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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  March 2, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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i'll be back 5:00 p.m. in the situation room. we're following all of the breaking news. the president aboard the new aircraft carrier, the news continues right here, right now on cnn. i'm brianna keilar, special live coverage in a chaotic day, the ppt is moments away from speaking live from the uss general f ford. -- russia all of this after it was revealed that sessions met with russian's ambassador twice, this included a formal sit down in session's office, during the
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election season, during these cyberattacks by russia. the top democrat in the house says session lied about those meetings and demanding he resigns, why? because in an online questionnaire he was asked several of the president elect's nominees or advisors have russian ties have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part either before or after election day? no, he responded simply. also on camera, this exchange. >> cnn just publish add story alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president elect last week that included information that quote russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about mr. trump. these documents also allegedly
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stated quote there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between trump surrogates and interimmediate areas for the russian government. now again i'm telling you this as it is coming out, so you know, but if it's true, it's obviously extremely serious, and 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? >> senator franken i'm not aware of any of those activities. i have been called a surrogate a time or two in the campaign and i did not have communications with the russians. >> sessions' fist meeting with the ambassador came in july, a
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more informal meeting but the second time was a private meeting in september at session's office, the attorney general today defending himself. >> well, i have not met with any russians at any time to discuss any political campaign and those remarks are unbelievable to me a and are false and i don't have anything else to say about that. [ inaudible ] >> i have said whenever it's appropriate i will recuse myself. there's no doubt about that. >> jeff zeleny, cnn white house correspondent is in newport, virginia where we are expecting donald trump at any time. the white house is now responding to this. >> there's nothing to recuse himself. he was 100% straight with the committee and i think people are choosing to play partisan politics and should be ashamed of themselves.
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>> jeff, tell us what you are hearing? >> that's certainly the line we heard from sean spicer calling this partisan politics, but we were told -- did not know until they heard those news reports last eve when this was broken by the "washington post." we do not know whether the president will address it here today. i was told by one official he is not likely to. as he left the white house, and the vice president not answering questions, but it is hanging over this trip. the president had hope today carry the momentum if you will from his speech to congress earlier this week to the deck of the uss gerald r. ford and again these russian related controversies hanging other this administration here, so we will
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find out in this hour if the president will talk about it but there's no indication behind the scenes that the white house does not fully support attorney general sessions who of course is one of the closest cabinet members to this president, briana. >> they want to be talking about defense spending where you are today jeff and certainly not the topic on everyone's mind. awaiting president trump, thank you so much. we'll have more on this in a moment. but first breaking news. this involves the controversial raid in yemen where navy s.e.a.l. ryan owens was killed. i want to go to barbara starr at the pentagon, what are you hearing? >> reporter: one of the big questions, the u.s. got a lot of intelligence, but was any intelligence valuable enough to start act upon and we now know that yes, it was. cnn has talked to a number of u.s. officials who say one of the things they got in this raid
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is they grabbed a lot of electronic data including hundreds of potential contacts of al qaeda operatives and sympathizers, some outside the middle east, some in the west and they are now beginning to take action to try to track these contacts down, find these people either through their e-mails, online presence or any way they can because they believe there be may al qaeda sympathizers out there involved in planning additional attacks, this is why -- the raid, they said they had to conduct, they knew there was intelligence there. they grabbed multiple terra bites of data, they are working through it, they also believe
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they have additional intelligence about al qaeda safe havens, targeting, training, explosive manufacturing, how do we know whether any of this is true? all the data is highly classified and say they won't be releasing it because could risk future operations they plan to conduct. >> barbara starr, talking of course the trump administration saying they actually did have intelligence on that raid. first, republicans are now turning up the heat on attorney general jeff sessions, manu raju joins me. i want to ask you about republican senator lindsey graham, he met with the fbi director jim comey, what do we know about this, manu. >> reporter: graham is not talking about that.
