tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN October 13, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
and threatens lawsuits as his poll numbers fall and his campaign reels. can trump pull out of this downward spiral? this is not normal. michelle obama expresses disgust at trump's recorded boasts of groping women. the first lady uses words like disgraceful and intolerable and beneath human decency, her voice shaking at times. retaliation. the u.s. launches missiles at iranian backed rebels who fired on american warships. the pentagon is warning it's ready to answer further provocation and up the ante. is iran directly involved? coordinated release. cnn is learning new information about evidence of a russian role in a wikileaks revelation of clinton campaign e-mails. a state backed russian website published the latest stolen documents before wikileaks. did russia tip its hand? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
♪ this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following breaking news. dramatic new twists in this unprecedented presidential race. donald trump reacting to a series of new allegations that he forced himself on women. the embattled gop nominee is denying the stories as "fabricated, pure fiction and outright lies." and michelle obama's reaction to the recording of trump bragging about groping women. the first lady smoke emotionally saying trump's words have shaken her. she calls trump "a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior." more breaking news. cnn's jim sciutto is learning new information from his sources about russia allegedly using wikileaks to make public stolen
e-mails pertaining to the u.s. election. today, wikileaks published almost 2,000 more e-mails stolen from john podesta. in a possible sign of collusion, a state backed russian website published a story on them before wikileaks posted them. we're covering all that, with our guests, and our correspondents and analysts are standing by. sara murray has the very latest. these new allegations about trump appear in "the new york times," a florida newspaper, and "people" magazine. what's the latest? >> reporter: the latest, wolf, is that donald trump has spent a lot of his day on the campaign trail seething over these allegations and doing what donald trump does, he's punching back, denying that he ever sexually assaulted anyone, and seeking to undermine the credibility of his accusers. >> these vicious claims about me
of inappropriate conduct with women are totally and absolutely false. >> reporter: with less than four weeks until election day, donald trump is adamantly denying allegations of sexual assault that are emerging from multiple women across the country. >> these claims are all fabricated. they're pure fiction and outright lies. these events never, ever happened. >> reporter: at the presidential debate, donald trump insisted his vulgar comments about sexually assaulting women were only words. >> have you ever done those things? >> i will tell you no, i have not. >> reporter: but now, women are stepping up to allege that trump did, in fact, do the very things he boasted about. one woman saying, trump groped her on a plane more than three decades ago. >> he was like an octopus. it was like he had six arms.
he was all over the place. >> reporter: while another alleges that she introduced herself to trump in 2005, and he suddenly started kissing her on the cheeks and on the mouth. and a reporter for "people" magazine, assigned to write a story about donald and millenia's first anniversary in 2005, writes when melania went to change outfits, trump offered her a tour, during which he pinned her against a wall, "forcing his tongue down my threat," telling her, you know we're going to have an affair. >> when you're a star, they let you do it. you can do anything. >> reporter: amid the revelations, trump is fighting back. his lawyers calling for a retraction of "the new york times" story, and threatening to sue. "the times" has declined, saying any harm to trump's reputation was brought on by trump's own
words. as trump attacks the credibility of his accusers today from the campaign trail. >> these people are horrible people. they're horrible, horrible liars. >> reporter: the gop nominee reserving some of his harshest criticism for the "people" magazine reporter. >> why wasn't it part of the story that appeared 12 years ago? that would have been one of the biggest stories oh of the year. >> reporter: even seeming to suggest the reporter was not attractive enough to sexually assault. >> you take a look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think. i don't think so. >> reporter: trump's approach comes as he and top aides have argued the women who accused bill clinton of sexual assault in the '90s deserve the benefit of the doubt. >> bill clinton was the worst abuser of women ever to sit in the oval office. >> reporter: in yet another side of the trump campaign struggles, a source confirms they're pulling out of the state of
virginia. even as donald trump is grappling with these allegations of sexual assault, his campaign is sticking by their strategy of bringing up bill clinton's accusers and trying to use those against hillary clinton. one top adviser tells me "this is war." wolf? >> sara, thank you very much. let's get more on michelle obama and her denunciation of donald trump. jeff zeleny is work thing part of the story. her voice was literally shaking with emotion at times during her speech. >> reporter: wolf, it was as personal and pointed of a political speech that we've heard from michelle obama. an empassioned plea why she believes people should pay attention to this campaign, no matter how offensive they may find it. she called donald trump's language disgraceful, intolerable, regardless of which party you belong to. >> i can't stop thinking about
this. it has shaken me to my core in a way that i couldn't have predicted. >> reporter: michelle obama delivering a blistering rebuke of donald trump. >> it would be dishonest and disingenuous to me to just move on to the next thing like this was all just a bad dream. this is not something that we can ignore. it's not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. >> reporter: she's weighing in with a pointed and personal denunciation of trump. a call to arms for women, men, and she said, basic human decency. >> we all know that if we let hillary's opponent win this election, then we are sending a clear message to our kids that everything they're seeing and hearing is perfectly okay. we are validating it. >> reporter: a coordinated message with hillary clinton. >> i hope you will see michelle obama's speech today.
