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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  March 2, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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experience so i rode it out. >> thanks for joining us. thank you that everything turned out okay. sunday night, 10:00 p.m. eastern for the premier of "believer." that's it for me. thanks for watching. breaking news. the attorney general, jeff sessions fighting back, insisting he didn't lie about his contacts with the russian ambassador. we are learning about multiple contacts between the trump campaign and the top diplomat to the united states. who is this russian ambassador. an undocumented immigrant detained, almost deported. why he doesn't blame donald trump. let's go "out front." good evening, i'm erin burnett. sessions doubles down. the attorney general, jeff
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sessions speaking out a short time ago denying he lied about two meetings with the russian ambassador to the united states during the presidential campaign. sessions says there was no cover up and he will recuse himself into the investigations. >> let me be clear, i never had meetings with russian operatives or russian intermediaries about the trump campaign. i have recused myself in the matters that deal with the trump campaign. >> a growing course of democrats are calling for more than recusal. some insisting sessions lied to congress when he said he never met with the russian official to discuss the election. the president is standing by his attorney general tonight. during a tour of "uss gerald ford qu
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ford" he says he has confidence in sessions. >> when did you learn sessions spoke to the russian ambassador? >> i wasn't aware. >> do you think he should have spoken truthfully about it? >> he probably did. >> in late breaking news, we are learning about more contacts between the trump campaign and the russian ambassador. they are contact that is span from the republican convention last summer all the way to trump tower in december. contacts that include the president's son-in-law, jared kushner. jim acosta begins with this breaking development at this hour. jim, we are learning about the russian ambassador and more interactions with the trump campaign. >> that's right. we are talking to j.d. gordon, a national security adviser for the trump campaign before the election. he and other national security advisers to then candidate trump
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spoke with sergey kislyak last july. it was during these conversations, i'm told by j.d. gordon, they talked about improving relations between the u.s. and russia. it was dur thag time, erin, that j.d. gordon says he went to the convention, advocating on behalf of the campaign for language in the gop platform that advocated against the arming of the ukrainians in their fights against the prorussian rebels. that is something the trump campaign denied they were doing at the time. it denied it was advocating for that language in the gop platform. flash forward to december and according to a senior administration official, the president's son-in-law, jared kushner and the former security adviser, michael flynn, wret with the ambassador during a previously undisclosed meeting.
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sean spicer talked about two interactions between michael flynn and the russian ambassador. this meeting was not known and not disclosed to reporters at that time. that is new information as well. we should point out, as for the information we got from j.d. gordon, he did not have conversations about any sort of proquo colluded with the russians to help the trump campaign in the election. he said it was the kind of stuff he said as a national security analyst. interesting to note, he had a conversation with sarah huckabee sanders about the contacts he and other trump campaign advisers had over the summer. it's clear that this white house is trying to get a handle on how many of these trump campaign associates, advisers and so on had conversations with the russians. >> very important for sean spicer and the time line of michael flynn. interactions did not include the meeting with the russian
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ambassador. thank you jim acosta. now, i want to get to the details on the attorney general, jeff sessions insisting he did nothing wrong after it was revealed he met with the ambassador twice. >> reporter: under mounting political pressure, attorney general, jeff sessions stepped aside from any fbi inquiry into russia and the trump campaign. >> i have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaign for president of the united states. >> reporter: after revelations sessions met twice with the russian ambassador. sergey kislyak is considered to be one of russia's top spies and spy recruiters in washington according to current and former senior u.s. officials.
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russian officials dispute this characterization. sessions failed to disclose it with kislyak in january. sessions was asked about russia's meddling in the election and the ties between trump and the kremlin. >> i have been called a surrogate a time or two in that campaign and i did not have communications with the russians. i'm unable to comment on it. >> reporter: sessions insists he did not mislead the committee saying they were not tied to the role with the trump campaign. >> i was taken aback a little bit about this brand-new information, this allegation that surrogates and i had been called a surrogate for donald trump meeting continuously with russian officials and that's what struck me very hard and what i focused my answer on.
