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tv   New Day  CNN  March 2, 2017 4:00am-5:01am PST

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accountability. the american people don't elect the generals. they elect the commander and chief. >> thank you for sharing it with us. thanks for the context as always. thanks to our international viewers for watching. new day continues right now. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following breaking news. jeff sessions is under fire. we fail to disclose two separate meetings with russia's ambassador. the same ambassador that mike flynn was meeting with. you know who he is and what happened to him. he was still a senator sessions when advising the trump campaign and had these meetings. >> these new revelations contradict answers that jeff sessions gave to senators during his confirmation process. they're calling on the attorney general to re-sign as more calls
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for him to recuse himself. let's begin our coverage with joe johns live at the white house. good morning. >> good morning, allison. the confirmation hearing of jeff sessions was must see tv as his then colleagues in the senate got to grill him. he was sworn in three weeks ago today as the federal governments top law enforcement officer and now there are questions about whether he may have made a misleading statement during the hearing about contact with russia that could at least potentially have far reaching consequences. the justice department revealing that he met with him twice. contacts sessions did not disclose under oath at his senate confirmation hearing. >> i have been called a surrogate a time or two during that campaign and i did not have
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communication with the russians. i have no information about this matter. >> denying any impropriety. now saying i never met to discuss issues of the campaign. have no idea what this allegation is about. it is false. but the justice department revealing that sessions met with him last july on the sidelines of the republican national convention. >> make america great again. >> four months after sessions was named chairman of the trump campaign's national security advisory committee. sessions met again with him last september in a senate office. the white house blasting allegations by leading democrats that he mislead as partisan politics. sessions met with the ambassador in an official capacity as a member of the senate armed services committee which is entirely consistent with this testimony. sessions spokeswoman says quote there was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer. the denials from sessions and the white house are in direct
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conflict with what the justice department says happened. senior government sources tell cnn that the ambassador is considered by u.s. intelligence to be one of russia's top spies in washington. last year they intercepted conversations between him and president trump's former national security adviser lieutenant general michael flynn. he was fired for misleading the vice president about discussing sanctions with russia. meanwhile obama administration officials scrambled to preserve any information about possible contact between president trump's campaign aids and russia before mr. trump took office. the officials quickly spreading information about russia's efforts to leave a clear trail of intelligence. >> i have nothing to do with russia. >> the white house repeatedly denied any such contact. >> how many people have to say there's nothing there before you realize there's nothing there? >> the russian foreign ministry
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spokeswoman on facebook this morning disputing cnn's characterizati characterization. the time as good not good for the white house. the president is heading out to a shipbuilding event in hampton rods virginia area to talk about rebuilding the military. >> top democrats are calling for attorney general sessions to re-sign for failing to disclose the meetings with the russian diplomats. cnn live from capitol hill with more. what do we know? >> chris, good morning. very swift reaction coming from capitol hill. many lawmakers calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed. he needs to rekuz himself here as attorney general and others going one step farther. a hand full of democrats calling for sessions to re-sign including nancy pelosi that says
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sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must re-sign. there must be an independent bipartisan outside commission to investigate the trump political, personal and financial connections to the russians and so far sessions is getting little support from republicans including senator lindsey graham. >> if there is something there and it goes up the chain of the investigation, it is clear to me that jeff session who is is my dear friend cannot make this decision about trump. so there may be nothing there but if there's something there that the fbi believes is criminal in nature then for sure you need a special prosecutor. >> all of this as the house intelligence committee was moving forward with their investigation into all of this announcing the permeamete rpara the probe that will focus on the
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contact between the russian officials and the u.s. governments response to the russian cyber activity to all of this adding another layer to an already very complex investigation. >> thank you very much for explaining that. joining us now to talk about it is the republican congressman of wisconsin. she the chairman of the house financial services subcommittee on oversight and investigation. good morning, congressman. >> good morning. >> great to have you here. so let's talk about this revelation. attorney general sessions met twice with the same russian ambassador that michael flynn, who has re-signed, and he didn't disclose it. what do you make of this? >> there's a lot of congressmen and senators that meet with leaders of foreign governments and ambassadors. especially committees like the one jeff sessions served on. it gives me some pause and i
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think as he is going through the campaign with mr. trump though he acted in his capacity as a senator. you want to disclose that information and it should have been more clear during his confirmation process that he did have the meetings. it was july and september. there's a lot of work and at that time there wasn't a lot of people in america that thought donald trump was going to win. i highly doubt there is a correlation between those means and any campaign activity. >> why are you so confident about that and given pretty unequivocal that there was no communications. let me just remind our viewers and you exactly how this went down when he was questioned. listen to this. >> if there is any evidence, anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the
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russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? >> i'm not aware of any of those activities. i have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign. i did not have communications with the russians. >> yes he did twice. he should have been far more clear with the panel. i would note the question did come into the campaign and sometimes when you're getting a question lobed at you and in a campaign capacity. >> he even says i have been called a surrogate a time or two. i didn't have any communications. even gave that misleading
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response. meetings don't take place in a cubby hole in some garage they're very public. and that's why it gives me some pause that he one more clear on the answer. he should have been and upon reflection he should have actually gone back and clarified the record if he got the answer wrong in the hearing because if you don't allison then you create scenarios and news stories about what we're talking about today. again i think we have to have a harder look at what was taking place with reforward to jeff sessions and the russians. i would assume there's nothing there but i think as lindsey graham said last night in your town hall, if there is, and the fbi presents us information you'll see the congress act.
