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tv   New Day  CNN  February 15, 2017 4:00am-5:01am PST

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>> good morning, we following break news for you and there's another bombshell for the trump white house. multiple sources tell cnn that several high level advise sors to the president repeatedly make contact during the presidential campaign. the pressing secretary said he knew of nothing that would make this true. among the discussions is paul manifort that also says this is untrue and now michael flynn that's never claimed he has done anything wrong. all this as the cloud of russia hangs over the trump administration. this is the 27th day of the presidency. let's begin our coverage with jim live in washington. you're on of the of this story
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an the facts don't follow what's coming out of the white house. >> no question, chris. these are the two headlines from our reporting this morning. what alarmed u.s. intelligence and law enforcement officials, one, the frequency of contact described to us as constant communication between the trump campaign and russian officials during the campaign, this is last summer in the midst of russian interference in the election, that timing important and two, how high level the trump advise sors were. very close proximity to the president. the highest and the most senior advisors. both raising red flags with u.s. investigators. >> multiple sources tell cnn that senior advisors to donald trump were in constant communication with russian officials during the 2016
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campaign they include paul manifort and michael flynn. they were both breeiefed on details according to officials familiar with the matter. he told cnn that he was not in contact with russian officials during the campaign calling the allegations boggling and noting the fbi has not contacted him. asked about possible contacts between trump advisers and russia, sean spicer gave this answer on tuesday. >> nothing that would conclude to me that anything different has changed with respect to the time period. >> but u.s. officials say the timing of the communications was alarming. calls taking place while russian hackers were targeting u.s. political organizations with cyberattacks meant to undermine
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the election. >> russia, if you're listening i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> paul addressed those concerns in july. >> it's just absurd. >> i don't know anything about what you just said. you know it. if you do, you should expose it. i don't know what you're talk about. it's crazy. the fact that we're having this conversation is the wrong conversation. >> reports of contact between them and trump's team before the election are not based on any facts. >> well, tomorrow the new secretary of state is going to meet with his counter part in russia. the russian foreign minister in germany at a security conference. a great deal for them to talk about including new provocations from russia testing a new cruise missile, a russian spy ship off the coast of delaware. a lot going on right now, chris. >> especially when it's supposed to be a renewed friendly period
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according to the trump administration. thank you very much. the fau out from mike flynn's resignation as national security advisor is become a true crisis for the white house president president trump knew flynn mislead his administration for weeks at least. so why was vice president mike pence out of the loop until supposedly the last week? cnn senior washington correspondent live at the white house with more. >> good morning, chris. ties to russia. the big question here and new calls for new investigations all part of the equation. the white house trying to figure out what's going to happen next. >> the evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation is what lead the president to ask for general flynn's resignation. >> key republicans now joining democrats demanding
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investigation into ties to russia. >> we have no idea why flynn was doing this and trying desperately to help russia. he's not going to get off that easy. we need answers to a whole lot of questions. >> already looking at russian involvement. it's highly like like they want to take a look at this. >> the president knew for weeks about flynn's calls with russia. on january 26th, the justice department first warning the white house council that intercepted calls show that flynn misled them. lying about discussing sanctions with a russian ambassador making him vulnerable to blackmail. that same day the white house says the president was briefed. >> the president from day one from minute one was unbelievably decisive in asking for and demanding his white house council and team review the situation. >> but the president waited 18 days to demand flynn's resignation and kept vice president pence in the dark the entire time the left wing was investigating flynn's account.
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flynn's call to the russian ambassador happened on the same day president obama announced new sanctions against russia for their cyberattacks attempting to influence the u.s. election. weeks later vice president elect pence went on national tv defending flynn and denying that he discussed sanctions with a russian ambassador. >> the conversations that took place at that time were not in anyway related to u.s. sanctions against russia. >> the vice president only finding out that flynn mislead him last week after an explosive washington post report uncovered the truth. two weeks after president trump first learned of it. before re-signing, flynn spoke to the conservative website the daily caller insisting he crossed no lines in his dealings with russia and raising questions about who may have leaked details of his call. president trump's only public comments on the fire storm this week, a tweet. the real story here is why there
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are so many illegal leaks comig out of washington. will these leaks be happening as i deal on north korea, et cetera. >> the continuing swirl over russia has the potential to be a real distraction today as israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu comes to a white house with a meeting for the president. allison. >> thank you. let's discuss this with republican congressman, steve king of iowa. he's a member of the house judiciary committee. good morning congressman. >> good morning allison. >> what do you make of the reporting by the new york times and cnn this morning that many high level trump advisors during the campaign were having regular communication and contact with russian operatives. >> this is a very complex issue
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put together by leakers from the intelligence community. they're likely in violation of 798. >> sounds like you think the issue is the leaking not the constant contact with russian operatives. >> i'd like to see some evidence. there's some substance but we have to have facts to work with here. what troubles me here is its clear that there's people within the intelligence community that disagree with president trump. that don't want to see his administration succeed. that's part of the configuration of these time leaks that came out and general flynn has been subject to a political assassination regardless of what he did or didn't say to vice president trump or fence.