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he is going to put out a statement explaining exactly what happened, that he would not comment further. comey just made rounds and democrats frustrated with comey, they wanted to know more about the hacking, and contacts between trump officials and russian officials. and calling for jeff sessions to recuse himself and independent indication into the russia issue as well as these potential contacts. now some republicans are joining that call for recusal. they're not going as far as an independent investigation but are saying it is time for jeff sessions to recuse himself in the aftermath of these reports showing he did in fact meet with russian ambassador suggesting otherwise in his sworn testimony
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at the senate judiciary committee. take a look. >> i don't think you need a special prosecutor but he should recuse himself. >> if, if, if, if there's ever credible evidence of inappropriate campaign contacts between trump officials and russia, jeff sessions cannot in my view make the decision to go forward or not go forward because of his ties in the campaign. that's a no brainer for me. >> reporter: not every republican believes he should recuse himself. paul ryan did not go that far perhaps only investigated and if there was more then step aside. and he said this morning he will only step aside in the event he needs to. you're seeing a divide within the republican party, but
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certainly calls are growing from rank and file republicans and could be time for jeff sessions to accept aside to preserve the integrity of the fbi investigation. >> and it is interesting he did seem open to it even though he did say he was going to do it. manu raju on capitol hill, thank you. >> congressman adam schiff says this about the house investigation. >> in order for us to do our investigation in a thorough and credible way we need the fbi to fully cooperate to be willing to tell us the length an breadth of intelligence their conducting. at this point the -- was not willing to do that, there were repeated questions about the scope of investigations they will be doing, individuals that may be the subject of any kind of counter investigation, and the director decline todd to an those questions.
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>> i want to bring in someone demanding that jeff sessions resign, democrat joe crowley of new york, and the highest ranking position in house leadership. welcome to you. >> thank you. >> you have some high profile republicans called on sessions to recuse himself in potential ties between the campaign and russia, sessions is now open to this, is that signal that he's going to recuse himself at the very least? >> i think judicial ethics require him to recuse himself, it's not whether or not sessions gets fired by donald trump at this point if he doesn't resign and even beyond that it's about how deep do the tenlt constitutionals of the campaign reach into russia, that's what
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the american people just don't have answers to yet. >> and donald trump just told reporters that he has total confidence in jeff sessions. >> as he did with mr. flynn as well. >> i think actually at one point that may have been kellyanne conway who said that, but certainly at a point he did. i wonder when you hear democrats saying they want a resignation, republicans now leaning recusal, are you worried that democrats could be overreaching here and letting politics get too involved in this? >> look, the reality is the facts speak for themselves, even the alternative facts speak for themselves. jeff sessions at best for himself misled congress. some would argue he lied, some would argue he perjured himself, it will be up to the senate to determine whether he did any of
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that, jeff sessions needs to come back to the senate and explain himself at the very least, so i do think people might want to call this politics, it's about the safety and soundness of our government. russia, we know through 17 separate intelligence agencies attacked our nation -- how we elect our officials, that needs to be fully vetted and investigated. >> you tweeted the definition of perjury. >> yep. >> and it includes the word intent in it. >> uh-huh. >> so it's knowingly misleading and whether you think that or not it's something if you talk to legal experts is extremely difficult to proof. >> i know when i meet with a russian official which is rare i remember it. when anyone meets with the russian ambassador kiss yyak i
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find it jeff sessions would find it hard to remember when it just happened a few months prior to the hearings, i find that hard to believe. >> he makes the case that he wasn't speaking to the ambassador basically with his campaign surrogate hat on that he was talking as someone on the armed services committee. you obvious are privy to certain information as a congressman, you pursue certain relationships with foreign officials as well in that matter, but this is different to you, russia? >> i think so because of the office he was seeking, office he was being confirmed on and the whole context of the russian investigation, how deep it leaks into the white house, how deep it leak into the campaign at that time. he himself recognized it. he was recognized as a surrogate for the campaign.