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in retro spect, i should have slowed down. >> reporter: democrats say sessions recusal is hardly enough. demanding he resign. >> the fact that the attorney general, the top cop in our country lied under oath to the american people is grounds for him to resign. >> reporter: senate democratic leader, chuck schumer wouldn't say if sessions committed perjury, but called for a special prosecutor. >> it would be a alice in wonderland quality if he investigates himself. >> reporter: republicans are resistinging the calls. >> if there is nothing there there on the russia issue, allow the special prosecutor to investigate. >> we don't have that law. at the end of the day, we have to have our intelligence assets. we do not want to compromise sources and methods of getting intel jensz from any adversary. >> reporter: the fbi director,
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james comey was making the rounds with house members. democrats were not happy when the top democrat, adam schiff, who believes comey was not forthcoming on key details in the investigation into russia and the contacts between russian officials that happened with the trump campaign associates and because of comy's refusal, calling for a special prosecutor to look into this. i asked do you agree with schiff and he shook his head and said no. >> thank you very much. congressman, good to have you with me. i want to start with the breaking news at this moment. a former trump campaign adviser saying he met with the russian ambassador during the gop investigation along with carter paige. we now know in december, that
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russian ambassador came to new york, went to trump tower, met with michael flynn and jared kushner. of course we know about jeff sessions having two meetings, one outside the convention in cleveland. how big of a deal is this? >> it's a big deal. i think as the day has moved on, erin, it is clear the recusal is not enough thchlt is the top law enforcement officer of the nation. this is the largest law enforcement bureau in the country, over 100,000 strong. the integrity of the law enforcement in the judicial system is really at stake here. look, everybody has heard, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? and he didn't. he withheld information. today, i had various meetings and as you and i know, most members of congress, whether in the house or senate, when we meet with somebody, there's staff people there. we learned mr. sessions, senator
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sessions was not alone, two staff people were there. >> that's what he said. >> there is a statute, it's very, very clear, mr. sessions, for the good of the country, for the, for our judicial system, for our law enforcement officers should simply resign, allow the deputy attorney general to pick and choose somebody with consent of the majority and minority party of the senate and elect a special prosecutor. we remember ken star. clinton didn't tell the truth, he lied, too. in the end, we got to the truth. we need to get to the truth today. look, our elections are at stake and the integrity of our elections are at stake. >> congressman, when we get to what really happened in the room, as you point out, he said there were a couple meetings one with more people, one with two
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staffers. the staffers could be significant. the attorney general came out and said they did not talk about the election. he says that's completely and utterly false. here is what he said he did talk about with the russian ambassador, here he is. >> we talked about terrorism, as i recall. the subject of ukraine came up. i had the ukrainian ambassador in my office the day before to listen to him. nothing -- russia has done nut thag is wrong in any area and everybody else was wrong with regards to ukraine. it got to be a testy conversation at that point. he said something about inviting me to have lunch. i did not accept. >> he says he didn't say all of this during the hearings under oath is because the election didn't come up. that's what he thought he was being asked about.