once again, she not only made a compelling and strong case about the stakes in the election, but about who we are as americans. >> reporter: in their fight to hold the white house, democrats believe mrs. obama offers the most compelling argument for clinton, speaking from the moral high ground or what's left of it in american politics. she's wading in deeper than ever before, and far further than she intended to in this campaign. aides tell cnn she was disgusted by trump's words from a decade ago. revealed on a tape last week. >> too many are treating this as just another day's headline. as if our outrage is overblown or unwarranted. as if this is normal. this is politics as usual. this is disgraceful. it is intolerable. and it doesn't matter what party you belong to. >> reporter: the trump campaign
says it plans to make bill clinton's sex scandals a bigger issue in this campaign. appearing on "the view" today, tim kaine said the former president isn't running. >> hillary clinton and donald trump are the two on the ballot. that's the relevant comparison. >> reporter: all this as hacked e-mails from the clinton campaign continue to muddy the waters. portraying the pain staking calculations behind nearly every move. even sending out a tweet signed by hillary clinton herself. about language she should use. in the fight to raise the minimum wage, jennifer palmeri writing, if we swet doesn't see it. clinton's path to 270 electoral votes is widening. polls show she has a growing command of the race in battlegrounds.
but democrats are worried about complacency. >> we cannot allows ourselves to be so disgusted that we just shut off the tv and walk away. because remember this, when they go low, we go -- >> high! >> yes, we do. >> reporter: complacency and contempt for the tone of this campaign, that's what worries clinton's advisers the most. they fear some voters will be turned off by the whole process. so deploying michelle obama is one of the ways democrats hope to stop trump with a victory. at a fund-raising event in san francisco, secretary clinton says she knows voters want to turn off the news. she urged them to wait four more weeks. >> jeff, thanks very much. let's get more on all of this. trump supporter, former republican congressman pete huckstra of michigan is joining us right now. thank you very much for joining us. >> good to be with you, wolf. thank you. >> so donald trump today completely denied all these
accusations against them leveled by these women. do you believe him? >> yeah, i take mr. trump at his word. you know, these are unsubstantiated allegations against donald trump when he was a private citizen, some a decade ago, some 30 years ago. absolutely. >> so trump himself described almost exactly the behavior these women are reporting in that 2005 access hollywood videotape. he talked about unwanted kissing, unwanted groping. listen to the accounts. >> well, he was grabbing my breasts and trying to turn me towards him and kissing me and then after a bit, that's when his hands started going -- i was wearing a skirt, and his hands started going towards my knee and up my skirt. that's when i said, i don't need this. and i got up. >> when you're a star, they let
you do it. you can do anything. grab them by the pussy. you can do anything. >> all 50 contestants are in one room. it was announced donald trump was going to come in. before he could put a robe or dress yourself, he walked in and, you know, some women were half naked, others were in the process of changing. >> i'll go backstage before a show and everyone is getting dressed and everything else. i'm allowed to go in because oil the evener and therefore i'm "inspecting it." is everybody okay? and you see these incredible looking women. so i get away with things like that. >> i'm telling you, donald trump owned the pageant for the reasons he utilized his power to get around beautiful women. >> so congressman, how can you doubt these women's accounts when we know trump himself bragged about this kind of behavior? >> you know, wolf, the language that's going on, the actions, you know, i don't necessarily give these a lot of credit or a
lot of merit. they're a long ways -- we're a long ways past them. you know, this campaign needs to be not about the clintons -- i'm very familiar with the clintons. it's well documented what they did in public office and how they abused their roles in public office and what they may also have abused while hillary clinton was secretary of state. these are other allegations going against a private citizen. it's time for the media, in all honesty, to focus on what the real issues are that the american people care about. how do we bring about a sluggish economy? how do we -- >> congressman, let me interrupt. why does it matter if he did these things as a private citizen opposed to a government official or a politician? what's the difference between doing it as a private citizen or a member of congress? >> well, i'll tell you, when you are in public office, you are held -- and that has