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he had an opportunity by the way to explain himself at that hearing. he chose not to. in fact he said he had no meeting, he did not meet with russian officials. he didn't qualify that, he said he didn't meet with them. >> thank you for joining us from capitol hill. >> and we are moments away from president trump's speech aboard uss gerald f ford. >> this is cnn coverage.
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the russian ambassador is becoming a familiar name amongst president's campaign and the kremlin, sergey kislyak
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allegedly discussed -- current and former officials tell that kislyak is one of russia's top spies and spy recruiters in washington. i want to talk more about this with ste steve hall. >> steve, i'm sure you must be familiar with this ambassador, and you have russian officials who scoff at the idea he's a top spy, was this someone on your radar and if so, as what. >> well, ambassador kislyak, regardless of whether or not he's a staff intelligence officer and i have no special information that's the case or whether he is normal a ambassador, ministry foreign official, which appears to be the case, it's a distinction
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without a view, he is the eyes and ears of vladimir putin in washington and getting a meeting with senator sessions would have been extremely valuable to the kremlin because of course sessions had two important pieces of access for the russians, first a senior member of the armed services committee, a critical thing for the russians, and secondly although perhaps more importantly at the time he was also somebody beginning to back candidate trump, so both would have been of critical importance and kislyak would have been very interested to meet with him. >> what we are hearing from his office is that he testified he didn't have contact with russians and what he really meant was he didn't have contact with russians in his capacity as a trump surrogate or associate of then candidate trump. what do you think about that considering what you just said that that would be a key reason
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of why russia would want to have contact with sessions? >> it sounds disingenuous, it might be sessions claim that's not the capacity he was meeting with kislyak, but i guarantee you the russian ambassador wanted to know more about it, also find disingenuous that we have all sorts of meets with different ambassadors. that's true, but when you're meeting with the russians you hope you have the common sense in addition to all the briefings you have gotten on counterintelligence, it is something different, not like meeting with the ambassador from the u.k. it's a different meeting. >> we are awaiting donald trump. if you can stand by for me steve hall let's listen to donald trump as he makes his entrance in newport news, virginia, you recollect see he is surrounded
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by service members. let's listen in. ♪ ♪ ♪ i'm proud to be an american where at least i know i'm free and i won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me, and i gladly stand up -- >> mr. president, mr. secretary, admiral richardson, and thank you again, admiral for my honorary national aviator selection. officers and crew of the uss gerald r. ford. mike petters, matt, distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen, welcome. what a magnificent day this is for the young life of this mighty ship. [ applause ]
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>> mr. president, you have spoken passionately about america's greatness. and there are no finer examples of that greatness than the two groups that are before you here today. the crew of the uss gerald r. ford and the newport news ship builders. [ cheers and applause ] >> hopefully we will all be together this summer to commission this ship. let me add a special thank you to the navy leaders for your continuing efforts to find a solution to pier 11 dilemma.
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this is my 17 visit to your ship. your patriotic commitment to excellence is reflected in every rivet and every bolt. therefore i am proud to say as dad certainly would be congratulations fellowship builders, and thank you. [ applause ] >> i'm reminded of a speech that dad gave, may 3rd, 1975. that day my dad commissioned the new aircraft carrier the uss -- four decades after it was commissioning the words that dad spoke that day are still spot on and accurate. the president, it's as if we can hear dad's voice speaking to us about the uss gerald r. ford.
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quote, i see this great ship as a symbol of the united states of our immense resources and skilled workers and our boundless energy and our military strength. wherever this ship flies her flag, she will be a symbol of the united states strength. made in america and operated by americans. [ cheers and applause ] whether her mission is one of defense, diplomacy, or humanity, this aircraft carrier will commend all and admiration from some, caution from others and respect from all end quote.