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>> let's talk about that. what does happen next? you know there's calls for jeff sessions to re-sign. >> listen, nancy pelosi i think she would ask for donald trump to re-sign too and for donald trump to be impeached but again this is jumping to conclusions that a u.s. senator on armed services met with a foreign government. that happens all the time allison and in the house a lot of house members on these committees meet with foreign governments all the time. >> i hear you but then they disclose it and given that you're saying let's get to the bottom of it, let's find out the truth, should he recuse himself as the attorney general overseeing any investigation into the trump team in russia. >> if there's closer ties and information exchanged about campaign that would be appropriate. but if he is only having conversations as a u.s. senator
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then the answer would be no. >> you think that he is still independent minded and qualified to oversee these investigations though he for whatever reason didn't disclose his contact? >> yeah. i do at this point. i don't have any information to say listen jeff sessions won't be someone that can adequately oversee it. again a u.s. senator that's on this committee that meets the government, it happens all the time so that in and of itself doesn't give me pause. that he wasn't clear on the hearing that gives me some concern but as i look at it allison they're not meeting in a garage or a dark space. these are very open meetings that the senator had with the russians. so i don't know why he wasn't more clear. this is public information. people know these meetings happen. that's why i wish he would have been more clear. >> it does arouse suspicion but
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listen to this congressman. it's what you're talking about. the democratic senator just tweeted moments ago and i'll read it. we'll be hearing it at the same time. i have been on the armed services committee for ten years. no call or meeting with the russian ambassador, ever. period. ambassadors call members of the foreign relations committee. so there you have her saying it's actually unusual that jeff sessions as a member of the armed services committee would be having this meeting with this russian ambassador. >> as a house member i know that those individuals on these committees whether it's armed services or foreign relations committees often times have meetings with foreign governments. when i was on the foreign relations committee, obviously you see a lot of governments come through and want to talk to you. that doesn't give me much pause and frankly i don't know that he's going to be the best
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resource for us about those meetings. >> why not? since she is on that committee, why wouldn't she be the best resource. >> i think you're seeing politics being played hard here. even a couple of nights ago most americans look at donald trump's address to the nation and say the content and the delivery was good but there's a lot of democrats that say i just don't like the guy. he's an affront to my person so i hope this isn't becoming partisan and political and a dislike for donald trump as why she is saying this. so let's take clare's tweet for what it is but i'd like to hear from other senators to go -- those that served on that committee say you never hear from a foreign government well that would give me pause but i don't think that's the case. >> so just to wrap this up you do not think it's time yet for attorney general sessions to recuse himself. >> that's right. no. am i saying there wouldn't be additional information that came out in the future that would
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give me pause and say yeah you shouldn't be a part of any investigation. that's possible if new information came to light but again this information about this meeting that wasn't discussed with a panel in his confirmation hearing but was very public, i don't think so yet. >> coming up on new day, senator al franken will join us to talk about his question to the attorney general about the russia contacts and jeff sessions answers. also we would like to note that we did invite the white house to come on the show as we do every day and they once again today declined our request. >> no shoerk today we just heard from the gop one side of the political play book here that all the information of inaccuracies under oath by jeff sessions gives pause. that's what we just heard congressman duffy say. tim ryan says it doesn't give him pause. it gives him cause to call for
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sessions to re-sign. why? next. your insurance company won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. and if you have more than one liberty mutual policy, you qualify for a multi-policy discount, saving you money on your car and home coverage. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™.