consistently been -- the media has consistently tried and i agree, you're held to a different standard. you go into public office, recognizing that you are elected. in my case, i'm representing 700,000 people, a portion of whom have said we want pete as our congressman and in bill clinton's case, we want you as president of the united states. as secretary of state, hillary clinton. you have a moral obligation to the people who elected you and wearing a pin that says, i am an official representative of the united states here in america, and when i travel overseas. there is a tremendous responsibility that comes with holding public office and having -- and being entrusted with that. >> so you hold donald trump to a lower standard if he did these things as a private citizen opposed to someone running for president? shouldn't he be held to a high moral standard whether you're a
private citizen or running for president of the united states? >> the standard for a public official is very, very different than what you have as a private individual. donald trump, it appears -- there's been no allegations that anywhere through this process has he done anything that, you know, where he's broken the law, there's not been charges brought against him or anything like that. wolf, we're talking about unsubstantiated charges from decades ago. i can't quite understand why the media continues to be fixated on this, and where there's -- >> it's not just the media, it's donald trump himself, and i listened carefully to his whole speech earlier today in florida. he spoke for about 40 minutes. he spoke for 30 minutes about this. he didn't speak about the substantive issues, the national security issues. he spoke about this, really railing against these women, railing against bill clinton and
hillary clinton for that matter. here's a question, congressman. i've known you for a long time. why should people believe bill clinton's accusers and not donald trump's accusers? >> because the pattern of behavior for bill clinton demonstrates a consistency that provides some credibility. but again, that's -- >> but don't the audiotapes, the exchange he had with billy bush in that access hollywood bust that we've all watched now so many times, doesn't that indicate that he was bragging about doing exactly what these women are accusing him of doing? >> you'll laugh, it's kind of like, excuse me, that is locker room talk. wolf, you were around in the '90s when we actually went through and where bill clinton went through a process of lying to congress and the american people about exactly what he was involved with while he was president of the united states
of america. >> and he was impeached, and we all remember. i was then cnn senior white house correspondent. i remember in 1998, 1999 just as well as you remember all those stories. in 1998, by the way, donald trump dismissed the stories of bill clinton's accusers because he said they were an unattractive group. today, trump implied one of his accusers wasn't attractive enough for him to sexually assault. he said, look at her. why is he attacking women's appearances to discredit her? >> i think he was talking about her words. i haven't seen the clips. the interesting thing in the '90s, they said oh, well, of course he's still qualified to be president, even though he engaged in that type of activity. even though he lied about it to congress and he lied about it to
the american people. and i didn't see a -- the moral outrage in the coordinated attacks -- >> i've got to take a break. there was plenty of outrage, i remember it very vividly. he was impeached by the house of representatives and acquitted by the u.s. senate. but he paid a severe price for all of those actions back in the '90s. it sounds to me like you believe that even if trump did what these women are accusing, it would be okay with you. >> no, it would not be okay. wolf, i never said that. let's not start twisting words. i'm saying that these are unsubstantiated allegations. but no, i've never said that behavior is appropriate. >> if it were proven that these women are telling the truth, would you still support him? >> the bottom line is, on january 20, either hillary clinton or donald trump is going to be sworn in as president of
the united states. and when i take a look at the policies, whether it's the economic policies, the national security policy, immigration, the person and the platform that supports the mechanisms or the policies that i want in place for america's future are those that are embraced and supported by donald trump. >> so even if it were confirmed that he did these deeds, you would still support him? a simple yes or no. >> no, no, it's not a yes or no. it's a hypothetical. what am guying to learn from the wikileaks from hillary clinton over the next 27 days? would i believe under her efforts and her role this the state department she supplied and facilitated the supply of weapons to isis or the groups that evolved into isis in libya and syria and those types of things? once that's confirmed, how will other people at that point in time, will they still support
hillary clinton? these are hypotheticals, wolf, that at this point in time don't deserve an answer, because we may get more information on donald trump and we'll probably get a lot more information on hillary clinton. >> we'll go through some of those issues in a moment. stay with us. we'll continue our conversation right after a quick break. i've never been #1 in anything until i put these babies on. now we're on a winning streak and i'm never taking them off. do i know where i'm going? absolutely. we're going to the playoff. allstate guarantees your rates won't go up just because of an accident. starting the day you sign up. so get accident forgiveness from allstate. and be better protected from mayhem, like me.