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did you talk about the election to russian officials. he said no. do you believe he's lying? i don't believe the attorney general of the united states. i think most of the american public is going to find it just not credible that the attorney general -- look, he -- the fbi reports to the attorney general. the attorney general reports to the white house. what do we know thus far? we know the white house is talking to the deputy attorney general asking him to kind of counter stories in what they call the fake media. we can't really count on the legislative branch of government because both the chairmen of the intelligence committee in the senate and the house were asked by the white house and they followed suit by countering arguments against the media. look, what we need is a special prosecutor, independent prosecutor. i think mr. sessions needs to
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resign immediately because otherwise here is what happens, erin. he stays in his position and his deputy is supposed to now investigate him and investigate the son-in-law of the president of the united states. it just can't happen. let's have an independent prosecutor. >> when you say i don't believe the attorney general of the united states, you believe he's not telling the truth. i have to ask you about this, though. it's important to understand whether this is partisan. claire mccaskill is on the committee. no meeting with the russian ambassador ever, period. that's not true. we were able to determine that was false based on her twitter feed herself. she tweeted she met with the russian ambassador. how is that different than sessions who said he didn't bring it up because it was about
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ukraine. >> a very big difference. he said it after he said he would tell the truth, the whole truth -- the whole truth, aaron, nothing but the truth. >> each of these, one is a lie, the other is a lie. >> why did he wait? why did he wait until yesterday when "the washington post" -- we know what they do. they have an incredible -- they have this incredible ability to tell the truth. when the truth comes forward they only admit it after they are caught red handed. look, we need our election system is at strake here. no one should interfere with the elections of the united states of america. you spoke about former general flynn. they lie, they lie, they lie until they could not lie anymore. the only way, the difference is he was under oath. when you lie under oath, that's called perjury and you go to jail for doing that. >> all right, congressman, i
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appreciate your time. thank you very much. >> thank you. next, we are going to talk about this russian ambassador. they believe he is a top spy and a top recruiter of spies. tonight, the russians respond to cnn. >> u.s. officials. >> stop spreading lie and false news. >> is it false news? we are going to go live to moscow tonight. plus, calls for jeff sessions to resign. you heard the congressman there join the list. jeanne moos with alec baldwin. >> i had no idea what i was going to do at 8:00. already in . companies across the state are growing the economy, with the help of the lowest taxes in decades, a talented workforce, and world-class innovations. like in plattsburgh, where the most advanced transportation is already en route.
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administration official that multiple members of trump's inner circle met with that same ambassador including the national security adviser at the time and son-in-law, jared kushner. who is the russian ambassador? they believe he is one of putin's top spies and spy recruiters. matthew chance is out front in moscow. what do we know about ambassador kislyak? >> reporter: well, we know he's a career diplomat, first of all. he's been the russian ambassador since 2008, which is a long time when they don't normally last that long. he served two previous stints as a diplomat in the united states as well in the 1980s, during the soviet union days. he was serving here at the united nations. before becoming the u.s. ambassador, he was the russian deputy foreign minister. he had a number of important
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jobs in the russian ministry. he was the ambassador to nato and the kingdom of belgium at one point as well. he is well known in diplomatic circles and central to the efforts over the past couple decades. he's very respected in russia and respected among other diplomats as well. he's a central figure in this controversy in u.s. politics, all these individuals, michael flynn, the resigned national security adviser, jeff sessions, jared kushner, the son-in-law of donald trump have been in contact with him. >> cnn reporting from u.s. government officials, they believe he is a top spy and a top spy recruiter for vladimir putin. that's a significant thing to say. you asked russian foreign ministry spokesperson about this and she was aggressive in her reply. >> mr. kislyak is a well known,
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world class diplomat who was a minister of foreign affairs in russia who communicated with americans for decades on different fields. cnn accused him of being a russian spy, recruiting -- >> u.s. officials accused him of that. >> stop spreading false news. >> that was perhaps an uncharacteristic anger there. >> reporter: yeah, yeah. lies and false news. we are hearing a lot from kremlin officials as well. they want to get rid of this. they are worried this escalating crisis in the united states is going to have an impact on future relations between the united states and russia. >> thank you, matthew chance. out front now, former cia operative bob bear and david axelrod. david, the bottom line, u.s.
