need to know more about what happened in that eating. charlie: assume you are the prosecutor in russia. who would you most likely go to to pass this information? julia: people who are trained in the world of spy craft and counter intelligence? people say she is a possible she does notause
know the full scope of the operation, does not understand what is going on, and thinks she is just doing a small favor, a small thing doesn't see how this , fits into a larger picture. maybe maybe so. , i don't know. i think that there is a lot of speculation and we need more facts. charlie: for those who think that she does have the capabilities of being used in that way are there other , examples of how she has been involved in this kind of activity, representing somebody through one source or another? julia: she has been involved in lobbying against the magnet ski nitsky act. verynd veselnitskaya, patriotic and very pro-putin. she hates russian and american liberals. if you go to her facebook post she is an ardent foe of obama and a supporter of trump.
she was involved in lobbying sky act whichagnit -- the putin see template as a huge blow to the russian government and the elites, because it gets at their reason for being. they steal a lot of money at home and cannot keep it at home because someone might stop -- steal it from them. the sanctions really cut that channel of getting money out of the country. sonlie: you believe the would have done this without telling the president? julia: i very much doubt it. from what we know about donald trump during the campaign, he was very involved micromanaging, especially when it came to smearing his opponents and knowing which attack was made when. charlie: thank you for joining us. good reporting.
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washington. you are watching "bloomberg technology." let's start with a check on your first word news. president trump says the republican party should let obamacare fail, after senate gop leaders failed to gather potential votes necessary to pass the bill. trump says allowing obamacare to collapse would force democrats to the negotiating table. majority leader mitch mcconnell says the senate will vote near future on repealing the health care law. but that an alternative plan that could leave millions without coverage has also -- already seen resistance. is the second setback on the issue in three weeks for mcconnell. minority leader chuck schumer