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you now hear the director of national jeintelligence, all hi ranking officials say russia is definitely behind these string of cyber attacks on democratic party organizations. trump has been told this in his classified briefings. what does it say to you that trump keeps defending russia in public, saying other people could have been behind these cyber attacks? >> well, there's a number of people who could potentially be involved in this process. you know, we always looked at the threats as russia being a primary threat for getting information and hacking. iran, china, and self-independent hackers. i've not been a part of those briefings to mr. trump or ms. clinton, so i'm not sure what they're being told there. so it may be russia.
if the reports are out that it's russia and this is who the director of national intelligence says it is, they're probably saying -- they're probably accurate. >> but trump doesn't seem to buy it. if the director of national intelligence and the director of cia and other officials were to say to you when you were chairman of the house intelligence committee, here's what we know. they take you into a closed door room, they brief you and tell you here's what it is, do you believe them or not necessarily believe them? >> typically, we believe them. and they usually give you some degree of confidence, especially when it comes into hacking. because it's very, very difficult to go through the process and go through the different back doors and trap doors that these hackers may have in place, and usually they're saying we believe that with a 60% or 70% degree of certainty, we think we can trace this back to -- >> what if they say they have
100% certainty? >> i don't think in the whole time that i was chairman of the intelligence committee or the ranking republican dealing and we were briefed on hacking, i don't think i ever had an assurance of we are 100% certain that this came from the russians, from the chinese, or from the iranians. >> because in a public statement, they released the other day last week, they said there's no doubt they were saying it is russia who is doing these cyber attacks against the democratic party and democrats in general. and the assumption is, that's because they want to hurt hillary clinton's chances and see donald trump get elected. do you buy that? >> i find that very difficult to believe. number one, i don't know the relationship between putin and hillary clinton. maybe there is such a broken relationship and maybe putin really does hate hillary clinton and doesn't want her in the white house. but when you take a look at the
success that russia has had over the last 7 1/2 years, the success that they've had in kind of reshaping their influence in europe, the success that they've had, especially in the middle east, you know, they're now a dominant player with iran. they're a dominant player in syria. egypt, which seven, eight years ago was a strong ally of the united states, within the past week, they're voting with russia in the security council. so when it comes to policy, russia has had its day. they've not seen this kind of success in a long time. so in that way, you would say i think they would like hillary clinton as president. >> one of their top advisers said publicly they think if hillary clinton is elected, there will be war. >> that could very much be a personal thing. >> congressman pete hoekstra, we'll have many opportunities to continue this conversation.
thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. the breaking news continues here on cnn, with more of michelle obama's personal, very passionate denunciation of donald trump. we'll hear the first lady in her own words. >> a 6-year-old knows that this is not how adults behave. this is not how decent human beings behave, and certainly not how someone who wants to be president of the united states behaves. who says i shouldn't have a soda everyday? my doctor. my dentist. definitely my wife. wait, i know what i want. make sparkling water at home.
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we're following breaking words, including michelle obama's remarks about donald trump. without mentioning him by name, the first lady said the recording of trump's bragging about groping women has "shaken me to my core." listen to what else she said at a rally for hillary clinton in new hampshire. >> while i would love nothing more than to pretend like this isn't happening, and to come out here and do my normal campaign speech, it would be dishonest and disingenuous to me for me to move on to the next thing like this was all just a bad dream. this is not something we can ignore. it's not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. because this was not just a lewd conversation. this wasn't just locker room banter. this was a powerful individual
speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior. and actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us were worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the tv. to make matters worse, it now seemed very clear that this isn't an isolated incident. it's one of countless examples of how she's treated women his whole life. i have to tell you, i listen to all of this, and i feel it so personally. and i'm sure that many of you do too, particularly the women. the shameful comments about our bodies. the disrespect of our ambitions and intellect. the belief that you can do anything you want to a woman. it is cruel. it's frightening. and the truth is, it hurts. it hurts.
it's like that sick, sinking feeling you get when you're walking down the street minding your own business, and some guy yells out vulgar words about your body or when you see that guy at work that stands just a little too close, stairs a little too long and makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. it's that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them or forced himself on them and they said no, but he didn't listen. something that we know happens on college campuses and countless other places every single day. or maybe we don't want to believe there's still people out there who think so little of us as women. too many are treating this as just another day's headline. as if our outrage is overblown or unwarranted.