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>> so you don't think it was right he needed to be let go after having conversations about sanctions with the russian ambassador. >> we don't know the extent of the conversations but it came to a place where the change needed to be made and the intelligence communication leaked this information, what happens to our ability as a nation? we're at great risk if we have these with this low level of integrity that are leaking information out to move their agenda. why didn't they take it to president trump and pence. >> do you believe the
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intelligence officials are lying. >> i don't know. even general flynn wasn't allowed to read the transcript. i'd like to read that and understand it. and to the extent that he is asked by the ambassador, general flynn would have answered that's something we can look at. it's an appropriate thing to deal with foreign policy in that fashion and lay the foundation to be effective when you're sworn in. >> are you troubled about the idea it was beyond mike flynn and there were other top level advisors that were also communicating regularly at the
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same time and did president trump seem to be using mild language about vladimir putin. >> i'm concerned and it's worth looking into. we don't know who these officials are that illegally leaked this information to the press so i don't know the level of the communications and we don't have any real facts. and filling in. >> and investigate michael flynn. >> we have a committee set up.
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and take a look at this. >> do you want to know what michael flynn actually said in those exchange with the russian ambassador? >> if the select committee on intelligence looks at the leaks they will be able to look at the substance and that will be the transcripts of the calls and i'm hopeful it will go back to midsummer if it needs to. that's a useful thing to do and in the process of this we need to find out who the leaking moles are for violating federal law because we can't function if that we have that spillage coming out of the community. >> i'm reading this for the first time that you'll be
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hearing it. the russian connection is merely an attempt to cover up the many mistakes made in hillary clinton's losing campaign. >> well, that's tempting for me to take that bait this morning but that's a justice department. >> but what does hillary clinton's campaign have to do with michael flynn talking to the russian ambassador in a way that violates the law? >> it's a cnn narrative that the allegations that the russians were trying to influence the election. >> cnn didn't invent this as you know there's a score of intelligence agencies, 17 of them that concluded that russia
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had hacked and meddled in our election. >> there was descent among that and furthermore i sat in on that classified briefing and they divulged not one fact but only their opinions. >> you don't believe it. >> just so that i'm clear you don't believe russia meddled. >> i don't know. i don't know whether they did or not. obviously now they're opinions of people in the intelligence community that are the direct enmist of donald trump and don't want to see him succeed and the obama administration. not to mention who used to be there too.