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right now gives him pause. here comes an ohio congressman and democrat and he says sessions should re-sign. that is a very high bar. why do you think we are at that point? >> it's pretty clear he lied. he said he was a surrogate and he then went on to say he never had any meetings in any capacity with russian officials let alone the top russian spy in the united states and i think you put this in addition trump has not shown his taxes. and in his relationship with russian folks in the ukraine. what is going on here? why is everybody lying? >> i hear you but let's give him his best defense and lying would mean he wasn't just inaccurate under oath which clearly he was
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but that he knew that the contacts that he has had were relevant to his response and were you aware jeff sessions thought to himself these meetings i had matter but i'm not going to mention them. >> i can't get inside his head. >> that's why lie is a very high bar and re-signing is a very high bar. >> i assume that he knew he had these meetings in the summer and in september and i'm assuming he knew he these meetings and then he is testifying before the united states senate in which telling the truth is essential to whether or not you'll get confirmed by the united states senate and the american people and again chris you can't just look at this as this one contact.
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it's trump not showing his taxes. we need to know what is going on here. it's the leaks that seem to have been very coordinated in the hacking that only effected one side of this presidential election. come on, we have to open up our eyes here. this is serious stuff and i will tell you to hear republicans soft step this stuff is very, very troubling. >> why? >> this is essential to our democracy. the current attorney general was meeting with the russians during a campaign of someone he endorsed. lied about conversations he was having with top russian officials. the president of the united states has not released his taxes. we have no idea what his relationship is monetarily or otherwise with the rush gsian government.
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meanwhile they're spending time and money and issues in dealing with the ukrainian issue. >> the lack of transparency from donald trump is well reported. we mention it on a regular basis that he will not turnover his taxes in other things but you have to keep certain things separate. i'm not testing your theory that there's a lot of concern about this apparent sheltderring of russia by the white house. we ask the same questions. however with sessions the defense of him right now is i met with him in a capacity as a senator and in the written response you asked me about whether or not i had contact with any russian about the election and it wasn't about the election. that is similar to what flynn said in his defense of these discussions that it wasn't about sanctions. you don't buy it? and before he knew we had
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meetings with the russians and he was saying he didn't have meetings with the russians. the question is why are you people lying? we're dealing with a bunch of 12 and 13-year-old kids that get caught and lie and then you have caught them and then they tell you the truth. it's like don't lie. we're adults. this is serious business. our relationship with russia is tenuous. we're interfacing with them all over the world. we're spending tax dollars and we need to know what the commander and chief's relationship is with them. and what the attorney general's relationship is. these are honest questions. i don't dislike any of these people. the american people deserve the truth. >> what can you do about it?
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>> i don't know. i don't think a democrat should jump to conclusions. bipartisan, investigation that was funded so we can get to the bottom of all of this russian business from trump to the election. >> the push back, you have the fbi looking at it now. you're saying that's not enough or it has to be different? >> we need to do a 9/11 style commission. this goes to the heart of our democracy. this goes to the heart of our elections. this goes to the heart of whether a free people in the united states of america are electing their officials through a process that is protected and has integrity and that is the highest level of responsibility that we have here in the united states congress and we should show the american people this is going to be done on a united front. and just try to make answers. we have these fights and
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relationships with different countries all over the world and we have the beacon of democracy and free elections and if the integrity comes into question that has a ripple effect throughout the world and damages our ability to have the high ground when we go to countries and say, hey, you should build a democratic government here. you should allow the people to decide who their leaders are. if we can't protect our own process we don't have any credibility around the world. >> you're suggesting heavy implications. there's no question we need to know more. thank you for making the case for your side here. you're always welcome. >> thank you, chris. >> all right. now al franken, he was the man that asked sessions about this during the confirmation hearing and you'll remember he'll got into it about what was going on to that session's confirmation hearing. how does he feel about the latest revelations? he's coming up on the show.
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>> president trump delaying the announcement of his new and improved travel ban. what does that mean for the urgent national security he had mentioned? we discuss that next. your insurance company won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan. no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, you won't have to worry about replacing your car because you'll get the full value back including depreciation. and if you have more than one liberty mutual policy, you qualify for a multi-policy discount, saving you money on your car and home coverage.
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president trump made heavy claims about undocumented immigrants that deserve scrutiny. here's what the president said tuesday night. >> we want all americans to succeed but that can't happen in an environment of lawless chaos. we must restore integrity and the rule of law at our borders. >> lawless chaos. those are heavy words. there's a lot of numbers out there and propaganda. what do we really know about undocumented immigrants? part of the seasons is not enough because this isn't tracked that efficiently but let's start by comparing prisoners in the from the u.s. to those born elsewhere. as of 2010, 1.6% of foreign born males age 18 to 39 were incarcerated compared to 3.3% of native born males.