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intelligence believes he is one of putin's top spies and recruiters. he met with people in trump's inner circle, multiple meetings over months and months through december. is this troubling? >> well, look, even if you don't connect the two facts whatever role kislyak plays in terms of es plea onnage, we know there's an ongoing investigation about russian hacking into the election and potential links between the trump campaign and russia. in that environment, it's very, very curious and it raises suspicion when central figures in the trump world are secretive and unrevealing about their conversations with kislyak. we have seen it with flynn, apparently with jared kushner, who both of whom met with him in december. you would think with all that was swirling around general
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flynn tharks fact would have been divulged before now. of course, general sessions sitting before the senate got a chance to answer this question. he's well aware of the senate procedures. anytime after that, he could have corrected it and he, today, had a fairly specific recollection of that conversation but -- >> very specific. >> couldn't come up with the fact within two weeks, two, three, four weeks after his testimony, he never corrected it. all of this just adds to an atmosphere of suspicion. i don't think it serves the administration well to have these stories keep cropping up. >> he went on about how they talked about religion. we played the part about ukraine and terror, but personal things. he remembered all of it. bob, we are talking about what u.s. intelligence officials tell as a top russian spy and recruiter. what do you think of the meetings between ambassador
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kislyak and now turns out jared kushner and michael flynn, jer sessions and multiple other members of the national security team involved in meetings with this ambassador. >> frankly, if i had been in the cia and met with russian officials and not reported it in writing, i would be fired. this is just really, truly crossed the line. i don't care that he's ambassador. all the ambassadors are co-opted by the kgb. they operate and recruit. the great ames, the mole inside the cia was run by a ministry of foreign affairs official in washington, d.c. we shouldn't be confused about that. what we should be confused about is why the contacts were not
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reported in writing with potential foreign intelligence services like the kgb. they are not our friends. this is just getting out of control very quick. we do need a special prosecutor, the senate intelligence committee or the house cannot handle this, it is too hot. i agree, sessions deputy shouldn't be handling there, either. >> david, when jeff sessions took a few questions today, to his credit, from the press, he knew they were going to be hostile. one question is, what do you think, at the time, and what did you think the motives were for wanting this meeting? he said i didn't think about it. do you think that's possible, he didn't think about it? he was a top surrogate for the trump campaign and he didn't think about why the russian ambassador wanted a meeting? >> well, let me say, the united states senators are not solo practitioners walking around with the cell phone making decisions on their own. they have staffs.
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they have experts who are there to advise them on these things. i'm sure that kislyak can't just -- i shouldn't say i'm sure, i'm not sure of anything anymore. i'm sure he didn't call and say jeff, i would like to come chat with you and sessions didn't mention it to anybody. if that were the case, it would be more disturbing. the bottom line, you have this story that is unresolved about what was, if there was a level of collusion between the russians and the trump campaign, sessions was deeply involved in that campaign. now, he is, as has been mentioned today, he's suspicion in the investigation. so, there really needs to be some independent authority that can oversee this investigation, not the attorney generals department. >> you are both in agreement on that. bob, before we go, top spy and top recruiter, do you believe that? that is what intelligence officials are telling us
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tonight. >> i have to see the 201 file, but that's what i'm hearing, he is an operative for the kremlin. the fact that he's ambassador doesn't matter. this needs to all come out in an investigation. this is very disturbing the whole connection with russia for the next intelligence officer. >> thank you very much. president trump saying he has total confidence in jeff sessions standing by what was his earliest and most loyal supporter. undocumented immigrant detained and almost deported to mexico. he does not blame donald trump. >> working for the american people. he is not working for me. to those who know
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more on the breaking news tonight, attorney general jeff sessions recusing himself from investigations involving the trump campaign as he doubles down and says he did not die. this is after president trump tells cnn he had full faith in sessions. the question of whether sessions did purposely mislead lawmakers
