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  Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  February 14, 2017 4:07pm-4:12pm PST

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to mislead them. >> thank you very much, pamela. "out front," democratic senator jeff markley who sits on the foreign relations committee. thanks for your time. we know the president was briefed on general flynn's discussions with the russians on january 26th. the time line we now know. yet he didn't is ask for flynn's resignation until yesterday, february 13th, when he no longer had the trust, his words, in his adviser. why did it take so long? >> it's very disturbing it took so long because essentially the briefing said your national security adviser is exposed to the potential for russian blackmail, he has lied to your press secretary, he has lied to your vice president, and with that information vuyou would ha thought within an hour michael flynn would have been fired. and he wasn't. but this whole issue raises many more questions than it answers. there's all kinds of questions about the campaigns, contacts with the russians, furthermore
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did really michael flynn by himself have this conversation about sanctions and then the next day russia acts or were there other people involved in this conversation? he's very close to steve bannon. what did bsteve bannon know and when? and so forth for key members of the team. >> so, you know, obviously you heard pamela reporting that general flynn was cooperative during the questioning, that he was open about everything with the fbi, the department of justice. do you think the president at this point is hiding anything? >> i think it's very possible, quite frankly. there's a lot of close connections between the president and russia. there's various reports that need to be examined closely. this is why we need an independent investigation. and because of the potential among members of the administration to have engaged in really what is criminal conduct, we should have this special prosecutor take this on. >> when you say i think it's very possible, do you have any
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sense of what we're talking about? obviously our chujim sciutto, e perez have confirmed that the intelligence officials have cob crated some elements of that russian dossier, although we don't know which ones. when you say it's possible he is hiding something, what are you referring to? >> i was referring to the negotiations taking place between civilians before the transition had occurred to president trump with a foreign power to change that foreign power's action and to undermine the policies of the united states of america. >> so trump as you know on that line said he didn't know flynn discussed sanctions with the russian ambassador. but the day after flynn's phone call with the ambassador, trump congratulated putin on not retail year to dating to president obama's sanctions demand a tweet said, great move on delay by the putin -- i always knew he was very smart. the dates on here, the phone call with general flynn and the russian ambassador december 29th, trump's tweet december 30th. the president said he did not
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know flynn discussed sanctions with the russians. when you take that time line, does it add up to you? >> it doesn't add up to me. it's possible it's all just a coincidence, but it fits into a pattern of communication with the russians about doing things that really went against the obama team's sanctions regarding russia. the president has talked about how much he admires putin, how much of a buddy he is, how much he doesn't like the sanctions, and all of this amounts to -- it sound very likely there were more conversations than just michael flynn by himself making that phone call. now, i'm not asserting that we know for sure because we don't. all i'm saying is that this really merits an independent investigation. it's not an investigation that should take place by jeff sessions. jeff sessions too tied to the campaign, too tied to the president, needs to be an independent or a special prosecutor. >> donald trump says that this is not the issue, okay. today he went on twitter, senator, saying the real story here is why are there so many
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illegal leaks coming out of washington? will these leaks be happening as i deal on north korea, et cetera? is it possible he's right, that it's leaks that are a the real story here? >> well, every time there's a serious question regarding his policies he's trying to change the story line to something else. this is about substantive issues of civilians negotiating with a hostile -- i won't say necessarily enemy but a hostile foreign power with which we have deep differences, and that is -- we need to keep our eyes focused on that and not allow ourselves to be distracted by middle of the night tweets or pursuing a leak. this is very serious independent of any leaks. it is concerning, by the way. there is a tie-in here, which is they shouldn't have taken public awareness in order to force the president to act on something as egregious as your national security adviser has lied and he
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is exposed to potential russian blackmail. >> a