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so ladies and gentlemen, to those who threaten our homeland or our liberties, let the word go forth. very soon 100,000 tons of the most powerful warship ever known will report for duty to her commander in chief. congratulations, crew members, and god speed. therefore ladies and gentlemen, as the ship sponsor of the uss gerald r. ford and on behalf of the 38th president of the united states, it is a high honor to introduce and welcome to dad's namesake aircraft carrier, the 45th president of the united states, donald j. trump. [ cheers and applause ]
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>> thank you. thank you. thank you very much. what an honor, they just gave me this beautiful jacket, they said here, mr. president, please take this home. i said let me wear it. then they gave me the beautiful hat. and i said you know, maybe i'll do that. we have a great make america hat but i say this is a special day, we're wearing this, right? so. i have no idea how it looks but it's a great looking hat just like this is a great looking ship. thank you. i'm privileged to stand here today with the incredible men and women of the united states navy. [ cheers and applause ]
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>> american sailors are the best war fighting sailors anywhere in the world and it's not even close. and susan, i am so glad you could be with us. i know how hard you worked, 17 visits and she wanted things done right, she wanted this done right in honor of both her parents who were great great people and we wanted to introduce this beautiful vessel to the american people and i wanted to be here and with you, so susan to you and your family, unbelievable job. unbelievable. [ cheers and applause ] >> the soon to be commissioned gerald r. ford uss, what a place. it really feels like a place. you stand on the deck and you feel like you're standing on a very big piece of lands, but this is better than land. not only a great symbol of
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american strength but a great legacy of your father and our former president gerald ford. president ford was a navy man. by the way he was also a great athlete for those of you that didn't know. he saw action in the south pacific during world war ii, he served this country with honor and the military and congress and in the white house, the proud dignity of this ship is a fitting tribute to gerald ford, the and the president. congratulations to all of the men and women who helped build it. this is american craftsmanship at its biggest, best and finest. american workers are the greatest than anywhere in the world. this warship and all who serve on it should be a source of shared pride for our nation. we are joined today -- better
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believe it, right? better believe it. better believe it. and by the way, we're going to soon have more coming. we'll have more coming. [ cheers and applause ] >> we are joined today by general mattis now secretary mattis. [ cheers and applause ] >> where is he? who will be charged with overseeing this great rebuilding of our military might. we will give the men and women of america's armed services the resources you need to keep us safe. we will have the finest equipment in the world. planes, ships, and everything else. we are going to have very soon the finest equipment in the
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world. applause applause. >> we will give our military the tools you need to prevent war and if required, to fight war and only do one thing. do you know what that is? win. win! we're going to start winning again. admiral john richardson, chief of naval operations is with us today as well. great gentleman. admiral, we're going to ensure our navy has the resources, personnel training and equipment the kind of equipment you need. so congratulations, admiral. and a lot more is coming. [ cheers and applause ] >> let me congratulate richard mccormick, commandsing officer
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of the gerald r. ford, this ship will make an extraordinary mission like no other, nowhere in the world is there anything like this, it represents the future of navy aviation, i have no greater privilege than to serve as your commander in chief and the commander in chief of the men and women of the united states military. great people. great, great people. [ applause ] >> i salute you and i salute our sailors. i will always support you and your mission. i will never ever let you down. and i also have to recognize mike petters president and ceo of huntington and ingles, and
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president of newport news shipbuilding. they're not going to let you down either. to those who serve our nation in uniform and to those who build the instruments of our defense, i thank you on behalf of our nation. >> usa! >> i agree. i agree. >> our carriers are the center piece of american military might overseas. we are standing today on four and a half acres of combat power and sovereign u.s. territory, the likes of which there is nothing to compete. there is no competition to this ship. it is a monument to american might that will provide the strength necessary to ensure peace. this ship will carry 4,500