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>> that would be nice if it were pack jed up that way. the democrats aren't going to let us do that. they smell blood in the water and they're going to keep beating the drum until there's another drum that beats louder than this one. >> it's not just the democrats. they say yes congress needs to look into this it. >> you heard me say it the collect committee should and we start with the facts and trace our way into this but, you know, i noticed that as quick as the democrats were to jump on this they weren't troubled by susan rice coming on five networks and telling us something that wasn't true and that's a big whopper. >> is it? is it? because susan rice and michael flynn shared the same position and she went on and said
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something erroneous about what started benghazi but didn't have a phone conversation with an al qaeda connect group in which she may have told them don't worry when we get into the white house everything will be fine for you. he had a phone conversation with a russian ambassador in which people believe he discussed easing sanctions. >> you said an al qaeda connected group. are you asserting that the russian ambassador is somehow affiliated or connected with al qaeda? >> no i'm saying you're using benghazi as an analogy. she went on the sunday shows and said something erroneous. well so did vice president pence. he was mislead, we believe by michael flynn that had a conversation about sanctions. susan rice didn't go to that point. >> i would say she finished out
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as national security advisor and michael flynn is gone and never faced any repercussions from the obama administration. hillary clinton defended it and came to a classified briefing as members of congress and let us know what susan rice told the networks the sunday before which is a massive amount of information and may have been the point that allowed barrack obama to be reelected in the second term. >> so the messaging to you is more important and more significant than the content or the substance of what was discussed. >> i think what is most important here is the leaks coming out of the intelligence community and at least weaken the trump administration and if you cannot trust the intelligence community to maintain classified information that's protected by law and facing with a potential ten year sentence at a federal penitentiary you have to do
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something to clean up the intelligence community. we need a national security advisor th adviser and they need to be perjed from the intelligence community. >> thank you for your perspective. we appreciate having you on new day. >> thank you allison. >> democrats at least are demanding answers. what is the connection between the trump administration and russia? senator joins us next. did you know 90% of couples disagree on
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>> there's growing intrigue into the ties of president trump's campaign advisors and russia. intercepted phone calls reveal associated of the president had repeated contact with russian officials before the election. why does that matter so much? because the trump administration keeps denying it. joining us now is democratic senator that serves on the senate relations committee. there's a stream of fake
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answers. the president just tweeted something i want your take on. he says information is being illegally given to the failing new york times and washington post by the intelligence community nsa and fbi just like russia. senator, is the president suggesting that the united states intelligence community is akin to what putin does. >> well, that sounds like what he is saying. it's entirely inappropriate. what is the purpose behind his tweet? his purpose is to distract attention from two very serious issues. communication between his team and the russian team during the campaign and communication between his team and the russians after the election and before he came into ocean. >> doesn't he get he's encouraging once again like when he likened the intelligence community into nazis that he's encouraging them to prove it's worth.
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to prove that it knows things. it's not the problem that they're leaks. they're always leaks from all of you guys and all branches of government. it's whether or not it's intention y'a intentionally false or true. and has anything come out to rebutt the facts surrounding the flynn. >> our system of government and intelligence to operations of the government and these connections created during the campaign. possibly to influence the campaign and this would be profou profoundly profoundly inappropriate and profoundly illegal and we need to get to the bottom of it. >> very often an allegation is
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heightened in important by denial to it. contact with the russians could mean a lot of things during the election. all of them could be legal but when you deny it and then proof comes out now you have a problem. similarly with the flynn resignation. where do you want to go with this? because the main sets of questions we have fall into two words, who knew? the idea that flynn was all alone and going rogue with a russian agenda. if that's true, nobody knew. they had two weeks where they did know and they did nothing. what do you want to know. >> absolutely. what did the trump team do and when did they do it? we want to get to the bottom of the activities and i'd like the president to stand up and say i am absolutely committed to full transparency. we'll have an independent investigation and we'll have a special prosecutor. these are grave concerns to america and our system of government and i'm going to make
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sure that we get the answers. >> let's roll the dice and say that's not going to happen. what can you do? >> the mounting pressure from the media and the conversations are capitol hill are going to drive us forward. i don't think forever the administration can keep saying don't pay attention to the fire. look over here. we want to talk about some other issues. some other die version. that's what they're engaged in now by saying who is leaking and investigating the leaks. they also desire to bury any inside the intelligence committees. >> but we should also see in terms of the executive branch.
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>> no that bothered me to hear that. if there is a legal activity we need to get to the bottom of it. we shouldn't be trying to engage in a cover up. >> what is your biggest concern here. >> that potentially the trump campaign team coordinating with the russians to alter the election. >> you know that all of the reporting so far, even part of the reporting that the white house keeps denying says they found no indication of collusion on the matter of hacking the
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election. >> the various accounts we read said they haven't reached a conclusion about the intent of the conversations. we need to get to the heart of what was the intent. what actually did go on. >> there's a knew fact introduced to this. the director of the fbi didn't want the administration to know what was known. these suggestions about flynn. how does that figure into it? anything you can do to get true information to people is appreciated. >> thank you. >> the trump administration battling it's first crisis looking at what happened with michael flynn. is that the tip of the iceberg? we have a panel on internationally to discuss it. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better. because safety is never being satisfied. why are you checking your credit score? you don't want to ride the 13l forever, do you? the doctor said it's not contagious.