as if this is normal. just politics as usual. but new hampshire, yeah, be clear. this is not normal. this is not politics as usual. this is disgraceful. it is intolerable. and it doesn't matter what party you belong to. democrat, republican, independent, no woman deserves to be treated this way. none of us deserves this kind of abuse. >> very powerful statement from the first lady of the united states. gloria, donald trump feels comfortable attacking almost everyone. but it would be very risky for him to start attacking the first lady of the united states. i assume that makes her an incredibly important asset for hillary clinton right now. >> first of all, her popularity is 58% or 60%.
donald trump's approval rating is half of that, number one. number two, i was told by a senior clinton adviser today that michelle obama told them she wanted to do this, because she was so personally affected by that videotape, and they said go right ahead. but you can tell from hearing michelle obama that this -- these are her words, her thoughts. she said she was affected to the core about this and will continue talking about this. the third thing, it just strikes me, in many ways she is an amazing surrogate, as we know. but she is also able to talk about things that hillary clinton isn't. hillary clinton, ironically, the first woman presidential nominee in this country, can't talk about this stuff at the personal level the way michelle obama can, because there's all that bill clinton stuff out there. and she doesn't want to go there, and she needs to stay on
a higher plane because she's the candidate. but michelle obama can take it on directly and talk to women voters directly. ironically in a way that maybe hillary clinton can't. and that only helps hillary clinton. >> rebecca, donald trump strongly denied the accusations. all the accusations against him of sexual abuse that have been leveled over the last few days but really went after that reporter for "people" magazine who wrote this article now saying that trump forced himself on her at his estate in palm beach. listen to what trump said today. >> take a look, you take a look, look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think. i don't think so. i don't think so. >> so when he said "you take a look, look at her," the suggestion is, she's not attractive enough for him to make such a move. and that has generated a lot of commotion today. >> understandably, right?
because that is not much of a defense at all. if donald trump is going to move past this controversy, he's going to have to take this much more seriously. and it was just a few days ago that his campaign manager kellyanne conway retweeted hillary clinton's tweet that every woman's sexual assault claims should be taken seriously. so the candidate himself is just kind of reinforcing these doubts that women already have about them. >> he also asked why didn't these women come forward earlier? why are they waiting until now? that was his question he asked in his speech. but as a lot of experts know, these women are scared, they're afraid to come forward, especially when there is such a powerful man. >> that's exactly right. the writer for "people" magazine in her personal account of what happened, she went over that detail. she explained why she waited. she mentioned that she tried to kill the story at the time
because she felt so uncomfortable writing it. didn't ultimately do that. but when you take on a powerful person like donald trump with accusations such as these, you are one person against his huge platform. it makes perfect sense why one woman would not have wanted to level those charges and been at the center of a huge controversy. >> he also says there's a huge conspiracy going on between the media and the clinton campaign that's why all of this is coming forward right now. >> wolf, donald trump and his surrogates want voters, want the media to catch ahold of this idea that there is a vast left wing conspiracy against him, you know, at the 11th hour in this election. the problem is, voters have heard the audio, they've heard all of these women come forward and give their testimony on camera to "the new york times," to "the washington post." it's -- people can make up their own minds and they don't have to take donald trump's word for it.
>> and jeffrey, trump has now threatened a lawsuit against "the new york times," for example, other media outlets who go forward and publish these accusations. is that really serious right now? or is it as a lot of people anticipate, sort of a campaign of intimidation against other women coming forward? >> you know, wolf, i try to be cautious about legal situations, you know, explaining the possibilities for both sides. the chance of donald trump winning a libel suit against "the new york times" for its report yesterday is zero. it is absolutely zero. there is no chance he could win. he's a public figure. "the times" offered him the chance for comment. they were rigorous in their reporting. the libel laws are completely clear that he couldn't possibly win a lawsuit. it is, in part, an attempt to get us to talk about this issue
opposed to talking about his conduct. and it is also, as you point out, an attempt to intimidate other women who may come forward and, come on, these reports that we have heard that are 30 years apart, is it conceivable we've heard from all the women? i mean, come on. >> here's "the new york times" response to trump's lawsuit threat. nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that mr. trump through his own words and actions has already created for himself. if he believes that american citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would dare to criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court hear the case. david, your reaction? >> the lawyer is saying, we're
not afraid of you, donald trump. bring it on. >> they're making another point, wolf. they're making another point in that letter. they're not just saying, you know, our report is accurate. they're saying, donald trump, your reputation is so awful already that we couldn't possibly libel you. and that may be true. >> when trump says of these women they are slanderrers,fabr outright lies, can they sue him? >> i suppose technically they could. these women were reluctant to come forward. the haslast thing they want to is get involved in suing donald trump. no one likes to be involved in legal proceedings.