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about his contacts with the russian ambassador. trump said he didn't believe he should recuse himself. sarah murray is out front. >> reporter: a defiant trump is standing by his closest ally, insisting attorney general jeff sessions has his full support. >> do you have confidence in him? >> total. >> should he have spoke truthfully? >> he probably did. >> reporter: the president saying he believes the attorney general testified truthfully even though sessions failed to disclose two meetings with the russian ambassador, meetings the white house learned about through media reports according to a senior administration official. >> when were you aware he spoke to the russian ambassador? >> i wasn't at all. >> reporter: he should recuse himself for ties, sessions did just that. >> i should not be involved in
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investigationing a campaign i have a role in. >> reporter: the well of affection runs deep. sessions was the first senator to endorse the long-shot presidential candidate in february, 2016. >> i am pleased to endorse donald trump for the presidency of the united states. >> reporter: at a time when many in the gop eye trump, sessions became one of trump's biggest boosters on the campaign trail. >> there's one man with a strength, a courage, determination, the guts, the challenge, the thing that is are going wrong in this country and put us on the right track. that's donald j. trump. >> reporter: a close adviser, even flying to indiana to huddle with trump as he wrestled with who to choose as his running mate. trump repaying that loyalty soon after he won the election naming sessions to serve as attorney general. >> jeff understands the job of
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attorney general is to serve and protect the people of the united states and that is exactly what he will do and do better than anybody else can. >> reporter: now, three weeks after leaving the senate and being sworn in as attorney general, one of trump's top officials is already facing calls to resign. >> in retrospect, i should have slowed down and said i did meet one russian official a couple times. that would be the ambassador. >> reporter: now, the sessions matter may be settled in the eyes of the president, but this evening, we learned about even more contacts that happened during the presidential campaign around the convention, then again in december with members of donald trump's campaign and the russian ambassador. erin, it's an indication the russia story isn't going away anytime soon and continues to cast the shadow over the white house. >> that's for sure, especially with the breaking news tonight. more contacts between the
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russian ambassador and the inner circle. we have two guests. let me start with both of you. this is what it comes down to with attorney general sessions. when asked what he would do if evidence exists that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign spoke with the russians. here is how it went down. >> senator franken, i'm not aware of any of those activities. i have been called a surrogate a time or two in that campaign. i did not have communications with the russians. i'm unable to comment on it. >> okay. now, here is the attorney general today. >> let me be clear, i never had meetings with russian operatives or russian intermediaries about the trump campaign. my reply to the question of
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senator franken was honest and correct as i understood it at the time. >> paul, do you buy his explanation today or did he lie to senator franken? >> i'm stunned by it because he said today that the reason he made the mistake is because he was asked about a continuing exchange with the russians but franken didn't ask him about that. in fact, his words were, i did not have communications with the russians. it almost sounds like that statement that was made by president clinton, i didn't have sexual relations with that woman. sessions called for his impeachment. >> bill clinton's, right. >> it's astonishing in this press conference he mischaracterizes his own statement. >> perjury? >> i think it's close to the line, but not over the line. i think it's misconduct and unethical, but a hard perjury
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prosecutor. >> misconduct, unethical, not true. what do you say, brad? >> i think his excuse and his reasoning for the answer he gave was very credible. what we saw in that al franken exchange is he mentioned if you look at the whole exchange and not the snippet, he mentioned continuing conversations between russian operatives and people from the trump campaign. if you see the whole exchange in totality, he's talking about hacking, talking different things about individuals speaking with the trump campaign. i can see where that answer makes sense. he's, you know, as his job, in the committee of the armed services committee, in his role, he has contact with ambassadors. this is something he didn't think of. >> you know, brad, brad, if i could just ask you this. in his job as attorney general, he prosecutors perjury cases. he fills out -- >> this is not perjury.