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it's been that way since 1980. so specifically undocumented immigrants, during the campaign trump cited figures from the u.s. sentencing commission. 36.2% of those in federal prisons were undocumented immigrants but they have not committed more violent crimes than american citizens. you come across the border illegally you committed a crime. 5.4% of murders were committed by undocumented immigrants. less than 20% of drug trafficking was by undocumented immigrants. 2% of sex abuse crimes. those are the realities. the vast majority about 73% were not in prison for violent crimes but for immigration related crimes which makes sense. it is a crime just across the border. remember these are only federal prisoners. that's just about 10% of the
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total jail population. to try to figure out state and local crimes we can look at the effect of immigration enforcement on the crime rate that is lower too. remember the crime rate has been decreasing already over the last 24 years. it should not and cannot be attributed an increase in removing undocumented criminals. >> i reply. i see you with someone. you need more titles. >> let us talk about the president's promise and a new and improved travel ban and repeated delays to announce it. he is a senior fellow and director of development at the center of global policy. she is a contributor to the hill and democratic strategist.
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when the travel ban has heard as quickly as possible to present a new and improved version of legal and constitutional. we first heard last week and then this week and they we heard today that the reason the white house is now giving, the new and improved version. let me read to you, we want the executive order to have it's own moment meaning not being eclipsed by the president's speech. that's not about national security. that's not about politics. >> my inclination is that they are still hammering this out. we just got news yesterday they're considering excluding iraq from the list of 7 countries. they're smart to do this. let's say they put it out today or tomorrow or the next day, if
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it's not finally taylors it will be struck down again and we'll have another month to wait for a third executive order. they're smart to take their time. >> back a month ago it was urgent that it happened immediately because national security was at stake. >> this will probably be a new and improved version of a discriminatory policy like the address to congress a few days ago was somewhere between nonsense and fiction. the problem here and i think you hit the nail on the head and trump has the national security plan. he is not keeping us safe and making us less safe. >> there's no connection between the countries he's named or potentially seems to be naming. if you look at his plan, this is his plan, offend muslims, alienate our allies, undermine america in the world, something, something, something victory. this is no plan.
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>> was obama discriminating when he targeted the same seven countries. >> that's what the trump white house always comes back to. these countries were identified by the obama administration. >> it's a completely different context and it was not used in the way trump used it. if you look at the executive order passed he was trying to cutoff entry in a 90 day period and it's policy he has put out on the campaign trail. this with you a start. but banning muslims from the country was the original policy he proposed. >> this is a political delay. first of all the obama administration never banned anyone from those countries completely. and this is a breath of fresh
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air of honesty coming out of the white house telling us they wanted the executive order to have it's own moment. they wanted to enjoy the good press they have gotten from this speech and they didn't want to step on that. i wish they had said that they were delaying it because they wanted to be more careful because they wanted to do this in a more deliberate manner. they didn't do that and so what they're telling us is this is not urgent. this has nothing to do with national security. this is about keeping one of trump's major campaign promises. they're trying to do it in a way that would make it legal. his words are going to come back to haunt him. >> i know that you see this. you do see it as national security but i want to move on because there was this discrepancy yesterday that i want you to try to respond to or
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maybe this was two days ago. there was a meeting with anchors of news organizations and during that meeting president trump suggested so them that he was open to finding a way for legal status for the 11 million undocumented immigrants that are here. there was multiple sources that heard him say that. then in his address before congress, he said something quite different and didn't mention that and why do you think that -- was that a head fake? why do you think there was a discrepancy between his policies? >> i don't think so. everything trump does is done intentionally and all part of a grand bargain. what he said to reporters is entirely compatible with what he said in his address. he said i want some compromise on immigration. he said in his address i'm targeting criminal illegal immigrants. we need border security. >> legal status is real buzz worthy and gets people's attention. that's something that really gets people's attention to when
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you hear that you say this is a headline. he didn't mention that. >> he din mention it but that doesn't mean that there's not going to be a grand bargain like he promised to reporters in the end and i think there will be. what he said to reporters is compatible with this. >> there was white house officials that told sarah murray i think that was a misdirection play. the word misdirection play has gotten a lot of attention. what is that other than the head fake. >> it's fiction. it's the same thing he said about the yemen raid. >> he's playing with us. thank you for explaining that. >> that's what it is. >> we just don't know that. >> that's what he has to do. >> everybody is trying to grade him on his words and what we
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need to do is grade him on his actions. thus far the only thing that we have seen is his deportation forces literally starting to go door to door to deport undocumented immigrants that do not have criminal history. yesterday a dreamer was detained. the other day we saw mohammad ali's son detained for several hours because of his name and because he was muslim. >> thank you very much. >> thanks allison. >> maybe a reality check of who is being rounded up and deported versus who we are told that's happening to. did jeff sessions lie under oath when he said he had no contacts to russia. that occurs to not be true right now but can that bring legal jeopardy. we have a former white house ethics lawyer. he knows the answer, next.