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personnel and 70 aircraft and will be a vital component of our defense. this carrier and the new ships in the ford class will expand the ability of our nation to carry out vital missions on the oceans to project american power in distant lands. hopefully its power we don't have to use, but if we do, they're in big, big trouble. [ cheers and applause ] >> this great aircraft carrier provides essential capabilities from terrorism and take the fight for many years in the future. the great admiral nimmets who commanded the u.s. pacific fleet through the second world war
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said it is the function the -- to the enemy so it will not be fought on u.s. soil. true. [ applause ] >> and it was under his command 75 years ago this june that the navy did just that. at the battle of midway. you have all known about the battle of midway where the sailors of the u.s. navy fought with the bravery that will be remembered throughout the ages. storied bravery. throughout the ages. the backbone of the american fleeted midway was three beautiful aircraft carriers, the yorktown, the enterprise and the hornet. all three were built with american hands right here at the newport news shipyard. [ cheers and applause ]
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>> at midway, america was greatly outnumbered by -- i mean a lot. and its fleet badly damaged but the heroic deeds changed the course of history. many americans died that day and through their sacrifice they turned the tied of the pacific war. it was a tough tied. it was a big tied. it was a vicious tied and they turned it. countless other americans in that war, some of them parent and grandparents in this room today come home thanks to their very heroic deeds. the sailors at midway are part of a long line of american heroes an unbroken chain of patriotss from each generation to the next who rose to defend
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our flag and our freedom. that legacy continues today as american warriors protect our people from the threat of terrorism. on tuesday, in my address to a joint session of constitution, i asked congress to eliminate the defense sequester and to support my request for a great rebuilding of the united states military and the united states navy. [ cheers and applause ] >> after years of endless budget cuts that have impaired our defenses, i am calling for one of the largest defense spending increases in history. and by eliminating the sequester and the uncertainty it creates, we will make it easier for the navy to plan for the future and
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thus, to control costs and get the best deals for the taxpayer which of course is very important, right? got to get a good deal. we don't make a good deal we're not doing our job. the same boat for less money. the same ship for less money. the same airplanes for less money. that's what we're doing. that's what we're doing. means we're going to get more of them and we can use them. our military required sustained stable funding to meet the growing needs placed in our defense. right now our aging front line strike and strike fighters, a whole aircraft, many, many aircraft, are often more likely to be down for maintenance than they are to be up in the sky. our navy is now the smallest it's been since believe it or not world war i., don't worry.
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think of that. think of that. in these troubled times, our navy is the smallest it's been since world war i. that's a long time ago. in fact i just spoke with navy and industry leaders and discussed my plans to under tta a major expansion of our entire navy fleet including having the 12-carrier navy we need. [ cheers and applause ] >> we also need more aircraft to modernize capabilities and greater force levels. additionally we must vastly improve our cyber capabilities. this will create many jobs in virginia and all across america and it will also spare new technology and new innovation.
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america has always been the one that leads america into the future. and will do exactly that. mi american ships will sail the seas, american planes are soar the skies, american builders will build our fleets. [ cheers and applause ] >> and america's military will ensure even though through the darkest nights and throughout a bright and glowing sun will always shine on our nation and on our people. our navy is great. our navy is great. our people are great. great. [ applause ] >> our republican will meet any
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challenge, defeat any anger, face any threat, and always seek true and lasting peace. may god bless our military, my god bless our navy, my god bless the wonderful gerald ford family, and my god continue to bless the united states of america. thank you very much. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ ♪ ♪ >> you just heard president trump speak on his plan to increase defense spending after visiting the uss gerald r. ford aircraft carrier, i want to bring in david chalian, gloria borger and colonel cedric. david chalian, what stood out to you listening to that speech?