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>> he fills out his application for the attorney general job and he lies in the application. doesn't that strike you as being misconduct at the beginning? >> paul, no, no. >> you were on the celebrity apprentice, correct? >> i was on the regular "apprentice." i appreciate you calling me a celebrity. >> donald trump fired you toward the end of the show. don't you think he would have fired you sooner if you lied on your application for the show? >> listen, the fact is, he did not lie. this is not a lie. if al franken followed up with a question, sir, did you have, did you personally have contact with russian operatives, ambassador in your role -- >> he said did you have -- i mean, the thing is, if you were honest, wouldn't you say i did, but my role as armed services. today, he remembered it all. by omitting it and acting like
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it didn't happen at all, it raises questions. wouldn't you acknowledge that? >> i don't think so. i really don't. if you look at the totality of it, look in its whole, not just a snippet about the exchange between franken and sessions, you could see where this answer makes a lot of sense. he is talking about surrogate that is had contact, continuing contact with russian officials and operatives. he would not think of this. >> he says i did not have communications with the russians. is there something you don't understand about that? >> if you see his whole statement. i was called a surrogate, once. meaning, in his role as a surrogate for trump. that is my understanding of it. >> you are a trial lawyer, right? you cross examine people. would you youz that -- >> i cross examine everybody.
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>> would you use that statement in a court of law to impeach a witness on the witness stand? >> would i use it -- >> would you use it against sessions if he was on the witness stand in a case you were trying? >> that's the point. franken should have followed up. i would have used it for a follow up question. my follow up question would have been, are you saying you did not have any contact with the russians either in your official role or anything else? that would have been the question. al franken says, sir, i'm not an attorney. it's very apparent he's not an attorney because his questions were horrible. the question wasn't exact. the question was answered. i think that at the time he answered that question, he answered in the best way he could. >> because he wasn't paying attention to the question. >> all right. we are going to leave it there. obviously a lot for everyone to think about. next, an undocumented immigrant deported to mexico. wait until you hear what he had
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tonight the house speaker, paul ryan defending the crosswalkdown on illegal immigrants. sometimes they slip through the cracks. residents woke up to find a business leader arrested for being here illegally. >> he's working for the american people. he is not working for me, obviously, because i'm not an american. >> reporter: surprising words about donald trump from an undocumented immigrant who spent 20 days in a detention center. do you feel his policies targeted individuals like yourself? >> that wasn't his fault. i don't consider it his policy, i consider it more like the law. >> reporter: the 38-year-old says he agrees with some of
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trump's policies like border security, terrorism and even hard line immigration. and he's not alone. saying some of his cell mates, also undocumented think favorably of donald trump. why? >> donald trump was the first president that promise and deliver. >> reporter: a husband and father of three u.s. citizens has been in the u.s. for nearly 20 years. he was picked up by i.c.e., even though he was not the intended target, just days before his son's 8th birthday. >> you can imagine spending the little one's birthday far away from him. >> reporter: in his adopted hometown of west frankfort, illinois, he's the owner of a mexican restaurant in town. more than 70% of votes in this county went for donald trump, including those cast by his best
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friends. are you trump supporters? >> we both voted for trump. >> reporter: when immigration agents detained their friend, pointing to two duis from nearly a decade ago, his friends stood by carlos. >> no politician has a platform you are going to agree with 100%. the immigration stance he has, we didn't agree with that. >> reporter: dozens of people in the small town of 8,000, including the mayor, the police and fire chiefs wrote letters of support for carlos, asking the judge to have clemency. >> if you knew my friends, you should respect. >> reporter: it's tough to find someone in this town who doesn't support carlos. one told cnn, he had plenty of time to get his citizenship, you know. a point carlos agrees with. >> yeah, i wanted to be legal for ten years. i have been trying and trying
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but the system is broke. >> reporter: now that he is no longer in custody, he is vowing to remain with his family, making this promise to his son. >> i told him i was here to stay. i'm not going nowhere. >> reporter: now, carlos is out on bond and waiting for his immigration court date, something his attorney says could take years because of the backlog in immigration courts right now. but there's something else that weighs heavy on his shoulders now. now that he is out of the shadows, he is out of a job. you probably guessed it, there's been an outpouring of support, globally for carlos. erin, there's a gofundme page that's been established. a lot of people are clicking on that page from around the world. >> thank you very much. certainly one of the most memorable and powerful stories we have seen on this. not what you expect in terms of his views.