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multiple sources tell cnn several high level advisors repeatedly contacted senior russian intelligence officials during the campaign. let's discuss this with host of
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the pot cast examining politics david drucker. if you could just share with us the headline from your new reporting that it was more than just general flynn speaking with russian operatives and more than just once. >> that's right. the senior most trump advisors and russian officials and others known to u.s. intelligence this was during the campaign. we have this for multiple current and u.s. law enforcement intelligence and administration officials and as well they were then briefed on these communications in january so important enough to bring it up to the president and president elect at that time and then just bigger picture this is not
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happening in the vacuum. these were happening in the middle of an unprecedented russian sign area tack on u.s. political organizations during the election. but it then raises the questions why. why is the trump campaign speaking to the russians in the midst of this attack. were they appropriate? why were they doing it? did they have direction from higher up these questions still need to be answered. >> the president watches new day. he doesn't want to talk to us but he wants to talk about us and yet this situation is different and the same question with the overall for the resignation, who knew, the idea he had to re-sign because he was
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soloing with this agenda nobody knew about or told him to do or participated in is hard to believe and goes without good answer from the white house. your take? >> what is interesting is the white house can't get it's story straight. from a political standpoint vice president mike pence didn't know about this and he had to go on tv and vouch for mike flynn but the president has been a putin apologist. it's the one area where in my conversations over the last 48 hours they don't want to be out right rude but they don't want to give and roll over so he's going to end up against a brick wall here but i think what he needs to do if the
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administration is going to get itself on proper footing is answer and i think the president might be able to fix this by getting tough with russia who is still provoking us and testing the new president. >> that brings us to you. you have spent considerable time on russia and there's a feeling that now he has used kid gloves when dealing are russia. yesterday his press secretary had a totally different take on president trump's relationship with russia. let me play this for you. >> the irony is that the president has been incredibly tough on russia. he continues to raise the issue of crimea which the previous administration allowed to be seized by russia. >> so if that made impression in
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russia or europe that he's been incredibly tough on russia. >> well, listen, everyone can agree that president trump himself has not yet been tough on russia in anyway, shape or form but at the same time if you're sitting in the kremlin right now think of how things are moving along. the honeymoon period is over and then we have the resignation of michael flynn. he was seen as one of the closest allies that they had in the trump administration so there's likely to be some concern that the tied is somehow turning and when that happens it is very common to see russia lashing out and russia testing. they want to see what kind of a president president trump is going to be in. you heard that trump does need
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to show he is tough on russia to fend off this heat. that could explain why we're seeing the deployment of the cruise missile but i can assure you when he meets today in brussels he will be facing real anxieties that the u.s. is going to back them up and that the u.s. is going to put their money where their mouth is and come up with a firm response to russia and russia of course will be watching that very closely too. >> it is interesting. no response to the missile launch and the spy shipping over the course of delaware and even brighter in the light of this new emphasis on strength. the question is always whether
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or not we're getting good information or intentionally disparaging information. is this any different? >> well, two points on that. first i would say the white house has not responded to our reporting at all regarding these contacts. there is no response. the president has press conference today. we hope he is asked about it at the press conference. as far as leaks are concerned so that's not new. does it raise potential issues going forward? possibly about what information and once you're not addressing the substance of the issues raised that's a diversion.
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>> once again we're seeing in real time president trump versus the intelligence community. how unusual is this situation between this administration and russia for intelligence agencies? up next we'll ask the former director of national intelligence. everyone knows my paperless, safe driver, and multi-car discounts, but they're about to see a whole new side of me. heck, i can get you over $600 in savings. chop, chop. do i look like i've been hurt before? because i've been hurt before. um, actually your session is up. hang on. i call this next one "junior year abroad." um, actually your session is up. this is not a this is the destruction of a cancer cell by the body's own immune system, thanks to medicine that didn't exist until now. and today can save your life. ♪
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>> president trump taking over the intelligence community in a tweet saying information is being illegally given to the failing new york times and washington post by the intelligence community nsa and fbi? just like russia.