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>> that this wasn't the context in which the president had hoped to be delivering this speech. remember, this is part of what has become a tradition democratic and republican administrations to take the state of the union or this case the speech to the joint session of congress and then sell it out in the country and he was taking one slice of it, his call to increase military spending. get the rid of the sequester that cut military budgets and help that and take it out to a military crowd and make these claims there and tout thhis initiative, it's happening as the trump administration is back on the focus of russia, so while that was clearly the intended focus of the speech, i don't know that it will consume all the news out of today the way that the administration had hoped. >> certainly not. and president trump was asked about sessions and he said he
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has total confidence in him. this was aboard this aircraft carrier. we're getting that tape to show it to you the viewers. gloria, this was a rather short address that we heard from him, and it does come still while there's some issues when it comes to his defense spending proposals and that being that he wants to spend what some people say is a lot of money but some republicans say is not enough and then wants to cut from the budget but even that sort of disagreement is being as david said really overshadowed by what is going on with jeff sessions. what is your read right now on where this stands and also a lot of people look at donald trump saying he has total confidence in sessions and say didn't he say that about michael flynn? >> yes, he did. look, i think right now you have got a firestorm on capitol hill, you have got lots of republicans
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saying at the very least that the attorney general ought to recuse himself on anything that has to do with the russia investigation. and i think at some point it has to come to a head and wouldn't surprise me and i have no knowledge of this but it wouldn't surprise me if at some point jeff sessions who's been around washington for a while would come out and speak about it and kind of tell the american public what happened, when he met with the russian ambassador, and why he didn't disclose it at the time of his confirmation. and try and sort of get this behind him and perhaps at that same moment he could recuse himself because it is at this point the path of least resistance for him so that would not surprise me in the least. >> and we're going to be talking about jeff sessions in a moment. but colonel, i want to talk about defense spending and why
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donald trump was there. this is very important. we're talking about billions of dollars here, one of the promises he made is that soon the navy is going to be the largest that it's been and said you got to get a good deal, same boats or planes for less money. but he's standing on an aircraft carrier that's a budget buster. >> absolutely. not only is it a budget buster but also delayed multiple times because of equipment issues and other issues that deal with the acquisition process, so one of the things he really should do is actually reform the acquisition process within the pentagon and that is probably a very tough thing and you won't see that in a budget document and one of the key challenges i think he will face. >> those are some of the devil in details there. i want to get back to jeff
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sessions, david chalian, i know you have been looking at the reports, the "washington post" broke this, cnn has been looking into this, but there were two discussions, but one that was a particular concern because it was a private meeting with the russian ambassador in jeff session's office. the spokesperson at least according to "the wall street journal" was at first she said the meeting was on the phone then turned out the meeting was actually in person she clarified and then according to the "washington post," he doesn't recall what he said and yet at the same time he said before congress he was -- he said when he said -- before congress that he did not have contacts, it wasn't because he was doing so as a surrogate. these facts are all over the place. >> yes, and jeff sessions clarified without saying i'm clarifying, this morning trying
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to clean this up a little bit saying we weren't talking about the campaign at that meeting, which i also find hard to believe that the campaign at all didn't come up because in early cement i don't know any conversations in washington that somehow weren't intentionally connected to the campaign, so this is all part of the call you're hearing from some republicans as well not just democrats for him to clarify his comments in addition to whole call for recusal. briana, i want to know one thing having just watched president trump at the ship there at the uss gerald ford. i didn't anticipate he was going to address this from that venue, but also keeps the notion of not going off on twitter, in the last couple of days, not take another russia tie to the trump world story out there to slam the news media about fake news or to discredit. he just ignored it and really
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tried to stay focused on what he was there to talk about. we have not always seen that kind of discipline with president trump. >> and the question is gloria, can he put day after day of that together because he's shown in the past he cannot do that so it seems the expectation of many people believe just wait a moment, right. just wait until he does chime in. >> look, he received a lot of applause for the way he conducted himself during his address to the joint session of congress and whether he can take that tone and continue it. there are a lot of the people saying he can't and today i think the discipline that david is talking about he really did exhibit. he stuck to the script. one reason is because they wanted him to, his staff wanted him to. it was not the venue to discuss
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jeff sessions. at some point though i think you're going to hear the president talk about it. but there may be some kind of choreography going on where the president lets jeff sessions speak for himself which i would argue as it should be and in order to answer all of these questions, i think he needs to, and don't forget these are questions coming from both sides of the aisle here and while the republicans are not calling for his head, they are calling for clarification. and i think when you have a ground swell of republicans starting to call for clarification, there's only one person who can do it and that's the attorney general himself. >> colonel what's your impression? someone obviously who's been very involved in gofrtd. what is your impression of what you are watching unfold here in this controversy where donald trump was enjoying some very
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positive headlines and now this has totally turned around. >> the president trying to do one mess saage and you always l to the president as the boss, to give you a way forward. you're waiting for lack of a better term, new deal moment and when you don't get that or if it is assumed by other, you have difficulty carrying out the mission you're entrusted with because you deon't get the clea direction you're looking for. >> you're seeing this is an opportunity for him to demonstrate some and the jury is still out? >> exactly right. and if this test is going to be pa passed by the president he's
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going to have to stay on message, and take it to the next level, rebuild the navy, but have a message that he continually pursues and that's something he's going to be competing with air time with, and if he can stay on message and disciplined like dave and floor y gloria mentioned that will be successful. >> the fbi is refusing to answer questions with regard to trump's ties against russia, this is a pretty explosive claim, we're going to discuss it. and yemen, we are now hearing what kind of intelligence was found at the rate.