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♪ could save money on car insurance.e in fact, safe drivers who switch from geico to esurance could save hundreds. so if you switch to esurance, saving is a pretty safe bet. auto and home insurance for the modern world. esurance. an allstate company. click or call. today, president trump touting the american work force touting the "uss gerald ford." miguel marquez is out front. >> that will be this summer. >> every ounce of land here used. >> yes. >> reporter: born into farming in sioux county, iowa. specialties, cattle, hog and corn. >> today, trade represents 300 hours per animal. >> reporter: one animal?
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>> yes. if that goes away, it will have impact on profitability. >> reporter: iowa imports $13 billion in goods, an enormous piece of the bottom line. >> horrible and unfair trade deals. >> reporter: he is a lifelong republican, but trump's tough talk on trade sends a shiver. what's the level of uncertainty here right now? >> i would say it's higher if we want to rate it, higher than 50%. >> reporter: from his office/command center, he monitors everything from commodity to thousands of cattle and hogs. immigrants integral to keeping his 500-acre farm running. >> there's two or three of them here every morning to make sure the cattle get fed. that's their job. >> reporter: the need for labor here so great, immigrants, their work ethic and emphasis on family welcomed with open arms. >> my first time was 2003.
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you could see no mexicans. ten years after that, you see 35% of the school population is latinos in the elementary schools. >> we are getting really bad dudes out of this country. >> reporter: carlos, now a u.s. citizen has a masters degree and married into a farm family. trump's immigration stance sends fear through the immigrant community. >> they are afraid they are going to take aatheir parents. >> reporter: trade at immigrant labor corner stones where 80% voted for donald trump. he has a simple message for the businessmen. >> 90-some per cent of the world population lies outside the waters of the united states. trade is a huge deal for agriculture. >> reporter: republicans here in sioux county say there are a lot of reasons they voted for trump,
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by immigration and trade are very important to them. since his address to congress on tuesday night, they feel he is becoming more traditional in terms of republicanism and he won't follow through on the tough trade talks and chasing him grants or arresting immigrants quite as hard as he said. erin? >> thank you, miguel. we have breaking news at this moment. donald trump, the president of the united states released a statement about the attorney general, i want to read it to you in full. jeff sessions is an honest man. he did not say anything wrong. he could have stated his response more accurately. it was not intentional. this is to save face for democrats losing an election they were supposed to win. they lost the election now their grip on reality. the real story is the illegal leaks of classified information. it is a total witch hunt, a statement from the president of the united states. david axelrod is with me.
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what is your reaction? the president coming out to slam democrats, but acknowledging he could have stated his response more accurately to congress. >> it's important to point out given the statement, there were more than a few republicans on capitol hill who called for general sessions to recuse himself. there are more than a few republicans participating in these intelligence committee reviews who said they take it quite seriously. so, i understand the strategy, to contain the thing and turn it into a partisan issue. i think it's beyond that now. the president is going to need a different strategy moving forward. he might start with being open and honest with people about exactly what happened or didn't happen. >> all right. as you point out, even in the time line of flynn and spicer didn't include a meeting with the russian ambassador at trump tower. thank you, david. we'll be right back. look closely. hidden in every swing, every chip, and every putt,
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thanks for joining us. don't forget you can watch out front anytime, anywhere. "ac 360" begins right now. good evening. john berman here in for anderson cooper. undisclosed contact between russia and donald trump associates during and after the campaign. one after the other after the other. just weeks ago, president trump flatly proclaimed he had nothing to do with russia and no person he deals with does. well, his attorney general did. today, he recused himself from any campaign investigation because of it. tonight, we are learning other advisers did, too, during the republican convention. cnn's jim acosta has that. he joins us from the white house. what are you learning? >> reporter: that's right, john. we understand from talking to a former natna