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let's diswas with the former director of national intelligence. he was also the ambassador to mexico, iraq and the un. good to have you with us. >> thank you. to let's start with what the president just put out. he does not respond in anyway to rebut the facts. he is just attacking the media again and now it seems attack his own intelligence community likening them to the kremlin and what putin does. what do you make of that? >> that may be drawing an extreme conclusion. >> i rather agree the handling has gotten to a point where people are giving out top secret information without it and it's a problem and has to be brought under control where this government is hemorrhaging supplied information one is what
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happened in a relationship with russia and during the campaign and then of course no one has mentioned during the course of your program this morning the challenge of continuing to build up a new government without a national security advisor and that's an extraordinary situation to be in after the government has been barely in office for three weeks. >> you're right. there's a lack of continuity but let's talk about what your take is on some of the dynamics before us right now because the idea that mike flynn was a soloist and had his own agenda
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and weeks go by and they knew nothing about what they found out about the investigation. does that make sense to you? >> i understand the nature of your question and the investigative trail is going to have to ask those questions and bring some clarity to it but i'm not sure that i want to try to second guess the outcome. it is unusual. there's no doubt about it but we have huge problems the diplomatic train is leaving the station. he is going to be leaving with the g-20 in the next days. general mattis is now headed out to meet and it's very important national security business of this country that leads back to being conducted. the situation has to calm down. >> what does that mean though in terms of calm down? do you think that we should stop looking into what happened here and apparent fake answers from the white house. >> no, sir: i think the
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president should say this matter is being investigated and let the chips fall where they may but we have to get on with our business. that's what i would say. >> you're saying in terms of how they conduct themselves. i'm sure that would be noted. the president often watches the show. maybe he will take your advice and maybe he won't. but in terms of the facts of this and what deserves answers for the american people because this all goes to the trust of the white house with the people that it is empowered by and the idea that the press secretary says i don't know of anything that would make me believe that anybody in the trump campaign was in communication with anybody from russia, you have multiple sources saying exactly that was going on and the word constantly was used. how could he not know that? >> well, again you're leading the investigation here if you will and asking questions that
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ought to be being asked by the people looking into the matter but we're at an early stage of trying to discover the facts of the case. so far we know that mr. flynn has had contacts and mr. manafort had contacts and both of them are no longer involved with the administration so i don't know what to say in questions that want to second guess the outcome of where this is all going to lead. i look forward to seeing what facts are unearthed and the original question the idea of this as part of mr. trump's war on the intelligence community i don't agree with that and now he is taking his briefing and coming to grip with the problems of governance so i wouldn't paint it as a struggle between him and the intel community.
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>> people say he is doing things the right way and getting quick confidence from the men and women there. next question, the idea that you had the doj acting head come to the white house council and here are the concerns. in your experience, what happens next? >> well, i mean people have to react to that and like you i'm surprised that it took as much time as it did. several weeks went by but ultima ultimately the situation developed as an outcome and mr. flynn re-signed. i share a bit of surprise that action wasn't taken earlier. >> all right the president needs
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to keep his eye on that. thank you. always a pleasure. >> thank you. >> democrats are pushing for a full investigation into the ties between president trump's campaign advisors and russia. so we'll stick with the lawmaker leading the charge. ...glowing skin in just one minute. aveeno® naturally beautiful results® just checking my free credit score at credit karma. what the? you're welcome. i just helped you dodge a bullet. but i was just checking my... shhhhh... don't you know that checking your credit score lowers it. just be cool. actually, checking your credit score with credit karma doesn't affect it at all. are you sure? positive. huh, so i guess i could just check my credit score then.