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heads up. heads up. heads up. >> thank you. >> come on, guys. >> we have some other stuff we would like to take you back to, so if you would to follow us. mr. president, mr. president should sessions recuse himself with regard to the investigations -- >> i don't think so at all. >> when were you aware he spoke to the russian ambassador? >> i wasn't aware. -- [ inaudible ] >> i think he probably did. >> all right. that was fascinating, david chalian, gloria borger.
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it's a little hard to hear because they're in the hallway sort of in the interior of the aircraft carrier, but david what i heard him say was that he thought he may have told the truth, that was sort of what i heard near the end but also said he didn't know he had spoken to the ambassador. >> that's right. and the white house said they had not learned of this until the "washington post" report specifically emerged last night, which i also find quite surprising because as you know this team went through this with michael flynn with this particular russian ambassador and one might think in mid january they would have to learn all that contact between the russian ambassador that perhaps they would have tried to broaden their scope with any contact any one of their nominees had, but they didn't know of this as part of session's confirmation hearing prep or part of the
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nominationoverall. >> gloria, michael flynn, he spoke to the russian ambassador, later said and relayed to the vice president he did not talk about sanctions. turns out actually he did talk about sanctions so he misled the vice president, did interfere with foreign policy when his guy was in the white house, he ends up having to resign, how is this any different? "the wall street journal" is reporting there's been an fbi investigation into this and it has to do with the guy who is over the fbi. how does this end differently? do you think it does? >> look, it's hard to play this out right now. the question i think right now before the congress is did jeff sessions, no matter what occurred in those meetings, did jeff sessions intentionally lie to the congress or mislead the congress, choose whatever you want to choose.
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and that is the question that they need to get to the bottom of, you know, it's not as if -- if you misspeak during a confirmation hearing, there is ample opportunity to go back and correct the record, particularly given the fact that you also submit answers to questions in -- >> a written questionnaire. >> that's right. so if something is wrong, you can go back and say oops, i made a mistake, i checked my calendar, i checked my records, yes i met with the ambassador briefly once at the convention and we discussed general things but you know nothing in particular, it was a get to know you kind of session, who knows. so there was opportunity to correct it. it was not corrected. and i think this is where the rubber meets the road as far as congress is concerned because you're under oath. and they want to know if this
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was an oversight. he didn't remember. or whether this was something more fe -- nefarious, because when you vote to confirm someone in the president's cabinet you have to presume what they are telling you is true since you're under oath and this has been a large issue. so i think that's the first thing that needs to get resolved and then you can go on the larger issues that he's the chief law enforcement officer of the country and lying or misleading would be a real problem for him an for the administration. >> certainly. david chalian, gloria borger, thank you so much. now this. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> top of the hour. i want to restart our special live coverage. the attorney general under