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the trump white house in damage control over revelations that jeff sessions failed to disclose meetings with a top russian diplomat. here is the moment under oath that has everyone talking. >> if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? >> i'm not aware of any of those activities. i did not have communications
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and i'm not able to comment on it. >> if that wasn't enough then in a written request he was asked again and he answered with a single question, a single word. he said no so could he be in legal trouble? is this lying under oath? joining us now ethics lawyer for george w. bush, good to have you, the simple question is is what jeff sessions did lying or perjury. >> well, he didn't tell the truth he needed to disclose the communications that he had with the russians if he indeed did have communication with the russians. that was the clear point of the question. and that included any communications with the russians during the course of the time
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that he was working for the trump campaign. we know he had another job in the senate and in the senate armed services committee and he said he made a phone call in that capacity. and i hope they're not routinely calling the russians. that's not what i expect the senators serving on that committee anyway but the bottom line is that he did not answer senator franken's question truthfully. he needed to disclose any contacts he had with the russians during that campaign. >> so one additional fact, she has been sitting on that committee for many years and has never had contacts with a russian ambassador during that time. just to your statement about what happens on that committee but now the question remains the same. legally what gets him for perjury. his failure to disclose enough. if you can't show that jeff
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sessions knew that these contacts were relevant to the response of that question and intentionally didn't offer them up. if you can't prove that, is it perjury? >> well, that's the question and we need to know more facts. we had a similar situation, i don't think as serious but 40 years ago with the attorney general who testified at his confirmation hearing that was asked about whether he had discussed a certain case with anyone in the white house and he said no and it turned out that he had discussed it on tape with president richard nixon and then the attorney general made similar arguments. i thought you were talking about a different time period or something like that and ended up selling that one out with the prosecutor for a lower charge. a lesser charge that was failure to provide complete information to congress but it cost him his
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job as attorney general and he was reprimanded. >> do you think lesser charges could be realistic here? >> that's -- in you these types of situations, that is sometimes how the cases are resolved. we need to know a lot more about what happened. we don't know what was discussed. that's a big problem over there in the senate armed services committee if that kind of thing is going on and at least one senator is willing to say she's not doing that. that's encouraging. >> so you're saying at a minimum there is a legitimate basis for wanting to know more. the question is how should that inquiry proceed? what's the proper way to do that? >> well, based on what i heard thus far i don't think he was
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truthful with the senate. he did not provide full and complete information. >> do you think sessions should re-sign? >> it's critically important. >> based on what i'm hearing thus far, yes. maybe there's other facts out there but i don't understand why he did not disclose to that committee the conversations he had with the russians and this is not just any old question. this is about a country that has been conducting espionage activities against americans throughout 2016 and trying to destabilize our country since the 1920s and this is serious stuff. we already had one member of this administration having to re-sign for lying about contact with the russians as michael flynn that lied to the vice president. very clear he lied to the vice president and we have another one and that's not acceptable. >> thank you for making the case. appreciate it.