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u.s. intelligence sources tell cnn top advisers to president trump repeatedly had contact with russian intelligence operatives during the presidential campaign. democrats in congress now calling for a full investigation. joining us is congressman adam
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schiff, the ranking democrat on the house intel committee. thanks so much for being here. >> good to be with you. >> michael flynn has resigned. what do you want to see happen now? >> we have to investigate just the allegations you're talking about and others as well, really a core part of the house intelligence committee investigation has to be any russian collusion with the trump campaign, any contact with u.s. persons, anyone, frankly, that was assisting russia's illegal activities in the united states during that campaign. i think that has to be one of the front and center issues we look at. we also need to look at what took place after the campaign and flynn's contacts with the russian ambassador. there's still a lot of unanswered questions. the most significant of which, of course, was flynn acting as some solo or rogue agent in these conversations with the russian ambassador, or was he charged to do so and raised this topic and essentially tell them not to respond to u.s. sanctions, that the trump
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administration would take care of it? was he conveying that message on behalf of others in the administration including the president. >> republican colleague congressman jason chaffetz who would help in launching any sort of investigation has said the flynn situation has handled itself. he's resigned, nothing more to learn. >> well, i hope that's not going to be the view on the intelligence committee. this may be a direction coming from the speaker, though. the speaker was asked about this yesterday, and he refused to commit to investigating flynn's contact with the russian ambassador. that is deeply concerning. the speaker either needs to authorize these committees, in particular the house intelligence committee to investigate this, or he needs to allow an independent commission to be formed and get out of the way. but this is going to have to be investigated. the house cannot abdicate its responsibility and the democrats on the intelligence committee are going to be pushing to investigate exactly this. >> look, the republicans we've
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spoken to thus far think that this is not the real story, that the real story, the real troubling story is not that perhaps michael flynn did have conversations with the russian ambassador perhaps about sanctions, but there is someone or many people in the intelligence community leaking. here is congressman steve king whom we just interviewed this morning. listen. >> what's most important here is the leaks that are coming out of the intelligence community that appear to be designed to politically assassinate some of the members of the trump administration or at least weaken the trump administration. and if you cannot trust the intelligence community to maintain classified information that's protected by law and facing with a potential ten-year sentence in the federal penitentia penitentiary, you've got to do something to clean up the intelligence community. congressman, does he have a point that classified info being leaked is the danger? >> look, i don't support an investigation by leak. i didn't like it when the
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clinton investigation was conducted that way, and i don't think this investigation should be conducted that way either. at the same time, i think this is a distraction, a sideshow, a gop effort, frankly, to put the leak issue front and center and ignore potential illegality in the white house. it's much less threatening to them, they don't have to contradict the president. they can still push for tax cuts and all the gimmes about where the evidence trail leads. that's not going to fly. the real gravamen of the issue is were there trump campaign people colluding in that election, in the hacking of democratic institutions and the publishing of information and what was the course of events after the election? what were the trump contacts with russia? were they undermining u.s. policy? all this, of course, is in the context of russia now ginning up military activity in eastern ukraine, violating the missile treaty. and this issue of dealing with
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russia couldn't be more important. >> congressman, is this going to be easy to answer? the questions that you have, can't you get your hands on the transcripts from the fbi or the intel community, whoever had the intercepts, can congress and lawmakers actually read those? >> yes, we should be able to, and we are requesting those transcripts or any recordings or any other communications. sean spicer said flynn also texted the russian ambassador. we should obtain all those communications. we have already insisted there be a presentation order for any evidence related to the russia issue. but yes, not only do i think we should get those materials and i would hope at our next gang of eight meeting we would have access to them, but also ultimately i'd like to see those published because the american people were misled by the trump administration about these conversations, and i think they have the right to know exactly what was said. >> so once you get those transcripts -- do you need an investigation to be able to get your hands on those?
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and once you get those, let's say there were contacts that you aren't comfortable with, and there was discussion of easing sanctions. then what? >> well, first of all, we should be able to get these transcripts as part of our oversight responsibilities, and in addition to our investigative responsibilities. if those transcripts show evidence of illegality by flynn or others, that's something the fbi ought to be investigating and pursuing. and if there are other issues, other actors within the white house that are undermining u.s. policy or acting at odds with our u.s. national security interests, they should be confronted with that. that may or may not be a criminal issue. but nonetheless, i think democrats and republicans feel very strongly that russia is a bad actor. they're taking down democratic institutions not only in their own country but in europe and attempted to do so here in the united states. i think there's strong bipartisan support to make sure
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there aren't any nefarious connections between this administration and russian officials. >> congressman adam schiff, please keep us posted on what you learn when you can. thank you for being on "new day." >> thank you. >> following a lot of o news this morning. let's get right to it. >> this is cnn breaking news. good morning. welcome to your "new day." we begin with breaking news, another crisis for the trump white house. multiple sources tell cnn several high-level advisers to the president constantly made contact with senior russian intelligence officials during the presidential campaign, something the white house press secretary denied just yesterday. among the names captured in intercepted calls are mr. trump's former campaign chairman paul manafort and now ousted national security adviser michael flynn. what is the connection between russia and the trump administration? it's day 27 of the trump presidency. let's begin with cnn's jim atiutto live in washington.


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