i think they want to let their comments stand for themselves. i don't think it would be appropriate for them to sue him. but it's bad enough as it is. >> this is donald trump's m.o. he threatens legal action as a way to intimidate people, and also goes through with legal action as a way to effectively harass people, and then whether they settle or they don't settle, it doesn't matter, because he's got the resources to do it. whereas the other people very often don't. >> more on the breaking news -- >> and then -- >> jeffrey, don't go too far away. >> i was just going to say then trump doesn't pay his lawyers. russia allegedly feeding stolen e-mails from the clinton campaign and others to wikileaks. we're getting new information. stand by. food have?our dog 18%? 20? nutrient-dense purina one true instinct with real salmon and tuna has 30% protein. support your active dog's whole body health
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united states has retaliated against iranian backed rebels in yemen who nierd on american warships. barbara starr is working the story. what have you learned. >> reporter: tonight the pentagon is insisting it is not getting more involved in this civil war in yemen but if navy ships duet attacked again, all of that could change. so far no response from houthi
rebels after the u.s. targeted. after being shot at twice in four days. >> we will respond if our forszs come under fire. >> the u.s. is not saying if there is intelligence showing direct iranian involvement in the attacks. teher teheran. >> should we see a repeat we'll be prepared to take appropriate action again at the appropriate time. >> reporter: if there is further provocation u.s. officials say the next round of potential targets could include rebel missile sights and small boats serving as spotters. this time the missiles were fairly old but have been outfitted with highly lethal warhead, the kind al qaeda and iran know how to make. >> it would be a very serious charge if the iranians were in
anyway complicit against conducting the attacks against the u.s. destroyer. >> the first rebel strikes came sunday and then another attempted missile attack on wednesday. in both attacks the u.s.s. mason fired defensive weapons. the u.s. ships were not struck and there were no injuries but the pentagon wants to take out the sites. and the destroyer fired missiles into three remote areas in yemen where the coastal radars had been used to threaten the mason and other nearby ships. after the strike drones returned to ensure the radars were destroyed. and those iranian backed rebels tonight are insisting that they had nothing to do with the attacks on the u.s. navy. >> barbara starr. important report from the pentag pentagon. thanks very much.
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breaking news b tonight in the theft of the thousands of e-mails stolen from the clinton campaign. our chief national security correspondent jim shoe tciutto the details. >> reporter: suggests that moscow is at least providing the information or could be directly responsible for the leaks. tonight there is growing evidence that russia is using wikileaks as a delivery vehicle for hacked e-mails and other information. u.s. officials with knowledge of the investigation tell cnn the method of the disclosures quote,
suggest moscow has at least provided the information or is possibly directly responsible for the leaks said one official. asked about ties between wikileaks and russia the director of the cia john brennan told cnn. >> i think the government has announced there are concerns that there are some efforts to try to interfere in the electoral process. >> cnn attempted to we've wikileaks for comment blue received no response. they have previously denied any connection or cooperation with russia. today reports that russian-backed state --.com reported a story on john podesta before wikileaks posted them. wikileaks responded on twitter saying no they didn't. russia is dismissing accusations outright that they are behind the hacks on democratic party officials or u.s. state voting
systems. the white house says it is now planning a proportional response, a response that russia is seemingly dismissing. >> if they decided to do something, let them do it. but to say that russia is interfering in the united states domestic matters is ridiculous. >> so far more than 20 states have experienced attempted hacks on their voter databases. but u.s. officials are emphasizing that the u.s. voting system is strong enough and decentralized enough to prevent hackers from effecting the election's outcome. >> the electoral infrastructure is very diversified because it is state-owned and operated. so the ability of foreign actors to get into the system and try to do something that is going to have nationwide implications is very very remote. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence is still investigates the degree of the connection between russia and wikileaks and it has not reached the level of confidence it has in its assessment that russia is behind the hacks
themselves. wolf. jim sciutto reporting for us. thanks very much. that is it for me. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. next breaking news. donald trump lye this hour fighting back, ranting, calling the sexual assault allegations lies. can he recovery. and ivanka trump on the campaign trail, can she defend her father? and more trump on tape tonight. his words coming back to haubt him. you will hear the tapes. let's go orth.nt him. you will hear the tapes. let's go orth. -- "outfront." i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight the breaking news. trump on fire. donald trump with a long, angry tirade firing back, ranting against charges of sexual assault blaming everyone from the clintons to the