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the dow soaring to a new milestone and sitting at another record high just this morning. right now it's all about snap chat i'm told by someone who knows. her name, early start anchor and cnn chief business correspondent christine romans. why is it all about snapchat. >> evan spiegel is looking like a genius, the ceo. remember he turned down $3 billion offer from facebook back in 2013. today he's taking snapchat public, his personal windfall will likely exceed $3 billion. snap pricing shares at 17 bucks a share, higher than the initial range. that reportedly gives snap a
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value of $24 billion. he was offered three. likely worth $24 billion. making it the biggest tech ipo since facebook. he'll start trading this morning at the new york stock exchange. snap is not yet profitable. this often happens, a great idea but doesn't make any money. lost $500 million. recently launched glasses that shoot video called spectacles. all three major stock market averages have never been higher. the dow crushing it, crushing 21,000, hitting that park for the first time ever. i want you to look at this stat. since the election the stock market has added $2.7 trillion in value. companies and shareholders are getting very rich. the presidential sounding speech fueling the rally plus new optimism the fed will raise rates in two weeks. that will boost profits for the big banks. alisyn. >> i don't understand valuation of snapchat. thank goodness you're here to
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explain why that makes sense on any level. thank you, christine. the justice department revealing attorney general jeff sessions met twice with a top russian ambassador last year while he was an advisor for donald trump's campaign. however, senator sessions failed to disclose that in his confirmation process. let's discuss this and more with cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr and cnn national security commentator mike rogers. hi, mike? >> good morning. >> if you were the chairman of a committee and during a confirmation process a senator said something wrong and said he had no communications whatsoever with russian officials and it turned out twice he did, how would you feel? >> if he was answering the question thinking he was answering about did i meet with the russian official in direct connection with the campaign, i think he should clarify that.
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that's easily clarified. >> why didn't he clarify? >> i don't know. i was the chairman of the intelligence committee, i met with russian ambassador. >> you met with two they believe is a top russian spy. why did you meet? >> in afghanistan there was a drug flow problem in the north. we believed the russians could be helpful in helping us stem the tide of drugs going back and forth. you try to find things to work on. i met actually two times with the russian ambassador as a course of my work on the intelligence committee. it's not unusual that you might have these meetings as a federal public official. i wouldn't run away from the fact that they have meetings at all. >> that's the problem. while ha is a very interesting story and insight into what you've done with your life, the question is, if you were asked about it in this context and you didn't answer the way you just did now, that raises the
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suspicion of why you hid the information that went to the direct answer of the question. now, how do we find out more? we'll do this inquiry. everybody is saying at a minimum we snead to no more. does sessions have to hold a press conference and take questions. should bit the house, the senate, the fbi? how do you find out more? >> it depends. the reason the justice department released information my guess is because those meetings were probably documented somewhere. we're very interested in what the russians are doing in the united states clearly and for good reason. they do a lot of bad things. >> that's a whole other story, right? this was from the doj according to "the washington post" reporting. we don't know who there, but probably safe to say it didn't come from sessions. he didn't direct this to be released. otherwise we would know that. maybe somebody was worried about this, concerned about it, trying to cover themselves, it demands more. >> i think this is an easy correction. if you listen to the context of
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the question, i believe -- mike rogers believes he was talking about did i have a meeting with the russians in regards to the campaign which in his mind he did not. i think it's an easily answerable question by saying i misspoke, let me clarify. >> does he need to recuse himself from investigations -- >> if there is an investigation. it is not a crime for a suchlt s. senator -- >> no, the ig bigger investigations about the russian ties. he's the attorney general. >> i'm not sure he does. first of all, i'm not exactly clear that there's an investigation about meetings with the russians. i'm not clear what the crime would be necessarily. it may have been a bad judgment thing for other officials to meet with them. if it gets to the point where it's very closely tied to people, if that, in fact, is happening, he probably should recuse himself on those particular matters. there's so many other things that the attorney general needs to be doing today, he ought to be working in doing those pretty diligently. >> just so people remember the
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context here, because as you might imagine, this is getting spun a hundred different ways. franken said if there's any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, not about the campaign, not about the election, that goes to what leahy asked him. leahy asked if they were talking about the election. his answer no. here it's just about timing. sessions goes on to say i'm one of those people, i don't know anything about it. that was the curiosity. >> again, the only defense there could be, that he was talking about the fact that he'd meet with that russian official on behalf of the campaign. he may have met with him on behalf of the united states senate and his duties on armed services. to me that's a very different thing. he should come out and say that's exactly why i had those meetings, here is what we talked about. end of story. i would normally meet with heads of state or their representatives frequently as a united states senator or u.s. congressman. >> barbara, sorry to keep you on
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hold. we have you on for another top story and that is there may be this shift in policy that commanders in the field, generals will have more autonomy to act on raids more quickly rather than having to run it up the flagpole and get the president's approval. what do we know? >> well, maybe more autonomy. it's something they wanted. there was a big feeling in the pentagon that the obama white house were micro managers, they wanted every detail on all kinds of missions before they would move and approve them. commanders felt some of them, they had a hand tied behind their back, they needed to move faster. the trump white house at this point looks like it is willing to give them some of that flexibility. but there is a real bottom line here. it doesn't mean that the president is not the commander-in-chief and isn't responsible ultimately for every military operation to some extent out there. there is some risk involved in


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